Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Brother Blood by Donald Glut

Brother Blood
by Donald Glut
2010 Pulp 2.0 (originally 1969)

Brother Blood is an old-school vampire story set in swinging Sunset Strip of 1969.  The style and some of the plot mirrors the original Dracula.  The text is written in semi-epistolary style in the form of three separate first-person accounts: a real estate agent who refuses to sell a mansion to a black vampire, a journalist with a strangely behaving new girlfriend, and a stoned hippie who comes home to find his girlfriend dead.

The three men who have lost their women to Blacula work with a psychiatrist Van Helsing type to uncover a connection to a series of murders of white shopkeepers by the mysterious Night Marauders.  The whole thing culminates in a showdown in a burning decrepit mansion at sundown.

Despite the setting Brother Blood is pretty old-fashioned, only with more dope smoking and sex.  The vampires barely make an appearance and the horror elements are very restrained.  More charm than scares.

This was originally written in 1969 for publication in Germany - if it was published, I wasn't able to find a reference to it online - before being re-released in 2010.  I have to wonder if it was revised as there were constant references to the time period within the text.  Weirdly, it never comes out and says it's 1969.  It's the late sixties, or two years after 1967.  People don't talk like that, or at least they don't as I'm writing this in the mid teens of the early 21st century.  There's also a passing reference to Crips and Bloods, terms that don't seem to have been used until the early seventies.

I wonder if this affected the treatment of race relations as well, as the text seems to constantly apologize for its own premise while actually making it worse.  One gets into a dicey area having white protagonists face off against a cracker-hating black vampire, and Glut is aware of this.  Probably too aware, and constant statements like "I'm not prejudiced, but..." don't make things better.  There's also the whole buck fear-mongering of black men hypnotizing our white women into having sex with them, but no apologies there.

Donald Glut is a old school monster kid and horror geek, so there are a lot of pop culture references abounding, from Universal to Hammer films.

The hippie writes for a porn publisher that reprints classic pulps, likely a reference to Corinth Publications, an outfit Glut never worked for as far as I could tell.

The Night Marauder was a reference to a radio episode of the Shadow.

Available in paperback and Kindle from Amazon.

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