Crabs on the Rampage – Guy N. Smith

CrabsWi'MonkOnThey had come back

One man only saw them and him they killed, hunted him down through the dense reed bed, trapped him, drove him mad with terror before they pulled him to pieces and ate every bloodied shred of his body.

And then it was quiet again for a little while.

Until they came ashore again, in their hundreds, their bodies reeking with a malignant cancerous disease that was within them.  The disease that was driving them mad with pain, mad to kill, t wipe out every living thing in their path.

On that beach were hundreds of men, women and children. Food.

The awkwardness of the blurb both grammatically and in decency is just part of the charm of this series and I have missed getting my fix of those cunning crustaceans that are as big as sheep, cows or horses depending on which book you happen to be face deep in.

My hankering for the resilient sea life started whilst watching Independence Day: Resurgence, which was a terrible sequel.  Adding to that a conversation about a lot of film series having their fourth installments set in space like Critters, Hellraiser and Leprechaun (all of which I enjoyed coincidentally), it was in vain anticipation that I turned to Crabs on the Rampage which I hoped would be (however implausably) set in the infinite black depths.

Being a pulpy horror, it is perhaps not such an outlandish hope but sadly it came to be set in 1980’s Britain where it seems everybody is pretty mean-spirited or downtrodden or wanting sex for the most part.  To this setting, the crabs come to put people out of their misery with gory and somewhat repetitious disembowelling revenge, a lot is repeated from other books of the series but newcomers need not be put off as this installment works well by itself.

The over the top first chapter – which is pretty much the blurb – says it all really and this is the level of profundity you can expect from the rest of the book as well.  If you enjoy character development this is not the book for you, with the huge body count it puts Game of Thrones to shame for wiping people out, although these deaths are all predictable and set up to be so.  Not that returning characters get to develop either, plot is king in this book. Continue reading “Crabs on the Rampage – Guy N. Smith”

Crabs: The Human Sacrifice – Guy N. Smith

Crab HoThe Girls Listened Intently. The wetlands were silver and shadow in the moonlight. The salt marsh grasses rustled. Out on the mudflats, curlews called mournfully. The Girl Shivered. The incoming tide trickled and lapped up hidden creeks. Soon the wildfowl would be winging down, the waders feeding and squabbling at the water’s edge. The Girl Struggled. Despairingly, she pulled at the ropes that held her, naked and spreadeagled, a human sacrifice for the Crabs. Huge, eaten away by the mutating disease that doomed them, they were returning, dragging themselves out of the water, intent only on tearing apart and devouring their enemy: Man.

Once again it is time to indulge in one of my favourite guilty pleasures.  In amongst all the literary fare that I love, there is always room for giant angry crabs intent on destroying humanity.

The plot is a dual drama this time, not only are the crabs intent on doing harm and rending people limb from limb, this time there is a sinister cult at work leaving human sacrifices in praise of their crab Gods.

It is a flimsy plot but nonetheless fun if you don’t mind a little bit of gratuity in your story.  I have used the term ‘B-Lit’ for these stories before, they work in much the same way as a B-Movie does.  Featuring ridiculously over the top violence, excruciatingly bad sex scenes and cheesy dialogue that raises a smile from time to time.

This time though the extra threat of a sadistic crab worshipping cult as well as he titular terrors things are even more deadly although the body count feels more focused which is interesting.  The crabs are reduced to some extent as the main enemy but this isn’t a bad thing after the carnage of earlier books it would have been a little too similar, besides a group of people with warped ideals is a lot more chilling than rampaging crustaceans. Continue reading “Crabs: The Human Sacrifice – Guy N. Smith”

The Origin of the Crabs – Guy N. Smith

NEL-04388-b Smith Origin of the CrabsThe dog was a first class swimmer.  He had won two certificates in water tests.

Now with writing like this, you can’t go far wrong with this guilty pleasure which I’m enamoured with.  If this book sounds a little familiar to readers of longstanding, I refer you to the previous post I did on two of the other books in the Crabs series which you can find here.

This book is the third written but is a prequel to Night of the Crabs and Crabs’ Moon which are the two books that chronicles – from two different viewpoints – the first time the crabs made themselves known to us.

Thus hoping to gain insight into the genesis of the crustaceous carnage, I hoovered this book up with avid interest.

This time the drama is situated in Scotland and the action takes place on a country estate complete with the obligatory loch and repressed village, occupying stage left.

There is not so much an element of B-movie in between these covers but a full on homage taken to reverential proportions, it’s the van guard of the genre which I like to refer to as B-iterature.  In the style of all the best (or is that worst?) cheaply made film traditions, B-movie sex takes precedence over the marauding and devious crabs in the priority stakes and although not as saucy as some books it does make you feel a bit grimy for reading it.

It’s cliché, macabre and immensely if not excessively fun, part of that quite naturally comes from the very bloody and gruesome nature of the carnage inflicted on a bunch of short-sighted  – and close to hateful in most cases – characters.  I can’t blame them though, for if I had an internal monologue that gave such blatant exposition and reiteration I think I would struggle to live a normal life to the soundtrack of such an inane voice. Continue reading “The Origin of the Crabs – Guy N. Smith”

Night of the Crabs / Crabs’ Moon: Night of the Crabs 2 – Guy N Smith

Big ‘uns. Bigger’n sheep. Big as cows

When an author has such works as Thirst 2: The Plague, The Slime Beast, Abomination, The Festering and Cannibals to his name, you know you are either in for a treat. Or not.

Guy N. Smith is a hugely prolific writer of many genres, but he is most famous for his Crabs series of seven novels, of which I am the happy owner of four. He is also partly the inspiration for the excellent comedy show Garth Merenghi’s Darkplace.

Pulp horror is great. There is no getting away from it, Like a B-movie both these books have everything you need. Not just the trashy horror but the cheesiness and the instant likeability, especially when giant crabs are storming around causing chaos.

These two books are a telling of events on two different, albeit close parts of the Welsh coast from whence some cunning crustaceans get into some fast paced not to mention gory rampant killing action and the combined stories overlap just enough without getting to repetitive.

So what is the actual plot, I pretend I hear you ask, well the book covers tend to give it away.  For those of you not instantly turned off by the blatant selling of what can only be described as an unlikely scenario should know that this is quite a layered book, there are ideas about capitalism, wildlife, the nature of the unknown, a range of human emotions are explored as well. Or perhaps I am just reading between the lines a tad to much.

So overall I can narrow the good points, for there really are no bad points in this kind of literature, to four… Continue reading “Night of the Crabs / Crabs’ Moon: Night of the Crabs 2 – Guy N Smith”