YMMV / The Shadow Over Innsmouth


  • Accidental Aesop: The villagers do not take kindly to outsiders, to the point that they're worse than the disgusted visitors are. This brings an unintentional "discrimination is a two-way street" message to the story.
  • Crowning Moment of Awesome: On the very first page, we learn that the narrator's pleas to the government got the entire town of Innsmouth raided by policemen, most of the citizens arrested, several buildings either burned down or blown up with dynamite, and Devil Reef bombarded with depth charges and torpedos. Repeat: Regular policemen, in the 1920s—decades before the first S.W.A.T. teams—managed to lock-up a whole town of insane Half-Human Hybrid cultists and thwart an invasion by their Deep One masters, all while making it seem (to the public) like a routine Prohibition-era crackdown.
  • Fridge Horror:
    "Obed he kinder takes charge an' says things is goin' to be changed ... others'll worship with us at meetin'-time, an' sarten haouses hez got to entertin guests. . ."
  • Harsher in Hindsight: From the story (keep in mind this was written 70 years before Gitmo and the War on Terror and, more disturbingly, only several years before the Holocaust and the internment of Japanese-Americans):
    "Keener news-followers, however, wondered at the prodigious number of arrests, the abnormally large force of men used in making them, and the secrecy surrounding the disposal of the prisoners. No trials, or even definite charges were reported; nor were any of the captives seen thereafter in the regular gaols of the nation. There were vague statements about disease and concentration camps, and later about dispersal in various naval and military prisons, but nothing positive ever developed. Innsmouth itself was left almost depopulated, and it is even now only beginning to show signs of a sluggishly revived existence."
    • This becomes especially bad when one remembers that the symbol the Pacific Islanders used to ward away the Deep Ones was a swastika.
    • Lovecraft was likely aware of the Palmer Raids just after WWI, in which the federal government arrested and deported hundreds of foreign-born radicals without due process.
  • Nausea Fuel: They interbred with slimy, ugly fish-frogs from the Stygian depths of the sea!
    • The air of Innsmouth is usually described as having a pungent stench of rotting fish.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: Hillbilly Horror plots involving isolated enclaves of mutant/interbred hicks with ill intentions towards the outsider protagonist have since been done to death.
  • Values Dissonance: Works with the implied message "Race mixing is A Bad Thing" are less acceptable in polite society nowadays than when Lovecraft was writing.


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/TheShadowOverInnsmouth