Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Frankenstein vs. the Creature from Blood Cove, (Skullvines Press), by Jerrod Balzer

Frankenstein vs. the Creature from Blood Cove won the 2006 World Horror Convention's "Best Feature" award with its titillating and over-the-top story featuring two classic movie monsters, tongue-in-cheek humor, fun Z-list cameos, and a sensibility obviously inspired by the films of Russ Myer. Jerrod Balzer, author of Fear the Woods and the novelization for William Winckler's Double-D Avenger, manages to capture in print the campy fun of this award-winning homage to the Universal creature feature.

Dr. Monroe Lazaroff and his devoted assistants, Salisbury and Ula Foranti, have been working in secret at their beachside home on Blood Cove to create the ultimate weapon of terror. The Creature, a bio-genetically engineered hybrid of man, fish, and just a dash of cobra, is their latest creation. The chemical brainwashing techniques employed by Dr. Lazaroff have failed and the Creature has escaped into the waters of Blood Cove, supposedly to die.

The scientists, desperate to complete their project, decide to travel to Shellvania to retrieve the corpse of Frankenstein's original monster and resurrect it. In the meantime, Bill, with his associates Dezzirae and Percy, have traveled to Blood Cove to take pictures of bikini models on the beach for Frisky Kitty Kat magazine. Soon, the Creature emerges from the waves and goes on a rampage, sending the photo crew running into the clutches of Dr. Lazaroff and his insane plans to use Frankenstein's monster to destroy the original Creature.

The movie on which this novelization is based is carried primarily by nude actresses, schlocky acting, and campy humor--the plot is purposefully thin. Balzer infuses the novel with the same style of humor while providing more background on the characters and settings without deviating from the plot of the movie. Imagine a less-cerebral Rocky Horror Picture Show and you have an idea of the tone.

The book is very much the child of its source material: neither are high literature. One problem is that one person's camp is another person's offensive stereotype. This is especially true of the character of Percy, the flamboyant make-up artist. While not for everyone, the novelization Frankenstein vs. the Creature from Blood Cove makes a good companion piece for fans of the movie or for readers wanting a fast, fun, politically incorrect, read.

Visit http://jerrodbalzer.com/. Buy it today.

Shedrick Pittman-Hassett is a full-time librarian and part-time writer trying to do that the other way around. He has written reviews for Library Journal and has also had two articles published in the award-winning Knights of the Dinner Table magazine. Shedrick currently resides in Denton, Texas ("The Home of Happiness") with his lovely wife and the obligatory demon-spawn cats. When not writing, gaming, or watching cheezy kung-fu flicks, he can be found in a pub enjoying a fine brew.

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