Review: Pop the Clutch from Dark Moon Books

A true throwback in genre fiction, Pop the Clutch: Thrilling Tales of Rockabilly Monsters, and Hot Rod Horror transports readers back in time to a culture adored by those who lived it and celebrated by those who followed.

Readers will find a varied blend of wild tales from the spooky occult to the bizarre and unexplained, all set in the 1950’s. A time when drive-in movies and soda joints were the place to escape from the paranoia of foreign political and economic ideologies and growing racial tensions, impressionable minds turned to things that mattered most – music, cars, and monsters.

Published by Dark Moon Books on January 14, 2019 and edited by Bram Stoker Award winner Eric J. Guignaro, there are a lot of high-octane stories by some of the most notable writers in the genre. Yet, each and every installment is perfectly suited for such a collection and it would be difficult to pick a favorite.

A few notables:

Award winning Horror writer Joe R. Lansdale teams up with equally talented singer/writer daughter Kasey Lansdale for Tremble, a dark story that combines the magic of music and the demonic elements that lay dormant in the song.

The Demon of the Track by Gary Phillips combines the popularity of auto racing and a monster traditionally found in folklore nightmares, but the undertones of racial tension brought authenticity to the setting, making this a compelling read.

Outlawed Ink by Jason Starr takes a Twilight Zone approach to the influential powers of tattoos that may bring pause to readers considering body art.

Also included in Pop the clutch, readers will find…


The Golden Girls of Fall by Seanan McGuire

Sea Lords of the Columbia by Weston Ochse

We Might Be Giants by Nancy Holder

Universal Monster by Duane Swierczynski

Draggers by David J. Schow

The Starlite Drive-In by John M. Floyd

Dr. Morbismo’s InsaniTERRORium Horror Show by Lisa Morton

Hot Babe by Bill Pronzini

The Prom Tree by Yvonne Navarro

I’m with the Band by Steve Perry

Mystery Train: An Arcane Investigation by Max Allen Collins and Matthew V. Clemens

Lab Experiment Turf War by Jeff Strand

The She-Creature by Amelia Beamer

Fish Out of Water by Will Viharo

I Was a Teenage Shroom Fiend by Brian Hodge


The tremendous artwork provided by Steve Chanks deserves mention. From the caricature style imagery loyal to the period to the vivid imagery specific to each story, these illustrations are a perfect fit.

If you’re looking for a cultural jolt saturated in loud music, the smell of burning rubber, and chills from good old-fashioned scary stories, Pop the Clutch: Thrilling Tales of Rockabilly Monsters, and Hot Rod Horror will take you there. So, sit back and strap in, because you’re in for a ride.

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