Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Redneck Zombies: 1989 Troma release is getting the novelization treatment

Encyclopocalypse Publications not only brought John Skipp and Craig Spector’s novelization of Fright Night and Jeff Rovin’s novelization of Re-Animator back into print, they’ve also been commissioning new novelizations of older films. Matt Serafini wrote a novelization of the 1980 sci-fi horror film Scared to Death, while Christian Francis wrote novelizations of 1997’s Wishmaster, 1986’s Vamp, and 1985’s Titan Find (a.k.a. Creature). On the more recent side, Bret Nelson wrote a novelization of 2011’s Manborg. A couple months ago, we heard that we’ll be getting a novelization of Attack of the Killer Tomatoes from Encyclopocalypse Publications and author Jeff Strand. And now it has been revealed that Encyclopocalypse Publications also has a novelization of the 1989 Troma release Redneck Zombies (watch it HERE) in the works!

The Redneck Zombies novelization is being written by Kristopher Ruffy and Ed Bishop, and the authors have even been kind enough to share some excerpts! You can check those out further down in this article.

In case you’re not familiar with Redneck Zombies, the movie was directed by Pericles Lewnes from a screenplay by Fester Smellman, with Zoofeet and P. Floyd Piranha receiving story credit. It has the following synopsis: When a clan of hillbilly dirt farmers turn a misplaced barrel of chemical waste into a whiskey still, going blind is the least of their worries as the toxic moonshines turns them into redneck zombies! Now they’re ready to invite a group of wayward yankees to a down-home feast of southern-fried gore and mayhem that will turn your gunny bone! So grab a seat and set a spell with your favorite gut-chompin’, tobacco chewin’ cannibal kinfolk from hell in Redneck Zombies!

Lisa

“Wilbur,” said Lisa, “my feet hurt. My back hurts. We’re all just a little uptight from walking fifteen miles from the asshole of nowhere. So, why don’t you just pull out that map and find the trail.” She smiled. “Please.”

Wilbur, looking over his shoulder at her, smiled. He nodded. “Well, okay.”

Lisa let out a heavy breath. The tightness in her chest began to ease up. Looked like one argument had been averted. This early in the trip, they couldn’t afford to be at each other’s throats already.

Wilbur slung his backpack around to his front. The map was in a side pocket, rolled like a scroll and jutting. She looked over at Sally and saw she was looking behind her, walking slower than she had been.

And frowning.

Lisa turned even more and saw the stranger was doing the same as Sally. Though he was still moving, his pace had slowed from the way he was twisted to see behind him. He held the glass bottle of booze in front of him as if he’d been about to take a swig. The trail stretched behind them and curved around a pair of trees on either side.

What’s that noise?

Sounded like thunder. Lisa didn’t think it was, though. Because thunder eventually stopped. This grumbling carried on, getting louder by the second.

Something appeared between the trees. It was as green as the leaves packing the limbs and moving like a missile throwing up clouds of dirt behind it. Sunlight glinted off what Lisa realized was a windshield.

A Jeep!

There was no top and she could see the driver’s head poking up above the bar above the windshield. A black man, he looked buff and wore an army-issued hat. He looked to be smoking something pinched between his thumb and forefinger.

Lisa understood if she could see all that in clear detail, then he was closer to her than he should be at that speed.
She needed to get the hell out of his way. But Lisa froze, unable to process that she was seeing something like that out here in the woods.

It shouldn’t be here, should it?

Why would it be here? Why would it be moving so fast?

And heading straight toward them!

Lisa wanted to warn the others, to tell them to run. But she couldn’t find her voice. It seemed lodged in her throat, crammed in there with the scream that was trying to force its way out.

Sally screamed for her, which caused the stranger to dive out of the way. Lisa saw the front of the Jeep clearly now, its bumblebee eyes staring down on her. There was a star on the front grille that announced it was Army-issued.

And it wasn’t slowing down.

This is it. I’m roadkill!

She felt hands on her, shoving, slipping past her arms and squeezing her breasts as she was yanked off her feet. The trees spun around her, turning into a shaky sky that zipped away. Then she was crashing to the ground with something heavy pounding down on top of her. The thickness of it pushed her legs apart and mashed against her.

It was Wilbur. She could smell his cologne, feel the hot puffs of his breath on her cheek. He looked down at her, a corner of his mouth tilting upward.

“Asshole!” Andy yelled.

At first, Lisa thought he was talking to Wilbur. Then she saw Andy run by, waving his fist in the air as the Jeep sped away, throwing dust back at them. The tang of gasoline hung in the air, making her eyes water.

“Asshole! Asshole! Asshole!” Andy shouted at the Jeep.

