MY FAVORITE FANGS by Alan Goldsher

MY FAVORITE FANGS

The Story of the von Trapp Family Vampires

KIRKUS REVIEW

Yet another favorite thing gets the vampire-meets-classic mashup treatment.

What do you do with a problem like The Sound of Music? Time has made the irrepressibly catchy Rodgers and Hammerstein tale of a family singing down Nazi oppression ever more sappy and out-of-touch. So while the musical is fair game for parody, Goldsher (Paul Is Undead, 2010, etc.) attacks it with all the subtlety and violence of a chain saw. Tracking the plot of the 1959 film version, Goldsher dutifully makes each scene bloodier and bawdier, if not necessarily funnier. Here, beloved governess Maria, possessed of a pair of fangs and an out-of-control libido, departs Zombie Abbey to manage the overflowing von Trapp household, where dad is a vomit-prone alcoholic, Leisl is ripe for seduction (she’s 16 going on 17, after all), Baroness Elsa is a succubus and Nazi Undeath Squads attempt to chase down the von Trapp children after Maria turns them all into vampires. Goldsher’s humor tends to trawl every gutter (daughter Marta is renamed Farta, for instance). But sometimes he drags things a step or two above the curb. The “Do-Re-Mi” routine cleverly references acid rain and “a dead deer that’s ready to be eaten,” characters routinely break down the fourth wall by referencing the musical they inhabit, and interludes feature other fictional vampires (Sesame Street’s Count von Count and Twilight’s Edward), delivering knowing commentary on genre conventions. There’s a cameo from John Coltrane, who elevated “My Favorite Things” from a Broadway showstopper to sublime art; alas, it only prompts Goldsher to move in the opposite direction, with Maria dubbing Coltrane “Chocolate Thunder.” Goldsher is narrowly obsessed with making every scene either a romp of PG-13 double-entendres or a blood bath.

So long, farewell, auf weidersehen, and fangs for nothing.

Pub Date: Aug. 7th, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-312-64020-0
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Dunne/St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2012




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