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Behold the Undead of Dracula: Lurid Tales of Cinematic Gothic Horror Paperback – September 21, 2019
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The classic monsters have returned... again!
During the gothic horror revival of the late 1950s through the 1970s, vampires, witches, devil worshipers, occultists, spirits, ghouls, and grave-robbing mad scientists returned to terrify a new generation of thrill-seeking movie audiences. Influenced by the social and cultural upheavals of the time and the ever-present specter of nuclear war, these classic terrors became more violent, more subversive--and more seductive.
Behold the Undead of Dracula features stories inspired by the films of the gothic horror revival, dripping with blazing bright-red blood and radiating sex appeal.
Eleven of the best authors in underground horror fiction offer up unique and terrifying takes on this special era of cinematic history, summoning spine-tingling tales sure to frighten and seduce unwary readers.
Grab your popcorn, take a seat, and watch as the curtain rises on these gothic nightmares. Bear witness to the lurid and sensual horrors of Behold the Undead of Dracula!
"Go to the Devil" by Matthew M. Bartlett
"Over the Violets There That Lie" by Gwendolyn Kiste
"George Strait and the Black Orchard Grimoire" by Mer Whinery
"Vengeance of the Blood Princess" by Dominique Lamssies
"Diabolus in Musica" by William Tea
"Taste of Fear in the Night (European Release Title: Curse of the Mountain Witches)" by Tom Breen
"You Should Smile More: The Blood Coven of Arkana" by Heather L. Levy
"Mina's Castle" by Sean M. Thompson
"Cleaver Castle of Carnage Presents: The Coven Strikes Back" by Christa Carmen
"The Bloody Cask of Rasputin" by Thomas C. Mavroudis
"The Filthy Creation of Frankenstein" by Gemma Files
Cover art by Trevor Henderson
Interior illustration by Mat Fitzsimmons
Editing and layout by Jonathan Raab
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- Publisher : Muzzleland Press (September 21, 2019)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 264 pages
- ISBN-10 : 099708037X
- ISBN-13 : 978-0997080377
- Item Weight : 12.6 ounces
- Dimensions : 6 x 0.55 x 9 inches
- Customer Reviews:
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For those who prefer their Gothic horrors Dracula-shaped, there are plenty of vampires in these pages, but there are also Satanism shockers and witch covens, surprise appearances by Rasputin and George Strait (?!), and, of course, a couple of Frankensteins.
A few of these tales act as revisionist retellings or extended fan fiction sequels to specific Hammer films, with more than one taking on The Vampire Lovers, while "The Filthy Creation of Frankenstein" shows us an alternate way that the adventures of Hammer's Baron Frankenstein could have played out. Others simply borrow the trappings and the atmosphere of these Gothic chillers to tell entirely new stories - some set in the present day, others in the costumed past; some metafictionally located on the very sets of these sorts of films, such as Christa Carmen's "Cleaver Castle of Carnage Presents: The Coven Strikes Back" or Matthew M. Bartlett's predictably show-stopping "Go to the Devil."
The best of them capture the same lightning in a bottle that the original films did, while going places those films could never go. And while it's not quite the perfect return to those fog-shrouded sets, it's damn close.
A number of these stories involve female empowerment or flipping the tropes of the Hammer era of heaving bosoms. So many in fact that I would be tempted to call it a second, more subtle theme in the collection. Gwendoline Kriste's "Over the Violets Here There That Lie" Poe tinged feminist tale, as well as Christa Carmen's "Cleaver Castle of Carnage Presents: The Coven Strikes Back" are even set in a meta world in which the filming of those movies is incorporated ala Shadow of the Vampire. Other pieces attempt to update the gender roles and power dynamics of the Hammer films that always approached being ahead of their time but never quite stepped all the way over the line. In "Vengeance of the Blood Princess", Dominique Lamssies gives us a continuation of the Karnstein trilogy, but this time firmly grounded in the feminist empowerment that the original lacked. Heather Levy tries to push the other, possibly negative, boundary of female empowerment in "You Should Smile More: The Blood Coven of Arkana", a modern folk-horror tale.
By contrast, the bulk William Tea's "Diabolus in Musica" seems feels like one of the most perfect encapsulations of the slow burn, atmospheric, gothic feel of so much of the Hammer era coloured by an almost Yellow Wallpaper style domination of the female lead. It the suddenly dovetails (in the best way possible) into scenes that fit right in with the wildest of the Hammer creations.
Tom Breen maintains the gothic aesthetic with a nod to "Dracula" in "Mina's Castle." It uses the same technique to maintain verisimilitude as Dracula, telling the story through a series of letters, but updating it for the modern era and his familiar territory of the integration of technology with the horrific supernatural by using emails.
Matthew Bartlett's "Go To The Devil"and Thomas Mavroudis' "Bloody Cask of Rasputin" feel more like Hammer influenced tales, with the two author's familiar voices and styles still very much dominating.
My favourite inclusion might just be Gamma Files', "The Filthy Creation of Frankenstein." A spectacular, intimate, love triangle retelling of the creation of monsters that both frightens and touches the heart.
While too short to possibly cover all of the delightfully outlandish settings and themes from those films, there are certainly plenty of satanic cults, created monters, and of course, Draculas, here to satisfy. I would add that the only omission I regret here is that Orrin Grey, given his love of cinema and extensive writing in ouvre both fictional and non, didn't make it into this collection. It would have been a match made in...well...an old, cobweb strewn castle.
It would be an insult to call these new points of view merely "modern." They're timeless. These stories respect their inspirations, and challenge traditions, yet in the end manage to deliver themes that are universal. War, mortality, morality, class, family, love, lust, sex, revenge, triumph, and despair. The same hot-blooded appeal found in the many tales of Baron Frankenstein, Count Dracula, and Blood From the Mummy's Tomb can be found here. Behold!