Details about the book and why it would be great
John Stchur’s “Down on the Farm” is a unique horror book that I think would make a great movie. It definitely wouldn’t be your run-of-the-mill horror flick.
I just finished reading John Stchur’s “Down on the Farm” for the second time, and I love it just as much now as I did when I was a teen. When I read it for the first time in the early 90’s, no one would have touched the idea for a movie. With horror gaining popularity though, I think it would make a fantastic horror film now.
I’m not sure who’d put the movie out, although it seems Lion’s Gate will try anything, and the weirder and gorier it is, the better they like it. I haven’t formulated an opinion on who should be cast, but the characters in Stchur’s book are well-written, and would probably translate quite well to the screen. With today’s technology I also think his monster on big-screen would scare the bejeezus out of audiences. (An that’s a good thing.)
Overall the book is well-written and captivating. It’s a bit hard to follow in some places, but I think it would actually make more sense on-screen than it does on paper. There are some things that are difficult to express in text that are much easier with the simultaneous layering that can me done with thought and dialogue in a film. The story is also unique, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything quite like it. John Carpenter’s “The Thing” is in a similar neighborhood, but not close enough that Stchur’s ideas wouldn’t be considered original.
Down on the Farm is a story about a malevolent alien that crashed to Earth a hundred or so years ago and was buried on a hill, eventually trapped under the concrete floor of a farm’s milking parlor. It’s been sleeping for some time, but now it wants out. This thing is serious evil, animals won’t even go near it to die.
The story revolves around the Dubois family who own the farm. The family and other locals slowly begin to experience the horror created by the “Baddest Thing” buried under the milking room floor. As the story progresses, everyone suffers at the claws of the beast, and they are drawn together to put an end to it’s evil once and for all.
The characters in the book are well created, and you really experience the “Baddest Thing’s” influence and their struggle for control right along with them. The visuals Stchur presents in the book are wonderful, and you have no trouble picturing the alien monster or any of the events it brings about. The “Baddest Thing” itself is a great creation by the author, and is like nothing I’ve ever seen in any film.
If Down on the Farm were turned into a movie, it would surely need an R rating for violence and sexual content, but it would be a great movie. It’s so different from anything else out there, horror fans would love it. The fact that the book ends with a scene that begs for a sequel would be a perk too. I don’t know if Stchur would revisit the story and write a second part, but if he wouldn’t, I’d hope someone could follow his lead and create a worthy part two.
If you haven’t read this book, I suggest you go to your local library and ask them to find a copy for you. The book was released in 1989 (or thereabouts) and is now out of print, so it’s hard to come by. Despite the out-of-print status, this book is well worth tracking down and reading. If you’re a horror fan like me, you may well agree that this would make a fantastic big-screen horror movie.