Your Humble Correspondent is officially running on fumes after two consecutive nights with the barest minimum of sleep, which even together probably did not add up to a single decent night’s repose. One was an inaugural 2011 gathering with the Musketeers in Ozone Park, and the other a grueling road trip on which I rode shotgun with a typically selfless Madame BOF, transporting our daughter and her boyfriend from Syracuse—into which they had flown after saying adieu to his late father in Oregon—back to Ithaca. That said, however, I am trying to muster up enough energy to share with you a number of tidbits, all in some way or other Richard Matheson-related.
First of all, I see from Internet traffic that Video Watchdog top dog Tim Lucas was kind enough to recommend Richard Matheson on Screen for a 2011 Rondo Award nomination, and since his book on Mario Bava is the standard to which all may aspire, that means a lot, coming from him. Faithful BOF readers might remember that The Twilight and Other Zones: The Dark Worlds of Richard Matheson (a revised and updated version of The Richard Matheson Companion, which I edited with Stanley Wiater and Paul Stuve) received a 2010 Rondo Honorable Mention as one of the best books of ’09. I will of course keep you posted on this year’s nominations and balloting.
Second, in no particular order, John W. Morehead has posted a very gracious interview regarding my book on his thought-provoking website, TheoFantastique, and as a public service I’ll identify the folks shown with Richard. The first photo depicts him flanked by Ray Bradbury and the late Robert Bloch; the second shows him with Roger Corman. An early and enthusiastic supporter, John plugged the book as far back as October, and it says a lot that this is his third consecutive Matheson-related post; the previous two covered Joseph Laycock’s article on The Omega Man and “the sociophobics of cults,” and tomorrow’s SF episode of Pioneers of Television on PBS.
Next, Joe Kane (aka The Phantom of the Movies)—whose fine book on Night of the Living Dead was favorably reviewed here—has more than returned the compliment with his RMOS review in the new issue of my sometime outlet, VideoScope. I’ll probably include it in its entirety on the new Reviews page I’m going to be working on shortly, but for now, try this excerpt on for size: “Matheson maven…Bradley lends his entertaining style and vast expertise to this addictive exploration of the prolific author’s extensive cinematic oeuvre….[This book] arrives as the definitive word on one of the genre screen’s most influential, enduring and inventive scribes.”
Next, the scholar in me is always delighted to see the book being used as an actual resource, even in a venue as admittedly problematic as Wikipedia, where the following now appears on the page devoted to Matheson’s 1971 TV-movie Duel in the “References in other works” section: “Stock footage from Duel appears throughout The Incredible Hulk (1978-1982) first-season episode ‘Never Give a Trucker an Even Break’…Director [Steven] Spielberg was reportedly ‘not too happy about it,’ according to Duel author Richard Matheson, quoted in Richard Matheson on Screen: A History of the Filmed Works by Matthew [R.] Bradley (McFarland; 2010, page 70).”
Finally, Susannah York—an Oscar nominee as Best Supporting Actress for They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? (1969)—died on Friday at 72. While probably best recalled for Tom Jones (1963) and as the title character’s mother, Lara, in Superman (1978), she starred in an old BOF favorite, Gold (1974), which teamed up then-007 Roger Moore with ex-Bond director Peter Hunt and editor John Glen, as well as Elmer Bernstein, whose catchy main-title theme I remember very well. La York was to have starred with Jack Palance and Paul Dooley in Matheson’s abortive Broadway mystery-suspense play Magician’s Choice, which he later turned into a novel, Now You See It….