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Cheap and Nasty Seventies Horror Pulp

Posts Tagged ‘When Animals Attack’

Paperback Fanatic 5

Posted by demonik on June 20, 2009

Justin Marriott (ed.) – Paperback Fanatic 5 (December, 2007)

Adrian Salmen

Adrian Salmon

Fanatical Thoughts: News, updates, letters, gossip.

Big Bob Tralins Bites Back: An exclusive interview with the legendary US sleaze author who lets rip on his own experiences in the pulp industry.

Bugged! The Invasion Of The Paperback Nasties: A huge overview of the ‘nasty’ phenomenon of the 1970s, covering books such as Eat Them Alive, Squelch, Maggots, Killer Flies, Slugs, Fangs and many, many more! Pierce Nace, Donald F. Glut, Edward Jervis, Richard Lewis, Michael R. Linaker, John Halkin, Guy N. Smith, James ‘Worms’ Montague, Peter Tremayne and a cast of thousands.

The Rivals of Conan: The ultimate guide to 1970s sword and sorcery. Starring Thongor, Brak, Kane, Kyrik, Kothar, Blade, Raven, and a whole horde of rampaging Conan cash-ins. John Jakes, Lin Carter, Gardner T. Fox, Mike Sirota, Richard Kirk, Karl E. Wagner, Manning Norvill, Chris Carlsen ….

The Damned March On: Nazi War Pulps from Wolf Kruger, Will Berthold, Gunther Lutz, Jasper Smith …

Back cover poster: cover art for Bob Tralins’ Ghoul Lover (Popular Library, 1972)

Graced with a gorgeous Ade Salmon cover, the mighty When Animal’s Attack issue looks as well as reads the part. Welcome debut of Fanatical Thoughts added a club feel to the magazine.

Posted in Horror Fiction, Justin Marriott, Magazines (NEL interest), Paperback Fanatic | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

David J Michael – Death Tour

Posted by demonik on June 10, 2009

David J Michael – Death Tour (New English Library, 1980)


Bob Martin

Another one where I don’t know who posted the cover, just that i saved a copy when they did. No blurb to go with it yet. All I can tell you is it concerns five, by all accounts, obnoxious kids coming to grief at the jaws of a sewerful of alligators.

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Ryder Brady – Instar

Posted by demonik on May 16, 2009

Ryder Brady – Instar (Nel, 1978)

Cover art by Tony Masero

Cover art by Tony Masero

First published in the USA by Doubleday & Co. Inc, 1976
First published in Great Britain by New English Library, 1977
First NEL paperback edition April 1978



Then the screams began – terrible human screams in the night and mysterious animal whimperings.

Hugh Murray decided to investigate – and that was his first mistake. When he took a maltreated dog into his home that was his second mistake. For the dog had peculiar powers, and soon the screams in the night were replaced by a new hysteria – his own, as he struggled to resist the evil that threatened to destroy him.

Don’t be fooled by the Lassie Come Home cover (look at those eyes…), this is clearly marked HORROR & SUPERNATURAL on the spine lest there be any doubt. The term ‘instar’, by the way, relates to molting in insects – shedding the exoskeleton in order to metamorphose into a new form.


Posted in NEL, Novel, Ryder Brady, steve goodwin | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

James Herbert – The Rats

Posted by demonik on May 14, 2009

James Herbert – The Rats (Nel, 1974)

The face that launched a thousand 'When Animals Attack' novels.

The face that launched a thousand 'When Animals Attack' novels.

The Rats is a book that can only be read once, as stripped of its initial ability to shock, it is a rather pedestrian read at best, with the narrative acting as no more than mortar for the bricks of sex and violence

Justin Marriott on The Rats, Pulp Mania #1, 2006.

I thought I’d put it to the test. This is the third or fourth time I’ve read The Rats and, while it certainly loses some of its shock value, I feel it retains its rage and horror. Having recently enjoyed Scorpions, Night Of The Crabs and Devils Coach Horse, I can also boringly confirm what we already know: The Rats is without doubt the blueprint for just about every new wave of ‘When Animals attack’ nasties. It’s all here. The simple plot. The no-nonsense hero fighting the rodents on the one hand, the incompetent, self-serving authorities on the other. The huge body-count. The almost supernaturally unerotic sex interludes. The one that got away.

