Hi, Lee. In his DVD review in issue #30, Adrian Smith writes
that The 10th Victim “prefigures Death Race 2000, Rollerball, The
Running Man and even The Hunger Games in its idea of murder as
mass entertainment, and [director/co-writer Elio] Petri deserves to receive
some credit.” How about giving some to Robert Sheckley, upon whose 1953
short story “The Seventh Victim” the film was based, and whose name is nowhere
mentioned? Sheckley (1928-2005) may not have been in Bradbury’s class,
but he was a Hugo and Nebula nominee, named author emeritus by SFWA in
2001. He even published a tie-in novelization of the film and, in the
1980s, two sequels, Victim Prime and Hunter/Victim.
Sheckley’s work was also adapted into more than a dozen other films and
television episodes, the best-known of which—for better or worse—is
probably Freejack, based on his novel Immortality Inc.
Retro responds: Matthew, far be it from us to deny any writer credit for their achievements. Retro articles for both the magazine and web site are often written under tremendous deadline pressure and/or short notice. The truth is that we get inundated with screener copies to review and it isn't always possible to do extensive research on people whose work may have inspired a certain film unless the source novel was written by some larger-than-life figure whose name and work are instantly known. Our purpose is to review the merits of a specific film and in doing so, it can often be argued that any number of contributors to that film are neglected in almost any DVD review. What is more inexcusable is failing to mention someone who worked on a movie and whose contribution is key to its success. I've completed many a DVD review and, after it has been posted, realized I neglected to mention such people. Thanks to our readers for pointing out when some of these occasional lapses in credit occur.