TRIBESMEN by Adam Cesare

A Book Review by L.L. Soares

tribesmen-coverWe don’t often review books here at Cinema Knife Fight, unless they have something to do with horror movies, so I thought I’d shine a spotlight on a novella that gives us a pretty interesting take on the Italian cannibal movies of the 1980s. You know the kind, the ones that played in grindhouses in Times Square at the time, with titles like CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST (1980, directed by Ruggero Deodato) and CANNIBAL FEROX (aka MAKE THEM DIE SLOWLY, 1981, directed by Umberto Lenzi). Precursors to the “found footage” horror movies that are so popular today, these flicks usually involved journalists or filmmakers going into jungles or rainforests to find primitive tribes long hidden from civilization, with gruesome results.

Adam Cesare’s TRIBESMEN is about a film crew traveling to a Caribbean island to make one of these movies, and the characters include archetypes like the sleazy Italian director (who churns these things out in a week), the hulking Italian movie star who can’t speak English, the American starlet who thinks this will advance her acting career, the heroin-addict cameraman and the hero, an African-American writer who is working on the script even as production is about to start. When they get to the island, things don’t go according to plan (or schedule), as spirits that haunt the island start possessing them and make them do awful things. A movie shoot turns into a fight for survival for everyone involved.

Cesare does a good job fleshing out the characters and making them sympathetic (for the most part; some of these characters are purposely unsympathetic), and knows how to ratchet up the scares. For fans of the original exploitation films, this book will take you back to those days of grindhouse goodies. Recommended.

TRIBESMEN was published by Ravenous Shadows and is available on Amazon, and the usual places.

© Copyright 2013 by L.L. Soares


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