Archive for Books

Salem’s Lot: The Ultimate In Terror

When I saw this poster for Salem’s Lot  it brought back a lot of memories.  Released as a 3 hour television mini-series in 1979, Salem’s Lot  was one of the last tv events that you had to be in front of the set when it aired if you wanted to see it.  Remember, this was in the pre-VCR (anyone remember those) days.

I was excited about the mini-series since I’d read and enjoyed Stephen King’s novel Salem’s Lot.  The mini-series was well done and lived up to expectations.  I still can see that kid vampire floating outside a second story window asking to be let in… CREEPY!

Source: Dr. Horror Geek.


Every Stephen King Movie & TV Show in Development

Stephen King.

King is one of the world’s most successful writers… not only at getting his books published and into the hands of his millions of fans, but also at getting his novels adapted into movies and television events.

Den of Geek recently posted a list of Every Stephen King Movie and TV Show in Development.

There’s a lot of potentially fun/good stuff on the list.  Here are my top five (in no particular order:


The premise of this show is as Stephen King as it gets: a guy must go back in time and stop the Kennedy assassination. Anyone who’s familiar with The Dark Tower series andThe Dead Zone will recognize a recurring theme: altering the past before it affects the future.

In 11/22/63, a guy named Jake steps through a pantry that magically transports him back to 1958 — plenty of time to stop Lee Harvey Oswald from killing the President. As expected, Jake discovers on his journey that some things are better left in the past.

J.J. Abram’s Bad Robot production company has acquired the rights to adapt this novel into a TV show. Jonathan Demme (The Silence of the Lambs) was working on the script, but he dropped out over disagreements on the direction the show should take. Bummer.


This is King’s big zombie story. He’s written a couple of other short stories, including the great “Home Delivery” from Nightmares & Dreamscapes, but this is the one he will be remembered for. The zombies in Cell aren’t your typical brain-eating monsters. Instead, it’s a strange cell phone signal from an unknown source that turns most of humanity into a zombie hive mind, whose goal is to turn the remaining humans into zombies. Sure, it’s all chaos at first, but the monsters begin to organize in a weird way, kind of like in George A. Romero’s Land of the Dead.

Eli Roth (Hostel) talked about adapting this novel into a feature film a few years back, but that didn’t happen. Instead, it’s currently in production eyeing a 2015 release. It stars John Cusack, Samuel L. Jackson, Isabelle Fuhrman, and Owen Teague. The film will be directed by Todd “Kip” Williams (Paranormal Activity 2), with King and Adam Alleca (Last House on the Left remake) writing the screenplay.

The Dark Tower

If there was a Stephen King cinematic universe, The Dark Tower would undoubtedly be its Avengers. The series of books ties most of King’s book together in a very large web of monsters, magic, and alternate timelines. Inspired by The Lord of the Rings trilogy and spaghetti westerns, King created the anthem of all geekdom. The books are full of magic, gunslingers, sorcerors, battles on horseback, time-travel portals, evil A.I., vampires, demons, werewolves, and giant parasite-infested robotic bears. Why haven’t they made a movie already?

Ron Howard (A Beautiful Mind) has been trying to make this movie for years. At one point, he even tapped Javier Bardem for the lead role of Roland Deschain, the last gunslinger, who must travel to the eponymous Dark Tower in order to stop the Crimson King from tearing fabric of reality apart.

Now it looks like Russell Crowe (A Beautiful Mind) might play the role of Roland along with Idris Elba (Pacific Rim) in an unspecified role. Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad) has also met with Howard about a part. Writer Akiva Goldsman and producer Brian Grazen, both ofA Beautiful Mind fame, are also attached to move this adaptation along.

The big problem is getting a studio to finance such an ambitious project. The idea includes film and TV series that would tell the entire story in the most faithful way possible. Universal almost bought into it at one point and HBO had the television rights. Now it’s rumored that Media Rights Capital will produce the film. Who knows anymore.


The Shop

Remember when I mentioned that whole business about how cool it would be to start movie franchise revolving around The Shop? Well, they’re getting their own TV series thanks to TNT. What is in it’s most basic form a sequel to Firestarter, will undoubtedly branch out to tell other Shop stories involving new characters with supernatural powers.

Charlie McGee will be back, once again running from an even more powerful Shop. Luckily, she’ll have a guy named Henry Talbot, a former Shop employee, to guide her through her life as a fugitive.

The project is written by Robbie Thompson (Supernatural) and produced by James Middleton (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles), Jaime Paglia (Eureka) and Thompson.

The Stand

A superflu called “Captain Trips” wipes out most of the world’s population in King’s mangum opus. It’s all about surviving the apocalypse for the main characters in this monstrous novel. But it’s not just a pandemic the survivors have to worry about. There’s real evil out there. Enter Randall Flagg, the most notorious villain in the King universe. The evil wizard hippie dude has shown up in many of King’s books and stories to f*** things up for the main characters. But The Stand is the best of those books, a true examination of good and evil.

Josh Boone is directing and writing this one, too. Nat Wolff (The Fault in Our Stars), who has already worked with Boone, is rumored to be in the cast. The film would be a 3-hour movie adaptation — plenty of room, but it probably won’t be as expansive as the 1994 TV series.

Rare Steranko Paperback Book Covers!

It’s the Fourth of July!  What better way to celebrate than to check out some rare (and I mean rare) Steranko paperback book covers.


Source: The Golden Age.


“A Walk Among the Tombstones” Live

The Walk Among the Tombstones website has gone live.

There you can find a trailer, photos and more for the film based on Lawrence Block’s best selling novel.


