Ferretnibbles 1 – Die, Monster Die!, Dragon Quest VII, and Baldur’s Gate Enhanced Edition

This article was originally published on Ferretbrain. I’ve backdated it to its original Ferretbrain publication date but it may have been edited and amended since its original appearance.

Sometimes you want to jabber about something on Ferretbrain to an extent which would be unwieldy for a Playpen post, but not necessarily make for a full-blooded article. To encourage contributors to offer up shorter pieces when the mood strikes them, I’m premiering here the first set of Ferretnibbles – pocket-sized articles about all and sundry.

This time around, they’re all penned by me, but nibbles from others are always welcome at the usual editorial address. Today’s nibbles concern a mostly-forgotten Lovecraftian cinematic error and two remakes of classic RPG videogames. The first one is about as long as I’d want a nibble to be before spinning it off as its own article (and indeed, I did hesitate over whether to put it out as a nibble or a standalone); the latter two offer shorter pieces to showcase just how little a nibble can be.

Continue reading “Ferretnibbles 1 – Die, Monster Die!, Dragon Quest VII, and Baldur’s Gate Enhanced Edition”

Only Ye Cheesiest Awfulness

This article was originally published on Ferretbrain. I’ve backdated it to its original Ferretbrain publication date but it may have been edited and amended since its original appearance.

American International Pictures never quite made themselves as dependent on horror as Hammer Studios were, but you could make an argument that their horror output ended up cornering the same market in the US that Hammer had taken over in the UK – namely, low-to-mid-budget supernatural horror of a colourful, campy variety. Although their most famous horror output was the series of Edgar Allan Poe adaptations directed by Roger Corman and starring Vincent Price, they actually made three attempts to adapt the work of H.P. Lovecraft. Die, Monster, Die! was a nigh-unrecognisable adaptation of The Colour Out of Space notable mostly for the involvement of an elderly Boris Karloff. The Haunted Palace, one of the Price-Corman Poe movies, actually only took its title from the Poe poem, being in substance an adaptation of The Case of Charles Dexter Ward. Both were more or less typical AIP fare.

And then there’s The Dunwich Horror.

Directed by Daniel Haller, the movie comes across as an attempt to refresh the AIP horror formula, which was beginning to look a little staid and juvenile next to offerings like Rosemary’s Baby, whilst at the same time not only retaining the campy, colourful aspects of the AIP back catalogue but also taking them in an overtly psychedelic direction in order to appeal to the hippy trippy youth of today (“today” being 1970). The end result is a unique cinematic disaster which will please neither fans of the AIP house style or Lovecraft purists.

Continue reading “Only Ye Cheesiest Awfulness”