Fiction - Fantastic Writing

Writing is inextricably linked with filmmaking, as the examples of professional writers and occasional directors Clive Barker and Stephen King show. The horror film has always drawn its inspiration directly from master works of literature, be it Mary Shelley's Frankenstein or Bram Stoker's Dracula. Especially the latter half of the 20th century (and onwards into the 21st) has seen a rise in adaptations of pulp novellas, a phenomenon that probably started in Hollywood of the 1940s (Raymond Chandler's Farewell, My Lovely, or The Big Sleep are famous examples). One of the most lasting sub-genres to emerge later was the Italian giallo, which offered lurid stories based on obscure detective stories.
This special section of deals not only with novels whose stories found their way to the big screen, but also with books that would be interesting to see adapted by competent filmmakers and novels that draw their inspiration directly from works of famous directors. In some cases it might even be worthwhile looking at directors who have turned to writing stories and novels.


Stephen Laws - Daemonic (1995)

British writer Stephen Laws has gone pretty much unnoticed by Hollywood (or the British film industry). With his eighth novel, Daemonic (1995), Laws turns to full-blooded gothic horror and mentions Roger Corman and even Mario Bava in the foreword, whose movies have inspired him to become a horror writer. The book itself deals with an elusive millionaire, who has built a huge fortress/labyrinth, to which he invites seven unconnected people a la HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL.
It's been some years that I read the book, but it still sticks in mind. Stylish, atmospheric descriptions, terrifying set-pieces right out of horror movie history (most memorably from THE WASP WOMAN), make this a treat for horror (film) fans. It would be intriguing to see this on the big screen, but it is probably close to being unfilmable. Stephen Laws' Darkfall (1992), a kind-of horror-DIE HARD, might be easier to adapt. Why won't anyone try???

all written material Ron Altman - last update on 07/16/2002