Wrapping up two weeks celebrating the work of Shane Briant, it’s worth mentioning his recent second career as a best-selling author. His first novel ‘The Webber Agenda’ appeared in 1994: an old-school plot-driven thriller that you imagine flowing from the pen of Alistair MacLean or Robert Ludlum. It’s fast-paced globe-trotting narrative mirrored the locations Briant was visiting for a movie he was shooting at the time!
It was followed by ‘The Chasen Catalyst’ (1995), ‘Hitkids’ (1995), ‘Bite of the Lotus’ (2001), ‘Graphic’ (2005), ‘Worst Nightmares’ (2009) and ‘The Dreamhealer’, published this year. ‘Hitkids’ could almost be a precursor of the pre-pubescent killers in ‘Kick Ass’, with the son of a mob hitman taking on his father’s mantle, while a vengeful associate tries to trap him through the internet. Hi-tech, compellingly contemporary and unflinching in its subject matter, it confirmed the promise of Briant’s first two novels and demonstrated that he’s a writer with his finger on the pulse of popular culture.
‘Worst Nightmares’ – fittingly enough for an actor inextricably associated with Hammer – is a psychological horror novel centring on a novelist who comes into possession of a diary of dreams and murders, which he initially considers a heated but compelling work of fiction. A bit of research suggests that (a) the murders mirror actual cases, and (b) the author is dead. Against his better judgement, but struggling with writer’s block, he publishes the work as his own … and quickly comes regret it. ‘The Dreamhealer’ continues the story, as Briant steers the narrative from Paris to LA.
Go here for Briant’s Fantastic Fiction page, and here for a video trailer for ‘The Dreamhealer’. Elsewhere on the net, Robcrankey’s channel provides a wealth of archive Briant material, including trailers, montages, interviews and extended footage from some of his key performances. Of particular interest are a series of short films directed by Robert Kenchington where Briant reprises his iconic roles from ‘Straight on Till Morning’, ‘Captain Kronos, Vampire Hunter’, ‘Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell’ and ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’.