Thursday, November 14, 2013
First published: 2012
The Blurb: This is a Vampire story but the blood sucker is a horny guitar. It tears its way through a succession of owners in a black comedy that will appeal to garlic farmers and anyone who has ever bought a music CD.
A descendant from one of Europe's most eminent Vampire hunting families, Van Hellbent Junior, knows nothing about rock music but he does know a good clue when he sees one. He pursues the Un-Dead relentlessly with the support of a local Police Inspector who is stumped by five unsolved murders and a blood stained ballroom.
The main narrative follows the murderous progress of the killer instrument and its attendant Roadie. He ultimately faces a showdown with Van Hellbent Junior in a climax that involves a musical shoot out between the forces of good and evil.
Vampire Guitar will make you as jumpy as a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs. As for the guitar, just remember, it's red but it ain't paint.
The review: At the 2013 Bram Stoker Film Festival (where it won the festival award for Best Screenplay) I was lucky enough to see the movie Vampire Guitar and hope to be able to bring you a review of that (remarkable) film sometime in the not too distant future.
I picked up the book of the film at the festival and, like the film itself, it is a rip-roaring rock comedy (the book deserves a soundtrack). Stylistically it reminds me of Robert Rankin and if you like his irreverent humour and psychedelic story narratives you should like this. It is with the background to said story that I want to begin.
The book starts in 1774 when Sir Lancelot Walters Wynn – having murdered his wife, mother in law and children commits suicide by jumping from a tower (and impaling himself). As a suicide he is buried in unhallowed ground and, of course, suicides often come back as vampires.
Not this one – ish… Jump to 1974 and an alder tree grows above the coffin and has picked up that vampiric essence, and so when it is toppled in a storm and the lumber is sent to a guitar factory all Hell lets loose – literally.
A guitar with a vampiric soul, unable to turn its victims into its own kind as “it’s virtually impossible for humans to become blood sucking guitars” the colour of the guitar varies with feeds (from bright, shiny red, fading as it hungers) and it uses its strings as teeth.
Meanwhile the last in a long line of vampire hunters, Professor Van Hellbent Junior, keeps having vague moments where he costumes up and pursues new careers (chip shop worker, show girl, you name it he’ll try it, though he won't realise he is doing it).
I don’t want to spoil the fun as it is great fun and a nifty little read, short and punchy and worth your time. 8 out of 10.