Rock musician Greg Kihn obviously has tremendous affection for the kind of grade-B black and white horror films of the 50s that were turned out in record time by directors like Ed Wood and the early Roger Corman. In this first novel, he whips up a confection reminiscent of the Tim Burton movie Ed Wood
--in which a Wood/Corman hybrid hangs out with a drug-addicted Béla Lugosi clone, a transvestite screenwriter, a Vampira clone, and various other oddballs in a lovingly detailed (wildroot oil on the hairdo, flash sport shirts, unfiltered Chesterfields) 50s Hollywood. The plot is thin, and is incidental to the characters and the mise en scene
. Suffice it to say they get up to some hijinks involving desecration of corpses and a Satanist who can conjure up a Peruvian snake-god. Superficial, but highly amusing if you're in the right frame of mind. Horror Show
is a nominee for a 1997 Bram Stoker Award.
From Publishers Weekly
Like the horror B-movies of the 1950s to which it pays heartfelt homage, this first novel from erstwhile rock star Kihn is a wild and wacky romp on the far fringe of tastefulness. Kihn fondly caricatures Hollywood schlockmeisters such as Roger Corman, William Castle and, especially, Ed Wood in a flashback account of the shooting of a Z-grade film, Cadaver, and the curse that has befallen those associated with the movie since its release in 1957. Landis Woodley, a second-rate director who "makes Ed Wood look like Kurosawa," is filming on location at the L.A. County Morgue when special-effects man Buzzy Haller gets the outlandish money-saving idea to use a real corpse as the monster. How can the filmmakers know that the remains they dig up are those of Albert Beaumond, a dead satanist possessed by a demon still very much alive? The ensuing mayhem exudes a ghoulish glee sure to appeal to devotees of midnight movies and drive-in double bills. Kihn has a knack for establishing characters, no matter how zany, in a few sure strokes. His interest in portraying these cinematic misfits as auteurs bucking the standards of a conservative industry are, thankfully, superseded by his sheer delight in imagining the tacky side of filmmaking on a shoestring. A fun-filled homage to monster movies in the day before huge budgets, this novel recalls the refrain of Kihn's hit "The Breakup Song": "They don't write 'em like that anymore."
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.