Evil in Technicolor
2020 has been and continues to be the year from hell. So how does one create new and fresh art in this climate? Joe M. McDermott is looking to do just this with his new anthology, Evil in Technicolor. The goal of the collection is to call back to the days of classic horror, the days of Bela Lugosi, Nosferatu, and Christopher Lee at his Hammer Horror best. McDermott sums it up brilliantly in the first line of his introduction: “In the spring of 2020, we all woke up in a horror movie.” He also requested novelettes as opposed to regular short stories. The result is a collection that has more “meat on the bone,” giving the reader more story to lose themselves in and forget the fact that, outside their window, the COVID-19 virus is possibly waiting for them.
The opening story of the anthology is “Forgiveness is Warm Like a Tear on the Cheek” by Stina Leicht, which plays on the classic haunted house story. The old mansion known as Maufrais House that has been around for as long as anyone can remember. After having problems with his band, Jason visits the nearby graveyard where he meets someone who isn’t of the living, and that’s when everything begins to change. In the next tale, “Blue Hole, Red Sea” by E. Catherine Tobler, Helen is in the balmy Mediterranean waters with others looking for relics from the library of Alexandria. It doesn’t take her long to make a discovery that crosses into the supernatural and impossible. In A.C. Wise’s “A Thousand Faces Minus One,” one of the strongest stories in the collection, a man wants to record a cover of a Kate Bush song, along with an interpretive dance video that calls back to his short, poignant, and tragic relationship with another man that began with a meeting at the top of Notre Dame in Paris. But as he progresses with his art, his mind appears to be slipping, and there is much more going on than a broken heart and loss.
Rhiannon Rasmussen’s “The Maidens of Midnight” depicts the filming of a bodice-ripping horror movie in Eastern Europe at the site of an old castle, only the tenants appear to be more interested in what is going on than expected, and they also may not be human. Then, members of the crew start turning up dead. In the final tale from Nick Mamatas, “The Thunder, Perfect Mind,” we take to the stage for a new and fresh performance of Frankenstein set in the early days before film, where Gerald Wallace is once again playing the monster, but this time wants more for this role than something that is hated and looked down upon by audience and cast alike.
Evil in Technicolor is a fun and engaging collection of varied stories that certainly hearken back to the classic film days but at the same time feel new and at times quite terrifying. Fans of the genre will revel in this anthology.
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