Issue 8 (April 2017)
40 Pages (A5)

First published back in April of 2017, issue eight 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.

Interview – David Agranoff – 2.5 Pages
After reading US author David Agranoff’s novel ‘Punk Rock Ghost Story’ (2016), Jack Bantry corners Agranoff to find out more about the novel, what got him into horror, writing and punk.  Agranoff also discusses who his influences are; the punk rock scene he grew up in; and why he chose to incorporate these elements into his novel.  Although relatively short and predominantly focussed upon the one novel, the interview is nevertheless intriguing and insightful, delivering a good background to the work and ideas behind Agranoff’s ‘Punk Rock Ghost Story’ (2016).

Splatterpunks Love Violent Shit – Sean Leonard – 2.5 Pages
Punk rock drummer and US author Sean Leonard gives us a rundown on the gore-filled horror films of German filmmaker Andreas Schnaas, comparing his low budget visual bloodbaths with that of splatterpunk.  Leonard begins focussing on the ‘Violent Shit’ films, taking us through the four films that make up the ‘Violent Shit Trilogy’ (yeah, that’s four films in the “trilogy”).  With constant references back to its splatterpunk counterpart, linking the key ingredients of violence, sex, and subversiveness between the two, Leonard continues on with Schnaas’ latter works, with brief overviews on the likes of ‘Zombie 90: Extreme Pestilence’ (1991), ‘Anthropophagous 2000’ (1999), ‘Don’t Wake The Dead’ (2008), and ‘Unrated: The Movie’ (2009) amongst others.  Leonard does a sterling job at endorsing the merits of Schnaas’ work, ultimately concluding with how Schnaas’ films are prime examples of both the ‘splatter’ and ‘punk’ aspects of splatterpunk.

Interview – Ray Garton – 1.5 Pages
US Author Cory Cline throws a bunch of questions at legendary horror author Ray Garton, asking about Garton’s recent experiencing with self-publishing the rerelease of his novella ‘Crawlers’ (2006), B-movies that have influenced his work, attempts at adapting his stories into screenplays, Garton’s preferred length for his stories, and the changes in the publishing world over the last few decades.  It’s a relatively short and straight-to-the-point interview in which Garton gives excellent answers with plenty of meat on their bones.  For a quick-fire chat with a legendary horror author, the interview ticks pretty much all the boxes.

Reprising Her Role – Bracken MacLeod - 6 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 story includes a full page illustration by Robert Elrod

NSFW – Nathan Robinson – 9 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 story includes a full page illustration by Dan Henk

Two Blocks Down, One Block Left – Ryan C Thomas – 7 Pages
Derek had gotten into a pretty good routine since his wife took on her new job.  He’d get their five-year-old son, Cliff, ready and off to school, then he’d get back home and on to his own work.  Each day was the same.  Each day they’d leave at exactly the same time, walk the same route, he’d say “morning” to the same people, and drop off his son at the exact same spot outside school.  Only today there was something different.  A man stood on the opposite side of the road, watching them as they walk passed.  Perversely, the man seemed to be without an inch of skin on his body.  Derek assumed it was just some guy dressed in a weird bodysuit, out to scare the local kids.  Some nutter thinking it was still Halloween.  Although there was something unnerving about how realistic the guy’s costume looked.  It really did look like he was standing there on the sidewalk, without any skin on his body at all…

US author Ryan C Thomas’ short is certainly a strange beast.  It’s almost like an episode of ‘The Outer Limits’ meets ‘The X-Files’, only with a hint more grotesque horror applied.  The story doesn’t really care too much about sticking with the core foundations of realism.  Explanations are largely unnecessary when you’re dealing with a tale focussed purely on delivering a proper old-school-horror twist ending and nothing else.  Indeed, once the premise of the tale is revealed, it quickly cranks up the tension, bringing on board an 80’s sci-fi/horror style twist-ending that signs off the short story with a suitably grim conclusion.

The story includes a full page illustration by Christopher Enterline

Dermatobia Hominis – Gabino Iglesias – 8 Pages
Tommy woke to find he’d been drugged and tied to a chair in someone’s basement.  It didn’t take long before his tormentor revealed himself to Tommy.  It was Kevin, the fat science geek who’d been seeing Melissa before Tommy convinced her to leave the nerd for him.  Tommy knew he was in some pretty serious shit here.  Kevin was clearly off his rocker.  Drunk with the desire for revenge.  But what Kevin had in store for Tommy was far worse than what Tommy could ever have dreamt up.  Kevin had learnt a lot about the larvae of human botflies.  In particular, the nasty burrowing habit of the Dermatobia Hominis.  Things were about to get decidedly grim for Tommy…

The final short in the zine is US author Gabino Iglesias’ imaginatively gut-churning offering of unashamed torture porn.  Oh yes my gore-hungry friends, this is that classic torture porn premise of waking up disorientated and bound and about to be tortured to fuck, ala ‘Hostel’ (2005) and ‘Saw’ (2004) and all those twisted films that followed.  Indeed, the influence of ‘Hostel’ (2005) in particular comes out in the resulting torture sequence, with our hapless victim having his Achilles tendons severed (which kick started Josh’s ordeal in the film).  To be honest, other than a lengthy sequence of vile torture involving the aforementioned botfly larvae, there’s really little else in the story.  It’s really just torture porn, rather than Splatterpunk.  That said, as the two literary subgenres are so inherently tied to each other, its place in the zine doesn’t feel misplaced at all.  Nasty, sick and brutal.  Yeah, you know the score.

The story includes a full page illustration by Jim Agpalza


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