Wilbur looked down at Lisa again, shrugged, then scrambled off her. Standing, he reached down, holding out his hand.

Lisa sighed. Then she grabbed his hand and let him pull her upright. He went to brush off the dirt from her rump, but she stepped back, holding up her hand. “I got it.”

Wilbur put his hands up, as if surrendering.

As Lisa brushed off her pants, she looked at the others. All of them looked uneasy and a little scared as they stepped back onto the dirt road.

“Now I’ll find that trail,” said Wilbur. He held up the map, shaking it.

Lisa let out a deep breath that rattled her cheeks. A hell of a way to start a relaxing weekend.

At least the worst of it was over.

Ferd

Ferd Mertz continued to stare daggers at the damned revenuer and his jeep as they disappeared into the distance. Delighted at his success, he let out a rollicking guffaw that shook his body like jello. Goddam government agents weren’t getting the best of Ferd. Not this time.

Ferd jumped up and down with glee, possibly triggering a small earthquake in Indonesia, until the mysterious metal barrel lying on the ground caught his sudden and full attention. The mouthy stranger seemed pretty determined to have it back, so it must be valuable.

Grinning like a polecat in cream, Ferd laid his rifle on the ground and swaggered over to examine his prize. He was already imagining the countless ways he might put this new-found treasure to use. New bathtub? Nah he’d want it to be used more than once a year. Feeding trough? Too small for a man with his appetite. Could make a new still, but Bessie had been in his family for generations, and he was mighty attached. Besides, Ferd was proud to be the number two moonshiner in all of Wicomico County, but he’d already taken the first step on his master plan to become number one, so no sense messin’ with the formula now.

Squinting in the glare of the barrel’s shiny yellow skin, Ferd glared at the curious markings all over it. Seemed to Ferd he’d seen squiggly lines like these before. Then it hit him.

Ferd steadied himself in mental concentration, his innerds sloshing like a jug of Sunny D on a hot summer day, then pointed to each puzzling figure as he deciphered it with confidence.

“Do. Not. Open. Till.” Hmm this was a tough one. Oh yeah, “Christmas”.

Unfurling his brow, Ferd looked cautiously around him as far as he could turn his corpulent neck. Nothing but trees and varmints in either direction. He raised his arms and wagged his fingers in anticipation, about to dive in and rip open the barrel as he had so many Christmas presents in his time, when the clack clack clack of four rifles cocking behind him froze Ferd in his tracks.

To his credit, he only pissed himself just a little.

Tyrone

“Robinson!”

“Sir, yes sir Colonel Sir, sir.”

Tyrone stood at attention, toe to toe, nose to nose with his fuming C.O., trying to ignore the splatter of spit on his face and grateful Colonel Sir had stopped calling him “Private”.

Tall, beefy, and currently raspberry red, the Colonel leaned in even closer, doing his very best to maintain decorum and composure. He was losing that battle.

“You LOST the barrel. Have you lost your mind?!”

Tyrone was doing his very best to not wet his standard army issue pants.

“I, uh –“

Sir’s composure retreated further.

“Do you know what was in that barrel?”

Tyrone knew but wasn’t sure if he was supposed to know, considering how top-secret and horrifically dangerous it was. “Um, but…”

“Do you know where you dropped it?”

“Well, yeah of course.”

Tyrone wasn’t stupid.

The Colonel looked deeply confused.

“Then why didn’t you pick it up?”

This was the part Tyrone really hated to admit.

“Well sir… you see… there was this redneck elephant with a gun. I mean this redneck with an elephant gun, and –“
Decorum waved the white flag.

“Robinson!!!”

Tyron choked, “Yes sir?”

Colonel Sir chose his words carefully, in case this became a historical disaster.

“Unless you want your ass hanging in the highest stockade, you’d better go back there and GET THAT BARREL!!!”

Tyrone was afraid of that. He almost opted for the stockade.

“Yes sir, OK sir. Can I take a couple men with me?”

Colonel Sir’s face contorted as though he was about to explode, or take a massive shit, or possibly both.

“Robinson, for what’s in that barrel you can take the whole. mother. fucking. ARMY!”

Tyrone was 100% sure he saw flames come out of the Colonel’s ears.

Are you a fan of Redneck Zombies and will you be buying the novelization? What did you think of the excerpts? Let us know by leaving a comment below. A publication date hasn’t been announced, but Bishop said they’re hoping to get the novelization out into the world by the end of the year.

I never expected to hear that Redneck Zombies would be getting the novelization treatment, but now that it’s happening I think it’s a brilliant idea. I’m a big fan of the concept of novelizations in general, so I’m glad to see the folks behind Encyclopocalypse Publications are fans as well.

Originally published at https://www.joblo.com/redneck-zombies-novelization/

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