Review of Gerald Dean Rice’s “The Zombie Show”
The Zombie Show is Gerald Dean Rice’s newest novella swipe at the zombie genre, and as was the case with Fleshbags, he has crafted a zombie that is a diversion from the traditional.
In this tale, we are introduced to Cole Green, an undercover agent trying to find a Mexican Cartel baddy by the name of Mazatlan. The zombie apocalypse is over and humanity won, though there are still zombies out there. Naturally, criminal minds think of criminal ways of using them when the law is to shoot the undead on sight. And these zombies are, as I mentioned, a bit different. Not only do they regain a small amount of cognitive ability when they devour flesh, they also have another basic urge that goes along with their insatiable hunger. The urge for sex remains, at least in the male undead, and this serves the purpose of Mazatlan and other criminals who like to put on illegal sex shows south of the border for bored, jaded American college kids. While many of the shows put on end up being some guy in zombie makeup, Mazatlan, with a science background, has managed to concoct a drug that creates new zombies, though these hybrids are a bit different than the regular undead.
This story has a lot of elements to it. Uncover action, zombie horror, surprising twists and turns, plus a zombie name Jose that shares the spotlight with Mazatlan and Cole as a main character who was perhaps the most interesting character of them all. The author likes to give his zombies a bit of humanity despite their monstrous nature, and in both this tale and Fleshbags before it, and he delves just deep enough into their minds to give his audience an appreciation of what they’re going through and perhaps forces us to have some sympathy for them, even as they’re tearing into their latest victim. This story also had a Dusk Till Dawn flavor to it, with zombies replacing vampires in the club setting where the story takes place. Certainly, the place turns into carnage central before the story is resolved.
The author has a flare for taking traditional horror monsters and turning them into something new and intriguing, while also crafting some well done traditional scary tales as well. I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve seen so far from Gerald Dean Rice, and The Zombie Show is no exception.