Celebrity Chef Zombie Apocalypse -Horror Novel

Celebrity Chef Zombie Apocalypse

Celebrity Chef Zombie Apocalypse

By Jack Strange

2016 Kensington Gore Publishing

A review by Aunty Demented

I went into this story completely blind, without even a blurb to tell me what it was about or what it was trying to do.  After reading it in its entirety, I still don’t know what the hell this story was trying to do.

Young Robert Turner, an employee at a crappy TV station, is given the task of revamping the show of long dead celebrity chef Floyd Rampant.  Conveniently enough for him, he has a scientist uncle who just happens to be working on a machine that can raise the dead, appropriately named the Lazarus Engine.

Don’t get attached, we won’t be seeing Robert, his uncle, or the machine for very long.

Robert runs over the neighbor’s cat, Henderson, and they decide to test the machine out.  They successfully bring him back, albeit a bit squashed around the middle, not that it matters since every single character who sees a cat with a flattened body walking around alive in this book shows only mild interest in the fact.

Inspired, Robert comes up with the brilliant plan of bringing Mr. Floyd Rampant back to life.  Most unfortunately, it works.  Rampant wakes as a zombie, hungry, horny, and ready to use an upcoming ChefCon to make himself an army of celebrity chef zombies.

So, here’s the thing, darlings.  This novel has some very good off the cuff satire here and there and some seriously good gems.  Rapey prisoner vs zombie lady (hint: it does NOT end well for his genitals), Kat De Vine zombie and just horny zombies in general filled your Aunty D with unending delight.

Unfortunately, those are only a few gems and you have to dig through clunky writing (Rampant goes from ‘Hey I’m a zombie’ to ‘Take over the world!!!’ awfully quick, for instance.), bad dialogue and a story that seems unable to make up its mind in order to find them.

It seems like it wants to be an over the top horror comedy until you hit Part III when it seems to decide it wants to be hard hitting political satire.  And frankly, it doesn’t work as either.

I think my main bone of contention with this story was that it wasn’t nearly over the top enough.  Granted, that could be a particularly personal gripe of mine.  I’m willing to forgive a lot in a horror comedy if it pushes the boundaries, including characters that are blatantly stupid.  If I’m reading a story about horny zombie chefs, I want copious amounts of sex and gore and Celebrity Chef Zombie Apocalypse didn’t give me anywhere near enough of either to satisfy my twisted little heart.  I wanted celebrity chef groupies gleefully banging the undead and celebrity chef zombies giving an audience details on how to properly prepare a human body in a red wine sauce with liver and onions on the side.  That kind of shit.

Part III gets us involved in the bureaucracy surrounding trying to deal with the zombie army.  Also fine if that had been the tone set from the beginning, but springing it on us in the last part really doesn’t work for the story and slows the pace down even more.  A hardened mercenary actually gives a shit that zombies have lawyers?  Please.

Another main bone of contention is something I mentioned earlier.  We’re introduced to the story through Brian Turner and his uncle, both of whom are killed off almost the second Rampant is brought back to life.  Now if this had been a one time thing, I wouldn’t have a problem with it, but it happens over and over and over until we truly and honestly don’t have a main character to follow.  You can pretty much bet anyone introduced will get three chapters or so giving us their backstory before they’re promptly eaten.  The ones that do survive, like Inspector Jardine, the policewoman investigating the rash of murders, aren’t given enough time or characterization for us to really care about them.  Or Dave Sykes, who is so fucking stupid I was actually disappointed when he didn’t die.

As far as first novels go, this wasn’t the worst I’ve ever read, and Strange has potential to build on in future novels but I just can’t get behind this one.  I can kind of see what it was trying to do, but it didn’t really go far enough in any direction to live up to it.


Aunty Demented 6/26/16


The Conjuring 2 – Horror Movie

The Conjuring 2

The Conjuring 2 was directed by James Wan, written by Carey Hayes, Chad Hayes, James Wan, and David Leslie Johnson and starring Patrick Wilson (The Conjuring) and Vera Farmiga (The Conjuring, Bates Motel).

The Conjuring 2 was set up to be a spectacle sequel to the original, I don’t think it lived up to those expectations. The film was able to create some decent jump scares, but it lacked the finesse and creepiness that the original created.  If you have seen the trailers, you have seen this character that the movie appears to be about. A deeply disturbing-looking nun. This character was true to nature, really actually dug into my sense of fear.

Basic plot is that an English family is dealing with a possession. What really got to me about this, was that ALL of the proof that they displayed to prove the possession, THEY, the characters disproved in the film. Then they continued as if to ignore what they just did. It really took me out of the story. I didn’t care about the characters anymore.

Superfluous characters were very well developed at first (the siblings) but they kept getting sent away so that you could not react with them. The plot made you think that certain characters would be key to the story, but then dropped the ball. It definitely acted like most sequels by not standing up to the original.

There also appeared to be less hype, though one article boasted of killing an elderly man that watch the film in India. I wouldn’t personally think this film was entirely that scary. Really it was merely a few jump scares with a little bit of the creepiness we have come to love from James Wan. I have to say personally I was disappointed and may wait to see The Nun (potential spin-off) or The Conjuring 3 (also possible film) on DVD or Netflix instead of in theater. Personal Note: James Wan, I’m so disappointed. I was getting used to your fresh vibrate take on horror, but sequels are not your game.

Out of 10 I give this film a 7.  It was good, not great. It was worth watching at least once, it has some scare, but lacked a focus and understanding. It needs work but potential to watch again isn’t there. Still better than average.