Inspirational video clips, films and TV series.
Film and TV recommendations
Additions to this list should be relevant to DG in subject matter and atmosphere, and should also be worth watching for entertainment. Large-scale science fiction like Bladerunner (1982) or Event Horizon (1997), and high-concept thrillers like The Box (2009), aren't relevant to DG as written and don't belong here. Supernatural horror flicks, slashers and spy movies are not automatically relevant.
Please explain each inclusion. A single-sentence plot summary is usually a good way to do this. Spoilers are OK if you need them to discuss a work's applicability to DG, but spoilers should be marked; consider hiding them.
Please include a link to IMDb or some other disambiguating source of reviews.
- Kiss Me Deadly (1955) (Wikipedia). Hard-boiled mystery with an ending that could easily have gone into Mythos territory.
- Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956). A small-town doctor learns that the population of his community is being replaced by alien duplicates who won't emote. Occasionally gets remade, unsuccessfully.
- Quatermass 2 (1957). Alien invasion. If you've read Countdown, you'll know why this is relevant.
- The Manchurian Candidate (1962). Brainwashing classic.
- Matango (1963). Shipwrecked survivors slowly transform into mushrooms who are able to enjoy life. Similar to the novel A Scent of New-Mown Hay (1958) by John Blackburn.
- The Horror of Party Beach (1964). Deep Ones in a truly abysmal movie.
- The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1965). Special services.
- The Mechanic (1972) (IMDb). Non-supernatural assassinations, a little tradecraft.
- Don't Look Now (1973). Psychic thriller.
- The Wicker Man (1973). A police sergeant is sent to a Scottish island village where strange rituals are held, in search of a missing girl whom the townsfolk claim never existed. Rigidly Christian in perspective.
- The Exorcist (1973) and sequels. Squicky, oppressive, undeserved horror.
- The Conversation (1974). About a surveillance technician going insane.
- The Parallax View (1974). A multinational corporation behind every event in the headlines.
- Three Days of the Condor (1975). One guy survives the near-TPK of his cell.
- All the President's Men (1976). The process of uncovering Watergate.
- Shivers (1975). Smart take on the motif of alien parasite infestation in a suburban high-rise apartment building. Everything by the director, David Cronenberg, has some weird, subconscious-driven horror or other relevance to DG.
- The Tenant (1976). Applicable to Night Floors.
- Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977). Greys influence people's minds. Numinous and a little creepy at first, but the end is not so compatible with DG.
- The Last Wave (1977). A lawyer with weird dreams defends some Australian Aborigines in a murder trial and starts thinking he's involved in something vast, ancient and dangerous.
- Rabid (1977). Dir. David Cronenberg. Experimental stem cell treatment leads to citywide plague.
- Capricorn One (1978). Government conspiracy fakes a Mars landing.
- The Boys from Brazil (1978). Old Nazis never die.
- The Sandbaggers (1978). TV series. Spies in the Cold War.
- The Brood (1979). Dir. David Cronenberg. Cutting-edge psychotherapy adds complications to an acrimonious divorce. Pay close attention to the autopsy scene in light of the final explanation as an example of rigorously developing weirdness based on the core premise.
- Screamers (1979). Schlocky Italian feature. Mad scientist breed fishmen which as pearl divers. Cross between Island of Dr. Moreau and Creature from the Black Lagoon.
- Humanoids from the Deep (1980). Schlock film. Genetically altered fishmen make occasional visits to the beach to interact with the locals (read here: rape and kill). Blood, gore, thick-necked characters with bad acting and worse dialogue, and of course, Deep One birth stolen more from the then-recent Alien. Fun.
- The Ninth Configuration (1980). An insane asylum for military personnel, from the author of The Exorcist.
- The Professional (1981). Excellent examples of Agent gone bad and a Cleaner.
- The Amateur (1981). A researcher for the CIA finds he's been deceived.
- Scanners (1981). Dir. David Cronenberg.
- The Thing (1982), Carpenter's version. Essential viewing. Smart SF horror, high on paranoia.
- Xtro (1983). Extremely cheap SFX, but nonetheless effectively gruesome. Extraterrestrial takeover concept with body horror, psychic powers and a clown. No heroes.
- The Dead Zone (1983). Template for agents with psychic abilities.
- The Star Chamber (1983). A young judge investigates an alternative method for punishing the guilty. Conspiracy.
- Re-Animator (1985). Much-loved cult film from HPL's short story.
- Children of the Corn (1984). A cult of children who believe everyone over the age of 18 must be killed. Replace He Who Walks Behind The Rows with a Dark Young or Mask and you're off to the races. Unrelated to the DG short story “The Corn King”.
- From Beyond (1986). One of the better filmings of Lovecraft, but very different from the short story.
- Angel Heart (1987). Film noir pastiche with voodoo.
