A SHORT STORY BY P TOR WEST
P Tor West knows his zombie movies. In The Inevitable Dead he crams in so many references and nods to his favourite walking dead movies that even Shaun of The Dead would blush. We are straight into the action from the start as a beached whale is discovered leading to the first, wonderfully bloody confrontation with the walking dead. It’s a great creative opening that sets up the story well. From here we follow a collection of colourful characters as they try to survive (mostly in vain, hence the title of the story) the ever worsening apocalypse. Featuring every crazy cliché in the book, the story barrels along and refuses to pause for breath, thoroughly relishing its journey into nightmare.
The Inevitable Dead isn’t particularly original, but it is a lot of fun. Instead of trying to reinvent the wheel it instead delights in pulling together many of the genre’s main staples and exploiting them to gore drenched effect. Most of the characters have names like Dr West, Dr Matool, Foree(even Uwe Boll gets a character named after him!) so the tone isn’t particularly serious, preferring the trashy grindhouse feel of some of the great, grungy titles of the 70’s and 80’s. That doesn’t mean it skimps on the horror, however. Amongst the heaving breasts, pervy doctors and in jokes the violence and the gore are unflinchingly brutal, and there are some great stomach turning set pieces. It also manages a couple of surprises towards the end, as the tone shifts, becoming unexpectedly dark and misanthropic.
Unfortunately, despite all this the story falters a little due to a rather confused writing style. It often shifts between the stripped back descriptive shorthand common in screenwriting, and the more traditional third person descriptions common in most novels and stories. It isn’t poorly written by any means, but it does at times feel like it is a treatment for a screenplay rather than a short story. To be honest, the author may want to consider adapting this into a script as it would make a great, trashy, grindhouse movie, and zombies are big business right now!
Whatever the short comings, there is a lot here to like and the author should be encouraged to continue as I would definitely read more. There is a passion and understanding of the subject matter that is infectious, and sadly lacking in a lot of recent zombie outings. It was great to return to the gritty, grimy, underground roots of the genre.
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