First published back in July of 2019, Jack Bantry’s anthology ‘Past Indiscretions: The Very Best Of Splatterpunk Zine’ collected together some of the very best short stories from the eight issues of his highly-revered ‘Splatterpunk Zine’, which are now all long out of print.  If you missed any of these highly sought after back issues, then here’s your chance to read some of the best hard-hitting short stories the DIY Zine had to offer.

Five Bullets Through The Skull: An Introduction – Chris Hall - 4 Pages
[Write-up by Justin Park]
And so to ease us in to the anthology Chris Hall gives us a ‘geeks n glasses’ explanation of what Splatterpunk actually is, although rather fittingly, and setting the tone for what is to come, he forgets the lube.

Chris’s love and passion for the sub-genre is clear from the off, with a detailed description of the coining of the phrase, what the genre encompasses and what the genre actually meant to the world of horror. His love, not just for the subgenre, but for the zine the anthology draws from, provides us with an insightful history that not only whets our appetite for what is to come, but also makes you want to track down the back issues and stories not featured in this collection.

Chris is clearly a man of many talents. It’s his fine pen and ink work, that created the wonderful illustration of the skull and bullets at the beginning of this introduction. Secondly, all that reading has rubbed off on him, as his prose in this opening is a delight to read. Chris is engaging, flippant and anarchic as he gets into character and gets us in the mood for the chaos ahead…

Brats – Tim Curran – 22 Pages
Harry was waiting at the train station with Bugs, Peak and Peak’s lady of the week – Summer.  They had spent the past two days drinking, smoking and drugging.  Now they were on recovery.  Looking around the station they could see all the suits and commuters waiting for the train that would start off another mundane day at work for them all.  Just another run-of-the-mill day.  That is, until the children appear.  Naked from head to toe with thick streaks of red across their bodies, the children looked worryingly feral.  And then in the blink of an eye the slaughter commences.  Today is the day that the children turn on their elders…

Kids turning on adults isn’t exactly an entirely new idea, but it’s still got plenty of life left in it, along with plenty of scope for creating a wonderfully violent splatterpunk short.  And author Tim Curran doesn’t hold back with the mayhem once the little brats turn up with murderous chaos in their eyes.  Curran’s prose is short, sharp and quick-firing.  There’s a very raw, punk-ish feel to his writing.  And I have to say it suits the story and the characters perfectly.  That said, the short offers up little more than the beginning of anarchy.  You’re merely shown a glimpse of the madness and slaughter that is suddenly being unleashed; and then the short comes to a vivid and brutal end.  Expect violence.  Expect bloodshed.  And expect to be rooted to the spot throughout.

The short story was first published within ‘Splatterpunk Zine – Issue 1’ (2012)

Fuck Shock – Brendan Vidito – 8 Pages
The sexual frustration had persisted for several weeks now.  Despite numerous attempts, Robert Duffy could no longer garner any sexual gratification from any act – no matter what it was or who it was with.  It was now becoming apparent that he’d ruined his sexual life forever.  He’d unwittingly entered Fuck Shock – the unfortunate product of having the most satisfying sexual encounter one could ever experience.  Now all he was left with was a chronic dissatisfaction with any lessor forms of sexual pleasure.  Quite frankly, it fucking sucked.  If only he’d not gone down to that sex club seeking out “unusual sexual services at a discounted price”.  But then he would never have known how good it could be.  How the worm’s venom made it feel oh so fucking good…

Hose me down with nitric acid and throw me in a bath of salt.  Oh Lord is this one fucked up.  This is some filthyass, balls-out-weird erotic body horror.  The concept’s a simple one.  Once you’ve experienced sexual pleasure like no other, how can anything else possibly satisfy you?  The thing is, Brendan Vidito’s made this ultimate sexual experience into one messed-up piece of skin-crawling body horror.  And he doesn’t hold back one bit with the vile little details.  Man this is wrong on all kinds of levels.  But fuck me if it isn’t just a damn entertaining read.

