Vitus Adamson is falling apart. As a pre-deceased private investigator, he takes the prescription Atroxipine hourly to keep his undead body upright and functioning. Whenever he is injured, he seeks Niko, a bombshell mortician with bedroom eyes and a way with corpses, to piece him back together. Decomposition, however, is the least of his worries when two clients posing his most dangerous job yet appear at his door looking for their lost son.
Vitus is horrified to discover the photo of the couple’s missing son is a picture-perfect reproduction of his long dead son. This leads him to question the events of his tormented past; he must face the possibility that the wife and child he believed he murdered ten years ago in a zombie-fugue have somehow survived . . . or is it just wishful thinking designed to pull him into an elaborate trap?
I received this book in exchange for an honest review. I don’t actually care about the ethics of blogging or whatever, so this is the first and last time I’ll mention it.
Bring Me Flesh, I’ll Bring Hell is a genre-aware horror noir novel. There seem to be a few of those lately, which is something I’m pleased about. Now zombies aren’t really my thing, but I don’t think it’s quite fair to call Vitus a zombie. More of an undead private eye or a Hellboy kind of thing. Minus the brawls.
Vitus has spent a decade being dead and slowly falling apart, when a couple of clients shows up at his doorstep with a photo of their son, who has gone missing. Only the picture is actually a photo of Vitus’s son all grown up, even though he’s supposed to have died ten years ago in Vitus’s hands. At the time, Vitus was more of a traditional zombie and had fed on his wife and kid, before the people responsible for his condition came up with a drug that keeps him human (as much human as a decomposing corpse can be anyway). Now he takes a dose every few hours, lest he loses control again.
”We miss our son and would give anything to have him back, Mr. Adamson. Can You help us?”
”Anything at all, Mrs. Rogers?”
”Name your price, we’ll be happy to pay it.”
”Can you get blood out of everyday household items?”
Anyway, he takes the case if only because he needs to figure out what the hell is going on and if his son is actually alive. As per noir guidelines, this throws him down a rabbit hole of increasingly bizarre and complicated situations: A hooded figure following him around everywhere, trying to kill his clients; a femme fatale (almost literally, she’s a mortician) that heals his wounds and weird clients that keep ”rising” from the dead.
I’ll try not to spoil anything, as I believe discovery is half the pleasure in a novel like this. I found the book to be very well written, if a little ”purple” in places. However, any purple prose is satisfyingly gory, grim or funny. Nothing about sunsets and beautiful vistas, all about sinew, rotting flesh and fatalism. The plot is meaty and complicated, but not overly so. It really is a noir tale, which in my experience is rare to find, even when it says so right on the cover. Many an evening has been wasted reading The Maltese Falcon retreads.
The premise might seem ridiculous from the outside, but is handled deftly and doesn’t stress your suspension of disbelief too much, even when the really bizarre stuff happens. The last third of the book moves along on a brisk pace, with revelations just around every corner and it’s a pretty good ride if I may say so.
Check it out if you like: horror noir, grim humor or the Sandman Slim books.
A new weekly feature for the blog!
I Hate Anime: A Guide to Watching Horror Anime is the result of my desperate attempts to watch horror animes while at the same time hating anime of any kind with a passion. You ask ”Why do you want to watch it if you don’t like it?”
I don’t have an answer for that. After you find yourself watching ”horror” TV shows from the early 90s because you’ve already seen everything else, watching some anime sounds like an okay proposition. Have you watched the Friday the 13th TV show? Anime should be a breeze.
Why I don’t usually enjoy anime
It’s probably just aesthetics. The animation style is usually lazy and puts me to sleep. More importantly, a lot of anime is creepy as fuck and I feel ashamed after watching it. I am aware there’s ”good” anime out there, I’m not debating that. I’m just talking about large swaths of it. Most of it. You know.
But hey, enough about me, let’s get started.
Is This a Zombie? (Kore wa Zonbi Desu ka?)
Ayumu Aikawa is a zombie resurrected by a necromancer named Eucliwood Hellscythe after being killed by a serial killer. As he tries to make the best of his undead life, he encounters a Masō-Shōjo (魔装少女?, lit. Magical Garment Girl, a pun on “mahō shōjo”, meaning magical girl) named Haruna and inadvertently takes her magic powers, being forced to become a Masō-Shōjo (and thereby crossdress) in the process. With Eucliwood, Haruna, and a vampire ninja named Seraphim living with him, Ayumu helps battle demons known as Megalos while trying to figure out the mystery behind his own death.
So uh…yeah. This kid is a zombie and can’t go out when the sun is up because he’ll dry out. He’s more of an undead guy than a zombie to be honest, since I don’t think he eats any flesh or brains and hasn’t rotted yet. But he can’t be killed, so I guess that makes him a revenant of some kind. For some reason he’s basically the help for a ”necromancer” that looks like a 7 year old girl in knight’s armor.
On his way home he ends up at a cemetery where a huge ass monster of some kind shows up. After being chomped on for a while, another underage girl shows up with a chainsaw and kills the monster. We see her panties a lot. It’s weird as fuck.
Apparently her dress gives her superpowers? Whatever. She tries to heal the zombie guy (who got chopped in half during the battle) but this makes her dress disappear (because, why not). She follows him home since she is now homeless and destitute. Then more things happened but I zoned out.
Later on he’s at his school when another monster shows up, this one a cool-looking lobster guy that sounds like Zoidberg. I’m not sure what these monsters have against him, but there you go.
The underage monster hunter ends up without clothes again, but somehow the zombie guy ends up in the dress and proceeds kicks the monsters ass. Everyone in school sees the aftermath and laughs at him, forever branded a pervert.
I chuckled a couple of times at the bizarre antics, but the passive protagonist was grating on me the whole time. This isn’t really a horror anime, it’s definitely a comedy with some ”monsters” thrown in. I doubt the storyline will be at all interesting, but I don’t care enough to find out anyway. Overall, a painless watch, mildly funny but still has all the weird anime tropes.
Weirdness Factor: Kinda weird. Girls look underage. The usual panty shots.
Will I watch another episode: Probably not. I laughed when the guy put the dress on like a deranged Power Ranger, but I didn’t really enjoy anything else.
Music: Utterly Forgettable.
Overall: 2 out of 5 Anime Chainsaws.