DIE, MONSTER, DIE!
MONSTER OF TERROR
This adaptation of H.P. Lovecrafts The Colour Out of Space (1927) seems to draw less upon H.P. Lovecraft than it does upon the conventions established by Roger Cormans series of Edgar Allan Poe films in the early 1960s (all of which Die, Monster, Die!s director Daniel Haller incidentally acted as production designer for). Indeed Die, Monster, Die! is strongly reminiscent of Roger Cormans first Edgar Allan Poe film The House of Usher (1960), marshalling many similar elements the same twisted landscapes, the deformed family members, the cleancut hero comes to rescue the girl, the black magic and arcane secrets in the family past, the murky goings-on in the present being covered up by the unwelcoming family patriarch. (Corman himself started the connection of Poe and Lovecraft when he adapted Lovecrafts The Case of Charles Dexter Ward (1927) with a Poe title in The Haunted Palace ). In a move that seems to have perhaps been intended to imitate Hammer, who after all inspired Cormans Poe cycle, Lovecrafts quintessential New England locale of Arkham has been transposed to Old England.
Daniel Haller succeeds in building reasonable atmosphere out of cliche elements hostile villagers, a big brooding mansion, unearthly screams in the night, mysterious hooded figures. There are some moments of genuine horror the revelation of Freda Jacksons mutated hand and face as she reaches out from behind the curtain and particularly the journey into the greenhouse and the briefly glimpsed vista of mutated alien creatures lined up in a cage. In the end though, Die, Monster, Die! is not much more than a routine monster movie that plods to a predictable end and achieves nothing on any level other than the patently obvious.
The Curse (1987) is another adaptation of The Colour Out of Space.
Director Daniel Haller later made a further H.P. Lovecraft adaptation with The Dunwich Horror (1969). Haller made a total of six films as director and then worked in television up until his retirement at the end of the 1980s. His one other venture into genre material as director was the theatrical remake of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (1979).
Other films based on the works of H.P. Lovecraft include:- The Haunted Palace (1963), The Shuttered Room (1966) and The Dunwich Horror (1969). The big success in the modern era was Stuart Gordons splattery black comedy version of Re-Animator (1985), which popularised Lovecraft on film. This led to a host of B-budget Lovecraft adaptations, including Stuart Gordons subsequent From Beyond (1986), The Unnameable (1988), The Resurrected (1992), Necronomicon (1993), The Unnamable II: The Statement of Randolph Carter (1993), Lurking Fear (1994), Gordons Dagon (2001), and other works such as The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath (2003), Beyond the Wall of Sleep (2006), Cool Air (2006), Chill (2007), Cthulu (2007), The Tomb (2007), Colour from the Dark (2008), The Dunwich Horror (2009), Pickmans Muse (2010), The Whisperer in Darkness (2011) and The Haunter of the Dark (2015). Also of interest is The Manitou (1978), which features an appearance of the Great Old One; Cast a Deadly Spell (1991) and its sequel Witch Hunt (1994), a tv movie set in an alternate world where magic works and where the central character is a detective named H.P. Lovecraft; Juan Piquer Simons cheap and loosely inspired Cthulu Mansion (1992); John Carpenters Lovecraft homage In the Mouth of Madness (1995); the fan parodies The Last Lovecraft: Relic of Cthulu (2009) and Call Girl of Cthulu (2014); even an animated childrens film Howard Lovecraft and the Frozen Kingdom (2016) in which a young Lovecraft encounters his own creations; while the Elder Gods turn up at the end of The Cabin in the Woods (2012). Lovecrafts key work of demonic lore The Necronomicon also makes appearances in films such as Equinox (1970), The Evil Dead II (1987) and Army of Darkness (1992), and was also borrowed as an alternate retitling for Jesus Francos surreal and otherwise unrelated Succubus/Necronomicon (1969) about a BDSM dancer.
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