First published back in September of 2014, the limited-edition split chapbook containing Jack Bantry’s ‘The Good And The Bad’ and Nathan Robinson’s ‘Run For Your Life Nick McClusky’ was published by Splatterpunk Zine and ran for just 100 signed copies.

The two stories contained in the chapbook are read from either end, meeting in the middle. The chapbook includes dual covers by the talented illustrator, tattoo artist, and author – Dan Henk.

The Good And The Bad – Jack Bantry – 7 Pages
Dave was out of food, out of water, and out of fucking options. He had to find somewhere to haul up. Somewhere safe away from the roaming undead. Although, over recent days Dave had learnt that often it was the living who were the more dangerous. They were the desperate. Often willing to do anything to survive.

He’d found an isolated house which seemed to be just the place. A side door let him into an immaculate kitchen. But before he could get himself comfy and then hopefully find some food, he had to make sure the place was safe.

Unfortunately for Dave, the house he’d chosen had its own dark secrets. Secrets far worse than the rotting dead outside…

Splatterpunk Zine’s Jack Bantry offers up a short tale of zombie apocalypse blended with a sinister dark horror. For the main part we’re provided with a relatively run-of-the-mill undead offering, with our protagonist forced to leave his current abode and find somewhere new to hide out.

Even when we get to Dave’s next (hopeful) safe haven, we’re still very much within the remit of a textbook zombie apocalypse set up. That is, until we get down into the basement. That’s where the tale shifts. No longer are we in the familiar stomping ground of the marauding undead, but instead we’re faced with the setup of a sicko-psychopath.

Taking us along this journey we have a tale that’s jammed full of tension and high-adrenaline action, with Dave battling it out for most of the story’s mere seven pages. Bantry’s penned this short well, without any padding whatsoever. Instead, we have a story of one man fighting it out alone that’s told with razor-sharp pacing combined with a fuck tonne of bone-jarring action.

Mission absolutely achieved.

Run For Your Life Nick McClusky – Nathan Robinson – 13 Pages
As Nick McClusky gazed out at the street beyond, he saw the terrible corruption that’d befallen humanity. Hordes of bodies, staggering down the pavements; the skin on their once human flesh, peeling, rotting, split open under the relentless sun.

Deep down Nick had always known it would come to something like this. The end of the world coming from within, rather than from an asteroid strike or the eruption of Yellowstone. He’d witnessed countless atrocities during his time serving in the armed forces. But nothing could prepare someone for the horror lurking outside.

His obsession with the fall of humanity had driven a wedge between him and his wife, Megan. It had caused her to leave him. What he’d once feared had become reality. The tables had finally turned.

He needed to get out of his flat and high tail it to the countryside. There he might be safe. Away from the undead madness. He had the weapons, he had the training, he just needed to put down the whisky and move. The time was now. Time to run for his life.

Although, as Nick McClusky was soon to learn, there are some things you simply can’t run from…

Oh boy, is this a good one! Again, another classic zombie apocalypse set up. One man hiding out in his filthy flat. Out of food, out of water, out of cigarettes, (once again) out of options.

For the most part we follow Nick as he prepares to leave the safe haven of his flat. Getting his weapons together – his guns, machete and grenades. Whilst this is happening, Robinson paints a tightly fleshed out backstory for our frantic protagonist. His time serving in the armed forces, the atrocities he’d witnessed, how it all left a lasting impression on him.

With this firmly in the bank, we’re then thrust into the madness of his departure. The swarming bodies he expertly takes down. The explosion of violence once his training finally kicking in. Through all of this, Robinson writes with a grisly flair that paints a vivid picture of the chaotic slaughter and absolute urgency of this desperate scenario. It’s as insanely intense as any zombie onslaught has ever been.

And then we have the big fuck off twist we’ve been waiting for. Nah, I’m not gonna ruin it for you. In fact, you may anticipate what the twist is before it comes crashing down on Nick and indeed the reader. But even if you guessed it, this doesn’t detract from the story’s entertainment factor one bit. The tightly executed ending still plasters a grin across your face when it lands.

Outrageously fun reading.

The split chapbook as a whole runs for a total of 20 pages.

© DLS Reviews


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