Episode 43 – The Call of Cthulhu – Part 2

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Join us as we cover The Call of Cthulhu’s harrowing second chapter, The Tale of Inspector Legrasse.

Featuring special guest Andrew Leman and even more musical goodness from Reber Clark!

Want to check out some hideous architecture? Try Fleur-de-lys.

Post Comment 25 comments on “Episode 43 – The Call of Cthulhu – Part 2

  • Aram on

    Chris hit the nail on the head – The Tale of Inspector Legrasse is to The Call of Cthulhu as The Empire Strikes Back is to Star Wars.

    The way the mythology is piled on, layer upon layer of mystery and terror – and the white polyp… thing in the Louisiana swamp, I was as horrified by that as I was by Cthulhu Itself.

    As for the podcast, what can I say? I wish it would never end. I don’t know if I mentioned it last week, but Reber Clark’s music is fantastically well-suited to the material.

    Thank you, Chad and Chris for all your hard work.

  • Mike Davey on

    Another fascinating listen. I like the new “early Thursday morning” release (presumably because we’re now on York time) but it does mean that my first 30 minutes at work becomes a little less constructive than it used to be…

  • Tim Scurr on

    Great work with the podcast fellas. It’s pretty cool that HPL was referencing actual locations, persons and such in his work, giving it that air of pseudo-authenticity. Wonder if the Providence Art Club still smarts over its building being called ‘hideous’? Had always assumed the ‘black winged ones’ in the swamp may have beenanaloguous with the winged things corralled by the creeps in ‘The Festival’. Winged, residing in inner earth, and I’m sure more than able to leave peculiar disfiguring markson the corpses. Yuck. Also, love the idea of the ancient white polypous thing being so old and, like much HPL stuff, non-humanoid but sentient. Reminds me of Bram Stoker’s ‘Lair of the White Worm’, where the creature just kept accumulating knowledge and abilities throughout its thousands of years of existence. It was white and had luminous eyes, but unfortunately sucked really bad too. Lovecraft beats Stoker.

  • Connie on

    Awesome podcast guys. Everything was pitch perfect. The music definitely ADDED to the whole feel, and of course the discussion was great!

  • Andrew Leman on

    Just wanted to say that I think Reber’s music is terrific and very well used. Sounds great!

  • Keith McCaffety on

    Wow, HPL was a lousy artist…

  • MyFinalHeaven on

    The “bat-winged devils” reminded me of this passage from The Rats in the Wall:

    “There was, for instance, the belief that a legion of bat-winged devils kept witches’ sabbath each night at the priory”

  • The Gneech on

    I realize that this is the HP Lovecraft Literary Podcast and not the Andrew Leman Cinematography Podcast, but I’d be very interested to hear more about the steps that were gone through to adapt this story for the film, since you’re all lurking around talking about CoC anyway…

    -The Gneech

  • J.B. Lee on

    Gotta agree with the Gneech about that film. Sure curious if Leman, Robertson et al were going for the Outer Limits 1963 look — the ones created by the Stefano/Oswald/Hall trifecta, in particular. Like THIS one, which, to me, is one of the most Lovecraftian things ever filmed, and has the best Failed Sanity Roll I’ve ever seen, beginning at about 5:40

    Film aside, this podcast was a classic commenting on a classic. Been some great laughs along the way, too (like last week’s take on Wilcox’s post-Cthulhu dreams, or this week’s discussion of the Old Ones’ promises to the cult, i.e. “he’ll teach them by example” or the Eldritch Grenadine Of Doom) and I’m sure HPL would approve, particularly if we consider the goofy stuff he wrote to his correspondents about his monsters. I don’t think ANYTHING the cult (of homicidal maniacs) says should be taken for granted; for many years I questioned whether the creature’s name WAS Cthulhu, or if that was just part of the unintelligible telepathic signal it emits — and if HPL (in a letter) hadn’t bluntly stated that it IS the thing’s name, I’d still hold that view.

  • michaelcthulhu on

    In the year 2004 I spent a week in Dunedin in New Zealand. The cemetery there is up on a hill and overlooks the bay. In the cemetery there is a huge stone Maori head, and inscribed below it is this;

    E Kore Au A Mate
    Ka Mate Ko Te mate
    Ka Ora Tonu A Au

    I shall not Die
    When Death itself is Dead
    I shall still be alive.

    So hard to find a picture of it but I managed eventually (and it doesn’t even include the inscription);


  • Tulse on

    These CoC episodes have been fantastic — truly a step up in an already outstanding production.

    I enjoyed mention of the CoC feature I find most amusing, which is how phenomenally indirect and nested the narrative is. As the reader, you are reading a document of Francis Wayland Thurston, who relates the papers of George Angell, who at one point tells the story of Inspector Legrasse, who relates his interview with the mestizo Castro, who discloses what Chinese cult leaders told him, which in part was what Alhazred said. And while the final section isn’t as ridiculously nested, the reveal of the Big Guy comes in reading the account in some additional papers (which of course are related in Thurston’s papers which the reader is reading).

