Rare Bits

“The wooden cabin stood in the middle of nowhere,” wrote Aurelio Rico Lopez III. “It was the ideal place to escape the hustle and bustle of city life, and also, if one were psychopathically inclined, the perfect place to commit murder.”

It was also a perfect place to kick-start a classic horror story. After all, many authors had previously used the cabin-in-the-woods trope to great success. I agree with author Jasper Bark. In his intro to Rare he writes: “Lopez is not trying to reinvent the [horror] genre or transcend it, he simply wants to celebrate it in all its pulpy, gory glory.”

There’s also a gigantic 500-pound killer pig in Lopez’s latest book. And you know what that means, right? The word “pig” starts with “P” and that rhymes with “T” and that stands for “trouble.”

The boar was as big as an automobile and possessed two sharp tusks that could easily impale and disembowel any woodland rival. In addition, the beast’s hearing and tactical senses were acute, honed by centuries of evolution. Its genetic arsenal, along with its sheer size, made the pig a formidable predator. “Creatures, large and small, fell victim to the beast’s hunger.” wrote Lopez, “And it was always hungry.”

Four friends on holiday make the unfortunate mistake of using the abandoned cabin for their glamping pleasure. (What were they doing?? Had they never read a Richard Laymon book?)

With one whiff of the newcomers, the monster’s appetite was aroused. It suddenly knew where its next meal was coming from. Unlike other predators, it was not deterred by skanky human odor. Meat was meat, after all.

Nothing good ever happened in isolated cabins in the woods—Lopez knew it and his readers knew it too. Add a hungry, LeBaron-sized wild pig and you’ve got yourself an 80s-style nature-runs-amok treat.

One comment: Despite the setup, nothing monstrous (or evil) actually happened in Rare. The pig hunted its prey because it was hungry, and the campers defended themselves because they didn’t want to die. According to Rudyard Kipling (and Guns N’Roses), it’s simply the law of the jungle. The giant beast was a monster but it was blameless

[Rare / By Aurelio Rico Lopez III / First Printing: October 2021 / ISBN: 9798456639530]