Monday, May 11, 2015

See HOUSE OF DARK SHADOWS! Read the book!

HOUSE OF DARK SHADOWS is a film so nihilistic and nasty that it makes Hammer's horror films look cheerful by comparison. America came roaring out of copious failures of the 1960s with one message on its mind: Life sucks, then you die. When an era's most upbeat horror film is THE EXORCIST its time for your culture to seek counseling.

But that doesn't mean that my inner child doesn't demand satisfaction. Had someone been irresponsible courageous enough to release children's books based on '70s horror movies upon their original release, I almost certainly would have loved them. Last month I threw together some illustrations that combined  inappropriate fare like THE TEXAS CHAINS SAW MASSACRE and HALLOWEEN with Disney's "See Hear Read" record/book collections. Cover art for HOUSE OF DARK SHADOWS was among them, because it deserves to be.

I've spent the last few weeks finishing that original concept. Mostly. Below are pages for what a HOUSE OF DARK SHADOWS book/record set might have looked like. The text is lifted almost verbatim from the film's Wikipedia summary. I'd like to say thanks to whoever wrote it, and for crafting sentences like "Out of rage, he strangles her to death."

You're going to have to provide the sound effects for yourself, though.

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