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Since Hollywood is constantly relying on me to let them know what direction they should be heading in, I feel obliged to reveal what I consider to be among the horror fiction most egregiously overlooked by the people in Movieland. My beef isn't with horror films based on original screenplays--although they turn out crappy often enough--but with sequels and remakes. It's now reached a point where I simply don't want to see any more of them. I don't care if every hundredth one is worthwhile. Enough is enough!

I fully expected to give in for "King Kong," but upon learning that it tops three hours I got a bad case of icy feet. I'm still waiting for my dogs to thaw. What in the name of all that is unholy can justify a three-hour telling of "King Kong"?

Anyway, while I tend to my blood pressure, feel free to amuse yourself with the following handful of scary fiction titles, old and new, just ripe for the picking ...

  • "Stinger"--Now, here's a film that would actually have to be at least three hours long in order to work, but holy smokes would it be an attention grabber! The problem is that it's truly one of the great horror novels. Turning it into a film would be like playing with fire. Love, friendship, loyalty, courage, mind-numbing terror ... Robert R. McCammon's "Stinger" has it all.

  • "The Rats in the Walls"--Stuart Gordon really needs to add this to his catalog of Lovecraft adaptations. It's every bit as delightful as the title implies.

  • "The Damnation Game"--Yeah, I know. It's coming, it's coming. Well not soon enough, dammit. An adaptation of Clive Barker's quasi-gothic Faust tale is past due.

  • "Created By"--This would be one of the most satirical genre films of all time if it was produced. But please, let Richard Christian Matheson write the screenplay from his own novel. The voice and style are too original to be handed off.

  • "A Slate Roof in the Rain"--I don't mean this in a disrespectful way, but Jeremy Dyson's short story could probably be improved upon with the right cinematic treatment. It contains all the right atmosphere, but based as it is on the emotional impact of paintings (and the peculiar characteristics of some), it cries out to be adapted to a visual medium.

  • "She Loved to Cook"--There's a good chance you haven't heard of this one yet, but the author, Shyam Dodge, is one to watch. This story appears in Book II of the literary journal Sweet Fancy Moses. It's ripping good stuff. Psychological horror at its rawest.

--Pete Mesling

Posted by Pete on December 20, 2005 7:22 PM
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