Book Review

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Dog Soldiers and Dog Houses review

I know a lot of our readers, and certainly all of us at Erebus Horror, would regard themselves as knowledgeable when it comes to horror movies. Yet, if someone asked you to name the British horror flicks released in the last 20 years, how would you get on? Sure, you’ll probably start with the most popular ones; 28 Days Later, Shaun of the Dead, Dog Soldiers etc. But how many could you name before you get stuck? 10? 20? Maybe 50 for the more devoted of fans? The truth is, try as we might, we will all fail in comparison to MJ Simpson – author of Dog Soldiers and Dog Houses. Simpson truly is a pioneer and expert in the field of British horror films and this book proves why.

The work is a truly insightful encyclopedia, reviewing hundreds of British horror movies, many never before documented. Being UK-based and particularly interested in British horror flicks, we all thought we had a comprehensive knowledge of movies from the motherland – Oh, how wrong we were!

MJ Simpson, doyen of British horror film writers, has seen them. The good, the bad and the extraordinary. For 20 years he has been scouring the web for these films. He has then reviewed them on his blog British Horror Revival and in his previous book Urban Terrors.

Between January 2000 and December 2019, an incredible one thousand feature-length horror films were produced and released in the UK. Dog Soldiers and Doghouses is the first in a unique series of books cataloguing this amazingly prolific and largely undocumented corner of cinema.

Covering a 12-year period from 2000 to 2011, this book reviews 316 British horror movies. Cast and crew details, critical analysis, production history and release data are all wrapped up in an entertaining and informative half-page review, accompanied by a colour image.

From big screen blockbusters to backyard obscurities, from cinema screens to YouTube, with budgets ranging from £20 million to 45 quid (or less…), British horror cinema has never been so diverse. This book and its forthcoming companions are a guide to the true, hidden ‘British film industry’ which remains almost entirely ignored by the mainstream film press.

About the author

MJ Simpson is, apparently, the world’s foremost authority on 21st century British horror films and these books are the culmination of two decades of passionate research. He is the author of Urban Terrors: New British Horror Cinema 1997-2008 (Hemlock Books, 2012), which covers about a third of these films in more detail and context. He also wrote a couple of books about Douglas Adams.

Part of the original editorial team which launched SFX, Simpson has written for Fangoria, The Dark Side, Video Watchdog, Psychotronic Video, Shivers, Scream, DeathRay, Infinity, MonsterScene, SciFi Now, Starburst, TV Zone, Cult TV, Film Review, Neo, Doctor Who Magazine, Total Film, New Scientist, the British Medical Journal, the Funday Times and the Singaporean version of Elle.

He works by day in the Communications Office at the University of Leicester and sang the 1980s classic ‘Africa’ on what many people consider to be the worst TV show ever made.

About the book

21st Century British Horror Films, Volume 1: Dog Soldiers and Doghouses is a limited edition publication available exclusively online at https://mjsimpson.bigcartel.com for £20 plus postage*. It is 176 pages, A4, softback, and full colour throughout, with a foreword by horror expert Dr Johnny Walker.

* In an unprecedented offer, postage is free for anyone who wrote, directed, produced or starred in any film in the book!

Take it from us, it doesn’t matter if you’re a filmmaker, working within the movie industry or even if you’re British, this book is a valuable resource for any horror movie buff. Check it out and let us know what you think.

Did you enjoy the Dog Soldiers and Dog Houses review? Check out what we think of more literature here

Worship Me. The spine-chilling, gut-wrenching debut demon horror novel from Craig Stewart!

Something is listening to the prayers of St. Paul’s United Church, but it’s not the god they asked for; it’s something much, much older.

A quiet Sunday service turns into a living hell when this ancient entity descends upon the house of worship and claims the congregation for its own. The terrified churchgoers must now prove their loyalty to their new god by giving it one of their children or in two days time it will return and destroy them all.

As fear rips the congregation apart, it becomes clear that if they’re to survive this untold horror, the faithful must become the faithless and enter into a battle against God itself. But as time runs out, they discover that true monsters come not from heaven or hell…
…they come from within.

