Through the years, horror has had it’s ups and downs in the eye of public perception. At it’s best, it was the red-headed, step-child. At it’s worst, it was easier to tell someone that you were a child molester than it was to admit that you read horror. I remember discovering my first horror author, yes that famous one from Maine, and wanting to read that instead of some highbrow crap in my high school English class. When I mentioned King’s name to my teacher, you should’ve seen the look of disgust on his face. “That is nothing but trash. It has no redeeming qualities whatsoever,” was his reply. Instead, I was forced to read Less Than Zero and I thought he was confused which one exactly had no redeeming qualities. It didn’t get any better during the 90swhen horror went underground and tried to disguise itself by relabeling itself as thrillers. Ugh. You’re horror. Plain and simple. Wear it with pride! Horror will always be the underdog and I’m okay with that. I know what I like and what has value to not only me, but to tens of thousands of others. Still, the stigma of horror and it’s authors and readers as being the lowest form of society will always persist. That’s why I love seeing things come to light like Splatterpunk Fighting Back, a group of extreme horror authors writing tales that drip with blood with all proceeds going for a good cause – cancer research. Also, I was thrilled to see that many of the authors involved were ones that I read on fairly consistent basis tucked neatly within others that I had heard of, but hadn’t had the pleasure to experience. So, here we go –

They Swim By Night – Adam Millard

A beautiful siren with razor sharp teeth wants more than love.

4 out of 5 stars


Melvin – Matt Shaw

A creeping, crawling dildo that is on a mission to push aside those tonsils. For me, this story was too rediculous to take seriously and not campy enough to take as silly fun. Caught somewhere in between and it caused it to not really work for me.

2 out of 5 stars


Extinction Therapy – Bracken MacLeod

A rich playboy thirsts for something more than money and power. This one took two readings to fill in some of the blanks, but a solid read.

3 1/2 out of 5 stars


The Passion of the Robertsons – Duncan Ralston

Religious whack jobs attempt to commit a whack job on a non-believer. Living in a rural community, I see people every day that I think fit the descriptions of the Robertsons to a tee.

4 1/2 out of 5 stars


Hellscape – Rich Hawkins

A Michonne like character walking through a Lovecraftian dystopia with a machete looking for her son. A gloomy tale.

3 out of 5 stars


Molly – Glenn Rolfe

A dimented woman and her murderous doll making a stop at a hotel in Maine while on their world tour. A fun romp that’s one of Rolfe’s best.

5 out of 5 stars


Only Angels Know – George Daniel Lea

The intense ramblings of an insane cult leader that tries to find art, god and purpose, first through self-mutilation and then through his lemmings following his lead as the world watches in horror. The first-person narrative works well to show how demented this guy really was. You never get a clear picture of what exactly happened, but I think that was the intention and I’m good with it.

3 1/2 out of 5 stars


Limb Memory – Tim Curran

This was a fun story. Will has lost his arm in an auto accident with his now ex-girlfriend, who came out unscathed. She dumps him. He’s probably going to lose his job and the only person to give him the time of day is his physical therapist…and she has a fiancé! To top it all off, his dead, chopped off arm is knocking on the window of his hospital bedroom. Is he losing his mind or what? With shades of Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors and Evil Dead, this campy tale hits all the right notes.

5 out of 5 stars


Feast of Consequences – W.D. Gagliani & Dave Benton

When I think of splatterpunk, I think of a story like Feast of Consequences. Brutal, slasher, cannibal rednecks, terrorized female protagonist, lots of blood and severed limbs, all the ingredients are here. Feast isn’t anything new. It has Texas Chainsaw Massacre written all over it, but I’m perfectly okay with that. The storytelling was tight, the atmosphere bleak and desperate, and memorable characters. Where’s my popcorn?

5 out of 5 stars


The Going Rate – John Boden

This one gives you shivers down your spine as Boden breaks the typical forbidden territory of committing pain and suffering to small children. Just eerie as the Taxman comes to collect the neighborhood’s debts.

4 1/2 out of 5 stars


With all anthologies, I’ve come to expect a few stories that don’t work for me as I look for the gems in the group. If I can get one or two, I’m happy. Luckily for me, Splatterpunk was gem-laden with goodness. The heavy weights came through and I discovered a couple of new authors to me that brought the goods. A very solid read that I can easily recommend. It’s looking like Splatterpunk will easily take the award for best anthology of the year. And it was all for a good cause. Win/Win.


Overall – 4 out of 5 stars


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