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Long Live the King!

October 4, 2010

I groaned when I saw this week’s topic. And I had no one to blame but myself since I arranged the schedule. This week we’re blogging about what scary movies influenced our writing. But here’s the rub – I hate horror movies.

They get into my brain. The images sear into my mind’s eye and when I lay down to sleep they spring into full color to haunt me in the long dark hours of the night. Yes, I’m a wimp when it comes to movies with lots of blood and gore. If I can accept it, so can you.

The last truly scary stuff I’ve watched has been adaptations of Stephen King books. I’ll put the disclaimer out there now that most of his work has not translated to the screen well. I blame it on the hollywood people, never the King.

If I dig deep inside myself I can say that perhaps the idea of the hotel could have sprung from The Shining. It may have been subconscious, but really my take is kinda similar. Deserted hotel in the middle of the winter with no hope of escape? Okay, so King doesn’t write sex scenes and vampires, but hey, I can be creative.

I don’t really develop the bad guy in my story well – he is kind of an absent or unknown tormentor for most of the book. Since the murder was always a subplot, I didn’t spend much time on that angle. The whole thing was meant to be an enjoyable ride – not a neat category of Suspense, Mystery, Urban Fantasy, Romance or Erotica — but a mix of them all. Which translates to sub-plots and undercurrents as the reader journeys through the novel.

I can say that the description of my bad guy fits well with famous crazed picture of Nicholson sticking his head through the door. We can all remember the hallway scene with the ax, the bar scenes with the ghosts, or the little kid saying “Redrum” over and over. I haven’t seen it in so long I think I’ll have to watch it again to refresh my memory.

When I combine the things I remember from The Shining with the super crazy person in Misery, I get my villain. Hey and I just realized something – they are both winter settings with no hope of escape. Hmm…  I guess I was more influenced by some classic horror films then I knew. Who woulda thunk it?

Have any classics or newer horror films influenced your work? And how? I’d love to hear.

11 Comments leave one →
  1. October 4, 2010 10:57 am

    My favorite was Silver Bullet another King adaptation about a werewolf. Loved the twist and turns and that the hero was not someone you’d expect: a kid in a wheelchair.

    • October 4, 2010 11:01 am

      Thanks for commenting, Elizabeth. I hadn’t heard of that one and I’m always up for a decent shifter movie – will have to check it out. Thanks!

    • October 4, 2010 8:48 pm

      I FREAKIN’ LUV Silver Bullet! One of my all time favorites.

      Another Steven King one I like – but not as strong, is Salem’s Lot.

      In this movie, the vampire is NOT the romanticized version – but the hideous, German variety of Nasfurito (spelling is off). Awww, man! I would HATE to be bit by one of those guys!

      Another plus for Salem’s Lot? James Mason was in it. I mean, classy guy. I wouldn’t mind getting bit by him. Unfortunately, he was not the vampire, but the creepy vampire keeper.

  2. October 4, 2010 1:45 pm

    Stephen King has always been one of those writers whose work is difficult to convey to the silver screen, sort of like Phillip K. Dick. Probably the best effort was “The Stand.”

    I think VV would translate well to the screen (with C.J. as Viv and her husband as Rafe, of course, since I don’t think New Jersey or Virginia would be safe if he had to stand by and watch someone else making out with his immortal beloved).

    But, you have some good thoughts on Stephen. Maybe rereading his work can get you into creating some juicy villains for future VV novels.

    • October 4, 2010 2:27 pm

      LMAO! Ah… you so don’t know Pete. Not a jealous bone in his body. His attitude is so laid back, kind of like: “Either you’re with me or you’re not.”

      Me? I’d smack the bitch that tried to flirt too aggressively with him. Why? Because I know there are women who set out to steal someone’s man — especially if he’s a good guy and not interested in straying. Met lots of the type in college and I was always shocked at their behavior.

      As far as me as Viv? I wish. 😉 Aside from the fact I have no aspirations to act, we’d have to turn the clock and the scales back for it to happen!

