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Video Night Paperback – January 1, 2013

4.5 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"The momentum keeps building. The stakes keep escalating. The monsters just keep getting worse and worse, the catastrophic mayhem more juicy and hopeless. Best of all, the writing moves like a greased torpedo, compulsively readable as it rockets through your brain." -Fangoria

"If you put together the gore, action, monsters, and sense of excitement that made '80s horror movies so great, you'll only have about half of what makes Video Night a must-read tome for horror fans." -Horrortalk


"Video Night is a sharp, smart, energetic novel which pays tribute to all the brilliantly gross horror comedies of the VHS era, even as it carves out its own corners of shock literature." -Daily Grindhouse 

"The narrative may be a loving re-creation of very familiar stories, but there's no denying the author's technique. His pleasure with the details is palpable, particularly in describing the mayhem. Cesare is clearly talented." -Bookgasm on Video Night


“The best new writer I've read in years."
—Nate Kenyon, author of Bloodstone

Tribesmen is a gory and clever homage to those Italian cannibal flicks that we all love so dearly, but without the real-life animal cruelty! Highly recommended.”
—Jeff Strand, author of Pressure

"Sometimes everything goes wrong, in the best possible way. Think Snuff and Cannibal Holocaust meeting at a midnight movie. And then give one of them a camera, the other a knife."
—Stephen Graham Jones, author of The Ones That Got Away, on Tribesmen

Book Description

Billy Rile is smart, adept at Nintendo and has a killer Hi-Fi setup. Life is good. But he has no idea that an alien life form has infected his town, a creature that overtakes and transforms its host.

It could be inside anyone: a classmate, a pizza delivery man, even the girl next door. When Billy’s weekly movie night is crashed by this otherworldly menace, he and his best friend and their dates will have to summon their courage and call upon all their horror movie knowledge if they’re going to make it through Video Night alive.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Samhain Publishing (January 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1619212277
  • ISBN-13: 978-1619212275
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #801,476 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book isn't about classic horror film monsters coming back from the dead, but it carries with it all the charm of 80s horror flicks like Monster Squad, especially the ones infused with a bit of humor and slices of teenage life in all their glorious and occasionally awkward manifestations.

If you grew up in the 80s, this book will take you from your wonder years to the years you spent watching Wonder Years and back again. The nostalgic factor is infused with a storyline that keeps you invested in the characters as they develop, both in literary and physical capacities.

In a way, I was reminded of Kafka's Metamorphosis. This work could be seen as a bit of a parody of Kafka's work at the same time. The characters herein are fighting against transformation in many capacities. They long to be kids, or just to be human. But they do not lose themselves to the depersonalizing effects of their cog-like implementation in a cruel industrial world. Instead, it is the ubiquitous other who wants to strip people of the world we love and love to loathe. And when things go from bad to worse, we realize that perhaps it isn't so bad being a bug after all. Could be worse.

Herein, we learn to love the world regardless of its many flaws. We learn about the resilience of mankind. We learn that small town dreams can serve as the fuel that saves the world, or at least provides hope of a return to normalcy.

Cesare is a good writer, as evidenced by this work.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As someone who grew up on 80s horror, I really enjoyed this homage to the 80s horror flicks. What I think works best about this book is that it is a homage but never devolves into outright parody. It still stands up as its own story that pays tribute to 80s horror without coming off as a joke. I think the 80s references are nicely done, they don't draw too much attention to themselves which could pull the reader out of the book but adds a layer of authenticity. I appreciate the time spent developing character, and once the s*#t hits the fan, the pace becomes quite breakneck. The book is fun and entertaining. I will say, I didn't feel the epilogue was necessary, I actually would have preferred the ambiguity just before the epilogue, but that's a minor quibble. Thumbs up for me.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
In a lot of ways, Video Night emulated the time period that it sets itself in well. The story does not take itself too seriously and it does not bog itself down in the details. As a book that unabashedly mirrors the horror movies of my youth it so frequently references, it is an entertaining ride.

Video Night it's one part Invasion of the Body Snatchers, one part 80s nostalgia, and one part Scott Sigler's Infected. Without much fanfare it becomes clear that aliens are taking over people's bodies as part of a well coordinated attempt to take over Earth. Meanwhile two mismatched high school friends cling to their friendship as they enter senior year which they know will likely be their last together. Throw in some high school romance and some things from the aliens' point of view and you've got the basic idea.

The book is well written on most fronts. It references the 80's in a demure, quiet way that is far more subtle than something like Ready, Player One and feels lie an authentic representation of the time. The characters are all well written and the high schoolers don't feel either to mature or immature in their dialogue and action. The plot is middling in It's complexity, much like a typical 80s movie, but not in a bad, lazy way. At times the pace lags a bit for my liking and the alien viewpoint sections feel like a they were meant to give away more information than they did, though there's nothing wrong with the level of ambiguity here.

There's little wrong with this story beyond the issues just mentioned. It's a great book, and the only thing keeping it from a full five stars is that there's that X factor, that lurks clever twist that turns a good book into a great one that's missing.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Video Night is a cross between "Night of the Creeps" and "The Faculty" mixed with the John Hughesque "Breakfast Club" banter. The premise is an alien invasion on Long Island which starts off slow and then esculates to the last stand at Billy Riles, the token nerdy kid, neighborhood. The dialogue is quick and filled with '80's slang like grody and metal. It references Friday the 13th, Backetcase, Re-Animater, Night of the Living dead, and Evil Dead. The author also gives shout outs to all the great directors of that time: Craven, Carpenter, Hooper, Miner, as well as others.
The story starts off slowly with the aliens slowly taking over the town. Cesare, however, does spend time letting the reader get to know the characters, even the ones whose sole purpose is to be converted. But these characters are likeable, even the murderous bully Terry.
An intersting plot twist is the reject conversion of the town cop, who stays in the back of the mind of one alien constantly criticizing his every move and decision, even making fun of his attempts to convert the mailman. You can definetly tell that Cesare is a horror movie fan of the genre. The plot is nothing new or original but fun all the same. You have your typical characters: the nerd who says the day, the jock, the gorgeous heroine, the bully, the alien queen, and her Remsfield/Igor henchman.
The novel was slow getting to the action and dragged in areas but did have numerous gross-out scenes to make up for the sluggish parts.
I would have liked to know the origin of these aliens, which is never explaned and why they came to Earth in the first place. Overall, the novel was enjoyable if not slow to get into. With an awesome opening I was expecting a much better read. On a scale of 1 to 10, I give this book a 6
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