It's always heartwrenching to write about the passing of a horror icon, so it is with great sadness that I share the news that best-selling novelist James Herbert has died at the age of 69.
The man who brought the world such chilling books as "The Rats" trilogy (the first of which became the cheesy but fun DEADLY EYES, helmed by ENTER THE DRAGON director Robert Clouse), "Fluke" and "The Survivor" saw several of his works adapted for radio and screens both big and small, and sold more than 54 million copies around the world.
His first novel, "The Rats", depicting a London overrun by mutant, flesh-eating rodents, was released in 1974 and its first printing of 100,000 copies sold out in three weeks, paving the way for Herbert to become Britain's leading writer of horror. In later years his novel "The Survivor" would be adapted for film (under the same title), starring Robert Powell and Jenny Agutter. In 1995 director Lewis Gilbert brought Herbert's HAUNTED to the screen with Aidan Quinn and Kate Beckinsale headlining. Herbert also wrote the novel that the family-friendly FLUKE, starring Matthew Modine, was based on.
So today horror fans should pour out a little liquor in memory of James Herbert, the King of the Paperbacks, and his contributions to our beloved genre. Rest in Peace, James.
The VHS case for DEADLY EYES used to haunt me as a child everytime I walked into our local video store.