The H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society, a group of live action role-players turned DIY filmmakers, have released a trailer for their newest production, The Whisperer in Darkness (see previous post). The feature length film is based on the 1931 short story of the same name by the American pulp horror writer, Howard Phillips Lovecraft.
If the trailer appears uncommonly polished for a fanfilm, experience may have something to do with it: In 2005 the Society produced a 47-minute silent film adaptation of Lovecraft’s classic tale, The Call of Cthulhu. The group has also produced a series of dramatic radioplays (Dark Adventure Radio Theatre), a satirical holiday horror musical (The Shoggoth on The Roof), a literary podcast, as well as an extensive line of Lovecraftian relics and props, including an entire CD-ROM of vintage typefaces.
These latter artifacts owe their existence to the Society’s origin as the premiere resource for players of Cthulhu Lives!, a live action role-playing game built around Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos. To facilitate greater immersion in their game experiences, Society members began creating increasingly elaborate props, many of which are now offered for free on the HPLHS website.
Curious as to what dark forces might lie behind such prodigiously obsessive output? Perhaps it might help to consider the HPLHS motto, “Ludo Fore Putavimus”, a Latin phrase meaning “We thought it would be fun.”