Thursday, July 17, 2014

Zombies From the Pulps!: Revels for the Lusting Dead - Arthur Leo Zagat

This novelette from the July-August 1937 issue of TERROR TALES is a prime example of a pulp storytelling mantra I still follow myself: If you're going over the top anyway, you might as well go 'waaay over. "Revels for the Lusting Dead" is also reminiscent of 80s horror movies, with a heroine who's constantly being menaced and screaming as she runs away from one unholy threat after another. In addition to that, you've got your creepy old inn with a clerk whose description might as well be that of H.P. Lovecraft his own self, a cemetery right across the street (convenient for corpses to come out of yawning graves and lay siege to the place), naked girls in hanging cages in a crypt, a black-hooded guy with a whip...

This is almost a textbook example of a Weird Menace story, and it gallops along in a highly entertaining fashion. It's well-written, too, and Zagat provides a couple of plot twists that, while not exactly jaw-dropping, are still pretty nice. I just had a great time reading this one.

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