Fade in. A wide, exterior shot establishes the setting as a dilapidated, disused torture chamber of a bookstore. The camera pans up a precipitous and almost-certainly-haunted cliff to enter the swinging, batwing-style, saloon doors of the shop just as a deafening peal of ominous night-thunder claps.
Following the camera’s journey, we observe a nightmarish assortment of literary rogues browsing the aisles. Professor Moriarty pages through a travel guide to Reichenbach Falls while Frankenstein’s Monster peruses Gray’s Anatomy. Inspector Javert pretends to read old issues of The Punisher but is obviously preoccupied by his observation of Meursault, who is apathetically attempting to quiet his dog Cujo. The tracking shot stops at a table in the baroquely candlelit cafe, at which a coven of pallid, gaunt, and devastatingly cool horror fiction devotees are embroiled in conversation. As one, they sense the presence of the camera, simultaneously face the screen, and, one by one, bare their razor-sharp fangs. The screen goes black and is replaced by a title card with words as cruel and red as the lifeblood of the movie: THE NIGHTMARE FACTORY BOOK CLUB.
This Tuesday November 18th at 8:00 p.m., the protagonists of this picture will be assembling the Nightmare Factory yet again to gnash their maws over the fun and fantastical media melange of Anno Dracula: Johnny Alucard by Kim Newman.
The newest installment of Kim Newman’s clever series of blood lollipops finds Dracula gone but not forgotten in the material world of fashionable 1980s Los Angeles. Vampires roam the streets virtually without prejudice as warm-blooded sycophants supplicate themselves for a taste of immortality. A series of bizarre deaths requires a nosferatu private detective who is as noir as they come. A political coup cedes control of Transylvania to its rightful heirs, and, amidst it all, an enigmatic film tycoon rises through the bloodsucking ranks of Hollywood to become the King of the Cats.
A veritable monster mash of cameos populate the wildly inventive plot of Johnny Alucard as a cornucopia of classic and neoclassic icons pepper the pages. Lieutenant Columbo is nearly sucked dry while Buffy the Vampire Slayer fights for the wrong team. Blade trades blows with Travis Bickle while Andy Warhol trades blow with David Bowie. To top it off, a victorian vampire teaches the X-Men to become unstoppable killing machines. Johnny Alucard, the fourth installment in Kim Newman’s Anno Dracula series, has struck crimson, and every plot twist and chuckle is a reward for sinking your teeth into genius.
The Nightmare Factory Book Club meets on the third Tuesday of every month at 8:00 p.m. in the cafe at BookPeople to discuss the literary horror fiction that quickens our pulse and chills our blood. Drape your cape over a chair this Tuesday November 18th to sop up the enchanting Anno Dracula: Johnny Alucard by Kim Newman. Indulge your inner horror nerd and open a vain…of friendship.