Friday, May 07, 2010

The Poker Club on TV; Call Him Demon

Johnathan Schaech was nice enough to write and say that NBC has picked up the movie version of my novel The Poker Club. Johnathan of course starred in, co-wrote and produced the film and did a great job on all accounts.

Johnathan isn't sure which NBC channel it'll be on. We're both pretty sure it won't be on the Saturday morning cartoon fest.

--------------CALL HIM DEMON

I ran cross the piece John D. MacDonald wrote about pulp writer Norbert Davis and how JDM tried to duplicate the opening of a Davis story. He admitted he could never match it.

I was asked to select a horror story for an anthology so I went with Call Him Demon by Henry Kuttner, one of the finest story tellers, to me, who ever came out of science fiction and fantasy. Call Him Demon is a terrifying story, especially when you consider it deals with an incident that changes the lives the four children forever. What I love about it is how gently Kuttner gets into it, capturing an experience many of us have when we revisit places of our youth. The opening of Call Him Demon:

A long time ago she went back to Los Angeles amd drove past Grandmother Keaton's house. It hadn't changed a great deal, really, but what had seemed an elegant mansion to her childish, 1920 eyes was now a big ramshackle frame structure, gray with scaling paint.

After twenty-five years the--insecurity--wasn't there any more, but there still persisted a dull, irrational, remembered uneasiness, an echo of the time Jane Larkin spent in the house when she was nine, a thin, big-eyed girl with the Buster Brown Bangs so fashionable then.

Looking back, she could remember too much and too little.

Ed here: You may not agree but for me but Kuttner's melancholy tone and the smoothness of the of the writing is the perfect way to introduce horror, a lesson not lost on Ira Levin for one. And boy do I wish I'd written it..


Todd Mason said...

You know, I don't thing anyone has done a definitive collection of Kuttner horror fiction...or even one that focuses on that work, though I could well be wrong there...some small-press or MacFadden-Bartell collection issued in 1954 0r 1967 respectively...half of a 1961 Ace double...

Todd Mason said...

Well, Stephen Haffner didn't do a Best of so much as an As Much Of As Possible...Terror in the House:
The Early Kuttner, Volume One

Anonymous said...

Damn, Ed, did I miss the post where you mentioned THE POKER CLUB was out on video? I just put it at the top of my Netflix queue. But I would have preferred watching it the day after it came out.


Stephen Haffner said...

I thought about a Kuttner Horror Best of, but I decided that if I had to slog through all of Kuttner's weird-menace output just to find a gem or two, then I might as well pull them all together with the early Weird Tales stories and let it all flow into two 680-page volumes. Plans call for Volume One, TERROR IN THE HOUSE to launch at World Fantasy with Volume Two to follow in 2012. 2011 should see a similar-sized tome collecting Kuttner's early Space Opera stories. And . . .Dr. Michael Gray, anybody?

Dave Zeltserman said...

congrats, Ed. I'll be looking for it.

Anonymous said...

Poker Club is too good a movie to watch around commercials. Get the DVD from Netflix.
I liked the book way better anyway. Congrats, Ed.
Terry Butler

Elizabeth Foxwell said...

Congrats, Ed. I admire Schaech as an actor.

Todd Mason said...

As noted elsewhere on the blog, on 3 July on the Sleuth channel, at 4pm ET.