I’ve been meaning to read one of Judith Sonnet's (aka @fulltimehorrorjunkie) books for some time now (in which time she has released 6 or so books!). As a newbie to the extreme horror sub genre I asked Judith which book of hers would be a good entry point and Torture The Sinners! was her pick.
Here, Sonnet crafts a tale of religious zombie horror set in an old monastery in rural Missouri. A van load of young people, including one with ties to the monastery, venture into the abandoned building with some new friends for a night of frivolity. Of course, a Ouija board is used and before long, the restless spirits in the walls are unleashed on the group.
Torture the Sinners has a welcome sense of buildup, setting up its nicely realised characters and relationships before they are torn asunder by the ghouls of the monastery. The gore is extreme, but like any good horror story, much more effective when you care about the characters.
The only part of the story that didn’t quite work for me was the helpful spirits, that strangely, felt like a step too far.
With hints of Return of the Living Dead and the Italian Cannibal and zombie films, plus the religious horror films of the ‘70s, this was a fun, gnarly & sickening (I will just say maggots & leave it at that) read and a good ice breaker for me and extreme horror.
4 tackle boxes out of 5.