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THE HOUSE OF TORTURED SOULS PRESENTS REMEMBERING SID HAIG (July 14th 1939 to September 21st 2019)

THE HOUSE OF TORTURED SOULS PRESENTS REMEMBERING SID HAIG (July 14th 1939 to September 21st 2019)

 

We at the House of Tortured Souls were saddened to hear yesterday, of the passing of beloved Character actor and fan favourite Sid Haig at the age of 80 on September 21st. We aim to remember Sid Haig’s long career and the impact he had on his fans new and old. This article is our tribute to Sid and all he did for horror fans worldwide. It will include some of our own personal memories of Sid, from conventions where we met him (or even didn’t) and pictures of those meetings.

JOHN ROISLAND

“I met, or should I say was honoured to have met, Sid in Virginia at the Second annual Scares That Care weekend. I approached his booth and noticed a banner, with pictures and items that he had for sale. Next to that was his price list. If I remember correctly, nothing on that list was higher than $20, which compared to other celebrity booths meant you were basically getting things for free.  I was really excited, because I was on a very tight budget. When I got to the front Sid stood up, shook my hand with a smile , and told me to come around the back of his table and have a seat. This was quite a surprise, because I hadn’t even said Hello or asked him anything. The venue wasn’t crowded at that moment, so he just sipped his coffee and started small talk with me, asthough we were old friends. He stopped and glared at me a while, gave me a little smile and asked “How are you and what can I do for you?” Graciously he signed my DVD box and had someone passing by take some photos of us together with my phone. When I got up and left the booth I instantly knew I’d met the nicest celebrity, that I’ve ever encountered. Sid was so gracious, had such a warm personality, and that is why I’ll miss him that little bit more. I wish I could have met him again, like many others have, but I’m extremely grateful that I was given that opportunity. Sid was an easy going man, with a huge heart, who sincerely cared about his fans and thanked them, for helping making what he became. I will always remember meeting him and it saddens me that he is no longer with us, but I will forever be grateful for those few moments I once shared with him.”

Sid and John Roisland at the Scares That Care

CLINT NARRAMORE

“I met Sid several times over the last few years, and was never disappointed. It was at Scare-A-Con in 2017, that I will always have my best memory of him. I was invited to join the table by Mark Patton. Caroline Williams was also there, as was Ricky Dean Logan. Sid came over and it was amazing. We all just talked and made jokes all night. Our server was terrified of Sid, because of his movies. She didn’t want to hand him his drinks. She asked we pass them to him. She was deathly afraid of him (and couldn’t have been older than 21). We all laughed and told Sid and he told me to go get her. I brought her to the table and Sid gave her a death stare for a half second and then proceeded to grab and then kiss her hand. Her reaction was relief and she laughed off her fears. Linea Quigley, Felissa Rose And Camille Keaton all came by and we started taking pictures of just how much fun we were having. Sid cared about making sure everyone who met him had a great time and he loved his friends and fans. Best dinner I’ve ever had.”

Clint Narramore with Sid Haig at Scare-A-Con

TARA SLOAN

“I was lucky enough to meet Sid a few times at conventions throughout the years. He always had a long line, because he was just a fun dude to talk to. First time I met him, I was next in line and he looked at me and said “watch my table, I’ve gotta take a piss, and I’ll sign whatever you want for free when I get back”. Of course I did and he signed my The Devils Rejects And took a photo with me. Sid was an absolute class act. The world has lost a legend today. Rest In Peace Sid. Tutti Fuckin’ Fruity!”

Sid and Tara Sloan.

