Friday, January 12, 2018

"The X-Files script that was too bleak to air"

The script that he and Trenz concocted, which you can read in full online, concerns the death of an FBI agent from an apparent heart attack, after a man walks into the bureau unchallenged and fires a joke-shop gun in his direction. When some nearby feds tackle the assassin to the ground, they find he has transformed into a mannequin. Enter Mulder and Scully, who follow a trail to the sinister backwoods town of Crampton, where things take a turn for the truly bizarre.

Readers of Ligotti’s fiction will find plenty that’s familiar within the screenplay, from the frequent excursions into the uncanny right down to the name ‘Crampton’, which features in one of his short stories, “The Shadow, The Darkness”. But part of the script’s success is its skilful balancing act between sly X-Files humour and the creeping cosmic dread unique to Ligotti’s fiction