Gregory Lamberson is an award winning filmmaker best known for his films Slime City (1988) and Slime City Massacre (2010). Lamberson is also an award winning author. His novels Personal Demons and Johnny Gruesome have reaped Lamberson recognition and honours and Lamberson has routinely hit the festival circuit – including the Buffalo Screams Horror Film Festival which he co-founded – to meet fans and promote his brand.
Lamberson’s latest literary work is Carnage Road, a 110-page fast read about the remaining members of the Floating Dragon’s motorcycle gang surviving in a world mired in a zombie apocalypse. With the gang’s numbers already dwindling, a chance encounter with a horde of zombies while rummaging an abandoned supermarket and a guns blazing stand-off with local law enforcement leave only Boone and Walker as the last surviving crew members.
With the zombie population ever increasing Boone and Walker opt to travel from the East Coast to Hollywood, California taking to the open road on their motorcycles encountering thousands of undead while meeting eccentric and eclectic bands of humans – friends and foes – all with individual or collective agendas.
Having read a handful of Lamberson works – The Frenzy War, The Frenzy Way, Cosmic Forces – we can inequitably report that Carnage Road is his best work to date. Lamberson easily crafts a recognizable setting to which the violence unfolds and his descriptions of the surroundings will have readers feeling the wind blow through their hair as the bikers take their mechanical roadsters through the abandoned highways.
“With all the abandoned cars on the highway, we never had a problem finding gas. The problem we had was the ghouls: we say thousands of them, maybe hundreds of thousands. Dead cops, dead gang members, dead teenagers, dead bikers, dead firemen, dead National Guards…I felt like we’d crossed into another country, one occupied solely by the dead. Wildfires burned in the hills and coyotes and cougars roamed free in the suburbs. Driving on the freeway was like running an obstacle course, so many dead people walked the asphalt. It became exhausting. America was a dead country, a nation for the dead, and I found myself wondering how things were up in Canada.”
Lamberson’s knack for the detailed violence in the novel also shows his affinity towards the horror genre. Each chapter brings new horrors to the two travelling survivors and Lamberson is not shy in detailing the violent and gory actions towards their undead brethren that keeps the duo alive and moving day-to-day.
Before Boone and Walker arrive in Texas where the concluding chapter unfolds, readers will have been taken on an incredibly violent yet, at times, touching story of two unlikely characters who bonded in the face of adversity and grew to respect and rely on each other for their continued existence. The zombie genre might be overflowing with stories in print or media outlets and can easily be regarded as momentarily exhausted. Yet Lamberson is able to keep a brisk and fresh view of a zombie apocalypse and we are glad we strapped on the helmet and travelled down Carnage Road in the author’s sidecar.