It’s a local legend. No one is sure if this “Camp Slaughter” place is real or not. But a group of college kids renting out a cabin deep in the woods of Pennsylvania will soon realize the truth. They’ll realize the danger, too. Or rather, the cannibal out in the woods will bring the danger to them…
– ‘Camp Slaughter‘
Horror would not be horror without The Slasher. The stalking, the horny teens, the half-naked screams are all elements that keep me coming back for more! It goes without saying no slasher is complete without an unforgettable villain. Varias Caras, the cannibal luchador, gives you chills even if he does possess a few sympathetic qualities.
‘Camp Slaughter‘ delivers a solid slasher with enough tension throughout to keep you turning the pages until everyone meets their fate. I flew through the last chapters with a burning desire to find out what would happen next. There is as much killer action as there is backstory to keep you invested in the main characters. I felt the book got the balance just right between the two.
I will admit there were parts of the end I did not like because they are the very things that make me shout at the TV in frustration, however, Sergio gives you an afterword that explains why. I’m intrigued… I think ‘Camp Slaughter‘ is a great example of Latinx creators digesting years and years of white tropes and making it their own. The way the main character is presented makes me want to know more about his backstory and I hope if another book is in the works, there will be more Latinx characters because Sergio Gomez did an excellent job with Ignacio. If you are a fan of ‘Sleepaway Camp‘, ‘Friday the 13th‘ or ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre‘, then you will enjoy this. I absolutely recommend this one.
Be sure to check out his other forthcoming novella, ‘The Visitor‘.
THREE QUESTIONS FOR SERGIO
Violet Castro: Your first horror memory. What is it about the genre you love?
Sergio Gomez: The first horror memory I can remember is seeing Child’s Play on television. It did not really scare or freak me out, so much as it intrigued me. I think that’s where my love for the genre started to take form. It was interesting to me that in horror you can take something that’s supposed to bring joy, flip the concept on its head, and turn it into something that terrifies. In the case of Child’s Play, it was of course taking a child’s toy and making it murderous, but there are other examples throughout the genre. It’s something that continues to fascinate me even today and a concept I keep in mind when writing stories.
Violet Castro: What has been your experience as a Latino creator of horror and what prompted you to begin writing?
Sergio Gomez: My experience as a Latino creator of horror has been great! I realized that my cultural background allows me to take pre-existing formulas in the genre and shake them up by introducing some of my culture into it. You know this since you read the book, but that was what I did to make Ignacio Calderon/Varias Caras—the antagonist of Camp Slaughter. I took elements of Jason Vorhees and Leatherface, but what I think separates him from those characters is that I added some Mexican flavor to the archetype. From the feedback I hear, it worked to make him standout as his own original character.
What prompted me to begin writing was reading my first “chapter” book when I was in elementary school. It was a book about some kids who find a crystal in a cavern or something and they could use it to transport themselves into this fantasy world. Reading that book fascinated me because I realized how much an author could play with words to make the reader visualize such an expansive world. I knew as I was reading that book that I wanted to be an author and I wanted to tell stories that would make people feel the way I did when reading it.
Violet Castro: You are stuck in one horror film. Which one and why?
Sergio Gomez: If I had to get stuck in a horror movie it would be Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds because I think I can deal with a flock of birds better than any other horror movie threats.