Issue 7 (February 2016)
32 Pages (A5)

First published back in February of 2016, issue seven of Jack Bantry’s ‘Splatterpunk Zine’ offered up another load of 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.

A Hostel Fever In The Inferno In Defence Of Eli Roth – Jeff Burk – 3 Pages
US author of Bizarro fiction and head editor at Deadite Press, Jeff Burk, gets behind his keyboard to offer up his defence for the highly criticised work of director and producer Eli Roth.  Burk begins with dissecting Roth’s first major film, ‘Cabin Fever’ (2002), outlining the brave elements within the film and how it deserves far more credit than it received.  Surprisingly Burk doesn’t mention the litany of horror film homages scattered across the length and breadth of ‘Cabin Fever’ (2002), however his thoughts on the stronger elements of the film does make you want to sit back and give it another rewatch pronto.  From here, Burk jumps straight onto Roth’s next full-length release – ‘Hostel’ (2005).  Here Burk details subtle links between the two distinct halves of the film – mirroring aspects from the first half to that of the latter – which many will probably have missed (I certainly did).  Then it’s on to ‘Hostel: Part II’ (2007) and his use of mirroring elements within its construction again. Burk’s comments on these two Hostel films are probably the most interesting and insightful of the whole piece.  It’s then time for ‘Green Inferno’ (2013) to have its turn on Burk’s dissection table, before he wraps it up detailing about how horror has always used political and social commentary as a major component, and how Roth’s work has continued this artistic tradition, before finally signing off with a few heart-felt few words about how Roth should be credited for a hell of a lot more than he has been.  The whole thing is a wonderfully insightful write-up of Roth’s collective work that just makes you appreciate the talent of this director and producer that much more.

The Chomper – Kristopher Rufty – 8 Pages
For Adam and Monica Schaffer, the Golden Gates Community was everything they were looking for in a place to settle down and maybe even start a family.  The small tightknit community, surrounded by dense woodland, seemed perfect.  They’d quickly snapped up the house the moment it became available.  Although there’d been a strange quirk with accepting the house.  They’d signed the contract, despite the lunacy contained within it.  In doing so they’d agreed to obey the Chomper’s creeds.  However, when it came to fulfilling their first blood offering, Adam backed out.  After all, what kind of person went through with these ridiculous rituals?  What type of community would actually deliver a tithe to such a beast?  The whole thing was madness?  Or at least Adam Schaffer hoped it was… 

This is such a damn entertaining read.  Laced with mystery from start, it’s almost Hammer Horror like with its sinister conspiracy of a tightknit community forcing their wacky rituals upon the young family who’ve not long moved into the area.  Of course, there’s more to the whole thing than mere rituals and blind superstition.  Oh yes, the chomper is real.  And he’s probably not what you’d expect.  But to be honest, that’s not the main thrust behind the story.  Instead US author Kristopher Rufty lays down an engaging narrative focussed upon the Schaffer’s themselves, weaving in a bunch of surprising twists and plenty of escalating tension to bring this highly entertaining horror read to an ass-kicking crescendo.  Oh yes, this one really is a hell of a lot of fun.

The story includes a full page illustration by Robert Elrod

Awakening – Jeff Strand – 3 Pages
He’d clearly had a blackout.  Now that he’d come round, he’d had to face some darn serious facts.  Before him was some pretty damming evidence that he might well be the Downtown Dixonville Dismemberer.  The guy he found still alive in his shed with his legs hacked off was perhaps the most damming.  Immediately this legless fella said he was responsible.  That he was the sicko who cut off his legs with a hacksaw.  It was a lot to take in at once.  How could he trust this guy?  He could be delusional from blood loss.  There was certainly a hell of a lot to consider…

Man, this is some dark comedy right here.  A serial killer with some major issues of denial, comes wound from a supposed black out to be confronted with the gory results of his handiwork.  It’s a pretty grim scenario for what is in essence, one fucked-up dark comedy.  The comedy comes almost entirely from the dialogue of our unnamed narrator – the Downtown Dixonville Dismemberer – whose blasé approach to the horrific scene before him, and subsequent conversation with the victim, is as humorous as it is outright surreal.  The comedy continues as the gravity of the matter escalates further.  This story is dark, in fact it’s so damn dark, the humour becomes just that little bit uncomfortable.  But that’s the idea.  And it works monstrously well.

The story includes a full page illustration by Dan Henk

Pas de Deux – Garrett Cook – 5 Pages
They’d met again at Flanagan’s.  He was surprised she’d reached out to him again after their first meeting.  After the way he’d treated her in that alleyway.  But she’d followed up with another message soon afterwards.  Posted up looking for another connection.  So he’d gone along to meet with her again.  And once again, after a few drinks, they’d found themselves in the same darkened alleyway.  Although this time the tables had turned.  This time it was on her terms.  This time she was the one dishing out the violence.  Taking what she wanted and leaving him broken.  In pain.  Hurting.  But afterwards he couldn’t help himself.  He couldn’t leave it there.  He’d reached out again.  Offering another connection.  Another meeting.  It was his turn.  And more surprisingly still, she accepted.  He knew they shouldn’t continue the cycle.  But he couldn’t stop.  He couldn’t just leave it there…

Some stories are just so messed-up that it’s unnerving to keep reading on.  This is one such story.  It’s brutal, disturbing and just keeps escalating.  The two characters in the short tale are equally puzzling to the reader.  Why the fuck do they keep subjecting themselves to this?  It’s shown as a compulsive, uncontrollable obsession.  One that neither party appears to obtain much satisfaction from.  It’s also oddly symbolic, with a lack of any wounds or permanent scarring afterwards.  The title of the piece seems to sum up these vicious rendezvous perfectly.  A dance between two partners.  A duet of passion.  Although where is the passion?  Other than in the giving and receiving of such horrendous acts of brutality against each other.  Is it rape?  Fuck knows.  And that’s possibly the most troubling element behind it.  How willing are they to be subjected to such horrendous acts upon themselves?  Why are they so compelled not to break the cycle, despite knowing that they should?  It’s chilling, brutal, gut-churning and utterly, brain-crushingly Splatterpunk.

The story includes a full page illustration by Nick Gucker

Readings Off The Charts – Adam Cesare – 5 Pages
He didn’t know Trish all that well, in fact they’d only just started dating.  When she invited him along to one of her ghost hunting expeditions, he thought it might be a good opportunity to get to know her a little better.  Maybe edge him closer to getting some action.  But when he found out her investigative partner – Bobby – would be joining them for the ghost hunt, he was far from impressed.  In fact, he was beginning to think he was only there because they wanted use of his car and GoPro.  Nevertheless, when they pulled up at the old abandoned insane asylum where they’d be performing their experiments, he began thinking the experience might not be all that bad.  Admittedly he was sceptical about the whole thing.  But there was something about breaking into Kings Park that peaked his interest…

A couple of amateur ghost hunters manage to persuade a new boyfriend to join them in setting up a ghost hunting experiment in a deserted old insane asylum.  Talk about a classic supernatural horror plot!  But that’s not entirely where US Author Adam Cesare takes his short story.  It’s not exactly all that unpredictable.  I’m guessing quite a few will sniff out the twist ending from a little while off.  Nevertheless, it’s still a damn entertaining read.  Although not really Splatterpunk per se.  More your standard horror with a grisly twist ending.  But plenty of fun all the same.

The story includes a full page illustration by Jim Agpalza

Book Reviews – 2 Pages
Down Highways In The Dark…By Demons Driven – Dan Henk
The Art Of Horrible People – John Skipp
Midway – Nathan Robinson
Godbomb – Kit Power

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