When I first began reading horror fiction, most of it was populated by educated, successful characters. Writers were a popular choice. I was fine with it, and I still am, but by the mid-eighties the genre needed a jolt from a different demographic. John Skipp and Craig Spector gave it to us.
With the publication of The Light at the End we had characters from another class and fiction designated for a different demographic. Those who barely made it through high school. Or didn’t get a diploma at all. The disenfranchised, the ones who were dealt a bad hand from the start. People like me and my friends, in other words.
Many of the people I grew up with had ideals, but most lost sight of them. Bitter disappointment after disappointment hardened our hearts. We partied to celebrate our youth and to be free of the constraints of society, but the partying quickly began to take a toll, and burnout set in. We were more concerned with the next beer, the next gore movie, the next gorge-out buffet than bettering the world or ourselves.
Our lives were badly in need of a cleanup.Continue Reading
I first heard of and begin reading fiction from John Skipp and Craig Spector in the mid-1980s. That era is still my favorite period of the horror genre. Thanks to Stephen King, horror had been doing pretty big business, but by 1986 things were really getting wild. For most people it all started with Skipp and Spector’s The Light at the End, a new kind of horror novel, and a vampire story for a hip young readership.
The Light at the End was a radical departure from the horror fiction that came before it. Skipp and Spector’s characters were people I knew. People I partied with. There was influence from classic horror, to be sure, but these were people who listened to punk and metal. They were weaned on midnight movies, Frank Zappa, William Burroughs, Hunter S. Thompson.Continue Reading
Zoopraxis by Richard Christian Matheson
$275.00 lettered edition; $150.00 Limited Edition; $6o.oo Numered Edition
Reviewed by John Skipp
In the thirty years since Richard Christian Matheson burst upon the scene with his brilliant collection Scars and Other Distinguishing Marks, many things have changed. Up until his arrival, the short-short story was the purview of a miniscule handful of writers—Fredric Brown, Henry Slesar, and O. Henry leap most readily to mind—who’d mastered the art of telling a tight, twisted tale with a punch at the end in one thousand words or less, on a fairly regular basis.Continue Reading
Christmas Horror Volume 1 edited by Chris Morey
Dark Regions Press (November 2015)
134 pages; $15.00 paperback/$5.00 e-book
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington
‘Tis the season…for horror? You betcha. Why should Halloween have all the fun? Editor Chris Morey and the team at Dark Regions Press put together an Indiegogo campaign earlier this year and the result is Christmas Horror Volume 1, a wonderfully enjoyable collection of horror stories for this horror fan’s second favorite holiday, right behind Halloween.Continue Reading
An Interview with John Skipp & Andrew Kasch:
Telling ‘Tales of Halloween’
One Halloween night. Ten interlocking tales. That’s the premise of Tales of Halloween, the new anthology film scheduled for limited theater and nationwide video on demand release on October 16. The movie boasts an impressive lineup of creative talent, including directors Lucky McKee (May, Red) and Neil Marshall (The Descent, Dog Soldiers), and the writer/director combo John Skipp and Andrew Kasch.
Skipp and Kasch were kind enough to take time away from their hectic pre-release schedule to talk about their segment of the film, how it all came together, and what it was like to film a Halloween movie in the middle of the Christmas season.Continue Reading
The Art of Horrible People by John Skipp
Lazy Fascist Press (August 2015)
176 pages, e-book $5.95, paperback $12.95
Reviewed by Blu Gilliand
On the back cover of John Skipp’s The Art of Horrible People, author Josh Malerman implores readers to “savor this book.” It’s a good suggestion, but difficult to follow with prose like this, which fully embodies the tried-and-true cliché of being difficult to put down.
The book collects nine stories written over the last decade, each of them featuring the razor-like wit and sharp insight which has characterized Skipp’s work all the way back to his days as a young (splatter)punk breaking into the business. Continue Reading