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Friday, May 8, 2015

WTF Friday: Cattle Cult! Kill! Kill! by M.P. Johnson

Every once in a while, as the mood strikes me, I like to indulge in those titles that are a bit odd . . . a bit different . . . a bit bizarre . . . and a bit freaky. These are books that don't get a lot of press, and which rarely get any retail shelf space.



They're often an underground of sort of literature, best shared through guilty whispers, and often with embarrassed grins. These are our WTF Friday reads!

Having thoroughly enjoyed Dungeons & Drag Queens at around this time last year, I was definitely excited to land a new title from M.P. Johnson. While I didn't enjoy Cattle Cult! Kill! Kill! quite as much, it was a fun read, and there were more than enough WTF moments to warrant it a Friday feature.

On the surface, this is a pretty standard b-grade horror novel involving a murderous supernatural cult, a corrupt police department, and innocent bystanders who are forced to seek justice (and revenge) at their own hands. Johnson starts subverting our expectations almost immediately, as Renny proves helpless to save his girlfriend, Sera, from the clutches of the cult. He does track her down to the barn where she's about to be tortured and sacrificed, but there's no happy ending to be found there. I loved how Johnson put us inside his head, exposing us to all his doubts and fears, and was rather surprised at the way his story developed.

The whole cattle element does make for a nice twist, with the cult members wearing hollowed out cattle heads for masks, and you have to give Johnson full credit for his commitment to the experience. The heads are as heavy and smelly as you'd expect, and they don't allow for any sort of peripheral vision, but the leaders do make fearsome use of the bull horns. Why cattle, you ask? Well, it seems the cult worships some Lovecraftian cattle god of agriculture, a massively well-hung bull man (with, oddly enough, equally massive udders) named Bovikraaga. He's not just the most fearsome element of the tale, but both cool and brutal enough to warrant the build-up.

Of course, this being M.P. Johnson, there are more than enough moments of bizarro craziness to keep the story moving. The ways in which the cult captures, confines, and slaughters their captives definitely qualifies for WTF kudos, and the end-result of Bovikraaga's carnage is seriously disturbed. The weirdest, creepiest, most depraved element, though, has to be the young chief of police with a hunger for Rainbow Zing-O's and a serious fetish for Gar-Garla (the cereal's redheaded cave sorceress mascot). Without getting too graphic, the scene where he uses the butt of a gun to shatter a man's teeth, tapes a cardboard cut-out of Gar-Garla over his mouth, and then abuses them both while singing a perverted version of cereal's commercial jingle is pretty much the height of WTF.

Cattle Cult! Kill! Kill! is not a tale for those with weak stomachs, weak hearts, or closed minds, but for the rest of us it is a fun tale of bloody horror with some clever tweaks and twists of the standard genre tropes, and enough imagination to pull it all together.


Kindle Edition, 93 pages
Published April 14th 2015 by StrangeHouse Books

1 comment:

  1. I imagine that scene is ten times more graphic than you could ever describe...

    ReplyDelete