The Week in Horror: Death’s Head Press, The Burning, Game of Death

Happy Monday, fiends. Welcome back to your weekly roundup of all the big news in horror. Which remains, fairly sparse, sadly, with few films actually in production and theatres still closed (mostly? I can’t even keep up with other states). It’s a good time to catch up on some reading though, and there have been a number of great books coming out lately (and I won’t mention Blood & Mud by John Baltisberger or A New Life by Paul Lubaczewskisince I published those, because that would be an unethical abuse of my journalistic position, right?), so let’s get current…

Probably the coolest idea I’ve heard in a while, and will forever kick myself for not thinking of it first, is Death’s Head Press’s series of Splatter Western novels, which kicked off earlier this year with Wile E Young’s The Magpie Coffin. I currently have the second book, Hunger on the Chisholm Trail by M. Ennenbach in my to-be-read pile, with a review forthcoming, and the third book, Dust by Chris Miller just dropped recently. There’s a free preview on Death’s Head’s website for this one and it sounds really good. The covers are amazing, beautiful works of art, like posters of lost spaghetti westerns. The books promise horror and violence, and so far from what I’ve read, they live up to that promise. Check out all of Death Head Press’s books HERE. They really make some fine looking books and have contributed mightily to my wish list of books.

Of course, if you want movie news, The Burning is now streaming on Shudder. If you don’t know, The Burning was the first film from Miramax and directed by Harvey piece of shit Weinstein. It was in production near Buffalo at roughly the same time as Friday the 13th in New Jersey. The two films share some similarities, both taking place at a summer camp, both centring on a tragic accident, and both liberally stealing from Halloween’s stalk and slash formula with the sleaze kicked up a few notches. Not to mention, Tom Savini did the special effects for both less than a year after working on Bill Lustig’s ManiacFriday the 13th hit theatres first and became a sequel spawning juggernaut, while The Burning became a hard to find footnote in slasher history. I was legitimately surprised to see it show up this week and watched it for the first time in probably 21 years. And it pains me to say this as a huge F13 fan, The Burning is actually a little better than F13 part one. Even though it’s directed by a total piece of shit, it is worth watching if you’re a slasher fan and thirsty for some young Jason Alexander with a full head of hair.

In new release news, how do you feel about a splatter version of Jumanji? Well, that’s what you get with Cleopatra Entertainment’s Game of Death. The film actually premiered at SXSW in 2017 and got some good reviews, but won’t be officially released until July 14th. I had completely forgotten the movie even existed, but it looks seriously fun and gory and I’m really excited for it to come out.

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