Horror Pickers is a collection of 40 essays about horror movies and TV series by Red Rattle’s very own Howard Jackson. It’s an eclectic mix taking in films from the classic British portmanteau chiller Dead of Night (1945) to more recent flicks like The Witch (2016) and horror western Bone Tomahawk (2016), by way of Jack Clayton’s atmospheric Henry James chiller The Innocents (1961), Guillermo del Toro’s Chronos (1993) and Andre Overedal’s Trolljegeren (2010).
TV gets a look in with shows like Kolchak: The Night Stalker (1972) and the UK’s own Ripper Street (2012 onwards).
It’s clearly apparent that Jackson has a deep love of film, especially Film Noir and the Westerns of Howard Hawks and this comes across in his writing. Over the 40 essays Jackson picks apart issues of identity, male narcissism, the struggle between good and evil, destiny and obsession. His opinions are always interesting, I never really thought about Bone Tomahawk being a Christian film for example and he is certainly no intellectual snob with exploitation flicks like Q The Winged Serpent (1982) and Wolf Creek (2005) getting equal attention to auteur movies like Kubrick’s The Shining (1980).
When a book makes me want to either take a second look at a film or to hunt out one I have never seen before it must be doing its job right, I give Horror Pickers a 555/666
Horror Pickers is published by Red Rattle Books