September 16, 2019
Be ready to turn the cassette over when instructed
I knew this movie sucked before they even made it, because I’ve seen a lot of adaptations of Lovecraft’s writings, and every single one sucked to varying degrees.
And even featuring the greatest actor of all time, this one sounds pretty bad…
One thought kept running through my head as I watched Color Out of Space: “What the fuck is this?” It’s become almost a cliche at this point to highlight how “weird” and “bonkers” the latest Nicolas Cage movie is. But even those well-versed in the art of Cage’s self-titled Nouveau Shamanic acting style won’t be prepared for what’s in store with Richard Stanley‘s adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft’s story. The prospect of Cage uniting with such a fascinating director as Stanely – whose career hit a major roadblock after the disaster of shooting The Island of Doctor Moreau – is too intriguing to pass up. But is the end result actually worthwhile? Or just so damn weird that it has to be seen to be believed?
Nathan (Cage) and Theresa Gardner (Joely Richardson) are living a seemingly idyllic farm life in rural New England, raising alpacas and ignoring the outside world. The family has gone through a recent trauma in the form of Theresa’s breast cancer, but the family – which also includes Wiccan teen daughter Lavinia (Madeleine Arthur), stoner teen son Benny (Brendan Meyer), and young child Jack (Julian Hilliard) – seem to be in a good place for the time being. That won’t last, though. Because one night, a meteorite crashes onto the Gardner farm, unleashing a wave of madness and what-the-fuckery designed to drive both the family – and the film’s audience – out of their minds.
Of course they (((modernized))) the family, which in the original story are decent, salt of the earth type farmers who probably wouldn’t know what an alpaca is.
You can’t have any of that in CURRENT YEAR, it’s illegal.
Also, this inane human drama they always force into every adaptation runs against the main point of cosmic horror, which is the complete insignificance and helplessness of the human species in front of the infinite void and the horrors that inhabit it.
Calling Color Out of Space weird seems like an affront to weirdness. This movie transcends the weird, dipping into territory that I don’t think they’ve invented words for yet. Part of that has to do with the schizophrenic tone at play. Stanley has conjured up some truly nightmarish imagery, most of it involving body horror that turns people into mutated spider-like abominations. But the film also apparently wants to be some sort of gonzo comedy, and that never quite coalesces with the horror.
The comedy comes almost entirely from Cage, who appears to be acting in a completely different movie than everyone else. As the meteorite unleashes all sorts of alien toxicity into the air and slowly drives the family insane, it’s Cage’s Nathan who goes the craziest, which means we get to watch scene after scene of Cage screaming about alpacas, peaches, his father, hospitals, bad smells, and more. The crazier his character gets, the more out-there Cage becomes, often using the same goofy voice he employed as the yuppie bloodsucker in Vampire’s Kiss.
Make no mistake: watching Cage lose his shit is an absolute blast, and it’s nearly impossible not to burst into laughter as the actor goes off. The problem is that Cage’s work is so far removed from everything and everyone else in the movie that you start to resent any scene that doesn’t focus on him. It doesn’t help that the rest of the cast is alarmingly lackluster. Richardson does well with a somewhat undercooked part, but the remaining actors are oddly limp, delivering their lines as if they just learned them a second ago. Madeleine Arthur, in particular, is distractingly bland as Cage and Richardson’s witchy daughter. Sadly, she becomes the default main character, and it becomes quite difficult to care much about her actions.
This sounds more like a Junji Ito parody than anything Lovecraft would write.
Really doesn’t make me wanna watch it.
All of this works to create a sensory overload, resulting in a film that drains you emotionally and mentally. As things grow more dire and mad for the Gardners, don’t be surprised if you find your eyes starting to water and your head starting to pound. It’s not an altogether pleasant experience, but it’s probably the exact sort of nightmarish, unquantifiable situation that would make H.P. Lovecraft proud.
Lovecraft would probably not watch it in the first place because one of the characters is played by a half-Chink, and two of the things Lovecraft hated the most were Chinks and mongrels (and that’s assuming he wouldn’t have hanged himself the first time he saw a child tranny dancing for money in a fag bar).
He really didn’t like mongrels
There are no good movies based on Lovecraft’s work, and there probably will never be.
I could name ones I’ve seen that are far worse than this one, but even the better ones are just mediocre at best.
Now that these useless vermin are running out of things to reboot, they’re probably gonna use Lovecraft’s work next, since he’s been getting more popular lately, and all his works are in the public domain, so I expect the first movie about stunning and brave tentacled trannies ass-raping Trump voters to death within the next 5 years or so.
But you don’t need any of this – everything he wrote is available for free, and if you’re lazy like I am they’re also widely available as audio books from a lot of different narrators, many of them very good.
That’s the best we’re ever gonna get.
His non-fiction is just as good, BTW.