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Death Obsessed by Robert Essig
Death Obsessed by Robert Essig
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Death Obsessed by Robert Essig

Robert Essig

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Remember those old VHS tapes with labels that said “banned in 40 countries” and “not for the faint of heart,” with titles like Faces of Death and Mondo Violence? Well, they’re back, only this time it’s a book. This book. Death Obsessed is Faces of Death with an identity crisis. Get ready for something mondo macabre!

Back when he was a teenager, Calvin was into the morbid stuff. He thought he outgrew it, but he’s only a video clip away from becoming obsessed, and what’s Ronnie going to think about that? She’s not the kind of girl who digs cemeteries and dead things. But Hazel, she’s something else altogether, and oh how persuasive is a woman who knows what she wants.

Drawn back to a place Calvin had forgotten about, and lured by the baritone drawl of Mr. Ghastly, who promises the much sought-after death scenes classic known as Death’s Door, Calvin trips down one hell of a rabbit hole, and everything is at stake. Can he leave his nine-to-five life in the dust for some real action, or will he be left sick, all alone, and death obsessed?

"For anyone who dared picked up Faces of Death at the video store as a teenager or perused the atrocities of early internet shock sites like Rotten.com, Death Obsessed is a nightmarish trip down a rabbit hole slick with corpse slime and grave dirt. It's a supernatural glimpse at the deranged world behind execution videos and crime scene photos and the people who enjoy them." -- Mike Lombardo, writer/director of I'm Dreaming of a White Doomsday

"Death Obsessed is a brutal tribute to the gory VHS tapes of yore, yet it blends a story of warning into the mix which makes the audience become attached to his characters. The essence of Splatterpunk and old school horror is an alluring and deadly combination that is pulled off perfectly. Essig's writing made me feel nostalgic for those old Faces of Death videos but reminded me that my stomach probably couldn’t handle them anymore. The cover art is also a thing of morbid beauty that any horror writer would kill for! Loved it!" -- Michelle Garza, author of Mayan Blue, Those Who Follow and Kingdom of Teeth
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NW
10/21/2023
Nat W.
United Kingdom United Kingdom
I recommend this product

Press Play for Horrors

This story is what I like to call a gearapalooza, paying homage to all things that live on the darkweb. Calvin goes from watching broken legs and real life accidents to venturing further into the hardcore stuff. Obviously this is going down a road that he knows Ronnie won't be able to follow as not even snuff films seem to do it for him anymore. Robert raises some very interesting points about mortality and the way death has become a fascination to some. You can definitely see the wheels turning in Calvin's mind as he processes the excitement of watching death take a hold of a stranger's life. As someone UK based and having not tested the waters yet for driving, I wasn't familiar with the driver's Ed warning videos. But bloody hell I was once my curiosity got the better of me, it's one way to shock drivers into being more cautious on the road. Although I can see why some people would want to avoid the videos as it might cause them to be more anxious behind the wheel. The book makes you consider all aspects of how violence comes into everyday life and how some become desensitised to the brutal aspect. Once you’re born you start dying. This sentence rings true as Calvin seems to let his fascination draw him deeper into the darkness. I mean sure creepy guy let me have a random VHS from you from a Death Museum. The moment Calvin puts that tape into the VCR he made a choice. Sadly it's a choice that also affects his future with Ronnie who is pregnant by the way. First step was already there and the next step was his compulsion and weak will power when it came to the Hall of Hell. From there we watch as piece by piece Calvin loses himself to his desire and obsession with the horrific images detailed by Rob. IB Gastley plays a very big part in the story as he seduces Calvin to the darker things in life, as the character's downward spiral takes a hold. The reader can't look away as they watch the train wreck unfold on the pages and Rob does an excellent job at getting the reader hooked to this horrifying monster of a book. Rapidly I devoured this tale of madness and found myself questioning my own mortality.

KK
12/08/2022
Kevin K.

Death Memories

This book brought back memories of when the "Faces of Death" VHS tapes were circulating. Calvin just kept getting pulled in deeper and deeper until the final test. For a "Gorehound", this was a entertaining read. I gave it 4 stars only because there was gore but it could have had a bit more, in my opinion. Overall...the story kept me hooked till the end. I really look forward to reading more from this author

KK
12/08/2022
Kevin K.
United States United States

Death Memories

This book brought back memories of when the "Faces of Death" VHS tapes were circulating. Calvin just kept getting pulled in deeper and deeper until the final test. For a "Gorehound", this was a entertaining read. I gave it 4 stars only because there was gore but it could have had a bit more, in my opinion. Overall...the story kept me hooked till the end. I really look forward to reading more from this author

DD
07/02/2022
Dakota D.
United States United States

A Rabbit Hole Of A Book

This one is written by a gorehound, for gorehounds. Right from the beginning I was transported back to the early days of finding out about the dark corners of the web, where death and obscene violence dwell. Sites like bestgore, r/spacedicks, 4chan, liveleaks, etc. came to mind as the protagonist started back down the rabbit hole of watching people being slaughtered, destroyed, disemboweled, and burned alive. It’s one of those things many people in my generation just sort of find while leaving the safety of Facebook. Someone shows you one video, then you end up staying up all night chasing notorious video after notorious video. Whoops, went on a bit of a tangent! Death Obsessed is what it claims to be, an obsession of death. Slowly losing interest in every other facet of life until nothing g else matters except watching the light dim in strangers eyes. The book itself felt like one of those rabbit holes. The more I read, the more I thought about it, and the worse things got in the story. It was hard to look away from, no matter what ended up happening. And that’s the beauty of this book. Robert Essig took his own experiences with real death videos and captured that experience in this book. What o felt while reading this is exactly like how I felt as a young, impressionable teenager when I myself found out about this sort of thing. Part of that may be why I’m so fond of this book, but the writing is definitely a major factor too. Multiple storylines intertwine flawlessly, characters are flawed and feel real, and the overall unsettling vibe the book gives off kept me on my toes. I’m late to the party with this one, but there is not a better time to pick this one up. It’s free on godless.com as of the time of this review, making it a must try.

MC
06/02/2022
Mick C.
United States United States
I recommend this product

Death on VHS

Oh those halcyon days of the 'forbidden' VHS tapes. We all heard of things like 'Faces of Death', and knew that kid that who had the bootleg copy of it. This story harkens back to those days, but doesn't steep itself into nostalgia. It's an engaging and highly entertaining story. As Calvin is drawn deeper into his morbid interests, the interplay of the characters around him, and his own internal struggles were well done. The story also had a great gore to plot ratio. Not so gory you needed a squeegy afterwards, but plenty to really get your hands into. This one is certainly worth checking out.