Halloween came early

Thursday, October 24th, 2019

Ray Bradbury wrote a screenplay in 1958, intended as a directorial vehicle for his friend Gene Kelly. Financing for the project never came through though, and Bradbury converted the screenplay into a novel, Something Wicked This Way Comes, which was published in 1962. It opens with this prologue:

First of all, it was October, a rare month for boys. Not that all months aren’t rare. But there be bad and good, as the pirates say. Take September, a bad month: school begins. Consider August, a good month: school hasn’t begun yet. July, well, July’s really fine: there’s no chance in the world for school. June, no doubting it, June’s best of all, for the school doors spring wide and September’s a billion years away.

But you take October, now. School’s been on a month and you’re riding easier in the reins, jogging along. You got time to think of the garbage you’ll dump on old man Prickett’s porch, or the hairy-ape costume you’ll wear to the YMCA the last night of the month. And if it’s around October twentieth and everything smoky-smelling and the sky orange and ash gray at twilight, it seems Halloween will never come in a fall of broomsticks and a soft flap of bedsheets around corners.

But one strange wild dark long year, Halloween came early.

One year Halloween came on October 24, three hours after midnight.

I had been meaning to read the novel for years — ever since watching the mediocre film adaptation — so I finally listened to the audiobook. The mediocre movie was mediocre despite the fact that Bradbury wrote the screenplay. It’s only available on DVD, as far as I can tell.

More recently, “Something Ricked This Way Comes” parodied…Stephen King’s Needful Things, which was inspired by Something Wicked.

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