The short story was first published within ‘Splatterpunk Zine – Issue 6’ (2014)

I’m On My – Shane McKenzie – 10 Pages
With a baby on the way and them on the verge of buying a new home, the timing of his much-deserved and long-awaited promotion couldn’t have been better.  Furthermore, Morris had been given the rest of the day off to go home and celebrate.  He sent a quick text to Melissa, telling her he was on his way home with big news for them to celebrate, and then he left planning to pick up some celebratory supplies en route.  Unfortunately for Morris, his journey home would prove to be a life changing one.  But it would be even more so for the young child that Morris accidently hits…

This is a dark and depressing one.  For the first half to two-thirds of the short author Shane McKenzie sets the scene and works hard establishing the character of Morris and his ‘loving family man’ life.  In fact, for a while it feels like the story’s just treading water, until ‘bam!’ Morris has hit the child and his whole world is turned upside-down.  From here it’s grim, tense and incredibly hard-hitting stuff.  It’s brutal and utterly cold, but delivered to absolute perfection.  At the end of the day, it’s Shane McKenzie – so you know the score.

The short story was first published within ‘Splatterpunk Zine – Issue 4’ (2013)

Reprising Her Role – Bracken MacLeod - 8 Pages
Ignacio thought the girl on the bed looked vaguely familiar, but then they all looked alike after a while in the business.  His job was to capture just the right shot.  He knew all too well that the people who bought Byron Blank’s low budget pornos wanted them to look as real as possible.  That was what Ignacio was doing.  Setting up the shot to give the film that authentic look.  It was to be one of Blank’s more aggressive pornos.  Less incest, more fists.  It reminded him of the film they’d done a while back.  The film that went badly wrong.  They’d ended up making an accidental snuff film.  It’d hung over Ignacio’s head for a long time.  But that was all in the past.  That shit was all sorted out back then…

There’s no denying the fact that the filming of low budget porn, especially grimy, under-the-counter violent stuff, is rife with potential for a gritty splatterpunk short story.  US author Bracken MacLeod gets wrist-deep in all the despair and filth that the premise affords, delivering a hard-hitting short viewed from behind the lens of Ignacio’s camera.  MacLeod’s delivery is purposefully sketchy at first, focusing on the grit and grime of the scenario before us.  And when the situation suddenly plummets into something truly horrific, so the misery-encrusted pieces of this disturbing picture start to slot together.  It’s pure unadulterated splatterpunk through and through.  The story hits you squarely in the jaw with an overwhelming depressive bleakness.  And then, after unveiling the backstory, the reasons and the twist, MacLeod delivers the final thumping gut punch to leave you breathless.

The short story was first published within ‘Splatterpunk Zine – Issue 8’ (2017)

Wide Load – Kit Power – 10 Pages
It was just another day in the office for Richard.  He had nothing urgent on, but his hangover was already making him wish he’d called in sick.  Still, he didn’t exactly have to do much today.  Being an IT consultant was a doddle for him.  Money for old rope is what his father would say.  But after an hour of procrastinating, he decided it was time for a shit.  An excuse to waste some more of the day away, and even better, to walk past Becky’s desk en route to the toilets and hopefully catch a glimpse of her impressive cleavage again.  However as Richard passed her desk, he heard her mutter something under her breath.  What had that bloody goth bitch said?  He hadn’t heard the words but he knew from the tone it wasn’t complimentary.  If she was going to flaunt her chest then she should expect men like him to look.  She deserved a good seeing to.  And oh how he’d love to be the one to give it to her…

I confess – I frigging love Kit Power’s work.  He can write so damn well.  And he’s clearly not bothered about veering into some decidedly distasteful territory.  It just makes his stories irresistible reading.  But I guess it’s that voice behind his tales that really draws you in.  That empathy and link you have with the narrator.  The story plays out from behind their eyes and you can’t help but feel a part of it all.  And shit has Power got one bastard of a revolting little trip in store for you here.  It’s a story that’s got that whole gross-out thing going for it.  Mix in some barely justifiable suggestion of comeuppance and a wickedly smirk-inducing twist ending, and you’ve got yourself one grim little read that’s executed to absolute perfection.  Fucking genius!

