Right in time for the holiday season, that ghost wonderful time of the year, One Buck Horror strikes again, this time with a special All Zombie Extravaganza titled, One Buck Zombies. Of course you know I was jacked to know that there was a new volume coming out so close to the heels of the release of One Buck Horror: Volume Three, and that it was all about zombies, which of course are all the rage.
One Buck Zombies delivers a set of five zombie tales in the One Buck Horror tradition of being short, sweet and on the cutting edge. Each story has its own unique style and take on the Romero zombie genre, where the walking dead have a hunger for the flesh of the living!
Here's a look at the stories:
The Best Mother by James Owens
No one wants to play with Jimmy after his mother's accident. Even his father turns away with the passage of time. But he will never leave his mother, and she wall always be there to protect him. As always the editors at OBH have a way of picking the perfect lead in story. It reminded me of Brian Rappatta's The Dead March and that new classic, Fido, due to similar themes and story elements, but beyond that The Best Mother is its own story. Five Stars!
The Levees Of The Styx by David Dunwoody
A fallen scientist finds himself trapped in a tunnel with a young girl with a dwindling supply of food, and a gun containing only two bullets. The story starts out fairly strong, but then goes down a slight slope once an explanation of how the zombie plague started is added to the story. The story does however leave the reader hanging with an ambiguous ending that I though was great, because for the last few pages I was expecting to see a rehash of the ending of Stephen King's The Mist (the hopeless film ending that is). Three and a Half Stars.
Little Red Zombie Hood by Alana I. Capria
I spent a majority of the time wondering where this story was going, and what possible point Capria was trying to make with it. In OBH's guidelines it states they are not looking for "torture porn", and this story seems like zombies, werewolves and torture porn all mixed together. Little Red was a zombie baby in the womb, so of course she is born pretty much the way you'd expect. The Grandmother takes her in and arms her against wolves and man, which she dispatches with sick and gory glee for pretty much the entire length of the story. Again this is one of those stories that someone else might be able to find merit in, but I found it to be a mix of concepts from the Dawn Of The Dead remake, the Saw series, and Diana Trees at her harshest, though not done well. By far the weakest story in the collection from the standpoint that it is a story, as well as being the weakest story in the entire One Buck Horror series. Two Stars.
He Stopped Loving Her Today by James R. Tuck
A man hides out in a home repair and improvement store as a zombie horde that includes his wife mills around, ever circling. It is one of those stories you just know how it's going to end, but the fact is made up for by excellent storytelling that aims at the heart and tugs at it. If you've ever known true love then you can feel the pain of a man who has lost absolutely everything that he ever cared about. I do not want to give anymore away, as this story goes above and beyond. Six Stars!
Mother Sisyphus by Robert Davies
Reading this story you begin to feel that you've found a story that is unique for the gut munching zombie genre, a story of hope. Then you reach the hopeless and disgusting end to realize that at any rate the story is still unique. A well told tale that harkens back to the extreme films of the golden age of Italian cannibal/zombie films while adding its own legacy. Thus far the best ender in a One Buck Horror collection. Five Stars.
Overall One Buck Zombies is a five star collection that continues to prove that One Buck Horror is perhaps the best anthology series that presents some of the best stories from the new voices of independent horror. I'm not sure if there will in the future be specials that will be all vampire or werewolf, but I have a pretty good feeling that somewhere down the road there will be a One Buck Zombies: Volume Two! At any rate at least I hope there will be.
Here's where to get your copy of One Buck Zombies:
Barnes & Nobel: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/One-Buck-Zombies/Christopher-Hawkins/e/2940013259706
Be sure to lurk for this one kids! Required reading for the ghost wonderful time of the year!