The Lovecraft Movie That Never Was: The Cry of Cthulhu

Starlog 1979-1

Starlog 1979-2

Starlog 1979-3

The article is from Starlog #24 (July, 1979). The “lost” Lovecraft movie reportedly secured a $7 million budget, received the blessings of Arkham House (Lovecraft’s longtime publisher and champion), and was slated to “showcase several new techniques applied to stop-motion animation.” What makes it so much more interesting is the special effects talent lined up for the project.

Ernie Farino, hired as special effects supervisor and animator, got his start on Galaxy of Terror the following year, where he met James Cameron, who hired him as special effects coordinator on The Terminator. Farino also worked as an animator on Saturday the 14th, The Thing, Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone, and Dreamscape.

Lyle Conway, character designer and model builder, went on to do creature design and effects for The Dark Crystal, The Blob (1988), and Deep Rising.

Craig Reardon, special make-up effects, worked on The Goonies (he created Sloth!), Poltergeist, Twilight Zone: The Movie, Dreamscape, and The Gate, to name a few.

The concept art you see in the Starlog article is by Tom Sullivan, best known for designing and animating The Book of the Dead in The Evil Dead and The Evil Dead II. Sullivan also did many beautiful illustrations for Chaosium’s Call of Cthulhu role-playing game.

The Cry of Cthulhu was supposed to be something of a sequel to Lovecraft’s The Shadow Out of Time. I don’t know specifically why the project fell apart, but I imagine it was a combination of money and studio cowardice. Based on an earlier blurb in Starlog #6 from 1977 (below), the film was initially a low-budget affair to be shot entirely in Michigan.

UPDATE (10/24/14): I interviewed Byron Craft (a.k.a. David Hurd), screenwriter and co-producer of The Cry of Cthulhu, here. I also interviewed Tom Sullivan here.

Starlog 1977

(Images via and Propnomicon)

12 Responses to “The Lovecraft Movie That Never Was: <em>The Cry of Cthulhu</em>”

  1. 1 The joey Zone, NecronomiCon Providence 2015 June 17, 2014 at 6:41 pm

    The novelization of CRY *w/Tom Sullivan art*(!!!) is out

  2. 2 Dana Betts June 18, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. I read the original article way back when and the two images on those pages have never EVER left my memories. I couldn’t find them ANYWHERE and still think about them, here you’ve found them for me!

    From a huge HPL and Call of Cthulhu player.

  3. 4 The joey Zone, NecronomiCon Providence 2015 June 18, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    I see Tom Sullivan contacted you (on The Lovecraft Ezine site)–awesome! 😀 Met him aeons ago at a Chillercon in NJ. Not only is his art great, but so is Tom–His original artwork for this NEEDS a gallery showing of some sort…

    • 5 2W2N June 18, 2014 at 6:17 pm

      Yeah, he’s brilliant. We are in contact and hopefully we can arrange an interview about both the movie and the novelization. Stay tuned.

  4. 7 Adam Stevenson February 12, 2022 at 12:47 am

    Damn! I just read this article in a Starlog I bought and was hoping this film existed but had just been forgotten about. What a shame.

  1. 1 The Cry of Cthulhu: They kept saying it couldn't be done - and they were right | The Scrawl of Cthulhu Trackback on June 18, 2014 at 12:31 pm
  2. 2 The Lovecraft Files: Upcoming Interviews with Byron Craft and Tom Sullivan | 2 Warps to Neptune Trackback on October 20, 2014 at 2:26 pm
  3. 3 Cthulhu Calling: An Interview with Byron Craft | 2 Warps to Neptune Trackback on October 23, 2014 at 2:12 pm
  4. 4 He Wrote the Book: An Interview with Tom Sullivan | 2 Warps to Neptune Trackback on October 30, 2014 at 2:32 pm
  5. 5 TBA Hírhét 2017/01/02 - 17/01/08 - The Black Aether Trackback on March 3, 2017 at 9:43 pm

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