HORROR SHOW by Greg Kihn


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 Rock star Kihn's talented debut novel, a very entertaining revamping of Ed Wood, the film about Hollywood's worst filmmaker ever. Major episodes of Ed Wood get reworked here with wonderful zest. An alcoholic recluse living in a decaying old Hollywood manse, Woodley Landis, whose abysmal schlock features make Ed Wood's seem like Kurosawa, is offered $600 by young horror buff Clint Stockburn for an interview for Monster Magazine. Landis accepts, and Stockburn begins taping Landis's recollections of filming his masterpiece, Cadaver, a film that was set largely after hours in the L.A. morgue and featured real corpses wired to walk. Cadaver, which was shot faster (three days) than Wood's masterpiece, Plan Nine from Outer Space (a luxurious five days), featured aged junkie and horror actor Jonathon Luboff in the Bela Lugosi slot. All of Luboff's lines have a loving flair worthy of Lugosi, or rather Martin Landau, who played Lugosi in Ed Wood. Instead of wrestling with a rubber octopus, Luboff and a hidden assistant wrestle with a real corpse in the morgue, whose eyes when opened reveal (real!) crawling maggots. The corpse, though registered as John Doe (Luboff blushingly suggests starring him as ``Johnny Dead''), is that of the master Satanist priest Albert Beaumond, who had returned from Peru with two tuning forks-- supposedly used to call up Satan--that he'd stolen from a tribe of Stone Age savages. Unfortunately, the tuning forks require a human sacrifice to work properly. Beaumond meets sexy TV horror hostess Devila (read Vampira) at a ghastly Halloween party Landis throws, and drunkenly shows her the tuning forks. After seeing their power, Devila steals them and induces Landis to film the actual emergence of the Devil, who has taken over the undead corpse of Beaumond in the L.A. morgue. Not to be missed by Ed Wood fans, or horror fans generally.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-312-86045-5
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Tor
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 1996


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