You’ve no doubt noticed the absence of much real news on this site recently. I’ve teased a few things (which will be announced very soon, I promise), but I’ve tried to make a point of adding more movie recommendations to help you remember I’m still here and still alive.
The classic horror movie education of my youngest kids continued last night with a screening of one of my favourite movies of all time – David Cronenberg’s 1986 remake or THE FLY.
Now I know I rant against remakes frequently, but I’m also the first to admit there’s a time and a place for film ideas to be revisited (or reimagined, or rebooted, or whatever the trendy term of the day is). I talked about one a few weeks back – Philip Kaufman’s 1979 remake of INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS, and no doubt I’ll cover others here too.
Cronenberg’s THE FLY is a masterful reworking of the 1958 B movie starring David Hedison and Vincent Price which was, in turn, an adaptation of a George Langelaan short story which had been published in PLAYBOY a year earlier. Here’s a brief summary of the Cronenberg version, followed by a trailer. My thoughts are after the cut.
By the way – the movie features a wonderful soundtrack from composer Howard Shore. The trailer below does not. Very little cheesy 1980’s synth pop appears in the finished film.
Seth Brundle, a brilliant but eccentric scientist, offers investigative journalist Veronica Quaife a scoop on his latest research in the field of matter transportation, which against all the expectations of the scientific establishment has proved successful. To a point. The machinery cannot yet transport organic matter. Brundle and Quaife’s burgeoning relationship helps him rethink the problem of ‘the flesh’. After successfully transporting a living creature, Brundle attempts to teleport himself, not realising a fly has enters the transmission booth with him. Brundle emerges a changed man.
There’s a huge amount going on behind the scenes at Infected Books – lots of new projects being planned and opportunities being explored. I’ve said before, one of the keys aims of IB is to redress the business balance: being an author first and foremost, it’s important to me that the people who create books and films a). retain a high degree of control over their creative work and b). fairly share the benefit of the value of those creations. We’re working hard right now to explore new partnerships and outlets to make that happen, and I’m pleased to be able to announce one of those deals today.
We’ve reached agreement with Michael Preissl, owner of Voodoo Press, for him to represent foreign language rights for Infected Books titles. You might already have seen the covers of the German-language editions of TRUST and GIRL IN THE BASEMENT. This is just the beginning!
I think this is a tremendously exciting development, and I’m looking forward to working closely with Michael as we spread the infection across the rest of the world.
A relatively obscure movie recommendation for you this week. John Frankenheimer‘s SECONDS is a bizarre and chilling film which crashed and burned spectacularly at the box office when it was released in 1966. Watching it now, you can see why. It’s an intelligent and thought-provoking movie which was one of star Rock Hudson‘s personal favourites. He delivers a great performance as an old man with a new face – a role far removed from the easy-going romantic comedies he was well known for at the time. Synopsis and trailer follows, with a few thoughts after the cut:
Banker Arthur Hamilton (John Randolph) gets a call one day from a friend he thought was dead. It turns out that the friend is not a ghost, but was simply faking all along, and was placed into a new existence by a company who can give you a completely new face and life. Hamilton decides to undergo the procedure himself and becomes Tony Wilson (Rock Hudson), an artist who lives in Malibu. He is given a manservant to help him adjust but soon finds that adjusting will be the least of his worries.
I know I’m being really annoying at the moment, and I apologise. I want to talk, but I can’t. I also can’t help wanting to torment you a little more…
Hard to believe, but DOG BLOOD was five years old this week.
DOG BLOOD was the first novel I wrote under contract, and that meant it was the first book not to have been published through Infected Books first. As a result, writing it was a very different experience. Previously I’d worked in isolation; now I found myself crafting the book under the auspices of two different editors – one in London and one in New York, both with different approaches. It took longer to finish the novel than expected, but the end result was a story I was (and still am) hugely proud of.
The book picks up a couple of months after the end of HATER. Here’s the synopsis:
The world has suffered a catastrophe of unknown cause, dividing humankind into two: the Haters and the Unchanged. Each group believes the other to be the enemy; each group is fighting for survival. Only by working together can the enemy – whoever that enemy is – be defeated. There are no other choices.
Danny McCoyne has managed to break free, and after days of indiscriminate fighting and killing, he is determined to make his way home, to recalim the only thing of any value to him in this strange new world: his daughter Ellis. Unlike his wife and son, Ellis is like him, and he knows, in his heart of hearts, that she is not dead. His dearest wish is for Ellis to be fighting for the world at his side – but Danny soon discovers his daughter is worth far more than just another fighting body. Others like him have discovered that children are absolutely vital to the cause. They are strong, small, fast, and they have no inhibitions. They are pure Haters…
And today’s unnecessary tease… ever wondered what happened in the months between HATER and DOG BLOOD? Ever wondered how things got so bad so quickly in the Unchanged refugee camp? Ever wondered who was really in control there?
The first releases as part of the Voodoo Press partnership with Infected Books will soon be hitting the shelves. Today I’m very excited to be able to share with you the cover art for the German language edition of TRUST, due out later in 2015. More news coming soon. You can learn more about TRUST by visiting www.trustdavidmoody.com.
This month’s SCREAM MAGAZINE had me sold before I’d even got past the front cover with the promise of interviews with Angus Scrimm (the Tall Man from Don Coscarelli‘s magnificently bonkers PHANTASM movies) and Joe Alves, the man who designed Spielberg’s JAWS. Add to that the first part of a feature on lost 21 century horror movies, a look back at the Hammer classic THE DEVIL RIDES OUT, an interview with Sid Haig and loads more, and you’ve got yourself another cracking issue of my favourite horror mag. I’ve said it many times before and I’ll say it again now – I make no apologies for promoting SCREAM every time a new issue hits the shelves. This is the kind of magazine which fed my adolescent horror addiction in those dark pre-Internet, pre-DVD days. Long may it continue!
Absolutely no irony whatsoever is intended in the title of this post.
MAD MAX and I go a long way back. My interest was piqued when the first film came out in the late 1970s. The UK was a dull and repressed place in many ways back then and, as a nine year old, I remember hearing a respected film critic (Leslie Halliwell, I think) say that Mad Max was so violent it would never be shown on TV, and that, of course, just made me even more desperate to watch it. How times have changed. What would Mr Halliwell think had he still been alive today to see the newest Mad Max movie becoming such an incredible, and largely unexpected, cultural goliath?
Mad Max was a great movie. MAD MAX 2 – THE ROAD WARRIOR – was something else entirely. As a Cold War Kid, I think it had a lot to do with the apocalyptic setting of the second film, and the fact we were watching a character we’d grown to know in the ‘normal’ world, having to deal with the nightmare of a post World War III (we presumed) existence. That’s something that’s always appealed to me. It’s one of the reasons THREADS remains so chilling today – we grow attached to characters in the relative normality of their day-to-day existence, then follow the hell they endure when their lives are, quite literally, blown apart. Road Warrior set new standards and paved the way for a thousand pale imitations.