Bubba and the Cosmic Blood-Suckers

Joe R. Lansdale. Subterranean, $40 (200p) ISBN 978-1-59606-841-4
In this gore-spattered funfest, master of the macabre Lansdale (the Hap and Leonard series) fills in the backstories of the characters from his novella Bubba Ho-Tep (which became a cult classic film). As this prequel opens, Elvis Presley is glumly making crappy films and crappier songs, but it’s for a good cause: supporting his other job of fighting things that go bump and squish in the night. Colonel Parker, Elvis’s manager, claims something awful has pushed through the interdimensional boundaries, rolling its victims up into human donuts and sucking the insides out of them. Along with psychic Blind Man, logistics man Jack, singer Jenny Jo Dallas, hammer-wielding John Henry, and body man Johnny Smack, Elvis and Parker head to a New Orleans house to face the bloblike Big Mamma and her minions. Lansdale builds fantastic fight scenes, and once the monster melee starts, it barely gives its heroes time to pull out some of their fancy tricks. This short, sly, funny novel doesn’t have room for character growth, but readers won’t care because Lansdale has so much fun with his decidedly icky monsters and the epic butt-kicking talents of Elvis and co. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 08/21/2017
Release date: 10/01/2017
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