From Homicide to Hockey Masks...

Dark Scribe Press is pleased to announce its second print project — Butcher Knives & Body Counts: Essays on the Formula, Frights, and Fun of the Slasher Film.

From meat cleavers and machetes to summer camp carnage and sorority house massacres, from final girls and scream queens to demented deviants and dead teenagers, slasher films turned body counts into box office gold. It’s the oft-maligned — but surprisingly durable — sub-genre of horror films that uses a Freudian rulebook and bases the survival rates of its characters on vice and virtue. From the low-budget aesthetics of the 70’s and 80’s to the self-referential gloss of the 90’s and beyond, Butcher Knives & Body Counts will explore the archetype of the slasher film and trace its evolution from formula to franchise. From the inventive kills and the gory intestine spills right down to the last tagline and toe tag, Butcher Knives & Body Counts will celebrate the enduring formula, frights, and fun of slasher movies.

The project will be less a "guide" — what most would immediately associate with encapsulated reviews — and more a comprehensive collection of critical essays on the slasher film genre. In addition to opportunities for analyses of individual films, DSP is also looking for essays on various aspects of the slasher film genre. We anticipate those essays dealing with individual films to be in the 1,000- to 1,500-word range, with a slightly larger word range and some added flexibility for essays pertaining to the more general aspects of the genre.

As we did with our Unspeakable Horror anthology, Dark Scribe Press has established this dedicated blog for the project where submission guidelines, tips, and announcements will be posted. We have also posted a "wish list" of films we're looking to have covered at left. When we post our submissions guidelines, we will offer some suggested topics that will give potential contributors an idea of what we're open to in relation to the broader essays.

More details regarding submissions are forthcoming. No queries (or submissions) until we've gotten the submissions guidelines posted, please.

January 10, 2009


A few weeks into reading submissions for the anthology and the project is already evolving. You'll notice that the "Films Already Covered" list at left is gone; several film titles previously in that list are now included in the "Suggested Films" list. What gives? Have essays covering those films that were previously accepted now been rejected?

The short answer is "no." We've come to the realization that there may be a place in the collection for multiple essays on the same film and realize that to quickly move film titles from "suggested" to "taken" may be a disservice to the collection. So, for those lamenting a film you really, really wanted to submit an essay on but were disappointed to find the title previously announced as "Already Covered," here's your second chance.

As essays are formally accepted, we'll be posting updates to the blog. All films will remain in the "suggested" list at left, if for nothing else to inspire ideas.

Note: We've also updated other entries to reflect this slight change in editorial policy.