cover image Blood Splatters Quickly: The Collected Stories of Edward D. Wood Jr.

Blood Splatters Quickly: The Collected Stories of Edward D. Wood Jr.

Ed Wood. Or Books, $18 trade paper (300p) ISBN 978-1-939293-61-9

Best known as the director of Plan 9 from Outer Space and other cinema schlock, Wood published the 33 stories collected in this volume as filler for magazines of erotica and pornography between 1970 and 1974. None rise above the mediocrity of his moviemaking, but you wouldn't expect them to since, as Bob Blackburn writes in his introduction, Wood ground them out in desperation to put food on the table. At their best, these short tales are an index to the type of pulp fiction common to men's magazines of the era: war stories, jungle adventures, crime fiction, and horror extravaganzas usually saturated with bloody violence and heated with steamy sex. "Scream Your Bloody Head Off" follows a man going through the paces of dismembering his murdered wife's corpse and grinding it through the kitchen sink garbage disposal. "Dracula Revisited" speaks for all the book's tales of horror, its protagonist fearing "a scene which promises to be so terrifyingly heart-stopping that I might be overcome with the horror of the sight and my mind would be crushed to a point whereby my sanity could be taken from me." The tone of the selections ranges from the camp of "Missionary [Position] Impossible," in which missionaries find a "white queen" heading up a jungle tribe, to the grotesquerie of "The Gory Details" and the sexual explicitness of "The Autograph," one of several tales with a gay sex theme. Fans of Wood's work will appreciate repeat references to angora throughout the collection. (Oct.)