I can’t believe the Dark Scribe Press volume, Butcher Knives & Body Counts: Essays on the Formula, Frights, and Fun of the Slasher Film, is now ten years old. A decade later, I still count it as a great thrill to have placed my essay “Music to Our Fears” (which traces Sweeney Todd as a slasher film) alongside the work of so many horror genre luminaries (including one of my literary idols, Jack Ketchum).
Weighing in at nearly 500 pages and featuring over 90 entries, the book is an absolute treasure trove for anyone interested in the subgenre. Unfortunately, it is now out of print, and used copies are hard to come by. For certain, it deserves a reissue (and even an eBook edition).
Some sort of sequel volume (covering the years 2011-2021) would be highly welcome as well. The past decade has been a strong one for the slasher, in films (You’re Next, Happy Death Day, Halloween, Freaky), on TV (Scream, Scream Queens, AHS: 1984), and in fiction (about which I’ll have more to post in the coming weeks). Plenty of select material to essay upon!
As any fan knows, slashers don’t stay down the first time. So here’s hoping to a higher Body Count…