This was a sketch by request for a Kickstarter backer. The bunny and the badger look, perhaps, like Aberrant D&D versions of standard animal templates. (Or perhaps, a Dire Badger?) Presumably they are the offspring of normal animals who bred with extradimensional entities, and in fact, if you look carefully, you may be able to figure out who the bunny’s father is. Either way, aren’t they cute?

I recently watched Ridley Scott’s “Prometheus”, which was enjoyable, but pretty light given all the buildup; also, it was much more of an “Alien” movie than I expected. Particularly, it left me wondering, exactly what in “Prometheus” was supposed to be so much like Guillermo Del Toro’s “At the Mountains of Madness” that Del Toro gave up on making the film? The scenes of exploring the tunnels? The holograms (perhaps a smart replacement for Lovecraft’s scenes of people deciphering endless amounts of wall-carvings)? I didn’t see anything which really screamed “This is just like At the Mountains of Madness” to me, honestly, but I guess the superficial similarity of “archaeological quest to discover humanity’s origins” is close enough to make a studio shy away.

Clearly, though, the “Alien” franchise hook was the push that the studio needed to green-light a big-budget R-rated science-fiction/horror film, unlike “Mountains of Madness”, which Del Toro reported was plagued by the studio demanding a PG-13 rating. I have mixed feelings about the ratings problem: if Peter Jackson’s “King Kong,” with its scenes of people being eaten by giant gross bug-things, got a PG-13 rating, I really don’t think “Mountains of Madness” necessarily needed higher than PG-13. But on the other hand, Hollywood’s movie ratings have gotten so much, much stricter over the 30 years that I’ve been watching movies (the first R-rated movie I saw was the Arnold Schwarznegger “Conan,” with my dad at the age of six or seven) that perhaps I’m wrong, and even a single Shoggoth Death Scene would have gotten “Mountains” an R. PG and R- rated movies in the ’70s and ’80s were INFINITELY gorier and more violent than movies with the same ratings today. Frankly, it’s been depressing and irritating watching American society fall backwards and get more and more conservative in this regard… particularly while gore-for-gore’s-sake films like “The Human Centipede” series are still released openly in American theaters, albeit Unrated. Anyway, I mention all this because the Wikipedia page for “Prometheus” says that there was no way “Prometheus” could have been released with a PG-13 rating if any of the surgery scene (probably the best part of the movie) was left intact; but sheesh people, it’s just a little CG surgery! The liposuction scenes in “Super Size Me” were MUCH grosser!

It almost seems like there’s some kind of reluctance to have extreme levels of gore and bloodshed in movies with a fantasy or sci-fi element, as well as ‘classy’ movies in general, whereas nonsupernatural and aggressively ‘trashy’ movies with blood and gore still get a pass. Obviously, Lovecraft himself would probably have disapproved of too much gore (then again, he’d have disapproved of a lot of things), and it doesn’t seem strictly necessary for a “Mountains of Madness” adaptation. But as someone who’s watched Lucio Fulci and Dario Argento and early ’80s Tom Savini movies… sheesh, people. NOTHING I’ve seen in an R-rated movie since I came of age to watch them has been NEARLY as violent and shocking as R-rated movies thirty years ago, in that hazy wonderland of gore and terror into which I was born, a primary-school child looking with dread and curiosity at the posters of splatter movies outside the local movie theater. That’s why I lose all respect for anyone who complains about ‘how violent movies are nowadays’; they’re basically total idiots with no historical context. Then again, if I apply this relativistic line of logic to other areas, like racism, virtually no fictional work today is racist if you compare to how racist things were in Lovecraft’s time; -_-; (except of course that awful giant-crocodile movie “Primeval”). But in the case of graphic violence, which hurts no one except for fictional characters, I will forever be adamantly pro-early-’80s.