Author – Terry M. West (Turning Face, Dreg)
Release Date – 2016
Rating – 3.5/5
This month just keeps dragging on. As most of you know, I have decided to challenge myself to not watch and review horror movies which has resulted in a suicide watch and large amounts of alcohol. Though I challenged myself not to watch horror, I never said anything about reading horror stories. This has been the perfect time to do some reading. The company I currently work for has been acquired by Sprint and we will be transitioning to them in the next few months. In the mean time, the story has been slow and we have had a lot of down time.
I decided to focus more on reading and knocked out the first two volumes of Vampire Hunter D before checking out Terry M. West’s Monsters and the Magic Now. That book spawned a new sequel titled Night Things: Dracula vs. Frankenstein. It was only logical to follow that up with Night Things. Once again, thank you Terry for sending this one my way.
*Spoiler Alert**The story picks up after the events of Monsters and the Magic Now. Filmmaker Gary Hack’s life seems to be looking up. He has cleaned up his appearance but is still riding the dragon. He has been working steady for Johnny Stucke making his night things snuff films along with filming softcore and hardcore flicks on the side. Gary has lived a rough life and knows things don’t stay up for long.
He is soon visited by two homicide detectives, one alive and one a zombie. They take him back to interrogate him where he learns that his ex-wife and her new husband has been brutally murdered and they suspect night things are responsible due to his connection to the night things snuff flicks. He also learns that his daughter is now missing. He leaves the precinct and receives a call instructing him to meet at a discreet location.
He is picked up there and taken deep underground to a long forgotten subway tunnel where he meets Dracula, king of the night things. Dracula plans on using Gary to reach Johnny who have been at war with each other for decades. Gary lets Johnny know and Johnny reveals that he has a secret weapon to stop Dracula and save all mankind along with Gary’s daughter.**Spoiler Alert**
Heroin in the Magic Now, and the short that culminated into Monsters and the Magic Now, is a story that has endless possibilities. The series takes place in a world where anything can happen and I would only trust a story that powerful to the mind of West. West is a genius and one of the few fucked up in the head enough to make a story like this entertaining.
I enjoy West’s writing style which continues in this tale. West uses small, simple words for the most part to tell his story. This is great for those of us that are novice readers and want a casual reading experience. His writing helps the story flow well and could easily be compared to the writings of R. L. Stine.
The story for this one takes what was established in Monsters and the Magic Now but adds a lot of classic horror spins on it. West fully embraces the concept of night things coexisting with humans and then adds the classic characters Dracula and Frankenstein who have fought several times in film and literature. He then adds some Lovecraft inspired characters along with some of his own from other works to create something truly unique. The icing on the cake was the nod to the film Cabin in the Woods which I referenced before in my review for Monsters in the Magic Now. With that being said, the addition of Dracula and Frankenstein’s monster made the story somewhat campy. The series is known for being raunchy and very original but adding these two well known horror figures into the fold made the story seem cheesier. The mystery surrounding Stucke in Monsters made it intriguing but that was removed once that portion of the story was embraced. Now that they are part of the story, I would love to see more of their back story.
Finally, the film continues with characters established earlier in the series with Gary Hack, his producer Mike, and Johnny Stucke. We do get more of a back story on Stucke but not his origins which was briefly touched on. I’m very curious if West will ever give us a prequel with Stucke and Dracula before the two meet for the first time. There is so much possibility among these two characters now that they have entered the universe. Overall, Night Things is another amazing work of horror fiction from one of the best minds in the game. This is a horror story for horror fans. If you love the Universal monster movies, sexploitation cinema, and gore then you will need to check this one out!