You may refer to him as 'Archangel'
May 4, 2014 4:26 PM   Subscribe

VOMICA is a short horror film about a British commando raid that finds an ancient evil in the crypts and tunnels of occupied France. It recently won Best Short Film prize at the 2014 H P Lovecraft film festival, and is available to watch on Vimeo—for today only—if you go here and use the password 'mayday'.
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED (34 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
Thanks for this!!!
posted by jpziller at 5:15 PM on May 4, 2014

That was really...slow moving.
posted by gottabefunky at 5:21 PM on May 4, 2014 [3 favorites]


Not in any way a spoiler, but I've moved it down a little for people who haven't seen it yet just in case:

I loved the moment when the main character says, 'You're the good one,' and the person being addressed simply looks at him, whereupon the main character's eyes flicker in uncertainty.
posted by winna at 5:35 PM on May 4, 2014 [1 favorite]

The whole "one day only" thing is annoying though. The post was made at 7:27 PM, that's really only about four-and-a-half hours' worth of viewing time (or more, or less, depending on time zone differences between Metafilter, the viewer and Vimeo). And it means people coming to the thread after the viewing period ends will have missed out.
posted by JHarris at 5:42 PM on May 4, 2014 [1 favorite]

This is very well done, but the tropes are growing familiar.

I'm looking forward to the Lovecraftian equivalent of Scream. I'd say I know the rules of semi-surviving an almost-encounter with Nyarlathotep well enough to guarantee that I will be eaten third.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 5:46 PM on May 4, 2014 [6 favorites]

JHarris, i thought that as well. the worst kind of linkrot.

here it is on dailymotion.

This was pretty good until, trying not to be too spoilery here, a really student film-y cheesy beating during the interrogation. It was like, tim and eric bad.
posted by emptythought at 6:00 PM on May 4, 2014 [3 favorites]

I'm not sure about how well-done it is. Us Lovecrafties know that whatever threat the two interrogators pose, it's nothing compared to that thing. Really, I think the interrogators should have been the protagonists. The soldier is too close to the horror to be the protagonist, so close that we really expect to see the horror, which turns out to be a couple of grossout bits.

It's technically well done, but there's been better. For example, here's a German adaptation of The Colour Out Of Space on DVD. I own a copy of this, and I think it's Lovecraft done right. It looks to be a black & white movie, but is isn't... there's one color....
posted by JHarris at 6:07 PM on May 4, 2014 [4 favorites]

Yes, I liked it much better before the terrible stage acting piece. I also got very confused because I was expecting the underworld (because of the gross-out scene which seemed to point at it) instead of what it turned out to be.
posted by winna at 6:13 PM on May 4, 2014

Die Farbe (The German film version of The Colour Out of Space with English subtitles) is currently up for free on Youtube through tomorrow as a promo for the creator's indiegogo campaign for a new film.

As for this, I felt it lacked something. I'm not sure what, but it just felt like something was missing. It was reasonably well done, who knows why it didn't strike the right chord for me. Honestly, I preferred Dirt Dauber, which was much less well produced and slick.
posted by Meep! Eek! at 7:19 PM on May 4, 2014 [2 favorites]

This reminded, yet again, as most things do, that Charles Stross needs to write a full-length A Colder War. I think I've mentioned this in every thread I've ever been in, and yet here I am, having to mention it again.
posted by turbid dahlia at 7:41 PM on May 4, 2014 [6 favorites]

This is honestly pretty crap. The setup is ok, but it makes no sense, goes to extremely predictable horror movie clichés that have nothing to do with cosmic horror (flesh eating zombies and a random woman with long hair halfway in front of her face and blood running from her mouth), the big reveal only makes sense to HPL fans (although what Azathoth has to do with plague pits and zombies is anyone's guess), the ridiculous beating scene...

What isn't crap is mediocre. I'd be curious to know what anyone considers good about this.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 7:44 PM on May 4, 2014 [3 favorites]

posted by turbid dahlia at 7:55 PM on May 4, 2014

Turbid Dahlia, I couldn't agree more. The only thing I don't like about the Laundry books is that they're too upbeat. Give me stories where where the protagonist worries that he may already be dead - not because he wants to live, but because he wants oblivion; stories where universal extinction is the absolute best outcome. None of this airy-fairy wave-a-magic-wand, clap your hands and maybe some people will survive. It's horror of death which is not death for me, not cheery nonsense about there being hope for the future.
posted by Joe in Australia at 8:04 PM on May 4, 2014 [2 favorites]

Thanks, folks. I'm glad I happened through this thread before the rot out of time destroyed the links.
posted by tyllwin at 8:16 PM on May 4, 2014

Joakim: I thought the stain glass door at the end was pretty cool.
posted by Brocktoon at 8:56 PM on May 4, 2014

And really, Archangel? Was the other guy Valkyrie?
posted by Brocktoon at 8:57 PM on May 4, 2014

Um, I hate to ask, but how scary is it? I love Lovecraftian writing and existential horror, but it isn't SCARY, I can read Lovecraft without a drop of adrenalin, in bed, then fall asleep. (Falling asleep while listening to an audiobook of it is a BAD idea though).

On the other hand, I can read a scary zombie book and not sleep for three days.

So on a scale of Evil Dead, through Cabin in the Woods to an actual horror movie, where does this fall?
posted by Canageek at 11:26 PM on May 4, 2014

This video was an enormously ambitious and difficult effort.
Yes, there a lot of flaws. But he thought it up and made it happen.

I suspect the "won first prize" unfortunately heightened everyone's expectations.