JAI ALEXIS

“Sadly, I don’t have a story about Sid, but I have an experience that sums him up. Years ago, before I joined House of Tortured Souls. I went to a horror con. I waited so long to meet Sid Haigon the day of the convention. I brought my copy of Spiderbaby for him to sign (Which by the way best damn movie ever with great features). I always felt this was the passing of the torch from Lon Chaney Jr to Sid Haig. The con itself wasn’t bad, not perfect, not bad though. I wanted to meet him but believe it or not I was, and sometimes still can be, painfully shy around celebs. I go from being a regular con-goer one-minute to a Chris Farley like  fanboy the next. I passed on the chance to meet him that day, because I was scared. I’ll always regret it to this day. That’s what I admire about Sid he never shied away from a challenge; he never backed down from doing more and working for what he wanted. Sid made a career and a damn fine one with his talent and personality. So whenever you doubt you can do something or think you’re not good enough, just ask yourself ‘What would Sid Haig do?’ I love you old friend and when my time comes, I hope you don’t mind me being a fanboy around you and Lon Chaney Jr.

Spiderbaby (1967)

MICHELLE ‘MIDI’ PEIFER

“I was never fortunate enough to meet Sid in person and I’m unsure exactly Of if or when, he maybe visited Australia. Being in Sydney the supreme annual convention to attend is Supanova. Every year fans like myself ascend on the halls of Supanova and enjoy the array of guests from all walks of popular culture. I’ve used my attendance to meet celebrities such as Richard Dreyfus, John Jarratt, the original cast of Mad Max (minus Mel Gibson sadly), And much much more. Sadly though Sid Haig has never been invited to Sydney’s Supanova and fans all wished he would be. Now we will never be able to make that a reality. I have recently relocated to the USA and will say this is the first icon we’ve lost since my move. It’s a hard punch to the gut for sure, as all I have ever heard about him was how wonderful he was with fans, and his kindness and patience for everyone. Sid will be sadly missed by all of us in the horror world, especially at the House of Tortured Souls, all members of film fandom and anyone who ever knew him or even just met him for that fleeting moment.”

Aussie fans were desperate to have an opportunity to meet Sid Haig

Haig’s passing was announced via Instagram on September 23rd, 2019, by his long term partner, publicist and wife of 12 years Susan.L.Oberg. Her statement was as follows:

“ My light, my heart, my true love, my King, The other half of my soul, Sidney passed from this realm on to the next. He has returned to the universe, a shining star in her heavens. He was my angel, my husband, my best friend and always will be. He adored his family, friends and his fans. This came as a shock to all of us. We, as a family, are asking that our privacy and time to mourn, be respected.

Sidney Eddie Mosesian

7/14/39 – 9/21/19

Husband, Father, Grandfather, Friend.

Goodnight my love. We will find each other again, next time.

I love you.”

Sid Haig was known for his acting which spanned from 1960 to 2019. He worked tirelessly throughout his career, despite a 5 year hiatus from 1992-1997. During that time he was retired from showbiz, due to being frequently typecast. Haig even once stated “I’ll never play another stupid heavy again and I don’t care if that means I never work, ever.”

However he did return in 1997, as a Judge in the Quentin Tarantino film Jackie Brown, opposite his frequent co-star Pam Grier. Grier had also starred with Haig in Blaxploitation films of the 1970’s such as The Big Doll House (1971), The Big Bird Cage (1972), Coffy (1973), Black Mama White Mama (1973), and Foxy Brown (1974).

On Television Haig was in a variety of shows including (through the 1960’s until the 1980’s) The A-Team, The Dukes Of Hazzard, Quincy M.E, Hart to Hart, Fantasy Island, Charlie’s Angels, Police Woman, The Rockford Files, The Six Million Dollar Man, Mannix, Mission Impossible, Gunsmoke, Get Smart, Star Trek, Batman, and The Untouchables.

At one point Haig even had a starring lead role as a Villian named Drago in a series called Jason Of Star Command.

Haig had become a horror icon since appearing as Captain Spaulding in Rob Zombies House of 1000 Corpses in 2003. This led to his continuing with the character through its two sequels The Devils Rejects (2005) and more recently in 3 From Hell (2019).