The short story was first published within ‘Splatterpunk Zine – Issue 6’ (2014)

Love At First Sting – Dave Benton & W.D. Gagliani – 14 Pages
Mr Walker had done the job he’d been paid to do, and so as far as he was concerned, that was it.  However when he received a phonecall from a clearly angered Mr Fenning, screaming at him that his wife was still alive, he began to have doubts.  How could she still be alive?  He’d not only slit her throat and gutted her, but he’d then had himself some fun with the remaining empty corpse.  Whatever was going on, the end result was the same.  He’d have to pay Mr Fenning a surprise visit and get all those loose ends wrapped up for good…

Authors Benton and Gagliani offer up a classic hitman style tale that bounds back-and-forth between the present (following the irate phone call from Mr Fenning) and the past (where Walker snatches and murders Fenning’s wife).  However, what at first appears to be an (albeit incredibly nasty) run-of-the-mill hitman style story, soon mutates into something far weirder.  All through the story hornets seem to be buzzing around the place – their presence finally coming to fruition in a ‘Candyman’ (1992) style of fashion.  It’s a bit weird, there’s no real explanation behind what occurs, and it all seems to end just that tad too abruptly.  Still the short’s nevertheless quite an enjoyable read.

The short story was first published within ‘Splatterpunk Zine – Issue 1’ (2012)

This Is My Flesh – Monica J O’Rourke – 18 Pages
Rachel knew the time had finally come.  Everything over the past six years had led to now.  It was inevitable that Daniel would one day catch up with her.  Even though he was supposed to be dead, his presence here wasn’t a shock for her.  Nor was the way he was treating her.  She knew exactly who he was and she was pretty sure she knew what he was doing.  Although things were escalating at a disturbing pace.  He was clearly filled with rage.  Messed up and lusting for Rachel’s degradation.  But her moment would come.  She just had to bide her time.  And then the tables would turn once and for all…

Holy fucking shit if this isn’t one of the most hard-hitting and unforgivingly vivid depictions of violence, degradation and torture I’ve read in a long old while.  From the outset your senses are assaulted with a veritable barrage of escalating brutality.  The backdrop is a simple, barely lit basement where this woman – Rachel – is being held captive by one fucked-up enraged psycho who she appears to know.  And when I say ‘escalating’ my god do I mean it.  This guy makes GG Allin look straight-laced.  But holy fuck do things get worse.  I’m not about to ruin the short for you by unveiling how far O’Rourke’s willing to take this boutique of violence and depravity, but be warned, if you’re not a fan of extreme horror, then steer well fucking clear of this story.  Although if you can stomach it, then expect nothing short of uncompromising horror with a truly inspired twist to seal the deal with.  My god was this a good ‘un!

The short story was first published within ‘Splatterpunk Zine – Issue 5’ (2014)

Ginsu Gary – Ryan C Thomas – 12 Pages
He’d called in a cleaner to sort out the disposal of a corpse.  He didn’t have time to get rid of the body himself.  His boss was waiting, and no one left the boss waiting.  However, the guy that had arrived to get the job done was far from what he expected.  This guy would be more at home on an infomercial.  He clearly loved his knife.  He had to admit the Carving Cobra C-100 was a damn good knife.  The cleaner had carved up Georgie’s body in seconds.  But he’d made such a mess doing it.  There was blood everywhere.  Luckily Ginsu Gary had just the thing for the job - the Kurbee K-10…

Hahahaha…this story is hilarious.  I loved every second of it.  It reminded me of Edward Lee’s short ‘The McCrath Model SS40-C, Series S’ from the ‘Excitable Boys’ (2002) anthology.  In a nutshell the story crosses a Winston Wolfe-style ‘cleaner’ character with a QVC salesman.  The humour is a black as it comes; sandwiched between the blood and guts of a chop ‘em up splatterpunk storyline.  This really is what it’s all about.  Wonderfully gory, completely over-the-top, and laced with dark humour throughout.  Oh yes, this is some damn fine splattterpunk boys and girls.

