Sunday, April 27, 2014

Behind-the-Scenes of the "No Turning Back" Music Video

The modified HPLHS Motion Pictures logo, made for the music video. Loving that disco ball!

Alright! I just read a fascinating interview on From Beyond which offered some enlightening info on the "No Turning Back" music video in the form of an interview with Andrew Leman of the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society.

Andrew Leman in black-and-white. What a MythoScope photo.

A lot of people in the comments (not on the Witch House Rocks channel - the HPLHS channel) were complaining about the inaccurate part of the video where Keziah actually DOES the sacrifice. I find that annoying. But Andrew Leman says...

We used some actual clips from "Häxan" itself, and we also recreated one of the scenes from that classic film so that we could include our Witch and the Black Man. The scenes that play over the intertitle cards, where the witches are flying past the camera and the demons are waving to them, are actually scenes from "Häxan" itself. Because that film is Scandinavian and from the early 1920s, it seemed an absolutely perfect fit for the video. There’s a scene in that movie where a witch sacrifices an infant, and since there’s a similar scene in the story, we thought it would be great to recreate that scene but use the characters from Lovecraft’s tale, played by the actors in our cast.
One of the intertitles from the video, featuring a clip from the silent film Häxan.


We also got some pictures of the distorted Witch House model being built. Turns out it was started back in June, 2013. That's hard work!

It started out like that.

Actual wooden shingles!

The Witch House stands atop a hill. Silhouetted Arkham is in the background, while plastic clouds appear to rain - though it is just a piece of cloth.

When it's put all together, we get a perfect place for Keziah Mason to haunt Walter Gilman!

It turns out Gilman's room was, rather unsurprisingly, inspired by the fantastic Expressionist silent film, The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari. The fabulously distorted and tilting angles show it!

Whoever did that set is a bloody genius!

Finally, Mr. Leman was asked about the words "THIS IS NOT THE END" on the closing title card.

They're right at the top, in case you didn't notice.

Mr. Leman cryptically replied...

What I can tell you is that we know that this video will not be the final chapter in the life of Dreams in the Witch House - A Lovecraftian Rock Opera. It may go on to concert performances, a fully-realized stage show, more videos, or any number of other things. Mike and his team are highly talented, and Mike is an ambitious and visionary producer.
Inspiring words.

All credit goes to the amazing From Beyond. Check out the interview for more info (click here for it in English), and check out their site for much more!

The music video is fantastic. Everybody looks like they're having fun.

You've got to give a hand to Alaine Kashian.

Another thing I wanted to tell you about is the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society's new Dark Adventure Radio Theatre! Can you guess what it is? That's right - it's...

Art by Darrell Tutchton. Now he can draw Brown Jenkin!

So, let us close off on this note with the amazing "No Turning Back" music video, which we now know a little more about.

Ohhhhhh yeah.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Mark Foster & the Poster Art

I have been waiting for a response from Carlos Garcia Rivera. In the meantime, I have found another poster artist who is incredibly talented. This is Mark Foster of H.P. Lovecraft Art.

We've been chatting and I am saving up the money for the commission. Today, Mr. Foster sent me these preliminary sketches for the poster art that looks very promising.

This shows some downright CREEPY sketches of Nyarlathotep reaching out. Added with a Cabin in the Woods-esque Witch House, violet light, stars, claws, and Keziah, I was blown away by these designs.

Some beautiful Nyarlathotep sketches for the poster.

If Mr. Rivera accepts, than thanks, we'll take that. But two posters for one film is not uncommon, and I think that Mark Foster is an incredibly talented artist.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

FearNet's "Dreams in the Witch House" Review by Gregory Bukart


'Dreams in the Witch House: A Lovecraftian Rock Opera' – Album Review


Tuesday, October 15, 2013 - 1:30pm

Fans of legendary author H.P. Lovecraft know how closely the ideas of sound, music and strange vibrations are woven into his literary works – from the supernatural serenade called forth in "The Music of Erich Zann" to the sonic “resonator” that opens a dimensional portal in From Beyond.Many musicians have tapped into Lovecraft's tales for inspiration – sometimes purely for fun, as in the case of Re-Animator: The Musical, co-produced for the stage by another horror icon, Stuart Gordon. As you know, Gordon's long association with Lovecraft's work began in earnest with the 1985 classic Re-Animator, and includes a memorable episode of the Showtime series Masters of Horror: “Dreams in the Witch House.” That same tale, which Lovecraft penned in 1932, is now the basis of an epic rock opera produced in association with the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society. 
While Gordon is not involved in this project, it does feature one of the stars of Re-Animator: The Musical – Jesse Merlin, who played lecherous villain Dr. Hill in the Los Angeles production, and appears in the hilarious musical horror meta-comedy Exorcistic, returns here in the role of Miskatonic University's Professor Upham (featured on the track “Bridge to the Stars”). It was Jesse who first introduced me to this project, and he's joined here by other high-caliber talent across multiple continents – including former KISS guitarist Bruce Kulick, singer Jody Ashworth of Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Therion's Nalle Påhlsson & Johan Koleberg, W.A.S.P guitarist Douglas Blair Lucek, acclaimed Swedish composer Chris Laney, and Broadway singer Alaine Kashian (who played Clarice Starling opposite Jesse's Hannibal Lecter in Silence! The Musical),

