Book review: Splatterpunk’s Not Dead

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Jack Bantry, editor of Splatterpunk Magazine puts his DIY zine to one side to release an anthology of Splatterpunk fiction. I’m a big fan of the magazines, a BIG fan. I have every one published to date. They have awoken me to a number of new writers within the horror genre and a few of these authors make an appearance in this book. But how does the antho stack up?

After an intro from Deadite Press’ Jeff Burk things get off to a great start with Nat Robinson’s Mad Max: Fury Road-style story. It plunges us into an armoured vehicle piloted by a man at the end of the line. Robinson’s character has lost everything and has created a wheeled beast to wreak havoc on an unsuspecting public. Brutal, original and engaging, a great start to the anthology. Robert Essig is up next, a writer who I’ve come across in a few different anthologies and magazines. His story ‘High Fashion’ didn’t do a lot for me at all I’m afraid. By very early on in the tale I knew where it was going and it was a bit of a downer after a strong start. Similarly with Jeff Strand, ‘Beware of the Beverage’ is a typically bonkers Strand tale about an energy drink that contains Martian blood! It’s short and sharp but a bit too silly, even for Strand.

‘Eggbeater’ was just….errr, well, errr, out there. I quite liked it in a weird kind of way and then we had Adam Cesare’s entry which was really good. A very Cesare-style story about people’s addictions to social media platforms, in this case YouTube. Great story, even greater ending. Elsewhere, Shane McKenzie delivers a sexed up tale which was also very cool but it was Brenden Vidito who came up with a doozy of a story that for me truly encapsulates the Splatterpunk feel. Body horror, sex, weirdness, great story! My favourite in the collection. The final tale by Paul Shrimpton was also top-notch. If you can imagine a Splatterpunk version of Oscar Wilde’s classic tale ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’ then you will be some way in understanding what this gory tale is about. A great way to finish things off.

A couple of stories didn’t quite float my boat, but there were some crackers in here to balance things out. It is a little on the short side for an anthology if I’m being honest but it’s a gruesome and entertaining way to kill a couple of hours for sure. This anthology just about sneaks 4 stars because when it’s good, it’s very good.

4/5 stars

Pick up a copy from here.

Find out more about Splatterpunk Magazine from here.

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