Gone South

    (Atomic Basement, 2004)
™ and © Atomic Basement

Victoria, a “class two” vampire, and Sylvia, a “class three” creature of the night, are a pair of bawdy babes having a drink in a neighborhood bar. Apparently, they are on the lam, trying to keep a low profile in a hick town, but their sexy outfits and mesmerizing good looks (not to mention Victoria’s bloodlust) make the testy twosome stick out like a pair of sore fangs. When they get involved with the local yokels, things go from deceptive to sleazy to downright horrific.

With its Southern slant, contemptible characters, and horrible happenings, Gone South will appeal to Joe Lansdale fans, but it pulls punches in places where Lansdale would have gone for the haymaker. In other words, most of Lansdale’s independent work is ruder, cruder, and lewder. Not that Gone South has gone soft or anything—after all, these are modern-day vampires mixing it up with Deliverance-type stereotypes.

One notable aspect of Gone South is the male lead, an affably naïve fellow named Clyde. When it’s obvious one of the vamps wants to vamp it up with him, he sincerely wants to show her a good time—as opposed to simply using her—making him a sympathetic (if simple-minded) character.

— Brett Weiss

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