“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.…”
And awaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay we go!
Last year while attending the annual Starfest Convention in Denver, Kevin and I were delighted to receive an invitation from Josh Viola at Hex Publishers along with our good friend of many, many conventions Bret Smith to contribute a story to a new anthology Josh was cooking up.
Our challenge: write a story set in the 1980s, with our inspiration the sorts of horror films which were all over the place all through that fanficul decade. How in the underworld could we possibly say no? As we both came of age during that time, many of our favorite movies are from that era. So far as horror goes, Kevin is perhaps the most knowledgable dude I know when it comes to the Halloween movies. Meanwhile, I’m more a fan of the Friday the 13th flicks. On the other hand, our mutual love of such films as The Return of the Living Dead, The Thing, House, Fright Night, Creepshow, and so many others knows no bounds.
Writing something set during the 80s has long been a Bucket List item for both of us, so the idea to lean into that fondly remembered decade (at least so far as movies and some TV goes) was something we couldn’t refuse. The result of our endeavor is “Helluloid,” just one of 14 stories cramming the pages of It Came From the Multiplex: 80s Midnight Chillers.
Kevin and I are thrilled to share a table of contents with this list of amazing word pushers:
Kevin J. Anderson
K. Nicole Davis
Stephen Graham Jones
Bret & Jeannie Smith
Steve Rasnic Tem
Dayton Ward & Kevin Dilmore
In addition to having a total blast writing our story, Kevin and I realized the setting we created – the Vogue, a rundown and very haunted movie theater in a small town – was the perfect setting for all sorts of shenanigans which might unfold in future tales. We shall see!
Meanwhile, Kevin and I extend our sincere appreciation to Josh, Bret, and the crew at Hex for inviting us to come jam with them for a bit. Kevin and I had tremendous fun with this story and we hope to revisit the Vogue again one day, whether it’s with Hex or via other means.