Next week, you’ll be able to celebrate horror novels of the 70s and 80s at Greenpoint’s Film Noir Cinema on September 19.
The pulpy horror novels of the 1970s and ‘80s will lurch to illustrated life at a former funeral home in Greenpoint next week. Horror writer Grady Hendrix will act out portions of his new non-fiction book “Paperbacks from Hell” at the Film Noir Cinema on Sept. 19, as part of a monthly series of lectures from the Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies. Hendrix says that he will use songs, images, and film clips to celebrate the two-decade reign of spooky novels over the bookstore shelves.
“I’m going to do a live performance of my book and talk about the history of the paperback boom and the lurid covers that came out of that,” said Hendrix. “It’s got songs, some slides, images from the covers, and I’m going to make it fun and entertaining…
The genre’s death in the ’90s came from both overproduction and an excessive focus on blood and gore, said Hendrix, with the success of “The Silence of the Lambs” leading other writers to cash in with their own serial killer novels.
“A lot of writers attempted to push boundaries and got more into gore, and right around that time more serial killer books were coming out and the genre was producing too many paperback books — so we ended up with a huge glut of gory serial killer books that stained the genre for a long time,” said Hendrix”
From the Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies’ event page:
In the early ’70s, three books changed horror forever: “Rosemary’s Baby,” “The Exorcist,” and “The Other.” The first horror novels to hit bestseller lists since 1940, they opened the floodgates for an avalanche of horror paperbacks to flood supermarket and drugstore shelves throughout the ’70s and ’80s, before “Silence of the Lambs” slit the genre’s throat in the early ’90s.
Fresh off last year’s one-man show, SUMMERLAND LOST, Grady Hendrix delivers a mind-melting oral history of this wild and woolly world of Nazi leprechauns, skeleton doctors, killer crabs, killer jellyfish, and killer fetuses, featuring hair-raising readings, a William W. Johnstone quote-off, and more tales of terrifying tots, tricycles, clowns, puppets, and heavy metal bands than should be strictly legal. Prepare yourself for a tour of this long-lost universe of terror that lurked behind the lurid, foil-embossed, die-cut covers of… the Paperbacks from Hell!
PLUS! Following Grady’s illustrated presentation will be a live round table discussion and Q+A with several artists who painted the book covers under discussion, including:
Jill Bauman – if you’ve seen a doll on a horror paperback cover, it was probably painted by Jill Bauman. A longtime fan favorite, she has illustrated covers for everyone from Harlan Ellison, to Ramsey Campbell, to Dean Koontz, Stephen King, and Peter Straub.
Lisa Falkenstern – award-winning artist, Lisa Falkenstern, has painted some of the most memorable horror covers in the business, and she was the regular VC Andrews cover artist for 15 years.
Thomas Hallman – still painting book covers today, Tom Hallman’s distinctive style hasgraced everything from forgotten creature horror novels like Gila! to popular paperbacks like Stephen King’s The Green Mile.
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