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Black Static

New Horror Fiction BLACK STATIC 82/83 OUT NOW

The Cutting Room: Bonus Material

12th Mar, 2015

Author: Peter Tennant

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In Black Static #45 (out now) I review The Cutting Room: Dark Reflections of the Silver Screen, an anthology edited by Ellen Datlow, but didn't comment on four of the stories as I had already reviewed them previously.

For the sake of completeness, I've decided to post my reviews of those stories as they originally appeared.

From my Black Static #33 review of The Best Horror of the Year Volume Four, edited by Ellen Datlow:-

'Final Girl Theory' by A.C. Wise details a man's fascination with a horror film and what happens when he meets the woman who starred in it, the barrier between fiction and reality neatly dissected by the way in which the story is told, so that at times it almost reads like an essay in film criticism.

From my Black Static #19 review of The Best Horror of the Year Volume Two, edited by Ellen Datlow:-

The influence of Ringu is obvious in 'each thing I show you is a piece of my death' by Gemma Files and Stephen J. Barringer, with film makers discovering what appears to be a suicide or murder tape and the transferral of a mystery figure to all video, even television programmes. Written in a variety of forms, including interviews, memorandum, correspondence etc., this is an intriguing story with a wealth of detail and invention, and at its heart the fear of what our modern communication media may be doing to us, both their ability to shock and also to insulate and deaden our emotions. Technically the most ambitious of the stories, with the exception of John Langan's marvellous 'Technicolor' (which I considered when reviewing the anthology Poe) I'd rate this the absolute best of what's on offer here.

From my Black Static #35 review of Darker Minds, edited by Ross Warren and Anthony Watson:-

Finally we have 'Cinder Images' by Gary McMahon in which a man who is part of the test audience for a new film finds the drama seeping out of the screen and is himself drawn into events, the story's subtext hinting that it is now impossible for us to function simply as observers, as the refrain 'But it is England. It is now' implies. There are images in the text that will stay with you long after the story is done. It's a strong end to a powerful anthology.

From my Black Static #10 review of Poe, edited by Ellen Datlow:-

Kim Newman's 'Illimitable Dominion' is the perfect introduction to the collection, containing as it does plot summations of several Poe masterworks. Newman doesn't focus on a particular story or poem, instead delivering a marvellously tongue in cheek tale in which Roger Corman's success at adapting Poe for the silver screen sees society infected with a creeping Poe virus of sorts, so that every film produced, every song and book, every new fashion, reflects the influence of EAP, regardless of the creators' intentions. By way of explanation, Newman pitches the idea of Poe's revenge, his spirit reaching out from beyond the grave to seize a fame he was denied in life, but it's simply a hook on which to hang a joyous barrage of in-jokes and Poe trivia, to poke fun at the derivative and hack cultural ethos of Hollywood, and even comment on how the artist can come to feel constrained by his creation. It's Newman doing what he does best, having fun and dazzling us all with his erudition at the same time.



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