Carlton Mellick (the Third) freely admits that he enjoys the worst kind of horror movie starring complete unknowns who qualify simply by the intensity of their screams and an ability to slide around in gore, mostly bloody body parts (a natural agility with a pitch fork or a sickle is a plus). I have noticed that most of these slasher movies (or splatter movies depending on the studio marketing them) are about as low-budget as an episode of Hoarders. Oh, some start out with recognizable talent and maybe even a script, but by the time they reach the fourth or fifth sequel, you wouldn’t be surprised if Tom Carvel didn’t rise from the grave and turn the unsuspecting campers into ice cream cakes.
I’ll bet you never considered the possibility that there was a real book behind your favorite splatter-fest and, with the possible exception of Agatha Christies’ novel, And Then There Were None, you might be right. Did Dame Agatha run around with Donald Pleasance, or was that Harold Pinter? Anyway, Carlton Mellick tells of his attempt to write a screenplay for the kind of horror movie he wanted to see, but he never completed it; rather, Mellick turned it into a fine Bizarro novel titled, Apeshit.
Perhaps a fast list of the topics and images the author includes in his novel will give the curious reader an idea of the treasures that await him: sex, gay sex, three-way sex, gender reassignment, vaginal dental work, ten uses for dangling intestines, bullets to the brain, slicing off mammaries, oral sex with half a skull, embedded fetuses, chopped up body parts, sewn back together chopped up body parts, pistols, rifles, butcher knives, machetes, and forest rangers. It doesn’t, however, have Donald Pleasance or even Jamie Lee Curtis (although she would fit right in if she wore her Daisy Dukes).
Here’s what they wrote at Amazon about this novel:
Friday the 13th meets Visitor Q.
Apeshit is Mellick’s love letter to the great and terrible B-horror movie genre. Six trendy teenagers (three cheerleaders and three football players) go to an isolated cabin in the mountains for a weekend of drinking, partying, and crazy sex, only to find themselves in the middle of a life and death struggle against a horribly mutated psychotic freak that just won’t stay dead. Mellick parodies this horror cliché and twists it into something deeper and stranger. It is the literary equivalent of a grindhouse film. It is a splatter punk’s wet dream. It is perhaps one of the most fucked up books ever written.
If you are a fan of Takashi Miike, Evil Dead, early Peter Jackson, or Eurotrash horror, then you must read this book.
I’m not going to submit any novel by Carlton Mellick (the Third) for consideration by the Nobel committee, but I still contend that real imagination is still alive in Bizarro fiction. No, it’s not all good, but that’s how any genre of writing will play out. Mellick, especially in Apeshit, can be a tad heavy-handed when dealing with mutants, blood, sex, and evil, but it’s all in fun. I shouldn’t give away the trop Mellick uses to explain much of the gore in the novel, but it works (on a B-Moviie scale) and I have been to small towns in the desert that just might pass as the community hidden away in the mountains.
Still the question is: How does a good slasher movie compare to the rough and tumble of roller derby?