The first book I want to look at for the 1980s is Blood of the Impaler by Jeffrey Sackett. This book was released in 1989 and is a sequel to Bram Stoker’s Dracula, it follows a twenty something bartender named Malcom Harker who is the great grandson of Jonathan and Mina Harker. Malcom hates going out in the day and only feels good at night, he soon finds out that he has Dracula’s blood running through his veins from when Mina was forced to suck Dracula’s blood. The Harkers are cursed and the only thing to stop the curse is to find Dracula’s ashes and spread them outside the vampire’s native land.
Its been several years since I’ve read Blood of The Impaler but I remember it was good enough where I found some of the other books that Jefferey Sackett wrote. Jefferey on all his books mixes history and horror. In Blood of the Impaler, he goes back and takes an in depth look at the real Vlad the impaler by having Dracula recount his own past from his childhood, to when he became ruler of Wallachia, to when he became a vampire, to his death in the book Dracula. The book also includes more diary enteries from the characters in Dracula and actually reads like Bram Stoker’s novel in places.
Blood of the Impaler gives a history lesson on the real Dracula but a lot of it also takes place in the present day. It offers up some interesting characters, some good death scenes, as well as a great battle between good and evil towards the end. This book may be hard to find now but if you enjoyed Bram Stoker’s Dracula and want to know about the vampire’s past as well as what happened to the other characters in Dracula after the end of the 1897 novel, you may want to find it.
The next book I want to mention came out in 1988 called Quarrel With The Moon by J.C. Conaway. The story follows an anthropologist who has uncovered some bones in West Virginia that look like they might be the remains of a werewolf. While investigating he also finds that the mountains are home to a clan of hillbilly werewolves who terrorize the back woods of West Virginia when the moon is full.
Also from 1988 we have Monastery by Patrick Whalen. This is a vampire tale that focuses on a couple of vampires that were trapped by the Catholic church under a Monastery located an island 100 years ago. Two sociologists buy the Monastery and accidentally free the vampires setting the blood thirsty creatures free to feed on the innocent island residents. Luckily there is a hitman living on the island that may be able to put an end to the vampire menace. Most of the reviews for Monastery we’re positive calling the vampires true evil villains and the hero as larger then life. It was followed by a sequel called Night Thirst in 1991.
After I had finished and posted my article on 1970’s books, I was disappointed with myself because I realized that I forgot to mention one of my favorite 1970’s books: Demon Seed written by Dean Koontz in 1973. So I decided to make up for it by mentioning another great Dean Koontz book written in 1980 called The Funhouse. Ellen ran away from home one night and joined up with a traveling carnival, she eventually married the man who runs the carnival and they had a deformed child. Ellen killed the child and ran away. She now has a new family but the carnival is coming to town and her ex-husband wants to do to her children what she did to his.
When I read The Funhouse I noticed that when I got towards the end, the story seemed very familiar. When I was done I found out that the book was originally written under a pseudo name and was the novelization for the movie The Funhouse which was released in 1981 and directed by Tobe Hooper. Dean Koontz had written most of the novel before he saw the movie and only the last part of the book resembles the film. So if you have seen the movie and didn’t like it don’t let it stop you from reading the book.
I thought The Funhouse was a fun read filled with characters that have a lot of depth to them. I ended up feeling sorry for the carnival barker even though he is presented as the villain and the carnival barker’s second deformed child is much scarier in the book then the movie. The book also contains many gruesome death scenes and a great chase scene between the kids at the carnival and the people running the carnival. The Funhouse is a battle versus good and evil but what makes it an interesting book is all the shades of grey in the characters. At times you wonder who the villain really is and you see that sometimes there is a very thin line between good and evil.
The 1980’s was the golden age for horror novels, so do have a favorite 1980’s horror novel? Leave a comment on the blog and let us know.