The Resurrection And The Life
Biting Dog Press
Limited Edition $100.00-$250.00
Reviewed by Nickolas Cook
The zombie king returns to familiar undead stomping grounds with this collector quickie, The Resurrection And The Life.Â This time Keene gets biblical on his readers’ butts when he goes waaaaay back in history to pull the Big J.C. into spiritual battle with Ob, the master demon of the undead responsible for the hell on Earth of The Rising and City of The Dead.
For those of you, like me, whom have followed Keene’s undead mythos from the start, this is a welcome surprise.Â But The Resurrection And The Life works on a more subtle level than Keene’s previous zombie outings.Â We still see his sly humor, but most of the horror and violence is implied, not described.Â One reason for that becomes obvious from the first sentence: It’s written as if it were a missing part of the John 11:1-44 parable from the King James Version of the Holy Bible.
Although, to be fair, what makes this short, creepy exercise really work are artist George Walker’s simple, yet elegant, wood blocks.Â Walker picks the perfect moments to capture from the text, using images derivative of ancient illuminated manuscripts, and tweaking them a bit to give the impression of horror, and then placing them between the written text pages to highlight the inference of good vs. evil.Â It’s the kind of carefully thought out renderings that are usually reserved for classic literature reprints.Â A fan’s thanks goes out to Biting Dog Press for bringing this original concept to the small press with this short tale.Â Whoever thought of it should get a raise.
That being said, the only issues with the story itself are a few abrupt shifts in tone, times when Keene seems to forget he’s telling a parable and these anomalous shifts jump out.Â However, I seriously doubt these minor problems will inhibit the readers’ enjoyment of a cleverly written horror tale.
All in all, if you’re a collector of horror small press offerings, or just simply one of the legions of slavering Kenne-ites, this one’s for you.
Get it … or God is sure to mete out a dire punishment.
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