Being an Australian, the little I know about Los Angeles comes from the television and films I have digested since I could first understand the idiot box, but after reading Lisa Morton’s stellar horror collection, Monsters of L.A.,
I have an appreciation of the City of Angels and its raw emotional texture.
Morton uses the very apsect LA is famous for (movies and movie icons) to reveal L.A’s true spirit and in most cases the horror elements take a back seat to the true focus of the work.
Morton takes the silver screen horror monsters (Dracula, The Hunchback, The Werewolf, Phamtom of the Opera etc) and contemporises them – making them more human.
Frankenstein for example, is not a corpse remanimated by a mad scientist, but rather a disfigured war veteran roaming the streets of LA. Dracula is a movie star at the end of his reign about to be replaced by younger model. The Hunchback is an allegory for homophobia. Dr Jekyll is actually a scientist with transgender issues and so on.
Therefore the collection succeeds in what all good horror should seek to do – explore the human condition.
My favourite stories were Frankenstein, Dracula, The Alien, The Devil, The Creature, Zombie and The Hunchback.