Thursday, October 27, 2022

Web Terror Tales Vol 5 No 1, February 1965

Web Terror Tales
Vol 5 No 1, February 1965

Web Terror Tales came as part of a shudder pulp revival mini-wave. The plots don't really follow the traditional, Scooby Doo plotting of weird menace. A little sadism, usually in the form of whipping, but tamer than the original shudder pulps. They have the feel of the text stories shoehorned into horror comics, but even more mediocre.

The Pain Tree by Aurelia Mulhare

The daughter of a Caribbean governor is obsessed with a hougan.

The Angel of Hell by Bursell Bradshaw

A journalist uncovers what a mad reclusive painter has been working on.

Mr. Borealis by Clement Duffy

An experimental cruise ship is hijacked by a supervillain. No ending, so they cut to an "it was a dream...or was it" cop out, repeating over a page of text.

Footlight Vengeance by Ramon Aguilera

A playwright gets revenge on his critics.

Prey on Me by Henry Cranford

A rich explorer is tormented by his cultist servants' savage rites on a secluded island. The

My Love, My Prisoner by Charles Patterson

A corpulent rich man suspects he's being poisoned by his child bride.

The Curse of the Borgias by Christine Crewell

A haunted painting commissioned by the Borgias. Some good imagery in places.

Repent at Leisure by Rip Kelly

A rich sadist finds a better way than divorce to get rid of her husbands.

Come Kiss the Lash by Justin Lamont

Catherine the Great was into whipping.

Murder: Scene One by Denham Kelsey

Cromwell tortures a court musician accused of sleeping with royalty.

Satan's Spawn by Pete Brown

An Indian monk is ordered by a mad hermit to torture a captive devil woman.

Glutton for Punishment by Ernestine Durrell

Tarzan-type actor turned gold digger plots to kill his rich wife. Good old fashioned twist in the tale for this one.

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Dead Girl Blues by David Sodergren

Dead Girl Blues
by David Sodergren

Sodergren brings the Giallo to Scotland. On her way to a date, stripper Willow has a woman fall dead into her arms in the streets. This starts her on a path uncovering a snuff film racket, leading her to obsession bordering on madness. Some great set pieces, great suspense, a few twists in the story, and of course, lots of blood.

As with his other books the set up starts as a tribute to a horror subgenre, but he takes it into different directions. This one gets brutal and it's stayed with me for a while.

Available from Amazon

Thursday, October 20, 2022

Gnelfs by Sidney Williams

by Sidney Williams
1991 Pinnacle

A little girl is menaced by Gnelfs, which are Smurf-like children's character and not a porn category, which are manifesting in this reality due to Kabbalistic imagery and a sorcerer for hire. She and her mother are assisted by a mysterious priest who has a Wandering Jew thing going on. A take off on Satanic Panic warning films like Deception of a Generation, with a little bit of Poltergeist and the Exorcist mixed in.

Easily twice as long as it needed to be, with way too much exposition and rationalization, some delivered by the gnelfs themselves.

Ebook, paperback, and audiobook from Amazon

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Renegades by Shaun Hutson

by Shaun Hutson
1991 Time Warner

Sean Doyle is a cop on the anti-terror squad who plays by his own rules on the hunt for IRA terrorists. David and Laura Callahan are decadent arms dealers who have discovered a stained glass window commissioned by Gilles de Rais which holds the key to eternal life. These two storylines run into each other in a gory bloodbath...eventually.

Doyle is the most absurd renegade cop in literary history, a pure Matthew Holness character, written straight but with enough self awareness that Hutson had to know how silly the whole thing was, but still fun for the ride.

The Dirty Harry meets Hellraiser premise never really takes off, largely because the two ends don't meet until the end, futz around for a few dozen pages, then fizzles out. Not much comes out of the Giles De Rais angle - a demon pops up, gets shot, and disappears, going down easier than most of the terrorists.

Probably fine on it's own merits, but hurt by the lost potential. Cut this in half and ramp up the horror elements and this could have been the greatest story put to page.