Notable roles throughout Sid Haig’s career of both horror and non horror films includes Blood Bath (1966), Spider Baby (1967), Pit Stop (1969), THX1138 (1971), Beware!The Blob (1972), Woman Hunt (1972), Beyond Atlantis (1973), Savage Sisters (1974), Galaxy of Terror (1981), The Aftermath (1982), Kill Bill Volume 2. (2004), House of the Dead (2005), Night of the Living Dead 3D (2006), Little Big Top (2016) ,Rob Zombies Halloween (2007), Brotherhood Of Blood (2007), The Haunted World Of El Superbeasto (2009), Dark Moon Rising (2009), Creature (2011), The Sacred (2012), Lords of Salem (2012), Hatchet III(2013), Devil in my Ride (2013), and High on the Hog (2019).

Sid, all of us at the House of Tortured Souls were saddened at the news of your passing. May your family and friends have the peace to mourn you, that they seek at this time, and your star sign bright forevermore.

R.I.P  SID HAIG .

 

 

 

 

Posted by Jai Alexis in ABNORMAL MUSINGS AND FREAKISH FACTS, EDITORIALS, FAMILY HORROR, FEATURED CONTENT, FRIENDS OF THE HOUSE, GORE OR EXTREME HORROR, HALLOWEEN, HORROR COMEDIES, HORROR HEROES, HORROR HISTORY, HORROR NEWS, IN THE SPOTLIGHT, MONSTERS AND CREATURES, MOVIE REVIEWS, MYTHS AND LEGENDS, OBITUARY, OPINION, REVIEWS, SATANIC/DEMONIC, SCI-FI HORROR, SLASHERS AND BAD HUMANS, STAFF PICKS, THRILLER, TRIBUTE, URBAN DECAY/DYSTOPIAN FUTURES, VAMPIRES, WEREWOLVES, ZOMBIES, 0 comments
OVERLORD (2018)film review

OVERLORD (2018)film review

 

 

Overlord is the newest film release from major Hollywood film maker, J.J. Abrams who has brought you such blockbusters as Mission Impossible: Fallout, Star Wars: episode viii, Star Trek :Beyond ,and Cloverfield just to name a few. So with that arsenal of big budget movies, I’m expecting greatness!

The story line of the movie is a platoon of American paratroopers are dropped in behinds enemy lines in a small town in France to take out a church tower that has been utilized  by Nazis to shoot down American  fighter planes during WWII.

Once on ground the now small platoon runs into a lab where local town folk are being forced as lab rats by the Nazis who are trying to create the ultimate soldier. By injecting the now prisoners  with a serum that they have created, the subjects basically become a zombie of sorts on a roid rage.

 

Overlord is a fun movie, and I have a feeling its going to be a but of a cult film. A coworker of mine actually brought it to my attention with great praise saying it was about Army guys and zombies. So the first thing I thought of was Dead Snow. What I got was more of a cross between Saving Private Ryan crossed with the video game Return to Castle Wolfenstein, not that either of them are bad, but it wasn’t what i had prepared myself for.

Overlord moves at a pretty decent pace and has a few worth wild scenes and some pretty good effects of specimens in the lab. But sadly Overloard is not a horror film. It almost has a made for cable movie with a decent budget, but then I keep J.J. Abrams in mind, and I am left wanting a lot more. Overloard would however make an incredible graphic novel and I’m sure I’ll see cosplayers take a stab at it future conventions.

Do I recommend Overlord? Sure, it is a fun movie that you can easily watch, just don’t be looking for a serious or gory movie, cause that’s not what you’re going to find. Sorry Mr. Abrams, don’t think your going to be filling many theaters this time around.

Keep it Evil

Posted by John Roisland in MOVIE REVIEWS, NEW RELEASES, 0 comments

HELLABRATION DELUXE! Thirty-One Days of SHOCKTOBER: Day Twenty-Nine – 10/29/18

10/29 – 2015: BONE TOMAHAWK/GREEN ROOM

A tense tale about the search for a missing woman in the Old West, (BONE TOMAHAWK), and the story of a punk rock band that accepts a gig from Hell (GREEN ROOM). You wouldn’t think these two films had very much in common, and you’d be right. Except that it not only introduced audiences to two remarkable new filmmaking talents, but also gave them two films that went to some unexpected places, redefining what it means to ‘gaze into the abyss’…and see with terrifying clarity, what it is that’s staring back.

