Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Dreaming Of A Fright Christmas

I first heard about this book on Mark Justice's Pod of Horror podcast and then picked it up the other day at Bakka-Phoenix in Toronto, Canada's oldest science fiction bookstore.

It's Michael P. Spradlin's It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Zombies: A Book of Zombie Christmas Carols.

Introduced by Christopher Moore and illustrated by Jeff Weigel, this is a hilarious book of parodies on classic Christmas Carols as well as timeless Christmas songs.

It certainly adds a wonderful dark humour spin on the songs we all hear repeatedly this time of year. Just the titles alone inspire laughter with such parodies as I Saw Mommy Chewing Santa Claus, We Three Spleens, Snacking Around the Christmas Tree, Silver Brains and Let's Feast on Merry Gentlemen.

And Weigel's illustrations perfectly match the macabre humour of these poems.

About the only thing missing from this book might be the actual sheet music to accompany some of the songs -- perhaps that can be a revised future edition but would make it easier for a group of friends with a bizarre send of humour to sit around a piano and sing these songs.

I've always been a fan of parady and spoofs (Weird Al Yankovic being, of course, one of my all-time favourite musicians) and this one ranks right up there in my mind as a classic book that I'll be referring back to time and again whenever hearing the standard versions of these songs gets to be a bit too much. Of course, there are still the regular spoof versions of the songs that I made up myself that I'll sing along to, either annoying or disturbing the people around me, but this book provides an entirely new arsenal for humour and enjoyment.

There are so many classic lines in the book that I want to quote all of them. But I get a charge out of closely spoofed lyrics like the following one from the title carol:

It's beginning to look a lot like Zombies
They're in every store
But the scariest sight to see is the Zombies that will be
At your own front door

Or, of course, the hilarious opening lines of "Eat a Toe" (sung to the tune of "Let It Snow")

Oh the virus outside is spreadin'
And there's more and more undeadin'
But when fresh brains are running low.
Eat a toe, eat a toe, eat a toe!

Brilliantly twisted. I could go on and on. These are definitely parody songs to be sung outloud to friends and enjoyed in a group (groups, of course, being one of the better ways to defend yourself against Zombie attacks in case the inevitable happens).

And it would make a hilarious stocking stuffer for either the horror fan on your Christmas list or perhaps someone who just enjoys a good twisted parody.

Here's the trailer video for the book.

And of course, though it is not stated in the book, there's the whole subtle reference (at least in my mind) to how we all become Zombies this time of year. Not Zombies due to some virus that spreads making us hunger for brains, but the sociological virus that seasonally infects society when most people prescribe to a certain commercial mentality this time of year.

I mean, don't the crowds in the mall at Christmastime sometimes remind you of a wild pack of mindless zombies?

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