Grim Reviews has a long and very positive review of the new indie movie Pickman’s Muse (2010), apparently a blending of “Pickman’s Model” and “The Haunter of the Dark”. The film did the rounds of the U.S. film festivals in 2009 in 85 minute form. The DVD has been available on for a few weeks now, but has yet to make it onto For the DVD it seems to have been trimmed and tightened to 75 minutes.

“Pickman’s blood curdling paintings are left to the imagination. The same goes for the spectral representatives of Starry Wisdom, who manifest as shadows in glass and swirl through the night. Adapting Lovecraft is unique in that many of his well described horrors can, theoretically, be brought to life on the screen. However, the long track record of disappointing gore and soggy monsters in Lovecraftian film making does not always mean directors should deploy the Providence author’s creatures directly. The maker of Pickman’s Muse realizes this, and he succeeds in casting a spell upon the viewer’s imagination, where images and sounds suggest terrors far scarier than actually pulling the curtain back all the way would.”

“Pickman’s Muse is a darkly beautiful journey, rendering its Lovecraftian elements in the vice grip of pure atmosphere. In a time when major directors are looking at giving Lovecraft’s work a multi-million dollar treatment that will surely include overt action and shocks, Robert Cappelleto shows Lovecraftian cinema may be best in the artistic fog of unknowable phantoms.”

Sounds very promising. Unfortunately the film’s being promoted with an incredibly ugly MySpace page, rather than a proper website. One would have thought the producers could have got a local web design house to make a decent site for free, in exchange for a prominent promo-badge on the front page. Ditto for the film’s poster. But the film was apparently made for a slightly unbelievable $5,000, and I guess they’re trying to save money wherever possible.

The trailer is available on YouTube…