S. CRAIG ZAHLER hasn’t been a big part of ‘the scene’, so when BONE TOMAHAWK arrived, it felt kind of like a random lightning strike, and had about the same effect on fans! When you see names like KURT RUSSELL, DAVID ARQUETTE, RICHARD JENKINS, PATRICK WILSON and MATTHEW FOX associated with a film from a relative newbie, you know that script has got to be something special. And it certainly is.  How best to describe this without spoiling the living hell out of it? Okay – for you film buffs out there who go back as far as I do, think THE SEARCHERS-meets-THE HILLS HAVE EYES. For you latter-day movie kids, think DEADWOOD or TOMBSTONE, with just a taste of THE DESCENT thrown in.

When the wife of a small-town settler (WILSON) vanishes, Russell is the sheriff who rounds up a posse to go after her and the people who took her, probably Indians by all the signs. So in the first half of the film, you think that what you’re getting is a modern-day take on a classic kind of Western.  And for the most part, you are.  Then, the second half kicks in.  And I don’t want to say more than that, except keep the smelling salts handy.

For old hands Russell and Jenkins, this is familiar territory, and their roles fit them like old, worn, favorite gloves. Even Arquette doesn’t have to stretch here, his own cameo pretty much an extension of the role he played in the underrated cult classic, RAVENOUS. (And Arquette gets beautiful support from an unexpected cameo by no less than SID HAIG, but I won’t say where or when that happens).

But it’s Matthew Fox who gets the part that’s the most ‘against-type.’ His leading man good looks serve him well, to augment a character you probably could only spend two minutes with before wanting to kill him. It’s quite the revelation.  But not as much as the 180-degree-turn BONE TOMAHAWK makes, into territory that most Westerns wouldn’t even think about going into. This is one of those you’ll be telling your friends about once you’ve seen it, and there are scenes I can promise that will stay with you for a very long time.

On the other side of this, GREEN ROOM is a brilliantly crafted B-thriller with great performances, and a sad footnote, as the movie that pretty much defined the career of the late ANTON YELCHIN, even as he exploded onto the pop culture scene as the “new” Ensign Anton Chekhov in J.J. Abrams’ retooling of the STAR TREK series.

The follow-up to his bracing revenge tale, BLUE RUIN, writer/director JEREMY SAULNIER brings to light the tragic and unsettling tale of a punk band called “The Ain’t-Rights”, composed of Yelchin as “Pat”, along with JOE COLE, CALLUM TURNER and ALIA SHAKWAT as his band mates. Closing out their most recent tour, they were set to do a gig that was arranged by a college boy fan, which fell through without warning.  Stuck with no other options, their benefactor quickly sets up another gig for them.  Out in the middle of nowhere. At a clubhouse.  For neo-Nazi types.

Not the best of circumstances, but money is money and a gig is a gig. Things are pretty dicey from the get-go, and it doesn’t help that the band kicks off their set with a rousing cover of The Dead Kennedy’s classic “Nazi Punks Fuck Off.” Even with that, they do manage to win over the surly crowd. Or so they think.

Retreating back to what passes in this shithole for their “green room”, they’re told not to go in, but someone forgets something in there, and does it anyway. And that’s when they see it: the murdered body of a girl they saw earlier when they were playing in the club.  Things go south fairly quickly, when the skinhead staff trap them inside the room because of what they saw. But two things make it apparent that they probably won’t be allowed to leave alive: when Amber (IMOGEN POOTS), the dead girl’s ‘best friend’ becomes a captive as well, and when the leader of the skinhead cell, Darcy, arrives to take charge of things and “clean up the mess.”  In other words: ‘no loose ends.’

