Great sadness -- one of the legends has fallen. Richard Matheson
has passed away
at the age of 87.
It isn't really possible to overstate Matheson's influence on the genres of fantasy and science fiction. His works include:
- I Am Legend (adapted to film at least three times, starring the minor, unimportant actors Vincent Price, Charlton Heston, and Will Smith)
- The Shrinking Man (also adapted to film, another minor, unimportant Effing Classic of horror)
- Bid Time Return (you might have seen the film adaptation of this -- Somewhere In Time with Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour)
- Hell House (adapted to film as The Legend of Hell House)
- a bunch of classic Twilight Zone episodes (and when I say classic, I mean "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet" classic).
He wrote the short story "Duel", which Spielberg adapted to film, and the screenplays for The Night Stalker
, The Martian Chronicles
, and the excellent Jack Palance TV adaptation of Dracula
. His short story "Button, Button" was adapted (not to his liking) on The New Twilight Zone
, and also into the movie The Box
He wrote the screenplays for three of Corman's Poe movies, including The Pit and the Pendulum
and The Raven
, fer cryin' out loud.
I will never forget one of his Night Gallery
scripts (from his own short story), "Big Surprise". You can watch it here
. Such a simple story, such a great payoff.
The upshot of which is: Go down his list of works, and you will find a lot
of things you know and love.
Rest well, sir, and thank you so much.