Best known for publishing popular books on strange cultural phenomena well before they turn into mainstream cool, L.A.-based indie Feral House has seen a significant percentage of its titles optioned for films over the last few years.
Founded in 1989 by publisher Adam Parfrey (also one of FH's authors), Feral publishes six to eight books a year, and seven of those works have been picked up by movie studios. Parfrey said Feral is well known in Hollywood because "we're always in on what's going to be popular ahead of time." The relationship with the movies began in the early 1990s, when Tim Burton's 1994 biopic about cult B-movie director Ed Wood was based on FH's Nightmare of Ecstasy by Rudolf Grey.
Parfey said three of seven books optioned are currently in production. Among the movie deals is Lords of Chaos: The Bloody Rise of the Satanic Metal Underground by Michael Moynihan and Dedrik Soderlind, with a script by Parfrey. The book/film chronicles the violent history in Northern Europe of a form of occult rock called black metal. American Hardcoreby Steven Blush, a history of the American punk scene, is being turned into a documentary by Paul Rachman. Also optioned is Sex and Rockets: The Occult World of Jack Parsons, the biography of a major U.S. scientist who, in addition to inventing solid rocket fuel, called himself the anti-Christ and performed occult rituals.
"It's hard to call what we do 'fringe culture,' " said Parfrey, "when the mainstream culture is copying it."