Book Review: Mad Mannequins from Hell

Killer Klowns from Outer Space, Army of Darkness, or even Kull the Conqueror, everyone has a favorite B movie that they have on DVD and watch start to finish every time it comes on TV. If a book could qualify as a guilty pleasure B movie, Mad Mannequins from Hell by August V. Fahren would be it. Even the premise is deliciously frightening and campy. After filming a mock demon summoning ceremony for his son, veteran special effects creator Burton Vilmos wakes to find that the ceremony really did summon Satan, and the big man is taking over the Earth by possessing all the mannequins in the city of Portland and turning them into ravenous killing machines. Not your average zombie story but let us ponder this for a moment:

How many half naked mannequins are in your mall?

How many creepy kid mannequins are in your mall?

How many headless mannequins are in your mall?

OK, I think my point is made. Fahren takes this really cheesy idea and makes a strong action story with lots of memorable scenes – headless mannequins in wedding gowns chasing down shoppers, skater boys fending off a mob of bike riding mannequins using boards as bats and even the an evil Santa complete with Elves hunting down human meals. I wasn’t sure if I should be terrified or burst out laughing. I ended up mostly doing both. From the first chapter to the last, Fahren delivers outstanding entertainment.

Pictured: (evil) mannequins

But, like all good B movies, there is not a lot of depth to this story. Once he realizes what is going on, Burton goes on a frantic hunt for his son. This plot is the heart of the book, but the search is almost strictly action and comedy as Burton bumbles his way into and out of dangerous and hilarious situations. He is desperate to find Max but I didn’t feel depth to the character. Fahren’s lighthearted tone also adds to this casual reading and, although I was rooting for him, I wasn’t emotionally invested in Burton’s failure or success.

Did I find this to be a problem? Not really. Fehren has created an amazing world filled with sarcasm, irony and campy melodrama. From Burton’s opening scene prank to the Trinity Sisters, a trio of specially trained supernatural nuns that bare a slight resemblance to porn stars, there is a lot going on and all you can really do is hang on and enjoy the ride.

I was able to knock this out in two days and enjoyed every page. Far from a stirring tale of woe, “Mad Mannequins from Hell” is an unconventional and ingenious adventure. But, if you are looking for a dark or melancholy tear-jerker, this is not the book for you.

Grade: 4 zombie heads out of 5

Purchase Mad Mannequins on Amazon



I was readnig this on a plane to Montgomery and the kid next to me must have thought I was nuts. I kept giggling at the story.


For the Kindle Fire, it has 1820 pages but it reads really fast. I didn’t realize how far along I was until I was almost finished.

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