Reviews of dark fiction

It Came From the Multiplex: 80’s Midnight Chillers edited by Joshua Viola

It took this anthology a while, but the final tales really delivered!

As with any collection of stories, some hit the mark with me and some didn’t. The ones that impacted me the most were:

CREATURE FEATURE by Gary Jonas. This one was imaginative, mysterious, fun and scary all at once.

INVISIBLE by Mario Acevedo. Serial killer at the drive-in. That’s all I’m going to say. There were lots of twists with this one.

THE DEVIL’S REEL by Sean Eads and Joshua Viola. The church-going community gets all riled up over a new multiplex coming to town. Turns out they were right to be riled!

COMING ATTRACTIONS by Stephen Graham Jones. What’s behind that panel in the men’s room where the trough used to be, before they replaced it with urinals? What happens at the old Winchester theater, when it’s all closed up in the middle of the night, but there are lights flickering inside? You’ll have to read this and see.

LATE SLEEPERS by the legendary Steve Rasnic Tem. I’ll admit it, I’m a HUGE fan of Tem’s work and have been since I was in my early teens. This story is no exception. Welcome to Paradise Cinemas! This was my favorite story in the collection.

SPECIAL MAKEUP by Kevin J. Anderson. What happens when the special effects makeup person is tired of an egomaniac of an actor and finally has had enough of his BS? Read this and find out.

All of the authors in this collection have writing chops, as evidenced by quite the impressive list of accomplishments credited to each one of them in the CAST & CREW section. There is no doubt that all of these authors are qualified, it’s just that their work didn’t tickle me in the way I liked to be tickled. Your mileage may vary.

There is also a section about the SPECIAL EFFECTS TEAM, crediting the illustrators whose work is featured in this volume. I enjoyed the graphics they provided.

I wish NIGHT AT THE MULTIPLEX had more of a balance to it, which would have made the reading go a bit quicker for me, but overall it’s a decent collection, one with a few final stories that blew me away before this appeared on the screen:

Thanks to the publisher, the authors and NetGalley for the e-ARC in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.

It Came From the Multiplex: 80's Midnight Chillers
Joshua Viola
Horror
Hex Publishers
9.15.20
Kindle
197
https://amzn.to/2EJzHwq

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.

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