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Written by Kenneth W. Cain

Kenneth W Cain Poster

To promote the forthcoming release of three separate books (A Season in Hell - September 7th, Tales From The Lake Volume 5 - Editor - November 2nd, Darker Days: A Collection of Dark Fiction - December 7th), I'll be listing 10 movies that inspire my writing, though these movies mostly aren't the specific inspiration for any of them:

bang the drum slowly cover

Bang the Drum Slowly

Since my novella, A Season in Hell, is coming out first, the first movie I'll mention is the 1973 baseball drama Bang the Drum Slowly. Like my novella, this is a heart-wrenching story. Based on the 1956 Mark Harris novel of the same name, the movie put actor Robert De Niro in the spotlight.

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They Call Me Trinity

I've always been a fan of old Spaghetti Westerns, but one of my favorites is the Trinity series. The 1970 film They Call Me Trinity has a comedic flair and heartfelt story. Though my western short stories tend to focus more on the supernatural, it's hard for my mind not to wander into that world while writing stories like "A Ring For His Own."

Brazil Cover


In 1985 the movie Brazil sparked a sense of wonder, as I beheld something wonderfully bizarre. When I'm writing, that sense of things being off-kilter, of slipping through a hole in time and space, appeals to me. Readers will find this sort of weirdness in my stories "Lenny's New Eyes" and "The Underside of Time and Space."

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Clan of the Cave Bear

Clan of the Cave Bear from 1986 was a film which got me considering how things were in prehistoric tribes. My story "One Hopeless Night by a Clan Fire" blends the feel of this sort of movie, while slated with that strangeness I mentioned above.

Roots Cover


Whether you're viewing the 1977 miniseries based on Alex Haley's 1976 novel of the same name or the 2016 remake, Roots has to be one of the most thought provoking cinematic productions ever. My story "The Trying of Master Willliam" found its "roots" in that series.

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Creature from The Black Lagoon

One of my favorite horror movies is Creature from The Black Lagoon. I remember watching the sequel in 3D, on a tiny black & white TV, twisting the rabbit ears around like mad, trying to get it into focus, when all the sudden the creature weakly popped up on the screen. As such, creature features are one of those themes I can't stay away from, such as my story "Mantid."

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This one isn't out yet, but I'm anxiously anticipating the Netflix series based on Jonathan Maberry's V-Wars. Those were the inspiration for my story "The Sanguine Wars," where war meets monster.

the abyss cover

The Abyss

I've always been fond of the 1989 flick, The Abyss. Ed Harris is great in this one, and the movie is inspiring in so many ways. Darker Days features a reprint of a fun little revenge story of mine, "Her Living Corals."

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Tucker & Dale vs. Evil

For me, Tucker & Dale vs. Evil might be one of the funniest horror movies ever. If you haven't seen this 2010 movie, I suggest you correct that immediately. I always try to add a little flare of comedy to a couple stories in each collection, like "A Very Different Sort of Apocalypse" and "My Brother Bit Your Honor Roll Student" in Darker Days.

The Black Hole

The Black Hole

When The Black Hole came out in 1979, it changed the way I saw the universe. Ever since I've been visiting different planets in my head, delving deeper and deeper into the unknown. Such is the case with stories like "Prey" and the Outcasts: The Sick and Dying flash fiction series included in Darker Days.

I hope you've enjoyed my list, and that, maybe, you'll check out at least a few of these movies. And of course, my books too. Keep an eye out on my Amazon page for these releases: https://amzn.to/2LbBW9O

Kenneth W. Cain is the author of four novels (The Saga of I trilogy and United States of the Dead), A Season in Hell, and four short story collections (These Old Tales, Fresh Cut Tales, Embers, and the forthcoming Darker Days). He is also the editor for Crystal Lake Publishing's Tales From The Lake Volume 5. Early on, shows like The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, and One Step Beyond created a sense of wonder for the unknown that continues to fuel his writing today. Cain resides in Chester County, Pennsylvania, with his wife and two children. You can find out more about Ken on his website https://kennethwcain.com.

Horror DNA would like to thank Kenneth for sharing this with us. Please be sure to buy his latest novel by clicking the link below!

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