Tag Archives: horror

Book review: Christopher Buehlman’s The Suicide Motor Club bares its fangs

Suicide Motor Club by Christopher Buehlman

Vampires. Ugh. So tired, so overdone. So sparkly or friendly or stilted or cleanly sexed-up for the CW. You never want to read another vampire novel as long as you live, amirite?

Well, you’re gonna want to read this one.

With his fifth novel, The Suicide Motor Club, St. Pete’s own Christopher Buehlman — a World Fantasy Award-nominated wordsmith whose first foray into vampire territory, 2014’s The Lesser Dead, earned a Shirley Jackson Award nom — breathes new, er, undeath into one of horror’s oldest bogeys. It’s a book as thrilling and dangerous as the classic muscle cars that form the central motif of its story, their amoral power and potential for mayhem an apt reflection of Buehlman’s monsters.

While on a road-trip vacation across the wide open spaces of the mid-’60s American West, Judith Lamb loses both her young son and her marriage to a horrifying random encounter. In its aftermath — and as her attackers continue their chaotic spree along the highways and backroads — Judith, whose life has always included tenuous relationships with both religion and the paranormal, attempts to find meaning in her circumstances by joining a convent. A stranger soon visits, however, to offer her not only that meaning and a chance at closure for her own personal tragedy, but also an opportunity to do God’s work by helping to rid the world of a secret evil.

And so Judith throws in with a unique yet nicely Stoker-esque band of Fearless Vampire Hunters, setting herself on a collision course with the forces that ripped her life apart and wondering if what she truly seeks is righteousness or revenge.

Read the rest at Creative Loafing

On the Subject of Horror Movies

Rebecca and I were watching Insidious, mostly as homework before seeing Sinister (we haven’t yet).

At a particularly slow point during the movie–the point where (SPOILER ALERT) the psychic friend tells Patrick Wilson that he’s always had the ability to astrally project inside him, like a conveniently plotted metaphysical version of some character cut from The Wizard of Oz–I was reminded of the hypnosis scene from Stir of Echoesthe marvelous 1999 flick based on the book of the same name by Richard Matheson.

I asked Rebecca if she’d ever seen Stir of Echoes.

“Kevin Bacon and the chick from Criminal Intent? Hell yeah,” she replied. “That’s an awesome ghost movie.”

Then she nodded at the TV screen in our living room, and said:

“This is the opposite of that.”

My wife is the greatest.

On The Subject of Fangoria‘s FrightFest

I recently got to review the eight films comprising Fangoria Magazine‘s fan-participatory online FrightFest promotion, and most of ’em were a hell of a lot better than anybody who’s waded through hundreds of straight-to-DVD horror titles might expect.

Here’s the piece at Creative Loafing.