- The Hidden (1987). An alien parasite with the ability to possess human bodies goes on a violent crime spree in LA, pursued by a human cop and an alien cop inhabiting a human body. Very similar to a published DG scenario, “Puppet Shows and Shadow Plays”.
- A Very British Coup (1988). US interests combine with the British old boys network to defeat a socialist prime minister.
- Dead Ringers (1988). Dir. David Cronenberg. The relationship of two twin gynecologists degenerates when a biologically unique actress comes between them. Creepiness without supernatural features. Applied to DG in Whichever She Was.
- Twin Peaks (1990), the series, and Fire Walk with Me (1992 sequel). Creepy weirdness and the FBI.
- La Femme Nikita (1990). High-concept action. A convicted felon is given a new identity and trained, stylishly, as a top secret spy/assassin. Better than Point of No Return, great atmosphere.
- Total Recall (1990). Fake memories. Better to read P.K. Dick's story though.
- Jacob's Ladder (1990). Horrible visions in contemporary life.
- Session 9 (1991). Asbestos cleaning crew in an abandoned mental hospital.
- JFK (1991). Oliver Stone's conspiracist fiction film on the Kennedy assassination.
- Sneakers (1992). Cryptography, hackers, government conspiracy.
- The X-Files (1993) (Wikipedia). Everybody seemed to be watching it after DG was conceived. ASG was originally a fan, then turned against it as it jumped the shark.
- The Firm (1993). For indie characters in over their head.
- The Puppet Masters (1994). Alien invasion, mind control.
- Lord of Illusions (1995). In LA, a NY private investigator stumbles over members of a fanatic cult who are waiting for their leader, gunned down 13 years before. Readable as a low-key DG fight against a partially transcended Azathoth cultist.
- The Usual Suspects (1995). Clever crime yarn with a Byzantine underworld.
- Twelve Monkeys (1995). Madness, grime, time travel, eco-terrorism, fatalism, apocalypse.
- The Arrival (1996). An astronomer is fired for discovering an extraterrestrial radio signal. Conspiracy, science fiction.
- Mulholland Falls (1996). In 1950's Los Angeles, a special crime squad of the LAPD investigates the murder of a young woman. Conspiracy.
- Millennium (1996). TV Series. A former FBI profiler with the ability to look inside the mind of a killer begins working for a mysterious Millennium Group. Each season has a significantly different tone and focus; the third season isn't as strong as the first or second.
- The Arrival (1996) and its sequel. An astronomer discovers intelligent alien life with a deadly secret.
- Absolute Power (1997). A career thief witnesses a horrific crime involving the U.S. President.
- The Spanish Prisoner (1997). Company with a lucrative "secret process".
- Conspiracy Theory (1997). Good even with Julia Roberts.
- LA Confidential (1997). Stylish film noir with government cover-up.
- The Relic (1997). A homicide detective and an anthropologist try to destroy a lizard god in a Chicago museum.
- Fallen (1998). After the execution of a serial killer, there are more killings in the same style. Paranormal, paranoia.
- The Enemy of the State (1998). A lawyer becomes the target of a corrupt politician and NSA goons when he accidentally receives key evidence to a politically motivated crime.
- Deep Rising (1998). Schlock film. Heist meets the Poseidon Adventure with CGI monsters. What looks to be a mockery of the Big C pops his head up for a scene or two in it.
- Phantoms (1998). 150 dead and 350 missing in the tiny mountain town of Snowfield, Colorado. Readable as the actions of Nyarlathotep, a psychoactive non-thing which reflects back at us our own subjectivities, warped through an alien lens. Also works as a movie about a rampaging shoggoth.
- Pi (1998). A paranoid mathematician searches for a key number that will unlock the patterns of nature. Compatible with Dennis Detwiller's mathematics-based DG scenarios including The Last Equation, but more realistic.
- Ringu (1998). Creepiness. Got a favorable review by John Tynes in The Unspeakable Oath (#16/17).
- The Ninth Gate (1999) (IMDb). Especially the first hour.
- Spy Game (2001). A retiring CIA agent works against agency politics to free someone he trained from Chinese captors.
- Narc (2002) (Wikipedia). Very dark mystery. Undercover investigative work.
- Spooks (2002), aired in US as MI-5. BBC TV series. 2 first seasons recommended on DGML.
- Wrong Turn (2003). Appalachian Tcho-Tchos in a standard slasher.
- The Forgotten (2004). DG investigation done by civilians, recommended by ASG. The Man in Black particularly enjoyed the scene where the MJ-12 operative whispers "They're listening" during his interrogation.
- Primer (2004). Brilliantly clever low-concept present-day science fiction about garage-budget time travel.
- Noein: To Your Other Self (2005). Like Twelve Monkeys (1995) on a cosmic scale, for young adults. Majestic-12 is namedropped in episode 7. You could easily replace the threat of Ouroboros with Yog-Sothoth and play the whole scenario as Delta Green being pulled into the End Times of their alternate near future.