Civilised London. Swinging London. Dirty Bloody London!”

The plot, such as it is. An old house near the wharf has remained empty since the deaths of the eccentric couple who lived there. He was something of a boffin who spent several years abroad and returned from New Guinea with a few black rats which may or may not have been exposed to radiation. What else would you do but breed them? Once the old boy and his wife are dead, the rats make a few tentative forays into the outside world. Gradually they overcome their fear of man. Soon they develop a taste for human flesh. And they’re multiplying all the time.

Harris (even his lover Judy calls him ‘Harris’) is a working class East Ender who teaches art at St. Michael’s school. He still thinks of himself as a rebel student and gets passionate about the broken promises of the Government (any Government), inner-city poverty, the Ronan Point disaster, communal rubbish chutes, tower blocks in general, Thatcher putting the block on free milk for schoolkids, the incompetence of “authority”. Variations of Harris (an idealised Herbert ?), the everyman hero, resurface in every Herbert novel I’ve read and they get on my nerves to be honest with you. The prototype is probably the most wooden character in The Rats (give or take his girlfriend) but he does what he’s there for and has some terrific scraps with the rats so you can’t grumble. Besides, he doesn’t feature in half of the set-pieces and, as we all know, the set-pieces are what it’s all about!

And, for me, that’s what makes The Rats great. It’s maybe 80% set-piece, a series of pacy, effective, extremely bloody vignettes one after another. There’s the sad story of Mary Kelly (not a name to inspire confidence at the best of times), a decent woman driven to madness and meths by the death of her husband-to-be, who dosses in the decrepit St. Mary’s churchyard near Aldgate East station. Beaten unconscious by fellow alkies when she taunts them with a bottle of scotch, she is easy prey for the rats. But then, so are her comatose colleagues.

Sweet little Karen Blakely, thirteen months. Her mum reckons she’ll be OK for five minutes while she nips around to a neighbours house. Besides, she playful Shane the faithful puppy to look after her …

Then the full scale onslaughts: A late night attack on Shadwell Station – since modernised but you’d not like to get trapped down there – claims just the three lives thanks to the quick-thinking of the driver, but the following morning, “Black Monday”, sees several passengers massacred when a packed commuter train stalls in a tunnel approaching Stepney Green (Henry Sutton, a mild mannered solicitors clerk who you immediately identify as rodent-fodder plays a blinder, leading two frightened women to safety before heading back into the darkness with the rescue party … ). Then St. Michaels school comes under siege, the pupils barricaded in the upstairs classroom cheering on the firemen as they turn their hoses on the vermin – that probably wouldn’t happen today. Harris is miserable that only the East End is copping it, none of the affluent areas, so he’s probably mildly amused when, after a lull of several weeks, the rats resurface in a North London cinema, just as Stephen is copping a feel of Vikki’s tits – his first decent bird after all the fatties and skinnies and it has to end like this! Worse is to follow at London Zoo where keeper George will stop at nothing to protect his beloved pets ….

It’s down to Harris to save the day, and he comes up trumps where the best minds the system can offer have loused up with his amazing Operation Extirpate. “It was the sort of inspiration that could only have come from someone not used to or bogged down by the intricacies of a scientific mind, so bold and uncomplicated was its concept.”

Herbert might be talking about his own novel.

We spawned Rats/ Herbert/ ‘When Animals Attack’ threads like rats on the Vault Mk 1, most of them in the Nel section

Thanks to Killercrab for the cover scan.

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Nick Sharman – The Cats

Posted by demonik on October 7, 2007

Nick Sharman – The Cats (Nel, 1977)

The Cats

Inglis (an all-action hero with no respect for “the establishment” direct from the James Herbert school) has taken his old University lecturer’s experiments with bacteria to heart and decided to continue them in his makeshift lab in Paddington. He leaves his infected cats to be looked after by  bullied schoolkid Mark while he pays a visit to his mentor, Prof. Bertram Vole – the man who abandoned this line of research a few years earlier after something awful happened. Vole nearly has a stroke when Inglis tells him what he’s been up to, but composes himself and reassures his pupil that things will be fine as long as he doesn’t subject his charges to extreme heat.

Meanwhile, back in Paddington, as London undergoes the biggest heatwave in it’s history …

Posted in Horror Fiction, NEL, Nick Sharman, Novel | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »