Reel Terror (used)
A collection of horror stories that provided the inspiration for films
This horror anthology promotes itself as containing the "original stories that inspired the great horror movies." It features the original stories for "Duel," "Total Recall," "The Company of Wolves," "Freaks," "The Fly," "The Beast with Five Fingers," "Die Monster Die" and "The Golem." It also features two stories that inspired segments of "Asylum" and "Twilight Zone-The Movie." A curious addition is "The Swimmer," a story that doesn't seem to have much to do with horror at all.
It's a particularly interesting collection if you are familiar with the film versions of the stories as you can't help comparing them to their screen siblings. Some are remarkably similar as with "The Fly" and "Duel," whereas others like "The Golem" and "The Beast with Five Fingers" disappoint. In some cases, the screen versions actually improve the source material ("Freaks," "Total Recall."). In his introduction, editor Sebastian Wolfe examines the print and screen versions of these stories but his comments aren't very in depth.
Ratings below are out of five.
"Duel" by Richard Matheson.
The original road rage classic still shines. A truck driver tries to kill a businessman on the lonesome highways. (5/5)
"Spurs" (filmed as "Freaks") by Tod Robbins
A circus midget exacts revenge on those who have wronged him. The biggest disappointment in the collection. (2/5)
"While Zombies Walked" (filmed as "Revenge of the Zombies") by Thorp McClusky
A man encounters zombies and their slave-masters at an isolated farm. Surprisingly rousing pulp. (4/5)
"We can remember it for you wholesale" (filmed as "Total Recall") by Phillip K. Dick
Humorous story about memory implants and the trouble they cause. For better or worse, a zillion light years away from the film. (3/5)
"The Fly" by George Langelaan.
A man's experiments with teleportation lead to a drastic outcome. Closer to the original than the remake. (5/5)
"The Swimmer" by John Cheever.
A man swims from backyard pool to backyard pool throughout the neighborhood. Out of place in this collection. (2/5)
"The Beast with Five Fingers" by William Fryer Harvey.
A decapitated hand returns for revenge. Dated and not as good as it sounds (2/5)
"The Company of Wolves" by Angela Carter
Little Red Riding Hood meets the werewolf (2/5)
"The Golem" by I.L Peretz
The (too damned short) legend of the Golem (1/5)
"Lucy Comes to Stay" (filmed as a segment in the movie "Asylum") by Robert Bloch
Classic psycho-thriller that plays with reality (5/5)
"The Color out of Space" (filmed as "Die Monster Die") by H. P. Lovecraft.
A meteorite brings strange changes to a community. (4/5)
"It's a Good Life" (filmed as a segment for "Twilight Zone-The Movie) by Jerome Bixby.
An omnipotent little boy controls his family and community. (4/5)
It's a hit-and-miss collection, but one worth having for the stronger stories.