Random Friday the 13th thoughts/notes

Yeah, I know. But we only get three of these this year. Another in April and July and who cares about Friday the 13th in July unless you’re camping.

Random thoughts/notes: You’d be one of the few, but if you’re not watching Masterpiece Theatre’s Downton Abbey, do. Julian Fellowes is crafting some truly special dialogue (and when did Thomas become such a likeable character? I’m going to miss booing him from the sidelines).

On fiction and why it’s good for you: Friend and bestselling thriller writer Boyd Morrison tweeted some interesting stuff on the benefits of reading fiction yesterday, from the Harvard Business Review: The Business Case for Reading Novels by Anne Kreamer.

And a plug: For my mentor from my USC days, SL Stebel (Rad Bradbury calls him “the best writing teacher that ever was“). His thriller The Collaborator is available on Amazon’s new audiobook website audible.com, narrated by Michael Bell. Get a copy here.

And lastly, some true Friday the 13th material: A new poster for the 20th Century Fox/Tim Burton produced film, Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter. How long before someone spins off Downton Abbey full of zombies instead of wounded soldiers?

Ron Howard to direct H.P. Lovecraft film?

I guess directing Dan Brown’s Angels and Demons‘s did something to the redhead. Now, Variety is reporting that Ron Howard is eying the directing duties for the as-yet unreleased H.P. Lovecraft comic The Strange Adventures of H.P. Lovecraft. Universal and Howard’s Imagine Entertainment have reportedly picked up the film rights to the mag, due in stores April 8th (Image Comics). This from Mania.com:

Mac Carter and Jeff Blitz created the comic, which integrates biographical elements of author H.P. Lovecraft’s life with elements of his horror novels, setting up Lovecraft to battle the very demons he wrote about, which are released from a cursed book. Carter, known for directing commercials, is set to write the script. Both he and Blitz will be executive producers. Howard and his Imagine partner Brian Grazer are producing. David Bernardi and Chris Wade are co-producing.

As you’ll read in any copy-and-pasted run through of this story, Lovecraft died in 1937 and is considered one of the most influential horror writers of the 20th century. Still, with all props to Howard it’s difficult to imagine Lovecraft getting the right treatment from the director. If the project goes through, here’s to hoping they get Lovecraft right.

That said, go read the novella The Case of Charles Dexter Ward. Here’s a link to a downloadable version.


You just have to love that headline from the Thursday edition of the Evening Bulletin, eh? Lol. Go read the book, you’ll understand what I mean. Yes, Lovecraft was the man of making things go bump in the night. Now is that the sounds of rats coming from my walls?

A peek at Raimi’s new horror film, ‘Drag Me to Hell’

Director Sam Raimi has been churning out great horror flicks since 1981’s Evil Dead (Did you know Raimi is buds with Ethan and Joel Coen, as well as Bruce Campbell?). After his success with Spider Man, Raimi is returning to his horror roots with the flick, Drag Me to Hell. Here’s the trailer:

Give the curse away? Kinda of like Stephen King’s (a.k.a Richard Bachman) Thinner, hmmm? Here’s a synopsis, from IGN.com.

Director Sam Raimi (Spider-Man trilogy, Evil Dead series) returns to the horror genre with Drag Me To Hell, an original tale of a young woman’s desperate quest to break an evil curse. Christine Brown (Alison Lohman) is an ambitious L.A. loan officer with a charming boyfriend, professor Clay Dalton (Justin Long). Life is good until the mysterious Mrs. Ganush (Lorna Raver) arrives at the bank to beg for an extension on her home loan. Should Christine follow her instincts and give the old woman a break? Or should she deny the extension to impress her boss, Mr. Jacks (David Paymer), and get a leg-up on a promotion? Christine fatefully chooses the latter, shaming Mrs. Ganush and dispossessing her of her home. In retaliation, the old woman places the powerful curse of the Lamia on Christine, transforming her life into a living hell. Haunted by an evil spirit and misunderstood by a skeptical boyfriend, she seeks the aid of seer Rham Jas (Dileep Rao) to save her soul from eternal damnation. To help the shattered Christine return her life to normal, the psychic sets her on a frantic course to reverse the spell. As evil forces close in, Christine must face the unthinkable: how far will she go to break free of the curse?

Oh well, at one point in the trailer the Gypsy woman looks an awful lot like the bloated hag in Evil Dead 2. If you want more, here’s one review. Drag Me to Hell opens in theaters on May 29. Ropeofsilicon.com has photos here.

Sci-fi, Fantasy, Horror film award nominees announced

The Dark Knight movie continues it’s great run. The Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films has announced the nominations for their 35th Annual Saturn Awards and the Dark Knight was the front runner with 11 nominations.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button had nine total nods, Iron Man had eight, Valkyrie seven and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull as well as Changeling each had six nominations.

Up for Best Horror Film? The Happening, Hellboy II: The Golden Army, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, Quarantine, Splinter and The Strangers. I don’t know about you, but it’s hard to imagine The Happening or The Mummy getting the nod (I must go rent Quarantine this weekend…).

Mind you, The Day The Earth Stood Still is up for Best Sci Fi flick.

The awards show will take place on June 25, at a site to be announced. You can read more about the awards and the Academy here.

30 Days of Night: Dust to Dust, Episode 1

With so much media out there, you come across things in odd ways these days. I actually came across these Fear.net webisodes (they continue the wonderfully spooky 30 Days of Night‘s franchise), from Hulu.com while I was looking for Pink Panther cartoons for my kid. I’ll post the first episode below. It’s rated TVMA:

You can watch all six episodes on Hulu, or Fear.net. Here’s the link to Sony Pictures’s 30 Days of Night flick. One of my all-time favorite vampire movies.