Friday, November 21, 2008

For You, The Living

Well, its been about a year since I spent that long Saturday at the printing plant running a big job and finally reading THE BREEZE HORROR. Long enough that I'll spoil it for those who commented a year ago, the book portrayed the first real zombies, not Romero's shambling ghouls. Zombie that didn't run as fast as those in the remake of DAWN OF THE DEAD or 28 DAYS/WEEKS LATER, but somehow, the idea was overlooked in this obscure book. The reason it stayed obscure is because about halfway through the book, things happen that just should not could not would not, but then again, this was a book published by Pinnacle in 1988. After having shot her zombie ex-husband with a shotgun in his chest and face, the ex-wife (the main character) proceeds to live with the zombie and get pregnant by him. Insane? I know. The whole zombie thing was caused by toxic waste in a space shuttle that exploded over New Jersey, and the book takes place on one of those north shore beaches. But there are still pretty graphic images in that book I still recall, and the ending is very neat, the woman in a rowboat, finding no one alive at every resort town she passes, all the while giving milk to a zombie baby. Yea, that kinda milk. And yet, and yet, one of the big deals of the 2004 DOTD was...a zombie baby. Again, I know! So I can bet if someone really thought this out, the book could indeed be made into a film, certainly there have been more implausible films out there.

I'm amazed and glad that zombies are such a big thing in films, I just saw SLITHER the other night (thus realizing that I am in love with Elizabeth Banks), and WORLD WAR Z will be in the theaters soon. Happy because finally (well, once TWILIGHT is gone) there are less gothic pretty boy vampires flitting around like Charles Nelson Reilly. That said, I think its time to rethink my 1992 novella FOR YOU, THE LIVING. I created a type of plague called Treats, a play on a new treatment to fight against a very virulent strain of HIV, where the people are not technically dead, more insane, with sex impulses but no nerve impulses. Downtown Chicago can be perfectly isolated, because of the two branches of the river and various interstate arteries that can be demolished. My characters live in the high-rises near Lake Michigan, and everyone is kept safe by the Department of Streets and Sanitation, who use our many snow plows to safely get rid of the bodies after they are shot dead by cleaning crews or snipers from the skyscrapers nearby. I wrote a love story that goes wrong, and by going wrong it makes the title of the novella crystal clear. I have a writing project I'm involved with and I've said I was going to then write that Frank St. Cyr novel, CITY WITH NO SECOND CHANCES. I think that, before I write the bigger book, I should maybe update FYTL, make the plague victims zombies (HIV is a bit outdated), and write something that might end up book length and my agent can sell it to Hollywood for about $300.00 and it would star Clint Howard and Amanda Plummer. Or maybe I could make a few more bucks off of it. And since I'm always asked, I took the title from lines from "Monster Mash," For you, the living, this mash was meant, too/when you get to my door, tell them Boris sent you. They did the mash. It caught on in a flash.