Jim Thompson’s The Killer Inside Me Gets New Life with IDW

The Killer Inside Me by Jim Thompson is a classic.  Written 62 years ago, The Killer Inside Me has been the subject of two film adaptations, has been a major influence on countless novelists, screenwriters, lyricists and yet has never had a comic adaptation until now.

IDW is publishing the comic adaptation of The Killer Inside Me as a comic mini-series written by Devin Faraci and illustrated by Vic Malhotra.  Faraci recently spoke with Zack Smith at Newsarama about how Jim Thompson’s The Killer Inside Me Gets New Life with IDW.

If you’re at all interested in The Killer Inside Me‘s importance to the genre, influence on generations or what goes into creating a worthy adaptation, then this interview is for you!

Tony Todd Plays Dracula!

Bleak December Inc. has teamed with Fangoria Musik with the plan to release a series of audio adaptations of classic horror stories including Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, The Phantom of the Opera, and Frankenstein.

First up is Tony Todd (what a great audio choice!) as Dracula.  Click over to ComingSoon.net to listen to a trailer as Tony Todd Plays Dracula.

Rough Trade by Todd Robinson / Z-View

Rough Trade by Todd Robinson

Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Polis Books

First sentence…

We were bored as ****.

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

Rough Trade is the sequel to Robinson’s The Hard Bounce (which I loved) featuring Boo and Junior.  Boo and Junior have been best buds since their childhood days in a group home.  Although grown, neither has really matured.  By night they are bouncers at The Cellar (a local tavern / music venue ) and by day (and nights they’re not bouncing), they hire out as security for other bars, finding runaways, or whatever will pay some bills.

When Boo is asked by a waitress at the Cellar to scare off ex-boyfriend, Byron, you know that Junior is going to tag along.  One thing leads to another and Byron is left beaten, bloody but in no danger of taking the big sleep.  So when Byron is found dead all evidence points to our boys.

The police bring Junior in for questioning and Boo knows it won’t be long before the cops will pick him up.  The clock is ticking and it is up to Boo to figure out not only why Byron was killed but who did it.  Along the way there will be beatings, shootings, mysteries and secrets revealed and a lot of fun.

Fun for the reader that is. Robinson has a unique voice and turns the tough guy cliches into humorous situations without writing down to the genre.  I loved The Hard Bounce and think Rough Trade is an even better book.

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Mean Business on North Ganson Street by S. Craig Zahler / Z-View

Mean Business on North Ganson Street by S. Craig Zahler (2014)

Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books

First sentence…

The dead pigeon flew through the night, slapped Doggie in the face, and bounced to the ground, where its cold talons clicked across the pavement as it rolled east.

 

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

Detective Jules Bettinger, after mishandling a case is given the choice: resign, be fired or accept a transfer to one of the most understaffed and highest crime ridden cities in the country.  Reluctantly Bettinger accepts that transfer and moves his wife and child to his new job.

Once there Bettinger finds things worse than he could imagine.  There’s no trust between Bettinger and his new partner who may be involved in illegal activities with other cops.  When Bettinger uncovers a conspiracy to kill police officers, he and his family become targets leading to a bloody ending.

Mean Business on North Ganson Street isn’t for the faint hearted.  The violence is brutal, and often hard to stomach.  Sometimes Zahler seemed to be showing how smart he was with his word choices, but getting into the book I began to think that instead it was to highlight what a fish out of water Bettinger was.   Mean Business on North Ganson Street wont’ be everyone’s cup o’ joe, but I liked it a lot.

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Omerta: A Novel (The Godfather Book 3) by Mario Puzo / Z-View

Omerta: A Novel (The Godfather Book 3) by Mario Puzo (2000)

Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Random House

First sentence…

In the stone-filled village of Castellammare del Golfo, facing the dark Sicilian Mediterranean, a great Mafia Don lay dying.

 

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

Don Raymonde Aprile is the last of the mafia Dons.  A widower with three successful children and an adopted nephew, all in legitimate businesses and doing well, Aprile is ready to retire to a simpler life.  Yet he knows that once he steps down as Don, he puts his life and his children’s in danger.

Retiring will be seen as a sign of weakness and opportunity for those wishing to assume his position.  Aprile’s impending retirement is also forcing an FBI agent who has worked for years to bring down April to cut some corners.

An unexpected murder will set in motion the Aprile family, forces of the mafia and the FBI into one last battle.

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Angel in Black: A Nathan Heller Novel by Max Allan Collins / Z-View

Angel in Black: A Nathan Heller Novel by Max Allan Collins  (2001)

Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: NAL

First sentence…

The two pieces of her lay porcelain-white in the ankle-high grass and weeds of a vacant lot on South Norton Avenue, like the upper and lower sections of a discarded marionette.

