Over a decade ago I followed up my first novella with a collection of short horror stories. Dark Lands is a nod to a production company my late friend Lee Webster and I formed. We both were hardcore horror fans and wanted to make a film. Hours were spent debating the merits of the genre with a twist towards drive-in films. Our ultimate collaboration was Timber Tantrum (once called Arbor Day) a backwoods woman wrestling team meets killer trees with the help pf a ranger and his one-eyed dog. It was a lot of fun to create using exploitation tropes of slashers, monster in the woods, and sex comedies of the eighties. Like most underground projects, we had more passion than money and found it difficult to pull together the resources. Our script was insane, so we even went as far as submitting it to Troma Films. Lloyd Kaufman personally replied with, “Good luck with that.” Rejected by the studio that created The Toxic Avenger was both funny and a let down at the same time. The dream of our film never came to pass when Lee passed away in 2008.
Two years later, I dedicated Dark Lands, to him in the spirit of the horror past and Fangoria days. The short stories I included were all in the drive-in mode and Lee had read some of them before like the slasher inspired Deadfall. Time went by and the book went out of print, was revived with a misleading cover, and went out of print again. In 2017, the original version’s collection of stories was mostly absorbed into Anarchy - Strange Tales of Outsiders along with my prior novella and all new material. The short story, Dolphin Street, which has had a long strange life of its own, including short and long screenplays and a fleshed out novel expansion, was also first included in Dark Lands. It is hard to believe that it has been thirteen years since my friend died. I miss him and our long talks about horror, the merits and anarchy of exploitation films, bootleg tapes and Japanese Laserdiscs, and when the gore was just so perfect and done with practical FX. I think Lee would get a kick out of a dedication in a horror book and he would be proud that the screenplay we wrote for Timber Tantrum received an Honorable Mention at the Boobs and Blood! International Film Festival in 2018 and was also a semi-finalist at Slash Night! in 2020.
I have decided to honor the past and my long lost friend by bringing Dark Lands back in a revised form in paperback for posterity and as an incentive to follow my punk fiction blog on my website.
Click the link below to get a free copy of Dark Lands!