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PILATE: A Brutal Bible Tale is a fable about the power of forgiving the unforgivable. The passage of time will not diminish this power. God would wait 2000 years to save one immortal soul, even if that one soul belongs to Pontius Pilate.
Pilate is a replay of the last days of Christ in modern times, in an uber-violent urban American locale. Pilate combines supernatural good and evil with the unflinching grit and decay of the American ghetto. Drugs, crime and violence come naturally in this fable, incorporating fascinating characters in raw and brutal themes. A tale that is, most definitely, not for the squeamish.
Pilate is the story of a street-level drug lord set in the brutally unforgiving streets of The Harbor. Pilate runs his drug-dealing business with all the advantages and ruthlessness of the vampire he is. Pilate and his assistants are making money hand over fist selling the potent Plata (silver in Spanish) to starving dope fiends. Things are lovely until El Cristo cures the addicted as Jesus cured the lepers.
Immanuel is a petite, twenty-three year old Latin female from The Harbor. She is known to her growing following as El Cristo: The Christ. Immanuel ministers unto her people as the Child of God. She is neither hokey, nor meek. Her power and authority are clearly seen. She is the modern manifestation of Jesus of Nazareth. Immanuel cures Plata fiends of their addiction as Jesus cured leprosy. After a couple of years Immanuel and her disciples cured so many fiends that those high up the drug food-chain (the Pharisees) began to take notice and made plans to have her silenced. There is too much money at stake to let some Messiah continue her depletion of their customer base. The Diabolous (Satan) comes to the Pharisees in a gruesome vision and orders the crucifixion (actual not metaphorical) of the tiny Christ.
Judas is the treasurer of Immanuel’s growing ministry in The Harbor. He does not believe that Immanuel is any Messiah, so when the Pharisees offer Judas 30 grams of Plata to open his own shop, he jumps at it. All he has to do is betray the tiny Christ to Herod’s dirty cops. Judas is a vampire. His own life does not end well.
Pedro (Simon Peter), on the other hand, is a true believer. He protects the Christ, but when down comes to down, Pedro, as the Christ predicts to him, three times denies he even knows her name. Plata, it turns out, is his true mistress.
Juan de Bautista (John the Baptist), is Pilate’s second. He ends up with his head on a stick, by order of Herod and suggested by Salome.
Salome is Herod’s niece and sexual plaything. Until she sees his throne and begins to, as a subplot, plan his demise and her ascension and control of The Harbor’s drug trade. Salome suggests Juan’s beheading, as revenge for Pilate refusing to submit fully to Herod’s rule of his business. The vampire thinks it a swell notion.
Pilate is a ruthless, dangerous drug dealer. He is also Pontius Pilate reincarnated. Immanuel induces him to recall his former vampire lives from the latest (1970, AD) to his earliest (33, AD), when the risen Jesus comes to him and punishes Pilate for washing his hands by cursing him to become a vampire. By rejecting the blood of Christ, Pilate is made to live off the blood of humans. Life after life after life….
Immanuel waits 2000 years to give Pilate a chance to redeem himself. Once he understands that he is THE Pontius Pilate, what will he do with his last chance? If he delivers the Christ unto Herod as mandated by Satan and the Pharisees, he will be given back all the money and his business that Herod stole, plus Herod’s place (more sub-plotting) at the top of The Harbor drug heap. If not, Herod will keep what he stole and Pilate will have nothing left but a price on his head. Nothing, that is, save his immortal soul. 2000 years have passed and time has finally run out. Which fate will Pilate choose?

the place in between, November 25, 2010
nuff b. ess
This review is from: The Place In Between (Paperback)
“As a true connoisseur of the horror genre, I must admit I was verily disgusted and appalled by this piece of “Morbid” and I am certain that this was the author’s intent. It takes a sincerely sick, drug-addled, putrified brain to come up with a world-view this demented. The “Reverend” must be very proud. If you enjoyed the Infernal trilogy by Edward Lee, then you will probably get off on these tales of another true hell where all rules no longer apply and the most profane things occur. I wish Reverend Rage a massive following so that one day my autographed copy might be worth something on Ebay.”

From Chapter 39…. The man standing before Judas was eight feet tall, if he was an inch. He stood there, watching the dead vampire. The man’s stare made Judas feel he was a used car, bought for a song. He stood at the edge of the stand of trees.
“Who are you?” Judas asked, afraid. The obscenely tall man looked down at him.
“I am the Piper,” Lucifer replied. “I am here to get paid.”
With that the Mighty One turned on heel. Enormous footprints sinking inches into the grassy parkland followed him as he melted into the night. Satan went now to prepare a special spot for Judas Iscariot. A nice chilly spot shall be reserved for the damned vampire in the Pit of Despair. Where he shall be tormented: day and night, for all time. Until Judas begs for the pain like a warm glass of milk and forgets who he ever was.
A rustling came from the park trees, high up in them. Judas’ eyes darted up and he saw them.
“Now is time,” Judas heard them say. They tumbled down from the trees.
The three demons hit the ground running. They converged on Judas’ shoulders. One demon slid itself around to the vampire’s face and grabbed hold of both ears. The demon shoved it in and furiously thrust the vampire’s lipless mouth. The demon pumped maniacally, quickly ejaculating. Clumps of greenish/brown rocketed out Judas’ nose. His muffled, gagging protest coincided with tree roots erupting from spongy earth. The tree roots slid up over his hands and feet. The roots tugged them tight to the ground.
Judas struggled in vain as the other two buried claws in his skull. They were going to drink of the soup his fatal stroke had cooked up for them. The demons planned to rip Judas to shreds and dig in his brains with their forked tongues.
As soon as they could pry the lid off.

vivid, explicit, inventive and engrossing…with fangs on it!, May 30, 2009
D. Gorman “Crystalline Structure Moon” – See all my reviews
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This review is from: PILATE: A Brutal Bible Tale (Paperback)
“Overall, I found this to be a great, rather grizzly book with a fine grasp of horror, modern culture and even a certain reverence. Rage blatantly gawks at the darker side of our modern world and draws certain biblical parallels…using vampires. He adeptly mixes our current youth venacular with graphic, brutal horror imagery, a respectable dark poetic prose and a decisive intelligence. This is an author I’d like to see more of. The violence, and sex references are raw, explicit and he just holds nothing back. His grasp of the underside of our culture and the drug trade filter through in a gritty, unapologetic in-your-face prose. But he’s not afraid to display an impressively morbid poetic side. The plot is well-thought-out. It is a grimly well paced thrill ride of horror and suspense. You just have to keep turning pages to see what happens next. His parallels to the modern story and the biblical text of the last days of Jesus are inventive and inspired, in a grotesque deformed sort of way. There is material here that I’m sure would cause religious conservatives to say, “There is blasphemy here that would make Jesus roll over in his grave (you know, if he hadn’t already risen from the dead)!” Yet, there is a strong, revery that shows a certain connection to faith. Personally as an agnostic, I would have enjoyed the book more if Rage had avoided the religious connections and just stuck with a straight vampire story. But that’s just my personal opinion. There is a religious connection that comes together as the book rolls along, but it is still a graphic, nasty horror tale with vampires, drug lords and even a little sex. Rage’s command of story and pacing shows a lot of promise for the future. And although I’d like to see him stick to more strictly secular horror stories, this is a brutal, graphic author I’d like to see more from. As someone who enjoys graphic, explicit horror, I can strongly recommend this book…and keep ’em coming, Steven! Never let your fangs go dry!”

A cropped version of Ecce homo (Behold the Man...

Image via Wikipedia