The name of the book makes it sound kind of like a Vincent Price movie from the fifties doesn’t it? And if that had been the well worn Corman-esque path that Snyder and Francavilla had chosen to follow to tell their tale of the thing that terrifies the other things that go bump in the night, being a schlock horror mark of the highest order, I’d have been okay with that, But they didn’t, and Night of the Ghoul is so much more than its title would lead you to believe it is, as it dives deep into monster mythology, subverts everything that you thought you knew about it and offers an alternative, deeply disturbing version of our species dark, woe begotten history that you can’t help but lose yourself in.
On the surface, it’s s tale of a lost film, its director, the obsessive fan prepared to go to any lengths to find it, ancient cults and a mystery told through the plot of the missing film and the cataclysmic meeting of the maestro and the would be celluloid detective. But its also an exploration of the complicated father son dynamic, that plays out against a story in which nothing is quite what it seems that keeps you guessing until the last page. Francavilla’s gorgeous retro art and almost gothic, washed out colours give the book a classic EC feel, and act as the perfect vessel to bring Snyder’s pulptastic tale of terror to gloriously gory life. You’ll need to leave the light on if you ever want to sleep again after reading Night of the Ghoul, as it will haunt your dreams and shape your nightmares. Don’t say I didn’t warn you… Tim Cundle