In My Life as a White Trash Zombie, by Diana Rowland, Angel Crawford wakes up in the hospital with no memory of what happened the night before. The nurse tells her that she'd been found passed out and naked on the side of the road. Angel is not surprised. She’s a beer-drinking, pill-popping, teenage delinquent with a rap sheet and a reputation for causing trouble. Passing out from booze and drugs isn’t anything new. She is surprised, however, by a package that’s been left for her in the hospital by a mysterious stranger. It includes a note telling her that she has a job waiting for her at the county morgue, and a few glass beverage bottles of odd-looking liquid. The note instructs her to drink a bottle every other day and report to work the next day, with a warning that if she doesn’t, the consequences will be dire. She has no idea who gave her the note and bottles, but she reluctantly heeds the stranger’s instructions.
Her new job entails driving bodies to the morgue and helping the coroner open up the bodies to determine the cause of death. It’s around this time that Angel discovers, much to her self-disgust, that she is tremendously hungry for the cadavers’ brains. In the days that follow, she learns that she is a zombie. Eventually, she meets up with other zombies, both good and bad, and tries to learn how she became a zombie, tries to keep herself well-fed with brains without actually killing anyone, tries to avoid getting beat-up by her alcoholic father, tries to rid herself of her heartless boyfriend, and tries to avoid getting decapitated by an unknown zombie hunter who has been picking off the town’s ghouls, one-by-one.
Zombies operate differently in Rowland’s universe. If they have eaten enough brains, they are indistinguishable from ordinary people. But when they go too long without feeding, they start to smell like rotting flesh, their appendages fall off, and they lose higher order brain functions. They become George Romero style zombies. Eating brains will return their personalities and regenerate their missing fingers and toes.
My Life as a White Trash Zombie is lighter fare than most zombie books and movies I’ve consumed, but I thoroughly enjoyed following Angel around as she learned to handle old and new challenges. It was published in 2001, and since then, Rowland has written three other White Trash Zombies books, all highly-rated on Amazon.
Crime and Punishment. Perhaps you're thinking, "maybe I should read that canonical novel!" I'm going to stop you right there. Read the rest
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The Babadook is a forthcoming Australian horror movie that avoids the usual production clichés in favor of a literary sense of dread.
There's no gore, no loud, startling soundtrack, and there's no serial killers hiding in the corners of this horror flick. There's just an exhausted single mother living with her difficult son. Which is why this movie is so scary. Read the rest
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