It Came from the Multiplex: 80s Midnight ChillersIt Came from the Multiplex: 80s Midnight Chillers
Author: Alvaro Zinos-Amaro, Angie Hodapp, Betty Rocksteady, Dayton Ward, Gary Jonas, Joshua Viola, K. Nicole Davis, Keith Ferrell, Kevin Dilmore, Kevin J. Anderson, Mario Acevedo, Orrin Grey, Sean Eads, Stephen Graham Jones, Steve Rasnic Tem, Warren Hammond
Publisher: Hex Publishers
First Published: September 15, 2020
Genres: Horror, Supernatural
Pages: 198
Format: ARC, eBook
Source: NetGalley

three-half-stars
Synopsis:

Welcome to tonight's feature presentation, brought to you by an unholy alliance of our spellcasters at Hex Publishers and movie-mages at the Colorado Festival of Horror. Please be advised that all emergency exits have been locked for this special nostalgia-curdled premiere of death. From crinkling celluloid to ferocious flesh—from the silver screen to your hammering heart—behold as a swarm of werewolves, serial killers, Satanists, Elder Gods, aliens, ghosts, and unclassifiable monsters are loosed upon your auditorium. Relax, and allow our ushers to help with your buckets of popcorn—and blood; your ticket stubs—and severed limbs; your comfort candy—and body bags. Kick back and scream as you settle into a fate worse than Hell. Tonight's director's cut is guaranteed to slash you apart.


My Thoughts

The 1980s were a golden age of American horror cinema, starting with a movement that began in the 1970s that defined the modern horror flick. The focus was shifted to films that were bolder, more aggressive, but artistic too. The horror genre also saw the rise of B movies that became cult favorites, low-budget gorefests that riveted audiences. Filled to the brim with supernatural killers, creature features, and evil children, the horror films of the era became a cultural zeitgeist that continues to influence horror writers and filmmakers to the present day.

“Don’t say we’re just trying to capture the zeitgeist. We’ve been breathing it all along.”

While there are still theaters available today, there’s no question that the rise of video streaming from home has ushered a wave of nostalgia for the 80s, when folks had to go to a movie theater or to a video rental store to watch movies. It Came from the Multiplex perfectly encapsulates this nostalgia and is an homage to horror films and the packed movie theaters of the era. Every story is themed around theaters in a wide variety of genres that hearken back to the film themes of the time; from giant killer spiders to children seemingly possessed by Satan, despite the repetitive theater theme, each story had something fresh to bring to the collection.

My favorite story undoubtedly was The Cronenberg Concerto, where a man “worships” the truly violent Splatterhouse films that rarely grace the screens of large popular theaters. I also really enjoyed Rise, ye vermin! and Invisible for the cool narratives and creepy antagonists. The final story, Special Makeup was also well placed, being a horror cinema satire that left me with a one-liner that I just had to laugh.

The one drawback is that the styles clashed so much despite a common theme that there were some stories that were entirely forgettable. Despite going in knowing that this was a collection about theaters, I also found the use of theaters at minimum as a setting in every story to be a little tiring. Even so, as an anthology, I feel that there will be something here for every kind of reader.


Warnings: violence, gore


About Alvaro Zinos-Amaro

ALvaro Zinos-Amaro is an author and Hugo & Locus award finalist. Alvaro’s more than thirty stories have appeared in magazines like Analog, Nature, Galaxy’s Edge, Lackington’s, Mothership Zeta, Farrago’s Wainscot and Neon, as well as anthologies such as The Mammoth Book of the Adventures of Moriarty, The Mammoth Book of Jack the Ripper Tales, The 2015 Young Explorer’s Adventure Guide, Cyber World, This Way to the End Times, Humanity 2.0 and An Alphabet of Embers.

Alvaro’s essays, reviews and interviews have appeared in The Los Angeles Review of Books, The First Line, Asimov’s, Tor.com, Strange Horizons, Clarkesworld, Foundation, The New York Review of Science Fiction and Intergalactic Medicine Show; he also edits the roundtable blog for Locus.

About Angie Hodapp

Angie Hodapp is the Director of Literary Development at Nelson Literary Agency. She holds a BA in English and secondary education from the University of Northern Colorado and an MA in English and communication development from Colorado State University. A graduate of the Publishing Institute at the University of Denver, she has worked in professional writing, editing, and education for more than twenty years. A frequent presenter at writing conferences and events, and the author of Query Craft and Do You Need a Literary Agent, she loves helping writers improve their craft and learn about the ever-changing world of publishing.

About Betty Rocksteady

Betty Rocksteady writes cosmic sex horror, cat mythos, and surreal, claustrophobic nightmares.

