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A series of four books (a trilogy and a side-story novella) by the late Richard Laymon, they are his most well-known series, as well as one of his most controversial works. Set in the fictional California town of Malcasa Point, each volume mostly focuses on a different cast of characters coming into contact with the legendary Beast House, a house of horrors populated by vicious, man-eating monsters who kill any man who enters the house. The men are the lucky ones... The series is notorious for its graphic scenes of gore and sexual violence, a trio of the most despicable villains in horror, and helping to pioneer the "extreme horror" movement.
The four books included in the series include:
- The Cellar (1980)
- The Beast House (1986)
- The Midnight Tour (1998)
- Friday Night in Beast House (2001)
This series provides examples of:
- Anyone Can Die: As a horror book, it kind of comes with the territory. However, hero Judgement Rucker's sudden, brutal, and unceremonious murder at the conclusion of "The Cellar" likely took even die-hard horror buffs by surprise.
- Downer Ending: Surprisingly, only one of the books - The Cellar - has one. But it's a doozy. Not only is hero/love interest Judgement Rucker murdered by Maggie Kutch, but Donna and 12-year-old Sandy wind up as prisoners of the beasts, raped repeatedly and apparently impregnated. And Sandy is starting to like it...
- Gorn: Aplenty. The blood flows freely in this series, especially towards the endings.
- Stockholm Syndrome: See below. In spades.
- Victim Falls For Rapist: Not only is this a common theme in the series, but it's essentially the premise! Maggie Kutch's husband and sons were murdered by the first beast, and she was brutally raped. Her response? To keep coming back for more, eventually have several children with the creature, build a house where they can live in peace, and eventually become the matriarch of a clan of mass-murdering rape-beasts preying on innocent civilians! Lily Thorn and Sandy Hayes also display this, to varying degrees.