Tobe Hooper MIDNIGHT MOVIE Book Review

Earlier in the year I read Wes Craven's first (and so far only) foray into the world of novels, and I was pleasantly surprised. Now I've read the debut novel of yet another legendary filmmaker, Tobe Hooper.
Actually the book is actually a shared project, co-written by Alan Goldsher, but whatever. Here goes.

"The good news: Director Tobe Hooper has been invited to speak at a screening of 'Destiny Express,' a movie he wrote and directed as a teenager, but that hasn't seen the light of day in decades. And Hooper's fans are ecstatic. 
The bad news: 'Destiny Express' proves to be a killer . . . literally. As the death toll mounts, Tobe embarks on a desperate journey to understand the film's thirty-year-old origins—and put an end to the strange epidemic his creation has set in motion."

MIDNIGHT MOVIE opens with Tobe Hooper (yes he is one of the characters in the book as well as the author) receiving a mysterious phone call, inviting him down to Texas for a very special screening of Destiny Express. Destiny Express is a film Tobe made as a teenager, and even though he doesn't know how this strange caller got their hands on it, he agrees to attend the screening, which takes place at a tiny, shitty little bar as a part of the SXSW festival. 
All goes relatively well and when the screening is over Tobe goes home. But that's when some really fucked up shit starts to happen. A string of meth lab explosions, people fucking themselves to death, zombies and blue pussy juice. The whole country begins to fall apart at the seams, and where can all of this be traced back to? The screening of Destiny Express. Soon enough Tobe Hooper and friends realise they need to find a way to undo the mess caused by his movie, before it's too late.

For a first time author, this book is pretty damn decent. It's written in a very easy to follow conversational style, and rather than just being a single long narration it's actually presented from multiple view points and in multiple formats. Some paragraphs are presented as news stories, others are text messages or emails, there are diary entries and even Blogger and Twitter posts. Admittedly some of the news articles don't seem very professionally written, but they work well enough to get their point across. And it helps that Tobe is writing about characters he knows (himself, film critics and fans) and subjects he's familiar with (horror film). Some times, particularly at the start of the book it seems that Mr Hooper may be talking himself up a fair bit, but honestly I think the man responsible for the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre can be forgiven for that.

With stories that are told from multiple points of view, I often find myself getting bored with one character's chapter and praying that it finishes so that I can get back to the more interesting character. With MIDNIGHT MOVIE however, I found all of this chopping and changing between characters and formats kept me reading because it was ALL interesting.
This novel isn't a revelation, it won't change your life. But it is an easy and fun read and will appeal to fans of old school horror for sure.

I also thought it was worth mentioning that I actually read this on my Kindle. I'm not sure about the physical book, but the ebook has a 'bonus material' section at the end, which is an interview with Tobe Hooper. It's actually an interesting read and explains that some elements in the novel are actually based on reality. Not the zombies and blue pussy juice of course, but you can read it yourself and you'll see what I mean.

No comments:

Post a Comment