- The Constant Gardener (2005). Special services.
- The Curse (2005) (Wikipedia).
- Altered (2006). Abduction victims take revenge on the Greys.
- Southland Tales (2006). During a three day heat wave, an action star stricken with amnesia meets up with a porn star who is developing her own reality TV project, and a policeman who holds the key to a vast conspiracy. A self-referential tale about generalized madness. Every single character in the film is being driven slowly insane by disparity between tidal forces and circadian rhythm. Readable as the onset of the call of Cthulhu or as the generalization of the yellow sign, right before the holocaust of fire and ecstacy begins. Also has nice usage of short drift time travel.
- Slither (2006). A small town is taken over by an alien plague.
- The Man from Earth (2007). A smart conversation with an immortal. Good point of reference for the Disciples of the Worm and ancient ghouls.
- AM1200 (2008). A possessed evangelical radio station. Basis of Radio Silence.
- The Ruins (2008). Schlock. Mexican holiday, evil plants.
- The Midnight Meat Train (2008). Photographer stalks serial killer, gets drawn into reptilian conspiracy.
- The Objective (2008) (Vortisch). A military special operations team, led by a CIA case officer, in Afghanistan, with ancient evil. A Program operation gone wrong. The DGML doesn't like the ending, but many voices highly recommend the rest.
- Alien Raiders (2008). DG tracks an alien infestation to a local grocery store and takes everybody there hostage.
- Splinter (2008). Civilians fight a parasite that transforms its hosts, reminiscent of protomatter.
- The Burrowers (2008). In the Wild West a rescue party sets out to find a family of settlers that has vanished from their home under mysterious circumstances. A monster flick involving carnivorous mole people, which might be taken as what ghouls would look like on the plains. Could work well as the reason for the disappearance of a small town.
- Pontypool (2008). Dir. Bruce McDonald. Language as a vector for zombification, or reality. Based on the book Pontypool Changes Everything by Tony Burgess.
- Monsters (2010). Near-future science fiction, overt alien invasion.
- Kill List (2011). A hitman gets in too deep.
- Banshee Chapter (2013). A journalist explores links between her friend's disappearance, a chemical from an MJ-12 program and a disturbing radio broadcast.
- Hangar 10 (2014). Schlock. 33 years after the Rendlesham Forest UFO incident, three metal detector enthusiasts hunting for Saxon gold capture some footage.
- Extraterrestrial (2014). A group of friends on a weekend trip to a cabin in the woods find themselves terrorized by Greys.
- Alien Abduction (2014). A vacationing family encounters an alien threat in this thriller based on the real-life Brown Mountain Lights phenomenon in North Carolina.
- Absentia (2011) (IMDb). A woman and her sister begin to link a mysterious tunnel to a series of disappearances, including that of her own husband.
- Devil's Pass (2013). Five students go to Dyatlov Pass to make a documentary about the infamous event there.
- Blue Ruin (2013) and the director's follow-up Green Room (2015). Dir. Jeremy Saulnier. Non-supernatural drama/thriller. Recommended for the social connectedness and grittiness of the violence.
- It Follows (2014). A young woman is followed by a supernatural force after a sexual encounter. It'd be interesting to see if DG agents could deduce what the victims had in common. The same creature could be given a different reason for pursuing victims.
- True Detective (2014). TV series about cops who like to go black bag on occasion. The DGML loved the first season, which namedrops Carcosa and KIY but rejects supernatural explanations. The second season deals very briefly with fringe religious belief and aura reading, but is otherwise even less relevant to DG.
- The Hybrid (2014). UK-produced schlock about contemporary corporate mercenaries uncovering a Soviet (Smersh) alien-human hybrid project.
- High Rise (2015). Dir. Ben Wheatley. The type of societal collapse/transformation that could occur among an isolated cult or community. Delta Green investigators could stumble right into it. The upper floors' depravity and casual acceptance point to the King in Yellow, as in Night Floors. Based on the book by J.G. Ballard.
- Office (2015). Korean thriller about investigators concluding that a section chief went to hide in his workplace after killing his family.
- They Look Like People (2015). Suspecting that people around him are turning into evil creatures, a troubled man questions whether to protect his only friend from an impending war, or from himself.
Harvested from the Internet to inspire descriptions of relatively mundane Mythos phenomena.
|Gas burns in a jar.||Hydrophobic sand.||Lithium on fire.|
|Mercury(II)-thiocyanate when heated.||Polymerization of para nitro aniline.|
|Fish eats fish.||The flexible goblin shark.|
|Four species of horned lizard shoot blood, from the eyes.||Cattail (Typha).|
|Fate cell phone in microwave oven.1||A metal cylinder melts in electromagnetic suspension.|