Issue 1 (April 2012)
31 Pages (A4)

First published back in April of 2012, issue one of Jack Bantry’s ‘Splatterpunk Zine’ started out as an A4 sized black & white DIY publication which, through its look, feel and content, harked back to the glorious days of DIY zines.  The zine was made available for purchase via the website where this first issue has since sold out.

Love At First Sting – Dave Benton & W.D. Gagliani – 7 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 story includes a full page illustration by Adam Hall.

Confession – Jeff Strand – 2 Pages
He had a lot to say.  For a start the bitches deserved it.  Each one of ‘em.  How many was it now?  Ten? Eleven? Twelve?  It wasn’t his job to remember.  But one thing’s for sure, each one of them had had the axe.  Chop chop chop.  He loved it.  Every second of it.  So, what do you cops think of that then?...

With tongue firmly wedged in his cheek, author Jeff Strand delivers a short one page confession solely from the side of our cocky perpetrator.  As such, the piece is 100% one-sided dialogue, with plenty of humorous banter thrown in for that perfect dark comedy delivery.  To be honest, there’s not an awful lot in it.  However, it does manage to evolve, and even in its short one page of text, it moves away from you believing it’s a true confession, to really knowing that it’s just a wannabe nutjob who’s done nothing other than waste peoples’ time.  Still, a damn entertaining little read.

The story includes a full page illustration by Adam Hall.

Brats – Tim Curran – 9 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 story includes a full page illustration by Dan Henk.

Twisted Reality – Jack Bantry – 2 Pages
Nathan Pobowski had done particularly well in his field of left-wing punk and horror illustration.  He’d already established himself as a highly revered artist in the areas he enjoyed, and had recently begun reaping the rewards of his relative success.  But he had other motivations that took equal precedence in his life.  It wasn’t just his illustrations that revealed his dark and twisted side.  And as the career driven Josephine and the ABN AMRO banker were to find out, he was a man who wasn’t afraid to act upon his beliefs.…

Splatterpunk Zine editor Jack Bantry certainly can write.  Literally within the first could of paragraphs of this short you’re sucked in.  The opening sequence involving a career-driven woman who falls victim to the serial killer is pure adrenaline-pumping intensity, with snappy prose and an urgency that keeps your heart racing.  From here Jack deviates away from this core violence, haphazardly jumping from one perspective to the next, until the short comes to an abrupt end on a somewhat unresolved and oddly open note.  An excellent opening sequence, superb characterisation considering the stunted length of the piece, but the short just needed a hell of a lot more shaping and direction.  Still, for a mere two pages there’s plenty of fun to be had!

Punk On Punk – Wayne Simmons – 1 Page
Following publication editor, Jack Bantry’s one page editorial detailing how he first became interested in horror fiction, Wayne Simmons delivers his own, self-proclaimed cheerleader piece for Splatterpunk Zine, fighting the corner for Gore in horror fiction.  “Gore Is Good” is the reverberating statement in his offering; effortlessly justifying the existence of splatter in the world of horror fiction to all us devotees to the flesh-grinder.  Short and sweet, Simmons jocularly banters about the matter whilst simultaneously reconfirming what’s probably in most of our minds on the subject.  Gore most certainly is good.  And all those splatterpunk titles that still drip blood from their pages should indeed stand proud alongside all those Koontz and King titles on the bookshop shelves.

Interview - Jack Ketchum – 3 Pages
Jack Bantry interviews US author Jack Ketchum about the writing of his novel ‘The Woman’ (2011), working alongside film director Lucky McKee, the story’s evolution from ‘Offspring’ (1991), his use of basements in his work, and the dominance of ebooks in the modern marketplace.

Interview – Andre Duza & Wrath James White
– 3 Pages
Fellow author Waynne Simmons interviews Andre Duza and Wrath James White following their collaboration on the novella ‘Son Of A Bitch’ (2013).  The two talk about the novella, working together, the use of gore in their fiction, and adapting novels into film and graphic novel formats.

Book Reviews – 1 Page
Draculas – Jeff Strand, F Paul Wilson, Blake Crouch & Jack Kilborn
Wolf Hunt – Jeff Strand
The Woman – Jack Ketchum & Lucky McKee

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