KUSO

2017’s gross-out movie of note, a freeform exercise in sub-Cronenbergian excess with a satiric thrust and overall fixation on bodily secretion

Necropolis

An extended prose poem masquerading as a horror novella, this is a wondrously strange, occasionally gruesome tale, somewhat reminiscent of the poetic horror fests of T.M. Wright but very much the product of the extremely gifted John Urbanicik.

The Metamorphosis

You likely know the story of this German novella whether you’ve actually read it or not: the overworked, anxiety-prone Gregor Samsa awakens one morning to find himself transformed into a giant beetle (not a cockroach as is commonly claimed).

Mantids

Get this: somewhere in the skuzzier regions of Astoria, Oregon a failed musician is afflicted with a permanent erection while having to contend with human-sized preying mantises, which include the hero’s own wife

Hell Train

Here England’s Christopher Fowler, who of late has focused largely on contemporary whodunits, returns to the genre that made his name.

Eat Them Alive

Who the Hell is Pierce Nace? Based on the appropriately titled EAT THEM ALIVE, Nace’s only book, this author is evidently a demented fuck with a penchant for over-the-top gore and misogynistic sleaze.

Shivers

The first feature by David Cronenberg, 1975’s SHIVERS pretty much set the stage for what was to come from “Dave Deprave.” It is at once a superbly imaginative, genuinely shocking horror fest and a sobering look at the possible consequences of late-60’s experimentation on succeeding generations.

Consumed

CONSUMED is the better-late-than-never debut novel 71-year-old David Cronenberg. It has a thoroughly unique and individual voice that falls somewhere between those of William Gibson and Don DeLillo in its concentration on technological minutiae and elegant perversity. It’s also fully in keeping with the obsessions and subject matter of Cronenberg’s films.

The Compass Stone

Fernando Arrabal is Spain’s grand master of the avant-garde, a playwright, artist, filmmaker and sometime novelist. THE COMPASS STONE (LA PIERDA ILLUMINADA), translated by Andrew Hurley, is one of a handful of Arrabal novels available in English (the others are BAAL BABYLON, THE BURIAL OF THE SARDINE, THE TOWER STRUCK BY LIGHTNING and THE RED VIRGIN), and for me the standout, an astounding torrent of madness, perversion, hallucination and murder, but graced with a probing, boldly intellectual edge. It’s told from the point of view of an unnamed teenage girl living in a vast, crumbling mansion run by her father, known only as “the Maimed One”, who spends his days watching TV and decrying the decadence of modern society. “The Sisters”, two gluttonous handmaidens, are on hand to attend to his every need.