The HP Lovecraft Film Festival

It's taken a while to write this, I think this is rewrite #3. Going for the short form this time. Had a really good time at the Film Festival. Portland as usual is the kind of city I enjoy. Good food, interesting buildings, a metro system that works, and a distinct lack of mountain cedar. Did my usual wandering, raided Powell's City of Books (Oh, my credit card bill). I also went over to the Oregon Maritime Museum and Movie Madness Video. Then, Friday night was time for the Fest...

As usual it was mostly feature films for me. So after saying hi to people I know, I found a seat for 'Necronomicon: The Book of Hell'. A flick from Argentina, that I've been wanting to see since I first heard about it. Movie about one of the copies of the Necronomicon that HPL said was kept at the Biblioteca Nacional in Buenos Aires. Creepy book tale (which themed to be a theme for me this year). Lots of fun, low budget but it worked well for me. Then again, crazed book folks hit a special note with me. Hoping it gets an international release. Next flick was 'The Rules of Ruin', another forbidden tome book, this one from Mexico. Also creepy, it didn't hang together quite as well as Necronomicon, but it was enjoyable. Again, hoping for a wider release (and a physical copy for me).

Saturday started with 'Carbload for Cthulhu' a signing event, with bagels and Voodoo donuts. (I had a quarter of 1 donut due to the evil diabetes, was good but not worth sugar coma). Met some more friends, met a number of new authors and bought a bunch of books. Then was the HPLHS presentation of 'The Shadow Over Innsmouth' as a radio play. As a card carrying member, I had to get a front row seat. Then was dinner, sushi with pals, then back to see 'Hammer of the Gods', a Canadian wilderness horror flick. The same people did 'Black Mountain Side' a few years ago, which blew me away. This was different, jarring spikes of horror, mixed with general 'oh crap this will end badly'. Really enjoyed it, will be staying out of the Canadian wilderness. Last flick for Saturday was a Japanese adaptation of 'The Shadow Over Innsmouth'. Was enjoyable, if a little slow. But it's one of those things I'd probably never get to see again, so glad I went.

Sunday started with more wandering and talking. Some folks had their wedding at the HPLFF, and they opened it to anyone who wanted to attend. Cody Goodfellow presided, I highly recommend getting married by a crazy Cthulhu cultist if you are of the inclination.

Movies were Clark Ashton Smith adaptations, one from 'Night Gallery' and two by Richard Stanley, 'Mother of Toads' (which I've seen a few times) and 'The Sea of Perdition', which isn't a direct adaptation, just using some themes and going off a really cool landscape he found in Iceland. Richard Stanley did a Q/A which was really interesting, he's a very quirky dude. I then hit my one shorts block, the NSFW set. Definitely was not safe for work, or sanity. Will never look at lobsters or mirrors the same way again. *wink* Final flick was 'Corpse' based on the King in Yellow mythos of Robert Chambers. Very psychedelic, multiple timelines that were kind of hard to keep up with, and IMHO needed a bit of editing, but it really got the creeping insanity of Carcosa (not Carcosa Corp). And with that, my fest came to a close.

*looks up* Yeah, this is the short form. I can get wordy really bloody easily. As I said, I had a blast. Saw a number of friends, made a bunch of new ones. Was already wishing it was time for the next fest before I got to the airport the next day. Many Thanks to Gwen and Brian Callahan, along with their eldritch minions for putting on one hell of a fest.

Back from Innsmouth West

Flew back in today. My brain has been reduced to something akin to tapioca, early wake up, flying, having my bag searched because of eldritch objects, and a screaming child two seats away. But that's just the return journey, the rest of the trip was gloriously fun. Movies, books, friends, good food, things with tentacles. Friends with tentacles. I'll write up a more detailed post probably this weekend. For now though, I'll try to regrow some tentacles for returning to Carcosa Corp tomorrow, and probably go to bad way early.

