LIKE THE ANCIENT, star-spawned Cthulhu, the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival is a many-tentacled beast. Portland's 17th-annual cult celebration of author H.P. Lovecraft hosts oodles of films, panels, readings, merch, afterparties, and a 72-hour filmmaking challenge. It's a lot of content, so let's separate the Great Old Ones from the lowly shoggoths.
Don't miss It's in the Blood, starring Lance Henriksen, the nicest man ever to be eviscerated by an Alien, a Predator, and a Terminator. Henriksen, who was gracious enough to talk with us, described Blood: "It's a very intriguing film, because you think it's one thing and it's another. It's not just miso soup... it's like a stew with a lot of ingredients." About an estranged son and his hard-drinking Texas sheriff father (Henriksen) who get trapped in fog-enshrouded woods, Blood is a dreamy, horror-soaked film with some gnarly knife-inflicted gore. "You know you have a successful film when at least two or three people walk out because they don't like that scene," Henriksen says. But did the filmmakers ask him to do Bishop's knife trick? "They were kind enough not to do that. Waiters ask me to do it. I even had a cop pull me over and he said, 'Do the knife trick!'" (Go here to read our complete interview with Henriksen.)
Other gems include The Whisperer in Darkness, based on Lovecraft's 1931 short story. It's a masterful black-and-white movie in the style of 1930s monster pictures, with vintage special effects. The fest will also screen rough-cut footage of the long-awaited The Evil Clergyman—a 1988 short starring 1985's Re-Animator crew, which has been in legal limbo forever. With creature features, lost treasures, and ancient horrors, the Lovecraft Film Fest has some delightful goodies, and because your ticket allows you to jump between all three of the Hollywood Theatre's rooms showcasing Lovecraftian whatnots, something's sure to catch your fancy.