Yet again, we have a script that’s impressive enough to attract an amazing lineup of talent, but especially for the role of the deeply evil Darcy, a complete game-changer for PATRICK STEWART, who said in an interview that when he read the script, the part scared him so badly that he knew he had to do it. Darcy began an arc of parts that Stewart has accepted to change his “Captain Jean-Luc Picard” image, and this was certainly a great way to start.

Every step Saulnier takes with GREEN ROOM proves beyond a doubt, that BLUE RUIN was definitely no fluke, and as a ‘good luck charm’, the cast of ROOM includes the monumentally talented actor/writer/director MACON BLAIR, who was the star of RUIN, and is behind the tremendously dark and funny character piece, I DON’T FEEL AT HOME IN THIS WORLD ANYMORE., made for Netflix. Here in ROOM, Blair has a pretty important role as well as Darcy’s main lieutenant, and that’s about as much as I can say about that.

Bracing, razor-sharp and violent, GREEN ROOM isn’t for the squeamish, and provides some pretty sweet surprises not only for lovers of survival chillers, but mystery lovers as well, as The Ain’t-Rights begin to learn that there’s more than just a case of domestic violence going on behind the scenes.

So that gives you two options of films that gained a lot of traction from word-of-mouth, and rightfully so.

POST-MORTEM SCRYPT: THE WITCH, THE INVITATION, THE VISIT, CRIMSON PEAK, KRAMPUS, THE FINAL GIRLS, INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER 3 and GOOSEBUMPS were just some of the movies that gave horror fans a widely diverse selection to choose from, in both quantity and quality, for 2015.

Posted by Samuel Glass in EDITORIALS, FEATURED CONTENT, GORE OR EXTREME HORROR, HALLOWEEN, MONSTERS AND CREATURES, MYTHS AND LEGENDS, OPINION, SLASHERS AND BAD HUMANS, THRILLER, TRIBUTE, 0 comments
HELLABRATION DELUXE! Thirty-One Days of SHOCKTOBER: Day Three – 10/03/18

HELLABRATION DELUXE! Thirty-One Days of SHOCKTOBER: Day Three – 10/03/18

10/03 – 1989: PET SEMATARY

It would become a trope that casual and die-hard Stephen King fans would get used to hearing in the years and decades to come: the “unfilmable” story or novel that Hollywood would be hot to splatter onto the big screen.  Novels that King himself said were either “too scary”, “too surreal” ortoo personal”for him to ever consider putting out there as movie fodder. PET SEMATARY was one of those many novels, but not only was it ‘filmable’, but it’s one of

the films that stuck the closest to the source material; maybe even a bit more than CARRIE and CHRISTINE did.

Avant-garde director MARY LAMBERT (SIESTA), working from a script by the Author Himself, (which didn’t hurt the quality one bit), ramped up the dread and the dead in this beloved, spooky tale of a family who moves to a house in Maine that comes with something extra…a backyard to the backyard that contains the local “pet sematary”, where all the furry family members go on their way to the “Rainbow Bridge.” Ah, but it’s what lies beyond that patch of ground, that’s a catalyst for the phantasmaGOREical horrors to come.

The way-too busy highway in front of the house is a guarantee that the ‘sematary’ will have plenty of occupants…but

so will the place where the dead go to…well, to quote the title of another famed King tale, “Sometimes They Come Back.” Only in this particular case, when

they do, they’re not your loved ones anymore, human or animal, and they’re always…hungry.

 

STAR TREK alumni DALE MIDKIFF and DENISE “Tasha Y’ar” CROSBY play parents Louis and Rachel Creed, who move to this picturesque but dangerous part of Maine with their kids, toddler Gage (everyone’s pick for “Best Weird Kid” MIKO HUGHES) and pre-teen Ellie (BLAZE BERDAHL).

A near-tragedy involving Gage (foreshadowing and then some) introduces the Creed family to their kindly old neighbor, Jud Crandall (the late, great FRED GWYNNE), who is the local ‘keeper of secrets’, and is also the link between Louis and the “pet sematary.”

