For the older audience, this book will take you back on memory lane to the early TV shows and films the master was part of. For the younger people, check this out and discover all the titles Matheson put his imprint on and seek those out with gusto.
The first part focuses on the considerable episodic television (like TWILIGHT ZONE) written by Matheson and based on his work. Then all the films Matheson contributed to are talked about next. What surprised me was reading how difficult it was for Matheson on many of his projects. The personality clashes with producers, disagreements with directors and even being re-written by other writers. You wouldn't think such a giant in the field would ever have such a problem, but he has for his entire career.
It boggles my mind that Hollywood egos get in the way of trusting the source of the story. If someone really wants to make one of Matheson's screenplays or books, then make those movies. Don't change the scripts just because their egos need to be stroked. It is stupid way of thinking and the reason so many of the films turn out the way they do.
My favorite parts of this very informative book were when the shows or movies I had seen are talked about. THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN, THE TWILIGHT ZONE Television series, the Edger Allen Poe films he did like HOUSE OF USHER, PIT AND THE PENDULUM and THE RAVEN. Plus THE LAST MAN ON EARTH, DUEL, THE NIGHT STALKER movie and TV show, THE NIGHT STRANGLER, THE LEGEND OF HELL HOUSE, TRILOGY OF TERROR, THE MARTIAN CHRONICLES, SOMEWHERE IN TIME, TWILIGHT ZONE - THE MOVIE, LOOSE CANNONS, STIR OF ECHOES, I AM LEGEND and even JAWS 3-D.
It was also cool learning how some of the best writers from the 50s & 60s had their own little group that went under a variety of names including the Matheson Mafia, the Green Hand, the California Sorcerers and simply "the Group." Active members included Charles Beaumont, Ray Bradbury, Robert Bloch and William F. Nolan all legends in their own right. They'd get together talk shop and just enjoy each others company.
There are sections devoted to the scripts Matheson wrote that were never made. Plus you can read about his collaborations with his son Richard Christian Matheson and his daughter Ali Matheson.
I definitely admire and respect Richard Matheson. This book makes me want to go back and view films I've already seen and make it a point to see the ones I haven't.
This is an essential read for any fan of science fiction, fantasy & horror writing, movies and television.
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