Dancing On The Edge Of A Blade: Todd Rigney
Reviewed By Ben Walker
Back when Blair Witch came out I fully bought into the mythos and marketing, with the website offering clues about the long-lost footage, the fake documentary on TV and whatnot. Anything that purports to be about some forgotten or sinister piece of art or media is something that really captures my imagination, from Carpenter’s Cigarette Burns to The King in Yellow and Ringu.
Dancing… hooked me in for similar reasons, with a brief note at the start explaining how the titular movie had only ever been seen by a select few. The story opens in the era of video nasties, pulling you through the streets of New York, taking in all the sights you might expect before heading into the back streets where trouble boogies in the blackness.
This is a perfect encapsulation of an 80’s slasher, with an authentic mood and style that often comes across like a novelisation of a (possibly) non-existent movie. Cigarettes are smoked, cops are grizzled and murders happen in vivid bursts of technicolour. And like all good slashers, there’s a gimmick – here, there are two killers: one is handy with a blade, and the other provides the soundtrack to the brutality.
Even the victims can’t help but bop along to the soundtrack at times, leading to some delightfully daft moments amongst the bloodshed. There are sleazy characters who you hate almost as soon as you encounter them, misguided ones who are just trying to do the right thing, and victims who have a lot to say before they’re silenced. It may hit a lot of beats you’d expect from an 80’s style horror romp, right down to the obligatory car chase, but it’s done with enough style to keep you surprised and more than a little creeped out. If this were a movie, I could see it fitting right in alongside the more bizarre stalk & slash offerings of the time like Soavi’s Stage Fright.
On top of all this, as the story goes on, the fourth wall is regularly broken. The cover promises an extended director’s cut after all, and that’s kind of what you get, with occasional breaks in the narrative to show you a little something extra, or lines where the author decides to tease the characters a little. It adds a neat layer of weirdness to what could have been a pretty straightforward story, making this another must-have purchase from Unnerving’s Rewind or Die series.
Dancing On The Edge Of A Blade
Seasoned homicide detective Leonard “Rummy” Rumbold has finally met his match: a mysterious dancing killer who eviscerates his female prey while dancing to pop songs.
Pressured by the police department and the press to find the man responsible for these crimes, Rummy begins a no-holds-barred investigation into the macabre slayings, a journey into darkness that includes dance lessons from one of New York’s finest instructors and the assistance of the only woman who has survived the killer’s attack.
Can Detective Rumbold find his rhythm and stop this madness before the killer strikes again?
Ben got a taste for terror after sneaking downstairs to watch The Thing from behind the sofa at age 9. He’s a big fan of extreme & bizarre horror and well as more psychological frights, and most things in between. When he’s not reading, he’s writing, and when he’s not writing he’s on twitter @BensNotWriting or reviewing books on his YouTube channel, BLURB.