Her debut novella Arachnophile was part of Eraserhead Press New Bizarro Author Series 2015. Like Jagged Teeth and The Writhing Skies were released by Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing. The Writhing Skies was voted Novella of the Year by This Is Horror Awards 2018.

About Dayton Ward

Dayton Ward is a science fiction author primarily known for his Star Trek novels and short stories, which began with publication in the Strange New Worlds anthology series.

About Gary Jonas

Gary Jonas is an American author of fantasy/suspense novels. He is best-known as the author of the Jonathan Shade urban fantasy series. Shade is a private investigator who handles cases dealing with magic and the paranormal. He has a magically engineered assassin named Kelly Chan who keeps him alive, and a ghost secretary named Esther from the 1920s flapper era who loves him and helps with his investigations.

About Joshua Viola

Joshua Viola is a four-time Colorado Book Award finalist and co-author of the Denver Moon series with Warren Hammond. His comic book collection, Denver Moon: Metamorphosis, was included on the 2018 Bram Stoker Award Preliminary Ballot for Superior Achievement in a Graphic Novel. He edited the Denver Post #1 bestselling anthology, Nightmares Unhinged, and co-edited Cyber World—named one of the best science fiction anthologies of 2016 by Barnes & Noble. His fiction has appeared in numerous anthologies, Birdy magazine, and on Tor.com. He is owner and chief editor of Hex Publishers.

About K. Nicole Davis

K. Nicole Davis received her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Colorado-Boulder. She loves living in, exploring, and writing Colorado

About Keith Ferrell

Henry Keith Ferrell was an American author with over a dozen published works including science fiction/fantasy, biographical and video game guides. Ferrell also edited the popular Omni Magazine in the 1990s.

About Kevin Dilmore

Kevin Dilmore was a newspaper reporter and long-time contributing writer to Star Trek Communicator Magazine before breaking into fiction writing.

About Kevin J. Anderson

Kevin J. Anderson has published more than 165 books, 56 of which have been national or international bestsellers. He has written numerous novels in the Star Wars, X-Files, and Dune universes, as well as unique steampunk fantasy novels Clockwork Angels and Clockwork Lives, written with legendary rock drummer Neil Peart, based on the concept album by the band Rush. His original works include the Saga of Seven Suns series, the Terra Incognita fantasy trilogy, the Saga of Shadows trilogy, and his humorous horror series featuring Dan Shamble, Zombie PI. He has edited numerous anthologies, written comics and games, and the lyrics to two rock CDs. Anderson and his wife Rebecca Moesta are the publishers of WordFire Press. His most recent novels are Stake, Kill Zone, and Spine of the Dragon.

About Mario Acevedo

Mario Acevedo is an American author. Born in El Paso, Texas and grew up in Las Cruces, New Mexico, but visited family in Chihuahua. Joined the US Army and flew attack helicopters.

Was artist-in-residence for Arte Americas in Fresno, California and served as a combat artist in Operation Desert Storm. Also teaches/taught art to prisoners at Avenal State Prison.

About Orrin Grey

Orrin Grey is a skeleton who likes monsters. When asked, he claims to mostly write oubliettes.

About Sean Eads

Sean Eads is a writer and librarian living in Denver, Colorado. His second novel, The Survivors, was a finalist for the 2013 Lambda Literary Award. His latest novel, Lord Byron’s Prophecy, was a finalist for the Colorado Book Award and the Shirley Jackson Award.

About Stephen Graham Jones

Stephen Graham Jones is the author of more than fifteen novels and six collections. He really likes werewolves and slashers. Favorite novels change daily, but Valis and Love Medicine and Lonesome Dove and It and The Things They Carried are all usually up there somewhere. Stephen lives in Boulder, Colorado. It’s a big change from the West Texas he grew up in. He’s married with a couple of kids, and probably one too many trucks.

About Steve Rasnic Tem

Steve Rasnic Tem was born in Lee County Virginia in the heart of Appalachia. He is the author of over 350 published short stories and is a past winner of the Bram Stoker, International Horror Guild, British Fantasy, and World Fantasy Awards.

About Warren Hammond

Warren grew up in the Hudson River Valley of New York State. Upon obtaining his teaching degree from the University at Albany, he moved to Colorado, married his wife Kathy, and settled in the Platt Park neighborhood of Denver where he can usually be found typing away at the local coffee shop or browsing the selection at the Tattered Cover.

Splitting his time between devouring science fiction and classic crime noir, he lists among his important influences Arthur C. Clarke, Orson Scott Card, Jim Thompson and James Ellroy. Warren is a serious music listener, specializing in blues, reggae and surf.

Written by

Jamie

I’m a Filipino American blogger, historian, and lazy writer. I enjoy books, video games, anime/manga, and smoking hookah.