Hell Comes To Hollywood by Eric Miller editor; Big Time Books; 2012; 317 pgs; $14,99 US

Someone would say that the Hollywood world is horrific enough  to have no need of a short story anthology to prove it, but the idea of enrolling a group of  movie and TV professional as horror writers is original enough to grant full attention. Under the direction of Hollywood veteran Eric Miller (here acting as an editor and a publisher) twenty people working in Tinseltown under various roles have penned twenty original stories some of which , rather predictably,  take  place in the movie world, other simply resemble movie scripts that Hollywood might transform in actual films.

As any anthology, the book is a very mixed bag, featuring both good or very good stories, some fair material and the occasional awful stuff. I’ll take advantage of my privilege as a reviewer by mentioning only the best stories.

“Muse” by Andrew Helm is a well crafted piece where a young scriptwriter achieve success thanks to a destructive, monstrous muse disguised as a sexy girl.

“Town Car” by Joseph Dougherty is an excellent tale featuring a smart driver and a spoiled, drunk young girl as his only passenger. The author displays an uncanny ability to maintain the tension in a situation  with only two characters and no real plot to be developed.

In the captivating “Pool Boy” by Ann Lewis Hamilton the mystery behind an attractive pool by a Hollywood villa is finally disclosed while in the strong and vivid “Trash Day” a screenwriter for horror movies found himself involved in a real, more frightening nightmare

John Schouweiler contributes “Dog Eats Dog”, a Grandguignolesque piece of graphic horror describing the violence of Hollywood tycoons when their employees make some mistake.

Travis Baker’s “Pyre” is a tense, gripping story about a lonely widower fighting against a powerful fire which menaces his house and its well concealed secrets.

The volume highlight  is perhaps “The Box”, by Jamison Rotch, a splendid, well written story featuring a movie actor whose successful career is due to a dark, unspeakable secret.

All in all an enjoyable anthology including some noteworthy material.

Dec 28, 2012

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