Demonic Clown Books/KHP Industries
105 pages, $10
Review by Kent Knopp-Schwyn
Dan Thomas presents the reader with an old fashioned, b-movie, gut munching zombie horror fest in a sleek novella. Not quite as wry or laugh out loud funny as Jeff Strand, Dan Thomas knows his way around the splatterpunk genre while keeping his lacerated tongue firmly planted in shredded cheek.
Dark Highway introduces the reader to hapless salesman Tom Turley slaving away on the road in the midsummer heat at the bottom sales rung on the corporate ladder of Atomizer Furnace Company. Recently hired, on a limited expense account and selling a horrible product at the worst time of the year, Mr. Turley is having an awful case of the road warrior blues when his micro sized rental car breaks down in the middle of the road on the way to Casper, WY. While attempting to fix the car, he is nearly killed by a speeding motor-home.
Fate, however, has a crueler end for Tom as he is literally picked up off the road by a pair of psychos riding around in their land yacht dispatching hitchhikers and other tourists/motorist they find. Soon, Tom Turley is left for dead in a shallow grave on the side of the road. Before he expires, however, death gets really interesting and Tom has one final strange encounter after which he is resurrected as a zombie. Over the rest of this fast paced read, Tom first goes on the rampage against the traveling freaks that previously left him for dead. Then, after gaining a modicum of control over his impulses and appetites, he uses the newfound strength of character and lack of fear to rise to the top of corporate America by bullying, threatening and eating his way to the top.
As with many recent Hollywood blockbusters, the story doesn’t ask much of the reader except to hold on tight and prepare for thrilling popcorn level enjoyment. Instead of deep moral messages, Dark Highway gives the reader a wild romp replete with plenty of gore, sex and greed.