Friday, October 14, 2022

New Adventures of Frankenstein 4: Frankenstein Meets Dracula by Donald F. Glut

New Adventures of Frankenstein 4
Frankenstein Meets Dracula
by Donald F. Glut
1977 New English Library

Frankenstein's Monster and his buddy, former OGRE agent James Judson, travel to Transylvania in their atomic powered submarine where they accidentally revive Count Dracula. Drac enthralls Judson, forces them back to England, and starts a plan to kidnap Van Helsing's descendant and place his brain in the Monster's body.

Most of the story was setup, and the rest felt like an outline. The Count was suitably repugnant, but just not much going on to fill it out.

Collected in volume one of The New Adventures of Frankenstein Collection

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Live Girls by Ray Garton

Live Girls
by Ray Garton
1987 Pocket Books

Glory hole vampire on Time Square. A down on his luck former vigilante magazine feature writer becomes obsessed with a peep show performer after getting a vampiric bj. His would be girlfriend gets sucked into a lesbian vampire relationship, and is helped by a journalist whose sister was killed by vampires.

One part eroticism to four parts sleazy nastiness, just the right ratio. Just enough to justify the obsessiveness without getting romantic. A fun ride as long as you don't worry about the vamps' master plan - unlike Lost Boys or Near Dark there's no romantic angle, and I don't know the endgame for turning every 42nd Street pervert.

Available from Amazon

Friday, October 7, 2022

The Hand of Dracula by Robert Lory

The Dracula Horror Series 2
The Hand of Dracula
by Robert Lory
1973, Pinnacle

Horror meets Men's Adventure in this unique series. Criminologist and telekinetic Dr. Damien Harmon has revived Count Dracula, and keeps him under control through a sliver of wood embedded next to his heart. Aided by former cop Cameron Sanchez and Dracula's thrall Ktara, they fight crime.

Dr. Harmon's niece has a friend falsely accused of murder, and the group vow to clear his name, encountering an evil cult, an inhumanly strong hunchback, and a mob-connected necrophilic undertaker.

Fun enough when things get going, but Lory indulges in almost Rev. Fanthorpe padding, dragging out the most inconsequential actions and conversations for pages on end.

Paperback from AbeBooks

Thursday, October 6, 2022

Berserker by William Meikle

by William Meikle

Vikings versus yetis. I've tried reading Meikle before, and his titles seem like they would be my jam, but something about the way he writes doesn't connect with the way I read and it just passes through me.

Available from Amazon.

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Chamber of Horrors Match

It's here! The Chamber of Horrors!

Two teams. Eight titles. One electric chair. Returning authors face off against new authors in a steel cage. In that steel cage, another steel cage. And in that cage - an electric chair.

The match ends when one teams straps a member of the other team in the chair and turns on the juice.

Returning authors include: Shaun Hutson, David Sodergren, Jory Sherman, and Donald Glut

New authors: William Meikle, Sidney Williams, Ray Garton, and Web Terror Tales

Brought to you by Donnie Goodman's debut horror collection The Razorblades in my Head, free on Kindle until 10/5 

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Trash Fiction Championship: Bloody Pile of Horror

Trash Fiction Championship presents BLOODY PILE OF HORROR!

Eight horror authors, two teams, one electric chair, in...THE CHAMBER OF HORRORS!

Derrick Ferguson defends the Young Guns Title against newcomer Hunter Shea. Alien Nation faces off against the Forgotten Realms for the TV Title.

After no Crusierweight champion was crowned due to interference, Dennis Etchison, Joe Lansdale, Roald Dahl, and Ed Wood, Jr. will settle their differences in a four way grudge match.
Startling Detective Adventures will meet the challenge of Fantasy Tales in a four falls to a finish match. John Maddox Roberts faces Sigfridur Skaldaspillir for the European title. Mike McQuay shoots it up with Jack Slade for the Intercontinental Belt It's Helm vs Helm, as Eric Helm takes on Donald Hamilton for the US title. And Robert Faulcon defends the World Championship title against Richard Stark. 25+ Authors 7 Title Matches 1 ELECTRIC CHAIR