First published back in May of 1975, ‘The Sucking Pit’ was prolific pulp horror author Guy N Smith’s second published novel, following on from the release of his debut novel ‘Werewolf By Moonlight’ (1974). Over the following years ‘The Sucking Pit’ would go on to be hailed as an all-time pulp horror classic and subsequently saw itself re-issued in 1978, 1989 and 2011. Even a board game of the spectacular ‘Sucking Pit’ adventures was contrived at one stage, but only on a very, very minimal scale.

In August of 2011, the novel was re-released by Hard Gore Press (an imprint of MHB Press) in a strictly limited edition printing of 400 Collectors Editions and 26 Lettered Editions.  These deluxe editions included four additional black & white risqué illustrations as well as an excellent new piece of cover artwork, all by the very talented Rick Melton.

DLS Synopsis:
In the heart of Hopwas Wood, in the rural Midlands, where life is taken at a far slower pace, satanic urges are stirring in the depths of the earth. On the night that local woodsman Tom Lawson passes away, his beautiful and sweet niece Jenny unearths a little black book that was left behind by Lawson
s young gypsy-wife who mysteriously disappeared one night. Intrigued, Jenny Lawson begins to read the passages contained in the book, discovering ancient secrets that should never have seen the light of day. The book details of a mysterious fertility potion which, when consumed whilst nude on the Hunters Moon, will give the recipient strength and power. Against her better judgment, Jenny Lawson follows the ancient ritual and consumes the powerful potion.

Jenny quickly forgets her old life, and now overcome with unquenchable urges, embarks upon a newly found sexual appetite that the book and its potion have brought to the surface from deep within her Romany blood. Leaving behind her old boyfriend, Chris Latimer, Jenny finds herself drawn to the giant gypsy traveller Cornelius who recently arrived in the area.

However, Lawson’s insatiable appetite for power is slowly boiling away. Cornelius simply fans the flames once again as they embark on a bloodthirsty quest for power and sexual gratification. Their one true goal is to bring back the ancient Romany burial site of their ancestors. Deep within the dark depths of
Hanging Wood’ lies a treacherous and seemingly bottomless bog. This fathomless pit holds the dark and ancient secrets of the Romanies. Nothing that falls in ever manages to escape its deadly sinking depths. And because of this the bog has a truly befitting name - The Sucking Pit.

Only one man stands in the way of Cornelius’ corrupt plan.  A plan which is centred around the eerie quagmire. That man is Lawson
s ex-boyfriend Chris Latimer; who without giving up all hope on Lawson after her sudden change in character, sets to unearth the dark secrets that surround Lawson’s newly acquired company and their attraction to the unforgiving Sucking Pit...

DLS Review:
From the outset, Smith dives straight in, setting down the wild premise for what is sure to be a classic pulp horror tale; slotting in a bucket load of potential for fantastically over-the-top violence and sleazy sexual deviancy. With the general plotline swiftly established, without further ado Smith delivers the outrageously pulpy goods in absolute abundance.

The characterisation is somewhat predictable and clichéd in places, with the characters fulfilling their amusingly contrived roles within the unfolding tale to a very clearly orchestrated criteria. Rammed with sex and outrageous violence, along with a fair old wedge of the occultish frolics thrown in for good measure, ‘The Sucking Pit' really has all the winning ingredients for a truly great pulp horror novel; forming a superb early introduction to the genre which Smith will later become recognised as the true master within.

For its simplicities and grossly clichéd aspects, ‘The Sucking Pit’ is certainly not one of Smiths more involved novels. However, the tale is not without its colourful pulp horror charm; unleashing an unashamed abundance of all things nasty with those unmistakable occult undertones that were so prevalent in the 70’s.

Jenny Lawson’s unquenchable desire for non-stop sex adds the much needed injection of sleaze to keep the novel
s pulse thumping away at a hot-blooded pace. Furthermore,  a gritty scene involving the murder of a local tramp quickly turns particularly savage and gory, bringing with it an early insight into the ‘go for the jugular attitude that is continue throughout the lengthy career of this gloriously prolific writer.

For page after page of pure pulp horror entertainment, this short and sweet novel delivers exactly what you want. And if you haven't had enough of the savage madness from the depths of the evil quagmire - it was later followed up by the sequel ‘The Walking Dead’ (1984).

The novel runs for a total of 111 pages (158 pages in the larger print re-release).

© DLS Reviews

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