Yep, the sequel to Mr. Smith's classic The Slime Beast! I looked and couldn't find a thread dedicated to it, so here's one.
Forty years ago, a slimy reptilian horror terrorized the seaside town of Sutton. It killed the brilliant but unhinged scientist Professor John Lowson and scores of others (many of whom, let's be honest, kinda had it coming), and the horror was finally ended when Lowson's companion, heroic assistant museum curator Gavin Royle, torched the thing with a flamethrower.
The end, right? Wrong! Brian Bromley is a wildfowling guide who regularly takes aspiring hunters, mostly city folk, out on the Wash to hunt. He was a child back during the Slime Beast's reign of terror, and he's visibly distressed when his children Callum and Sara find what appears to be an egg in the surf. By the time the tots show it to their dad, it's hatched and the translucent shell is already dissolving away. Bromley insists that they forget about it. Nevertheless, as bad memories begin to surface, Bromley is having second thoughts about guiding his latest customers and may just cancel...
Meanwhile, we catch up with Gavin and Liz. Liz Beck, Professor Lowson's niece, is now Liz Royle; she and Gavin got married and are returning to Sutton because Gavin has some major PTSD and it's hoped that confronting the source of his fears and reassuring himself that the monster is as dead as her jerkass uncle will get him to calm down. Along for the ride are their daughter Amy and her dipshit boyfriend Tim Tranter, a kind of amateur crypto-zoologist who seems to have made it his life's mission to annoy Gavin as much as possible.
Visiting the old blockhouse doesn't have the desired effect on poor Gavin. The stink of the Slime Beast is still there. And it's fresh! Which can only mean one thing; it, or another one like it, is back! Tim, fresh off of an argument with his possible future father-in-law about whether giant grabs are a real thing (wink-wink), finds some footprints belonging to the Slime Beast and elects not to inform the others; instead he promptly abandons the Royle family outing and runs off, never to be seen again. Fuck you, Tim.
Elsewhere, horny teens Tommy Turner and Laura Brindley are experiencing the usual troubles. Tommy's parents are well off and don't want him seeing Laura because she's - in Barbara Turner's words - "common." Meanwhile, Laura comes from a proud working class family, and her father Sam Brindley considers Tommy Turner a "toff." But love is love (or at least hormones are hormones), and the two sneak out late one night for a tryst on the beach and come to exactly the kind of end you'd expect them to. The creature that hatched from the egg the Bromley children found puts in an appearance and makes short work of the amorous couple.
When they don't turn up, their anxious families seek help from the thoroughly useless Inspector Gittings, whose only explanation is that they must've eloped. Needless to say, this does nothing to allay the fears of the Turners and the Brindleys. Fortunately for them as well as the Royles, Gittings' superior Chief Superintendent Waller is no idiot. He knows all about the original monster's rampage and is willing to listen to what the increasingly panicky people, particularly Gavin, have to say.
And they may have an unlikely ally. You see, when Brian Bromley elected not to guide his latest customers, they decided to drive out to the Wash and go hunting by themselves without a guide. Bad idea. Frank Forman and George Scott are their names, and if you don't want them to die right out of the gate, Smith isn't doing his job properly. Die they do, and quite gruesomely, as the new Slime Beast has them for dinner with a side of geese. Bromley, suspecting the two fools went out without him, drives out to the Wash the next day and sure enough finds their car with no sign of them. Now, it could simply be that the morons went and drowned themselves accidentally, but that egg his kids found has got him thinking... perhaps it's time to go to the police with what he knows.
But can Gavin, Bromley and Waller stop the new Slime Beast before it kills again?!
After its dinner of geese and geese hunters, the Slime Beast raids the nearby Fosdyke farm 'round about the time Gavin and Bromley are combing the Wash for any signs of the monster. Old Ted Fosdyke goes to confront the intruder with a gun and gets promptly disemboweled. Wife Ethel witnesses her husband's grisly death and faints. The Slime Beast in this version is a picky eater; it only likes entrails. Finishing with Ted, it turns to the unconscious Ethel. Gavin and Bromley arrive later on to find what's left of the unfortunate couple.
Meanwhile, ne'er-do-wells Frank Hardman and Jack Willets have decided to shack up in a house boat owned by a man named Timpson. He's out of town, so the two figure they can freeload off his boat for the duration. Unfortunately for them, the Slime Beast had the same idea! Timpson's boat is the very next place it hits after departing the Fosdyke farm. But not before the creature pauses to pop a squat on the beach and bury something in the sand. But the Slime Beast isn't answering the call of nature. It - she - is laying an egg! And she queefs while doing it for that extra bit of nastiness. Thanks, Guy.
That accomplished, Mrs. Slime Beast buries the egg for safekeeping and then continues on until she stumbles across the houseboat where Hardman and Willets are enjoying the easy life at the absentee owner's expense. The two squatters pay the ultimate price for B&E and the Slime Beast redecorates the cabin of Timpson's boat with their insides before settling down for a nap as dawn arrives. Killing four people and laying an egg is hard work for one monster in a single night.