Jesse Merlin, "Brown Jenkin" and Alaine Kashian
Lovecraft's original story involves college student Walter Gilman (played by Mike Dalager), who rents a room in the notorious “Witch House” of Arkham, Massachusetts, the former dwelling of feared sorceress Keziah Mason. While Walter studies complex geometrical theories by day, his nights are plagued by horrifying dreams of the Witch and her rat-like minion Brown Jenkin, and he soon finds evidence of a trans-dimensional portal in his room – which may also serve as a doorway for the evil Keziah to return to our world. The story and characters transition well to a musical format, with all the gothic trappings magnified by sweeping symphonic arrangements and high-impact shock rock. 
Dalager (who also appeared in the films Call of Cthulhu and The Whisperer in Darkness) serves as executive producer on the project, and was introduced to the story in 2011 by co-producer Andrew Leman (who would go on to write the book and lyrics). Dalager then contacted Laney – who scored a short companion film to Whisperer – and the concept for a Witch House rock opera was born. They were joined by co-producers Lennart Östlund, RingMan and Sean Branney (director of Whisperer in Darkness), and the team worked nearly two years with their company of artists to craft the finished product.
Rehearsal at Polar Studios, Stockholm
The opera's fourteen tracks are divided across two acts, and span a wide range of musical styles – from intimate ballads (“The Sleepwalker”) to full-blown symphonic horror rock (“Crawling Chaos”); from Broadway-scale musical drama (“Legends and Lore”) to pop ("Bridge to the Stars") and power metal ("High Fire"). The pulpy melodrama of the original story is ideally suited to the larger-than-life scale of this production, and if you close your eyes, it's easy to envision the actors bringing their parts to life onstage. In the lead, Dalager carries the story admirably, and has a compelling vocal presence that conveys his character's descent from wide-eyed curiosity into madness; Kashian also turns in a refined, seductively menacing performance as Keziah (her performance in “No Turning Back” is one of the album's strongest), and Laney brings a snarling metal menace to his role as Brown Jenkin. Even Kulick's guitar takes on a character of its own, tearing through the gothic metal opus "Signum Crucis," which you can hear below:
The production and sound design – including some seriously creepy atmospheric effects – is big and bombastic, capturing the scale of the vast forbidden realms that Lovecraft ominously suggests, but never fully reveals; your imagination can supply more cosmically horrific images than any stage designer's budget could hope to capture (although I'd actually love to see them have a go at it), and the music provides plenty of colorful fuel for those haunting dream-scenes. 
It's a given this release is a must-own for Lovecraft devotees, but it's also a keeper for fans of gothic and symphonic metal in general, and horror-themed musicals in particular. If you dig the flamboyant style and flash of The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Phantom of the Paradise, you'll feel right at home in the Witch House. Perhaps someday a grand-scale visual accompaniment will rise to the occasion... and if that day arrives, I'll be ready.
Dreams in the Witch House is currently available on CD and as a digital download via iTunes, but vinyl collectors will definitely want to pounce on the two-disc violet vinyl edition, which features amazingly creepy artwork by Keith Thompson and Carlos Garcia Rivera. It's available through the HPL Historical Society's official site.
The following review appeared on, written by Gregory Bukart. Due to the site closing up shop, I have posted it here. - BRIAN
- See more at:

Monday, April 14, 2014

Robert M. Price at the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival

The fantastic Lovecraft eZine, edited by Mike Davis recently hosted an panel by Robert M. Price at the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival, where Dr. Price answers all your Lovecraft questions. My own question was answered at 11:19 in the video. Enjoy!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

"No Turning Back" Music Video

The video screening on a "50 foot cinema screen - classic Movie Palace built in 1926 - truly magical!" [ - Witch House Rocks on Facebook.]

...and my suspicions were correct!

I suspected the photos from last post were part of a "No Turning Back" music video, to which I had found references in some sources (i.e., the Necronomicon).

Partially in Mythoscope and partially in color, this amazing video directed by Andrew Leman features...



the Black Man (Nyarlathotep)
the voice of Walter Gilman


Sunday, April 6, 2014

Cool Photos...

Due to some information I found, my conjectures on what these images (released by the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society) are from is incredibly exciting. The full video will be released at the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival and CthulhuCon.

Opposed to some MythoScope films, this looks like it was shot in a fairly modern style. The actor looks good (while not Mike Dalager).

Eeee! [Cropped from a larger photo.]