The short story was first published within ‘Splatterpunk Zine – Issue 3’ (2013)

NSFW – Nathan Robinson – 14 Pages
The sensation that flooded through nineteen-year-old Helen Jenkins’ body was something she’d never experienced before.  It was as if electricity was pumping through her body.  Her senses were suddenly flooded.  This was no usual sexual charge.  This was explosive.  Compulsive.  Compelling.  All she knew was that she needed to fuck.  The overweight, middle-aged co-worker who sat along the desk from her would do.  To Helen it didn’t matter who it was.  She just needed to succumb to these overwhelming raging needs.  Let her body have its fill.  Unleash the surging beast within her…

British author Nathan Robinson offers up an ultra-sexually-charged fuckfest of a short story, erupting into a frenzy of brow-beading eroticism that escalates further until something far more brutal and horrific overcomes the mounting storyline.  For those who’ve encountered Garth Ennis’ ‘Crossed’ graphic novel series, this is akin to the violent sexual debauchery that’s spread across the vast majority of its gore-filled pages.  Yeah, this ain’t no ‘Fifty Shades’ nonsense.  What we have here is some wildly-over-the-top sexual lunacy taken to Splatterpunk proportions.  Grotesquely, violently, deviously nasty stuff.  NSFW indeed.

The short story was first published within ‘Splatterpunk Zine – Issue 8’ (2017)

Threesome – Ryan Harding – 18 Pages
Blake couldn’t believe his luck when Karla had clearly made a concerted effort to get with him.  Karla was one of those girls that every guy in their right mind dreamed about.  She was by far and away the hottest girl in there college, and all of a sudden, he was having sex with her more times than he was having hot dinners.  Julie had not long broken up with him – not a big loss – in fact she was quite frankly a mediocre ride at best.  Of course when she’d called it off he’d gotten his own back.  Not that he really needed to – he’d wanted it over – but nevertheless he’d wanted to come out of it on top.  So he’d posted up a video of them doing the nasty on Grudgefuxx.  That was that.  Now he was with Karla, he’d barely given the video a second thought.  That is, until Karla asked if he’d do a threesome with her and another girl.  It just so happened that the other girl was Julie.  Even though they had history, let’s face it, how could he refuse?…

Oh man are these stories getting good.  US author Ryan Harding offers up a thick slab of erotic horror with one bastard of a gruesome ending.  Think ‘Nekromantik’ (1987) does YouPorn and you’re half the way there.  It ladles in the sex, getting the juices going from the outset, until the scene’s set to absolute perfection.  And then, as you’ve no doubt guessed it, things take a turn for the worse…for poor old Blake that is.  Harding lays down more visceral gore and sadistic splatter than you know what to do with.  This is proper, in-your-face splatter with ‘comeuppance’ cranked up to hellish proportions.  This man knows how to carve a fucker up.  Oh yes, expect nothing short of outrageously brutal splatterpunk with absolutely no holding back.  Su-fucking-perb!

The short story was first published within ‘Splatterpunk Zine – Issue 6’ (2014)

Fair Trade – Jeff Strand – 6 Pages
Nick hadn’t ever seen Heather look this angry.  They’d been married a good eight years, but this was the first time he’d seen her so enraged.  He couldn’t blame her though.  Through his ignorance on Facebook, he’d given away that he’d been cheating on her.  Now that his infidelity was out in the open, Heather wanted to even the score.  If they were to save their marriage, she wanted to sleep with Elizabeth too.  After all, it was a fair trade…

This is a superb little read.  Incredibly humorous, well-paced and excellent characterisation considering the shortness of the story.  Of course the short eventually delves into something on the brutal side.  This is ‘Splatterpunk Zine’ after all.  But it’s the witty take on the whole situation that really makes this short so damn entertaining.  And talk about a punchline at the end.  I’ll say it again…superb!

