For many, Christmas is an annual celebration of goodwill and joy. For others, like yours truly, it’s a time to curl up on the couch in the dead of winter for a good old fashioned fright. Yuletide Terror: Christmas Horror on Film and Television, the latest book by Canadian micro-publisher Spectacular Optical, offers an in-depth exploration of the history of these subversive film and television presentations that allow viewers to engage in different ways with the complicated cultural history of the Christmas season. Indeed, for many who want to learn more about how to watch these, said films are the hallmark of the season itself.
There is just something about sitting down to watch a spooky film during the holiday season that takes me back to my childhood I think. After a long day at work, I absolutely love flicking through all the different channels to find a good film to watch. I do sometimes wish I had more channels though! That being said, I was speaking to a friend of mine the other day and she told me that she has recently upgraded to DIRECTV. Apparently, there are some fantastic deals on ATT-Bundles at the moment, and she even managed to get a cheaper price for her internet too. To be honest, I might have to look into whether making the switch could provide me with even more channels to enjoy horror films!
Anyway, enough about my channel hopping habits! Yuletide Terror collects over 20 essays and interviews that will deck your halls with insightful looks at all your festive fright favourites, including the BBC’s A Ghost Story for Christmas anthology series and contentious 1980s Santa slashers like Silent Night, Deadly Night. Unwrapping the true meaning of films featuring everyone from the Krampus and Scrooge to killer snowmen and evil elves, Yuletide Terror is a comprehensive look at TV and cinematic holiday horror from around the world, and includes a compendium including nearly 200 Christmas horror film reviews. This new anthology, set to be released for Christmas 2017, is the latest addition to Spectacular Optical’s line of cult film and pop culture books including Satanic Panic: Pop-Cultural Paranoia in the 1980s and Lost Girls: The Phantasmagorical Cinema Of Jean Rollin.
Yuletide Terror features new writing by both emerging and acclaimed authors including Stephen Thrower (Nightmare USA), Kim Newman (Nightmare Movies), Caelum Vatnsdal (They Came From Within: A History Of Canadian Horror Cinema), Shelagh Rowan-Legg (The Spanish Fantastic), Alexandra West (Films Of The New French Extremity), Michael Helms (Fatal Visions), Andrea Subissati (Rue Morgue), Joanna Wilson (The Christmas TV Companion), Diane A. Rodgers (Cinema Retro),Andrew Nette (Pulp Curry), Amanda Reyes (Made For TV Mayhem), David Bertrand (Satanic Panic), alongside co-editors Kier-La Janisse (House of Psychotic Women) and Paul Corupe (Canuxploitation).
The book also features Motion Picture Purgatory comic reviews of Christmas horror films by underground cartoonist Rick Trembles, and a cover and original illustrations by British artist Alisdair Wood.
Although there is no official Toronto launch, books will be on sale at the next Laser Blast event at The Royal Cinema on December 13, 2017. If you cannot make this event, be sure to pre-order Yuletide Terror here – the perfect gift for those who enjoy a good scare.