Monday, June 16, 2008

Five-Minute Hate: Infected

Until I read Infected, I'd never had cause to imagine a book as low-budget. That's the beauty of words, after all -- it's all imagination. If you can describe it, your reader can imagine it. It's even better than comics on that score, since you don't have to worry about whether an artist can capture what you're describing. But Infected. Infected. This book is rank nonsense, a cynical attempt to churn out a pile of crap that people who like a better caliber of this sort of crap might pick up. It's a fetid waste of paper that reads like a novelization of a movie treatment written on spec by someone who was warned that the total budget of the movie would be $4.28, tops. Each time I turned the page, I was expecting to see the silhouettes of Mike Nelson, Tom Servo, and Crow T. Robot mocking the book as I read, and I imagined each of the characters looked like a classic MST3K victim.

The tough-guy caricature CIA agent, haunted by Vietnam (which would make him, at a bare minimum, well into his 60s) and incapable of speaking in anything but cliches? Joe Don Baker of Mitchell and Final Justice fame.

The sneaky CIA director? Joe "Don't call me Martin, well, OK, sure you can" Estevez.

The pathetic, broken-down heap of an ex-college-football hero (who fights the alien infection in his body by -- and I kid you not here -- drawing on the lessons he learned from his abusive, alcoholic father)? Zap Rowsdower from the Canadian horror flick The Final Sacrifice.

The female scientist who the book forgets about a third of the way into it or so? That redhead with the geographically untraceable accent from Werewolf.

Do not read this book. This book is not your friend. This book hates you. If you are tempted to read this misbegotten abortion of a novel, do something constructive like make plans to attend a Ron Paul rally, or alphabetize your socks, or watch Fox News. Reading is fundamental. Infected is crap.

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