Remember Cthulhu? It's the locally filmed riff on H. P. Lovecraft, except gay(ish) and set in Astoria and a disaster both on-screen (it's really bad) and offscreen (the filmmakers lost a LOT of their own money, buildings they filmed in kept getting destroyed). But watching Cthulhu on DVD with the commentary of writer Grant Cogswell and director Dan Gildark is priceless. Within the first three minutes, Cogswell sighs, says, "This isn't the film I wanted to make," and begins relentlessly dogging his own project. Gildark gently tries to defend it, and the tension/comedy/pathos is on. The backstories alone—the problem of an actor's haircut, how much they had to pay a diver to retrieve an expensive thing somebody kicked into a river—should put this on any aspiring filmmaker's syllabus. Cthulhu is crap, but Cthulhu-with-commentary is a masterpiece. (Netflix or your local video store.)

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