It's OK.
posted by Pudhoho at 11:48 PM on May 4, 2014 [3 favorites]

Yeah, looks like the password stopped working at 0:00 MeFi server time (which is PST, right?) I fortunately loaded the page just before midnight and was hence able to watch it, but now when I reload the page the password doesn't work.
posted by XMLicious at 12:10 AM on May 5, 2014

On the other hand, I can read a scary zombie book and not sleep for three days.

The scariest things about it are the grossout scenes. Those might fit the bill for you.
posted by JHarris at 1:06 AM on May 5, 2014

What's scariest is that the film has disappeared entirely. As much as we might hope it was a collective hallucination there remain angular fragments of disjointed cinema skewed at non-Euclidean angles...Ia! Ia!
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 1:24 AM on May 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

jesus christ what a hassle. apparently dailymotions emails get dropped by gmails servers now, and it kept expecting me to jump through more and more hoops i couldn't complete because of that to actually make a publicly viewable video.

i figured it out though, so here's ANOTHER rehost that actually works link.
posted by emptythought at 1:44 AM on May 5, 2014 [2 favorites]

This guy is a film student and he hasn't been influenced by Hitchcock and John Alton?

posted by Pudhoho at 5:04 AM on May 5, 2014

I'd be curious to know what anyone considers good about this.

From a purely film based point of view, I like the way the flashback cuts give sort of a disjointed feel to the memories, and I think the pacing was actually pretty good considering that it's only 15 min. long. Yeah, the lady in white is a horror cliche, but the thing is, he wasn't actually seeing the woman, that's just what his brain was filling in. I also really dug the way that the big scare wasn't ever actually shown. That's a great choice for someone with a low budget, or really anyone that doesn't want the film to look dated in 5 or 10 years.

15 min. doesn't leave room for much explanation, and neither does the format of interrogation\flash back. It's nonsensical because the whole movie's from vantage of someone who doesn't know what's going on, who CAN'T know what's going on. That's way more believable to me than shoehorning in a reason why random British commando figures out esoterica. I'm fine with my short format horror being fragmented and not really well explained, that goes for stories and films.

I know that when it comes to pop culture, it seems to be all Mythos all the time, but searching ancient crypts or ruins and the discovery of ghouls\cannibals\something that eats humans, and even sometimes becoming one yourself, is just as central to Lovecraft's writing. It's just that this one couldn't really go the route of in bred subhumans, because of time limits, lack of opportunity for expository dialogue in the structure of the film, and possibly because Lovecraft usually assumed some pretty racist and wrong ideas about human evolution to make that work. Plot wise, this is basically just the plot to "The Statement of Randolph Carter," but with Randolph overcoming his fear of the dark to see what actually told him Warren was dead.
posted by Gygesringtone at 6:59 AM on May 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

I wish The Visage was somewhere online so I could share it with people, because that was a Lovecraft Film Festival entry that was properly excellent.

While VOMICA gives it the old college try, it fails to understand how cosmic horror works. In order for the film to be effective, the audience must have a slowly dawning realization about something vast and sinister. See, for example, The Last Wave, in which the dreamlike imagery slowly builds toward a climax with very real ramifications. By the end of that film, you get what it was all about.

What many amateur Lovecraft aficionados fail to appreciate is that just saying the name of a familiar Outer God at the end of the movie isn't a revelation. It's just a reference, no more meaningful than uttering "Rosebud" with no context. A story that builds toward a name-drop without giving the characters (and by extension, the audience) any information about that what that name implies is a pantomime of the genre at best.
posted by belarius at 10:48 AM on May 5, 2014 [5 favorites]

Brocktoon: "Joakim: I thought the stain glass door at the end was pretty cool"

What am I missing here?
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 4:56 PM on May 5, 2014

Ack. Too late.
posted by flippant at 5:43 PM on May 5, 2014

You said you were curious what anyone thought was good. I thought the door at the end was good. The door that { A R C H A N G E L } exits through.
posted by Brocktoon at 10:27 PM on May 5, 2014

I looked at the door scene, and didn't see anything special, what am I missing?
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 10:27 PM on May 6, 2014

I looked at the door scene, and didn't see anything special,

(that's the joke)
posted by Gygesringtone at 6:45 AM on May 7, 2014

That did nothing for me. I've never read any Lovecraft but have absorbed the concept of cosmic horror through Internet osmosis, but the name reveal fell flat.
posted by flippant at 7:14 PM on May 8, 2014

Goddamn do I have to bake the door into a cake? There is a door. At the end of the movie. It has a stain glass window in it. It is a cool door. That's it. Maybe you live in a world full of doors with stain glass windows. I don't. I appreciate the door. I think many of us who disliked the movie can enjoy this door, but I could be wrong.
posted by Brocktoon at 8:48 PM on May 8, 2014

Thanks for the comments about Vomica everyone. Seriously - even those of you that thought it sucked. We'll never please all the people all the time etc, and it's good to know why for some people it just doesn't work. It gives us a lot to think about.
Apologies for taking the film down. Competing at film festivals is really necessary if, as unknown film-makers, we're going to get the exposure we want. But festivals won't take films that are freely available elsewhere. I put Vomica up for 24 hours because the Lovecraft eZine did a live one-off broadcast and our followers in the UK couldn't see it due to the time difference. Vomica's doing the rounds with other festivals now, by the end of this year it should be done and then the film will be on Vimeo and YouTube.
And I'll pass on the compliments about the stained glass door. :)
Darren Ormandy - Writer/Producer
posted by P7TV at 2:51 AM on May 19, 2014 [3 favorites]

Hey Darren, welcome to Metafilter! Thanks for taking our comments in stride! In my personal case, you have to remember I'm kind of a snob. (Although it might just be that I like saying the word "snob.") Your short definitely has good production values, and I'm sure we'll be seeing great things from you guys in the future.
posted by JHarris at 7:54 PM on May 19, 2014

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