Book Review: Splatterpunk: Fighting Back, edited by Jack Bantry and Kit Power

“These stories are Splatterpunk to the core, each gory and disturbing yet hold a lesson within the pools of blood and piles of guts.”

Splatterpunk Fighting Back is a charity anthology of extreme awesomeness. The stories are brutal, and in true splatterpunk form they gruesomely display a middle finger to society while casting the reader into some very bloody scenarios whilst fighting a real villain: Cancer. Splatterpunk uses its platform of extreme horror to convey important messages about the world we live in, much like punk rock music. It’s not just gore, there’s so much more. The stories are unforgettable in both content and talent. This anthology has gathered some heavy hitters of the writing world to use their powers of the pen to fight back.

The introduction by co-editor Jack Bantry really shows what the horror community is all about; we come together as a whole to fight evils. This anthology is for the battle against the big C and some worthy warriors stepped up to donate their pens for the cause. The noble group and their contributions are listed bellow, each displaying that words are weapons and they can be used to crush the real world monsters around us.

We begin with ‘They Swim by Night’ by Adam Milliard, a cautionary tale about a young man who encounters a beautiful singer. Her voice is as alluring as her curves, but once alone he finds out what’s behind her smile, and what’s in her pool.

‘Melvin’ by Matt Shaw tells of the final moments of poor Claudia and the unbelievably gory and darkly hilarious way that she expires. Honestly, anything more than that will spoil how crazy this story is, it will leave you giggling and possibly gagging.

‘Extinction Therapy’ by Bracken MacLeod takes you into the lives of three people, and what happens when they collide. Two are an ordinary couple while the third is undergoing an extreme form of therapy, one that allows him to feel what it’s like to hold other people’s lives in his hands.

In ‘The Passion of the Robertsons’ by Duncan Ralston, the reader meets Harry, a man who is in no mood for Christmas cheer, especially since Christmas has been over for three days. But upon meeting Mr. and Mrs. Robertson, he soon learns how violent the war on Christmas can be.

‘Hellscape’ by Rich Hawkins is up next. It’s a tale of post apocalyptic horror, as a woman searches for her lost son but soon finds she’s losing herself as well.

A disgruntled hotel employee learns not to go gazing into windows in ‘Molly’ by Glenn Rolfe, because the truth can be killer!

‘Only Angels Know’ by George Daniel Lee is about an artist who works in a unique medium, one of flesh and bone, in an attempt to display truths most don’t want to acknowledge. His work has never been enough in his eyes, until he turns his artistic focus to himself.

Will is reminded how lucky he is to have survived the horrific car accident but he still can’t help but feeling like life shit on him. When the ghost of his severed arm tries to reunite him with the missing limb unforgettable madness ensues in ‘Limb Memory’ by Tim Curran.

‘Feast of Consequences’ by WD Gagliani and Dave Benton is an excerpt from a novel entitled Killer Lake. It’s a story that harkens back to slasher greatness and reinforces the lesson of not accepting a ride from strangers. It’s sure to leave the reader searching for the rest of said novel.

‘The Going Rate’ by John Boden is a short but utterly perfect story of a man paying his debts in a sad and horrific way. It will definitely make the audience fear tax season.

The great Kristopher Rufty finishes the anthology with ‘Darla’s Problem’, in which a little girl tells a police sergeant that she has released some kind of monster in her house. He quickly learns that the report isn’t just the girl’s overactive imagination.

These stories are Splatterpunk to the core, each gory and disturbing yet hold a lesson within the pools of blood and piles of guts. From the darkly humorous to the straight up brutal, each one sends their own warning of the society we live in. From sexual predators to wealthy sadists, from apocalyptic insanity to the monsters under our beds, this anthology has it all. The only thing that makes this group of stories better is the fact that the writing was done in the name of charity, which makes it wonderful. It uses fictional atrocities to shine a light on a true killer we have all been touched by in one way or another, showing that if we stand together we can do great things. Splatterpunk heroes to the rescue!

                                                                                                                                 MICHELLE GARZA

Publisher: Splatterpunk Zine
Paperback: (194 pps)
Publication Date: 10 November 2017

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