Book Review – Night of the Scream Queen by Michael McCarty & Linnea Quigley (2012)

Night of the Scream Queen: Kiss of the Gator Guy
by Michael McCarty & Linnea Quigley
Release Date: May 28, 2012
Publisher: Dark Moon Books

Night of the Scream

A label on the back of this book screams “Quirky! Irreverent! Over-the-top! Zany!” This could not be more true, and that is definitely a good thing. NIGHT OF THE SCREAM QUEEN: KISS OF THE GATOR GUY is one of the most original but craziest books I have ever read. And since it’s co-authored by horror icon Linnea Quigley, how could any horror fan resist reading it?

If you are not familiar with NIGHT OF THE SCREAM QUEEN: KISS OF THE GATOR GUY, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of the Dark Moon Books website:

Scream Queen Desiree Starr is tired of starring in one low budget horror movie after another, each passing film, her wardrobe becomes skimpier and skimpier. Private Martin Riley, a simple solider from Iowa is recruited for “Operation Reptilian”, a dangerous experiment where he is supposed to become a “Solider of the Future”–but he becomes something else entirely different. Dr. Morrie Madden, a military “mad scientist” who has played God one too many times. Aging British actor Blake Smith, once a leading man in horror films, but that was before his face started to deteriorate and now has to wear masks in public. All their lives become intersected and a hell breaks loose in the Devil Bayou swamplands.

I gotta tell you: I loved this book. It is chocked full of humor, realistic on-set drama, and even a few scenes of outright semi-terror! Authors Michael McCarty and Linnea Quigley have captured the essence of B-grade cinema and managed to put it into the written word. The result is an entertaining and bizarre jaunt into fun.

NIGHT OF THE SCREAM QUEEN: KISS OF THE GATOR GUY is written well and flows at a smooth pace. The characters are actually believable, which is a true testament to the authors given the subject matter and all. And the story itself is straight out of the pages of the National Enquirer, a scenario that might be plausible, but only if we lived in an alternate reality.

What makes this book so enjoyable for me are the ‘memoir’ pages taken from the biography of main character Desiree Starr. I feel like we are getting a glimpse into what the actual life of a scream queen could encompass. This lends a massive amount of credibility to the book and the story, and makes for a more entertaining ride.

NIGHT OF THE SCREAM QUEEN: KISS OF THE GATOR GUY is one of those book you only run across once in a decade or two. It’s one of those titles destined for ‘cult-classic’ status, and I would wager that people will be taking about it for years and years to come. I highly recommend it to anyone who likes horror, homages to horror, MST3K, drive-in movies, or B-movies in general. Give this one a look today…but don’t be surprised if you catch yourself grinning a lot while you read it.

MSB

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