cover image Final Cuts: New Tales of Hollywood Horror and Other Spectacles

Final Cuts: New Tales of Hollywood Horror and Other Spectacles

Edited by Ellen Datlow. Anchor, $16.95 trade paper (480p) ISBN 978-0-525-56575-8

Datlow (The Best Horror of the Year series, editor) has tapped some of horror’s top talents for this anthology’s 18 outstanding riffs on silver screen terrors, which draw inspiration from silent films, eerie webisodes, grindhouse gorefests, and snuff flicks. In “Das Gesicht,” Dale Bailey imagines the history of an early film so unsettling it was never released. Jeffrey Ford’s “From the Balcony of the Idawolf Arms” conjures a creepy camera obscura show secretly watched by a pair of latchkey kids, and Brian Hodge’s superb “Insanity Among the Penguins” describes a suppressed Herzogesque documentary on cannibalism. Nathan Ballingrud in “Scream Queen” and Gemma Files in “Cut Frame” both tell of Hollywood stars whose cinematic personas, a horror heroine and a femme fatale respectively, bleed into their lives off-camera. The impressive creative range and the authors’ willingness to push their ideas to the limit make this a memorable exploration of the intersection between horror literature and film. Genre enthusiasts should snap this up. Agent: Merrilee Heifetz, Writers House. (June)