If You Like Horror . . .(Part Two)

As promised, the list of subcategories presented by the website Writing to Publish is going to continue to be picked over by me like a vulture over a dead rattlesnake carcass. A complete list can be found in my blog post “If You Like Horror Part One”. I didn’t commune with the website, but wish I could get six figures for endorsing them, although I doubt seriously if that will ever happen. That still doesn’t stop me from copying the list from them and giving them credit. It’s just how I roll.

It is with a great deal of personal sadness that I recognize the subgenre labeled “Holocaust Horror”. Whether the literary work is fiction or non-fiction, the subject is the same: the actual, living hell that millions of unfortunate souls had to endure at the hands of the Nazis in the nineteen thirties and forties. I have in my ‘to-do’ list a story outline that begins with a teenaged Jewish boy in one of the many concentration camps that dotted the landscape in Germany and Poland. To write of this subject is to share the constant nightmare of the incarcerated. To deny that it ever happened is a form of horror, too. No matter how disturbing or twisted my novel OOBERS is, it could never, ever reach the incredible depths of depravity during the Holocaust. May nothing in real life ever approach within a thousand miles of it, either.

The author HP Lovecraft was a pioneer of horror and his stories, style and mythic undertones are discussed and debated in Universities around the world. If you read no other horror writer than him, you will be quite satisfied. One of the more common themes in Lovecraft’s work is the belief that there is very little that can be done to escape the heavy hand of fate, and that even descendents of those who commit horrific crimes carry on the curse of retribution. Those who write in the Lovecraftian style try to make their stories as dark and hopeless as possible. The more successful writers who try to emulate Lovecraft include a Cthulhu-type mythos comprised of non-human deities either hostile or indifferent to humanity. Some of the modern world’s most well-read horror writers admit to being influenced by Lovecraft. It wasn’t until I was nearly finished writing the first OOBERS novel that I realized the book’s main antagonist – Brakin the Demon – and his evil ‘children’ were right out of the Lovecraft playbook. His work inspired me to write horror, and I wouldn’t be surprised if most of my writing bleeds Lovecraft.

Now, the subgenre of horror named “Mind Control” is a central tenant of the OOBERS series. Brakin and his minions use their considerable influence to sway weak-minded humans to do their will. You will find the Demon reaching into the heads of the lame-brained and foolish and making them do things they wouldn’t have thought of doing on their own. This type of horror strikes at the core of our fears, because we’ve been raised to believe our thoughts to be sacred territory. I mean, if you lose control of your mind, you’ve pretty much lost everything. “The Matrix” can be described as an extreme case of mind control. The same with politicians – I think they takes courses in the craft.

Supernatural Horror is very common today. We can thank the influence of Brahm Stoker, Mary Shelley, and even Faust to provide the imaginative author an entire universe of terror. If you’re into literature that includes demons and zombies, you’ll be considered a fan of Supernatural horror. Of course, you should know by now that OOBERS is chock full of the supernatural. The very nature of OOBERS involves individuals who are capable of drawing their consciousness outside of their bodies and projecting it through thought and emotion, and we cannot forget the demonic influence that governs a certain neighborhood of the Etheric plane. Any true follower of Supernatural Horror must have seen and worshipped George Romero’s “Night of the Living Dead”. Doesn’t the very IDEA of the dead coming back to life hungry for human flesh just send shivers up your spine?

Who doesn’t enjoy a little romp into Rampant Animal Horror? Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Hound of the Baskervilles was discovered to be covered in phosphorus, explaining its hellish appearance. Then of course there is Steven King’s Cujo, our favorite rabid dog. I even have an out-of-control pit bull in my novel OOBERS, which isn’t meant to implicate the breed at all. Well, I say out-of-control, but it would be more accurate to say Demon-controlled. Read the book. You’ll see what I’m talking about.

I like to think of Techno-Horror as machines getting even with its makers. Steven King’s “The Mangler” is a prime example. The film series “Saw” includes the utilization of technology to maim, torture and kill. The 2006 film “Pulse” involves a computer server gone bad. The same could be said for Facebook. I enjoy reading about psychotic and evil and possessed machines. The 2002 film “The Ring” is ok, but when it comes to scaring the hooha out of you, watch the 1983 film “Videodrome” or the 1982 film Poltergeist. “They’re here!”

I’ve only sliced the outer layer on a small sample of the many forms of horror, and am sure you can provide me with scores of examples. I welcome your comments. Hell, give me enough info and I’ll write a Part Three for you. Besides, I can use all the help I can get coming up with ideas on how to scare the bejesus out of you.

There are so many kinds of horror out there in the literary universe that you are pretty much guaranteed to find something that will make your knickers knock together. I believe that my disturbing and graphic novel OOBERS crosses over the boundaries of several subgenres of horror and then rips their hearts out and feeds them to each other. If you don’t walk away from OOBERS profoundly disturbed and creeped out, you have no soul to be terrorized. If that’s the case let me know who you are and I’ll use you in one of my future horror novels.

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