Schow, David J. 1955-

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Schow, David J. 1955-
(Stephen Grave)


Born July 13, 1955, in Marburg, West Germany; married Christa Faust (an actress), 1995 (separated).


Home—Hollywood Hills, CA.


Freelance writer, 1978—; screenwriter, 1989—. Also appeared as an actor in The Crow, 1994, Stephen King's The Shining, 1997, and My Life with Morrissey, 2003.


Dimension Award for short story, Rod Serling's The Twilight Zone Magazine, 1985; World Fantasy Award for short story, 1987; Bram Stoker Award, 1987, for "Pamela's Get"; International Horror Guild Award for best nonfiction, 2001.


The Florida Burn, Avon (New York, NY), 1985.

The Vengeance Game, Avon (New York, NY), 1985.

The Razor's Edge, Avon (New York, NY), 1986.

China White, Avon (New York, NY), 1986.

(With Jeffrey Frentzen) The Outer Limits: The Official Companion, Ace Books (New York, NY), 1986.

Probing by Fire, Avon (New York, NY), 1987.

(Editor) Silver Scream, introduction by Tobe Hooper, illustrated by Kevin Davies, Dark Harvest (Arlington Heights, IL), 1988.

The Kill Riff (novel), T. Doherty Associates (New York, NY), 1988.

The Shaft (novel), Macdonald (London, England), 1990.

Seeing Red, Tor (New York, NY), 1990.

Lost Angels, New American Library (New York, NY), 1990.

Sedalia, Pulphouse (Eugene, OR), 1991.

Black Leather Required: Stories, Mark V. Ziesing (Shingletown, CA), 1994.

Crypt Orchids, Subterranean Press (Burton, MI), 1998.

Eye (stories), Subterranean Press (Burton, MI), 2000.

Bullets of Rain, Dark Alley (New York, NY), 2003.

Rock Breaks Scissors Cut (novel), Subterranean Press (Burton, MI), 2003.

Zombie Jam (stories), Subterranean Press (Burton, MI), 2003.

Havoc Swims Jaded (stories), Subterranean Press (Burton, MI), 2006.

Also author of approximately seventeen novels under the pseudonym Steven Grave. Contributor of stories to periodicals and anthologies, including Rod Serling's The Twilight Zone Magazine, Night Cry, Galileo, Dark Voices 5: The Pan Book of Horror, 1993, and Whispers. Editor, The Lost Bloch, by Robert Bloch, 3 volumes, Volume 1: The Devil with You!, 1999, Volume 3: Crimes and Punishments, 2003. Former columnist, Fangoria magazine.


(With Leslie Bohem) A Nightmare on Elm Street, Part IV: The Dream Child, New Line, 1989.

Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III, New Line, 1990.

Critters 3: You Are What They Eat, New Line, 1991.

(With Joseph Lyle) Critters 4: They're Invading Your Space, New Line, 1992.

(With John Shirley) The Crow, Miramax, 1994.

(With Sheldon Turner) The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning, New Line, 2006.

Also author of Unhasped, 2003. Contributor of episodes to television programs, including Freddy's Nightmares, 1989, Tales from the Crypt, 1994, The Outer Limits, 1995, Perversions of Science, 1996, The Hunger, 1997, and Masters of Horror, 2006-07.


Writer David J. Schow has worked to revolutionize horror fiction for the past three decades. Writing novels, short stories, screenplays, and television scripts, he has retooled the basic concepts of the horror genre and helped change the public perception of the genre. "His work," wrote Paula Guran in an interview published on the DarkEcho Horror Web site, "tended to be what, perhaps unfortunately, later became labeled as 'splatterpunk' (a term Schow admits inventing, and while sober at that.)" "What denotes horror fiction, these days?" he asked Guran. "The point where the blade draws blood is when you as a writer become more experimental instead of opting for the safety of sawing the same old log. Most people hate being surprised by fiction because they infer from the fact that they were surprised that they must also be unaware or dull."

