Ordered this off of Amazon at an ex's recommendation. So far it's quite interesting.
Truck driver Jake Seggit and his passengers Cricket Mallory and Dave Lassiter, a couple of doofballs working for the Upper Mississippi River Valley Chemical Corp. (wow that's a mouthful!), drive across the state line into Iowa. Their mission, to illegally dump some barrels of rejected PCB intended originally for transformers. The company is paying a local farmer named Greg Tusken to put the barrels into a sinkhole on his land.
As they unload the barrels, the trio notice one of the barrels is leaking. They unanimously decide it's meaningless and toss it in and drive off.
Flash-forward five years. A cute, innocent squirrel is minding his own business when he notices some greenish slimelike substance coming up out of the ground. It doesn't smell like anything, and, confused, the squirrel approaches it and promptly gets some of the stuff on his nose, which pulls him into the main mass. In a couple seconds flat the little rodent is melted alive by the acidic properties of the goop. Proving to be quite alive, the mammoth green puddle begins oozing through the forest and we see it just takes a little bit on you to doom you when a few specks get on the face of a doe, and she is eaten alive by just those little droplets.
Elsewhere, Elmer Hartline is a local farmer who has fallen on hard times, mostly thanks to his idiotic wife Hilda. Every time he tries some new business venture, she considers it too expensive and makes him quit just before he hits it big. At the moment, his latest harebrained scheme is to raise buffalo (!). When he goes out into the pasture to check on the herd, he can't find them anywhere! Furious and suspecting thieves, he goes to phone Sheriff Sawyer, not noticing the true culprit - the titular slime! - lurking in the tall grass.
The slime next targets Elmer's neighbor Charlie Maiden's farm. In contrast to Elmer, Charlie has it good. His loving wife Jodean has the biggest breasts in town, something both she and Charlie are quite proud of. Charlie's other pride and joy is his herd of cows, which, when he goes to check on the same as Elmer had his buffaloes. However Charlie gets there a mite early and witnesses his beloved bovines getting melted alive and consumed by the greenish gunk in their pasture. He falls to his knees in despair!
The slime comes over towards him and startles him by starting to get on him, but it backs off after touching his overalls. Deciding this means the slime won't harm him (in reality it's just the fabric of the overalls), Charlie dips a finger into the puddle, and, needless to say, he quickly joins his cows as a balanced part of the slime's diet. By the time Jodean Maiden realizes her husband is taking too long checking on the cows and comes to see if he's all right, the slime has gone. She finds the cows gone and Charlie's empty clothes. She sees a Jeep Cherokee go by and tries to flag it down.
The Cherokee contains Tim Walker and Nadine Benedict. Tim is the son of Alexander Walker, the owner of the local bank, and he works for his father as the loan officer. Nadine is his fiancee. Seeing Jodean, they think she is just waving and continue driving, blissfully unaware.
Meanwhile, the slime is continuing to expand across the farms and woodlands, eventually coming to another luckless son of a bitch's land. Mike Roberts is riding his tractor and minding his own business when he accidentally runs some of the stuff over. It splashes him in the face and begins dissolving it. Frantic, he tries and fails to get it off, and falls off the back of the tractor and narrowly avoids being ground up by his own combine. A small consolation, as the slime particles make short work of him, spreading and growing with the more of Mike's flesh it absorbs.
His tractor continues driving without him and smashes into the barn, causing it to collapse. Hearing the commotion, his wife Mary comes outside to investigate. Fearing Mike has been crushed in the rubble of the barn, she tries to phone the police only to be told that Sheriff Sawyer is already out at Elmer Hartline's place looking into his missing cattle...
admirable stuff, koosh! despite raving about it elsewhere, i've never seen, let alone read a copy of Slime, but i can tell you that William Essex is also the prolific John 'Look Out Stephen King!' Tigges, author of such gems as Vessel and Book Of The Dead.
From the first, I set myself against "literature"; the story was the thing, and no amount of style could persuade me to select a story that lacked genuine, unadulterated horror. For those who wanted something high-brow there was plenty.
Indeed, I myself had to resort to Amazon to get a very beat-up copy, as the usually reliable eBay (where I finally snagged Maggots) had failed me. The cover art always amused me and tonally made me mistake it for an R.L. Stine-level Goosebumps cash-in when I first saw a scan of it. The somewhat goofy title coupled with the doe-eyed kid being consumed screamed "young adult horror novel" to me.
However the cover is deceptive (and not just tonally; no little boy ever appears). The book is quite thick and quite adult in tone, although the descriptions of the actual deaths are surprisingly coy. Essex's manner of describing people getting dissolved by the slime calls to mind the detached clinical descriptions found in The Clone.
After finishing with the Hartlines, Sheriff Fritz Sawyer investigates the crash at Mike Roberts' place. He can't find Mike's body inside the collapsed barn, but does find Mike's empty clothes. His next stop is the Maiden farm. He can find nothing. Charlie and his cattle have vanished! Hilariously, due to only Charlie's clothes remaining, Jodean Maiden thinks her husband has gone insane and is running around the county completely buckassed naked.
