The cult section of the literary world

REPORT FROM THE 2012 H. P. LOVECRAFT FILM FESTIVAL AND CTHULHUCON

by Jeff Burk

This past weekend the Eraserhead Press crew was at the H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival and CthulhuCon. In case you are not aware of the event, the fest is a Portland institution that has been happening for more than a decade. It is a celebration of films, literature, and all things H. P. Lovecraft and Cthulhu. Eraserhead Press has been tabling the event for more years than anybody can remember (really! I asked around).

Cameron Pierce and Jeremy Robert Johnson

The festival also holds dear importance to me. When I first moved to Portland four years ago, and didn’t know anybody, I volunteered at the event. There I met people like Jeremy Robert Johnson and Alan M. Clark for the first time. Two people with whom I’m still friends. The next time I went it was as a vendor for Eraserhead Press. This year, I was a guest author and editor. Words can not express how much it meant to me to be an official part of the festival.

I’m behind the Eraserhead Press table!

Friday night was spent hanging out with friends and catching a few movies. The fest shows films both new (The Ruins, Monsters) and old (Horror Express, The Skull). What they specialize in is showing blocks of independently made short films inspired by Lovecraft or the Cthulhu Mythos. There is where you can find the real gems of the festival.

STAY AT HOME DAD directed by John Skipp and Andrew Kasch and written by Cody Goodfellow was the highlight of the fest for the bizarro fans. A strange, funny, and perverse cosmic horror take on fatherhood. Distribution of the film is still unannounced but here’s the trailer:

BEDTIME FOR TIMMY was one of my personal favorites. A cute and funny stop-motion short of one small boy’s bedtime troubles. Watch the whole movie:

Artist Mike Dubisch had two films in the fest demonstrating his surreal live-art techniques. Check this out:

He also did a quick demonstration at the fest itself. I’m pretty sure the remark in the description on youtube, “I felt like I was tripping,” was me.

Saturday, I did a reading with two genre greats – Jay Lake and Wilum H. Pugmire. I did my Choose-Your-Own-Reading performance, which is where I read SUPER GIANT MONSTER TIME (my choose-your-own-adventure book) and had the audience vote on the choices. This was the longest version of the reading I have ever done. The bastards didn’t want to die!

Ross Lockhart and Wilum Pugmire

The rest of the day was spent selling books and catching films. I saw an awesome documentary named BARBARIAN DAYS about insane and obsessive Robert E. Howard fans in Texas. I had no idea there were people who took Howard so seriously. It was a real eye-opener, and a bit disturbing at times.

One of the coolest events of the day was the Pickman’s Apprentice competition, in which three attending artists were give two prompts (shoggoths and circuses) and two hours to create a work of art. The results were astonishing:

Nick Gucker won and became Pickman’s Apprentice!

Mike Dubisch went for a black-light vibe.

Lee Moyer included a little shout-out to Mother’s Day

The night ended with drinks and live stage magic (!!!!!) at Tony Starlight.

Sunday started off with the Cthulhu Prayer Breakfast, which was the coolest event at the con. While sitting in a movie theater at 12:30 pm and eating eggs, potatoes, and bacon, we listened to Robert M. Price and Cody Goodfellow deliver sermons and debate the place of Cthulhu in the modern world and how he can get more worshipers. It was absolutely insane and the perfect way to start the day.

Cody Goodfellow spreads the good word.

The rest of Sunday was a bit quiet as people were nursing hangovers in the safety of the dark theaters. I did a panel on horror publishing with James Beach, Ross Lockhart, Silvia Moreno-Garcia, and E. Catherine Tobler.

Now Rose is behind the Eraserhead Press Table!

That night was the Awards Ceremony where DOCTOR GLAMOUR won the coveted fan favorite award. It was an absolutely insane Lovecraft, meets romance, meets German expressionism, meets eighties glam rock mini-epic. I loved it and any bizarro fan should check it out.

But then the fest ended. It was a great weekend and it was wonderful seeing so many great movies, old friends, and wonderful creative people. Thanks to Brian and Gwen Callahan for putting together such an awesome weekend. I can hardly wait for next year!

Eraserhead Press and Friends

Thanks to Ross E. Lockhart from whom I stole some pictures. You can see more awesome pics from the event courtesy of Thebes-inc here.

3 responses

  1. More pictures of the event here:
    http://thebes-inc.smugmug.com/event/HPLFF2012

    Feel free to suggest captions!

    May 15, 2012 at 3:58 pm

  2. Aw thanks for posting that! Somehow I missed the art and I was bummed out — no longer!

    May 20, 2012 at 5:44 pm

  3. Pingback: Something Wicked This Way Juggles | Skookworks Inc

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