Monday, December 31, 2007

Green Hell

The Death Merchant's 13th adventure is a nice change-of-pace from the other two series entries I've read. In those, Richard Camellion was dedicated to mowing down the Mafia, filling page after page with graphic killing sprees. Not that there's anything wrong with that. But THE MATO GROSSO HORROR has a more interesting setting than some Mafioso's country estate.

The CIA offers the Death Merchant $100,000 (his usual fee) to take a handful of Green Berets into the Brazilian rain forest to prevent a former Nazi, Klaus von Linderbock, from continuing his horrible experiments. From his base located deep, deep within the jungle--only 2% of which has ever been explored--the cruel Third Reicher has created a powerful hypnotic drug which can be used to turn humans into zombies. The ultimate soldier--one who never thinks or retreats and doesn't care about dying. Or living, for that matter. Keep him a shot and send him loose to kill. Von Linderbock's inhuman medical experiments have resulted in nearly a dozen creatures confined to cages. Once human beings, they're now mutated guinea pigs.

Taking along an anthropologist and his daughter to bolster the party's cover story as being on an expedition, Camellion and his Green Beret backup plunge on foot into a wicked jungle filled with vipers and insects and sweat and heat. Not to mention native tribes hellbent on murdering the White Man. Writer Joseph Rosenberger's body count is astounding, well into the hundreds, as the Death Merchant deals death to wave after wave of bloodthirsty Indians.

Packed with action and atmosphere, THE MATO GROSSO HORROR is a heckuva potboiler, bolstered by its delightfully pulpy plot, which climaxes with the Death Merchant not only battling Nazis and natives, but also monstrous mutations and a few dozen bushmasters.

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