Devil’s Night: Bite-Sized Horror for Halloween by Pippa Bailey and Myk Pilgrim
Pugnacious Press (May 2020)
111 pages; $9.99 paperback; $2.99 e-book
Reviewed by Anton Cancre
I generally don’t spend time talking about the personalities of writers when reviewing their work. Here, though, personality is the point of the whole thing. Pippa Bailey and Myk Pilgrim have established themselves as playful, boisterous members of the horror community over the years they have been a part of it. They walk that line between the dark and the heart and the weird little dancey places in between very well and it comes across clearly that this is just who they are.
With Devil’s Night, as with all of the collections they put out through their Pugnacious Press imprint, that personality shines through more than with any work I have seen from either of them in output from other presses. Opener “Skeleton Bob” makes it clear right away what you are in for — it’s short, it feels a bit silly, but there is some venom hiding beneath the surface. Stories like “Coital Corpse Party” and “Nope. Nope. Nope” are just about as fun as you can get, without losing the snifter full of sinister. Even longer pieces like “How Not To Pitch a Tent” still manage to hold that punchiness.
I won’t tell you that Devil’s Night has the most brutal or terrifying horror out there, because that is definitely not the game being played here. But I can tell you that it is one of the funnest collections I have had the pleasure of reading. One where the pure joy of creation is clear in every page, even while it soaks in more than its fair share of blood.