Twentieth Anniversary Screening (2021) by Jeff Strand is a novella in the form of an online article. It digs into the ill-starred twentieth anniversary showing of the already benighted slasher movie, "The Roofer."
During its initial 1991 run, an audience member at a theater in Cincinnati showing "The Roofer" was killed when a fellow audience member (disgruntled loner type) tried to perpetrate a massacre using weapons inspired by the film. Now, in 2011, three different individuals are inspired with the same goal, and attempt to do the massacre right.
* * *
I have not read anything by Jeff Strand before, but Twentieth Anniversary Screening is such a black-hearted, dead-pan, screwball novella that I will shortly correct the oversight. In a hundred pages, Twentieth Anniversary Screening consolidates material that could have made a very tedious 500-page multiple-viewpoint novel, and puts a match to the heap. Every aesthetic danger is anticipated, every rough edge is beautifully smoothed and folded into a story of bold and gorey economy.
29 June 2022