The short story was first published within ‘Splatterpunk Zine – Issue 2’ (2012)

So Bad – Adam Cesare – 12 Pages
Eddie had a stand at the Berlin Flea Market where he’d sell all kinds of junk from his lock-up.  It was well worth the drive over from Philly to visit his stall.  You see, in amongst the useless crap, he’d always have a good pile or two of VHS tapes.  They’d be all kinds of stuff in there.  Pre-Cert nasties, obscure foreign oddities, wacky fitness tapes, and sometimes, just sometimes, an absolute gem.  Picking up a milk crate full of the tapes was what it was all about.  The pull of the unknown.  Who knows what goodies some of those tapes contained?  And this time there was one such tape that commanded such mystery.  But sometimes, some tapes should be left undiscovered…

Fuck yeah!  Love this one.  It takes me back to those wonderful days of tape trading.  The thrill of discovering messed up weird shit.  Collecting, copying and trading tape after tape.  The stuff you’d find on the end of some of the stuff.  And this story takes you right back into that glorious bygone era.  First off, Adam Cesare’s clearly got a love for VHS.  It shines through the story.  The way he describes the tapes.  The grainy, ropey imagery as you near a good bit in the film.  The thrill of putting on an unlabelled tape not knowing what the hell’s on it.  Fucking longplay!!!  Anyway, this is ‘The Ring’ (1998) but with a proper horror aficionado take on it.  It’s got everything an old school horror tape trader with absolutely love.  It’s also grim and utterly unnerving.  Reminds me of when I first got my hands on a ropey copy of the ‘Guinea Pig’ movies.  The visceral repulsion combined with the uncontrollable need to keep watching.  This is what Cesare’s offering is all about.  A story that was fully deserving of a perfect score of DLS Skulls when it was first printed.

The short story was first published within ‘Splatterpunk Zine – Issue 5’ (2014)

Ricochet - J.F. Gonzalez – 22 Pages
Nick Clapp heard about from his co-worker Ken Atkins.  Some six months ago, Ken had been going through hell with an outrageous paternity lawsuit that was completely unjustified.  It’d turned Ken’s life upside-down whilst draining a considerable amount of their income away.  But then he found the answer to his problem at  It was a search engine unlike any others.  It was stripped bare, without any corporate branding or aesthetic appeal.  But the results it brought back were spot on.  It told you how to deal with those difficult dilemmas.  How to solve those problems that were wrecking your life.  It could be just what Nick needed to sort out his problem.  For a long time now his wife Karen had been abusing Nick and their son Billy.  Maybe this website could help them get away from Karen for good.  Maybe Billy and him could finally start a new life somewhere else.  All he had to do was follow the advice on…

This one’s fucking outstanding!  What a read.  It’s not exactly pumped full of splatter, horror or violence, but goddamn if it isn’t just one hell of an engaging read.  Gonzalez can write.  He’s narrative is without padding or flouncy wordmanship, but instead pulls you along with the constantly turning gears behind the story itself.  There’s so much carefully woven intrigue in this short.  Of course it’s all underlain with an unshakable feeling of something sinister lurking underneath it all.  And Gonzalez plays on this so damn well.  The ricochet effect feels inevitable even if it’s not justifiable in the slightest.  But it’s there.  And you’ll be clawing at the pages to see how it all turns out for poor old Nick.

The short story was first published within ‘Splatterpunk Zine – Issue 4’ (2013)

The anthology runs for a total of 175 pages.

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