X The Unknown. Book ReviewComments Off
Hammer Books, p/b £6.99
Reviewed by David Brzeski
Like many of us, I’m a bit of a purist regarding adaptations of classic works, so the fact that Shaun Hutson chose to bring this adaptation forward to the present day and relocate it a long way south of the events of the original 1956 film filled me with no little trepidation.
Having said that, I hadn’t seen the movie for a very long time—probably sometime back in the late 60s—so I decided to watch it again first, so I could more easily see what changes had been made.
I’m pleased to report that the alterations actually work very well and, in hindsight, the book hangs together rather better than the original.
Freed from the constraints of the film board censorship, Hutson is able to be more realistic with the dialogue of the soldiers. He neatly adds material and characters which give more weight to the events of the film, without sacrificing anything. There are only two major changes, other than period and location. The first is in making the lead character somewhat younger than in the original, which I found perfectly logical. The second is right at the end, where he has Royston realise that his original plan for destroying the entity was simply not going to work and comes up with a better and more believable one.
I’d always thought the “monster” to be vaguely Lovecraftian in concept, and it’s evident that Hutson agreed, as he ends the book on a quote from the master himself.
To some extent, I regretted my decision to view the original movie version first, as it rather took all the suspense out of reading what turned out to be a very enjoyable SF/horror novel.
Horror For Good charitable anthology due soonComments Off
The Horror For Good charitable anthology, edited by Mark C. Scioneaux, R.J. Cavender and Robert S. Wilson, will be published by Cutting Block Press on 30 March 2012.
Appearing in the book will be stories by Jack Ketchum, F. Paul Wilson, Ramsey Campbell, Ray Garton, Lisa Morton, Jeff Strand, Shaun Hutson, Joe R. Lansdale, Laird Barron, Gary McMahon, Stephen Bacon, and many more.
This is a charitable anthology. All revenues, less direct costs for production, marketing and distribution (net profits of each purchase, estimated to be at least 10% to 15%) will be donated to amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research.
Hammer Horror resurgentComments Off
Hammer Books have announced further publications for 2012. After initially publishing several novelisations of their classic films by authors such as Shaun Hutson, Peter Curtis, Francis Cottam and Guy Adams, they then obtained the rights to reprint three classic Graham Masterton novels.
They are now branching out further, with books including: Jeanette Winterson’s original novel based on the true story of the Pendle Witches trial of 1612 which will be published in February; a new novelisation of Hammer’s cult classic Vampire Circus by Mark Morris due in March; Tim Lebbon‘s new novel Coldbrook also due in March; and Helen Dunmore’s original ghost story The Greatcoat, about “the power of the past to imprint itself on the present, until the present is possessed by the past”, to be published in April. Further books will be announced soon.
Full details HERE
At the same time many of their films are set to be restored for release onto Blu-Ray. More than 30 films are involved, with several to include new or extended scenes that were cut from the original. One of these is Terence Fisher‘s Dracula, which will incorporate a recently-discovered extended death scene considered too gruesome for cinema release in 1958. Other titles involved include Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter, The Mummy, and Frankenstein Created Woman.
See the full BBC story HERE