Stuart Gordon is one of my top three horror directors of all time (John Carpenter and Sam Raimi being the other two). His birthday was August 11th, and to celebrate I’m going to recommend three of my favorite H.P. Lovecraft adaptations that he directed.
*Note: These trailers contain some foul language, plenty of blood, and one (Dagon) features brief nudity.
Based on the H.P. Lovecraft story Herbert West–Reanimator, Jeffrey Combs plays Dr. Herbert West, a man who has created a serum that reanimates the dead. As you might imagine, things do not go well.
From Beyond (1986)
Jeffrey Combs ( a frequent collaborator with Gordon) stars in this adaptation of the story of the same name. The story involves a machine that allows humans to see creatures from another dimension. As you might imagine, things do not go well.
This movie is actually more of an adaptation of “The Shadow Over Innsmouth.” It follows a couple who shipwrecks off the coast of a small fishing village. The village is home to the worshipers of the sea god Dagon. As you might imagine, things do not go well.
Bonus: Dreams in the Witch House (2005)
Masters of Horror is one of my all-time favorite series, so of course I was overjoyed that they got Stuart Gordon to do another Lovecraft adaptation for it. Based on the story of the same name, it starts Ezra Godden (who also starred in Dagon) as Walter Gilman, a college student who rents an attic room in a house inhabited by a witch. As you might imagine, things do not go well.
While most of Gordon’s movies fall squarely into the “B” category, he is really the only director who consistently captured the cosmic weirdness of Lovecraft’s short stories. He frequently teamed up with writer Dennis Paoli and producer Brian Yuzna, and pretty much everything they’ve done together is a lot of fun to watch. I will do a separate post on Yuzna at some point, as he is attached to some of my all-time favotire ’80s horror movies (two of which are on this list).
So, happy birthday Stuart Gordon! Thanks for keeping Lovecraft’s name out there when no one else was carrying the banner.