“BIGFOOT CRANK STOMP” (Book Review)Book and Comic Reviews,Books/Art/Culture,News John Skipp
I believe that there are two types of people in the world. Only two. And certain key questions are designed by God to reveal who is which, so that we might know each other.
So when God recently asked, “Who wants to read a book about a meth-crazed bigfoot, tearing ass through a shitload of deranged cops and junkies?”, I knew it was one of those pivotal moments in history where the horror world would neatly divide into “OH, HELL YES!” and “Oh, you’ve got to be kidding.”
But here we are, thanks to out-of-his-mind author Erik Williams and Deadite Press, which is specializing in this kind of seething cesspool entertainment, where the lowest of the low have at each other in squalid, goretastic orgies of mayhem, chaos, and excess.
And as a member of the “OH, HELL YES!” squad, I am here to report that when it comes to meth-crazed bigfoot stories, this one is pretty goddam good: marrying BREAKING BAD and THE LEGEND OF BOGGY CREEK with king of the sickfuck redneck horror pantheon Edward Lee (who, in his blurb, admits to being pissed off he didn’t think of this first).
Do you really want me to tell you any plot specifics? I don’t think you do. Rest assured that vividly-rendered characters will be doing drugs, having degrading sex (if they’re “lucky”), making horrible decisions, and dying left and right in fairly spectacular ways. Cuz that totally happens.
One thing I often complain about in modern horror fiction is the sheer amount of pointless padding writers drape over their thrills. Far too many writers take forever to get to the point, sandbag their most powerful moments with extraneous verbiage that just drags shit out.
Mr. Williams is the polar opposite of that, with prose so lean that the bones are sticking out. I applaud him for this. He has one of the most stripped-down styles I’ve encountered in years. And he does it without losing sense of place or personality, keeping us wrapped up in these people as they rocket toward their hideous fates.
I gotta admit, I could happily cruise through the rest of my life without having to watch anybody get pissed on in the face. I know we’re fucked up, but I kinda wish we weren’t. And I can honestly say that there are very few people in BIGFOOT CRANK STOMP that I’d want to spend any more time with than this.
But I also credit Williams for knowing when to push in, and when to cut away. Hilarious as this may sound, he has an almost Hitchcockian way of knowing when enough is enough, cutting from shameless wallows in gore to neat moments of suggestion, where you get it without having to watch it.
My biggest complaint with this book is–and I’m sorry to say it, but it’s true–FIX THE FUCKING TYPOS. From the very first line of the very first page, there’s the first of a million missing commas. Non-readers may not mind this, but literate types from the “Oh, you’ve got to be kidding” camp will point at this and say, “See? This is the degradation of literature.”
They’re both right and wrong, of course. But the second you fix that shit, they have one less leg to stand on.
That said, the cover art by Hauke Vagt is unspeakably badass. And Deadite’s devotion to bringing the best of the worst that human nature has to offer in horror form is, in itself, a weirdly beautiful thing.
Note to Fango filmmakers: if one of you doesn’t snag this thing and turn it into a mind-blowing low-budget film, you’re all fucking insane.
Thank God one of you probably will.
And with that, I rest my case.
P.S. – If you notice my name in the acknowledgments page, it’s because I was in a hotel room at KillerCon in Las Vegas, shortly after it was purchased, partying with the Deadite crew. And as they batted around potential titles for this crazy-ass book they’d just bought, I fought hard for BIGFOOT CRANK STOMP as the one that best summed up its stated premise.
That is my full involvement with this book, which I did not read until last week.
And I stand by my decision.