Set in the 1960s this is a deliciously dark horror masterpiece that would make Melissa Joan Hart run away screaming. The ending sets up even more warped possibilities for Book Two. Included is a ‘Madam Satan’ strip from 1941 which is lurid in its colours and dialogue. This is dark magic horror with blood and inescapable disaster.
“What am I hacking?”
“We stand in his shadow.”
“We are the cold October wind that blows through the corn...”
“Bring forth the coals of truth.”
5 city types (with very dated attitudes and opinions) visit Dead River. They are menaced by the cannibal gang after a 100 plus pages of set-up. This was not even briefly disconcerting. Just a lot of rich Me Generation whiners making dated references and griping and getting eaten alive. There is no moral discomfort or anything that explains the people eaters and their parenting decisions.
They’re just bad people who act harshly and have no empathy and see everyone else as food. The city folk engage in high risk behaviour to survive. This is a nebulous contribution to the horror genre. But it’s still better than anything by all purpose letch Edward Lee. The cannibals have predatory instincts and lack any definite motives. There is a sequel apparently. This was not fascinating, just wholly inadequate.
It does not disturb or horrify as the city folk must do vehement and vicious things to survive. This is a hoary vintage tale of shattered serenity and dirtied innocence. This hits the top register of desperation in this non-transgressive allegory.
“Didn’t she know that it was better to be dead now?”
“The crab had found its evil little niche.”
“A deadly patience.”
“Ragged crazies scuttling through the night.”
“He had a smile on him that I never want to see again as long as I live.”
Then another body is found and the two women must learn who is twisting fairytales for deeply personalised reasons. Also they must reflect on the emotional response to their investigation by others. Who is requisitioning and twisting the narrative? Who through sheer personal endeavour has been rendered capable of sacrificing anything? This was a good tale of darkness and the bleak simplicity of oral folklore. It is a shame that Alice is such a drip and an idiot.
“Unfortunately for him, that hadn’t gone unnoticed.”