The 13th Floor

Killer POV Pick Of The Week – Bob Randall’s THE FAN

This week on the Killer POV, we shifted the usual conversation from horror movies and delved into a discussion all about “literary horror!” It seemed only fitting considering our guest was Del Howison, the owner (along with his wife Sue) of Dark Delicacies, the premiere horror bookstore located in beautiful Burbank, California. Del’s also an author in his own right, and has produced several anthology books including the Dark Delicacies series, and most recently “MIDIAN UNMADE: TALES OF CLIVE BARKER’S NIGHTBREED.”

Although we usually talk movies and open the show with the films we’ve seen in the last week (THE VISIT being this weeks pick), I decided instead to showcase one of the novels I mentioned on this episode. Among my top 5 favorite books is Bob Randall’s THE FAN. There was in fact a 1981 film adaptation of the book starring Lauren Bacall, James Garner and a very young Michael Biehn. (THE TERMINATOR, ALIENS) But the movie fails to capture the unique and creepy feeling the novel evokes. The entire book is told via correspondence and letters between former Hollywood actress Sally Ross, her management, her ex-husband and you guessed it, her biggest fan. But as Douglas Breen continues sending his awkward and increasingly inappropriate letters to the star as she preps for a big Broadway play, the more terrified we grow as we realize the lengths this disturbed young man will go to to get her attention.

In today’s day and age of texting and emails, the book (originally published in 1977) is way, way ahead of it’s time in terms of telling a gripping tale using daily correspondence as a storytelling device. I read this book practically in one sitting. And you will too! You can find used copies of it fairly easily on Amazon.

In the meantime, be sure to listen to our entire “Literary Horror” episode of Killer POV, embedded below for your convenience below!