May 27, 2011

Pat the Zombie: A Cruel (Adult) Spoof (Review)


Pat the Zombie: 
A Cruel (Adult) Spoof (2011)

By Aaron Ximm and Kaveh Soofi

Ten Speed Press: 2011


3 / 5 zedheads

Pat the Zombie has the unique distinction of being the only zombie book in my collection to contain a scratch-and-sniff sticker that very authentically and disturbingly replicates the smell of putrefying corpses.

Pat the Zombie is a grotesque spoof of the popular touch-and-feel publication for babies and young children called Pat the Bunny (1940). In the original Pat the Bunny, babies and children could explore the book with their eyes and hands and experience such tactile sensations as the soft fur of an adorable bunny. Pat the Zombie, however, is a self-styled "touch-and-recoil" book meant to make you feel queasy all over. Readers are introduced to Paul and Judy as two young scamps that explore the world of zombie morbidity with their eyes, fingers, and noses by gutting undead bunnies, smelling human remains, and touching the decaying faces of their zombie parents. And you too can experience the same sensations courtesy of the book's interactive, "touch-and-recoil" multimedia pages. In particular, the scratch-and-sniff sticker that smells like rotting meat is one of the book's most gruesome features.

Why not?
Pat the Zombie, however, is little more than a novelty book or joke gift. As the spoof of a book for babies, it's predictably insubstantial. That's forgivable, but the art is very crude and fails to mimic the solid line work of the art in the original book. That being said, I can imagine Pat the Zombie still becoming quite the conversation piece if left out on the coffee table among horror and zombie fans, but its grotesque perversion of an innocent childhood classic is bound to offend most other people. It makes me chuckle, but for its price Pat the Zombie doesn't offer much else than a few chuckles once you fully absorb the premise.
Good girl, Judy.
Despite the glut of zombie spoofs, you'll probably get a kick out of Pat the Bunny if you like gross-out humour and can appreciate the lighter side of purposely darkening a childhood classic with the blood, guts, and grime of the zombie genre.