Review: Kill Ball by Carlton Mellick III (Eraserhead Press; 2012)

6 Jan


Fusing giallo with a children’s film concept (people must stay in hamster-ball-like bubbles because of a disease) is an unexpected and brilliant idea. The darkness of the tropes in the giallo genre also keep things from getting too cartoony.

The book functions like a fast-paced thriller, although I do wish certain giallo elements had been played up more, particularly the elaborate death scenes of Argento–although I’m not sure if this would’ve worked on the page.

The explanation and inner-workings of the devious Kill Ball are unexpected and imaginative. The imagery of the narrator and Siren’s evolved bodies was also original.

Carlton Mellick III certainly has a knack for balancing conventional structures with bizzare and outlandish ideas. He states in his introduction to this book that he considers it to be a satire of the giallo genre. It definitely has its share of comedic moments, particularly early on where I chuckled at least a few times (people making fun of each other for how they chose to dress their balls). Kill Ball also contains its fair share of horror movie imagery, yet also resembles a comedy in which one cares about the characters (something like Superbad or Planes, Trains, and Automobiles).

Buy and read Kill Ball.

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