 

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

I’m a sucker for the Nate Heller series by Max Allan Collins.  Heller is a detective who finds himself involved in famous murder cases.  Collins is a stickler for historical accuracy and has created a timeline and plausible setting that allows Heller to find himself (over the course of the series) mixed up in everything from the Lindbergh baby murder to the assassination of JFK!

This time out Heller ends up at the scene of the Black Dahlia murder and discovers that he had dated her in Chicago just months before her murder.  She had told him she was pregnant and he was the father… then disappeared.  Since Heller had since married her murder could ruin his marriage, his career and makes him the number one suspect in her death.  Heller must stay a step ahead of the reporters and the law and find out who killed the Black Dahlia before he ends up taking the fall.

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Bad Boy Brawly Brown: An Easy Rawlins Mystery by Walter Mosley / Z-View

Bad Boy Brawly Brown: An Easy Rawlins Mystery by Walter Mosley (2002)

Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Little Brown

First sentence…

Mouse is dead.

 

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

Easy Rawlins used to be the man that could fix problems.  Now it is 1964 and those days are behind him.  Easy is raising a family and trying to stay clear of anything that would bring danger to his home.  When an old friend asks Easy to just check on young Brawly Brown the job seems easy enough.  Brawly is running with a Black militant group and his mother just needs to know he’s okay.

Soon enough Easy finds himself a suspect in a murder case that has the militants on one side and the cops on the other.

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The Strain Producers Carlton Cruse & Chuck Hogan Talk about Watching the Apocalypse Happen!

The Strain is one of my favorite shows producing new episodes.  Based on the trilogy of books by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan, The Strain tells the story of a vampire apocalypse… but these ain’t your pop’s or your little sister’s vampires!  They’re not romantic and they don’t sparkle.

One of the things that I love about apocalyptic stories takes place at their start when no one is sure what is going on or what is the best course of action to take.  You know, when Brad Pitt watches in amazement as normal citizens begin attacking each other, or when Barbara is attacked in the graveyard by the creepy guy in the business suit or when Rick wakes from his coma to discover… well you get what I mean.

That’s one of the reasons I’m such a fan of The Strain.  We’re two seasons in and just 23 days have passed.  The audience knows what’s coming but the characters on the show have only slowly come to realize what’s happening.  The producers were brave (smart) enough to not just jump in to the frenzy.  A slow build-up has been such fun.  I can’t wait for season three to start Sunday night.

/Film has an interview with The Strain Producers Carlton Cruse & Chuck Hogan Talk about Watching the Apocalypse Happen!

The Tomb by F. Paul Wilson / Z-View

The Tomb by F. Paul Wilson (2011)

Paperback: 432 pages
Publisher: Tor Books; Reprint edition (March 15, 2011)

First sentence…

Repaiman Jack awoke with light in his eyes, white noise in his ears and an ache in his back.

 

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

The Tomb is the first in the Repairman Jack series and an excellent introduction to his world.  Jack lives off the grid and makes his living solving other people’s problems.  Often the solutions aren’t legal but Jack is no hitman. Still, once Jack’s girlfriend Gia discovered the nature of his work, she distanced herself and small daughter from Jack.

When Jack is offered a job to find a stolen necklace that is a matter of life and death, he takes on the task despite long odds.  Jack recovers and returns the necklace to learn, only too late, that it holds an ancient power over monster-like creatures that are now being guided to kill his ex-girlfriend, her daughter and Jack.

F. Paul Wilson has created a believable world by seamlessly meshing the detective and horror novel through the creation of Repairman Jack.  I loved The Tomb and look forward to reading all of the Repairman Jack novels.

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The Making of The Lords of Flatbush by Stephen Verona (2008) / Z-View

The Making of The Lords of Flatbush by Stephen Verona (2008)

Paperback: 155 pages
Publisher: Creative Book Publishing International; First Edition ~1st Printing edition (June 15, 2008)

First sentence…

When I was single and dating I would regale girls with these stories of my childhood and the guys I hung with.

 

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

Stephen Verona, the writer and director of Lords of Flatbush, takes us on the amazing trip to get Lords of Flatbush, one of the first truly independent films made.  Along the way, we’ll learn how Verona got started (becoming friends with John Lennon and working with Lennon to animate the Beatles song I Feel Fine) and the long process to get Lords of Flatbush made.

Verona worked with many big names [Lee Strasberg, Janet Leigh, The Beatles, Chicago, Barbara Steisand, etc.] prior to writing and directing Lords of Flatbush and those stories are fun but the heart of the book is of course getting LoF made.  Verona provides many anecdotes and behind the scenes photos and trivia.  (Did you know that Richard Gere was originally to play Perry King’s role? Stallone and Gere had a falling out and one had to go!]

