Zakk reviews “The Vampire of Plainfield” by Kristopher Rufty. 386 pages published by Sinister Grin Press 2015.
“Peter was scared of Eddie Gein.
Scared of the Gein house, is more like it.
Most kids their age were, but not Timmy. He was one thirteen-year-old who didn’t mind visiting the Gein house. Sure, it was a dump and Eddie seemed to collect his trash rather than dispose of it. And it probably hadn’t been cleaned since Ms. Gein was still alive. These details didn’t bother Timmy a bit. Besides, Eddie’s odd decorations and magazines and books intrigued Timmy more than frighten him.”
Plainfield, Wisconsin. 1954. Robbing graves to appease his malevolent desires, Ed Gein inadvertently sets loose an ancient vampire on the unsuspecting town of Plainfield. As the number of missing persons rises, Ed realizes the vampire’s ultimate plan has been put into motion, and to prevent his dastardly practices from being exposed, he decides to slay the vampire himself. But he soon understands that he’s all the hope Plainfield has. As the few people closest to Ed are sucked into the vampire’s realm, he’ll be forced to reach deep inside himself to bring the incredible nightmare to an end. On this night, the Ghoul of Plainfield must battle the Vampire of Plainfield…to the death!
“Timmy felt strange, a little dizzy. He wanted to sit down. He wished Eddie would take the dumb costume off. Even if he didn’t really believe it had come from a person, he was tired of looking at it. It made him feel like he was doing something wrong.”
Let me get this out of the way first so that we can move on, I had difficulty getting past Ed Gein the person vs. Ed Gein the character. I was derailed on more than one occasion early on, wondering if the “Real” Ed Gein was as goofy (and charming) as the character Ed Gein. Did he eat bologna sandwiches and drink pop with kids whist reading inappropriate comic books? I’m not a serial killer aficionado, so I don’t know the level of accuracy here, nor did I research it. I just let the book take me where it wanted to. And once I started thinking of Eddie as simply a super creepy town misfit things fell into place pretty quickly.
The Vampire of Plainfield is a fun read, equal parts coming-of-age drama & creepy-uncle-type vs ancient evil. Gruesome and uncomfortable. Sometimes a little too uncomfortable when dealing with underage characters, so trigger warning there. Main character Eddie has a lot of charm in between (and during) the digging of graves, especially during the quiet moments with his buds, two kids from town, bonding over… shrunken heads, gross.
It always nice to have classic style monsters, vicious & nasty & timeless, so suffice to say that the baddies here are awesome. And the finale? Totally batshit crazy, in the best possible way. There really needs to be an action figure of Ed Gein’s “final form”. It’s rad.
So in short, this book isn’t going to be for everybody. But if like your horror chunky & thick, and you have a twisted sense of humor, and you are into classic monsters behaving as they should, then the Vampire of Plainfield is for you.
“Stop gawking, son. Just looks bad to stare like a creep.”
Overall score: 4/5
Zakk is a big dumb animal!
*NOTE: I received a review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. These are my unbiased feelings.
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