Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Freaks That Carry Your Luggage Up to the Room, by Will Viharo


(pb; 2011: novella)

From the back cover:

"Freaks That Carry Your Luggage Up to the Room is . . . set within the claustrophobic confines of a mysteriously malevolent hotel, frequented by men and monsters alike; a nightmarish nexus of carnal carnage, with flesh-eating Mexican vampires, alien spies, mad scientists, deviant dwarves, horny zombies, teenage werewolves, Elvis impersonators, hit men, hustlers, clairovoyant cats and other random rebels and rejects feverishly fornicating and ferociously feasting beneath the repressive radar of polite society. This is Extreme Erotic Horror Noir, with a dash of satire and a twist of irony, not for the squeamish, but for anyone who wallows shamelessly in the corporeal illusion called Life."

Review:

Freaks, like Viharo's previous genre-blender, A Mermaid Drowns in the Midnight Lounge, is a violent, gory, pornoriffic and potent blend of horrors and strange semblances of society and humanity, with overt links to Viharo's other works, particularly his theme- and tone-varied Vic Valentine novels (starting with Love Stories Are Too Violent For Me) and Chumpy Walnut.

Freaks is shorter and less complex, structurally speaking, than Mermaid, but sports the same spirit of Mermaid, with its cinematic references (love the chapter titles), seedy (often relatable) desperation and unrelenting violence.

Worth owning, this. This is one of my favorite reads from Viharo, perhaps topping even Mermaid in its direct, unapologetic simplicity.

Freaks is also available in e-book format.

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If you live in the East Bay, near San Francisco, Viharo hosts free double-features of various b-movies. These tiki-bar get-togethers are called Chillville, and take place on the third Monday of every month at the Forbidden Island Tiki Lounge in Alameda, where Viharo dispenses, along with his b-movie knowledge and wit, giveaways and prizes. The show starts around 7:30 p.m. (it's best to get there at least an hour earlier for decent seating).

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