By Steve Vertlieb: Perhaps Alfred Hitchcock’s most famous, and enduringly popular motion picture was his celebrated 1960 production of Psycho, based upon the novel by frequent Hitchcock television collaborator, Robert Bloch.
Robert Bloch has been inducted into the Rondo Awards “Monster Kid” Hall of Fame for his lifetime of literary achievements.
Born April 5, 1917, and died September 23, 1994, his contributions to literature, film, television, and popular culture are incalculable.
“The Clown at Midnight” at The Thunder Child is the story of my twenty-five year friendship with the acclaimed writer, a Rondo Award nominated remembrance of a complex, remarkable man, and our affectionate relationship.
Robert Bloch was one of the founding fathers of classic horror, fantasy, and science fiction whose prolific prose thrilled and influenced the popular genre, its writers, and readers, for much of the twentieth century. An early member of “The Lovecraft Circle,” a group of both aspiring and established writers of “Weird Fiction” assembled by Howard Phillips Lovecraft during the early 1930’s, Bloch became one of the most celebrated authors of that popular literary genre during the 1940’s, 1950’s, and 1960’s, culminating in the publication of his controversial novel concerning a boy, his mother, and a particularly seedy motel.
When Alfred Hitchcock purchased his novel and released Psycho with Anthony Perkins and Janet Leigh in 1960, Bloch became one of the most sought after authors and screen writers in Hollywood. His numerous contributions to the acclaimed television anthology series Alfred Hitchcock Presents are among the best of the director’s classic suspense series, while his legendary scripts, adaptations and teleplays for Boris Karloff’s Thriller series for NBC are among the most bone chilling, frightening, and horrifying screen presentations in television history.
He also famously penned several classic episodes of NBC’s original Star Trek series for producer Gene Roddenberry, “What Are Little Girls Made Of?”, “Wolf in the Fold” (another Jack the Ripper variant), and “Catspaw”. Writers Stephen King, Richard Matheson, and Harlan Ellison have written lovingly and profusely spoken of their own literary debt to Robert Bloch. Bob was, for me, even more significantly, a profoundly singular mentor and cherished personal friend for a quarter century. This is the story of that unforgettable relationship: “The Clown at Midnight”.