The Testimony of Randolph Carter - DVD

$ 15.00

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According to The Lurker in the Lobby, this is one of the oldest known amateur adaptations of a Lovecraft story. This faithful adaptation of "The Statement of Randolph Carter" tells the strange story of the demise of occultist Harley Warren. It was shot in the summer of 1987 with a home VHS tape deck. What it lacks in image and audio quality it makes up in sheer sanity-blasting length. It features Darryl Tyler and Sean Branney and was directed by Andrew Leman.

The Testimony of Randolph Carter a student film; it's NOT The Call of Cthulhu. But if you're a collector of anything Lovecraftian you may still like it.

Format: NTSC, Region 0, color, running time approx. 50 minutes. Note that image and sound quality are diminished due to age an quality of original footage. The disc feature no special features of any kind.

Customer Reviews

Based on 10 reviews
Brandon N
Ah, good 'ol VHS. What it lacks in quality it makes up in charm

I went into this knowing that it was going to be challenging, visually. I grew up with VHS cassettes and am all too familiar with the medium and difficulties therein. So casting that aside, how was this? It was...good. Some of the acting was hackneyed and cringe-worthy (hey, YOU try and do better!) and the camera angles were very "art school"-esque (hey, it's an art school project!). But how was the story? It was faithful to the original. How was the ending? It was satisfying as only HPL can provide. Much is left to the reader, er, viewer, to fill in the blanks.

Is this worth getting? If you are a fan of HPLHS and/or a collector, then yes! If this is your first purchase from the HPLHS, turn right around and check out The Call of Cthulhu or The Whisperer in Darkness!

Testimony of a Casual Reviewer

As a film, the project suffers some due to the restrictions of its medium - what are meant as long, dramatic pauses often drag in fuzzy silence, and the amateur lighting often leaves scenes nonthematically dark (to say nothing of the forewarned audio issues). Complaints aside, "Testimony" is at its heart a project of passion, and this shows in most every scene: the actors perform in earnest, sets and costumes evoke the age (alongside a fantastic practical effect of scaly eldritch hands); and when the score does creep in, it achieves a commendable level of eeriness. Certainly a must for hardcore Lovecraftian acolytes, if not solely for its historical novelty and value.

Jay Kuczma
An excellent production despite some rough edges.

Let's get the negative out of the way first; this DVD was mastered from some very sketchy sources. Transfers from VHS masters to DVD seldom look terribly good and that curse has found its way to HPLHS's Testimony of Randolph Carter. There are no extras but who really needs them?

Perhaps it's the non-existent budget that gives this film its minimalist impact. I found the film eerily effective, causing the full spectrum of chills, goosebumps and hairs standing on end. Sean Branney brings a subdued lunacy to Harley Warren that I found truly terrifying. Darrell Tyler does a superb job as the ever-faithful Randolph Carter, a young man who knows this is a very bad idea but can't abandon his friend to the gruesome fate that awaits him.

Yes, this is a student film. Regardless, there are a lot of big-budget Hollywood horror films that can't touch it in any aspect. It's probably not a 'got to have' for your HPL collection, but it will certainly enrich your enjoyment of HPL and your understanding of the enigmatic Randolph Carter.

Highly recommended.

A Dark Masterpiece

Well, I have just finished watching The Testimony of Randolph Carter and I was deeply impressed! It has more bite than a dozen high-budget horror films could hope to attain; its charnel atmosphere and ghoulish hints at eldritch abominations were worthy of the Master who penned the original tale! But it was the dream sequences that really made me jump--not least because, watching while lying in bed, relaxing after a long day, I nodded off once or twice just at the right (or wrong) moment, only to be jerked awake just as Randolph was jerked out of his nightmares! I found the experience most unnerving--it was like a virtual reality experience!

This DVD will find a place among Call of Cthulhu, The Whisperer in Darkness, and my other Lovecraft movies--it is a dark masterpiece and I will watch it again and again in spite of its dreadful perils.

My deepest compliments!

I Love This Movie

I love this movie! I should have bought it years ago, shopping with HPLHS is a snap, there is never a problem with any items I buy from them.