Victorian Cut-out Theatre Episode 9: "Of Gods and Men"

The process leading up to the completion of this episode was tough. I had struggled with several “forced” ideas having to do with the holidays (once you've done The Krampus, where can you go?), until I finally decided to just let go and do what I wanted. What I wanted to do, as it turns out, was work in the milieu of H.P. Lovecraft. I’ve wanted to do a Lovecraftian story for some time now (and will likely do more) but didn’t have a clear idea on how I would do it. I did know that I wanted there to be cults, as I’ve always liked the idea of secret societies. And if you have cults, you have to have ancient deities. So I guess I used the “if you give a mouse a cookie…” method of story creation on this one, or maybe that’s the ways it’s always been…

For those of you who don’t know H.P. Lovecraft, I highly recommend you pick up a book of his short stories. He specialized in horror/sci-fi/fantasy tales featuring cults, madness and ancient monsters. Much of his work inspired the horror writers of today and has found its way into pop culture through television, games and music. He’s an important figure and you are likely familiar with his work, even if you don't know who he is. However, a word of warning, Lovecraft’s writing can be flowery, dry and sometimes needlessly vague. It is for this reason, that he is often praised almost unanimously for his ideas, while being praised by very few for his writing style. If you want a good example of his work, you should read: The Cats of Ulthar, Dagon, The Horror at Red Hook. These three tales are enjoyable, un-daunting and give excellent example of where the author was coming from.

I'm pretty pleased at the way this one turned out. I tried some new movement techniques which I think added a different dynamic to the episode and also gave it a bit more scope. I did take some of the YouTubers constructive criticism and made the mouths monochromatic, so as to make them less "distracting". I also trimmed a lot of fat for the sake of comedy and ecomonomy. I'm trying to get the videos back down to 3 minutes 30 seconds. Not that 4 is bad, but they've been getting longer and I'm not sure they're getting better with length. My hope is to deliver as much interesting/funny stuff in the context of the story AND in the shortest amount of time. We'll see if this ideal holds.

ALSO: For those of you who like “Easter-Eggs”, as with every episode of VCoT, this one includes more than a few…

  • The background cultists wearing “Animal-head masks” are an homage to the original Wicker Man, starring Christopher Lee. If you haven’t seen that film, you should. Don't watch the Nick Cage version.
  • The Necronomicon is an obvious reference to The Evil Dead, which itself is a reference to H.P. Lovecraft.
  • The sacred text "Klaatu Barada Nikto" is from Army of Darkness, but was lifted by them from The Day the Earth Stood Still.
  • and of course I stole a line directly from Ghostbusters.


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