Zakk reviews “Tribesmen” by Adam Cesare. 156 pages published by Deadite press (an imprint of Eraserhead press).
Overall score: 4.5/5
“They should have seen the plane land and come to meet us! Why do our modern wonders not thrill them? Where is our welcome party of savages?”
In 1980, looking to capitalize on (plagiarize) the “success” of a taboo film, a small cast and crew fly out to Caribbean island to film a guerrilla style exploitation film. When the personnel land, sentenced to three days of exile, they find the nothing but empty abandoned huts. As the pit of body part is found, the production begins.
“The hippies dropped acid to create their whacked-out shit, and Denny shot horse to make his blood and beaver pictures.”
I had been eyeballing this book for a long time, and with that outstanding cover art, how could one not? Being at a reduced price, and with a high profile Cannibal movie prevalent in genre circles right now, I decided to take the plunge (It wasn’t really a plunge, but a mad dash to proverbial check out counter, eager to wash my kindle in the blood of innocents).
Tribesmen is a pretty awesome read, my third from Adam Cesare, cementing him in my list of authors whose back catalogue of work I’m excited to peruse a bit deeper. His style is immediately entertaining and highly addictive. I jammed through this in a day (Amazon lists it as 174 pages, my Kindle deceptively says 156, but I’d say it more like 115-120 pages) and was fiending for “just one more chapter” the entire way through.
Not quite as gruesome as I was expecting, gearing up for may be the more accurate way to put it. But fear not, there is plenty of bloodshed and unnerving moments. While I would have liked a bit more background on the cast of characters (especially the natives and their plight), you get enough to connect with as each role is clearly unique and interesting. Separate personalities that all shine. Every one is a likable character, not to say that each is a likable personality. There is a rat or two here, shining just as bright and the gore itself is described in slick detail. This story is something I’d pay to see in a theatre if it wasn’t already projected into my brain pan in cinematic quality.
I want to know more, about the island, about the tribe that lived there before, about how things came to be and what come after. As it stands, Tribesmen is a highly enjoyable vignette, a moment in time of a bigger picture. A title I’d be glad to recommend to friends, other readers and genre fans (in fact I have one person in mind who I think would really be into this) from a writer who has officially gained a fan.
“’What is he doing!’ Tito said. His voice equally dismayed by their star’s appearance. Jacque turned to look at the golden haired Italian. Denny wondered when he had time to get into makeup and costume, before realizing that Umberto wasn’t supposed to be playing a savage. Denny had heard stories of crazy actors, but Umberto’s stunt was less Klaus Kinski, more Charlie Manson. What the fuck is he wearing?”
Zakk is a big dumb animal.