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.
(Images via archive.org and Propnomicon)