If Orrin Grey had it his way, he’d likely be penning his creepy stories from the dank confines of a ruined abbey or the shuttered attic of a familial mansion owned by a clan of eccentric psychos. As it stands, the author has no trouble penning yarns of ghastly and moribund power from his home base in Kansas, resulting in two collections to date: Never Bet the Devil & Other Warnings (now out of print from Evileye Books) and Painted Monsters & Other Strange Beasts, the latter reviewed earlier this week. He also currently serves as the columnist of the “Vault of Secrets” series at Innsmouth Free Press and an occasional editor. Orrin took some time to sit down and chat with us about monsters (and their ghosts), cinematic influence, and the joys of visual horror.
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It’s no secret that the shadow of cinema has loomed large over American horror fiction ever since the premiere of the country’s first devoutly supernatural chiller on Valentine’s Day, 1931. (That would be Tod Browning’s DRACULA for the philistines out there.) Since then novels and short stories alike have drawn inspiration from the silver screen and recycled its motifs—the reverse has held true less of the time—even, on some occasions, directly reacting to it and incorporating its characters and mythologies into its own form as well. This latter trend is, for the most part, a recent phenomenon, with genre luminaries such as Joe Lansdale, Norm Partridge, and David J. Schow being a handful of contemporary authors who proudly honor the celluloid gods and monsters of their youth by paying tribute to them in their stories. Orrin Grey may count himself a practitioner of this fine tradition.
Continue reading “REVIEW: Painted Monsters and Other Strange Beasts by Orrin Grey”