This episode of Castle Talk we're chatting about Color Out of Space, a new science fiction horror film that marks the return to feature directing from Richard Stanley, who brought us such films as Dust Devil and his cult favorite debut Hardware. The new film stars Nicolas Cage as a man who's moved his family to the New England countryside when a mysterious meteorite lands on his farm. Alien organisms on the rock begin to affect—and infect—the family in increasingly awful and colorful ways, or what the producers call a "technicolor nightmare."
We spoke to Stanley about what it takes to tackle Lovecraft in film, and the Color Out of Space director didn't pull his punches. When asked if there were any Lovecraft adaptations he recommended, he goes to movies that are Lovecraftian in story and style, like John Carpenter's The Thing. One major problem in adapting Lovecraft is that the stories work hard to evoke a sense of awe and fear that are not immediately summoned by the tick-tock of the plot, so a movie that adapts Lovecraft can run the risk of leaving the feeling on the floor.
But beyond this, Stanley says that he and other filmmakers also find themselves "in dialogue" with Lovecraft, because the man was a visionary and also a nihilist and racist. The only way to adapt, Stanley says, is to confront by taking the stories deliberately in places the writer would not have gone: a world of hope or at least compassion, and where Lovecraft's detective-like grad student can be black.
Stanley also revealed that he's not done yet: The Color Out of Space is the first of a Lovecraft Trilogy, with The Dunwich Horror coming next.
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The Team: Hosted by Jason Henderson, editor of the Castle of Horror Anthology and Young Captain Nemo, and creator of the HarperTeen novel series Alex Van Helsing.