Saturday, October 15, 2016

The Dukes of Alhazred

Last night I saw a RadioTheatreNYC performance of two of H.P. Lovecraft's classic horror stories, "The Horror in the Museum" and "The Call of Cthulhu." I saw this company perform some Edgar Allan Poe stories a few months ago, and once again they delivered the bone-chilling goods with just their voices, a few sound effects, and simple lighting. Who needs lame digital effects and movie theaters that rain on you when you can get more and better frights from real people who know how to deliver a scary story?

Since last night was all about the Old Ones and the Outer Gods, today we're going "Down to Dunwich" with The Darkest of the Hillside Thickets to see what that noise in the barn is all about. The Thickets are a Canadian group that specialize in songs about H.P. Lovecraft's extensive mythology. That's quite a specific niche, but so far they've gotten four full-length albums out of it and toured with groups like Bad Brains, GWAR, and They Might Be Giants. Even their name is taken from a Lovecraft story, "The Tomb": "I will tell only of the lone tomb in the darkest of the hillside thickets."

"Down to Dunwich" focuses on Lovecraft's story "The Dunwich Horror," written in 1928 and published in Weird Tales magazine. The story concerns Wilbur Whateley, a man of unfortunate parentage (his dad is Outer God Yog-Sothoth) who is shunned by the townsfolk and their animals for being so ugly and strange. Luckily his grandfather is a sorcerer and teaches him some very important life skills, like how to keep his invisible twin brother alive in the barn by feeding him cows. The story was made into a fun film in 1970 that doesn't completely follow the original plot, but is worth seeing anyway.
Hug Yog!

So are you ready to go out to the barn and see what that noise was? And where did that slime in the kitchen come from, anyway? Maybe you should bring a cow along, just to be safe...

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