Reviewed by Elaine Lamkin
Written by Tim Curran
Published by Severed Press
It seems that lately the zombie has become a sort of poor man’s monster, what with the amazing popularity of vampire-centric shows/films like True Blood and the Twilight series. I myself prefer zombies, and recently zombies have exploded in the literary sub-genre of horror as well as in a few decent films - Zombieland, anyone? Why are zombies so scary? Well, they USED to be us, they want to EAT us, and they are sometimes nearly impossible to destroy. The latter is the case with the zombies in über-writer Tim Curran’s latest, the epic Resurrection.
As is usually the case with zombie tales and films, a secret government experiment has gone FUBAR, releasing a series of toxic chemicals into the air over the north Wisconsin city of Witcham. AND the weather will not cooperate – it has been raining and raining for days with no signs of letting up. And the flooding all of that rain causes is destroying the city as well as the city’s cemeteries. Screwed up government experiments + unearthed cemeteries = things are NOT going to be going well in Witcham.
There is one thing I found especially creepy as well as wonderfully original and gross with Curran’s take on the zombie: His zombies are completely animate – if you chop one up, the parts ARE STILL LIVING and trying to get to you – i.e., disembodied hands crawling for you, legless torsos dragging themselves relentlessly to fresh meat, decapitated heads managing to scream and get around (*shiver*). Curran has even added a strange little store in the city that is like a carnival’s freak show – I will leave it to your imagination as to what happens when the abnormal fetuses and punks are released into that toxic miasma.
For a 666-page book, Curran balances his characters pretty well. Of course, many of them don’t make it past your introduction to them before they are killed and reanimated. And the ones who do manage to avoid being bitten still have to contend with the flood, the disbelievers, AND the zombies who, in Curran’s interpretation, have a sort of rudimentary intelligence; and, like Zach Snyder’s zombies, Curran’s can be FAST.
The characters Curran has created are a colorful bunch – everyone from the main characters Mitch Barron and Tommy Kastle who are on a mission to find Barron’s missing step-daughter, the local crazy witch-lady, Wanda Sepperly, the hilariously profane owner of the local Army/Navy store, Hubb Sadler (What kind of cock-knocking clusterf*ck is this??), the spirited Zirblanski twins, Rhonda and Rita, to the horrific Grimshanks the Clown (And I HATE f*cking clowns!!) to all sorts of brave kids, stupid adults, nutjob cops and members of the military, a few prison refugees from Slayhoke Maximum Security, and the dead. The gaining-control-of-Witcham walking dead. And places in Witcham – Bleeding Heart Orphanage – a sort of Marsten House or even Hill House overlooking the small city - as well as Bethany and River Town – two areas of Witcham which suffer the most damage from both the flooding and the zombies to the nearby sinister Army base, Fort Providence, where the meltdown began. And Hillside Cemetery, the town’s largest and the one most affected by the flooding. No, it is NOT a good night to be living in Witcham, Wisconsin.
I REALLY loved this book, even at 666 pages (yep, you read that right – 666). Curran is a wonderful storyteller who really should be unleashed upon the general horror reading public sooner rather than later. The homages to other horror films/books that Curran sprinkles throughout this epic novel were fun to read (Carnival of Souls, Land of the Dead, The Thing, Ils, Jeepers Creepers, The Cell, It, Tourist Trap, and Michael McDowell’s brilliant Blackwater Saga all make at least a brief appearance – see if you can spot them). While he is not as polished as King or Simmons (but who is?), he can still manage a huge cast of characters and scare the bejabbers out of you with very little effort.
My only criticism would probably be the repetitive description of just how disgusting everything in Witcham smells, what with the continuous rain causing the cemeteries to be washed out, tossing the dearly departed everywhere and then having them reanimated (and these are some seriously NASTY zombies!!). Seemed like a bit of overkill after a while. But Curran really pulls out all of the stops with his gruesome descriptions of the walking dead, who are obviously in varying states of decomposition.
Scary (nothing like being alone in a house and hearing something moving around upstairs or pounding on your front door when no one in their right mind would be out in that weather), disgusting (trust me - these zombies are nauseating), funny – good old Hubb and his gift for profanity (Ain’t I got a f*ck-sucking right to wonder who’s gonna pay for this mother-c*nting damage?, horrifying – Grimshanks the Clown. ’Nuff said. Resurrection is available at Amazon.com, but only 500 copies have been printed so if my review has you salivating for some truly amazing zombie mayhem and horror, you had best order a copy quickly. You do NOT want to make Grimshanks angry.
4 1/2 out of 5
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