Monday, October 17, 2011

Love Me Some Lovecraft: The Dunwich Horror

When someone tries to unleash a demon, you should take him seriously even if his name is Wilbur Whateley. That's the lesson of this week's story "The Dunwich Horror."

Continuing last week's theme of humans hooking up with monster-men, "The Dunwich Horror" follows one peculiar half-thing Wilbur Whateley. After growing up abnormally fast and albino, Wilbur goes about trying conceal... something in his wizard grandfather's shed up in Dunwich. Whatever it is, to unleash it Wilbur needs to get his hands on H.P. Lovecraft's favorite evil bible, the Necronomicon. But when he heads over to Miskatonic University to get the only English copy he is killed by a dog and, like, turns into goo.

What happens next is why this is one of Lovecraft's happier(?) stories in that the good guys confront the evil and actually win. The whole affair is more action-packed than usual too. The dog is the real hero though, because without it Wilbur's plan would actually succeeded and Earth would've been boned. Also, for those of you keeping scorecards of what being shows up in which story, this week's villain is one Yog-Sothoth.

As a relatively more traditional story, what with there being fighting, victory and a recognizable human-ish villain, there have been a fair share of adaptations of "The Dunwich Horror." The trailer below is from the 1970 version with Dean Stockwell and Ed Begley.

Next week we graduate from short stories to full-on novellas with At The Mountains of Madness.

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