An Interview With J. Malcolm Stewart

Our featured author for Episode 127 of the Horror Addicts Podcast is J. Malcolm Stewart no stranger to We have reviewed his books The Eyes Of The Stars and Look Back In Horror: A Personal History of Horror Film. He has also had stories in The Horror addicts Guide To Life and Once Upon a Scream Recently we asked J. Malcolm Stewart to tell us more about his writing:

13798345What will you be reading for episode 127 of the podcast?

I will be reading from my novel The Eyes of the Stars.

What is your story in Once Upon A Scream called and what is it about?

The name of my story is “Mr. Shingles” and it concerns some Bay Area boys who go searching for a wish granting troll under the Carquinez Bridge in order to solve a life or death problem. Of course, given the way this anthology works, this little meeting of the minds goes horribly wrong.

What inspired the idea?

Actually, given the fragmented way my mind works, I had been wanting to write a horrific tribute to Dr. Seuss. Thanks to the editors, I was able to live the dream.

When did you start writing?

Some might say I am still not started yet… But those buttheads aside, I started writing down stories and ideas sometime in elementary school. I also spent my youth reading anything I could get my hands on and watching the worst kind of horror, monster and exploitation movies I could. This life of mind crime lead me to where I am today.

What are your favorite topics to write about?

Folklore, mythology, religion and fantasy are my bread and butter. But I’ve tried writing almost every type of genre except for a straight romance ( at least, not it yet…)

What are some of your influences?23200641

King, Straub, Barker and Lovecraft on the horror side. Tony Morrison and Don Delillo on the legit side (though I have no delusions that I do anything like them, other than speaking English). A score of horror comic book writers of ages past like Moore, Wein, Wolfman, Goodman, Starlin and DeMatteis. If you have written a low-budget horror movie in the last 90 years or so, you have a special place in my heart.

What do you find fascinating about the horror genre?

Horror fiction deals with people as they are rather than how we aspire for them to be. Every other form of genre fiction requires a hero. Horror is not caught in that convention, so you can work outside of the box.

What are some of the works you have available?

My novel-length thriller “The Eyes of the Stars” can be found at in both e-book and paperback. My short story collections “Exodus From Mars” and “The Last Words of Robert Johnson” are available now on along with my non-fiction collection of horror film essays , “Look Back in Horror: A Personal History of Horror Film”

What are you currently working on?

I’ve just finished two short story pieces, one for another anthology and one for general submission. I also have an insane dream to finish my next novel, a prequel to “The Eyes of the Stars” and my follow-up to “Look Back in Horror” before 2017.

Where can we find you online? is my webpage, Sabbx’s Retro Reviews is my blogsite, my twitter is @sabbathsoldier, my YouTube feature where I review indie films is SEVEN MINUTE TAKES, I have a Facebook page, an Amazon author page… Uhhh, that’s probably everything other than my home phone number.

Book Review: Look Back In Horror: A Personal History Of Horror Film

23200641Everyone who loves horror probably saw a horror movie at a young age that left an impression and started them on a life long love affair with the genre. Look Back In Horror: A Personal History of Horror Film by J Malcolm Stewart is one writer’s love letter to his favorite genre. Some of the things this book touches on is the films that managed to scare J. Malcolm as he was growing up, top 50 scream queens and the movies of Mario Bava.

Look Back in Horror starts with J. Malcom explaining why he loves horror. He mentions how he has spent many nights watching movies that we were told were bad for us and then goes on to say that he finds horror fans to be the most even-tempered, honest and nicest people to be around. He goes on to say that horror fans prefer to acknowledge and confront the darkness that is in us and then points out that you have to go through the darkness to get to the light. After reading his intro I realized that J. Malcom felt the same way about horror that I did and I was really looking forward to reading the rest of the book.

There is a lot I learned from this book, its like an encyclopedia of knowledge on scream queens. It also gave a good retrospect on the career of Mario Bava. I didn’t know a lot about the work of Bava with the exception of Black Sunday and Black Sabbath which every horror fan should see. I have to say here Black Sunday is a movie that I would love to see remade, many directors have copied it, but I wonder if the mood of the original can be recaptured in an updated movie. This book also brings up movies I never knew about called The Whip And The Body and Planet Of The Vampires. Mario Bava is a director that gets his due in Look Back In Horror.

I love the fact that J. Malcom brings up the movie Equinox. Equinox is a lost gem from 1970, that most horror fans probably haven’t seen. J. Malcom mentions seeing this movie on Creature Feature many years ago and it stuck with him. As he described the movie I realized that I saw it  once on late night tv years ago and I agree it is a classic. The movie deals with a bunch of hippies in the sixties running away from a devil like creature in the woods. This movie is a great example of why horror is a great genre. Its creepy and campy at the same time. I was happy to see it mentioned here as J. Malcom’s gateway to the world of horror.

There are a lot of movies mentioned in this book that some horror fans might not be aware of which shows how big of a horror fan that J. Malcom is. I loved the fact that Vampira gets mentioned in the top 50 scream queens since she doesn’t get the attention she deserves.  Also liked that Felissa Rose from Sleepaway Camp gets a mention even though I think the movie is one of the worst horror films ever, I liked parts 2 and 3 though. Look Back In Horror is a celebration on what makes horror a fun genre.