Recently I watched Chad Ferrin’s H.P. Lovecraft’s The Deep Ones and it made me realize something, namely the better adaptations – or maybe those with the most notoriety – were directed by Stuart Gordon (Herbert West: Reanimator, From Beyond, Dagon, Castle Freak), none of which were particularly faithful to the material they were based on.
What I also realized that what Gordon was responsible for was also a formula: namely ample amounts of oftentimes innovative gore and nudity, things not typically to be found in Lovecraft’s writing.
Though the problem was that virtually everyone that adapted Lovecraft’s work did it with the same template, which was fine for a time.
Nowadays? What I’d really like to see is an adaptation that at least attempted to be more faithful to the source material.
And unfortuately, Ferrin’s movie isn’t it.
It hews very closely to Gordon’s formula, though it’s gore isn’t innovative enough – and it’s nudity isn’t shocking enough – to pull it off.
Though what bugged me more was that at times it reminded me less of Lovecraft than Roman Polanski (Rosemary’s Baby) or Joe Dante (The Howling).
And that’s fine except that there’s too much rich material out there written by Lovecraft – as well as many of the people who collaborated with him on his Cthulhu mythos – for this to be so reminiscent of other movies.
Which isn’t to imply that The Deep Ones doesn’t have it’s pleasures, it’s just that they’re relatively few and far between.