      But thanks for the thought, Greg. *smooches*

    • October 4, 2010 8:50 pm

      CJ – I totally agree with Greg on this one. Re-reading King (or even his thoughts on writing) always help me…

  3. October 4, 2010 9:12 pm

    Hey CJ –

    YOU don’t LIKE horror movies? (*gasp!)

    Just teasing ya.

    I know they’re not everyone’s favorite flavor of ice cream, but it always seems kinda strange to me to actually know someone who says they don’t like them…

    … probably because, like a pipe full of great tobacco, I really enjoy a good horror flick. (I also enjoy the grade B movie cheesy/bad horror flicks from the 50’s and 60’s – and that’s most likely why I am the way I am today…)

    I find the classic works of thriller/horror films to be of great inspiration to my writing and hence, creating great, sympathetic villans.

    In my book, psychological thrillers are tops (*kisses to Hitchcock) however, there is nothing like a good vampire or werewolf movie (sans the sparkles) to get my imagination pumping.

    As for the horror movies of today?

    I don’t care much for them. It seems movie producers have sold out to the philosophy that movie goers want more senseless violence (like we don’t get bombarded enough on the evening news).

    Instead of taking the time to create some thought-out plots coupled with sympathetic villains and film a great movie based on story, they aim for the sensationalism of blood, guts, more blood, pain, torture and ‘let’s see how grotesque we can do the special effects and hell with the story…”

    (do I sound bitter?)

    Yeah, I guess I am. It just bugs the be-jeezus out of me, when creative artist of any media cheapen their talents and go for sensationalism, verses a well done project. And the horror movies I see coming out of Hollyweird today are just plain stupid.

    I’d take Plan 9 from Outerspace any day over the latest SAW movie…

    (*note – for those who don’t know it, Plan 9 from Outerspace was an Ed Wood movie, usually ranked as the WORSE horror movie EVER made…)

    • October 4, 2010 9:25 pm

      Yes, George! exactly – I hate the gory, violence for the sake of violence ones Hollywood is putting out today. But the ones that scare the beejesus out of you and don’t show some mad man cutting people up? I’m all for those!

  4. October 5, 2010 7:39 am

    CJ, Loved the shining too. And that hotel in winter is indeed spooky. “Here’s Johnny”. Still can’t watch it all the way through.

    Guess my budding future romance gene was developing, but I loved Frank Langella in Dracula. Bite me? Heck yes! Saw the Bram Stoker’s Dracula in a big screen and two people passed out in the theater. Talk about blood… Character has always been important to hold my interest, so these movies worked well because they had some. The guy was damned, but also complicated, trying to do the right thing: falling for the girl he can never have. Fantom of the Opera, oh my! Did anyone else root for him over the hero? The Fly with Jeff Goldbloom-I remembered the movie and forgot who the actor was, until recently saw it again. Cared about the character as he transformed.

    Area 51 puts a different spin on horror: refreshing. Comedy and horror works. It still scared me, but my favorite as a kid was Abbott and Costello Meets Frankenstein, Wolfman and Dracula. Before we had DVDs or VHS, I’d stay up and watch Creature Feature until discovered and sent back to bed.

    Now we really have horror mixed with sex. Blood with sex. Sex with sex. Anything with sex. The movies haven’t quite caught up to what’s being written. Well, maybe VV will be one of them. These sexy dark wicked potential heroes are yummy.

    Horror fiction is WAY better than movies. Cheaper, lasts longer, more stimulating. Good going, guys. Keep it up.

  5. October 6, 2010 5:59 pm

    Hi, CJ. I’m kind of with you in one sense – I’m not a horror movie fan either. Not sure why, they just never really did much for me. Maybe it was all the black and white I saw.

    But… YOU don’t like horror movies and your a vampire writer? I love the irony! 🙂

    • October 6, 2010 6:28 pm

      I like horror fiction, but not blood and gore seared into my mind’s eye in a movie. Eh, it is what it is. 😉

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