The Source

Reviews & Retrospctives looking at source material that has inspired some of our favorite horror, fantasy, and science fiction films.

A Christmas Carol (1843)

A Christmas Carol (1843)

Jimy Carrey is far from the first actor to embody the cold-hearted old sinner conceived and created by author Charles Dickens in his 1843 novel. Dozens of actors have played variations of the role on stage, screen. But what of the source material? Charles Dickens original literary version of the story is a genuine classic in its own right that deserves to be read. In fact, it would probably be a better investment of your time and money if you were to pick up a copy of the novel instead of running out to see the new film.

The Lost Worlds of Arthur Conan Doyle

The Lost Worlds of Arthur Conan Doyle

One of the most important works in the history of cinefantastique is Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost World. Although not as widely read as it deserves to be, the novel has had a huge impact that lives on to this day, thanks to the many science fiction film and television adaptations, beginning with the 1925 [...]

Lair of the White Worm - From Novel to Film

Lair of the White Worm – From Novel to Film

Victorian author Bram Stoker holds a prominent place in horror history, all of it due to the publication of a single novel, Dracula, which has remained continuously in print for more than a century, providing a bloody fountain of inspiration for an undying legion of film and television adaptations. When a writer’s work has achieved that kind of [...]

Journey to the Center of the Earth – and the films it inspired

Hollywood’s continued preoccupation with Jules Verne’s 1864 novel Journey to the Center of the Earthis a bit of a puzzle. Yes, the book provides a certain potential for visual razzle-dazzle, and any excuse to travel to a lost world inhabited by dinosaurs is a good one, yet outside of the basic premise, the novel has [...]

Stuart Gordon finds a “Thing on the Doorstep”

Esplatter recycles some information gleaned from Fangoria: Stuart Gordon  is planning to film H. P. Lovecraft’s classic tale, “A Thing on the Doorstep,” which will be produced by Amicus, the company that financed his recent art-house release STUCK.
Gordon told Fangoria that he hopes to begin filming in the fall. “It follows the short story pretty closely, [...]

Suspiria de Profundis – Book Review

 …Our Ladies of Sorrow. I know them thoroughly, and have walked in all their kingdoms. Three sisters they are, of one mysterious household; and their paths are wide apart; but of their dominion there is no end.
- Thomas De Quincey, Suspiria de Profundis

Although it will never achieve the status of Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein or Bram [...]

I Am Legend (1954) – A Retrospective Review of the Novel

Richard Matheson’s novel I Am Legend may not be as famous as Bram Stoker’s Dracula, but it is as least as influential on the development of modern vampire cinema. Not only have there been three official film adaptations; Matheson’s science-fiction approach to vampirism prefigures the majority of modern film treatments of the subject, and the [...]

Ray Bradbury on Adapting Melville’s Allegorical Sea Monster, Moby Dick

Moby Dick is not an obvious choice of material for adaptation to the screen. Nor is Ray Bradbury the obvious choice to have collaborated with famed director John Huston on a sea-going adventure that had little appeal to Hollywood studio chiefs. The science fiction author’s prose work, filled with different combinations of nostalgia, atmosphere and a [...]

Sons of Moby Dick: Melville’s White Whale has spawned a school of sea monsters

Moby Dick may seem an odd choice for inclusion in Cinefantastique. After all, if one were to categorize the novel, the obvious label would be Adventure – specifically, a high-seas adventure about whale hunting. However,  Herman Melville’s tale is awash with allegory and symbolism, much of it relevant to the horror genre. The book is [...]

Invasion of The Body Snatchers – Retrospective Book Review

Jack Finney’s nifty 1954 novel has four screen adaptations to its credit (including the acknowledged 1956 classic), but the original text still stands as a fine work in its own right, worthy of being read by fans of the films and by genre enthusiasts in general. Numerous incidents have never made the transition from page [...]