Monster of Terror
In honour of the birth of H. P. Lovecraft I thought I’d reacquaint myself with one of the earliest film adaptations of his work. Lovecraft has been very badly served by cinema. With the worthy exceptions of Re-Animator (1985) and From Beyond (1986) Lovecraft’s nightmarish vision of cosmic horrors has remained largely unrealised. One of his most evocative and memorable short stories is The Colour Out of Space which Lovecraft wrote in March 1927 and was first printed in the September 1927 edition of Amazing Stories. It has since become one of his most enduring tales. The first thing to say about Jerry Sohl’s screenplay adaptation is that it is very loose. In fact Die, Monster Die! has only a thin resemblance to the story it is based upon. The filmmakers instead are totally intent on recreating the look, feel, and style of the Corman/Poe cycle which was also distributed by American International Pictures. This isn’t much of a surprise when one realises that first time director Daniel Haller had in fact worked on every one of the Poe films as art director. So once again, as was the case with an earlier AIP adaptation of Lovecraft (The Haunted Palace (1963)) Lovecraft is subsumed into filmmaking strategies adopted for the Poe cycle.
© Shaun Anderson - 2010