Schow has also earned a reputation as a screenwriter, working on several of the famous horror/slasher franchise films. Many critics note that he uses his experience as a Los Angeles native for inspiration in his work. "The author is very much the product of Southern California culture, and a lifelong fan of fantastic TV and films," declared Darrell Schweitzer in Supernatural Fiction Writers. "Indeed, the first book he published under his own name was The Outer Limits: The Official Companion (1986), which grew out of a series of articles he and Jeffrey Frentzen had written for Rod Serling's The Twilight Zone Magazine. His 1990 story, 'Monster Movies' ([collected] in Lost Angels) is simply a paean to classic horror movies." "Manifestly drawing upon first-hand knowledge," wrote a critic for the St. James Guide to Horror, Ghost & Gothic Writers, "he often writes cynically but sympathetically about the inhabitants of its many colourful subcultures—film executives, rock musicians, models, gang members—as well as ordinary Angelenos with more mundane occupations." "In addition," the St. James Guide critic continued, "Schow regularly projects a uniquely Californian philosophy, on the one hand aggressively proclaiming one's independence from roots and traditions while embracing everything alien, heterodox and repulsive, and on the other hand shyly revealing a sentimental longing for the old-fashioned morality and loving relationships of Leave It to Beaver."

Through his novels and short stories, Schow has earned a reputation as a cutting-edge master of horror fiction. A Publishers Weekly reviewer wrote that, in Bullets of Rain, "Schow works suspenseful sleight-of-hand with his story elements, skillfully underplaying the significance of clues and deftly managing character viewpoints to direct what the reader sees." The reviewer concluded that Schow's resolution of the story's conflict was a work of "coolly calculated audacity." Crypt Orchids, declared another Publishers Weekly critic, "shows its author to be one of the most versatile and visceral talents at work in contemporary horror." The "vulnerability" of the protagonists in Rock Breaks Scissors Cut, stated still another Publishers Weekly contributor, "softens the cynicism of his usual hard-boiled approach, and the result is a moving, offbeat dark fantasy that rises above the usual genre fare." Schow, concluded a critic reviewing Bullets of Rain for the DarkEcho Horror Web site, "writes from the head down, not the gut up, and succeeds with brilliant singularity. He is a stage magician, but his tricks are so sharp, his illusions are so convincing, his smoke-and-mirrors are so enthralling that you don't mind his distance and manipulation."



Blieiler, Richard, editor, Supernatural Fiction Writers, Scribner (New York, NY), 2003.

St. James Guide to Horror, Ghost and Gothic Writers, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1998.


Booklist, January 1, 2003, Ray Olson, review of The Lost Bloch, Volume 3: Crimes and Punishments, p. 832; August, 2003, Kristine Huntley, review ofRock Breaks Scissors Cut, p. 1968; September 15, 2003, Elliott Swanson, review of Bullets of Rain, p. 216; September 15, 2006, Ray Olson, review of Havoc Swims Jaded, p. 34.

Publishers Weekly, March 30, 1998, review of Crypt Orchids, p. 71; April 19, 1999, review of The Lost Bloch, Volume 1: The Devil with You!, Volume 1, p. 66; December 18, 2000, review of Eye, p. 60; July 21, 2003, review of Rock Breaks Scissors Cut, p. 179; August 4, 2003, review of Zombie Jam, p. 61; October 6, 2003, review of Bullets of Rain, p. 62; September 11, 2006, review of Havoc Swims Jaded, p. 39.

Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, September, 1998, Douglas E. Winter, review of Crypt Orchids, p. 55.


Agony Column, (January 4, 2007), Rick Kleffel, review of Bullets of Rain, and Mario Guslandi, review of Havoc Swims Jaded.

Black Leather Required: The Official Web Site of David J. Schow, (January 4, 2007).

DarkEcho Horror, (January 4, 2007), Paula Guran, "David J. Schow: Writing Where the Blade Draws the Blood," author interview.

Tabula Rasa, (January 4, 2007), "Schowtime: An Interview with David J. Schow."

Ugo, (January 4, 2007), Kyle Braun, "David Schow, Screenwriter of 'We All Scream for Ice Cream,'" author interview.*

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Schow, David J. 1955-

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