After Sawyer leaves, he confers with Tim Walker. Tim's initial theory is that the Maidens and Robertses are conspiring to defraud the bank somehow. However that doesn't add up, as Elmer Hartline doesn't do business there, but his animals are missing, too. Why would he be in on the scam?
Both Jodean Maiden and Mary Roberts go the way of their husbands not much later. First up is Mary. Whilst awaiting news on Mike, has her sister Thelma Rainer over to assist her on the farm. Both women get eaten by the slime despite a valiant attempt to make it back inside the house after encountering it in the Roberts' pigpen and getting some on them. Jodean bites it when she tries to rescue some calves from being consumed by the slime on its way back into the forest coming back through the Maiden farm. The biggest breasts in town make a lovely meal for the amorphous glob.
Later that night, truck driver Danny Bradshaw is arriving in town when he suddenly finds the slime crossing the road in front of his truck. He stops to investigate it, and, like Charlie Maiden before him, pokes it. One partially-consumed arm later, Danny is back in his truck and driving crazily into town to try and get medical attention for himself. He's eaten alive behind the wheel and the truck crashes headlong into a train at a railroad crossing.
A bit of realism here. I was initially annoyed when Sheriff Sawyer was introduced as the local lawman. It's a common mistake but there actually is no such thing as a "town sheriff" in the US. Instead, sheriffs are in charge of counties. So whenever a sheriff is presented as being the local authority in one of these stories I groan. Imagine my pleasant surprise when Police Chief Wally Simpson is introduced here at the scene of the truck wreck!
The bit of slime that ate Danny is now human-sized and exits the wreck unseen. It moves into the town proper and mostly contents itself with eating pets and other small animals including Bullets, the puppy belonging to Nadine Benedict's daughter Prissy. Prissy, who didn't witness Bullets' demise, sees the shiny green substance and is enamored with it. She almost touches it but her mother calls her away at the last second, and barely pays attention to Prissy's insistent talking about the "pretty green stuff."
During this time, the slime also consumes Carole Cluteler and her lover Rick Kelly. Carole is cheating on her pervy Chevrolet salesman husband Artie Cluteler, who once forced her to have sex with his friend Jack from his high school days. Now, while Artie is at work, Carole has invited Rick over for some fun. The two are in the middle of doing the horizontal mambo when the slime creeps up on them. Heedless of the two humans' romantic activities, it gobbles them up mid-coitus without letting them finish. Poor Artie comes home later and finding Carole gone, assumes she's finally left him.
The main body of the slime, meanwhile, successfully crossed the highway and ate the herd of cattle belonging to the richest man in town, J.T. Silence, who is immediately on Sheriff Sawyer and Chief Simpson's asses to solve the problem. The two decide to call in some scientific help, and Robbie MacFerguson and Betsy Rockton from the EPA are flown in by helicopter...
Until I get off my ass, here's a little tidbit from the book I remembered to tide you guys over. Specifically, that some of the slime is captured in garbage bags (!) and passively stays there. And when the EPA scientists look at some of it under a microscope, its cells have mouths with little fangs.
You ever finish this book Kooshmeister I enjoyed your review so far. I totally agree with the cover. I too had Goosebumps rip off tagged to it. It looks like the kid on the cover has has a snotty sneezing seizure . Would very much like to read this. Its obvious a Blob rip off. And it also reminds me of the Slime story in Pan Horror number 4. Its the type of trashy book I relish with a passion.
Okay, so, J.T. Silence proves to be quite a jerk. When Sheriff Sawyer shows up at his ranch to look into his missing cattle, he more or less insinuates he'll get him fired if he can't find the cows. He also makes fun of Sawyer's "purty" police car and champions his World War II-era Jeep. Not that Silence is a veteran, no; he bought the Jeep secondhand. Anyway, he and the Sheriff drive around in the clunky old thing and turn up diddily squatt, so Sawyer leaves and confers with Chief Simpson and those EPA scientists.
Someone named Rose Wheeler's mother has gone missing. A victim of that pesky slime, we know, so Sawyer and Simpson drive out to the Wheeler house and encounter the slime. They witness it eat an earthworm. They decide to go and get Nadine Benedict, since she's a nurse apparently. Simpson stays at the Wheeler house to make sure nobody touches the slime. For some ungodly reason, she brings her daughter, Prissy. Now, you might think that Simpson being alone with the slime would mean he's on the fast track to ending up as slime-kibble, but no, he's alive and well by the time Sawyer, Nadine and Prissy return.
Nadine has no clue what the hell the stuff is. Simpson says it "moves around a little." Nadine pokes it with a stick, and also with a ballpoint pen (!). She suggests Simpson use his gun. And I don't mean he shoots at it. He prods at it with the barrel and it moves away from it. From this, our heroes deduce that the slime doesn't like wood, plastic or metal. Nadine remembers Prissy mentioning the "pretty green stuff," and also remembers how Bullets the puppy went missing. She puts two and two together, and everyone present is starting to conclude the bubbling pool of green glop is responsible for all the missing people and animals. They depart, but leave police officer Pete Gilder to guard the puddle.