Pretty deep, right? That’s the synopsis of ‘Worship Me’, the debut novel of Craig Stewart, and WHAT a debut it is!

The book delves deep into human morality and portrays traits and attitudes which I think are synonymous with the current climate we’re living in. Quarantine, lockdown and fear has brought out the worst in some people, showing human nature for what it potentially can be. Given that ‘Worship Me’ was released prior to the pandemic, Stewart has knowingly portrayed these traits in his characters which in itself is an applaudable feat.

As I’m sure you’ve worked out from the above synopsis, the book centres around demonology, with The Behemoth as the demonic antagonist. Whilst the congregation are faced with an agonising choice, it’s not long before they start to turn on each other. As the story progressed I just started to read faster and faster; desperate to know how it all panned out.

The book itself is written in a way that totally immerses the reader making you feel like you’re actually part of the congregation. It’s detailed, with well-written characters and a great storyline. Blood and gore flow profusely through the pages, with Stewart not afraid to describe the splatterfest in great detail.

The only aspect of the book I wasn’t fond of was the beginning. It took a while to get going, but once it did there was no stopping. This isn’t necessarily a criticism – after all, the best rollercoasters in the world start with a slow, tension-building ascent before you’re plunged into an abyss of fear, excitement and shock. ‘Worship Me’ does just that.

Check out the book on Amazon here

Alternatively, if you want to read more about Craig Stewart and what he’s up to these days, check out his website here

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Staring into the Abyss

After my last short story I was given to review, I was pretty hesitant to get into Staring into the Abyss. This book contains 20 short stories. All of them are written well, but I found some confusing. Thomas definitely wanted to let your brain come to its own conclusions about some of these stories.

The trouble with reviewing stories and movies in the horror genre is sometimes you can become slightly “numbed” to some contents. This compilation of stories are dark, and would be a good fit for someone first getting into horror. Not all horror is blood and guts, which you’ll soon find with the quick descriptions I’ve included for you guys.

Maker Of Flight – Alone in a room, a man is forced to make robotic blue birds all day, every day. Some people would consider that a vacation..

Steel-Toed Boots – If you’re trying to get your dick sucked by a male stranger, there’s always a chance it could be your pregnant wife.

Freedom – I think a suicidal just got saved by a prostitute.

Committed – Yet another reason for me to be paranoid when going to the post office.

Splintered – Allows you to skip ahead or keep reading a story about a guy whose relationship has gone sour, kind of a confusing one.

Fallible – If you fall asleep with a lit cigarette, you’re gonna have a bad time.

Stillness – Another confusing one. Guys alone in his apartment (or the entire city for that matter) you don’t know why, eventually he gets taken down by a group of storm troopers? Da fuck?

Fringe – The Russians implanted a microchip in your head, what the fuck has been going on in your life?

Underground Wonder Bound – This isn’t a horror story at all. This is about a couple going to an underground club to have sex with strangers. Hey, you’re into what you’re into I’m not here to pass judgment; just cause I’m not down with it doesn’t make it horrifying.

Amazement – Heroine will make you kill yourself and others.

Victimized – Some chick who has been abused her whole life enters a no rules fighting ring to fight her ex.

Twenty-Dollar Bill – Have you ever stopped and thought about whose hands that twenty-dollar bill in your pocket has touched? (not as entertaining as it sounds).

Interview – Babysitter killer, Quentin Tarantino style.

Paying Up – An absent father finally finds his daughter, as a stripper. Absolute horror story for a father, not for a 22-year-old female.

Ten Steps – A kid’s adulthood is affected by his childhood.

Honor – A wife decides to follow in her mother’s footsteps, and her brother kills her client.

Stephen King Ate My Brain – self-explanatory. My favorite of the bunch.

Twenty Reasons To Stay And One To Leave – A husband dealing with his failing marriage, caused by the death of their son.

Transmogrify – Can you technically be considered a lesbian if you’re a robot that looks female?

Rudy Jenkins Buries His Fears – I think a 10 year old killed a werewolf that’s been fondling him every night.

Links to pass the time on lonely nights:

Kraken Press
Kraken Press Facebook
Kraken Press Twitter
Richard’s Website