Lovecraft: Fear of the Unknown Documentary – Director Frank Woodward Interview

“The special Halloween double issue of Rue Morgue magazine included a number of interesting features, as usual, but one which caught my eye was a description of a new documentary on titled Lovecraft: Fear of the Unknown (Wyrdstuff Productions, 2008). This fim was directed and produced by Frank Woodward, and after getting in touch he graciously and enthusiastically talked about this production.

TheoFantastique: Frank, thanks for making this great documentary, and for allowing me to screen it for this interview. How did you come to develop a personal fascination with Lovecraft and how did it lead to this documentary coming about?

Frank Woodward: I first became aware of Lovecraft like most people, I expect. It was the Call of Cthulhu role playing game, mainly the monsters within. I’ve always been a monster fan and who could resist the tentacled beasties in CoC. That led to my reading some of the major stories… Call of Cthulhu, Pickman’s Model, Rats In The Walls. I have to admit, though, that my Lovecraftian knowledge was basic.

The desire to make a documentary was a more recent one. I occasionally produce DVD extras for Anchor Bay. There was discussion of doing a short bio of Lovecraft for the Re-Animator special edition. It didn’t happen for various reasons. By the time that decision was made, however, I had done quite a bit of research on the man. In some way I experienced what many of the people who’ve seen the documentary experienced. I was reminded how much I enjoyed Lovecraft’s work and wanted to throw myself headlong into learning more. Making this documentary was almost like a college course. I think that’s how all documentaries should be made. They should be a journey of discovery. The desire to learn all you can is why you bother making the film in the first place.”

(via TheoFantastique)


  1. “Well-as with the negro, there is only one thing we can do as an immediate expedient to save ourselves; Keep [Jews] out of our national and racial life. With the negro the fight is wholly biological, whilst with the Jew it is mainly spiritual; but the principle is the same. We are Aryans, and only our future as a self-respecting stock lies in our resistance to anything like an Alexandrian mental hybridisation. Let us preserve and glory in our own inherited Western life and impulses and standards, and let us resist to the death any attempt at fastening to our body of national custom any feeling or feature aside from that which we legitimately derive from the tall, fair Aryans who begat us and who founded our English civilisation and Anglo-American nation.” – HPL

    No other racist author I know of is given such a free ride and clean bill of health by progressive types as is H. P. Lovecraft. Do people not know, not care, both not know and not care, or is it something else entirely? Why are intellectuals and others able to like HPL in spite of his racism while other racists are damned forever for the wrong joke, the wrong book, the wrong word?

    Me, I like people.

  2. I think this is why he was such a great horror writer. There aren’t many who created monsters and demons (from the idea and fear of “The Other”) better than he did.

    One of my favorite stories by Lovecraft is “The Outsider”, where the narrator discovers that he himself is the monster he fears.

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