Tuesday, June 05, 2007

...And With Ann-Margret as the Demonic Snake-Slut

I think this wins the prize as the Best Title and Most Ridiculous Artwork on a mass-market paperback. It's been almost three decades since I read John Farris' all-stops-out Southern Gothic horror novel, but I don't remember any "Viva Las Vegas" refugees in it, especially any with scaly, nipple-less boobs.

The opening chapter of "All Heads Turn..." is pretty memorable, though. It's a rare novel that starts with a wedding ceremony in which the crazed groom decapitates his bride with a military saber. And things only getter weirder from there, as a family curse with its roots in African voodoo plays out across the generations.

John Farris isn't particularly well known beyond the borders of horror fiction fandom, even though he's published a couple dozen books, some of them quite good. He's probably most famous for "The Fury," filmed by Brian DePalma and starring Kirk Douglas and Amy Irving. (The best part is at the end, when Irving makes John Cassavetes explode via telekinesis.)

He seems to be a writer appreciated more by other writers than by a mass audience. Stephen King, Richard Matheson and Peter Straub are always saying nice things about him. If you're looking for some well-done, escapist thrillers, I recommend "When Michael Calls," "Catacombs" and "Sharp Practice."

1 comment:

Joe said...

I finally got around to reading this baby just a few weeks ago. Farris' sex scenes alone are worth the price of admission. He goes over the top with such wild good cheer that you can't help but sucked along for the ride. Though it's a period piece, the mass market cover art seems perfectly appropriate...