Diabolical Plots #29, July 2017
“Monster of the Soup Cans” by Elizabeth Barron
Reviewed by Benjamin Wheeler
A mad scientist creates a monster that immediately locks itself in a closet in `“Monster of the Soup Cans” by Elizabeth Barron. A mad scientist is afraid of her own creation and the monster takes the time to get to know her soup can preference. There’s not much to this story. The monster pines after its creator and through her taste in soup, it hopes to gain the scientist’s interest. Though it’s an interesting take on the Frankenstein monster, it’s not really developed into anything because all the monster does is hand out a favored soup can instead of taking a more substantial risk.
“The Shadow over his Mouth” by Aidan Doyle follows food blogger Barry Lovecraft as he travels about Eastern Europe enjoying the local culture as well as observing various crazy things and murders that are commonplace in vampire country. This is quite amusing, considering the general lack of panache and self-awareness that food bloggers think they have. The fact that Barry Lovecraft is clearly heading to his doom only adds to the flavor of the jokes. Sometimes writers balk at going full bore on their endings or horror element, or they try to force in some message or desired ending that does not work as the natural extension of the story. This story hits the marks just right and the ending feels natural, funny and as horrible as it needed to be.