Pilgrimage to Innsmouth West

Heading out to Portland in a few hours, for the HP Lovecraft Film Festival. Very much looking forward to it, hoping for an easy trip (I have a sinus infection, and that's making me a tad nervous about flying). Lovecraftian movies and people, book raid on Powell's City of Books, and some rather good food. So wish me luck, and I'll post again after I get back, and fill you all in on the eldritch details.

Sunday: running low on tentacles.

I tried to sleep in, kind of suceeded. Headed back to the Hollywood Theatre. Wandered around, talked to people, including a bookbinder who does custom books. I've wanted a custom edition of 'Shadow Over Innsmouth' so I asked him a few questions, and got details of what I need and what it would cost. Something I'll be doing later this year. Went to a audio play version of 'The Hound', again by Stuart Gordon. Again, fun in a audience. I also went to the screening of 'The Asphrx'. Old Hammer style horror flick, with some vague nods to a couple of HPL's stories. I've seen it before, many years ago I rented it back in high school. Was fun, in that Hammer style that I love.

After the flicks I went to get some dinner. Per a friend's recommendations I had the fish and chips, and it was wonderful. But after that I was really tired, so I said my goodbyes and headed back to the hotel to eat cookies and chill out. Slept well, got up and made it to the airport, and back home in one piece. Thus was my adventures at the HP Lovecraft Film Festival.

Saturday Cultist was soaked to the bone

Got up early, gathered books to be signed, and headed back out for the 'Carbload for Cthulhu'. Free donuts and bagels and authors to sign stuff. Scott Jones, Kenneth Hite, Cody Goodfellow, S.T. Joshi, Wendy N. Wagner and more. Everyone was really friendly and welcoming, it became a thing, people finding out it was my first fest and being glad I finally made it. *cheer* Bought more books, and ran back to the hotel to drop them off and come back for the flicks.

Saturday's first flick was 'Bad Ass Monster Killers'. Imagine if HP Lovecraft lived until the 70's and became a huge fan of Fred Williamson and Shaft movies. This would have been the screenplay he wrote. Cheese grande, hysterical and glorious. I bought a copy of the DVD, and another flick by the group that did it to inflict on my friends. Speaking of friends, I randomly joined into conversations and met people. *waves at Anders*

Hung around, wandered around the vendors. Met a number of people I'd only talked to online. Ann Koi, Sean Branney and Andrew Leman from the HPLHS, other people that we have friends in common. Everyone was as friendly as before. Spent monies on cool things, and shockingly...books. *wink* Then I got a front row seat for the HPLHS live performance of 'Dagon: War of Worlds'. Was fun to watch/listen to, always good to support the HPLHS. Afterwards I went for sushi, a place I'd walked by and made note of. New tasty fishy for me, mackerel. Strong flavor, but enjoyable. I seem to like my sushi to have a strong flavor more often than not.

Then I watched the re-release of 'From Beyond' with Stuart Gordon. I'd never seen it with an audience beyond that of a few friends, and it was great. Need to see more classic movies in the theaters. Afterwards I was part of a small panel with Stuart Gordon, discussing movies and stories with him. Yes, I got to chitchat with one of my favorite directors twice during the fest. Also got my copy of 'Dagon' signed, because yes, I am a fanboy.

Afterwards I headed back to the hotel in the rain. Books made it safe, though I was a tad soaked. Crashed out and slept pretty good.

Friday night: The Creature Below and Downhill

Saw two movies Friday night. The first one was 'The Creature Below'. A British monster flick with Lovecraftian bits. I'd been looking forward to seeing it since before I decided to go to the fest. So when they announced it was showing I did some happy dancing. The movie was good, not as good as I'd expected, but still good. Tentacles everywhere. And the love between a girl and her adopted octopus. 4 out of 5 tentacles.

The second movie was 'Downhill'' It tried very hard, but it wasn't sure if it was an infection horror, a chased by crazies horror, or a cultists in the woods horror. Very well shot, and Chile is gorgeous, but it didn't hold that well together. 2 out of 5 cultists to Shubby. That being said, I'd probably watch it again. Maybe it would hold together better on repeat viewing, and like I said it's a very pretty movie.

