Episode 9 – The Statement of Randolph Carter

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Featuring Guest Host Andrew Leman & the Vocal Stylings of Sean Branney

Next up: The Terrible Old Man

Post Comment 24 comments on “Episode 9 – The Statement of Randolph Carter

  • Genus Unknown on

    Best podcast yet? Survey says “maybe, depending on your personal tastes!” I enjoyed it exceedingly.

    Re: Andrew’s complaints about its being an episode rather than a full story, I had this whole defense planned out in my head about how that is entirely in keeping with Lovecraft’s philosophy and approach to supernatural horror – how, in his view, incidence ought to be favored over plot for its ability to convey a certain touch of the weird – but when I go back to find where I read that, I come up empty. I could have sworn it was in “Supernatural Horror in Literature,” but it apparently isn’t, and I can’t seem to find it in “Tour de Lovecraft” either, so apparently I’m just talking out of my ass.

    My complaint about this story isn’t its lack of a plot, but its vagueness and cheesiness (I mean really, that last line is just hi-larious). Certainly, missing details and anti-description can be used to good effect – Lovecraft himself was a master of this, and made it one of his signature moves – but I just can’t stand the way it’s executed in this one. The things that Randolph Carter can’t remember strain my suspension of disbelief. He shared in these studies for – what, seven years? – and can’t remember anything about them? Please.

    I just can’t buy that his memory has been paralyzed by horror when one of the few things he clearly remembers is THE FREAKING HORROR ITSELF. His story just doesn’t add up, and I don’t blame the police for their continued questioning. Personally, I think Carter killed Warren for being a creepy bully, and is making up this whole monster business to cover his ass.

  • Patrick on

    Great podcast! I couldn’t believe it when you guys mentioned the Riverside Cemetery in Moline, Illinois. I used to live in the Quad Cities and I would drive by that cemetery almost everyday. I never thought I’d hear a reference to my old home on this podcast.

    In regards to the story, The Statement of Randolph Carter is not one of my favorites. It’s decent, and I understand the horror being conveyed, but overall I felt it was just too simplistic.

    I’m looking forward to your thoughts on The Terrible Old Man.

  • Chad Fifer on

    Cool! I’m from East Moline originally and Chris is from Silvis, so you’ll likely hear quite a few more references to The QC, where many strange things shamble around in the cornfields.

  • Patrick on

    That’s awesome! I had no idea you guys were actually from that area. I’m originally from Colona, and I went to Alleman High School in Rock Island so I had to drive through Carbon Cliff, Silvis, East Moline, and Moline everyday.

    I’m now out in Reno, NV so I don’t see too many cornfields anymore. No haunted hay-rack rides for me!

    I’m looking forward to hearing more adventures in the Midwest.

  • Chad Fifer on

    We’re UT grads ourselves, both in L.A. now although Chris will soon be moving to London. I’d pay a lot for a good Autumn hay-rack ride next month, man!

  • Julie H on

    I think at the time the story was written, it was a bit more unique and groundbreaking, in some ways, since it is another very pioneering mix of horror and technology (like Beyond the Veil of sleep – is that the one with the colander on the head? I can’t help but picture it that way)

    The idea, though, that not only would a monster/wizard/etc. EXIST far beneath the ground, but that it could use technology – talking on a phone – added to a creep factor. We now takes phone technology SO MUCH for granted, (even supernatural phone technology – perhaps truly starting with “I’m your boyfriend now, Nancy!” and progressing through One Missed Call) that the cognitive dissonance is probably lost on us.

    That being said, not one of my favorites either.

  • Danial on

    I’d always thought the voice at the end was a monster or ghoul too, but I think the idea of it being a sorcerer or such is more likely. Thanks for that insight.

    I’m glad you mentioned “Out of Mind”. It’s my favourite Lovecraft film to date. Followed closely by “Call of Cthulhu” of course!

    P.S. Great to hear that Whisperer is set to start filming on the Equinox!

    P.P.S. Who would have thought a guy named Loveman (Love Man) would be gay. Hilarious!!

  • Reber Clark on

    Always great to hear you guys and especially Andrew Leman (with a Sean Branney accompaniment!) I thought this was a solid podcast but wanted to insert a comment about the word “tenor” as used in the story. I think Lovecraft’s use is intentionally archaic as in “the course of thought or argument running through something written or spoken (American Heritage Dictionary)” instead being a reference to a “tenor” pitched voice. More along the lines of “tone” than voice placement. A small, probably unnecessary, comment but it affects the story to my mind as well as the characterization.
    Great stuff! Keep it up! Oh, one more thing…why the clapping at the top of the show?

  • Chad Fifer on

    A very good point; must be why Warren was left out of The Three Tenors This definition definitely applies, although the context (mellow tenor voice) led me to believe that it was the quality of the voice he was describing.

    The clapping signified nothing, really – just like switching it up a bit week to week. It’s fun to clap! YAY!!

  • Reber Clark on

    Well…I think you’re right – on re-reading the line I think his voice was a “mellow tenor” as in voice pitch. I was just way too excited about making a comment, I suppose. I think the true reason Warren didn’t get the 3 Tenors gig was that he phoned it in during the audition!

  • Chad Fifer on

    HA! Nice!

    And you can’t be as excited as WE are to actually have people commenting.

  • Reber Clark on

    Forgot to add that I went back and watched my copy of “Out of Mind.” It really is well done and well worth renting or buying.

  • susan on

    Just wanted to let you know that I am enjoying your podcasts on H P Lovecraft.I read The Statement of Randolph Carter and felt there was a very creepy atmosphere to it.And Andrew’s readings add so much as well.

  • David on

    you can ask Leman, but I’m pretty sure that I’M going to be in charge of “Rotting Wharf-Land”…..

