I know this is the Movie Madhouse, but I will review a book now and then, one that I really loved, or one that pertains to the movie world…and what pertains more than a tale of Halloween night that is as ripe for filming as the perfect pumpkin is for picking!
DARK HARVEST by NORMAN PARTRIDGE
Entertaining Halloween tale takes place in 1963 and finds a small town with a strange All Hallow’s Eve tradition. Each year on October 31st a pumpkin headed figure, grown in a cornfield, made of vines, stalks and filled with candy, descends on this rural Midwestern town. The teen males of this small municipality have till midnight to hunt the “October Boy” down and destroy it, before it can make it to the church in the middle of town. Wealth and fame are awarded to the winner, along with the freedom to leave town. Pete McCormick vows to win “The Run” this year and use his victory to get out of this small dead-end place…until he learns the truth about The Run and The October Boy.
Story by Norman Partridge is a very atmospheric Halloween tale filled with imagery of the season, such as corn stalks, jack o’ lanterns and, of course, a pumpkin headed being with a carved face and glowing light emanating from within. We have a strong hero in Pete, who wants to get away from this small town and his alcoholic father. A tough, likable heroine with Pete’s ally, Kelly Haines, a girl defiantly entering a boys only event, and a solid villain in the vicious Officer Ricks, who has more to do with The Run than at first appears. As for The October Boy, he is a more well-rounded character than one might expect from a monster…or is he? You’ll have to read this fast paced tale to find out the truth as Pete does. At only 169 pages it moves like a rocket and has plenty of action and bloody violence, as this year’s Run doesn’t go quite as planned. The reveals have impact and the only disappointment was not knowing more about the origin’s of The Run and of the mysterious Harvester’s Guild at it’s center. Otherwise, this is a fun and atmospheric tale for a breezy October night and one desperately in need of being adapted to the big screen!
Rated 3 (out of 4) jack o’ lanterns!