Those who have seen it a thousand times (and at least a few more than that) knows where things are going from here. Those who don’t, and who haven’t read the book? The less you know going in, the better, because the scarier it’s guaranteed to be, if you’re “in the dark” about the finer details.

The cast is perfect; great performances from all concerned parties.  But the greatest nightmare fuel comes from two ‘unknown’ actors who play the apparitions that help give the story it’s scrotum-shriveling chills: BRAD GREENQUIST, who plays a hapless jogger that Louis encounters, and ANDREW HUBATSEK, who goes above and beyond, playing a terrifying figure from Rachel’s past.

As a fiercely sought-after video director who helmed concert and song clips for everyone from Madonna and Janet Jackson to Chris Isaac and Bobby Brown, the strong, at-times ethereal visual sense she has made her a perfect match for King’s script. SEMATARY gave her quite the cinematic ‘sandbox’ to play in, and she clearly took every advantage of it, creating set-pieces so beautifully creepy, that I still get goosebumps just thinking about them.

This is a choice you could never go wrong with for a cloudy, spooky Halloween night. And as the perfect companion piece, may I suggest UNEARTHED AND UNTOLD: THE PATH TO PET SEMATARY? It’s one of the most exhaustive and thorough docs about the ‘making of’ a movie that’s out there.

Oh, and “Post-MORTEM-SCRYPT”: Ready or not, asked for or not, a SEMATARY remake is in the works, with JASON CLARKE (WINCHESTER), AMY SEIMETZ (ALIEN: COVENANT) and JOHN LITHGOW (from a list too long to mention) will be taking over the roles of Louis and Rachel Creed and Jud Crandall, respectively…And before you roll your eyes outta your head at the very notion, check this: KEVIN KOLSCH and DENNIS WIDMEYER (STARRY EYES) are directing, from a script by DAVID KAJGANICH (the SUSPIRIA remake).  That certainly makes me want to give it a fighting chance…

Posted by Samuel Glass in EDITORIALS, FAMILY HORROR, FEATURED CONTENT, HALLOWEEN, MYTHS AND LEGENDS, PARANORMAL, SATANIC/DEMONIC, TRIBUTE, 0 comments
In Memoriam: Harlan Ellison 1934 – 2018

In Memoriam: Harlan Ellison 1934 – 2018

Harlan Ellison / Fair use doctrine.Around 1988, I had the great pleasure of spending two days off and on with Harlan Ellison. My first encounter was as part of a group of six having dinner with Harlan Ellison the night before he was to speak at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. When we met him in his hotel lobby, we discovered that no one had bothered to tell Harlan. There were mutterings of what to do, our group asking Harlan because he seemed annoyed. In typical Harlan fashion, he snapped, “Don’t ask me what I want to do because I want to go upstairs and go to bed.” Without missing a beat, I asked, “So should we all go upstairs and go to bed with you?” Harlan’s face was priceless, but the ice had been broken and we proceeded to dinner and an evening I will always remember.

Harlan was cantankerous, abrasive, temperamental, kind, considerate, and a force all his own. I will miss him deeply.

Original cover for Harlan Ellison's Rumble, now titled Web of the City.Born in 1934, Harlan Ellison grew up in Ohio and briefly attended Ohio State University before being expelled allegedly for punching a teacher who had criticized his writing ability. Ellison also served two years in the army in spite of being staunchly anti-war. Ellison published his first work in 1958, a novel titled Rumble, now retitled Web of the City, a semi-autobiographical non-fiction recollection of his time in a Brooklyn gang. The same year two short story collections were published, A Touch of Infinity and The Deadly Streets. After working in television for many years, Ellison published The Glass Teat in 1970, a collection of essays reflecting his opinion of television. The Other Glass Teat, published in 1975, is a follow-up work in the same vein.Harlan Ellison's The Glass Teat and The Other Glass Teat

Harlan Ellison was an American author whose fictional pieces were often of a science fiction, horror, or sci-fi horror nature, but anyone who ever called Harlan a “science fiction” writer never made that mistake a second time. Harlan eschewed labels that pigeon-holed his writing. Ellison’s 1,700+ published works include teleplays, screenplays, novellas, comic book scripts, and short stories as well as essays and critiques of television, film, literature, and more. For his work, Ellison has won Jupiter, Hugo, Nebula, World Fantasy, Writer’s Guild of America, and Edgar awards. In 2000, Ellison also received the World Horror Convention Grand Master Award for his contributions to the field of horror literature.

