Thanks for Ruining Cthulu, Xenomorphs.
I recently went over The Mountains of Madness for the first time. Having been a long time observer of H.P. Lovecraft, it hasn’t been until recently that I’ve actually been reading his work. Before that, I was highly involved in as many documentaries and biographical works about Lovecraft as would come out. Is it weird to read more about an author whose work you’ve never read? Probably. But keep reading.
If you don’t know, Cthulu is a figure rooted deep within Lovecraft lore. He’s an ancient entity that when the time is right, he’ll rise from the depths of the ocean and pretty destroy everything. That’s generalizing everything, but there you have it. What’s the point of this article you ask? Be patient my son. Everything in due time.
Since 1996, director Guillermo Del Toro has been trying to get a Mountains movie off the ground. Be it budget or disputes over the rating (Del Toro fighting for R), it didn’t seem like it was going to get made even with the screenplay written and Tom Cruise set to star. Not to say neither of those things have ever happened and the film just die, but you understand where I’m going with that. Looked like a possibility. Then came…Prometheus.
As much as I liked the Ridley Scott-directed Sci-Fi prequel to Alien, when you compare to the two stories, they are too much alike for a Mountains movie to be made anytime in the near future. Fans of the series know the story too well. If you’ve seen Prometheus and had already read Mountains, you’ve been ahead of the curve. A team of archaeologists and scientists head an expedition to an isolated area (a faraway moon in Prometheus, Antarctica in Mountains). While there, they find carvings/designs/evidence to suggest otherworldly lifeforms created the place they’ve come to research. The beings that created it, are not only older than time but malicious as well.
If this sounds familiar to any contemporary Sci-Fi fans, you might also recognize this template used for the terrible Alien VS Predator film in 2004 and while there are differences, The Thing also has a similar design, be it the ’51, ’82 or 2011 “Requel” or “Premake.” I’m coining those, don’t use them. Lovecraft’s story was published in 1936, so that would settle whose originality is in question. It’s not that I’m just now hearing or thinking about this, but that it’s annoying enough that now Daredevil isn’t going to get his due either, while several other stories I’m fans of won’t be adapted thanks to Hollywood and it’s willingness to piss on other people’s ideas.
As short as this article is, the point is that the best and most original can’t seem to find a place in Hollywood because they’re too busy ripping themselves off. While I consider Prometheus to be a good film; acting, effects, pacing, etc., etc., I would “uncreate” that film in a second if it meant getting the original story to the screen from the guy who wrote it eighty years ago. Jeez, Hollywood, you make a good Sci-Fi horror movie and turns out it’s not even yours. Fassbender isn’t too blame though. I love him too much.