Zombies vs. Nazis: A Lost History of the Walking Dead (Book)
Written by Scott Kenemore
Illustrated by Adam Wallenta
Published by Skyhorse Publishing
Zombies. They're everywhere. They permeate every aspect of society today, from weirdo fetishes to candy brains and "zombie blood" energy drinks. And when we find zombies infiltrating period literature (witness Pride and Prejudice and Zombies), I suppose it was only a matter of time before the giant shambling evil that is the zombie hoard went up against the closest approximation to real evil the world has ever seen: Nazis. We can be thankful, however, that Scott Kenemore, the guy who brought us The Zen of Zombie, The Art of Zombie Warfare, and The Code of the Zombie Pirate, has come along to provide us with this cautionary tale of one attempt by Hitler's goons to turn the tide of war by creating an unstoppable undead army. Spoiler alert...They lost the war.
Told as a series of letters written by Nazi scientists during WWII and intercepted by the Allied forces, Zombies vs. Nazis: A Lost History of the Walking Dead tells about the ill-fated plan to harness Haitian Vodun zombies and zombie-making technology. Of course, they figure out really quickly that zombies don't care about your spiffy uniform, how high you can goose-step, or that you are members of the supposed "master race." No, they just want to kill. And they don't really discriminate. Faced with all the horrors they can imagine, and then some, the Nazis soon figure out the fundamental truth that every horror fan already knows: Zombies always win.
Kenemore is on his game with this volume, combining his own brand of humor with startling gore to create one of the more interesting fictionalizations of what went on behind enemy lines. And, given Hitler's preoccupation with all things occult and spooky, it is a fictionalization that doesn't stretch credulity as far as it could. History buffs who know the lengths to which Hitler went to procure occult artifacts could see him sending a group to Haiti to determine if an undead army was worth attempting. The letters themselves are well done and give readers insight into the characters. They also provide some genuinely humorous moments (one of which involves a befuddled Nazi scientist being butt-raped by a bokor and a few zombies).
Add to the package the illustrations of Adam Wallenta, and this latest offering fits in nicely with Kenemore's other books. In all, this is a respectable entry into Kenemore's world of zombie books. The biggest question, however, it what's to come next. With the overabundance of zombie stuff out there, can Kenemore continue to keep his shambling genre fresh? If this book is any indication, the answer is a resounding yes.
4 out 5
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