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Hell Comes to Hollywood Parts 1 and 2 Book Review

February 21, 2018 | Posted by Bryan Kristopowitz
Hell Comes To Hollywood II
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Hell Comes to Hollywood Parts 1 and 2 Book Review  

Hell Comes to Hollywood Parts 1 and 2 Book Review

Hell Comes to Hollywood


Edited by Eric Miller
Published by Big Time Books
320 pages
Released June 20th, 2012

It’s been my experience that short story anthologies tend to work best when there’s an overarching theme to the stories. It doesn’t really matter what particular genre makes up the anthology, just as long as the stories fit into some sort of idea. If the anthology is just a bunch of authors put together because they’re names and that’s it, the book tends to be not as successful. There are likely exceptions out there, but I’ve yet to come across one (I’m not going to count those “Best of the Year” anthologies here because they still have an actual theme). Hell Comes to Hollywood: An Anthology of Short Fiction Set in Tinseltown Written by Hollywood Professionals is successful because it follows that overarching theme idea and is chock full of great stories.

Now, you may recognize some of the “Hollywood professionals” assembled by editor Eric Miller (C. Courtney Joyner, the writer behind the awesome and disturbing “One Night in the Valley” is a name B-movie nerds will no doubt recognize), but odds are that, unless you’re in tune with the end credits of TV and movies and read in your spare time for the hell of it, you won’t know who any of the assembled writers are. And that’s okay because everyone involved is a good writer and you can tell that, when it comes to the world of show business, these people know what the hell they’re talking about. They’ve all been there, done it, experienced it, or heard it from people who know it and or experienced it, and then ramped it up into some of the most disturbing and messed up short stories out there.

You can open the book at random and find something interesting or possible exceptional. Again, Joyner’s story is disturbing as hell (the premise of the story, outside of the supernatural element, sounds like something that’s happened multiple times in the lower rungs of Hollywood). Laura Brennan’s “Message in a Bottle,” the first story in the book, will make you hate the idea of the afterlife (it will probably send your mind racing, too, if you read it before bedtime. Make sure you read it at bedtime only if you have the next day off).

And then there’s “Cattle Call” by Elizabeth J. Musgrave. People really will do anything to make a movie. Anything.

If you’re an avid fan of horror literature or just a horror fan in general, Hell Comes to Hollywood is definitely worth tracking down and picking up. There are no real dull moments in the book’s twenty assembled stories. It’s a great way to start a horror anthology franchise.

Book rating: 8.5/10.0

Hell Comes to Hollywood Part II


Edited by Eric Miller
Published by Big Time Books
362 pages
Released September 19th, 2014

After the success of Hell Comes to Hollywood it was only natural there would be a sequel at some point. I mean, how much more Hollywood can you get, right? If the first one makes money you really should do another one. It just makes good business sense. So two years later Miller managed to cobble up twenty-two more Hollywood themed stories for Hell Comes to Hollywood II: Twenty-Two More Tales of Tinseltown Terror and once again knocked it out of the park.

For part two Miller found new contributors including Richard Christian Matheson, Lin Shaye, and Sharknado franchise director Anthony C. Ferrante to come up with scary Hollywood tales (Matheson’s story is actually an excerpt from a novel called Created By). Those are the people I recognized, anyway. The other contributors may not be as well-known but, just like the first book, their stories are all levels of terrific.

My personal favorite of the bunch is the zombie story by editor Miller, “Culling the Herd.” It will make you think about zombie shit, something I never once thought about while watching any zombie movie (or reading any zombie story for that matter). Del Howison’s “The Last Great Monster” is also a hoot and a half (it doesn’t play out the way you think it will). And Katarina Leigh Waters, who pro wrestling nerds may remember as Katie Lea Burchill in the WWE and Winter in TNA, contributes “Once Upon a Time at the Horror Hotel,” a story that will depress the hell out of you (in a good way. Trust me, when you read it it will make sense).

If you enjoy horror fiction and, hell, if you liked the first book, you will have to get the second. Hell Comes to Hollywood II is exactly the kind of sequel the horror short story anthology world needed. Track it down and check it out.

Book rating: 8.5/10.0

So when will we get a third Hell compilation to “complete the trilogy”? Damned if I know. But I think it should happen. And if and when there’s an interest in bringing back the horror anthology TV show, Hell Comes to Hollywood would make for a great base to make a show. Now who has about fifty million dollars or so to make this happen?

Check out the Hell Comes to Hollywood duology. Read them, read them, read them!

Buy Hell Comes to Hollywood: An Anthology of Short Horror Fiction Set in Tinseltown Written by Hollywood Professionals here.

Buy Hell Comes to Hollywood II: Twenty-Two More Tales of Tinseltown Terror here.

Check out the Big Time Books website here, Facebook page here, and official Twitter page here.

The final score: review Very Good
The 411
If you’re looking for a Hollywood themed horror short story anthology, you should definitely check out the Hell Comes to Hollywood duology edited by Eric Miller. Both volumes contain some exceptional stories, and, in an overall sense, there isn’t a dud among the forty two stories between the two books. And if you’re like me, when you’re done with both you’ll wonder when the heck the trilogy will be completed. There have to be more messed up stories out there just waiting to be told about Hollywood. Or Hellywood. That’s a cool name, too.