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Movie Crew Brings Monsters to Oregon Town

(Astoria, Oregon) – The north Oregon coast city of Astoria is again basking in Hollywood’s glow, with yet another movie that was filmed there recently slowly wrapping up post production.

“Cthulhu” is the name of the latest bit of celluloid to cash in on the atmosphere of Astoria and the north Oregon coast. The film is the brainchild of Seattleites Grant Cogswell and Dan Gildark, based on the spooky story “The Shadow Over Innsmouth” by horror vanguard H. P. Lovecraft.

The movie stars Jason Cottle (1999’s “The Haunting of Hell House”), Tori Spelling, Cara Buono (“The Hulk”), Amy Minderhout, Dennis Kleinsmith, Richard Garfield, Brian Padilla (of “Bonanza”), Ian Geoghegan, Nancy Stark and Hunter Stroud.

Though the original story was set on the East Coast in the 1920’s – as most all of Lovecraft’s interweaving stories were – Cogswell and crew opted for Astoria because he had been entranced with the place’s atmosphere some eight years ago.

In an interview with Fangoria Magazine published online this week, Cogswell reveals that a former Astoria resident told him he believed Astoria was the real Innsmouth, pointing to some 40 aspects of this area of Northwest Oregon and Innsmouth that were very similar.

According to Fangoria, Cogswell says: “There was a Coast Guard cutter tied up near a dock where we were shooting called the Alert. In Lovecraft’s story ‘The Call of Cthulhu,’ the crew that discovers the lost city of R’lyeh is on a merchant ship called the Alert. We didn’t notice until we were editing the film. What the hell are the chances of that?”

“Cthulhu” was filmed in Seattle and in Astoria throughout the fall, including some final shots taken on Del Rey Beach and in town as late as April 6, according to the film’s blog. Some filming was also done in the Seattle Underground area, where the original “Night Stalker” series had been filmed once. One scene on Del Rey Beach, south of Warrenton, included some 200 extras dressed as monsters coming out of the water.

The film deals with a college professor from Seattle who returns to his strange family on the Oregon coast to settle the remainder of his mother’s estate. He discovers his father was involved in a dark cult that practiced human sacrifices, and is quickly thrown into a fight to save the world from an apocalypse.

Cogswell set the film slightly in the future, at a time of looming environmental disasters, which helped heighten “Cthulhu’s” tensions.

Del Rey Beach

The film crew, which stayed at the Astoria Red Lion during its production, utilized a property near the 31st Street, turning a barn into a giant studio where the cult would practice their evil crafts. They also made use of several pier areas, and various properties around Astoria. One spot near the west approach to Young’s Bay Bridge was where they had made arrangements to burn a house down, but the Oregon Department of Transportation vetoed those plans, even though they had been cleared with the city.

For More on Films Made on the Coast
Hollywood's Love Affair with Oregon Coast Continues
The coast has shown up on TV's "Surface" and in two new movies.

According to the moviemaker’s blog, a neighbor near there sicked his dog on a crew assistant when she came to the man’s house to ask if the crew could park on his property.

No firm release date has been set yet, and previous release dates have come and gone.


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Cannon Beach Ecola Creek Lodge

Ecola Creek Lodge, Cannon Beach. In a quiet neighborhood, this longtime coastal landmark boasts a koi/lily pond, spacious lawns, gardens, stained glass windows and wireless internet – all in a slightly Victorian vibe. With some rooms pet friendly, you are a couple minutes walk from town and close to the beach. Guests also get access to a full recreational and exercise facility. Wild bunnies provide an adorable addition to your stay, making for an especially serene coastal experience. 208 5th St. www.cannonbeachlodge.com. 800-873-2749.