cover image Attack from the 80s

Attack from the 80s

Edited by Eugene Johnson. Raw Dog Screaming, $29.95 (266p) ISBN 978-1-73566-444-6

For this stacked horror anthology, Johnson gathers 22 neon-soaked tales that hearken back to the days of Aqua Net and cheesy midnight slasher movies. “Snapshot” by Joe R. Lansdale and Kasey Landsdale sees a pair of famous, road-tripping burglars stumble on a house containing things too grisly to steal. In Stephen Graham Jones’s “Ten Miles of Bad Road” a small-town metalhead gets trapped in a junkyard car and witnesses a terrifying music video in the making. “Munchies” by Lucy A. Snyder features a daring battle between a gaggle of drag queens and the gargantuan, reptilian menace of Nancy Reagan, who’s come to devour their small Texas town. Grady Hendrix explores the ways trauma can change people in “Stranger Danger,” about the threat of razor blades embedded in Halloween candy. As with any anthology of this size, quality and depth vary wildly from story to story—some deconstruct and explore classic horror tropes of the 1980s in fresh and fascinating ways, others simply regurgitate genre conventions. Ultimately, though, even the hackier tales feel right at home in this ’80s homage, reflecting an era that itself often prioritized entertainment over substance. There’s plenty to make this worth a look. (Dec.)