Recent Dorkiness

Countdown to Halloween, Day Eleven: Goin’ Down to Dunwich

So! Eleven days in, and I think I’ve found the cover for our 2012 Halloween mix tape!

That is, of course, a rather young Mr. Dean Stockwell in his starring role in the 1970 film adaptation of HP Lovecraft’s The Dunwich Horror. Very true to its time period, the film drapes Lovecraft’s tale of Outer Gods and the metaphoric horrors of incest with the trappings of fashionable Satanism.

It’s… not good. But it is an enormously fun period B movie that’s rather enjoyable in its own right. I’ve always thought that the “Midnite Movie” home video release offered a cover that captured the film’s lurid appeal rather well:

click to embiggen for the full demon monte

Stockwell’s Wilbur comes off almost sympathetic at first. He’s like some kind of occult hipster interested in alternative lifestyles, a far cry from Lovecraft’s deformed outsider. Yes, he’s a little weird and awkward…

(pinkie rings)

…but not entirely unlikeable. It’s only when he kidnaps Our Heroine and summons forth his evil Satan cult…

(slash awesome metal band)

…that he really comes off as bad news. Of course, then he does this some more…

(he does that a LOT, really)

…and starts in with the virgin sacrifice…

(seriously, just stop it with the hand thing)

…and you know he’s the heavy. Fortunately for everyone, though…

(everyone but Wilber, that is)

…things start to go wrong, and (spoilers!) he’s left feeling alone and confused.

(I TOLD you to lay off the hand-horns!)

What’s that? A song? Oh, yeah! Tonight we have for you Darkest of the Hillside Thickets (Lovecraft’s own metal band) with their ode to Wilbur Whately, “Goin’ Down to Dunwich” (featuring, just to tie all this nonsense together, sound bites from Dean Stockwell in the film we just got done polluting your brains with).

 

BONUS DUNWICH: If you’d prefer a more faithful adaptation of The Dunwich Horror (and lord knows you should), please enjoy this radio play version from the 1940s…

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About Mark Brett (418 Articles)
Shaved Yeti. Alien. Writer of stuff. Read my fiction at http://reportsfromthefieldblog.wordpress.com/. Read my thoughts on comic books and other dork culture ephemera at https://dorkforty.wordpress.com/.

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