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Hell Comes To Hollywood #1

Hell Comes to Hollywood, Volume I

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**Nominated for a Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in Anthology**

A screenwriter pays a ghastly price for inspiration--and begs for more... A director looking for fresh-faced talent finds more than he bargained for... A legendary diva will sacrifice anything for fame and glory... A TV personality discovers the twisted truth behind his co-star's impossible celebrity scoops... A bizarre film by an unknown writer brings bloody chaos to everyone who screens it... A mail-room clerk finds out just what kind of guts it takes to become a top talent agent...

Vampiric producers, ghostly actors, psychotic limousine drivers, murderous stunt men and more haunt the streets and back lots of Hollywood in twenty original horror and suspense stories set in the heart of show business, and written by veteran movie and television professionals who went through Hell and back to bring you these tales.

317 pages, Paperback

First published June 22, 2012

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Eric Miller

5 books16 followers

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5 stars
18 (29%)
4 stars
23 (37%)
3 stars
11 (18%)
2 stars
5 (8%)
1 star
4 (6%)
Displaying 1 - 11 of 11 reviews
Profile Image for Hal Bodner.
Author 34 books64 followers
November 1, 2012
With the advent of e-books, any moron can call himself an editor and toss together a slap-dash group of unrelated inferior stories and call them an anthology--and a lot of morons do just that. On the other hand, in "Hell Comes to Hollywood", Eric Miller has managed to produce an anthology that defies the norm, resulting in a delightfully creepy and quirky read.

Each story is firmly rooted in one aspect of Hollywood -- the aging actor, the diva, the young hopeful actress, the pornographic producer, the shark-like agent -- all are presented here. And though the stereotypes abound, Miller's authors are abundantly aware of how very, very real those same stereotypes actually are in Hollywood and are able to give them their own unique spin.

There's a love/hate relationship with the Industry veined throughout this volume. Without exception, the writers show a uniquely Tinsel Town vacillation between frustrated disappointment and disgust at the cheaply laminated phony veneer of movies and TV, and an incessant hope that the Dream is somehow, against all odds, a real possibility.

Oddly, though the book is of the horror genre, there is a realism and a legitimate familiarity with the subject matter that many books styling themselves to be set in Hollywood or within the movie industry can only envy. These writers, while none are household names, are legitimately working in the Industry at all levels, from the seedy Valley sexploitation flick to the financially successful Oscar contender to the cash-strapped world of documentary film-making. And it shows in their writing, evidencing an ease an familiarity with the milieu that is all-too-familiar to the Industry pro and fascinating to the starry-eyed uninitiate.

Though some few of the stories are not quite Oscar winners, there are enough quality Academy contenders to please even the most discriminating audience member. I'm thrilled to be able to highly recommend "Hell Comes to Hollywood". I'm looking forward to seeing what this editor has in store as a sequel!
Profile Image for John Kohlbrenner.
Author 2 books
January 16, 2014
A fun read with stories that do a great job of capturing life in Hollywood and giving them a scary twist. As the book progress, each tale is better than the last with the best being the second to last one, “They Go in Threes”. Now that is one disturbing story. A common theme in the book is people making deals with demonic elements for their success, but each tale is quite different and adds a fresh twist to that old idea.
Profile Image for Brian Sammons.
Author 76 books62 followers
December 29, 2012
This collection of 20 Hollywood-centric horror stories is just like the movies I grew up watching and loving back in the 80s on VHS tapes rented from my local mom and pop video store. There’s plenty of blood, dark humor, and even the occasional naughty, nudie bit. What more could you want? There’s also a lot of “inside baseball” on Hollywood, which is a given since all the stories were written by people who make movies in Hollywood. However, I like that insiders look at Tinseltown and I liked this book. My full review to follow.
Profile Image for Dylan.
21 reviews14 followers
October 2, 2018
Hit or miss, mostly miss. "Trash Day" by William Paquet was a low point. The story about the apartment manager carving up the tenants for meat was so long and drawn out with lots of detail about the guy's life and a side character love interest, and by the time you get to the end you just find the main character locked in a cage waiting to be carved up and made into meat. But WHYYYYY? No reason is given, it just sucked. And why did we need all those scenes with him being woken up by the ghoul digging through the trash? Pointless. "Cutting Room" was the only good one.
Profile Image for Jim Glover.
293 reviews2 followers
October 24, 2020
Holy hell where to begin?! I wasn’t so sure how this was going to be. Bought the book because well it was an anthology for one with a cool ass cover and I saw it got some good reviews. Started reading it and could not put it down. The talent that is in this book is phenomenal. Each story is written so well and written to where you do not lose interest in the story. I cannot pride this book enough. Stories range from the paranormal to just plain screwed up revenge murder, to just fun murder. Check this book out you will not regret it!!!
Profile Image for Justin.
620 reviews27 followers
October 8, 2014
Hell Comes to Hollywood
Produced, Directed, and Edited by Eric Miller