    Lovecraft often used this kind of nested narration (think of how many of his narrators are telling the story of what happened to someone else), but it reaches its apex here. And what is especially fascinating is, despite this ludicrously removed narrative technique, the story still works, and remains truly horrifying. I think this is only because of the “cosmic” nature of the horror itself. It would be laughable to tell a typical monster story or slasher horror tale in this fashion (“I read about this guy who found a description by his great uncle of a terrible serial killer case done by this policeman…”). But here, because the horror is truly about coming to understand the universe the way it actually is (as in the opening passage), this removed way of telling the story does nothing to lessen its impact. Indeed, scattering the story amongst several individuals makes the scale and generality of the horror even more obvious. The real terror was not just that some guys saw a monster — it is that the universe is a place where such monsters exist.

  • Grahm on

    Hey guys.
    I was so inspired by this week’s podcast that I wrote you a song. As should become obvious upon reading it, it’s a parody of Sinatra’s Strangers In The Night, which I found to be extra fitting since Chris is the one who first turned me on to Frank back in the 90’s. Awesome work. And the music is rad too!

    Creatures in the night – Gibbering madly
    Lurking in the night – They’re so uncanny
    You’ll be driven mad before the night is through

    Something in the dark was whispering to me
    Something in the sea is dead but dreaming
    Something in my dreams is saying Cthulhu

    Creatures in the night – A race of fish people
    They were chanting through the night
    Up to the moment when they said “Ph’nglui mglw’nafh”
    Little did you know
    Death was just a dream away, a blood curdling scream away and

    Ever since that night, you’ve been muttering
    Something about tentacles and dark wings fluttering
    Now you’re terrified of creatures in the night

    Dooby dooby doo Cthulhu fhtagn
    Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn

  • Genus Unknown on

    You know, the more I analyze this story, the more I find I don’t really care for it. There aren’t even any boobs or motorcycle chases or anything.

  • J.B. Lee on

    It’s interesting to me that HPL’s sketch of Cthulhu’s image has eyes more like a spider’s than an octopus. (Assuming Cthulhu is more or less symmetrical.) He never mentions that at all in his written description of the Cthulhu idols; can’t help but suspect that as he was drawing this thing, a wild idea hit him: “What if it had SIX EYES? That would REALLY be way out!”

    But, since it came from HPL, I’d say that makes it canon…

  • Jon Katity on

    Great pod once again. Also really enjoyed the Cthulhu drawing!

  • bar1scorpio on

    If you add a British accent to Castro’s prediction of free men doing free things, and killing and yelling…

    It sounds like an excerpt from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

  • Genus Unknown on

    bar1scorpio: Maybe if there were some funny wordplay in there or something. But I read this…

    “The time would be easy to know, for then mankind would have become as the Great Old Ones; free and wild and beyond good and evil, with laws and morals thrown aside and all men shouting and killing and revelling in joy. Then the liberated Old Ones would teach them new ways to shout and kill and revel and enjoy themselves, and all the earth would flame with a holocaust of ecstasy and freedom. Meanwhile the cult, by appropriate rites, must keep alive the memory of those ancient ways and shadow forth the prophecy of their return.”

    … and no amount of charmingly British enunciation can make that sound anything but evilly Lovecraftian. Did we read the same Hitchhiker’s Guide?

  • Reber Clark on

    Andrew – Thank you for your kind comment and for being the finest HPL voice talent around today. Excellent work.

  • Bill Sorensen on

    Do you think the flying things in the swamp were meant to be Mi-Go?

  • JimO on

    glad you guys got psyched up for this story. Hope you are as energized when the Shadow out of Time comes around (which also deserves multiple episodes). there are many great paragraphs in this story which I forgot about.

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  • David Malcolm Sommer on

    “Torn on the Bayou”

    Now when I was just a little boy
    Attendin’ to a victim’s floggin’
    My poppa said, “Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu
    R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn”
    ‘Cause he’ll get you ’cause he’ll get you now, now

    I can remember on March twenty-three
    R’lyeh on the surface bare
    And I can still hear young Wilcox shriekin’
    Dreamin’ bout Cthulhu there
    Dreamin’ bout Cthulhu there
    Torn on the bayou
    Torn on the bayou
    Torn on the bayou

    Wish I was back on the bayou
    Worshipin’ a polypous thing
    Wishin’ I could have a front-row seat
    When Cthulhu comes down to New Orleans
    Torn on the bayou
    Torn on the bayou
    Torn on the bayou

  • GoodleShoes on

    Materialist – a person who supports the theory that nothing exists except matter and its movements and modifications.
    It’s the most accepted way of thinking about reality atm but there are other new emerging ways of thinking such as the FTB theory.

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