If you like horror and enjoy short stories, the Hell Comes to Hollywood anthologies, edited by Eric Miller, are for you. A variety of voices from Tinsel Town come together to present stories ranging from horrifying human atrocities to other worldly terrors, all taking place in the town often referred to as “Hollyweird”. Author and screenwriter, C. Courtney Joyner (Nemo Rising), beloved genre actress Lin Shaye, author Richard Christian Matheson (son of famous genre novelist Richard Matheson), and a list of other folks intertwined into the world of Hollywood lend their warped stories of the warped town to these anthologies.
The first, nominated for the Bram Stoker Award for “Superior Achievement in Anthology”, features several standout stories, with the opening story being the one that stuck most with me. While a few others had deeper connective tissue or more visceral moments, it is “Message in a Bottle” that keeps coming back to me. More than anything, Laura Brennan’s story is a perfect opener to the collection; it’s short and to the point with a great style and an effective tone. As a short, punchy, and well written story, it’s clear to see why it was chosen to kick the book off.
The second anthology also hits hard with a several standout stories, but it’s editor Eric Miller that pens the my favorite. His zombie story, “Culling the Herd”, is a fantastic little story that is witty, gory, and even name drops The Gate – one of my family’s favorites. In addition to editing these great anthologies, Miller manages to insert such an awesome zombie story of his own. Impressive work.
The long and the short of it (pun intended), is that these are great collections for horror fans, especially if you – like me – are enthralled by the long standing tradition of ghastly stories centered around Hollywood and the film industry. Available in written and audio form, I had the opportunity to enjoy both varieties while working my way through these collections and can vouch for both. My favorite reads thus far in 2018 and likely 2017, too… definitely check these out.
Stay tuned for a review of the newest collection edited by Miller, 18 Wheels of Horror, in the coming week or two. Check out the trailer below!