All-Night Terror

All-Night Terror - Matt Serafini, Adam Cesare, Jeff Strand

If you're looking for a different kind of anthology read, then look no further than Adam Cesare and Matt Serafini's All-Night Terror. Rather than just throwing a whole bunch of random tales into the mix, these two have put their ghoulish minds together to create a wraparound segment which ties the stories together in an entertaining fashion. I can't think of another book like this, so if you'll allow me a few cross-medium comparisons, this book is most similar in nature to films like Twilight Zone: The Movie and Creepshow, or more recently Trick 'r' Treat and V/H/S. And of course these films were based on classic comics like Tales From the Crypt, The Vault of Horror etc.

All-Night terror starts with horror buff Danny who has the house to himself one night and chances across a local public access station which is showing some very disturbing imagery. It seems the guy who presents their horror movies has gone off the deep end and is holding everyone at gunpoint so they'll play the most disturbing films he has managed to find in his time as said presenter. Imagine Elvira having gone off her boobtastic rocker and starts killing people to get what she wants, and you pretty much have this book.

Of course it's all very silly, but Cesare and Serafini deliberately keep things light as the first film forced upon the audience, BRINGING DOWN THE GIANTS, has creatures the size of and looking like Masters of the Universe action figurines waging war on an unsuspecting house of regular people. As fun as this one was, I wasn't completely won over until the short WAR OF THE CRYPTID, as a Godzilla-like beast rises from the ocean to destroy much of New York and several other cities, since it turns out it has a Jaws: The Revenge-esque bent to its actions.

Some "films" the insane horror host makes the channel broadcast are not quite as good as the others, with INCIDENT AT NIGHT being fairly predictable and a little confusing in its action decscriptions. However KILLING TIME IN THE OFF SEASON is an extremely clever look at what a Jason Voorhees type character does when he's not offing camp counsellors, GORE GALORE is a well-written, second person perspective of a man lamenting his horror-filled life, and THE LAST REMAKE is a fantastic comment on Hollywood and everything that is wrong with the endless sea of terrible remakes being churned out purely to make money rather than out of any love for the end product.

A quick, fun and occasionally gory read, All-Night Terror showcases two new wave authors who have bucket loads of talent to match their imaginative ideas. Highly recommended.

4 More Reasons TV Rots Your Brain for All-Night Terror.