Hey creeps n’ ghouls! Did you know this week marks the 123rd birthday of one of the greatest authors of horror fiction? That’s right, good ol’ Howard Phillips Lovecraft was born on August 20th, 1890. And while I would love to say that I was born with a preternatural knowledge of the man and all of his outré works, that is simply not the case! So, how did I become aware of HPL and his universe of horrors? Why from the pages of Fangoria magazine of course!
As a young fiend, I devoured every issue of Fangoria I could get my hands on, and while every month brought mind melting exposes on films it would sometimes take me years to see, Issue #91 from April 1990 introduced me to a film I’d never see; Stuart Gordon’s unproduced adaptation of Lovecraft’s The Shadow Over Innsmouth!
Gordon, no stranger to Lovecraft adaptations having helmed both 1985’s Re-Animator and 1986’s From Beyond, had planned to bring HPL’s tale of a young man who explores a doomed town whose inhabitants, worshippers of the ancient aquatic god Dagon, are more fish than man. Helping him in this endeavor was none other than legendary horror artist Bernie Wrightson (co-creator of DC’s Swamp Thing). To say I was excited to learn of this project is an understatement.
The film was eventually announced as coming from Full Moon Entertainment, who were a staple of my weekly video store visits thanks primarily to their Puppet Master series of films, but it never came to pass. In 2001 Gordon reworked the premise for his film Dagon, and while that film was cool in its own right, it simply couldn’t match the film promised within the pages of Fango.
But, while the film never came to be, it did provide me with enough excitement to check out Lovecraft’s vast body of work, tales that I still revisit regularly and continue to be inspired by in my own writing!
If you would like to experience The Shadow Over Innsmouth for yourself I have provided thr audiobook version of it below!