A Novel by Gregory Lamberson
Special Signed and Numbered, Limited Edition Hardcover
Illustrated by Zach McCain
Introduced by Jeff Strand
Signed by Lamberson, McCain, and Strand
Published by Bad Moon Books
"If you like your horror fast and nasty, then take a ride with
Johnny Gruesome. Gruesome is a loving and intelligent tribute to the
classic splatter films that set the pace for modern horror. With sharp
writing and an eye for detail. Lamberson masterfully brings a nightmare
to life. Bold and trashy in all the right ways, Johnny Gruesome is a
book (and a villain) you won't soon forget."
-- Lee Thomas, author of PARISH DAMNED and THE DUST of WONDERLAND
Johnny Grissom, aka “Johnny Gruesome,”
is a small town high school student with a passion for fast cars
and loose women, served with a dash of sex, drugs, and head-banging
rock ‘n roll.
People think Johnny has a chip on his shoulder,
but they haven’t seen anything yet. When his murder by a
drug dealer is made to look like an accident, Johnny returns from
the grave as a vengeance crazed zombie.
With his over-the-top personality intact and the
clock on his decomposing body ticking, “The Headbanger from
Hell” vows to teach the residents of Red Hill the meaning
of true fear.
Right after he watches his favorite horror movies
one last time on DVD.
“Johnny Gruesome’ is a rarity: bright and clever
descriptions, an elusive sense of humor, and high-level pacing. I wish
I had written it.”
-- Herschell Gordon Lewis, The Godfather of Gore: Blood Feast and
Johnny Gruesome is the second novel
from author and filmmaker Gregory Lamberson. His first effort,
Personal Demons, won critical acclaim
and the Anubis Award for Horror.
His feature film directorial debut, Slime City,
is considered a cult classic. He also wrote and directed Undying
Love (released on VHS as New York Vampire,
much to his chagrin) and Naked Fear,
and worked on I Was a Teenage Zombie,
Plutonium Baby, West New
York, and Frank Henenlotter’s Brain
Johnny Gruesome was born for the 42nd
Street grind houses and rural drive-in theatres. Lamberson calls
the novel “a valentine to the fans of blood soaked splatter
films from the 1980s.”
"Sex, drugs, and rock n' roll are back, in the Death Mobile
drivin', leather jacket-clad corpse of Johnny Gruesome, a man who lives
up to his name in every sense of the word. The reader is advised to
put some Alice Cooper on high volume, crack open a can of beer and dive
right in. Be forewarned, however, this is one ride through the hell
of high school and the wince-inducing gore of undead vengeance you may
have to take more than once. In Johnny Gruesome, horror has a new hero."
-- Kealan Patrick Burke, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of CURRENCY
OF SOULS, THE TURTLE BOY, and THE HIDES.
Johnny Gruesome includes six full color illustrations
by renowned artist Zach McCain, making it a truly special package.
McCain combines traditional drawing techniques
with cutting edge digital technology that gives his work a distinctly
Many artists have rendered Johnny, including Eric
Mache--who created the above painting back in 1986—and
comic book illustrators Kelly Forbes and Martin Blanco, but
Lamberson considers McCain’s interpretation the definitive
“Johnny Gruesome has a frightening sense of detail that
makes it all the more horrific -- it’s a gruesome ride that you
can’t stop reading.”
-- Gunnar Hansen, “Leatherface” in the original Texas
Johnny Gruesome began
as a screenplay that Lamberson wrote in 1984, when he spent
four months in his home town, the Western New York village of
Fredonia, one winter.
The anticipated film version was never produced,
although Gunnar Hansen and Linnea Quigley were both attached
to it over the years.
After living in New York City for 21 years, Lamberson
moved back to the Buffalo area with his wife Tamar in 2003.
His first novel, Personal Demons,
was published soon after.
Perhaps it was being back in wintry Western New
York, but Lamberson soon found a certain rotting zombie whispering
in his ear once more.
“Any way you slice things, it just doesn’t get
any more gruesome than this. Greg Lamberson’s Johnny Gruesome
is a rotting fetid romp of a novel that shows you a little of life post-mortem
for your average teenage headbanger. A B-movie nightmare recreated with
loving fan-boy zeal, I give it an “F” for fun, freaky and
foul fucked-up funk.”
-- Steve Vernon Author of HARD ROADS Gray Friar Press
THE MULTI-MEDIA ZOMBIE
Once Lamberson committed to giving life to his
undead creation, he developed what evolved into an ambitious
multi-media marketing campaign including:
· The Gruesome hard rock
music CD by Giasone & Marcy Italiano.
· The Johnny Gruesome Death Mask by
· The Gruesome Mini-Movie starring Erin
Brown (“Misty Mundae”)
· Free on-line Johnny Gruesome comic
books Kelly Forbes and Martin Blanco.
“Ultimately, what really matters is how
people respond to the novel,” Lamberson says. “Everything
else was designed to support and enhance the reading experience,
although each separate project can be enjoyed without reading
“Greg Lamberson’s Johnny Gruesome is edgy, violent,
supernaturally cool and the new undead king of quick-and-dirty horror.
Johnny Gruesome spins the zombie genre into a fresh and ballsy hard-rock
direction that just kills!”
-- Jonathan Maberry, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of GHOST ROAD
BLUES and DEAD MAN'S SONG
Johnny Gruesome is
introduced by Jeff Strand, author of the Bram Stoker Award nominated
novel Pressure, and The
Sinister Mr. Corpse, which also happens to be
a 2007 zombie novel.
Lamberson thinks Strand is one hell of a nice
guy in addition to being a swell author, and he credits the
“seriously whacked” writer with convincing him to
finish writing Johnny Gruesome rather
than enjoy his boxed set of the TV series American
Gothic when it was finally released on DVD.
"Johnny Gruesome has the potential to become an iconic
horror character in the mold of such genre heavyweights as Freddy Krueger
and Jason Vorhees. With a cinematic eye (what else can you expect from
the man who directed such films as Slime City and Undying Love?), Gregory
Lamberson gives us what could have been a great B- movie about revenge
from beyond the grave, but which instead has been fleshed out and given
richer life in the form of a novel. The result is a fun, compelling
read with characters we care about."
-- L. L. Soares
It was Strand who suggested to Lamberson that
he should submit Johnny to Roy Robbins
at Bad Moon Books. At first, Robbins thought Lamberson was looking
for someone to sell an already published novel, and Lamberson
and to clarify the situation. In Hollywood, this is called “meeting
Johnny found a champion
in Robbins’s assistant, Liz Scott, and Robbins agreed
to publish the novel after Lamberson bombarded him with examples
of the Gruesome marketing campaign.
Lamberson thanks his lucky stars for his working
relationship with Robbins, which he hopes to continue in the
future; he is not above a little brown nosing on his website.
"Gregory Lamberson's Johnny Gruesome isn't just your old
run of the mill zombie tale. It's a smokin’ hot, sexy, rockin'
-- Angeline Hawkes, Bram Stoker Award nominated author of THE COMMANDMENTS