Another H.P. Lovecraft adaptation is headed our way, this time from the man for whom “rest” is a dirty word, director Albert Pyun, who is putting the finishing touches on Cool Air, which will be debuting at the Estepona International Film Festival in September.
The rest of us here in the States should be able to see Cool Air soon afterwards via Wrekin Hill, who bought North America rights to the film.
Writer Cynthia Curnan and Pyun have re-imagined the story with a contemporary but no less creepy setting. Cool Air stars Morgan Weisser, Wendy Phillips, Jenny Dare Paulin, Crystal Green, and Norbert Weisser; and the editing is by Glen Berry.
You can check out the opening credits sequence below, but first here’s the 1926 short story’s synopsis courtesy of Wikipedia:
The story is set up as the narrator’s explanation for why a “draught of cool air” is the most detestable thing to him.
The tale opens up in the spring of 1923 with the narrator looking for housing in New York City, finally settling in a converted brownstone on West Fourteenth Street. Eventually, a chemical leak from the floor above reveals that the inhabitant directly overhead is a strange, old, and reclusive doctor. One day the narrator suffers a heart attack, and remembering that a doctor lives directly above, heads there, culminating in his first meeting with Dr. Muñoz.
The doctor shows supreme medical skill and saves the narrator with a concoction of drugs, resulting in the fascinated narrator returning regularly to sit and learn from the doctor, his new friend. As their talks continue, it becomes increasingly evident that the doctor has an obsession with defying death through all available means.
The doctor’s room is kept cold at approximately 56 degrees Fahrenheit (13 degrees Celsius) using an ammonia-based refrigeration system, the pumps driven by a gasoline engine. As time goes on, the doctor’s health declines and his behaviour becomes increasingly eccentric. The cooling system is continuously upgraded, to the point where some areas are at sub-freezing temperatures–until one night when the pump breaks down.
Without explanation, the panic-stricken doctor frantically implores his friend to help him keep his body cool. Unable to repair the machine until morning and without a replacement piston, they resort to having the doctor stay in a tub full of ice. The narrator spends his time replenishing the ice but soon is forced to employ someone else to do it. When he finally manages to locate competent mechanics and the replacement part, however, it is too late.
He arrives at the apartment only to see the rapidly-decomposed remains of the doctor and a rushed, “hideously smeared” letter. The narrator reads it and, to his horror, finally understands the doctor’s peculiarities: Dr. Muñoz was undead and had been for the past 18 years. Refusing to give in, he kept his body going past the point of death using various methods, including perpetual coldness.
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