The Pervert in the Basement

Anita GatesNew York Times

Quentin P. seems a familiar type at first. In his 30s, Quentin (Bill Connington) lives alone in the basement of what used to be his grandmother’s house. His voice and demeanor are somewhat childlike.

When he announces, “I am an admitted sex offender,” it is a shocking confession. But that is only the beginning of the story in “Zombie,” a chilling one-man study of perversity adapted by Mr. Connington from a Joyce Carol Oates novella.

The banality of evil isn’t a new subject in literature or drama, but fiction rarely reveals this much this clearly. Quentin gives his boy victims nicknames — like Raisin Eyes and Squirrel — and insists he loves them. But his monstrousness quickly shows itself.

Mr. Connington commits totally to this haunting characterization and leaves us wondering exactly what kind of people are walking the streets alongside us.

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