Review: “Going Down” by Nancy Kilpatrick

2 of 5 stars.

Included in Extreme Zombies edited by Paula Guran, this tale is blessedly short considering that I enjoyed almost none of it. Paddy is probably the last living person on Manitoulin Island which is ironic and a sick joke considering her history of failed suicide attempts. She desperately wants to join “the Deadies,” but they want nothing to do with her. Her psychotropic meds, which she is just running out of, make her smell unappealing to the undead.

The story is a psychologically addled tale as Paddy cannot easily tell her film-inspired hallucinations from the scenes around her. Movie clips and quotes meld with gutted houses and wandering zombies. A pornographic Marilyn Monroe makes for Paddy’s truest companion. Secondly, there is her Daddy, now undead, who instinctively returns home each evening but now leaves Paddy alone after years of ritualized sexual abuse.

There is an enjoyable vignette of Paddy sitting outside shoving Twinkies into her face while watching one of the last living dogs playfully running from and interacting with its undead owners. To her, the image equates to her idea of the idealized nuclear family. But then she masturbates as the owners catch up to the dog and the parties bite at each while the sounds of Dolly Pardon singing distract Paddy. The blatant emphasis on shock value over story detracts from the tale. Yes, Paddy is alone and depressed and psychologically compromised. But reversing the sexual abuse by having Paddy sexualizing her undead-Daddy and considering reverse-cannibalism [the living eating the undead] is not motivationally supported by the dimension-less story.
 
 
 
[Check out my other reviews here.]

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