Review of ‘Death Dance in the Woods’ by Jeff O’Brien (2018)

O’Brien takes all the good parts of a slow-burning 80s B Horror movie and conjures them into this highly satisfying little diddy. Death Dance can’t burn too slowly though, clocking in at just over 100 pages, but it gets done what it needs to. You can read this one folding clothes, listening to metal with some culty VHS playing on mute, hell, I read a piece of it drunk and had a great time.

dam i hope candy ges out this hotels creepy ‘s shit.

It clops along sweet and steady. Kendall is a dorky metal-head, sellout grunter (vocalist) whose car breaks down in shitty Hollows Point where he meets Candy. Candy: goth stripper, claiming agency and running from the abusive boyfriend, Rhino.

Metaphorically accurate.

I’d be lying if I didn’t say this book is mostly mildly cheesy boy/girl banter (80s horror) in different spooky settings. Both leads a charismatic and the tension of the setting and peripheral weirdness keeps it from stalling.

“I just got the Edgar A. Poe Omnibus on vinyl.” “Babe, you’re so charismatic.” (Bad example).

The thing about slow-burn horror is, it’s all really about the final scene which is… not going to be spoiled here, you greedy bastards! But there are a few clues in the title.

O’Brien could crank these out all day as far as I’m concerned, and he pretty much does, lucky for me. Death Dance in the Woods will flash in the pan, spank your ass, and despite the scrawny word count, will leave you satiated as can be.


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