Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Lovecraft Epilogue: The Parodies

Since Lovecraft, who I blogged about for the past two days and will finish with today, had such a distinctive style — depicting a universe in which no familiar cosmology applies and hideous, tentacled alien gods rule a heartless dark universe — he is, of course, easy to parody, with things like:

•an imagined speech showing us what it would sound like if a Cthulhu-worshipper — instead of a Mormon — had to convince Americans that he shares their basic faith and values

•some clever recipe suggestions for people planning Lovecraft parties

•a story about what the Cold War might have looked like had it been fought by superpowers engaged in a race to accumulate Old Ones as weapons (this item and the previous one were pointed out to me by Arkansas state representative Dan Greenberg, who suggested legislation called the Edifice Complex Prevention Act to prevent legislators naming buildings after themselves — but has not yet, to my knowledge, introduced legislation to prevent the use of non-Euclidean geometry in building unholy alien temples)

•a brand-new Lovecraft mock-children’s-book called Baby’s First Mythos

•and, as I may have mentioned before, the photo-narrative adventures of Plush Cthulhu

But tomorrow I promise to move on from horror to Valentine’s Day.

P.S. And in what sounds like some sort of parody set-up but isn’t, Guillermo Del Toro (who as I mentioned yesterday directed the Lovecraft-influenced Hellboy) has been seriously rumored to be the possible director of both Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness and Tolkein’s The Hobbit (the ongoing legal complications with the latter project making it unlikely Peter Jackson will direct, tragically). That would be like simultaneously directing Winnie the Pooh and Alien V — which would also be a pretty sweet gig.


Dan G said...

I would not actually call the third link a parody — I would suggest that it’s a perfectly realized minor classic of SF/horror- fantasy short stories, almost up there with, e.g., Cordwainer Smith’s “The Game of Rat and Dragon,” Dan Simmons’s “The River Styx Runs Upstream,” William Tenn’s (Klass) “The Liberation of Earth,” and Lewis Padgett’s (Kuttner & Moore) “Mimsy Were The Borogoves.” (Digressing, the latter was recently adapted into the movie “The Last Mimzy,” which I have not seen.)

Scott Nybakken said...

Speaking of things you can eat which are surely Cthulian in nature, I give you the coconut crab of the Indian and western Pacific:

This is not photoshopped! More info here:

Todd Seavey said...


I have long said that a giant crab climbing up a tree to get coconuts in David Attenborough’s _Life on Earth_ series was one of the most unsettling things I’ve ever seen, and then you inflict that on me.

And I only just learned today that there was literally a mad slasher on my block last night (killed a psychotherapist one corner north who may well have been his, given how often victims know their attackers) — and saw a news item about Florida cops being baffled by recent goat decapitations (I’m going to go out on a limb and guess immigrants from the Caribbean on that one).

Add one giant squid sighting to this list or tell me that Huckabee has begun showing a visible halo, and I’m stocking up on non-Euclidean protractors.

Todd Seavey said...

Breitbart News, where I learned of the goats, also notes a controversy over a taxpayer-funded state field trip for sexual deviants to a child-filled circus, so the world-gone-mad quotient is high today.

Dan G said...

Actually, *this* is the best Cthulhu parody:

Todd Seavey said...

That’s very good — and on a more serious note, comic books bring us this monthly series starting next month, as it happens:

Laura said...

One mustn’t forget the unintentionally parodic theatrical adaptation of Lovecraft that we saw in NYC a few years ago — it was so overwrought that it prompted one of us to quip on the way out, “I’ve never heard anyone talk so much about the unspeakable!”

Todd Seavey said...

Ah, yes! To this day, the only play I’ve seen in which an actor’s mouth was wide with horror for so long that drool poured out of it. Good times.