Joe Lansdale: Master of Horror

Remember Mick Garris’s Masters of Horror series? It ran on Showtime for 26 episodes between 2005 and 2007. I really miss that show. Some of the episodes weren’t so hot, but there were definitely high points, like adaptations of Raccoona Sheldon’s “The Screwfly Solution,” Ambrose Bierce’s “The Damned Thing,” Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Black Cat,” Richard Matheson’s “Dance of the Dead,” and Joe R. Lansdale’s “Incident On and Off a Mountain Road.”

Lansdale’s chestnut tells the story of a young woman matches wits with a deformed and sadistic serial killer on and off–you guessed it–a remote mountain road. If you are tired of the same old serial killer tropes, this story shatters them. In fact, I remember watching this episode with my wife and calling out the predictable turns that I’d seen in a thousand slasher stories, but they didn’t come. Lansdale turns the genre on its head and, in the best possible way, reinvents the wheel.

I am proud to say that “Incident On and Off a Mountain Road” is one of the many stories included in the upcoming anthology, A Feast of Frights from The Horror Zine, coming this spring from–you guessed it–The Horror Zine. Other noteworthy scribes include Ramsey Campbell, Simon Clark, Graham Masterton, Susie Moloney, Tom Piccirilli, and Ed Gorman–each a master of horror in his or her own right. I am so proud to have my short story, “Clawed Sod” appearing in the same book as theirs.

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