Review: Necro Files: Two Decades of Extreme Horror edited by Cheryl Mullenax

Audacious, fearless writing that’s definitely not for the faint of heart. Contains some bona fide classics–Joe R. Lansdale’s excellent, horrifying “Night They Missed the Horror Show,” Elizabeth Massie’s shocking zombie tale “Abed,” and George R.R. Martin’s “Meathouse Man”–as well as some great lesser-known stories that explore the taboo (like Brian Hodge’s “Godflesh,” about enlightened amputees, or Wayne Allen Sallee’s “Lover Doll,” a love story among the physically deformed).

There’s more than a few stories about oh-so-decadent clubs that cater to sexual extremism, a recurring theme that tends to get tedious, even in such resonant pieces like Nancy Kilpatrick’s “Ecstasy.” And with the exception of Ray Garton’s gruesome-but-silly “Bait,” there’s little in the way of humor to lighten the selections, which may make the book rough going for some readers.

Being an all-reprint collection, there’s a good chance that hardcore horror devotees will have previously encountered many of the stories here, but for those looking for a solid starting point in the canon of uncompromising fiction, NECRO FILES delivers the grisly goods.

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