The Shadow Out of Time
H.G. Lovecraft’s “The Shadow Out of Time”, a story published in 1936 and just read by myself earlier this week, was based on a 1933 film titled “Berkeley Square”, a film thought to have been lost until a print was discovered in the 1970s. Turns out a restored 35mm print of this film is being screened for the first time in who knows how long this Friday at the Warner Grand Theater in L.A. Too cool. Makes me wish I was within driving distance so I could attend.
The story is a pretty interesting read — a professor seems to suffer amnesia for a period of five years, and after he recovers he begins doing research and discovers he didn’t actually have amnesia. An alien life form from the distant past projected its mind into his body, possessing him in a sense, and in return transferring his mind into the alien’s body. His memories of being inside the alien body come back to him slowly over a period of years, through a series of disturbing, increasingly detailed nightmares. A journey to western Australia reveals the supposed kingdom of this ancient alien society, including the subterranean chambers containing an even older, dangerous type of half-polypous creatures that may or may not still be alive, biding its time until it can return to the Earth’s surface…
No word on whether this movie has even been available on VHS or DVD (aside from no doubt poor-quality bootlegs) or broadcast on television, but I hope the screening will inspire someone to either release it commercially or, if it’s fallen out of copyright, slap it online for the world to enjoy.