Wednesday, August 17, 2005

The Horror, the Horror

Along with the fantasy guide, I just finished Anthony J. Fonseca and June Michele Pulliam's Hooked on Horror: A Guide to Reading Interests in Horror Fiction.

It didn't try to force stories into single categories like the fantasy guide did (many books were placed in four or five different categories) which seemed more fair and realistic but somehow not as fun. Here's the categories they came up with:

Category One: Ghosts and Haunted Houses: Wuthering Heights (!), The Haunting of Hill House, and Tim Powers' Expiration Date

Category Two: Golems, Mummies, and Reanimated Stalkers : Frankenstein and rip-offs.

Category Three: Vampires and Werewolves : Dracula, I am Legend, and Salem's Lot

Category Four: Demonic Possession, Satanism, Black Magic, and Witches and Warlocks : Clive Barker's Damnation Game, The Exorcist, Rosemary's Baby, Tim Powers' Last Call, and James Blaylock's All the Bells on Earth

Category Five: Mythological Monsters and "The Old Ones": Neverwhere (okay, there was an angel but he wasn't quite Cthulhu.)

Category Six: Telekinesis and Hypnosis Carrie, Firestarter, The Shining, and knock-offs

Category Seven: Small-Town Horror Stepford Wives and Robin Hardy and Anthony Shaffer's The Wicker Man

Category Eight: Maniacs and Sociopaths, or the Nuclear Family Explodes Robert Bloch's American Gothic and Psycho and Jack Ketchum's Red

Category Nine: Technohorror Jurassic Park, The Boys from Brazil, and John Shirley's Silicon Embrace

Category Ten: Rampant Animals and Other Eco-Monsters Jaws, Cujo, Godzilla, and the Birds

Category Eleven: Psychological Horror Stephen King's It and Janet Berliner and George Guthridge's Madagascar Manifesto (series about an alternate history where the Nazis relocated Jews to Madagascar). And here I thought I was the only one who heard about the Madagascar plan (ultimately scrapped as too expensive).

I agree with Psychological Horror being an important part of horror overall but some of the choices are a little strange.

Category Twelve: Splatterpunk : Poppy Z. Brite's Exquisite Corpse (or just about anything else she writes) and Bret Easton Ellis' American Psycho

Category Thirteen: Comic Horror : Christopher Moore's Practical Demon Keeping, Greg Kihn's Horror Show, and David Prill's Serial Killer Days

The book didn't have "Best of" lists like the fantasy guide. That was a letdown.

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