Writer of Horror Fiction

Review of August V. Fahren’s “Mad Mannequins From Hell”

Mad Mannequins From Hell tells the story of Burton Vilmos, an former movie special effects makeup artist who makes his living these day murdering people for his website.  They pay him to do it, and of course, it isn’t them actually getting killed, it is all just gory fun.  But when he runs through one of the scripts he came up with for his son, and takes a book his close friend got from a mysterious shop owner to do a séance-like ritual for the scene, all hell breaks loose.  In particular, Beelzebub rises up along with a slew of mannequin-possessing demons that terrorize Portland at Christmas time.  Max, Burton’s son, disappears and Burton makes it his mission to find him and put a stop to the mess he’s created.  Along the way he finds three unlikely allies in a trio of battle nuns, has to avoid a couple of odd-ball cops (one of which is a midget in a Mexican wrestling mask), and of course, a ton of mad mannequins, who are skewering and draining the essence of everyone they come into contact with.

This is a bizarro tale, with plenty of wild, otherworldly elements and it works quite well as a snarky, humorous horror story with some unlikely heroes and villains instead of the more traditional stereotypical character types.  The pace is brisk and it was a breeze to get through, with a lot of twisted and devious forms of mayhem being perpetrated by the demon-possessed mannequins, which had me smiling.  A great deal of the story reads like a laundry-list of scenes of mayhem not directly attached to the main character.  For a time, after the mannequins rise, we get scene after scene of destruction.  Some of them work, some don’t, but my real complaint is that it leaves less room for the battle nuns in the book, who were by far my favorite characters.  Perhaps that comes from my Catholic upbringing and schooling.  I knew plenty of nuns in my youth and while most of them scared me (and intrigued me), very few had the allure of these three demon-slayers.  Their weapons and … assets were quite impressive.  I would have liked to see more of them in action, and perhaps there is another story the author might share that reveals their saga in greater detail.

Despite these minor grumps, this was a fun, entertaining read.  It brought both smiles and grimaces to my face in equal measure, which is always a good thing.

Mad Mannequins From Hell can be found here: http://www.amazon.com/Mannequins-Uncanny-Valley-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B0089RDMY2/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1342363717&sr=1-1&keywords=mad+mannequins+from+hell

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