One of the greatest rewards that comes from publishing Shock Totem is being able to watch young writers evolve within—and sometimes beyond—their craft. Even when I read something less than great, there remains something special about it.
It’s in the knowing that they’re going to eventually come back with something that will knock my socks off, I think. There’s an it factor, involved—easy to see, but impossible to explain.
And Adam Cesare has it.
Tribesmen is Adam’s debut novella, and it’s a thing of bloody-good brilliance. Setting the bar even higher, it was published under John Skipp’s new imprint, Ravenous Shadows, which is quite a place to make a literary home.
The book centers around a cast of filmmaking misfits attempting to create a movie that is less an homage to and more of a blatant rip-off of the Italian exploitation horror films from the 80s. In the spirit of Ruggero Deodato’s feel-awful classic from 1980, Cannibal Holocaust, Cesare’s Tribesmen takes place on a small Caribbean island, where the indigenous people become much more than visual props by instead making their directorial debut.
This is a character-driven book fueled by fear, greed, lust, violence, and the blood-red lure of cinematic glory. Tribesmen is a smart, visceral, and poignant commentary on the ugly side of humanity. Which, in this case, is a beautiful thing.