Deadwalk by Ron Goulart (1976, Warner Books)
Deadwalk (Vampirella #3) continues the adventures of the sexy vampiress from the planet Drakulon. Once again, the hard-working author Ron Goulart produces a lively and entertaining story to go with the cover art. This one also has the “soon to a be a major motion picture” blurb on the back cover. It wouldn’t be till 1996 that Vampirella made it to the movies and then only as a direct-to-video production.
Once again I’m reminded why Ron Goulart was such a reliable writer back in the 70’s. The book has a humourous edge to it. In particular, Goulart introduces one of his favourite plot devices: the hero who can’t find his pants. In this case it’s a Caribbean detective by the name of Zanka. Mr. Zanka can’t go an entire chapter without getting involved with a woman who will lead him into trouble. It’s a nice touch, one which keeps the story moving.
In Deadwalk, Pendragon and Vampirella find themselves on the island nation of Cote del Soleil, which is ruled over by the dictator General Codero. There’s a voodoo master named Papa Jumbee, zombies, political intrigue and kidnapped tourists. Naturally Vampirella and her drunken companion find themselves in the midst of everything. Adam Van Helsing, her love interest, makes an appearance too, just in time to keep his blind father from killing the heroine.
The novel moves to 70’s California. There is a pretty vicious put-down of a lecherous TV producer and a dim-witted rock star. The path ends up in England where Vampirella defeats the Lords of Chaos again. Most of the time she wears street clothes, but, ever mindful of his target audience, Goulart always puts her back into the red unikini and spike heel boots as the need arises.
I’d like to read the other 4 books in this series. I’ve been impressed with Goulart’s adaptations of the comic.