1) H.P. Lovecraft was a voluminous correspondent, churning out 87,500 letters to friends, according to one estimate. He also was in the habit of predating them by 200 years. Additionally, he and author protégé Robert Bloch “killed” each other in stories. Bloch offed a thinly veiled version of Lovecraft in his 1935 story “Shambler From the Stars” (with H.P.’s written permission). Lovecraft returned the favor by slaughtering “Robert Blake” in his 1936 story “The Haunter of the Dark.”
2) It’s not uncommon for authors to have pen names, but Dean Koontz took this practice to an extreme. He used at least 11 pen names—David Axton, Leonard Chris, Brian Coffey, Deanna Dwyer, K.R. Dwyer, John Hill, Leigh Nichols, Anthony North, Richard Paige, Owen West, and Aaron Wolfe. Many of these books were eventually republished under his real name.
3) In the original screenplay for George Romero’s classic Dawn of the Dead, Peter (Ken Foree) actually does shoot himself at the end, and Frannie (Gaylen Ross) also commits suicide by sticking her head in the whirling helicopter blades. A dummy head for Frannie was prepared, but apparently the scenes were never shot.
4) The Zombie Survival Guide and World War Z author Max Brooks is actually the son of Mel Brooks and Anne Bancroft.
5) The theme song to the army of rats movie Ben (sequel to Willard) was performed within the film by Lee Montgomery and over the end credits by Michael Jackson.
’s version was a #1 pop hit single, and won the Golden Globe for Best Original Song, and was nominated for an Oscar (it lost to a song from The Poseidon Adventure). Jackson
6) In the early days of
, it was common for studios to shoot separate foreign language version of movies at the same time, reusing the same costumes, sets, etc. The Spanish version of 1931’s Dracula is one of the few to survive. Many critics contend that it was arguably better than Tod Browning’s English version. The Spanish version crew had the advantage of shooting after the English version, at night, and after viewing the English version’s dailies. As such they were able to correct mistakes and use better camera angles, lighting, etc. The Spanish version was directed by George Melford, and starred Carlos Villiarias. Hollywood
7) Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde has been filmed 123 times to date.
8) The narrator for The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was John Larroquette, of TV’s “Night Court" and “The John Larroquette Show” fame.
9) An American Werewolf in London is one of the very few movies to use a real telephone number (516-472-3402) and not a “555” one when David (David Naughton) calls his parents in
. Long Island, NY
10) Stephen King revealed in his nonfiction book On Writing that due to his heavy drinking at the time, he basically doesn’t remember writing 1981’s Cujo.
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