Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Messages From a Dark Deity

I've received official acceptance of my short story, "Messages From a Dark Deity," for Elder Signs Press's Visages of the Void, an anthology devoted to ye gnarly old Nyarlathotep, the Messenger of the Great Old Ones, edited by Peter Worthy. Looks like it will be a late 2008 release.

In keeping with my long-standing tradition, I'm trying to fit in some scary flicks as we lead up to Halloween. Last night was my perennial favorite, House of Dark Shadows, and tonight, I put on the first half of the 1978 BBC production of Count Dracula, starring Louis Jourdan—easily my favorite adaptation of Drac. Louis Jourdan doesn't exactly fit Stoker's physical description, but he nails the role in every other way. Far as I'm concerned, his portrayal may be the best ever to appear on the screen (in this case, the small screen).

I still have to get to Curse (Night) of the Demon to make Halloween official; I'll finish Dracula tomorrow night, and perhaps get Demon in on Thursday. I've half a mind to hit the theater to see 30 Days of Night, but we'll see what the other half says over the next day or so.

It's a good week to make an escape into horror. Jeez, and it's only Tuesday. The weekend can't get here fast enough.


David Niall Wilson said...

I actually flirted with watching Dracula vs. Frankenstein yesterday. It's playing for free on a new net TV thing called JOOST ... I was messing with it and saw Drac/Franky and I was THAT close (lol).

'Tis the season, and all that.


Mark Rainey said...

Wow; I haven't seen DRACULA VS FRANKENSTEIN in I don't know how long. That was the hippie Drac from the early 70s, wasn't it?

Finished the Jourdan DRACULA tonight; a number of rough spots in it, but by and large, an exceptional adaptation. Reasonably true to the novel, and extremely atmospheric. Great vampire make-up too -- very animalistic yet still charming. ;)

Stewart Sternberg said...

Congratulations. Look forward to reading your new short story. The other night I watched "Curse of the Demon" and as always, I am impressed by this film. I love the scene where they go to the black magician's house and he is performing in clown make up for a group of children. A brilliant touch.

The other night I managed to watch "London After Midnight", a Todd Browning/Lon Chaney silent. Of course there are no known existing copies of this work available. However, an enterprising film historian rounded up a shooting script and with over two hundred production stills, attempted to recreate the original film. Interesting approach, not entirely successful, but until somebody finds a copy of the film in some basement (provided it hasn't disintegrated) the experience will have to suffice.

If you haven't seen the silent film "VAMPYR", allow me to heartily recommend this to you.

You know, Mark, it's a shame we don't live closer to one another. I get the feeling we'd fit into one another's circles just fine.

Mark Rainey said...

Hey Stewart,

At Elizabeth Massie's this weekend, we had thoughts of staying up to watch the LONDON AFTER MIDNIGHT restoration, but we all ended up falling asleep before it came on. It's one of Lon Chaney's most horrifying-looking make-up jobs. If I saw him coming down the street in the middle of the night, I expect I'd run screaming. ;)

As much as I enjoy M. R. James's "Casting the Runes," I think the movie's expansion of the story improves it in every way -- particularly in "humanizing" Karswell. Although in the story, it's creepy as hell the way he terrifies the children, it's much more engaging to find him genuinely fond of entertaining them.

Personally, I'm very glad the critter did appear in the film. It's such a terrifying-looking thing that its design overcomes any shortcoming in the execution of the SPFX -- and some of them work very well in their own right -- particularly the shot of the man-in-suit demon standing over the railroad tracks as it grabs Karswell. The strobing flashes, the thing's glowing eyes, the swirling smoke -- it's all a beautifully rendered scene. I'm not among those who think it would be a better film without the monster.

Perhaps we can run into each other someday at some event or another. I'm sure we could entertain ourselves while frightening the bejezus out of the unsuspecting populace.


David Niall Wilson said...

Yep...Drac vs Franky is hippie commune hell with a descendant (the last) of Victor Frankie - dismembering hippies. Truly a classic.


Chuck Zaglanis said...

Despite being a bit long in the tooth (yeesh) in some spots, 30 days was quite enjoyable. Mostly as a nice change of pace from all the angsty, blouse wearing types. These suckers (sorry) hit hard, fast, and exhibit no redeeming qualities. I was pleasently suprised.

The real shocker came from the preview for the Aliens vs Predator 2 movie. Dare I say it looks...good?