Review by Hemogoblin, submitted on 13-Aug-1992

Vampire$ by John Steakley. ROC (a division of the Penguin Group), 1992. $4.99 ISBN 0-451-45153-8

Vampires exist in the modern world. They are supernaturally powerful and totally evil. Team Crow, lead by 6 foot, 2 inch, muscle-bound Jack Crow, makes a living killing them. They use dynamite, crossbows, sunlight, skill and luck to wipe out nest after nest of the fiends. However, their knowledge about the limits of vampiric power is barely adequate to their task. Most people with first hand knowledge of vampires are either vampires themselves, or they're dead. Team Crow keeps excellent records of each encounter knowing that any detail could lead them to a more effective method of killing the creatures. Then one day after a fairly routine job in Indiana, several extremely disturbing things occur which put our heroes in more danger than ever before. Will they gain the knowledge they need in order to face this new danger looming on the horizon?

This has become one of my new favorite books. It is a tightly drawn story with loathsome, evil villains (even the vampires on the list would likely not want to associate with them), believably human, yet martyr-like heroes, and surprisingly, a fabulously wicked sense of humor. Allow me to quote an excerpt

as an example. In the beginning of Chapter 3, Team Crow is celebrating a successful job with the very relieved local officials:

"The crossbow bolt through the Dr. Pepper machine aroused the motel manager from his bed to find Crow and Sheriff Ortega--arms around shoulders, swaying gently in unison--outside his office. 'We wuz outta change,' said Ortega. The Sheriff was being helpful. 'I can vouch for him on tha' one,' added Crow, and they grinned at each other and pounded backs. The manager simply stared. This (to be kind) bizarre sight of two giants grinning down at him--and worse, nodding so fiercely out of synch it looked like a pair of paddling heads--it was all too much. The manager went back to his bed and pulled his pillow down over his ears. There were equally valid excuses for most of the other destruction. High spirits could be blamed for some of it, true enough. And carelessness. But most of the sheer carnage was entirely unavoidable due to the very nature of competitive sports at this, the Championship level. The list of events included Spin the Coffee Table, Pike Vaulting and the ever popular Ash Tray Rug Hockey. All of this being merely ancillary to the main event: Drinking Yourself Blind While Waiting for The Goddamn Whores to Show Up, which, as everyone knows, is strenuous enough by definition and only becomes uglier the longer it takes. All in all they did $5,000 worth of damage to the motel. It was a lot of fun."

Ya gotta love these guys, don't ya? The only thing that prevents this book from being perfect is the Team's unending quest to keep the women in the story safe and as far away from the action as possible. Admittedly they had very good reasons for doing it, and though the two women in question truly did not seem capable of defending themselves, still it bothered me. But, not enough to prevent me from recommending this book very highly. I give it four and a half fangs out of five and two smiles.

:-[ :-[ :-[ :-[ :-L :-) :-)

Fanged Films

From the Library

As the 20th century evolved, rational man turned to science to explain mythology that had pervaded for thousands of years. How could a man be mistaken for a vampire? How could someone appear to have been the victim of a vampire attack? Science, in time, came back with answers that may surprise you.Anemia
A million fancies strike you when you hear the name: Nosferatu!N O S F E R A T Udoes not die!What do you expect of the first showing of this great work?Aren't you afraid? - Men must die. But legend has it that a vampire, Nosferatu, 'der Untote' (the Undead), lives on men's blood! You want to see a symphony of horror? You may expect more. Be careful. Nosferatu is not just fun, not something to be taken lightly. Once more: beware.- Publicity for Nosferatu in the German magazine Buhne und Film, 1922  

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