Last Man Standing by Keith Taylor

Tom Freeman reports on the aftermath of the Bangkok outbreak. Thousands died in the slaughter, torn apart, when a toxin spreads through the population, turning them into vicious zombies. Disturbed by what he discovers he returns to the States and tries to alert the world, but slowly life push his fears to the back of his mind. Until one morning, what happened in Bangkok is happening in New York.

All three books read fast, acerbic observations follow deadpan humour, churning through the action with the urgency you’d expect from a trilogy subtitled “a zombie apocalypse survival series”. There’s a filmic brevity to proceedings, with each of the three books working as the acts in a feature screenplay. Each new discovery raises the stakes, twists the knife, as Tom and company battle to stay alive.

The second book has more political complications, swiping at the religious zealotry at the heart of government, and the psychopaths who would thrive in the chaos. It also reveals the cause of the outbreak, a Bangkok variant of Cordyceps, the same fungus that cause the apocalypse in The Last of Us (2023- ). Book two runs heroically into three and the possibility of a vaccine to stop Cordyceps, but there’s two thousand miles between Tom and the CDC labs in Nevada. Can Tom and his friends save the country, the world?

Not a perfect series by any means, but enjoyable enough while it lasted.


I Am Toxic (2018)

Argentinian horror I Am Toxic (2018) is a gritty sweatbox of a mystery. A man wakes up in a desert graveyard, not knowing who or where he is, only that he’s being followed by the dead. Each new encounter fills a hole in the puzzle of who he is. I might be wrong but it could be an allegorical tale of the Argentinian financial collapse in 2001, or the way the northern hemisphere treats our southern cousins. Neither would surprise.

Valley of the Dead (2020)

Set against the fighting of the Spanish Civil War, sworn enemies have to work together to survive Nazi created zombies. It has a touch of the Indiana Jones about it, if Indi’ had red mist head shots. Fun while it lasted.

Cell (2016)

Father battles to reunite with his son after a signal, delivered through the cell-phone network, turns everyone into vicious killers. On paper it’s lightning in a bottle. The reality falls flat.

Contain by Saul Tanpepper

Can’t help feeling like it’s a story for the YA audience. I’m not sure I have the strength to read the rest of the quadrilogy.

All of Us Are Dead – S:1 (2022– )

Korean zombies have a certain infected joy about them, flinging themselves teeth first at the living, as high school students become ground zero for the zombie-apocalypse.

Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City (2021)

A film that’s desperate to be cool, with more than a passing nod to John Carpenter’s titling and music. But it asks too much, taking our suspense of disbelief on long meandering walk.

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