You know, sometimes Mother Horror feels a little left out of the conversation. I don’t watch very many horror movies, so when some of my horror fiction friends start bringing movies into a bookish discussion, I’m often left standing alone in the corner with not much to say.
I certainly never watched any of these “Midnight Movies” people mention every now and then. I’ve seen the VHS covers for films like Cannibal Holocaust but I wouldn’t dare watch something like that—too visually visceral and brutal for my delicate tastes.
I read the premise for Adam Cesare’s Tribesmen and I thought to myself, now that sounds like fun! From what I understand, Tribesmen is an homage to the Italian exploitation films that were popular in the late ’70s-early ’80s. The story follows a small film crew as they travel to a remote island to film a raunchy cannibal movie directed by a notorious legend in the industry named Tito Bronze.
I’ve developed a real hankering for horror novellas lately and, at just around 150 pages, I knew this book would be something I had to have for my collection. I also should mention that I read Cesare’s The First One You Expect last year and I absolutely loved it, so I was eager to read more of his work.
This book can be read in about the same amount of time it would take to watch one of these grindhouse movies, but why would you watch it, when you can READ it?? So much better, friends.
Cesare does a fantastic job setting up the story with a heart-pounding prologue followed by short character vignettes to introduce us to all the major players. In no time at all, the reader is primed and ready to watch this whole drama to go to hell in a handbasket drenched in the blood of naive, beautiful women.
So I might have never shared in the experience of watching a gory, cannibalistic fright-fest, but after reading this book, I feel like I’ve had all the thrills and chills right in the safe-zone of my own mind. Cesare paints the picture with words and the reader gets to soak it all in. Seriously so much fun.
My only complaint would be that I wanted to see the story from the prologue threaded into the present day situation a little bit more. I don’t want to be spoilery so I’ll just say that some kind of vengeful-spirit-voodoo-brainwashing was going on and I wanted to know more about that. But that’s just a minor knit-pick because, overall, I was thoroughly entertained by this “final girl” horror romp. My first cannibal thrill ride without having to watch something I can’t unsee. Adam Cesare can be my go-to author for any and all cult-classic, movie-house horror fiction.