Sunday, February 12, 2006

Lovecraft ... Meets ... Lorre!

E-bay has been a profound source of fun for Lovecraftiana. It comes an goes so fast though, so one has to be quick to see new connections.

Forest J. Ackerman - the man who allegedly coined "sci-fi" and has been plugged into Hollywood Horror since Ray Bradbury was a teenager - has a wonderful collection of HPL stuff.

Recently a typescript of a letter showed up on e-bay. I am respectful of copyrights, so I try carefully to only reference reather than copy except when scholarly usage applies.

Lovecraft recieved a still of Peter Lorre's 1935 release, Mad Love.

I believe this is the picture he received. (

He wrote in part:

Dec. 24, 1935

Let me thank you most sincerely for the malignly hypnotic photograph of the egg-domed gentleman ... Surely this pleasant chap looks as if he had but recently wriggled forth from an accursed tomb, & were prepared to wreak upon mankind any & every sort of evil from mere vampirism to cosmos-blasting invocation of the ultimate black powers of horror! It's a wonder that the accompanying lady doesn't look more frightened than she does .... {HPL's elipsis} & one may imagine the hideous bass dissonances which issue forth from that shadowy chickering as clammy corpse- fingers draw a danse macabre time-stained ivory keys!

"...many correspondents have been urging me to see some film - in fact, any film - in which the sinister Mr. Lorre is featured. "Mad Love" has been especially recommended ... Ordinarily I see very few films -- & most of the allegedly weird ones which I have seen ("Frankenstein"...) {was} so naive and conventional in their appeal that they did not encourage persistence in the quest for thrills.

Lovecraft was a hard person to please when it came to cinemagraphic horrors.

[Note, if you are over 18 and a Peter Lorre fan, you might try ... - but I do mean over 18.]

1 comment:

Michelle Souliere said...

!!! Thanks for loosing this text on the world at large -- for those of us unable to afford one-of-a-kind documents like this, it's nice to have access to the material in our studies. :)

Arggh!!! Peter Lorre and Lovecraft! It boggles the mind. And makes me very happy.


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