Re: RARA-AVIS: Noir Horror?

From: Terrill Lankford (
Date: 06 Feb 2000

Glad to see Bill agree with me about Matheson. I was afraid that connection might have been seen as a stretch by some. But I've been thinking about Matheson and his work ever since I posted last night and I'm struck by how very influential he has been on "pulp fiction" over the last forty odd years. Not only his novels, but his film (even the Corman films) and television work
(particularly his Twilight Zone episodes) embrace a real blending of these styles and genres and I think just about anyone working in the hard boiled or horror fields, from Stephen King to Joe Lansdale, owes him a debt of gratitude. (I know I certainly do.) Even his novel (and subsequent film) HELL HOUSE is really a detective story set in a haunted house. I think Matheson's work paved the way (and in many cases set the template) for much of what has been written in these genres since.

(And isn't the jazz score to THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN one of the greatest of the era? How many science fiction films can boast of that? And as someone pointed out, noir generally has an existentialist element to it. Stories don't come more existentialist than THE SHRINKING MAN.)

Bill Crider wrote:

> Glad to see Terrill Lankford back. He's right about Joe Lansdale's work,
> and he's really right about Richard Matheson. I AM LEGEND is a hardboiled
> horror novel for sure. And THE SHRINKING MAN is hardboiled SF. I think
> Anthony Boucher even mentioned something like this in his original review
> of one or the other of them. They were both done for Gold Medal, which is
> a clue.
> Bill Crider
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