Friday, August 13, 2010

Book Review: Sick Things - An Anthology of Extreme Creature Horror

As a follow-up to their Vile Things: Extreme Deviations of Horror anthology, Comet Press has released Sick Things: An Anthology of Extreme Creature Horror, edited by Cheryl Mullenax. Does it live up to its “extreme” tag and the high-quality of Comet’s past releases? Read on to find out!

From the back cover:

Over-endowed aliens invade earth with one purpose: to mate with human females. A filmmaker documents a devil-worshipping blood cult – and becomes the main subject. A farmer with an unnatural affection for his livestock gets a special gift when his wife is bitten by a werewolf. An employee finds his new boss sexy and attractive – and so do the flys. Pissed off, flesh-eating cows take over a dairy farm. A musician returns from the dead to avenge his wife’s murder, with the help of a mysterious black possum. The Allies find a secret weapon, a monstrous blob with an insatiable appetite for dead human flesh. A chef creates his ultimate dish: an anatomically correct golem made out of leftovers. A mythical demon preys on unsuspecting college girls. And many more…

Wow, Sick Things is definitely one deviant, extreme collection of stories! I made the mistake of reading this during my lunch break and it was definitely a challenge to keep my food down! If you can think of the most vile, disgusting thing imaginable, it’s probably in one of the tales of this collection.

While all of the stories are effective, one stood out as my personal favorite. The Hansel and Gretel-themed Evil, Bent and Candy-Sweet by Tim Curran is a grotesquely beautiful short story with imagery so strong you can almost smell it. I loved the author’s descriptions (“The sky had been slit open, oozing tangles of red blood and seams of yellow fat at the horizon.”) as well as his characters, including Brother, Sister and of course the evil witch. There is just something so malignantly magnificent about this story, weaving its dark, twisted perspective into the fairy tale imagery. The collection is worth buying just for this story alone!

Other favorites of mine included Heat by Daniel I. Russell, about a farmer who is into bestiality that gets more than he bargained for when his wife turns into a werewolf, Jimmy Sticks and the Outlaw Critter of Doom by Michael Boatman, about a murdered man that comes back as a zombie to extract revenge on his and his wife’s killers, and The Special Son by Jeffrey Hale, about a special needs boy who discovers just why he is so special when his semen mixes with spider eggs to produce a whole new ghastly creature.

While the four stories above were my personal favorites, all of the seventeen stories in Sick Things are worth checking out. All of them have a high gross-out factor and gorehounds will be delighted by the visceral scenes contained in each tale.

If you are an extreme fan of horror looking for the ultimate in disgusting, vile and disturbing fiction, Sick Things: An Anthology of Extreme Creature Horror is a must-read…just make sure you have your barf bag handy!

Buy it on Amazon!

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