    Best Podcast yet. Although Sarnath was TIGHT.

  • fishy on

    The statement of RC is just a sketch of what is to come. Well executed in mood, but when dissected it has very little substance to back up the story with.

    But once again, a well executed podcast (but if i must complain about something, it must be that there are some rambling tendencies & sidetracking. But since it is a fairly short story and halv an hour to fill, i will look the other way about that

  • Phil on

    Three words for Warren:

    “Hands Free Headset!”

    Really liked the story – his name alone “Warren” – by definition – like a burrow of creatures under the ground -is portentous!

    Great Podcast.

    Looking forward to the “Terrible Old Man” – I’ve got my bottles at the ready!

  • Garret on

    Thanks guys, I’m digging the show.

    You mentioned “The Unnamable” movie. My friend’s father, Paul Farmer, was in that movie. He played the mortician. He wasn’t really much of an actor and only did work as an extra. He said that they asked him to intentionally act poorly and broadly, ham it up. I guess when it comes to horror movies if you can’t get good actors, get bad ones.

  • Chad Fifer on

    Aw, well – B-movie acting is its own wonderful world. I actually love The Unnameable” and wish they’d release it on DVD. When they finally do, maybe I can get Paul to sign a copy for me

  • Sam on

    Man, I finally just got around to listening to this podcast, which was EXCELLENT by the way (Andrew Lehman sure knows his Lovecraft), and I too was surprised to hear about Moline, IL. My hometown is right by Hamilton, IL, in a wee place called Keokuk. It isn’t super close (about 2+ hours away), but it’s still in that broad area. It’s nice to see fellow Midwesterners representin’…

    I wanna visit that cemetery now too. Back home we’ve got this MASSIVE cemetery full of hill-side mausoleums and valleys thick with ossuaries and gnarled gravestones plagued with rotten moss. It’s a great place to go if ya wanna get spooked. My friends and I used to go there doing spirit photography, and trying to beckon forth the dead. I’ve seen countless shadowy forms in that place, which I thought were phantasms at the time, and heard plenty of odd sounds as well. We never tried to scare anyone though. It’s not a very high-traffic area, and I don’t think many people go there to make out…

    The creepy thing is, there’s this one ossuary which is perpetually cracked open, though locked with a loose chain, and closely blocked by a feeble iron gate. We’ve managed to glimpse narrowly inside with flashlights and cameras, but revealed nothing of interest. It reminds me a lot of “The Tomb.” I’m sure if I ever get in there, I’ll find a coffin with my name on it!

  • Tom T on

    Samuel Loveman wasn’t Lovecraft’s only gay friend. Robert Barlow was also gay, although it’s very possible that Lovecraft was unaware of the fact.

    Another great podcast. Each one is an improvement over the last.

  • Charles on

    The most amazing thing about this story is that, aside from the narrator, is entirely a dream H.P. Lovecraft had.

  • Sloth on

    I’m a very latecomer to this podcast and have really been enjoying it.

    I think something rather different about the voice at the end, and why it must have been so terrefying. The legion that was attacking Warren (I think the phone was on the ground and simply on, btw) killed him. The silence was during a period of time while they infiltrated his body to escape the tomb and wreak havoc on the world (otherwise, they would have just come out and gotten Randolf). Finally, when it responded to Carter, it was Warren’s voice, but it was not either! It had a bit of his brain so could speak in English as well.

    I really like this story. I think the setup for no description was well executed as much was at the end of a phone line. It is far better than, “I can’t tell you because it is too horrible.” Its like setting first films in space or some such to realistically keep the cast to just a few people.

    Thanks for this, guys, I really appreciate what you are doing!

  • Fox on

    Great episode & really enjoyed finding out more about Randolph Carter. I’d still have to pick to be the guy in the cave as you can do a better job at fighting or talking over the guy at the top with less choice in what to do. I’m still vexed on why “The Unnamable” first movie isn’t out on dvd as I know many horror movie fans would be interested in seeing it & the sequel which is out on dvd is quite fun little monster movie with some H.P. Lovecraft trappings & a rather good job at portraying some of the life of Randolph Carter.

    Also saw Out of Mind recently & it’s highly recommended, it’s amazing on how hauntingly poetic it is to not only Lovecraft’s work but the man himself merging together in such a way that has to be seen.

  • David Malcolm Sommer on

    “I Heard It Through the Grave Line”

    Gentlemen, I repeat to you
    If I could recall, I would surely do
    All I know, I have told before
    My memory’s gone; I can say no more
    It took me by surprise, I must say
    To be admonished from the grave
    I heard it through the grave line
    Not much longer would he be fine
    Heard it through the grave line
    And that was when I lost my mind
    Harley Warren, yeah

    (Heard it through the grave line
    Harley Warren said to beat it, baby)

    Your witness says that he saw us tromp
    Down the ‘Pike to Big Cypress Swamp
    I don’t remember that at all
    There’s only one scene that I recall
    Certain corpses don’t decay
    But rest firm and fat in their graves
    I heard it through the grave line
    Not much longer would he be fine
    Heard it through the grave line
    And that was when I lost my mind
    Harley Warren, yeah

    (Heard it through the grave line
    Harley Warren said to beat it, baby)

    Shall I say that the voice was deep?
    Unearthly, disembodied?
    Welling up from the sepulchre
    Made me faint, this I tell you, sir
    It must have decided to let me go
    For what reason, I don’t know
    I heard it through the grave line
    Not much longer would he be fine
    Heard it through the grave line
    Yes, and that was when I lost my mind
    Harley Warren, yeah

    (Heard it through the grave line
    Harley Warren said to beat it, baby)

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