In 1998 Satanic priest and sculptor Bryan Moore released his self-produced short-film adaptation of Lovecraft’s story. I’m not sure what the budget was, but it’s not much outside of the filmstock, processing and some fees for the (mostly) professional crew. It’s pretty much a glorified home movie, but on the other hand, it’s a really damn good one.
Out of work writer (Bryan Moore) finds a room for rent in a run-down boarding house, with requisite ethnic land-lady (Vera Lockwood), who tells him of the mysterious Dr. Munoz (genre veteran Jack Donner). The strange fluid drips, the heart-attack and all other aspects of the story are, for the most part, faithfully realized in grainy black and white. Essentially a near literal translation from story to screen, Moore doesn’t stray much, if at all, from the path set out in Lovecrafts brief story. He takes the liberty of naming the previously anonymous narrator and lead character “Randolph Carter” and, for some reason, has given the land-lady a name change and swapped her ethnicity from Spanish to Italian.
According to a two year old blog posting, Moore has claimed to be working on securing backing for a new project titled THE FUNERAL DIRECTOR. Since there seems to be absolutely no other updated info about it anywhere, I think it’s safe to assume is not coming to cinemas near you any time soon. Moore was also responsible for designing the damn spiffy deco-Cthulhu relic in Andrew Leman’s excellent faux-silent film THE CALL OF CTHULHU (2005) and seems to be continuing his work as a sculptor.
Sung to the tune of “Dixieland”:
Oh, I wish I was in the land of Tempe,
Bad effects are long forgotten,
look away, look away
Look away, this movie sucks!
Ok, so my singing voice is a little off and that last part doesn’t rhyme, but you’ll have to cut me some slack. I haven’t got my sea-legs back after being keelhauled by this turkey.
As I said before, expectations for an HP Lovecraft adaptations must be adjusted from the norm. Here dancer-turned-filmmaker (no, really) Serge Rodnunsky, a man responsible for helping to fill the shelves of your local Blocksucker with low-rent clunkers for the past 20 years, provides an updating of “Cool Air”. I was actually sort of looking forward to this (the new DVD cover is pretty damn spiffy), as I like the story and I think a modern day ghetto adaptation has tons of potential, maybe combined with elements from “The Terrible Old Man”. And seriously, after no less than 33 previous films, you’d think ol’ Serge would have this filmmaking thing down cold (alright, alright, stop groaning).
The once great Albert Pyun has been threatening to unleash his very own adaptation of “Cool Air.” Frequently held-up and stalled like so many of his recent productions, he claims that it has been mucked with by the backers who wanted to change the title and is such an “odd bird” that audiences won't understand it. Hmmmmm... I don't know how much odder you can make that story, but even if he did bust out all Jodorowski on us, I'm pretty sure we can take it. What we can't take is another shot on video snoozer with no production values, weak action, cheap CGI effects, horrible acting, canned dialog and a story that is practically non-existent.
C'mon Albert, we're pullin' for ya (well, sort of), don't screw this one up!