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H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival and CthulhuCon invades San Pedro Sept. 27-29

by Robert Garrova | Off-Ramp

Festival organizer Aaron Vanek holding his “Howie” lifetime achievement award for contributions to Lovecraft cinema and culture. Robert Garrova/KPCC

The weirder, goofier literary successor to Poe, Howard Phillips Lovecraft's short horror stories have inspired everyone from Stephen King to director Guillermo del Toro. Lovecraft has been dead for more than 70 years now, but his following is larger than ever.

Sept. 27-29, San Pedro hosts the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival where they'll screen movies inspired by the author's works. 

"There's just something really visceral where he [Lovecraft] strikes a chord with a lot of people," says festival organizer Aaron Vanek. With his own mythology (often called the Cthulhu Mythos), settings taken from real life and recurring themes, Lovecraft created his own world -- a world that fans still live in today. "There's this appeal for those that are interested in horror that's creepy, that's gothic, that's weird... that's far more than a lot of slasher, gory stuff."

This year, backed by a successful Kickstarter campaign, the film festival will take place at San Pedro's art-deco Warner Grand Theatre. But Lovecraft fans are set to invade much more than the theatre. The festival (and CthulhuCon) will include pub trivia at The Whale & Ale, an audio drama by Macabre Fantasy Radio Theater and vendors like Arkham Bazaar and Mythos Foundry

Feature films at the festival include "In the Mouth of Madness" and "The Unnamable" --plus "Dagon," presented by director Stuart Gordon, who will be in attendance. 


The festival will feature short films, too, like "The Banshee Bride" from director Jason Voss and "Reset," from Swedish directors Fredrik Åkerström and Marcus Kryler. 


Tickets range in price from $20 to $125 for a VIP pass, or, if you can't make it to San Pedro, you can buy a "There in Spirit" pass, which gets you access to a LiveStream of the festival and the film shorts. More info on tickets here

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