Tuesday, August 28, 2012
JUST ANOTHER HORROR ANTHOLOGY: A review of TWISTED TALES OF TERROR
Saying horror anthology books are a dime a dozen at conventions is a bit of a liberal number. Truth be told, they’re more like a ha’penny a dozen, and that rarely leads to good material.
Sadly, TWISTED TALES OF TERROR is not one of those good books. Good storytelling and innovative ideas take a back seat to puerile interests and clichéd notions in almost all of these tales.
First up is “The Things That Go Bump in the Night” written by Scott Guffey with an assist and artwork by Terence Muncy. We start out with a busty young woman skinnydipping in the swamp, inviting her redneck father in to join her. She is then abducted by a Creature from the Black Lagoon wannabe and dragged out to where Dracula, Frankenstein’s monster, and the Mummy await them. And then we find out that this is really just a movie being shot by a disgruntled director and self-important actors. However, as you can guess, one of the “monsters” is a real monster, and . . . who cares? It’s lazy writing coupled with a high school-level artwork (with a high schooler’s idea of what tits are like). The only good thing about this is how they borrowed a few lines from Poe. That’s all the class you’ll get out of this one.
Next up is “Terror in Sugarland” written and illustratd by Grant Gutzmer. It’s hard to review this one, considering how Gutzmer died just before this book was printed. However, it’s not all bad. It starts out with a children’s book story, in which the Kroktas invade Sugarland and lay waste to the citizens and soldiers. It actually gets kind of interesting when these creatures are depicted raping the people of Sugarland and breaking up the gingerbread denizens. But then, Gutzmer reveals his true intentions near the end of the tale, where it falls apart into more juvenile masturbatory fantasies.
The third story fares equally as well up until the end. “Anal Slugs and Burritos Too,” written and illustrated by Chris Bailey, seems to be one of the more serious stories in the book. At least, it plays it very straight. Unfortunately, it borrows the shit slugs from Stephen King’s DREAMCATCHER as the villains. Still, the gory results of their birth is very nicely portrayed with the most skillful artwork in the book so far. Too bad on the very last page, Bailey turns the whole thing into a stupid joke.
The next story, “Devil Tomb,” written and illustrated by Jeremiah Buckel, is yet another King rip off. A kid with a ball wants to go outside and play in the rain. His mom says no because his sister died recently. He defies her and loses his ball . . . down a sewer, where he meets a very nasty monster. Yeah, big surprise. As lazy as the writing is, the artwork isn’t half bad. It has just the right amount of quality, even though it could be a bit better. The only thing that can be said for this one is, it’s the only one that doesn’t rely on scatological storytelling to appeal to the reader.
The final story in the book, “Scream Me a Lullaby,” written and illustrated by Master Legion, is the most insulting of all of these tales. Rebecca Mary is a kid in an orphanage run by nuns, so naturally, she has the devil inside of her . . . IN MORE WAYS THAN ONE! (wink, wink, tee-hee!) Yeah, she gets fucked and impregnated by a demon, and when she’s challenged by her fellow orphans and the nuns in charge of them, she gets supernaturally violent until she gives birth to Rosemary’s ba—er, rather her demon-like child. Yeah, it may be possible to be a lazier writer than that, but not by much. The artwork isn’t bad, but it’s a bit too exaggerated to take seriously.
All in all, when you get down to it, if you’re a high schooler with a less-than-average IQ and really desperate for spank material, this book is for you. If you’re anything other than that, don’t bother.
TWISTED TALES OF TERROR
Written and illustrated by various artists
Published by Legion Studios