What could have been, but thankfully didn’t.
Teenage angst sure was a bitch in the 1980s.
#7: The Fury – John Farris (Tor Horror, 1986)
The novel was originally released in the mid-1970s, and then made into a great film by Brian DePalma (featuring one of the most magnificent body explosions in all of cinema – yes, click here). Above, we see the Tor Horror re-release of The Fury, which has been given a more 1980s cashmere-sweater YA vibe.
And as a bonus cover, we have the following from John Saul’s Comes the Blind Fury. At first it looks like this could be a sequel to The Fury, but this edition of Saul’s novel came out earlier in the decade. The similarities are striking: the purple background, the whitened eyes, the otherworldly ‘I’ll swallow your soul’ glow.
God I miss the days when all children were evil.
He is death personified, demoniacal, unstoppable, bloodthirsty, and very, very real.
Yes, people he is the SLOB.
#3: Slob – Rex Miller (Signet, 1987)
Hailed as one of the least subtle paperbacks in the Horror Boom, Rex Miller’s SLOB is a no-nonsense head-first dive into the damaged psyche of a serial killer, a 400+ pound mess called Chaingang. The cover reeks of the mid-1980s, denim, blood-stained chains, and a blurb from Stephen King. As a teenager, I remember holding this paperback and feeling something both sleazy and ridiculously sublime. What’s under the cover is a different story. This book is in the ‘love or hate’ category. With lines like the following, there isn’t much in-between.
…How pleasant it would have been to sink a sharp object into her throat, ripping down across the breasts and then the abdomen and then gutting her and taking the parts he liked the best. And the thought of this fills his head with a scarlet roar.
#2: Doom City – edited by Charles L. Grant (Tor Horror, 1987)
Today’s cover image could be viewed in many ways. Is it an advertisement for a single’s resort: throw your heart to the wind and we’ll find you that absolute love? Or could it be a promo for vacationing at a seaside commune for those hoping to mend a broken heart, a drug addiction, or something far worse: yes, here the sunsets have the smoldering impression of a leering skull, so enjoy our quaint shoreline as we help you find yourself?
‘Doom City’ was part two of an anthology quartet edited by the late Charles L. Grant (a damn good editor but an even better short story writer). Every tale takes place in a fictitious coastal town along the Northeast, Greystone Bay, penned by some genre’s finest: Steve Rasnic Tem, Al Sarrantonio, Robert McCammon, Kathryn Ptacek, and many others. While this cover may not fully strike the horror chord, it sure does nail the mid-1980s contemplative, air-brushed vibe. Doom City doesn’t look all that bad, does it?
I can’t help to pair up this image with the following score from Brian DePalma’s ‘Body Double’. I think, goes so well with the high heels, sun-kissed ocean spray, and sweeping synths of glossy embossed loneliness.