|Like any artist or
sculptor, there are many tools and brushes that a writer should have in
their toolbox: hereafter referred to as, The Personal Library. One
of these should be Thomas M. Sipos's Halloween
Sipos is a writer given a mixed
blessing in life. He has sold and resold the option to his screenplay, Halloween
Candy, without it ever once getting made into a movie. It's not
a bad screenplay, even beyond my own judgment, for the thing has been optioned
three times, was read at the American Film Institute (moderated by Robert
no less), and was nearly directed by Tom Savini!
Candy is fascinating because it swings from fiction to fact. The fiction is solid and real, and the actual script Halloween
Candy, while of comic book style properties, offers tangible, memorable
characters. In it you get a glimpse of the inspirational process
Sipos's telling of his real life
experiences rivals the prose of his fiction. More than just a book,
it is a documentary of the movie making, publishing, audience handling,
communication process -- where writing is just one very small facet of the
Without ever lecturing, Halloween
Candy offers valuable advice from experience hard earned. That's
why it's a must for your Personal Library and that's why I give it 4 Bookwyrms.
-- E.C. McMullen, Jr., FeoAmante.com.
Frid tells Sipos his theatrical
history. He also discusses his time on Dark Shadows and Barnabas's
afterlife at fan conventions. However, although Frid is best remembered
as Barnabas, he is not stuck in the past. He prefers to talk to Sipos
about what he has done post-Dark Shadows. Sipos is respectful but
never fannishly fawning towards his subject. Rather he allows Frid
to speak for himself.
In the other non-fiction selections,
Sipos explores horror as a genre, concentrating on film as its medium. These selections: "But Is It Horror?: Defining and Demarcating the Genre,"
"Horror Goes Hollywood: A Call for Saturn Reform," "The Pragmatic Aesthetics
of Low-Budget Horror Cinema," and "The Actor as Horror Villain," all certainly
prove Sipos's extensive knowledge of horror films and the circumstances -- artistic,
technical, and political -- surrounding their production.
-- Leah Larson, Necropsy,
|Chock full of a variety
of goodies, of varying sizes, shapes, and flavors. You name it, Halloween
Candy has it: several short (short!) stories, numerous essays, an interview,
a review, and a screenplay.
Candy (screenplay) is an anthology, relating the fates of four children
after they get on the bad side of a witch. Optioned several times,
and once almost directed by Tom Savini, I'm perplexed by the fact that
it still sits unproduced (the screenplay's lengthy history is detailed
in the book's introduction). It is very good, and would certainly make
a better movie than some of the fare that somehow does make it to the big
screen today. Halloween
Candy, with its mixed bag of contents, has something for everyone. Dig
in your hand and you’re sure to pull out a treat.
-- Jim Nemeth, Horror-Wood,
Far superior to some of the would-be
horror I have seen Hollywood attempt. I like my Horror either heavy
on the Gothic side, or with plenty of irony. "Halloween
Candy" has both -- along with essays and stories on Horror.
The interview with Jonathan "Barnabas
Collins" Frid was excellent. Another non-fiction piece -- on haunted
houses (the commercial kind) -- was wonderful, especially for someone who
always wondered what it was like to work in one. I spent several evenings reading
through the book, had no trouble putting it down at the end of one story/essay,
nor picking it back up again a short while later. To me, this is
important with any collection.
If a short story or an essay zings
me enough to put the book down and think about it for a bit, the author/compiler has done well. A must read -- get your own copy
and keep your hands off mine!
-- Robyn Sondra Wills, Alternate
Realities, Nov/Dec 2001