AFter the two flicks I called it a night. All 3 nights there were after parties at local places, but consistently was out of tentacles by the time they rolled around, and hotel and bed seemed more appealing.

Last night

When last we spoke I'd been on the roof of the Gilman House. I decided to head out to get some dinner. And went the wrong way, repeatedly. Walked the wrong way, got on the wrong bus, finally gave up and hoofed it to a pub of some variety that had interesting looking cheeseburgers. I'm really starting to like Tillamook cheddar. Burger was good, nothing spectacular but just what I was in the mood for. Headed back to the hotel, missed my stop, got turned around and back. Oh, that physical compass I bought...it's possessed. Utterly unhelpful. Oh well.

Hung out in my room for a while to decompress. Then got dressed up for the VIP party at the nearby Chinese Gardens. I didn't get this dressed up for my last job interview. I even wore a tie (regular tie, not a fancy tentacle tie like I'd thought to do...ran out of time). Headed on out, the gardens were just a block away. Got checked in, got my badge for the weekend, then got taken on a tour of the Portland Shanghai tunnels. If you're interested in crazy history, true crime, or the not so fun life of a sailor, read up on this place. Those who know me, know I dislike closed in places, especially if there's no air moving. This was only a few degrees off what I'd consider hell, if I had to be stuck there. I pity anyone over my 5' 7", as I was ducking under pipes and low arches. And critiquing the ethernet cable runs I saw. (real businesses still use the tunnels for piping and wiring). It's rumored to be haunted, but I didn't see or feel anything too weird, besides thinking that someone could use the tunnels to film an awesome adaptation of 'Pickman's Model'. Tour lasted about an hour, our tour guide could really spin some good yarns. Need to look up some material on the archeology of the tunnels, my history geek was letting itself be known.

After the tunnel was the reception back at the gardens. One of the organizers recognized me from Facebook, we'd actually met years ago at Texas Frightmare Weekend, she sold me one of my first EoD shirts. But other than that, I knew no one. So I meandered, trying to fight the urge to wallflower...then I saw Ross, the editor of Word Horde, who I've been online pals with for years. So I centered my courage and said hello. The miracle of the interwebs, we chatted for a bit about the Fest and how it was my first one, and I got told that I was in for a great time. Which became the theme for the night. They started with some readings of HPL's poetry, which got me talking to a random gentleman, who used to live in Texas, and I was assured I would have a blast. Then I met one of the original founders of the Fest, who wanted to know how I'd found this fest, and made me feel really welcome. Oh yes, and I'd have a blast. Wanted around some more, found the tea house in the gardens, where 4-5 people were sitting around talking movies. I joined it, no self consciousness, just yay fellow geeks. The other in joke was I kept meeting people who'd lived in Texas. One was from Austin, and another had lived in San Angelo as a kid (poor guy). The one lady was from the Seattle area, no Texas links. All were repeat attenders, and we talked geek, and movies, and Vikings, and Dr Who. Then we started discussing Stuart Gordon's movies, and well...speak of the director and he shall appear...

Yes gang, Stuart Gordon, of Reanimator, From Beyond and DAGON!!! fame, walked in. And sat down with us and we talked movies and theater stuff. Mostly I just listened, somewhat star struck, and somewhat just wanting to hear his opinions. (I now need to do a rewatch of early Cronenberg stuff, and I'm told that the recent kids movie BFG has some creep moments, may give that a look.) I did tell him about showing From Beyond to some friends, and how I got the 'Dear gods Vulpine, what the hell was that ?' from said friends. Got a good laugh on that. Things finally ended about 11, so I said my goodbyes, wandered the gardens thinking I might be lost...found the exit, headed back to the Gilman House and crashed. I will freely admit to walking on air on the way back, I'd not only been social with people I didn't know, and talked somewhat sanely to one of my favorite directors, but I never really felt anxious. At most I felt unsure of what to do. Major difference.

