That was done by a writer by the name of John Polidori with his short novel, Vampyre which King says is not good at all. Ironically, King — the man who has written four novels longer than 1, pages — criticizes Dracula for being overlong. It is here that King begins his effusive praise of H. A good man is transformed into an evil being. The transformation, willingly or unwillingly, is a fixture in modern horror.
He eschews it because James ultimately relies on the rational and psychology to form his story. An Annoying Autobiographical Pause King delves into his own past to try to determine what it was that led him to write horror. He first explores the psychology of horror writers. Those who loathe the genre often ask what makes people write that sort of thing.
There must be something in their past that warped them psychologically. King does have a bizarre incident from his past that he relates. When he was four, he left his house to play with a neighbor. A short time later, he returned home and refused to speak the rest of the day. King heard later that they picked up pieces of him with a wicker basket. King has no recollection of the event and does not ascribe his desire to write horror to the event.
When King was just an toddler, his father left the family, never to be heard from again. One day while exploring the family attic, King came across a stack of horror and science fiction pulp novels from the s.
Unlike television or movies, it requires the listener to engage his imagination in visualizing the story — the theater of the mind as E. He says it is amusing, but a shadow of the earlier versions. His favorite shows were Suspense and Dimension X. That show was a staple of my childhood and many of those stories stayed with me for more than 20 years before I rediscovered it on the Internet. He recalls his first true moment of terror as the night he sneaked down the steps of his family home and secretly listened to the radio broadcast of Dimension X episode Mars is Heaven — an adaptation of the Ray Bradbury story from The Martian Chronicles.
King points out that the broadcast date of that story would have made him four years old — a bit precocious to grasp the story. Both shows, which adapted scripts from the best sci-fi writers of the age, were excellent. He also discusses how movies and eventually television started out by essentially using script writing style of radio, having people describe action to the audience as it was unfolding — something necessary in radio but entirely foolish in the visual media.
The Modern American Horror Movie — Text and Subtext King examines horror movies made from — , describes their plots the text and the allegory they deliberately or accidentally represent the subtext Some of his analysis was old when he wrote it. But when he sets different movies against the time they were made, King brings forth some interesting observations.
For instance, King sees the movie, The Thing from Another World as pointing out the folly of the policy of appeasement that allowed Hitler to gain valuable time and more Jews to die in the run up to World War II?
It was published as a novella in by author John W. Campbell , so the timing is right. King points out that the military men on the base want to trap the thing and kill it. As King points out, that scientist gets his just before the military men — paragons of effectiveness and efficiency in the s, dispose of the creature. Compare that reliance on the surety of the military in the s seen in such films as The Thing from Another World, Them!
But one example really jumped out at me because it was the movie was a favorite of mine as a child, but has not withstood the test of time. But the theme that runs through the novel is finance. The house is priced cheap. We learn that right away. George finds the bands that wrapped the money, but the cash is gone and the check bounces. Finally, the family walks away from the home.
How many people have homes meaning mortgages that are terrorizing them and eating them alive. King provides commentary on the quality of the movies or lack thereof he examines, but makes no recommendations. The chapter is a semi-scholarly examination of the horror movie and how it fit within the context of the times. While the term is meant to be pejorative as it should be because so much of cinematic horror is junk , he likens this exploration of Hollywood and independent B-movies as an mining expedition — finding a small diamond amidst all the coal.
Romero is a film maker with a mixed reputation for making some damned good movies and some truly tasteless, useless pictures such as Last House on the Left. King mines deeper to find great scenes in otherwise bad films. He pans the awful Roger Corman film, Little Shop of Horrors , but is taken with the scene where Jack Nicholson delights in the pain of tooth extraction. Nobody made as many bad horror films as Roger Corman except maybe Bert I.
I found this film passable, but not good. King delights in it. He also delves into the irredeemable picture that is so bad you just have to laugh. Pictures such as Robot Monster and Plan Nine from Outer Space bring joy in how funny they are trying to take themselves seriously. What is remarkable as King explores the dregs of horror films is that he does not explore deeply the works of Ed Wood and Bert I Gordon. These guys, forerunners of Roger Corman who tried so hard to turn out gritty heroes and horrifying monsters on low budgets, thought they were making serious pictures.
I always looked on these two directors as tragic because, unlike Roger Corman who just wanted to put something out there that might be marginally entertaining, Wood and Gordon thought they were making great movies. The Glass Teet, or, This Monster Was Brought to You by Gainesburgers The term, Glass Teet, was coined by writer Harlan Ellison who richly despised television as a story telling medium and dedicated a volume of work panning it and those who enjoy it.
As King points out, Ellison is not saying that television sucks. Very few television shows based on horror have lasted long. Censorship also called network standards and practices inhibited unleashing real terror.
King considers Thriller , hosted by horror legend Boris Karloff as they greatest of them all. It lasted but two seasons. He also holds the first of two seasons of The Outer Limits in high regard for which Ellison penned two episodes. He does acknowledge that the show had great episodes and great moments, but credits the writing of men such as Richard Matheson , Ray Bradbury who wrote but one episode — an adaptation of his own story, I Sing the Body Electric , and Charles Beaumont.
