Anyway, the Paizo collection includes two introductions, a new one by Mike Resnick and a reprint of an older one by Karl Edward Wagner. Both of them make reference to something I didn't know existed -- a movie based on the Silver John stories. Here's what Resnick says about it:
And now that I've praised the stories and touted you onto the novels, let me tout you off something. Hollywood made a film version of the Silver John stories, done with Hollywood's usual taste and respect for the material. It is called The Legend of Hillbilly John, and the change from Silver John to Hillbilly John pretty much says it all.Wagner provides some more details:
John would next appear on film, with folksinger Hedge Capers miscast as John. The film was partially shot in Madison County, North Carolina (the general setting of the John stories) in October 1971. Despite a surprisingly good supporting cast and the incorporation of two of the best stories ("O Ugly Bird!" and "The Desrick on Yandro"), the film was an embarrassment -- largely due to its shoestring budget and stultifying script. It was released in 1972 as Who Fears the Devil and flopped at the box office. It was the re-edited and re-released the following year as The Legend of Hillbilly John, with equal success. Sometimes it turns up on videocassette.What's sad is that I think the stories of Silver John would make for great cinema, either on the big or small screens. The stories are well written and focused, with superb characterization and dialog and mixing horror with a deep love for the people and traditions of the mountains in which they take place. I imagine very few people in Hollywood these days have any interest in these things -- more's the pity.
Even so, is it wrong of me to want to hunt down this movie and watch it?