Author-filmmaker Dan West is back with his second novel, AND THEY ALL DIED SCREAMING, and he brought with him most of the crew that made his first novel, THE HOUSE THAT DRIPPED GORE, so much goddamn fun. AND THEY ALL DIED SCREAMING is a direct sequel to his debut novel, and once again has a group of misfit ghost hunters and parapsychologist researchers getting involved in the Hull family mansion and the evils and horrors that lie within.
I first became introduced to Dan West through the two films he wrote and directed along with Rick Popko–MONSTURD and RETARDEAD. Yes, these two films are as gonzo crazy-sick as they sound … and they are a whole lot of fun. If you were to say that MONSTURD was a shitty movie, Dan West would take that as a huge compliment. After these films, West turned his attention to other artistic endeavors, including writing. West’s books are home to the same kinds of disgusting gore, over-the-top dialogue, and horrible monsters found in his films, and he takes everything even further (well, it is the written word).
AND THEY ALL DIED SCREAMING follows everyone’s favorite bumbling, inept parapsychologist Stanley Matheson, this time investigating the continued horrible goings-on at the Hull house–where all the action of the first novel took place. This time Matheson is joined by detective Coleman, from part one; Dr. Graham Whitlock, professor of metaphysics and arcane mysticism at Leon Spinks University; Professor Edwin Heller; and Dr. Cynthia Quinlan. This time Matheson and his crew find themselves fighting off the demons of the Seven Legions of Darkness who are trying to enter our realm and spread madness and insanity across the globe. Matheson, though, has more than just his brains and brawn (a-hem) to fight off the alien invaders from another dimension. All Matheson needs to do is locate the ancient Lovejoy Codex and everything will be fine. Easy.
AND THEY ALL DIED SCREAMING is chocked full of all the same elements and maintains the same spirit as his first novel. West’s writing style is quick-paced and quick-witted. One minute you’ll be laughing out loud at all the jokes coming at you at a thousand miles an hour, and then the next moment you’ll be gagging at the overly-realistic gory descriptions of people being horribly killed and monsters that are plucked right out of your worst nightmares. There’s lots of potty humor, Lovecraftian-inspired horrors, and big t*****s. There’s something for everyone!! How could you not like passages such as:
“It looked like an eight-foot long tapeworm with scorpion’s claws having anal sex with an inside out Komodo dragon that had a baboon’s ass lined with shark teeth for a face and king cobras for hair. Out of its side was growing a giant housefly-type of insect that looked like it was shitting a retarded abominable snowman’s head out of its a*****e.”
“I hastily retreated into the nearby woods to carpet bomb the native flora with malodorous bursts of brown buckshot.”
West’s imagination knows no bounds and creates some incredibly disturbing and hilarious worlds and situations the main characters get into. With such characters as Angus McFishfucker, and weapons like a “demonic extermination ray gun” made from the bones of dead babies, puppies, kittens, and baby arctic seals, and one of the most messed-up and clever spoofs of Willie Wonka, AND THEY ALL DIED SCREAMING is one helluva fun read from cover to cover. I could barely put the book down. When I went away on vacation this past summer, I accidentally left this book at home. I found myself at times wishing my vacation would end sooner so I could get back to this novel!!
Yes, I am highly recommending AND THEY ALL DIED SCREAMING. And be sure to read West’s debut book, THE HOUSE THAT DRIPPED GORE, first. The second is a standalone novel, but some of the references will be funnier and have better payoffs if you read his debut novel first. Either way, don’t miss this one!! And because so many readers asked me after I posted my review of West’s THE HOUSE THAT DRIPPED GORE, yes–the black and white illustrations in this review are illustrations from the novel that West himself drew. He’s a talented bastard!!
Author: Dan West
Plot: 4 out of 5 stars
Gore: 9 out of 10 skulls
Zombie Mayhem: 2 out of 5 brains
Reviewed by Scott Shoyer