November 29, 2013

Bedlam with Bite: a review of Ty Schwamberger's "Grave Intentions"

Grave Intentions

by Ty Schwamberger

narrated by Randy Capes

published in 2012

2 hrs. 44 min.



I've never been the kind of guy who enjoyed hanging out in graveyards. If I'm stepping out for the night, I want to go someplace a little more--wait for it--livelier. Oh, I'm terrible.



In Grave Intentions, Derrick and Craig are the best of friends. And before they head out to college, they grab some booze and a couple gals for a final night of celebrating. The meeting place of choice? The local cemetery, of course. If you think about it, it's a good choice if you're more interested in having privacy and less interested in not being surrounded by corpses. But the horny foursome aren't alone. A couple of drunk derelicts are wandering the graveyard, too. And one of them is about to unleash his inner beast after gaining a taste for human flesh.



Oh man, this novella is sick--but in a good way.



Nothing good happens in graveyards, and Grave Intentions works hard to prove that with a raw, pulpy story of revenge, regret, and really hungry monsters. Randy Capes' narration goes a long way to present distinct characters and ratchet up the tension and terror with each scene. Where I found the story lacking was in some of the dialogue. Specifically between Derrick and Craig, whose relationship felt genuine amidst the insanity, but their motivations felt uneven at times, and the provocation into a showdown with the big, bad wolf nipping at their heels seemed to run against what I would consider a desire to keep breathing in and out.



I will say this about Ty Schwamberger's brand of horror: the man does not hold back. For a guy who counts Richard Laymon among his favorite authors, Ty Schwamberger knows how to tap into his inner Laymon.


You can find a copy for yourself through

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