While I am not a huge podcast consumer, one podcast I am a regular listener of is The Projection Booth, helmed by a man who has forgotten more about film than many of us will ever know, Detroit-based Mike White.
So, it was a huge honour to be asked to be a guest, along with Aaron Peterson, on their latest episode, which looks at the 1987 dystopian science fiction film, The Running Man. Set in the distant year of 2017, The Running Man, takes place in an authoritarian future America where the highest rating television show pits criminals against muscle-bound, spandex-clad “stalkers”. The film is based very loosely on the novel of the same name by Richard Bachman aka Stephen King, the film has a great cast, including Arnold Schwarzenegger, Richard Dawson, Yaphet Koto. Jim Brown, Jesse Ventura and Mara Conchita Alonso.
The Running Man is a film that aged surprisingly well. As part of the episode, Mike talks to the movie’s screen writer Steven E. de Souza and producer George Linder. We also jaw about the its odd production history, and other ‘people hunting people films’ including the 1970 German production, Das Millionenspiel, and Elio Petri’s wonderful 1965 effort, The 10th Victim.
You can listen to the entire episode at The Projection Booth site here.… Read more
Posted in Dystopian cinema, Science fiction and fantasy
Tagged 1980s SF film, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Das Millionenspiel (1970), Hunting humans films, Mike White, Richard Bachman AKA Stephen King, Richard Dawson, Robert Sheckley, The Projection Booth podcast, The Running Man (1987), The Tenth Victim (1965)
Point Blank premiered in San Francisco on August 30 1967. Critically overlooked at the time, its launched John Boorman’s Hollywood directorial career, became a cult hit and has had an enduring influence on crime cinema. It is a film I have watched on numerous occasions and each time it yields new insights. The 50th anniversary is an opportune time for a few thoughts about its importance.
Point Blank was loosely based the 1962 novel, The Hunter, the first in the series of books by the late Donald Westlake, writing as Richard Stark, about the master thief, Parker. It opens with Walker, as the Parker character is called, played by Lee Marvin, double-crossed and left for dead by his friend, Mal (John Vernon), and wife, Lynne (Sharon Acker), with whom Mal was having an affair, after the three of them have heisted a regular money drop on the prison island of Alcatraz by a powerful criminal network, the Organisation. Walker, somehow, survives his wounds and manages to get off the island. He reappears and proceeds to tear Organisation apart to find Mal and get his share from the heist, the amount of $94,000. He is assisted by a mysterious man, Yorst (Keenan Wynn), who at first comes across as a cop, but is eventually revealed as a senior member of the Organisation, who sees in Walker a means to eliminate his internal competitors.… Read more
Posted in 60s American crime films, Angie Dickinson, Crime film, Don Siegel, Donald Westlake aka Richard Stark, Film Noir, Heist films, Lee Marvin, Neo Noir
Tagged Angie Dickinson, Arthur Penn, Blast of Silence (1961), Bonnie and Clyde (1967), Carol O’Connor, Don Siegel, Donald Westlake aka Richard Stark, Dwayne Epstein, Film noir, John Boorman, John Vernon, Keenan Wynn, Lee Marvin, Lee Marvin: Point Blank, Mickey One (1965), Point Blank (1967), Sharon Acker, The Hunter, The Killers (19640, Touch of Evil (1958), Underworld USA (1961)
I know I have been hitting up Pulp Curry readers a bit lately in relation to a number of upcoming publications I am involved in. The writers among you may be familiar with this, but I find myself in a strange situation beyond my control, of a lot of books I have been involved in over the last year or two all hitting the market at around the same time.
In this vein, I wanted to briefly mention another upcoming book I am involved in, from the amazing Canadian micro publisher, Spectacular Optical, Yuletide Terror: Christmas Horror on Film and Television. A comprehensive new collection of essays & reviews on Christmas themed horror cinema by a number of very writers, edited byKier-La Janisse and Paul Corupe, it promises to be a must have for everyone’s Christmas sack. In addition to work on some of the more well known Christmas themed horror film and television, there are also essays on lessor known gems, including mine, ‘Surviving the Yuletide Season: Alcohol, Physical Affliction and Murder Down Under in The Evil Touch.’
The project is looking for indiegogo support at the link here, so if this is the kind of cool popular culture product that burns your candle, please consider giving it some financial love.… Read more
I loved Grady Hendrix’s soon to be released book, Paperbacks From Hell: The Twisted History of ‘70s and ‘80s Horror Fiction. From the opening, his discussion of John Christopher’s totally bizarre 1966 novel, The Little People, about an assortment of unsavoury individuals who spend a weekend in an Irish castle which is also inhabited by evil Nazi leprechauns (‘the Gestapochauns’) to the last few pages, the dying days of American mass market paperback horror, it is a wild, exhilarating ride.
But as well as being a lot of fun, Paperbacks From Hell is also an important work of pulp fiction and pop culture history.
The book comprises a series of thematic chapters, grouped from the most part around one or two foundation texts. Thus the chapter on satanic pulp and mass market paperbacks opens with a look at the cultural importance of Ira Levin’s Rosemary’s Baby and Peter Blatty’s The Exorcist. The Omen (1976) is the starting point for a look at the large sub-genre of books about women being impregnated by all manner of hell spawn and murderous offspring. Peter Benchley’s paperback sensation, Jaws, is the precursor to a discussion about the wave of pulp and mass market paperback books featuring murderous creatures and animals turned homicidal: rats, dogs, cuts, pigs, insects, even rabbits.… Read more
Posted in Blaxsploitation, Book cover design, Book Reviews, Horror, New English Library, Pulp fiction in the 70s and 80s, Pulp paperback cover art
Tagged Cleo Virginia Andrews, Elizabeth Engstrom, Grady Hendrix, Herman Raucher, horror pulp, Joe Nazel, mass market horror novels of the 1970s & 1980s, Paperbacks From Hell: The Twisted History of ‘70s and ‘80s Horror Fiction, Peter Benchley, Peter Blatty, Robert Marasco, The Satan Sleuth
Today I’m thrilled to host a guest post by my friend, Tony Knighton, Philadelphia’s only fire fighting crime writer and, I mean, he really is a fire fighter. Tony has a new book out, Three Hours Past Midnight, via Crime Wave Press, also the publishers of my first novel, Ghost Money. Three Hours Past Midnight is Tony’s second book. His first, was a terrific collection of short stories titled Happy Hour and Other Philadelphia. Three Hours Past Midnight is the story of a professional thief who teams with an old partner eager for one last score – a safe in the home of a wealthy Philadelphia politician. But they are not the only ones set on the cash. It’s on my Kindle. Read Tony’s guest post and then pick up a copy of Three Hours Past Midnight for yourself.
Take it away, Tony.
Andrew has graciously invited me to post an essay about my latest work Three Hours Past Midnight from Crime Wave Press. A novel, it is set in my hometown, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and features the un-named protagonist from an earlier story of mine, ‘Mister Wonderful’.
While speaking about the Richard Stark books and Stark’s master thief Parker, crime fiction writer Eryk Pruitt said, ‘The least interesting character in the Parker books is Parker’.… Read more