Review: The Silver Scream by Roy Merkin , Spencer Charnas & Andrew Justin Smith


Print Length: 159 pages
Publisher: Rare Bird Books (August 8, 2023)

From They say it’s hard getting into the movies…try getting out! Fresh from the cutting room floor,  The Silver Scream  exposes the bloodiest behind-the-scenes details of the most gruesome, shocking, true-crime tragedy of our time. Part autopsy, part grisly director’s “cut,” this is the only book with a comprehensive exploration inside the mind of America’s notorious, celluloid-obsessed, rock star turned cinema-copycat murderer, Spencer Charnas. Bayonet Award–winning television reporter Roy Merkin is the only storyteller in possession of the journals scrawled by disgraced psychotherapist Dr. Ian Black.  The Silver Scream  reconstructs, with unflinching detail, how fiction became fact, art imitated death, and the most horrific movie murders by the likes of Jason, Leatherface, Freddy, Michael, and the rest became real. Merkin courageously slashes open the ghoulish mind and tortured nightmares of Spencer himself, probing deeply, with razor-sharp precision. Learn how the box office created so many oblong boxes. Understand why this rock n’ roll heartthrob chose to stop so many human hearts.


My Rating: 2 stars out of 5

This is proving to be one of the hardest reviews I have had to write in a long time. Let me begin by saying that I am a HUGE fan of the band Ice Nine Kills. I love their music videos and the way they are telling an entire story within their recent discography. In fact, I was so excited for this book to come out that I pre-ordered the hardcover back in May. 

When I first read the buzz around this novel, I thought it was going to be an in depth look into the murders, potentially leading up to Spencer's arrest, while managing to plant the seed of doubt into the readers mind as to just whether or not he was actually guilty. After all, a pretty face, charming personality, and a lot of money can make people overlook a lot of things. 

When I finally got my hands on it, I dove right in, eager to see what awaited me. 

And what that was... well a mess. 

On one hand, we did get a deeper insight into Spencer's psychologist Dr. Ian Black, but it was one that I could have done without. His jealousy of a fellow psychatrist just for being published, coupled with his misogynistic views of women and his blatant using of Spencer to try and get his own book deal, did not endear the character to me. In fact, I liked him better in the music videos. 

However, I think being a fan of the band also hindered my enjoyment of this one because... 


Basically? The entire book was just a re-telling of the music videos. I wish I was kidding, but that is what it was. Dr. Black takes on a new "rock star client" who is being plauged by horrific "nightmares". Nightmares that he recounts with shocking detail in each session. 


Sure it was fun seeing the subtle nod to different horror movies and the play on character names (Otis Spaulding was a particular favorite of mine), and also the way they were able to incoprporate former band members as well as the reason for them leaving (In my opinon having "Julio" killed off, but describing his body as laying "motionless in white" was genuis).

There was also the scene that took place in a radio station that was new (unless it is a spoiler for the new song that is going to be released in October) that was interesting, but other than that? 

Sadly, I found myself.... getting bored. I mean what is the point of reading a story when you already know what happens? There was nothing new or surprising about any of the "dreams", nor was the ending a surprise (although I will say if they decide to move forward with a second book, this one perfectly set it up). 

On the whole, is it a fun piece of INK merch to have? Absolutely. Will I read it again? Probably not. Would I buy a sequel? *shrugs* Maybe. But NOT as a pre-order. I would definitely wait and look at some of the reviews before deciding whether or not to buy it. 

DISCLAIMER: I have since loaned the book to my mother who is NOT familiar with the music videos and have asked her to give me her opinon on it once she has finished reading it. I am curious to see if she will enjoy it more than I did. 

                                                The Silver Scream is available on

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