Book Review – A Vulgar Display of Short Fiction by Joe Zito


I have to say that I don’t think the title of this collection of short stories actually does it justice. These tales aren’t just vulgar, they’re full-on nasty bastards (although I can’t think of another Pantera pun to perfectly describe this!).

Yes, those faint of heart should steer well clear of these monstrosities. Because there are moments where you’ll scream ‘Nooooooo, don’t go there!!!

Of course this is the kind of fiction I love, so I’m very pleased that Joe Zito took me on his sordid trip to there.

These 10 stories delve into worlds you would never like to come across, and many will stay with me for a while I’m sure. So let’s get straight into it.

The House by the Cemetery kicks things off, where a band travel in their van to a mysterious house by a….. you can guess. It seems a perfect setting for a death metal band to practice, but there is another reason for their presence there. But I’ll let you find that out for yourself. Needless to say, carnage ensues.

Following on we have a very disturbing story, but not even close to the most disturbing in this collection. The less said about Jesus Fuck the better, because you need to feel the depravity first hand without any warnings. Apart from this one; the title says it all. Gross, morbid, and awesome!

Playing records backwards has always been a fascination of mine. I’ve never done it, but remember hearing about the controversy it caused back in the 80s, when kids who were high and wrecked heard the faintest sound in a record played in reverse and then decided to kill themselves. I mean, it wasn’t their mental state or anything, no, it was these evil artists who went to great lengths to get their own fans to kill themselves, thus reducing future revenue from album sales.

Sorry, I digress. In Undying this scenario is played out, with the record actually summoning an evil demon to possess a hapless young metalhead. I wasn’t feeling this story as much as the others but, as with all the others here, I enjoyed the metal-flavoured ride. Horns were thrown aplenty I can tell you.

Sex Crazed Monsters Fucking in a Cave needs no explanation. There are monsters, a cave, and lots of fucking. This one was great fun.

The next tale didn’t quite smack me in the guts like I was hoping. Underground plays out as an old guy remembers the day he saw an abomination destroy the local church. That day has plagued him ever since. The atmosphere depicted here was good, but there was no BAM that perhaps the story needed.

OK, Cult Light, what can I say about this one? Erm, not too much really. I suppose it should just be a warning. This tale will sicken many people. Even I sneered and made an ‘eewww’ sound during this one, but alas I continued on like the sick little puppy I am. You have been warned.

And things continue on pretty much the same wavelength in Demonia Eternal. There’s sex, death, violence, a little itty bit of incest. All good, wholesome family fun, or something.

The Autumn Well is the story of two sisters, one of which is dead. The details of her death seem quite straightforward, until a mean old twist comes at the end. Another story that was enjoyable without being totally great and awesome. There’s also no sickening scenes in this one, booo!!!

The Last One is not actually the last story, but the last film our protagonist is going to appear in. She’s had enough of these snuff movies, and when you find out the kinds of things she’s done, you can see why. Trigger warnings again, folks! If you thought 2 Girls 1 Cup was gross then stay well clear.

The collection ends with In the Hills of Brown County, and is a good old fashioned werewolf story. There is a legend of the beast that haunts the local area, but no one believes it. After this night at the local bar, everyone will. This story was decent, the gore was good and the characters realistic enough, but I suppose I wanted a bit more. Although saying that, Zito manages to get one werewolf sex scene in there, so how can I complain really?

If I hadn’t read this and had seen this review, I’d be desperate to read it to find out just how depraved it is. Sometimes I’ve read reviews of books that threaten to disgust even me, and they don’t often come close. But this book? Man, there’s some dark shit in here.

This is currently free in ebook format, just head on over to Smashwords and get a copy. Just don’t blame me when you vomit in your lap.

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5 replies

  1. You didn’t scare me until “The Last One.” I did pick up the book, but I’ll have to take a peek at that particular story before actually reading it! Good review.:-)

    Liked by 1 person


  1. Book Review – Your Favorite Darkness by Joe Zito – MORGAN K TANNER, Writer of Horror

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