And with that I'm going to call this a post. Going to head over to where the Theater is for the offical start of the Fest. Time to get my movies on :)

First post from Innsmouth West

Well I survived the flight. Security theater was pretty simple, other than my hair got a rather involved pat down. I realized that as long and thick as it ism I probably could hide a small machete in it. Flight was nice, Alaska Air does a good job. My only complaint was the kids traveling alone behind me, they were rather loud and hyper. And occasionally creepy. Singing Tiny Tim's "Tiptoe through the Tulips' gave me flashbacks to 'Insidious'. But luckily, no Darth Maul demon was summoned.

Landed, had my luggage within 15 min. Found the lightrail, got on the train and saw my first Northwestern Hipster in the wild. The whole nine yards, plaid jacket, fancy jeans, hiking boots and a sardonic 'Trump' hat. Found my hotel, got checked in and got my room. Check in was supposed to be at 4pm, but they had available rooms so I could drop my stuff off..

The Gilman House, as I've dubbed it, is nifty. Quirky decorating in the lobby, and my room is exactly as advertised. Tiny, shared bathroom down the hall, and it (pleasantly) reeks of history. My only complaint is a distinct lack of shelves or desk or such. But that's minor, honestly it's what I'd want in a bedroom...a place to sleep. The Ancient Romans would approve of my cubiculum. Oh yeah, and I have a lovely view, of a brick wall. Reminds me of agnate sibling's apartment in Soho oh so many many years ago. *giggle* Rent here is probably cheaper that that was back in the 70's. Since I'd been up since before 2am PDT, I tried taking a nap, but I was too wired, and I rarely nap well at the best of times. So I got up, got dressed, and promptly lost my room key. I have no idea where it went. My magic gift to be able to lose something that was literally in my hand 10 seconds before. Oh well, the hotel staff are extra nice and replaced it without snickering.

Went to Powell's City of Books. Or Heaven, you choose. Oh my biblophilic gods. I found books on everything. So much so I had to set a mental rule of only one book per subject or author. That being said I came out with a basketfull. Luckily for my luggage, they ship Media Mail. $12.50 to ship my loot back to DFW. I also went into the Holy of Holies, the Rare Book Room. Sadly no Necronomicon or Cthaat Aquadingen, but there was some gorgeous old books that I could have made homes for...not even sure what some of them where about, just that the binding was gorgeous. Books, so many books. If I don't come home, I'm probably hiding out there. Don't try to find me ;)

Took the bus back (walked to Powells), stopped in the local corner store for water and caffeine (yes I'm off the wagon, at least for today). Came back, went to the rooftop deck of the Gilman, and wow...what a view. Hills, some funky old building, a couple of kind of ugly modern skyscrapers, lots of green stuff. My sinuses are loving it here. Too bad my sweat glands think we're drowning. Same thing as when I went to NYC last year, it's humid enough that when I'm inside without lots of flowing air, I sweat like a shoggoth in the desert. I guess I'm somewhat adapted to Texas life. Ugg.

Oh, and yet more proof I may need a keeper. I managed to lock myself out of my room. I went back down to grab my tablet and keyboard to write this, went to go to the bathroom and realized that I'd left the room key on the bed. Twice I've failed at room keys and I've only been here 4 hours. Luckily housekeeping was understanding and let me in. So I came up to the deck, and realized...

I'd forgotten to grab my stand for the tablet, and I'd forgotten to pee. *facetentacle*

Really, I don't need TODO lists, I need smart ink tattoos of the next 5 steps in my planned activity. I'd say keep the key in my wallet, but I bought a new RFID blocking wallet and well...room keys have issues with that. Trying a plan B later. Or I'm going to buy a lanyard and a holder...along with a 'If found lost deliver to the Esoteric Order of Dagon, Portland Chapter'.

So yeah, I'm hanging out on the roof, listening to the sounds of the city (police sirens at the moment), and writing this post. I've also found the place where the meet, greet and honor Great Cthulhu gather happens tonight...I can see it from the roof. Downtown Portland is kind of small that way.

I think I'm going to wrap this up, because it's starting to rain. Ooops. Via con queso everyone.