Don Johnson as Vic and Tiger as Blood in Harlan Ellison's A Boy and His Dog

Don Johnson as Vic and Tiger as Blood in Harlan Ellison’s A Boy and His Dog

Ellison’s work can be seen on television shows such as Star Trek, The Sixth Sense, The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits, The Hunger, Logan’s Run, and Babylon 5. In 1975, Ellison’s novella A Boy and His Dog was adapted into a movie with a very young Don Johnson and a (not as young) Jason Robards (Harlan, though not pleased with the adaptation, kindly autographed my copy). His 1967 short story “I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream”, a post-apocalyptic tale of sentient computers and suffering humans, won the Hugo award that year and is often considered one of the greatest post-apocalyptic stories of the 20th Century.

William Shatner and Joan Collins in Harlan Ellison's "The City on the Edge of Forever", one of the most highly acclaimed Star Trek episodes.

William Shatner and Joan Collins in Harlan Ellison’s “The City on the Edge of Forever”, one of the most highly acclaimed Star Trek episodes.

Ellison was also known for taking a vocal stand when he perceived that his work was being butchered or his creative contributions undermined. When this happened, Ellison would direct that the credits read Cordwainer Bird – save when he disagreed with changes to the Star Trek episode “The City on the Edge of Forever”. Interestingly, both Ellison’s original script and the shooting script won awards, the former being the Writers Guild for best episodic television drama (1968) and the latter being a Hugo for best dramatic presentation (1968). This episode also inspired the punk band Edith Keeler Must Die and the song “Edith Keeler Must Die” by Arigon Starr, both named after Spock’s assertion that, “Jim, Edith Keeler must die.” Nevertheless, while Hollywood may’ve not appreciated his efforts, Constant Readers certainly did. For fans, the name Cordwainer Bird immediately evokes knowing nods and “Um-hms”.

Harlan Ellison at the LA Press Club / Copyright 2006 by Galen A. Tripp

Harlan Ellison at the LA Press Club / Copyright 2006 by Galen A. Tripp

Regardless of his irascibility, his work has influenced countless other authors. Stephen King speaks fondly of Harlan and other authors who helped answer questions for Danse Macabre, his 1981 non-fiction book on horror in media.

Lastly, thanks are due to the writers— Ray Bradbury, Harlan Ellison, Richard Matheson, Jack Finney, Peter Straub, and Anne Rivers Siddons among them— who were kind enough to answer my letters of enquiry and to provide information about the genesis of the works discussed here. Their voices provide a dimension to this work which would otherwise be sadly lacking.
— Stephen King

I think that sentiment is as appropriate now – Harlan’s death will leave the world and the world of fiction sadly lacking. Rest in peace, Mr. Ellison.

I’d like to end this with another anecdote from my adventure with Harlan. Among the many outstanding moments, this one stands out above the others.

After dinner, we walked around 5-Points South and stopped to look over some items in the window of Memory Lane. I spotted a button that read “WAR is Menstruation ENVY” and laughed outrageously. We all agreed that it was awesome. The following day Harlan spoke to a small group from the UAB Honors Program. I arrived late to find that he had saved me a seat beside him. As I sat down, Harlan presented that same button to me. I still have it.

Thank you, Harlan. Rest in peace. You will be sorely missed.

Posted by Alan Smithee in HORROR NEWS, OBITUARY, STAFF PICKS, TRIBUTE, 0 comments