Vacation Necronomicon School, summer 2010 reading assignment for 31st July 2010: “The Call of Cthulhu”.

“Your short assignment today […] discuss Lovecraft’s influence on [John] Carpenter’s oeuvre”

TASK Six: 31st July 2010.

I can’t talk about the films of Carpenter because I haven’t seen them, and I generally dislike post-1970 filmed horror unless it’s strongly science-fiction.

What I find much more interesting is the possible influence of the early cinema on Lovecraft. This appears to me to be a very neglected area, judging by my Web searches and searches of Google Books. And yet we know that Lovecraft was an avid cinema goer from the early days of the movies onwards…

“I am a devotee of the motion picture” — letter of 1915.

As far as I can tell from Google Books, this is where Joshi’s definitive biography stops in terms of examining the possible influences from early cinema and newsreels. Lovecraft found Chaplin funny, disliked the 1930s Dracula, end of story. A search of the index of Lovecraft Studies finds one lonely article with “cinema” in its title, and that on “Cinematic Interpretations of the Works”. Zero records are found for “film” and “films” or “motion”. Are Lovecraft scholars in need of a joint symposium with the historians of early fantastic cinema?