The tall pine tree tops; bristling, waving fingers indicating the fulgent moon. There is a distant howling; picked up again and again in a nearing chorus. The chill air is perfumed with a melded musk of human and beast. The shadows growl . . .
That’s right, you’re in the country of the changed. Skinwalker-bound volumes are about to tell you their individual tales, inscribed with spattered blood, steaming gore, gnashing, foaming fangs and sweeping claws.
Lycanthropes, loup-garous, shapeshifters, Lycans, call them what you will, this is a tome dedicated to those who are hairy on the inside, those who have an argument with the moon on a regular basis. The Moon People. The Cursed Ones.
Though some may revel in such curse.
The werewolf has long been a favourite creature of mine from the black ark of the Horror pantheon.
Maybe it’s because of my affection for dogs? What percentage of cat lovers prefer vampires, I wonder?
Well, the appropriately named The Beast Within, from U.S. publishers Graveside Tales, gives us a bumper pack of twenty stories, 352 pages of transformations and werewolfery. It also holds an introduction by W.D. Gagliani and is dynamically illustrated, the cover and some interiors by the triple-threat editor.
I praised Joe Dante’s The Howling when it was released way back in 1980. The influence of it, and other, more recent, werewolf films is evident here of course, but variety is the central tenet of this anthology. Following The Howling (in which werewolves finally looked like werewolves) we had other fine werefilms such as Wolfen, An American Werewolf in London, The Company of Wolves, Wolf...