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Blood Farm Paperback – September, 1988
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Top Customer Reviews
`Blood Farm' opens in Davenport, Iowa, in February 1972. Lithe, attractive co-ed Angela Rosalba is hitchhiking a ride to nearby Iowa City. It's bitter cold out, well below freezing, and potential rides have been few and far between.
A hearse (!) stops to offer a ride. The driver is Mike Michaels, a hippie and Vietnam War vet. Angela has some misgivings, but accepts a ride. Mike is en route to pick up a coffin at a farm in the remote town of Udolph; after that, he's proceeding to Iowa City.
As the hearse makes its way to Udolph, the snow gets heavier, and soon a blizzard is in sway. After various adventures and laboriously communicated Portents of Doom, Mike and Angela arrive at 'Blut Farm'....a rundown mansion in the middle of nowhere.
Some frightening dogs, and enormous, ravenous pigs, roam the outskirts of the farm. But they're nothing compared to what awaits inside.....the pale, stooped Doctor Blut, and his beautiful daughter Ursula.
Angela and Mike will soon discover the truth about Dr. Blut and his farm....and it's not going to be pleasant....
As someone who lived in (western) Iowa for a couple of years, I agree that the winter season in that state is a promising setting for a horror novel.
In the smaller, more remote places (in other words, 95% of the state) winter is a landscape of strong winds blowing snow across bare, flat fields; a bleak, featureless sort of terrain, that can fuel a depressed, existential approach to life.
Unfortunately, 'Blood Farm' is too poorly written to take advantage of the 'Iowa Gothic' concept. There are too many lengthy segments of drawn-out prose, leaching momentum from what should be an unadorned, straightforward narrative. Author Siciliano frequently injects explicit, almost misogynistic, descriptions of the violation of the female characters, inducing queasiness rather than horror.
The denouement borders on self-satire; overly long and drawn-out, and filled with a villain who gloats - bwa ha ha ! - about the horrible things he'll do to our heroes while the Iowa wind outside the door howls, screeches, wails, chills, clutches, seeks, etc., etc.
Even if you're a dedicated fan of schlocky horror novels, I suspect that 'Blood Farm' will disappoint.