Lauded screenwriter and director Hooper (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre) debuts with a movie-like novel featuring a fictionalized Tobe Hooper. At a screening of Hooper's first film, the obscure Destiny Express, audience members exhibit bizarre behavior and soon hot zones of aberrance—low-grade terrorism, zombies, STD-induced hypersexual mania—begin to spread across America. The only thing the various Case Zeroes have in common is having been present for that fateful screening. Hooper and his diverse cast may be the only ones who can bring an end to the plague they inadvertently helped unleash. Hooper leaps from one viewpoint character to the next, never lingering on one scene long enough for the reader to become bored or for the characters to become developed. Though constrained by the conventions of the genre, Hooper demonstrates an undeniable talent, using established horror tropes with considerable skill and ingenuity. (July)
"Midnight Movie is all Tobe, all brilliantly excessive and funny. Very cool, very enjoyable." —John Carpenter
"Uses horror tropes with considerable skill and ingenuity...Hooper demonstrates an undeniable talent." —Publishers Weekly
"Tobe Hooper is a Texas original and a great American filmmaker. His novel Midnight Movie is just as insane as I knew it would be. A violent, funny and novel premise (no pun intended.)" —John Landis
"Much like he did in the world of film, Tobe Hooper has brought a fascinating and twisted new vision to the world of horror fiction." – Rob Zombie
"It’s catnip for splatterpunk fans...a lecherous and barbarous good time."— Daniel Kraus, Booklist
The creator ofThe Texas Chainsaw Massacretakes to print with a co-authored foray into zombie comic novel territory.
Tobe Hooper, real-lifeauteurof on-screen mayhem and gore, is the protagonist in his own novel, chronicling a plague of "suicide bombers, burning cities,an inordinate number of missing persons, and a new strain of STD."The all-in-good-horror parody begins with Hooper invited to screen his never-seen teenage-filmed first effort,Destiny Express,at the famous South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas. Austin happens to be Hooper's home town, he's been offered a generous fee and he's sure to see old friends. Enter a bonanza of bizarre characters. Dude McGee, the corpulent slacker organizing the screening, resides in his mother's basement, has body odor redolent of lunch meat, and purposely mangles Hooper's name. Erick Laughlin is a local film reviewer and sometime musician. Janine Daltrey needs the bucks she'll earn taking tickets at the door, but she refuses to enter the screening venue, a raunchy bar called The Cove. Then there's Janine's sister, Andi, plus assorted meth cooks and tweakers, and Tobe's childhood best friend, Gary Church, who starred inDestinyand then moved to Hollywood for a career chewing scenery in horror flicks. The world begins to turn upside down at the screening when the film somehow releases a virus that infects those present. Andi turns from virginal good girl to a mega-obsessed sexual glutton. Gary returns to "Hell Lay" and morphs into a zombie. Arsonists flame up everywhere. A Homeland Security agent becomes a terrorist. And it's all because of the Game—the virus—transmitted by the never-before-screened film. Thisisn't a straightforward narrative. The frenetic, quick-change-of-scene novel lands on the pages as handwritten notes, copies of e-mails, blog posts, Twitter tweets and first-person recitations from the various characters.
Horror as comedy, bawdy and blue, more yucks than frights.
Acclaimed horror director and screenwriter Hooper (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre) partners with musician and eclectic novelist Goldsher (Paul Is Undead) in his debut novel, which revolves around Hooper himself and the lost horror movie that he made as a teen. The film, now rediscovered, has been selected for a special viewing for die-hard Hooper fans. Soon after the screening, moviegoers begin displaying bizarre behavior and report experiencing otherworldly events. The unexplained affliction eventually spreads like a plague to the victims' families and friends. Hooper, the only hope of resolving the supernatural mystery, is forced to reexamine his film's origins. Writing his story as a collection of chats, emails, and blog postings, Hooper supplements the text with brief, action narrative breaks that make this a quick, fun read. While inarguably experimental, his pseudoepistolary writing technique may be off-putting to readers, and Hooper's decision to insert himself as the central focus might confuse some. VERDICT Reminiscent of Max Brooks's World War Z in both topic and writing style, this novel is a quirky, entertaining, and sometimes comical read. Fans of Hooper, horror movies, and the horror genre alike will enjoy this. [See Prepub Alert, 1/17/11.]—Carolann Curry, Mercer Univ. Medical Lib., Macon, GA