Issue 5 (May 2014)
36 Pages (A5)

First published back in May of 2014, issue five of Jack Bantry’s ‘Splatterpunk Zine’ offered up plenty more A5 black & white pages, packed with more stories, articles, reviews and interviews of uncompromisingly violent horror and gore.  Like with the previous issues, the zine was made available for purchase via Bantry’s ‘Splatterpunk Zine’ website.

Shut The Fuck Up And Write (If That’s What You Wanna Do!) – Shane McKenzie – 2 Pages
After Jack Bantry kick starts issue five with an editorial inspiring people to create their own DIY zines, Shane McKenzie gets things underway by responding to the two main comments people seem to have – firstly that he writes too many books and secondly he’s going to kill himself working so damn hard.  McKenzie’s response to both these points is both inspirational and wonderfully from the heart.  The man clearly loves to write.  It’s what he does.  Let’s hope he never gives it up.

Once Bitten – Nathan Robinson – 1 Page
British author Nathan Robinson offers up a well-written and surprisingly thought-provoking column on ‘zombies’.  Here Robinson discusses the reason for the undead’s gradual surge into popularity, why they’re so inherently shit-yourself-scary, and the social and ecological commentary lurking in their cold dead rotting flesh.  In response to Robinson’s column, Jack Banty adds his own thoughts in a mini-afterword simply entitled ‘Zombies’, where he prods the embers a little more, talking about the versatility in zombies as an mass antagonist.

So Bad – Adam Cesare – 5 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.  Fully deserving of a perfect score of DLS Skulls.

The story includes a full page illustration by Dan Henk.

This Is My Flesh – Monica J O’Rourke – 7.5 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 story includes a full page illustration by Jim Agpalza.

You Don’t Need Eyes To See Us – Shane McKenzie – 6 Pages
Staying at their grandparents’ house was never much fun.  There was never anything to do there for three young kids like them.  So when Shelly found a Ouija board stashed under her pillow, the three of them decided they’d stay up late to give it a go.  However, what started off as a little fun, soon took a dark turn for the worse.  The madness started when the planchette began spelling out a message.  I’m free…I see you.  That’s when all hell broke loose.  The planchette had crept up Shelly’s frozen arm and then proceeded to disappear down her throat.  After that the Ouija board broke away into damp pieces of gunk, slithering across the floor and merging with Shelly’s flesh.  Within the space of a few pounding heartbeats, Shelly no longer looked like David and Zane’s sister.  Somehow she’d merged with the Ouija board.  She’d become possessed…

This one’s just plain fucked-up.  There’s no sugar coating it – this story’s going to mess with your head good and proper.  In a nutshell what you have is a classic Ouija board plot that (as they always do) goes horribly wrong, only instead of an Exorcist style possession, McKenzie throws in a veritable tsunami of freakishly disturbing images borne from a truly nightmarish mind.  The sheer twisted imagination on display is breath-taking if nothing else.  You’re bombarded with terrifying images coupled with some properly weird shit akin to ‘A Nightmare On Elm Street’ (1984) without the comedy element on the side.  As I said, it pretty darn messed up.  But put it this way, there’s absolutely no chance I’m doing a Ouija board after reading this.

The story includes a full page illustration by Frank Hall.

Down By The Ocean – John Boden – 2 Pages
The thing had washed ashore during the night.  At daybreak the villagers of Crilly gathered around the washed up form, pondering what the colossal beast could have been.  Some spoke of a whale carcass, deformed and corrupted by the sea itself.  Others a giant squid.  But they all agreed on one thing – none had ever seen such a vast beast as this before.  And none of them would again…

At just one page in length (the second page is a full page illustration) this is a practically short burst of washed-up deep sea creature horror, with one hell of an explosive sting in its tail.  US author John Boden sets the scene with a swift and straight-to-the-point style, efficiently laying down the backdrop and focal point for the horror to come, whilst building the tension with a seemingly effortless ease.  The atmosphere is unnervingly calm.  Purposefully done, as if we’re witnessing something from after the event.  And that’s his trick.  You’re off guard.  Defences are down.  And the sudden attack hits you like a boulder to the face.  Short, sharp and delivers one fucker of a shock with absolute perfect execution.

The story includes a full page illustration by Daniele Serra.

Jeff Burk – Interview – 3.5 Pages
Jack Bantry interviews bizzaro writer and head honcho at Deadite Press – Jeff Burk – finding out how Burk got into publishing, writing his own fiction, the publishing industry and sales.   Burk offers up an insight into the bizzaro and extreme horror scenes, the history of Deadite Press and gives the ‘Crossed’ series a good plug.  Altogether a damn insightful and interesting interview.

Book Reviews - 3 Pages
Mountain Home – Bracken McLeod
Animosity – James Newman
Pus Junkies – Shane McKenzie
Cold Turkey – Carole Johnstone
The Alchemist’s Notebook – Byron Craft
Son Of A Bitch – Wrath James White & Andre Duza
Ketchup On Everything – Nathan Robinson
Cannibal Fat Camp – David C, Hayes & Mark Scioneaux
What Happens In The Darkness – Monica J O’Rourke

Make a free website with Yola