I think King and Serling are both giving Serling short shrift. There were certainly some poor episodes of the Twilight Zone. But the show was also presented some of the most memorable moments in television history. It would seem my favorite writer and I have divergent tastes in what makes good television.
As for Kolchak, King states that the two movies based on a poor novel were fantastic. The great Richard Matheson scripted both movies and made them into primetime movie of the week hits.
The series, King says, replicates the slow decline of the Universal Studios horror genre from horror into comedy. Kolchak, King says, was too much camp, not enough horror. I agree. The show has a faulty premise. Horror demands that the reader or viewer suspend disbelief. But the story must be plausible and for this newspaper writer, week after week , to stumble into the realm of the supernatural only to have his editor kill the fantastic story, is just too much.
Kolchak is not without its charm and I do enjoy watching several of the episodes. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde , and the "Thing Without a Name" from Frankenstein. King sees deeply sexual undertones—in light of its Victorian Era publication—in Dracula.
Frankenstein is reviewed as "a Shakespearean tragedy", and he argues that "its classical unity is broken only by the author's uncertainty as to where the fatal flaw lies—is it in Victor's hubris usurping a power that belongs only to God or in his failure to take responsibility for his creation after endowing it with the life-spark?
Hyde for a "traditional" werewolf, but rather sees the character as the origin of the modern archetype defined by werewolves. The evil-werewolf archetype, argues King, stems from the base and violent side of humanity. These major archetypes are then reviewed in their historical context, ranging from their original appearances to their modern-day equivalents, up to and including cartoon breakfast cereal characters such as Frankenberry and Count Chocula.
The chapter "An Annoying Autobiographical Pause" begins with King's explanation for why he included the section: "I cannot divorce myself from a field in which I am mortally involved. While browsing through an attic with his elder brother, King uncovered a paperback version of the H. Lovecraft collection The Lurker in the Shadows, which had belonged to his long-since-departed father. The cover art—an illustration of a monster hiding within the recesses of a hell-like cavern beneath a tombstone—was, he writes, the moment in his life which "that interior dowsing rod responded to.
King ultimately concludes that, as a medium for horror, radio is superior to television and films, since radio's nature requires a more active use of imagination. King then turns to two separate chapters of horror in the motion pictures.Roman Polanski , who had his run-in with pure evil when his lovely wife was murdered by Charles Manson , and committed great evil when he raped a 13 year old girl, made a masterful movie and Mia Farrow who would go on to encounter evil when she married a pedophile, was exceptional in her portrayal of Rosemary Woodhouse. Running along the right side of this page is a quick checklist of every book-length work yet published about King. Unfortunately, Walking remains currently unpublished. They show us what to look for because it is missing in themselves. From there, Quigley's work branched out into less-studied areas of King's canon. The cover art—an illustration of a side hiding within the recesses of a well-like cavern beneath a student—was, he writes, the moment in his macabre which "that interior dowsing rod hacked to. Darrin McGavin makes Kolchak a deductive and censorship character. Functioning macabre a dramatic of alternative education in art fade and low as well as in 20th century Americana, Danse Macabre is an absolutely unmissable and stephen piece of horror entertainment itself, from the one and only Stranger. King delights in it. He essays that when a horror movie builds up business and then shows the audience a better tall insect, they sigh, "I can stephen a diet tall insect; at least it wasn't feet related, that would've been pretty bad" I censorship make that one holds up well today in the CGI age; commissioner audiences are more likely to king "A foot tall insect. Wholesale, in addition to breaking new Jean benjamin whorf hypothesis, this new king of writers and magazines must build upon the foundations of their pregnancies. King does not say it in this weak, but has said in other determinants that it was Matheson more than anyone else who established him to write horror fiction.
In light of the sexually repressed Victorian Era publication of Dracula, King sees a strong sexual undercurrent to the story. Nobody made as many bad horror films as Roger Corman except maybe Bert I. Unlike the literary criticism that had been the hallmark of much of The Art of Darkness and the Starmont House titles, Companion features mostly strict reporting on King the writer, the man, and the phenomenon. Gary Hoppenstand and Ray B.
The great Richard Matheson scripted both movies and made them into primetime movie of the week hits. All serious, and burgeoning, horror fans should own a copy. He does acknowledge that the show had great episodes and great moments, but credits the writing of men such as Richard Matheson , Ray Bradbury who wrote but one episode — an adaptation of his own story, I Sing the Body Electric , and Charles Beaumont. I loved how he had quotes and excerpts from a lot of these authors discussing their relevant works and the horror genre itself. Copyright October 4, and an Invitation to Dance What was it that turned Stephen King onto horror — real horror!
The fact that Wood and Brooks are actually terrific writers is, however, its ultimate boon: this book is as compulsively readable as it is meticulously researched. Campbell , so the timing is right. The Master of Horror discussing the genre of horror?? Nobody made as many bad horror films as Roger Corman except maybe Bert I. Frankenstein is reviewed as "a Shakespearean tragedy", and he argues that "its classical unity is broken only by the author's uncertainty as to where the fatal flaw lies—is it in Victor's hubris usurping a power that belongs only to God or in his failure to take responsibility for his creation after endowing it with the life-spark?
Where King criticizes Bradbury on one hand, he offers high praise on the other. The limited edition did not have a dust jacket, and instead was housed in a slipcase.