I received this book in a first reads giveaway.

“Message in a Bottle” by Laura Brennan
The opener is a ghost story on Halloween about regret and loneliness. 4/5

“Muse” by Andrew Helm
A young screenwriter’s muse offers him her services at the cost of his well-being. I enjoyed the metaphor for losing one’s life to work. 4/5

“The Cutting Room” by Jeff Seeman
A young man pitches a script about a screenwriter and murder who exacts his revenge by killing off executives, producers, agents and the like. In this case, the story seems to be a story within a story told through people watching a film, but with some truth as murders begin to happen in reality. It was decent, but a bit too senseless for me. 3/5

“Town Car” by Joseph Dougherty
A town car driver with a life of chauffeuring around the young and the rich stops on the side of the road to question a girl about his theory of losing innocence. It started slowly, but I enjoyed the ideas raised by the themes. It makes one ask and consider the potential terrifying future of today’s young people. 4/5

“Pool Boy” by Ann Lewis Hamilton
A woman with a proclivity for tanning moves into a new house with a pool and a pool boy she can’t figure out. It was decent. 3/5

“Dog Eats Dog” by John Schouweiler
To stay true to the metaphor in the story, this could be called shark eat shark, but through the story of lowly mailroom workers, shows Hollywood operates on a food chain—in this case literally. 3/5

“The Bridge” by James Grayford
A poem which I won’t review, but it seemed to be about working in Hollywood as a place he has to cross where normalcy doesn’t reside, but deviancy and ruthlessness.

“Trash Day” by William Paquet
I know none of these stories are written by fiction writers, but I didn’t notice until this story. The story follows Kirk, a screenwriter living in a hotel where he notices someone rummaging through garbage each night. The story drags and becomes mundane in several places. I do like the usage of dreams, but in this story, they were overused and ineffective. The ending was shock value over anything else. It’s a shame since this was one of the longer stories. 2/5

“The Legend of Sleepy Hollywood” by Alan Bernhoft
Famous actors watch on as creature goes on a headhunt. This wasn’t my kind of thing. 1/5

“Cattle Call” by Elizabeth J. Musgrave
A director needs to find The Girl so he can get his funding for his film from a group of devil worshipers. It seemed predictable and a bit distasteful. 2/5

“The Power” by Richard Tanne
A struggling writer confronts his deepest fears by meeting with a woman with “the power.” It was an interesting concept, but relied on the gross out. 2/5

“Pyre” by Travis Baker
A former actor struggling with the death of his wife tries to save their home from a wildfire. I enjoyed this one. 4/5

“Apartment 13” by Sean Yopchick
An actor lives in an apartment a girl with the same dreams did, and he suffers the same fate. This was a bit predictable. 3/5

“I’d Like to Thank…” by Jed Strahm and Ray G. Ing
An aging actor must make a choice between her award and her son. There’s nothing likable about the character, but it illustrated how vain Hollywood can make people. 3/5

“Bad Fix” by Paul J. Salamoff
Friends go to a nightclub, meet the owner who gives them a drug. At least one of them, an actor tries to resist peer pressure, but the whole thing turns to hell. 2/5

