THE COLLECTED STORIES
“To me, Ed Wood was a crazy genius. Way ahead of his time. Everybody was afraid to do the things that he would do. He was the most prolific writer I’ve ever known. And the fastest. He could write better drunk than most writers could sober.” —Bernie Bloom, magazine publisherTweet
Print + E-book: $24/£15
In addition to the paperback edition, OR Books is publishing a special angora edition of Blood Splatters Quickly, featuring a faux angora sweater handcrafted to fit snugly on the paperback. Purchase and more
Even if you think you don’t know him, you know him. Few in the Hollywood orbit have had greater influence; few have experienced more humiliating failure in their lifetime. Thanks in part to the biopic directed by Tim Burton, starring Johnny Depp and bearing his name, Ed Wood has become an icon of Americana.
Perhaps the purest expression of Wood’s théma—pink angora sweaters, over-the-top violence and the fraught relationships between the sexes—can be found in his unadulterated short stories, many of which (including “Blood Splatters Quickly”) appeared in short-lived “girly” magazines published throughout the 1970s. The 32 stories included here, replete with original typos, lovingly preserved, have been verified by Bob Blackburn, a trusted associate of Kathy Wood, Ed’s widow. In the forty years or more since those initial appearances in adult magazines, none of these stories has been available to the public.
Wood died in 1978, but the legacy of the director of “Plan 9 from Outer Space,” “Glen or Glenda,” “Jail Bait” and so many other beloved screen classics has only grown in importance. Wood speaks—not least for himself—as one of America’s “outsiders” caught up in the struggle to find acceptance inside—and never more directly than in the material in this book.
Publication October 31, 2014 • 318 pages, including 25 black & white illustrations
Paperback ISBN 978-1-939293-61-9 • E-book 978-1-939293-62-6
Edward D. Wood, Jr. is known primarily for his film-making. “Bride of the Monster” and “Plan 9 from Outer Space” (called “one of the unbest films ever made”) have become camp classics. A renegade by any estimation including his own, he was the author of Orgy of the Dead, Killer in Drag, Devil Girls, Death of a Transvestite, and many other novels and short stories. He enlisted in the Marines after the attack on Pearl Harbor, and purportedly later stated that he feared being wounded more than killed because he wore a bra and panties under his uniform. He was awarded both a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart for his actions at the Battle of Tarawa. He died in 1978 at age 54.
She was going to send him to the cemetery. He knew that from the moment he saw her flying at him, that knife gleaming over her head.
It was bitter cold and the blizzard had been grinding across the land for more than two days and there didn’t appear to be any letting up and Stella, Johnnie’s wife, lay dead on the kitchen floor… right where she had fallen dead from the butcher knife wound in her heart – the night the storm had started.
Sure, Johnnie had screwed the neighbor broad right through. Stella had been so right about that. But he couldn’t figure why she came charging at him with that foot-long butcher knife. She had flown across the kitchen floor at him screaming her bloody head off… screaming like a wounded eagle. She was screaming as if all the devils of hell, the creatures from the grave, had entered her very being. It was not even her own voice. She had screamed at him before… many times before… but there was never the sound of panic, despair, horror in those tones… if the sounds could even be called tones.
All he remembered about that moment, except the terrifying utterances that gaping mouth made, was that gleaming butcher knife, raised so high above her head and it was coming in his direction… the high-pitched scream… the gaping mouth… the saliva-dripping tongue and lips… the red… bloodshot red eyes which suddenly seemed to have no eyelids… simply blood-red eyes in dark sockets… never blinking…and that black negligee trailing out behind her like sheer bat wings on a heavy breeze.
She had turned into a white-fanged black devil, with but one motivation left in life… to vent her own fury through her arm and electrify the knife and stab it into him.
She was going to send him to the cemetery. He knew that from the moment he saw her flying at him, that knife gleaming over her head. It was only the knife and the red of her eyes which stood out in his mind, hypnotizing him from the very outset. There was nothing he could do other than react in kind.
The animal instinct.
The werewolf… the monster… the devil himself. It was the only emotion he could conjure up in that instant. There could be no rationality to such a situation. It had to be a spur-of-the-moment action. The fury of the winged bat was charging at him with a force and speed which left nothing but reactions and reflexes… and…
The animal instinct for survival.
And all the time Stella was screaming her bloody head off with the obscenities that piled on top of another…and she was the grave and the cemetery and the coffin and the undertaker all molded into one horrifying creature…one charging terror…a fury unleashed by the hellions of Hades.
Nothing could stop the downward plunge of that knife once it had started…nothing in the world.
Diabolique Magazine, January 1st 2015
LA Times, December 4th 2014
Flavorwire‘s best indie books of 2014, November 21st 2014
Blood Splatters Quickly, October 17th 2014
Vice, October 11th 2014
nomadic sojourns creative collective, September 17th 2014
“The Day the Mummy Returned” in BoingBoing, September 17th 2014
Horror Society, September 14th 2014
Horror Channel, September 12th 2014
Forces of Geek, September 4th 2014
The New York Times, August 28th 2014
Dead 2 Rights, July 23rd 2014