Thursday, September 18, 2008

Why doesn't anyone ever tell me these things????

Here's a fairly new and potentially really fun book--the existence of which I only stumbled upon by accident:

Here's the deal with it: Roundabout 1939, special effects master Willis O'Brien (the stop-motion pioneer responsible for the original versions of The Lost World & King Kong) was planning on making another "lost world" type film. This one would involve an aviator who crashes in an isolated valley. In addition to the requisite dinosaurs, there would be a tribe of Vikings who ride giant eagles.


It would have almost undoubtably been a fun movie and a visual delight. But real life in the form of World War II got in the way and production on the film was shelved. Somewhere along the way, whatever pre-production drawings and sketches "O'Bie" had were lost.


Ray Harryhausen later had had hopes of bringing War Eagles to life. In fact, according to Mr. Harryhausen's web site, there is apparently still some hope of this happening. But whether we ever get to see the movie, at least we now have a novelization of the story.


The author, Carl Macek, has worked mostly in animation as a writer, editor and producer. According to the customer reviews, he seems to have done a pretty good job in prose as well, penning an old-fashioned pulp-style adventure.


I've sent away for the book, so I can judge for myself soon. None of the reviews specifically mention dinosaurs, though--so I'm a little worried they've been left out of this version. On the other hand, the story has been extended to include the protagonist using the War Eagles to battle a Nazi secret weapon, which is a cool idea. I really hope, though, that the dinosaurs are still there. No lost valley should ever be without dinosaurs.


Gee whiz, why don't people TELL me about these things? A book about Vikings on giant eagles fighting Nazis (and dinosaurs?) and I almost missed it.

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