Saturday, September 18, 2010

Three Zombies And A Demon, (Stygian Publications), by Roy C. Booth

In this gruesome collection of one-act plays, Roy C. Booth outlines the trials and tribulations of zombie and demon lives, whilst comically comparing them with the morbid truth of humanity. The varied and engaging characters act as catalysts for some good belly-laughs, and the tales themselves boast some deliciously gross incidences in light-hearted macabre scenes.

Bloodsuckers: Grandpa Grizweld has been dead for three years, but that doesn’t stop him from attending his yearly birthday celebrations! More importantly, it doesn’t stop his grandchildren either, who can’t wait to get their greedy paws on the family trust money. With his sly attorney controlling the whole affair, the money-hungry grandchildren reluctantly continue to show their love and affection for Grandpa Grizweld, even if he is a cankerous, rotting corpse.

How To Make A Brain SoufflĂ©: The world is riddled with zombies. But what kind of world would this be, if someone hadn’t capitalized on the whole rotten, oozing affair? Meet Aldrich Byrne, Tv host, author, and zombie extraordinaire. He’s eager to teach the gormless undead how to cook a slap-up meal of brains, brains, and more brains. Juxtaposing themes of media-control with the brain-dead mannerisms of zombies, this play demands as much contemplation as it does laughs.

Tenure (Adaptation): Three months from now, a zombie outbreak occurs. Once strictly quarantined, zombies face subjugation by the military and are severely marginalised, stripped of their rights, and forced to live behind bars. All this, despite the fact that the zombies, or Necro-Sapiens as they prefer to be named, are fully-functioning beings once the initial lust for flesh has passed. With protesters clawing at the walls, General Bankhurst meets with zombie spokesperson Fillgrew, who maintains his professional aims despite the drawbacks of decomposition.

With Good Intentions (Adaptation): In the pits of hell, an over-worked demon named Vervek is busy matching soul receipts in the office, damnably slaving away to feed the Harpy and Hellions at home. Having experienced the thrill of wreaking havoc with no strings attached, long before he was a desk jockey under the thumb of the big guy downstairs, Vervek knows what he’s missing as a minion of hell. To add salt to the wounds, Vervek has to deal with smug Crilloc, an up-and-coming demon manager, who likes nothing more than to drop a few snide remarks here and there to ruin Vervek’s long, long day. Turns out that even Demons are feeling the strain, and tempting idle hands just isn’t the fun it used to be.

With acts just long enough to tempt your taste buds and read in one sitting, Roy C. Booth makes a refreshing contribution to play writing with these four satirical instalments. The subtext is subtle amongst the comedy, making it an enjoyable, quirky collection for your bookshelf, and offers an impressive, original take on traditional horror. A very enjoyable read.

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A. E. Grace is a literature geek, currently studying Creative And Media Writing at Middlesex University, UK. She is a film and literature buff, with a keen interest in horror. Her hobbies include writing, cartooning, books, and films.

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