Darwyn Cooke’s illustrated The Hunter by Richard Stark

I preordered Darwyn Cooke’s illustrated The Hunter by Richard Stark as soon as I saw it was available.

Since you read my blog, my guess is you will [or did] as well.

IDW has a page devoted to the new edition to keep fans in the know.

Ross MacDonald Paperback Covers

Andrew Nette recently posted several covers for Ross MacDonald novels published from the late fifties to the early seventies.

Thank you Andrew!

Max Allan Collins Drops a Dime

Max Allan Collins recently spoke with The Rap Sheet and they covered a wide range of topics.  Here are a few tidbits [with a link to full interview]…

…like a lot of Americans, he [Mickey Spillane] was deeply troubled by the terrorist attacks on September 11, and I think he just had to get Mike Hammer into that fray. But as much as I like Goliath Bone, I think King of the Weeds, with its traditional crime elements, feels more like the final Hammer novel.

The amount of unfinished, unpublished material Mickey left behind was and is staggering. Even now I haven’t read every word of it.

JKP: I understand you’re also now working on a Western, based on an unproduced screenplay Mickey Spillane wrote originally for actor John Wayne. Can you fill in more of the background on that particular tale, which you’ve titled The Legend of Caleb York? MAC: …Over a Bouchercon breakfast I said, “You know what I have? An unproduced screenplay Mickey Spillane wrote for John Wayne. You guys publish Westerns, right?” And my editor sort of pounced.

The interview also covers the next Nate Heller books [and potential tv series], the Quarry books [and potential tv series - the pilot has been filmed] and much more.

The Rap Sheet interview is worth a read!

Max Allan Collins, Mickey Spillane and More

That’s a candid of Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins.  If you’re a fan of either you’ll want to check out Crimespree’s recent interview with Max Allan Collins.

“Cold in July” Trailer — I’m Sold!

 Cold in July (based on the novel by Joe Lansdale) looks to heat up the box office in May!

Z-View: Upgunned by David J. Schow


Upgunned by David J. Schow

Jacket design and illustration Tim Bradstreet


Elias McCabe is having one hell of a night:  He gets kidnapped at gunpoint by a professional hit man and is forced to shoot blackmail photos of a prominent politician.  Things go wrong with the shoot… very wrong.  When the night is over, Elias is scared to death … and ten thousand dollars richer.

If he keeps his mouth shut.

But he doesn’t — and now the hit man has targeted him for payback.

As a desperate amateur in the games of death, Elias is up against a seasoned pro.  As his entire life slides into the abyss, he has to stay alive by inventing new ways, moment-by-moment, to avoid, misdirect, and finally confront his ever-more-determined murderer as corpses and collateral damage stack up coast-to-coast in their wake.


The Good

  • Upgunned sucks you in from the first sentence and never let’s up.
  • The lead characters:  Initially I was having a tough time deciding whether I was pulling for Elias [the photographer forced to become an accessory to blackmail and murder] or Chambers [the hitman "forced" to kill everyone involved in the blackmail gone bad including his partners].
  • The supporting characters, especially “Cap” Weatherwax and the freaks at Salon [midgets, a spidergirl, a crocman, and others.]
  • Schow does his research — you’ll learn a lot about guns, Hollywood movie-making and more, but never at the expense of the action.
  • Tim Bradstreet’s jacket design and illustration and yes, that is Thomas Jane on the cover!
  • Ken Mitchrooney [a comic book buddy from way back] is thanked in the Acknowledgements.

The Bad:

  • Chambers – I was pulling for the hitman despite him killing so many people until he did something even worse.
  • What happens to Chambers that prevents him from killing Elias straight away.

The Ugly:

  • What happens to Chambers’ partners.
  • Walking in a dark room with your eyes wide open.

Upgunned is for mature audiences due to excessive violence and sexual situations. 

Rating: 3 out of 5


Ranking All 64 Stephen King Books recently rated all 64 of Stephen King’s books from worst to first.  

Although I haven’t read every Stephen King novel, I do agree that of the ones I have read, my choice for #1 matches theirs.

Jonathon Maberry and his Action/Horror Novels

If you’re not a fan of Jonathon Maberry, it just means you haven’t read any of his action/horror novels.

The Big Thrill has a nice interview with Jonathon Maberry.  My guess is if you’re already a Maberry fan, you’ll really enjoy it.  If you’re not a fan, there’s a good chance that once you read the interview, you will be.

Jake Hinkson’s One-Stop for his On-Line Pieces

Jake Hinkson the author of the highly recommended Hell on Church StreetThe Posthumous Man and Saint Homicide has created a site where you can find most of his on-line pieces!

Jake Hinkson on a CrimeSpree

Jake Hinkson the author of the highly recommended Hell on Church Street, The Posthumous Man and Saint Homicide is the subject of an interview at CrimeSpree.

Hinkson talks about his influences, growing up in the South, his love of old films and more.

Here are a couple of quotes to entice you to click over…

Hardboiled crime fiction is about toughness. Noir is about weakness.

With Hell On Church Street, I found the voice of the main character right away. It jumped right out of me. I just loved the duality of Geoffrey Webb, his surface politeness and deep-seated contempt.

With The Posthumous Man, the voice of the main character was tricky because he’s a guy who, as the story begins, has just tried to commit suicide…. He dies in the emergency room for three minutes, and then wakes up to find that he has this bizarre second chance presented to him in the person of a deeply troubled nurse. He’s more philosophical than emotionally frazzled. I mean, after you’ve been dead, what’s there to be frazzled about?

There’s a line in Saint Homicide where Daniel says, “I simply don’t know what religion means to people for whom it doesn’t mean everything.”