Friday, January 1, 2010

So el senior Guillermo Del Toro is working on At the Mountains of Madness, aye?

Last night I watched a fascinating documentary on H.P. Lovecraft. It is called Lovecraft: The Fear of the Unknown. Evidently it was released direct to DVD sometime in 2008. It just arrived on Blu-Ray last week. I obtained my copy from Netflix.

Some great Hollywood people including John Carpenter, Guillermo Del Toro and Neil Gaiman were interviewed extensively about Lovecraft. It is obvious that these men have studied Lovecraft closely over a long time, and that Lovecraft had a big formative impact on all of them. Of course, two of my favorite bands of all time (Iron Maiden and Metallica) make plenty of direct references to Lovecraft.

What is fascinating about this documentary is seeing what an immediate and powerful impact Lovecraft had on horror and science fiction. Such ancient classics as King Kong were heavily influenced by Lovecraft's style. So too was the creature from the Black Lagoon, which is a riff on the Shadow Over Innsmouth. Guilermo accused John Carpenter of directly ripping off At the Mountains of Madness to make The Thing.

Carpenter politely declined to combat that statement, simply saying his movie was based on the book "Who Goes There?", and that he sincerely hoped that Guillermo will successfully make At The Mountains of Madness. Guillermo fully admitted that he has been attempting to put together an investment group to do this movie, but there is conflict over how to approach it. Everybody recognizes that it will have to be a grand special effects bonanza, perhaps rivaling Avatar in scope.

A quick check of IMDB indicated that Guillermo is a very busy man. He has a number of irons in the fire right now, not the least of which is the two (yep 2) Hobbit movies. I bet this pisses off Peter Jackson quite a bit. So far, At the Mountains of Madness does not yet appear on his schedule. It might be the middle of the decade, like 2015 before we see it, though.

Still, this is very exciting news. Most people believe that At the Mountains of Madness is H.P. Lovecraft's finest work. Just capturing the mood of the book made The Thing one of the greatest Sci-Fi horror movies of all time. Incidentally, I do agree with Guillermo that John Carpenter's The Thing owes a hell of a lot of cash to Lovecraft.

If done correctly, Del Toro could make one of the greatest Sci-Fi horror movies of all time.