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Author Topic: R.I.P. Richard Matheson
ecmyers
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Post R.I.P. Richard Matheson
on: June 25, 2013, 08:42
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If you've missed it, we heard sad news yesterday: Richard Matheson passed away at the age of 87. Not only did he write one of the most iconic Star Trek episodes, but he also wrote many of the best episodes of The Twilight Zone, not to mention short stories and novels that have fed Hollywood for decades.

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2013/06/24/us/ap-us-obit-richard-matheson.html

What is your favorite Richard Matheson story? I think mine is his Twilight Zone episode "Nick of Time", which was one of two episodes to star William Shatner. The other, "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet", was also written by Matheson.

Torie
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Post Re: R.I.P. Richard Matheson
on: June 25, 2013, 09:39
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I saw a rumor but didn't know if it was confirmed. Very, very sad. I grew up on horror and devoured his stories. Though his Twilight Zone episodes and of course "The Enemy Within" come to mind, I think some of his best adaptations were his least successful ones: What Dreams May Come (gorgeous, gorgeous film, and intensely emotional--also starring Keiko O'Brien) and Stir of Echoes.

ecmyers
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Post Re: R.I.P. Richard Matheson
on: June 25, 2013, 09:47
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Stir of Echoes is really underrated. I also liked What Dreams May Come, but given how much I dislike dream sequences, it gets to be a bit much.

toryx
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Post Re: R.I.P. Richard Matheson
on: June 26, 2013, 09:36
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Very sad indeed. He had an awfully full life, though, and I've heard he actually believed in the afterlife he wrote about in What Dreams May Come. I like the idea of his future novels and short fiction ending up in some sort of cosmic library.

Speaking of, I liked the book better than the movie, though the movie certainly was well done. "Nick of Time" was incredible. But really, I liked so much of Matheson's work that it's hard to single any out.

dep1701
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Post Re: R.I.P. Richard Matheson
on: June 28, 2013, 06:27
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I too enjoyed Matheson's work. One piece he's written that STILL hasn't gotten a great screen adaptation is "I Am Legend", despite three ( count 'em; 3 attempts ). Some have speculated that since much of the novella is an internal monologue, it simply does not lend itself to film. I don't neccesarily agree.

While "the Omega Man" is pure '70s camp, and the less said about the Will Smith feature ( and it's blatantly Hollywood hopeful ending ) the better, the first attempt at filming the story may also be the best; "The Last Man On Earth" starring Vincent Price.

Don't get me wrong. It's poorly made. The use of European locales and dubbed Italian actors make it nearly unwatchable at times, but in terms of story vs. source material it's probably the truest of the three to it's origins. Price makes a great and sympathetic lead ( and a wonderful antithesis to the gun-toting macho man that Hollywood would cast in this role ). We can feel his despair and loneliness and identify with his attempts to keep from slowly going mad.

A funny story about "LMOE"; I first saw this movie a couple of years ago. On my way home from dental surgery, I stopped at a pramacy to get my RX for painkillers filled. While waiting ( and still doped up on novocaine ) I browsed through the bargain DVD bin. Lo and behold I found a copy of this movie for a dollar, and since I was going to spend the day lounging at home anyway, I thought "Why not?". So armed with painkillers I went home and watched it. Maybe it was the drugs, but I found myself very engrossed in the story ( enough to search out the novella at the library to see how closely it matched ). This was the first time while actually watching a film I found myself thinking , "This would make a great movie!!".

Even after three tries, I still think that in the right hands it could be great movie. Too bad Matheson won't be there to see it if it's ever done right.

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