Nasty, Nasty Part III: in which the bugs/rats/gators/abortions eat half our hero's ass

Greetings, ummm, whoever shows up for these things we do here!  Welcome to First-Draft Theater!  I'm your host, Whichever Name I Use On This Particular Website!

Do you remember my previous posts on "nasty novels?"  Well, you don't have to, because this is the Internet and they're still up there and you can go read them whenever you wish by clicking LINK I or LINK II.

Well, I've gotten just the least lil' ol' bit obsessed and have been buying up a lot of the sumbitches on ABE and Amazon marketplace, wherever I can find 'em cheap, so I have quite the shelf of bug/rat/critter/fish reading ahead of me.  I also have a lot of it behind me, but unfortunately I wasn't writing reviews back when I went through a lot of these books.  I also read most of them so long ago that I don't remember much of anything about them.  And, since I've got a big stack I haven't even read the first time, it's not likely I'll be re-reading these anytime soon... but, that's no reason you can't have fun looking at the covers, which, as much as it bruises my ego, is probably most of the appeal of these posts, really.  And if I do re-read 'em, I can always put up a more in-depth review later, right?  Who among you is mighty enough to stop me!?  

So, here's a gallery of covers, and I'll tell you whatever I happen to remember about any of 'em, by way of really-really half-assed reviews.

We bought a zoo!  A zoo of endless horror!  First priority - as in life - is a visit to the cathouse!

I don't remember much about this book.  I think it was kinda mild for a critters-on-the-rampage book, but I think I liked it okay. 

Don't remember this one, either, but I always like Nick Sharman's writing, so I'm sure it's good and probably ruthlessly gory.  I may have to re-read this...

From the cathouse to the bughouse! 

I don't remember much about this one, either... I think it was kinda ordinary.  But I have a thing for hoards of flies, so I may have to re-read it, too.  Plus, it's Signet, and I have a fondness for Signet.  (Yes, I am weird enough to like publishing houses.)

Neurotic, babbling comedian and frequent Letterman guest in the 80's Richard Lewis wrote killer-critter books? No, no.  I'm pretty sure it's a different guy (a British dude) and I have a sequel to this called The Web, so I may end up having to re-read this first.  I remember it being fairly standard for the genre, but that's not a bad thing.

I remember this one a bit, and I lovvvvvve Squelch.   My relationship with this book began well, when I was purchasing it at the bookstore and the lady ringing it up went "Ewwww, what is that!  Why do you want to read that?!" and my lil' punk-rock self was sooooo happy that this book could upset citizens that I knew, whatever kind of trash actually lurked between the pages, it would be a venerated object for me.  I remember reading it in my time between classes in college and digging the sicko amounts of gore as hideous caterpillars gnawed away at human flesh, only to turn into big moths which also made humans miserable.  Yay!

 I think I read this more than once.  It's a pretty quick read.  And since it's a novelization of the really stupid 70's giant-ant movie, it's pretty stupid.  But I liked it when I was a grammar school kid, so, if you're a grammar school kid, you might like it.  And you should probably leave the blog immediately, 'cuz I use words like "fuck."

On to the wiggledy stuff...

The author of Squelch returns with... KILLER JELLYFISH!  That walk on land!  Yes!  This book grabs you by the collar, throttles you, and then crams fistfuls of stupid down your throat with relentless glee!  It's way-stupid, but in the funnest, sickest way possible.  You will love this book even if you have to hate yourself to do it!

I recently re-read Slugs, so that'll be a full-length review appearing here next time I amass a few more critter-books read to make a slew of 'em, but Breeding Ground is the sequel.  I remember it being more of the same... which is exactly what you want if you liked Slugs.  Flesh-eating slugs!  Does it get any nastier than that?  We can hope, but I don't think so.

Now, to the Reptile House...

I remember really really liking Death Tour.  I don't remember a whole lot about the actual plot - something about people going into the sewers and getting stalked by alligators living down there - but I remember liking the writing style a good bit, and being surprised that it was a lot better than I expected it to be.  Probably need to re-read this one.

