Richard Matheson RIP (1926 – 2013)
Memo to Death – can’t you like, take a fucking week or something you cretin? Every week we seem to hear of another mournful passing, and alongside Harryhausen we’ve just lost our second titan of speculative imagination in 2013, and that’s without counting the fantastic Iain M. Banks on the purely SF literature level – this is a film blog so I prefer to keep these sections partitioned after all. I have enormously fond memories of my brother anxiously ordering a copy of I Am Legend through our local library as for some reason it was quite a rare, out of print book in the UK back in the midst of the late 20th century, so when I finally staked my prey and read the damn thing is was quite an experience. As a SF & horror acolyte since adolescence I knew whom Matheson was of course from his numerous credits on The Twilight Zone, his involvement with X Files precursor Kolchak The Night Stalker and numerous movie credits, his passing has a curious timing given that one of his abominable creations has morphed into a particularly virulent cultural meme which is currently infesting big screens around the globe – such a shame that the movie isn’t even remotely qualified to shine in his shadow. So, like Matheson’s writing I’ll keep this obituary succinct and polished, with a warm vein of humanism running underneath the placement of his protagonists in fantastical themed jeopardy – here is an absolute classic which always crosses the mind when I take to the skies;
Yeah, we also love the 1985 George ‘Mad Max’ Miller remake with the bug-eyed John Lithgow as well. Not a bad footnote to your career to having one of Spielberg’s first ever efforts culled from your source material;
Now I haven’t seen this in many years, but I’ll always remember this crazy, existential ending – so yeah spoilers for a 50+ year movie – a film which has quite amusingly been read as a response to the emasculation of expanding feminism of the 1960’s – interesting point;
If that hasn’t blown your puny mind then how about this news, apparently it was Richard’s brother Chris Matheson who wrote Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure – awesome. But let’s close with two all time SF and horror classics, first of all the ultimate Communist metaphor;
One modest interview and finally a Menagerie favourite which I’ve covered numerous times before, easily the best version og his immortal tale of a man alone among the monsters, until he realises that maybe they aren’t the monsters…..