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Play Me the Song of Death by Dale Pierce - A Book Review

by Harold Metzger

November 2007

For films written by Dale Pierce
on (re)Search my Trash
click here !

... and don't forget to read our interview with Dale Pierce ...

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Feeling lucky ?
Want to search for books by
Play Me the Song of Death
yourself ?

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will take you
just there !!!

Spanish version: Toque Mi La Cancion De La Muerte

French version: Le Sang Du Matador

Matador Jaime Sublaran watches in Huelva as a new torero, Xavier Cristo Cruz, fails miserably with his bull. Evidently, Sublaran has demonic powers and is using them to cause the failure of this young rival. When the torero fails to kill and the animal leaves the ring alive, Cruz grabs a submachine gun from a Guardia Civil and shoots himself in front of everyone. Sulblaran laughs wickedly at the incident, relishing it, but is unaware someone has taken his picture, which will later be reprinted everywhere and the horrified public repulsed. His own career ruined, Sublaran survives for two more years, until he is gored through the face a la Manuel Granero and killed. After his death, the stories abound of his involvement with demonic cults and a vow to return from the grave as an antcristo taurino.


A quarter-century later, a group of Americans rent out Sublaran’s massive mansion in Huelva for the summer. The bill is footed by professional wrestler, Dennis Flagstaff and his manager, one Freddie Harmon, while his wife Patsy and her brother, Phil Cantron, tag along. There is obvious resentment between Catron, a writer of modest income and evident mental problems, and his bullying brother-in-law.


Catron starts to research the life of Sublaran for a book, but becomes fixated upon and later subservient to Sublaran’s nature. People he interviews who knew the late torero and his demonic influences end up being murdered after telling their tales. A swordhandler and a gitana fortune teller both end up murdered, catching a glimpse of their killer and seeing the face of Jaime Sublaran.


As far as Catron is concerned, the house appears to be haunted. A painting of Sublaran in the study changes a la Dorian Gray, noises are heard in the house’s attic where Sublaran finds bullfighting relics from the past that should rationally have been moved out long ago and he dreams of dying in the bullring himself.


Dennis Flagstaff and Harmon suspect something is wrong with Catron, but his sister will have none of it, noting he has always been strange. Partly to get away from him, the Flagstaffs spend more time outside the house, leaving Harmon and Catron alone. They go to a bullfight together and halfway through the corrida, Catron jumps into the ring, mouthing that Sublaran lives again. He gets flattened by the bull and taken to jail. After Harmon bails him out, the tension continues to grow, as it is becoming obvious Catron is being possessed.


At night, Harmon hears a noise in the attic and goes to investigate, finding himself confronted by the ghost of Jaime Sublaran, who kills him with a picador’s vara in the neck.


When he awakens, Catron finds a note from Harmon stating that he has gone to Pamplona for a few days. He shows the note to Fkagstaff and his wife. The former is suspicious, but the latter is not.


Flagstaff starts to trail his brother-in-law, following him to the empty bullring where by lantern light, he dances about pretending to fight a bull and dying like Sublaran. Flagstaff goes back and waits in bed to confront his brother-in-law upon his return. He does not hear him enter the house. He does, as Harmon before, hear a noise in the attic. Leaving his sleeping wife, he grabs a candlestick to use as a weapon and investigate, somehow certain Catron has slipped in unnoticed.


In the attic, Flagstaff sets the candlestick down and investigates a body propped in a rocking chair, to find it is that of Freddie Harmon. He turns to see Jaime Sublaran holding the candlestick and is subsequently knocked senseless with it. He wakes up propped against the wall, where Sublaran, leering at him drives a banderilla through his eye and into his brain, pounding his head like a grotesque plunger as he does.


The next morning, Patsy awakens and queries with her brother, who is at work in the study, writing the books and has just finished an uncanny set of flashbacks revealing just why there is so much disfunction within the family. It also reveals why he would be such a likely candidate to be possessed by Sublaran.


Catron taunts his sister about not going into the attic and like a fool, rather than go for the police, she does just that. There, she finds the bodies of her husband and his manager, turns to find herself confronted by Sublaran and reaching for him, finds her fingers in contact with rubber. The killer is wearing a Jaime Sublaran mask. She pulls it off and no big surprise there, but Phil Catron is the one doing the killing.


The two struggle and Patsy falls down the attic steps, knocking herself out. When she comes to, she finds her brother leering over her, with a set of bull horns in his hands. He informs her they have all been picked as sacrifices to bring Sublaran to life and kills her with these horns. It is at this point the story takes an uncanny series of twists.


Now totally mad, Catron drags the body of his sister back up to the attic, then takes the massive painting of Sublaran from the wall, bringing it up to his bedroom. There, he carries on a conversation with the picture, revealing he has simply used the Sublaran story and the bit about returning from the grave as a ploy to add fear to his sister, kill the others and gain revenge. He has no fear as to whether or not he will get away from the scene, but simply relishes in his revenge in spite of consequences.


It is then he notices the painting has real eyes, staring at him. Gradually, the painted figure turns to flesh and blood and frees himself from the painting. He hears bullring music from outside the attic door and the wild cheers of the crowd. Sublaran now stands before him with a sword and Catron screams in terror.


Catron’s scream jolts him back to reality. He is alone in the house and there is no ghost. Laughing at his own delusion, Catron rises, still dressed in the bloody torero costume and opens the bedroom door, telling the painting a fond “Adios.”


There, blocking his exit, stands Jaime Sublaran, his face an expression of demonic delight. He has indeed returned from the grave.


The story winds down as the maid coming in for weekly cleaning, finds the body of Phil Catron pinned to the bed, a sword through his chest and his ears hacked off, which have been placed in front of the painting of Sublaran. Did Catron go mad, kill himself and cut off his own ears before driving the sword into his own chest or was he in fact, murdered by this antichrist of the bullring?


The maid screams and turns into the hall where she notices the attic door, which had been shut before, is now open ...


The book is available from the author in the USA direct, for those interested in English copies. Go to

The author may also be contacted about ordering information at

Once these copies are gone, the author plans to put the book on


For those speaking Spanish, there is a Spanish version already up titled Toque Mi la Cancion De La Muerte and may be found by logging Dale Pierce into search at


© by Harold Metzger

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Thanks for watching !!!



On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD



Stell Dir vor, Deine Lieblingsseifenoper birgt eine tiefere Wahrheit ...
... und stell Dir vor, der Penner von der U-Bahnstation hat doch recht ...
... und dann triffst Du auch noch die Frau Deiner (feuchten) Träume ...


Und an diesem Tag geht natürlich wieder einmal die Welt unter!!!


Bauliche Angelegenheiten
ein Roman von
Michael Haberfelner


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