Sunday, February 16, 2014


22 Acacia Avenue.

I can only assume that English horror novelist Shaun Hutson is – or at least, was at some point - a fan of Iron Maiden, since this address is mentioned in the text of his 1982 novel Slugs (as any Maiden fan should know, 22 Acacia Avenue was the name of a song about a prostitute that appeared on the band’s classic Number of the Beast album, released earlier the same year). Slugs is the first Hutson book I have read, and it was certainly an enjoyable pulp yarn in the Guy N. Smith and James Herbert tradition, with an army of slimy super-slugs, ravenous for human flesh, on the rampage through a new estate in the small UK borough of Merton during a particularly hot and humid summer. Fast-paced and gruesome, with the usual smattering of sex to spice it up, the novel conjures up the same sort of revulsion which Jeff Lieberman’s classic 1976 eco-horror film Squirm did when I first saw it. Will definitely be reading more of Hutson’s work in the future. I believe there was a film adaptation of Slugs produced in 1988, which Hutson himself advises people to avoid like the plague on his website, but considering it was directed by Juan Piquer Simón , the man who gave us the notorious 1982 Spanish splatter film Pieces, I want to check it out asap!