Later, they return with Robbie MacFerguson and Betsy Rockton, the EPA scientists, who are just as stumped as everyone else. And Officer Pete has failed to get himself absorbed by the slime, too. How disappointing! Hey, slime! You're gettin' lazy! You're gonna need to step up your game and claim some more victims!
They're given a demonstration of the slime's carnivorous abilities when Sawyer feeds a bunch of "boxelder bugs" (whatever those are) to it. Betsy tries to capture some of slime in a glass jar, but the stuff no-sells, so Sawyer again employs boxelder bugs, putting them into the jar and then trying to scoop some slime in. This time, a bit goes inside, and gobbles the hapless insects up, and Sawyer screws the lid on tight. Robbie and Betsy repeat this a few times and pretty soon have quite a few jarred samples of slime.
As for the remaining puddle, Rose Wheeler lets them have a bunch of plastic garbage bags. Into these, they scoop the (surprisingly placid) gunk and bag it up tight. Now possessing about a dozen or so bags and jars of slime, Robbie and Betsy return to their helicopter and fly back to their lab. After they're gone, Sawyer and Simpson double-check to make sure it's all gone from the Wheeler residence, but are concerned that there may be more on the loose, and so they decide to get every available cop mobilized...
I'm really sorry I've fallen behind on this one, guys. I promise I'll try and get it finished soon. For now, though, I've got my copy of The Worms with me (whilst Slime is at my mother's) so that's what I'm gonna focus on. But after The Worms is finished, I'll return to good old Slime.
Giving his officers their marching orders, Chief Simpson basically sums their problem up as "a runny gelatin" that "eats stuff." He and Sheriff Sawyer issue orders for everyone to stay in off the street, but pretty much immediately the entire population of the town starts converging on the police station and looking none too please. Uh-oh. Methinks we might have an angry mob on our hands!
Elsewhere, teenager Terry Ralston is driving along in his father's pickup truck minding his own business and thinking about picking up some girls when he suddenly sees something out of the corner of his eye in Joe Turncock's pasture. Stopping, he watches as the slime consumes a whole herd of Turncock's cattle. Understandably freaked out, he floors it and begins speeding back to town to try and warn everyone.
Back at the Wheeler residence, Rose is perturbed that the cops didn't tell her where he mother went. Apparently she can't put two and two together after seeing the slime eat a bunch of bugs. She wanders into the garden where she sees some leftover bits of slime the authorities overlooked, and because she's an idiot, she pokes it. It feels cool, then tingly, then painful! Panicking, she tries to run inside, but trips on the porch and falls down, ripping open her cheek and ruining her nose. Jesus.
The slime begins consuming her hand, and eventually her entire arm. She makes the mistake of trying to rub it off with her other, bare hand, and all this does is get that hand dissolving too. She weeps and moans and pain and for some reason tries stifling her own screams using her slime-covered hand, getting the goo in her mouth. After that, she's done for. She quickly dies and the slime consumes her whole body, the moseys off to wherever it is that blob monsters mosey off to.
Back at the police station, Sawyer and Simpson demand to know why the hell the townspeople have disobeyed their orders. The townspeople, in turn, want to know what all "this crap" about staying safely inside and not touching any mysterious green ooze is about! Yeah! They want to be free to pointlessly endanger themselves and get killed doing stupid shit! 'Murica, fuck yeah!
Simpson basically calls them idiots asking them if they're to stupid to follow basic instructions, but they press the issue, demanding to know the whats and whys and all that stuff, so Simpson opts to elaborate, despite Sawyer's objections that it'll sound too dumb. Simpson tells them he'll spill the beans... but warns that if they're not back in their homes with the doors locked as soon as he's done explaining, he's arresting the whole lot of them for the crime of being annoying (actually he says disturbing the peace and inciting a riot, but same difference).
So the Chief tells them and everyone laughs. The obligatory references to Steve McQueen and The Blob are made and everybody guffaws because by God, are they clever! Simpson isn't amused. He tells them to laugh all the want, but the EPA scientists took a bunch of the stuff off in trash bags to study. The mob takes this to mean all the slime is gone and want to know if this is so, why the curfew? Simpson gives the obvious answer - that there may be more of it. When this is questioned, Simpson says too many people and livestock are missing for it to have all been done by the single puddle they found at the Wheeler residence.
Suddenly Terry Ralston comes tearing up in his truck and doomsayin', yelping about the slime eating Mr. Turncock's cows. The coppers realize their worst fears - that there is more of the infernal stuff - have been realized! Tim Walker (who has had so little to do in this story I sometimes forget he even exists, even in scenes featuring him) suggests deputizing some of the townsfolk to block off roads and whatnot. They leap into action! Although they... don't have a plan yet!
To be continued! Same slime time (okay maybe not at precisely 5:28), same slime thread!
This won't be getting finished anytime soon. I had to ditch my copy due to excessive water damage/mold damage. I suppose I should've waited to finish the review, but, eh, I was concerned about isolating it from my collection ASAP so it didn't spread. My Goosebumps book Stay Out of the Basement and one of my copies of Eat Them Alive had to go, too.