To begin with, this book is not for the faint of heart. Nor is it for the average horror fan, porn fan, or even comedy fan. In an age when horror writers and filmmakers like to push the taboo envelope, Night of the Loving Dead tears right through and lays oozing in the reader’s lap. Think of every porn rip-off of horror movies, then take them a few graphic steps further, and you’ll be on the right track for this book.
Authors James Futch and James Newman masterfully build this absurd comedy, making readers cringe at the grotesque actions, all the while giggling maniacally at the mayhem they’ve produced. Readers who are fans of exploitation horror, slasher flicks, or such genre defining films as Bloodfeast 2000 will recognize the sense of humor and laugh along with the insanely stock characters and over-the-top gore and action.
Most of the major deviances make appearances in this book along with a few others that, while perhaps thought of, were rarely before given voice. Among the drug abuses, violence, misogyny, rapes, and porn are also gems of necrophilia, self-mutilation, and acts that defy classification. There’s even a character whose lines are lovingly crafted with his own brand of Tourette’s Syndrome as well as a drugged out hooker/porn star who’s duped into having sex with a mutilated corpse.
Like the proverbial train wreck, the worse the carnage gets, the harder it is to look away. Though the text is disturbing in places, it is still impossible to put down. At such a short length, readers will find they’ve run through to the end without much effort. However, once the last page is turned, the compulsion to share the book is almost overwhelming as if to subject friends to it will make the reader feel less dirty. In all, this book should be filed (under many heavy objects) as a “guilty pleasure” read and the kind of thing a person might like to keep just to prove it’s real. Like showing off a painful injury or something so gross that it brings out sophomoric laughs and howls of disgust, Night of the Loving Dead is sure to satisfy in an oddly sadistic way.
Night of the Loving Dead
By James Futch and James Newman
Demonic Clown Books, 2004
3 out of 5