Written by: Matthew J. Barbour
Sicker B*stards, by Matt Shaw, is the direct sequel to Sick B*stards and an indirect prequel to Rotting Dead F*cks. All three of novels are part of Shaw’s Extreme Horror Series and are instantly recognizable by their unadorned black covers.
Sick B*stards is arguably Shaw’s most horrifying work to date. It focuses on a family of incestuous cannibals living through what they believe to be the end of days. The tale is told through the point of view of brother, who is carrying on sexual relationships with both mother and sister. By writing the narrative from the first person perspective of brother, Shaw forces the reader to get intimately involved in acts of cannibalism, murder, and rape leading to a very uncomfortable read.
Sicker B*stards starts where its precursor leaves off. Brother now knows the truth of his predicament. Rather than confronting it, he returns to his “family” and picks up where he left off. However, father now wants to go out into the world to find out for himself what lies beyond. Soon, they are on the move, carving a path of destruction across the British countryside and in the process, unleashing Rotting Dead F*cks on the world.
Sicker B*stards lives up to its name providing even more disturbing imagery than the original. Brother’s sexual perversions and methods of killing have grown even more extravagant. He no longer shows any hesitation or reluctance over his actions. Instead he relishes in the death and carnage. There is not even much forethought to the consequences of his actions. He is a complete madman.
While his descent into madness is believable, the backstory expanded upon in Sicker B*stards is not. Brother, as portrayed in Sick B*stards, is a much more sympathetic and relatable personality. In many ways, the reader felt sorry for him. After reading Sicker B*stards, it is clear that he was always a rotten apple.
There are no good guys. There is no one to root for in Sicker B*stards. Instead, the reader is simply led from one atrocity to the next. It is exploitative and serves no purpose other than to shock the reader. This is okay, but causes the sequel to fall far short of its predecessor.
Sick B*stards was imaginative social commentary. It made you question whether who the sick bastards really were. In Sicker B*stards, there is never any question who the madman is. If you are searching for violence and sex, look no further. Just do not expect much else.