Saturday, November 15, 2014

Splatterpunks II: Over the Edge edited by Paul M. Sammon


(pb; 1995: horror anthology)


Overall review:

Excellent, gory horror anthology. Of course, in a work featuring twenty-eight stories, there are bound to be a few stories I don't care for, but that is due to personal preferences regarding writing tenses, overwriting and other (relatively minor) issues. If you're a horror/gore fan, get this collection.


Standout stories:

1.)  "Accident d'Amour" - Wildy Petoud: Excellent, witty, cut-to-it tale about a woman's literally sick vengeance against an ex-lover. Memorable, vivid.



2.)  "Impermanent Mercies" - Kathe Koja:  A callous photographer (Ellis) witnesses an accident involving a little boy (Andy) and his unlucky dog (True). Bizarre, disturbing (for animal lovers) and excellent work.



3.)  "One Flesh: A Cautionary Tale" - Robert Devereaux:  Multi-layered, horrific and laugh-out-loud clever story about the conjoined reincarnation of a son and father and all the tragedies that stem from it. Great work, with a chuckle-worthy finish.



4.)  "Rant" - Nancy A. Collins:  A divine white supremacist being with conspiratorial leanings tells the tale of his undoing. Darkly hilarious and chilling (his rhetoric is disturbingly media realistic) piece.



5.)  "Heels" - Lucy Taylor:  A shoe fetishist-turned-serial killer (Theo) meets a woman (Jules) whose sexual predilections impact his own. Blunt read with concise and masterful explanations for why Theo and Jules are the way they are.

The resulting film short was released stateside on August 2, 2014. Jeremy Jantz scripted and directed it. Brian Adrian Koch played Theo. Julia Angelo played Felicia.



6.)  "Scape-Goats" - Clive Barker:  Two couples on an island-crashed sailboat quickly recognize that there's something wrong about the rocky mass their boat is abutting.

Atmospheric, solid read with an interesting island backstory.


"Scape-Goats" also appeared in the single-author anthology Clive Barker's Books of Blood, Volume Three.



7.)  "Cannibal Cats Come Out At Night" - Nancy Holder:  Two cannibals (Dwight and Angelo) who are also best friends approach a crossroads event which may undo their bond of amity. While the event itself isn't surprising, there is a well-foreshadowed twist to it, making this exemplary, fast-moving story even better.



8.)  "Embers" - Brian Hodge:  Entertaining, good read about an arsonist-for-hire (Mykel) whose reaction to a shocking, personal tragedy drives him to revenge.



9.)  "Xenophobia" - Poppy Z. Brite: Two Goths roaming through Chinatown find themselves working an unexpected, morbid job. Brite's deft writing keeps this dark-hued morality tale humorous and fresh.



10.)  "Calling Dr. Satan: An Interview with Anton Szandor LaVey"  - Jim Goad: Interesting, philosophical and provocative (in a productive way) conversation between Anton and Bianca LaVey and the author.



11.)  "Within You, Without You" - Paul M. Sammon:  A post-gig campfire hang-out with her favorite industrial-noise band (Detour) leads Reba down heady and dangerous by-ways.

The direction and ending of the story aren't surprising (nor are they meant to be). Sammon's worthwhile writing - with its theme-appropriate media-savvy references - renders the destination less important. This one is about experience.

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Please note that there are authors whose names are labelled at the bottom of this post but they are not actually mentioned in the review. This is because they have work published in this anthology but their work (in this instance), for one reason or another, didn't stand out for me. (This is not necessarily a criticism of their works.)

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