Stealing Propeller Hats from the Dead

David James Keaton. Perpetual Motion Machine (perpetualpublishing.com), $12.95 trade paper (256p) ISBN 978-1-943720-00-2
Gorehounds who like horror with a literary slant will enjoy this zombie-centric collection of nine stories and a drinking game from horror maven Keaton (The Last Projector). “Greenhorns,” in which a fishing boat collects more than King Crab; “...And I’ll Scratch Yours (or the One Who Had None),” about a woman who gets a unique backscratcher for Christmas; and “Three Ways Without Water,” a Weird West tale, all deliver blood and dark humor with an undeniable humanity at their core. Cinematic-schlock aficionados will especially love the horror film nods in the irreverent “Zee Bee & Bee (aka Propeller Hats for the Dead),” featuring a zombie-themed attraction with a twist. The collection’s ironic B-movie sensibility taps into the ongoing obsession with zombies and what they represent: the thin line between the human and the monstrous, and our desire to be scared, to “always keep our radio between stations.” The author’s joy in his subject matter is obvious, often expressed with a sly wink and wicked smile. Decay, both existential and physical, has never looked so good. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/31/2015
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