Monday, July 26, 2010

Dollar Bin Horror Spotlight:The Regulators

By Eric Polk of

Ahh, Wentworth,Ohio. A picture-perfect suburb. It is the middle of July and the suburbanites are doing what the suburbanites do as they live the fading American dream. Unfortunately, their dream will die(literally for a few) as an idling red van around the corner on Poplar Street begins to change everything.
It turns out an entity known as Tak is controlling a young autistic boy named Seth who begins transforming Poplar Street into a scene from a Western movie entitled The Regulators. Meanwhile, the red van is joined by several more vehicles, life-sized versions taken from a sci-fi cartoon show, and the carnage begins in earnest.
Eventually, neighbors band together in hopes of stopping this menace to their society. As this is going, we learn that Seth is in constant war with Tak and his aunt Audrey, who is his caretaker, a times escapes into her own little world that Seth has created for her. Tak, on the other hand, wishes to bed down with her and as a result, attempted to take over Seth's Uncle Herb's body. When that fails, he forces Herb to kill himself.
In a letter written from a mine engineer in Desperation, Nevada, we learn that Seth's initial encounter was done in a mine. As the western-theme world comes to fruition, Audrey devises a plan to rid Seth of Tak once and for all.
The Regulators is a mirror novel to Stephen King's 1996 Desperation. It features all the same-named characters as in that story, through a few are completely different as far as their behaviors go. The Regulators I feel, is the straight piece of horror fiction. It is certainly a tad more scary than King's counterpart, if not a bit more hokey. The ending is rather outlandish.
If Seth weren't autistic, I'd feel this tale would have been ridiculous and rather hard to swallow, but it's not. It's certainly not the best from Bachman's(King's) lot, but it's a good read, nevertheless. 7.5/10


Mr. Johnny Sandman said...

I actually loved this book however I felt Desperation is better. The Regulators does have an appeal to me because of suburbia. I do consider this one of King's underrated books.

Eric Polk said...

I like Desperation, too. There's a different take on the story what with David's religious conversion and all in that book.

Blooming Psycho said...

I haven't seen the film, but I really enjoyed the book. Nothing fancy, kind of like going out and picking up a burger and chili cheese fries--but oh so good!