By WILLIAM J. WRIGHT
People of Mobile, Alabama, be warned! A crawling chaos from the void will descend on your fair city this autumn. On November 3rd through 5th, the H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival of Cosmic Horror, now in its 29th year, will slither its way from the Pacific Northwest into the Downtown Historic District for three days of cinematic mayhem dedicated to Providence’s grandmaster of the weird tale. This all-new event will spread over Mobile like the Colour Out of Space, with daytime events to include author readings, panel discussions, vendors and films at the Holiday Inn and the Haunted Book Shop.
Dedicated Lovecraftians and other assorted minions of Cthulhu are invited to lose the last shreds of their sanity at a series of evening screenings at the historic Saenger Theatre, with a selection of short films and special feature presentations. Guest of honor Dennis Paoli, best known for his collaborations with director Stuart Gordon, will be on hand (tentacle?) to introduce the 1985 classic Re-Animator. Paoli returns Saturday night to host his latest Lovecraft adaptation, Suitable Flesh, directed by Joe Lynch (Mayhem) and starring Heather Graham. A Q&A session will follow the screenings.
Other feature film highlights include the genre-bending cosmic horror feature The Veil, directed by Cameron Beyl, starring Sean O’Bryan; the mythos film Minore by Greek filmmaker Konstantinos Koutsoliotas; the cryptid-folk-horror-found-footage hybrid Frogman by Anthony Cousins; and Charlie Steeds’ Gods of the Deep.
However, for those who enjoy their mind-ripping horror in small chunks, this year’s short films include adaptations of stories by such merchants of the macabre as H.P. Lovecraft, Robert W. Chambers and Edgar Allan Poe as well as original weird tales and cosmic horrors from across the globe.
No event inspired by Lovecraft would be complete without a nod to modern authors of weird fiction. Literary guests will include Cody Goodfellow (Radiant Dawn), Michael Davis (Lovecraft eZine), Peter Rawlik (Reanimatrix), Jon Padgett (Grimscribe Press), Carrie Dalby (The Malevolent Trilogy) and others. Several authors will be hosting readings of their work, conducting panel discussions and selling their terrifying tomes at the event’s vendor space, the Mall of Cthulhu.
For single-day and full-festival passes (available until October 27 at discounted early bird rates), click here. For a complete list of films, guests and more information, please visit https://hplfilmfestival.com/hplfilmfestival-mobile-al/.