Meanwhile, after finishing up at the Fosdyke farm, our thus far unsuccessful band of monster hunters return to the police station empty handed. An increasingly agitated Superintendent Waller wants to know where the Slime Beasts even come from. Well, we finally get an answer, or as close to one as we're going to get. In the first book, the late and unmourned Professor Lowson theorized that they came from space. But since he's Lowson and therefore an idiot, anything he says can be pretty much discounted out of hand. Instead, the more reasonable theory Gavin settles on is that they're prehistoric survivals who hibernate for really long periods of time.
Talk turns to how to kill the darn thing, and luckily, Waller's men are packing Heckler & Koch sub machine guns (!) which ought to do the trick. As night falls, Gavin, Bromley and the authorities arm themselves to resume the hunt, as the Slime Beast awakens from her nap on the boat. Gobbling up what's left of Frank Hardman and Jack Willets, she wanders off in search of more victims, utterly insatiable...
Just looking at the Amazon entry for the print version, the book is 112 pages long, about the same as the original, so nice to see that GNS has not succumbed to the fad of ever increasing page counts. It sounds like you are having a good time with Slime Beast II, Mr C, and I am enjoying your posts on it.
Yeah, it's super slim little book, and rushes along at a breakneck pace, and yet Smith still manages to cram it full to bursting with characters and attack scenes and quite a few subplots (some of which, such as anything having to do with Tim Tranter, go nowhere). At least this time around, there's fewer altercations with backwards, hostile locals; the people of Sutton have really mellowed out over the decades. In fact, to be honest, the only complete jerks have been the wildfowlers from out of town. Even the squatters who broke into Timpson's houseboat weren't that bad, comparatively. One wonders what was in the water in Sutton back in the 70s. It can't have simply been Tom Southgate's rabble-rousing.
And another mark in the book's favor is that, Gittings aside, the cops aren't dumb and are actually willing to listen to Gavin. Pretty much the minute Gavin and Bromley show up at the precinct, Waller is all ears; after all, Gavin's the guy who killed the original beast! Consequently, the plot isn't bogged down by any of those tiresome "But you've got to believe me!" type scenes that usually plague these sorts of stories.
My one gripe is that the death scenes are repetitive. Since Mama Slime Beast only really likes eating entrails, almost every kill is a disembowelment followed by her scarfing the guts. And apart from the geese, entrails are all she eats; the rest of her victims' corpses are left to rot. How wasteful! I'll need to reread the original book; I can't remember if the O.G. Slime Beast was such a picky eater. Though I seem to remember him doing less eating and more just indiscriminate ripping and tearing.
Anyway, next time, the thrilling climax! In one corner, we have the monster-killing champ himself, Gavin Royle! He slew the original Slime Beast, and he's backed by a competent outdoorsman who's made it his personal mission to ensure his children don't endure the same horror he did as a boy, as well as every officer the local police force has at its disposal, and they're all packing heat! But keep in mind that the first creature shrugged off a hit from a tank, so it seems Gavin and co. have their work cut out for them! Not sated at all by her four-course meal the previous night, the Slime Beast makes for the isolated farm where Josh Bingham lives alone except for his cow Daisy. Poor Josh has no idea what's headed his way!
Will our heroes triumph over intestine-gobbling evil? Or will the Slime Beast reign supreme?!
The novel winds down at this point. A storm is brewing as the monster hunters set out. Gavin's got his trusty flamethrower, implied to be the very same one he used forty years ago, whilst the cops are armed with the aforementioned H&Ks. Bromley meanwhile is packing a shotgun loaded with special ammo; instead of the usual buckshot, he's packed the shells with the same kind of black powder they use in fireworks.
Meanwhile, farmer Josh Bingham comes outside to check on Daisy, his cow. With the storm on its way, he's concerned about a faulty electrical pylon that sits on his property. Before he can assure himself of the cow's safety, however, he encounters the Slime Beast, who has blundered onto his property. He promptly freaks out and climbs onto the roof of his barn for safety. The Slime Beast responds to this outrage by venting her fury on some innocent hay bales.
The cavalry arrives and the storm breaks. It begins pouring down rain. Needless to say, the cops fair no better than the soldiers did back in the 70s. Their high-powered machine guns don't even hurt the iron-scaled beastie. Bromley decides he's got this and walks up to shoot the monster point blank with his explosive ammo, only for the shotgun to misfire. Crap! Just when all seems lost, a bolt of lightning hits that pylon and an arc of electricity fries the Slime Beast. Everyone watches in a mixture of fascination and horror as she sizzles, cooks and finally melts into a gooey puddle. That's that, I guess. Afterward, Josh gets down from the barn and gratefully invites everyone into his house to have some tea and get out of the rain.
But wait...! What about the egg?! Dun-dun-dunnn! Sequel bait!