“The Box” by Jamison Rotch
An actor with a mysterious box pays a sacrifice to further his career. The story is left ambiguous as is the nameless man’s identity. 3/5

“Alone and Palely Loitering” by Charles Austin Muir
An aging actor goes to a Thai massage parlor with the hopes to get laid and gets an offer. This was okay, but bizarre. 3/5

“One Night in the Valley” by C. Courtney Joyner
Not much to say about this one concerning an actor working on a porno and a vampire. 2/5

“They Go in Threes” by Shane Bitterling
Kal and his coworkers play a betting game called the “Dead Pool” where they wager on which celebrities will die next and they happen to die in threes. Kal is also jealous of Lorna who seems to have a knack for winning at the game until he finds out her secret. This was one of the longer stories, but enjoyable. 4/5

“Not Elves” by Brian Domonic Muir
Around Christmas time, an old man reflects on when the world changed when he was an attorney who met a filmmaker and his encounter with a cult. In the end Hollywood burns and is not what it appears to be on the surface. 3/5

This was a solid anthology written by Hollywood professionals. Some of the stories lacked the writing skill of fiction authors, but most were engaging, fun stories. The anthology was fairly consistent with the poor stories being more of a lack of taste on my part, and the rest were either solid or good, but not excellent. I enjoyed the anthology tackling Hollywood and the perspectives the professionals offered in their view of it. Working in Hollywood isn’t as glamorous as people’s first impressions and as shown by the non-supernatural elements in most of the stories, the horrors in the industry take on a human variety. 3/5
April 12, 2014
A wealth of horror story material can be mined from the entertainment industry. This particular Hollywood showbiz themed-anthology misses the opportunity to do so. Most of the entries are uninspired variations of two common themes: the frustration of a failed showbiz career and establishing an unholy partnership to achieve success as an entertainer. The tales have cliched, predictable endings a seasoned reader can see coming from several pages away with an overemphasis on crass shocks. Most of the writers have, as one might imagine, written movie and TV screenplays. The writers often seem uncomfortable with transitioning from the bare bones style that is necessary for effective screenwriting to book fiction; the results are often as formulaic as the B-grade material they attempt to satirize.

A quarter of the twenty stories were exceptional; three of them could have been better. "Pool Boy" was disturbing but didn't give any plausible reason for the menace's motivations or even an inkling as to its origins. A little mystique is good for a horror story but if the reader can't fathom what is causing problems or why then said reader is less likely to buy into the concept and the psychological impact is lessened. This flaw was also present in some of the lesser entries. "The Power" had a unique theme and clever twist ending but contained some pointless sex/gore imagery that distracted from the plot. The angst of trying to buck the steep odds of the entertainment industry is effectively depicted in "Apartment 13". There is an appropriately morose tone and downbeat ending but the overusage of the word "he" is annoying. "I'd Like to Thank. . ." has a moral compass that guides an entertaining story. The late Brian Domonic Muir supplied the final story, "Not Elves". It is a poignant representation of the "cults and conspiracies" theme which finishes this weak anthology on a strong note.

Hell Comes to Hollywood might have been a heck of a lot better if the editor and contributors had tried harder.
Profile Image for Christina.
54 reviews5 followers
October 27, 2014
I received this book free as a Goodreads First Reads giveaway. Overall I was disappointed with the book. As a collection of horror stories I expected the stories to be at least a little frightening. Most of them were just boring and not scary at all. The best short story was The Cutting Room by Jeff Seeman. It was the only one I found to be actually frightening and could envision it as a short film. Some of the stories, although not frightening, were at least attention grabbing stories like The Bridge by James Grayford and The Legend of Sleepy Hollywood by Alan Bernhoft.
Profile Image for Elise Edie.
Author 17 books43 followers
October 22, 2014
Every single one of these stories was entertaining, running the gamut from hilarious-and-creepy, to haunting-and-creepy, to blood-curdling-and-creepy. Hollywood is, of course, full of all kinds of real-life monsters and this collection explores the very best (and worst) of them. Highly imaginative and great, great fun.
Displaying 1 - 11 of 11 reviews

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