I loved this book in my high-school study hall.  I bought my copy at a garage sale at a preacher's house across the street (where I also bought my first Edge Westerns - "The Most Violent Westerns In Print.")  It made me wonder what the hell was goin' on in the secret lives of preachers, all this violence.  This isn't really a horror novel so much as an adventure-in-the-wilderness thing, with people trapped in a swamp, confronting a giant alligator and having to take it on with primitive weapons.  All I can say is, liked it at the time, don't know how I'd feel about it now.

Don't remember much about this other that it was kinda ordinary, but had a few instances of impressive gore, such as a gravely injured guy who wipes at something that's dangling on his face and it's his eyeball.  Yay, casual-wiping-aside-of-eyeballs!  The 'gator in the book is pain-crazed because it's missing half its jaw, which made me wonder how it could so effectively eat people, but, it manages.

Rats in battalions!

This is The Rats, which I previously reviewed in one of those linky-things up there.  But, I remembered I had this copy, too, so here's the cover.  This one was a re-release to tie-in the movie version, which featured dachshunds in rat suits, scampering around, being every bit as terrifying as you think dachshunds in rat jammies would be.  They'll adorable you to death!

This is the sequel to The Rats, which I actually read first.  I remember it being good and gruesome.  There's a third, Domain, which I have but haven't read yet, so maybe later on that one.

Now, assorted other various and unsavories...
I liked this book a lot, it impressed the hell out of me at the time.  Some weird toxic fog is unleashed in London and makes everybody exposed to it become a murderous psycho.   A team of scientists in hazmat suits roam around trying to stop it, encountering people who'd committed all sorts of depraved acts.  Total gore that Herbert used to be famous for.

And this was basically the same kind of deal except a darkness makes everybody go nuts.  Strangely, I remember not liking this one much and thinking it was just a rehash.

And now, for the daycare section of our zoo.  Prepare to be offended!  Especially if you're one of those right-to-lifers (although I'd be amazed if we had any rabid right-wingers on this site after all the overtime I've put in trying to offend and alienate you)....

SPAWN!!!  Possibly the sickest concept for a nasty-novel ever created!  I think I remember this right, but correct me if I don't: A sick-minded damage case whose sibling died in a fire as a baby has a job burning amputated limbs and stuff in a London hospital.  Sometimes he's given aborted babies to dispose of.  He can't stand to do it, so he takes them home and gives them funerals in his backyard instead.  One night lightning strikes his yard, revives the fetus-corpses, and they become little prenatal zombies who need blood to survive.  Soon he's covered with self-inflicted infected wounds that they suck on, and he becomes desperate for more to feed his "children."  Yeah.  You want this book, you know you do!  And who am I to judge?

Okay, that's all I've got for now.  In the meantime, Twitter me!  And Twitter our blog-brother KickerOfElves while you're over there!  You won't regret it!  And if you do, you won't regret it much because it's just a couple of Twitter follows.  If that's the biggest mistake you ever made, you lead a blessed life, my child, and shall probably never be eaten by bloodsucking-zombie-fetus-babies! 


  1. The fetal zombies I can handle. No problem. But the cover on that one? How the fuck did the zombaby grow to super-size? And how'd it find a jar big enough for that old dude? Alternately, how in the fuck did some undead baby create a shrink-ray? Nobody can suspend their disbelief that much... not sober, anyway...

  2. Jesus Chrysler. Nothing should be this entertaining. They're all excellent, but the one for The Dark is just relentlessly badass. The Fog and Spawn, meanwhile, made me laugh out loud. Lovely.

  3. Yeah, I think the giant-fetus-baby is supposed to just be metaphorical or something, 'cuz as I recall the ones in the book are just regular-sized fetus-babies. And I don't remember anybody being in a jar. Leisure did some goofy covers. Not near as bad as Zebra's, but still....

    And that Fog cover is strange, with all the sexual activity mingled with axes 'n' such. But, I think there was a good bit of that kind of thing in the book... Herbert didn't balk at much!

  4. An absolutely glorious gallery of animal mayhem. THANK YOU.