Verona writes in a conversation style that’s easy to read.  Fans of LoF will love the behind-the-scenes peek and prospective film makers will learn from the mistakes Verona as a first time film-maker made.

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11 Nightmarish Facts About “Nosferatu”

Mark Mancini and Mental_Floss present 11 Nightmarish Facts About Nosferatu. Here are three of my favorites…

4. THE VAMPIRE WAS PLAYED BY A MAN WITH AN APPROPRIATELY SPOOKY NAME.
Little is known about Max Schreck’s life and film career, a fact to which his biographer, Stefan Eickhoff, can attest. According to Eickhoff, the actor’s colleagues regarded him as a “loyal, conscientious loner with an offbeat sense of humor and a talent for playing the grotesque.” The star of over 40 motion pictures, Schreck is best remembered for his haunting portrayal of Orlok in Nosferatu.

Fittingly enough, the man’s last name is the German word for “terror.” Schreck’s performance was so effective that some viewers wondered if the mysterious thespian was an actual vampire in real life. Film critic Ado Kyrou popularized this idea in 1953 when he wrongly claimed that the name of the actor who played Murnau’s monster had never been revealed. “Who hides behind the character of Nosferatu?” Kyrou wrote. “Maybe Nosferatu himself?” That suggestion was subsequently used as the premise of Shadow of the Vampire (2000), which features John Malkovich as Murnau and Willem Dafoe as a bloodsucking, coffin-loving Max Schreck.

7. NOSFERATU ESTABLISHED A TIME-HONORED VAMPIRE TROPE. 
The idea that vampires burn up when exposed to direct sunlight is traceable to this movie. In Dracula, the villain casually walks around outside in broad daylight. According to the novel, solar rays can slightly weaken a vampire, but Stoker never implies that they could kill one. Yet for the sake of a more visually compelling climax, Grau and screenwriter Henrik Galeen decided to make the sun’s light utterly fatal to poor Count Orlok, who disappears in a puff of smoke when he’s lured into a well-lit room. Thus, a resilient horror cliché was born.

9. STOKER’S WIFE SUED THE STUDIO.
If she’d gotten her way, this movie would have joined Dracula’s Death in the dustbin of film history. Shortly after Nosferatu premiered in Berlin, Florence Stoker—Bram’s widow—received an anonymous package containing one of its promotional posters. Displayed upon this placard was the inflammatory line “Freely adapted from Bram Stoker’s Dracula.”

An outraged Mrs. Stoker immediately took legal action. Upon receiving the poster, she joined the British Incorporated Society of Authors, which hired a German lawyer to go after Prana-Film. At first, the plan was to sue Grau’s company for copyright infringement. However, a string of terrible business decisions—not the least of which was Nosferatu’s recklessly expensive marketing campaign—had already bankrupted the studio.

When it became clear that Stoker would never make a dime off of Nosferatu, she did everything in her power to have all copies of the film destroyed. In 1925, a German court sided with her and ordered that every copy within that nation be burned. And yet, just like Count Dracula, Nosferatu proved very difficult to kill. Over the next few years, surviving copies made their way to the U.S. and UK. Thus, the undead picture haunted Florence Stoker until the end of her days. Before she died in 1937, a handful of screenings took place—usually in the United States. Stoker relentlessly tracked down wayward copies of the movie and incinerated those that she got her hands on. But despite her best efforts, Nosferatu lived on in the form of pirated bootlegs.

Diablerie by Walter Mosley (2007) / Z-View

Diablerie by Walter Mosley (2008)

Hardcover: 192 pages
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA

First sentence…

The apartment reeked from the acrid odor of roaches – a whole colony, tens of thousands of them, seething and unseen in the walls and under the dull, splintery floorboards of the vacant apartment.

 

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

Ben Dibbuk is a middle aged computer programmer with a successful wife and a daughter headed to college.  Life should be great… but it’s not.  His wife has become distant and may have a lover which would only be fair since Ben has a young mistress.  Ben knows that he’s at a crossroads and needs to sort things out.

That becomes more complicated when a woman from his past approaches him with the knowledge that years ago he killed a man in a drunken stupor.  Ben is a recovering alcoholic and remembers much of what the woman tells him but not the murder.  Did he kill a man?  Why is the woman approaching him now?  And why is his wife having him investigated?

Craig says: While Mosley is probably incapable of writing a bad book, Diablerie isn’t in the same league as his Easy Rawlins novels.  I enjoyed the story but didn’t hate to see it end.  Be aware that this is one of Mosley’s “erotic” novels.

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