Written by: Drake Morgan
The premise for this anthology is fantastic. The theme is women in horror, but as the editors stress in the forward, it is not a collection of female writers. Instead, the themes focus on women as the central force or protagonists. It is supposed to celebrate women in horror, but as I read story after story, I kept asking myself the same question. How?
The collection is divided into three sections just as the title suggests. In the first section “Mayhem” we have stories of battered women, tough-talking thugs, throbbing cocks, and the undertones of misogyny throughout. This is how horror honors women? I lost count of the number of women brutally slaughtered in the stories here. Many of the protagonists were male, even by the female authors. We have the strong mother role here and there, but not much beyond that traditional function. Do women participate in horror or are they spectators and/or punching bags? The one-liner support only? The perpetual rape victim?
Colleen Anderson’s “Red is the Color of My True Love’s Blood” stands out by showing us that women can be as cold, calculated, and methodical a killer as men without dipping into stereotypes, but overall it’s a collection of brutality against women, dominant/ violent males, motherhood cliché, and weak females. Very disappointing.
You can order this one right here.