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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-02-07 00:37
Splatterpunk Fighting Back by MULTIPLE
Splatterpunk Fighting Back - Dave Benton,Jack Bantry,Tim Curran,Rich Hawkins,Duncan Ralston,Glenn Rolfe,Bracken MacLeod,Kristopher Rufty,Adam Millard,John Boden,Matt Shaw,W.D. Gagliani,George Daniel,Elizabeth Power

Splatterpunk Fighting Back by MULTIPLE
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The definition of "splatterpunk" should give an idea of what this volume entails: characterised by the explicit description of horrific, violent, or pornographic scenes. With an abundance of monsters, gore, and sexual tones, it stays true to the nature of the sub-genre. My advice? Just be prepared.

(WARNING: This review contains spoilers.)

I never would've known about this analogy had I not joined the one and only Horror Aficionados on Goodreads, and took part in their January group read with author invite. Being new to the horror sub-genre of splatterpunk, I expected that it would probably involve some disgusting and gruesome "what the hell did I just read?" moments, and I quickly discovered that I was correct. I enjoyed some stories more than others, however as a whole I consider it a great piece of horrifically violent and graphic literature.

Listed below are each individual tale, starting with my most favourite. I also thank the authors for being so pleasant to talk with, and for donating all proceeds of sale to charity.

Check out my blog to see the Q&A with some of the authors.

* * *Hellscape by Rich Hawkins* * *
Even this quick glimpse into this forsaken world left me completely engrossed. A twisted, bloody apocalypse? My cup of tea any day of the week. The Cthulhu-theme fascinated me, as I've actually never read any such thing before (I know, shame on me). Even though it was short, and seemed to drop the reader right in the middle, I was immediately pulled into the maternal desperation of the protagonist, as well as that drive of trying to keep the madness at bay. I loved every gruesome detail and the sheer brutality.

* *Feast of Consequences by WD Gagliani & Dave Benton* *
Victims fighting back - it's a particular favourite of mine. This one actually began as rather typical, reminding me of the whole Texas Chain Saw Massacre trope, yet it turns into something else entirely. The inclusion of the "Sasquatch" type monsters made my skin crawl, as I suspected the family had a rather... intimate relationship with them. Definitely images I didn't need in my head.

*Extinction Therapy by Bracken MacLeod*
This one made me think a lot, admittedly a bit more in comparison to the others. There's a belief that we all have it inside ourselves - an animal, primitive, left over from our ancestors. What if that gets tapped into? Even good people can do bad things, and we all have unwanted thoughts that seep to the forefront sometimes. I found Spencer's journey to be fascinating, and I couldn't help but want a full-length novel.

Darla's Problem by Kristopher Rufty
A classic, isn't it? The monster in the closet, or beneath the bed. I really liked this one and, sure enough, the monster creeped me out! It made me think about how we so readily dismiss children when they speak of monsters or other such creatures that don't fit into our notion of reality - no wonder it's been the plot of so many books and movies. Also, poor Darla.

They Swim by Night by Adam Millard
If it's one thing I love, it's mythical creatures, especially when an author involves their own personal twist. Ana was portrayed with such raw sexuality, and I loved the hold she had over the men in her midst. This one in particular sparked my imagination; I couldn't help but ponder over Ana's origins. She struck me as an apex predator, but also something more. Ancient. Malevolent. Like at one point in time her kind were respected and feared, yet they faded away into nothing but stories and superstition.

The Passion of the Robertsons by Duncan Ralston
Well, this one certainly took religion to the extreme, and delved into the sheer insanity of two individuals. Being an atheist myself, I wouldn't want to get on the Robertson's bad side. Really, I think the couple would've been better suited to the good ol' days of when atrocities in the name of religion were the norm. Whilst I enjoyed it for what it was, it lacked in something to really make an impact. The ending was good, though!

Limb Memory by Tim Curran
To think if we lose a part of ourselves, a piece of our soul goes with it. Despite the added humour to the otherwise eerie tone of this one, I didn't favour it as much as the majority of other readers. Disembodied limbs generally don't interest me all that much.

Molly by Glenn Rolfe
My partner has pediophobia and while I often tease and laugh, I admit that there's something unsettling about dolls. It's the uncanny valley, right? I was left with a lot of questions regarding Molly, and I would've liked a bit more information for the events that transpired to make sense. She was able to clean up after her own murders? I felt like there was perhaps too much telling and not enough showing.

Melvin by Matt Shaw
I admit, this one made me laugh, but there was a tinge of discomfort below the absurdity. The detail was disturbing - such as Claudia's skin darkening from her insides being torn apart. It makes me shift in my seat when I think about it even now. The ending? Well, it was a great ending. However, despite my brief flare of enjoyment, I can't say I favoured it highly.

Only Angels Know by George Daniel Lea
I get the impression this was supposed to be intentionally hard to follow - as it was a piece written by the character himself, of whom was a very intense and unstable individual. I had to read it twice, and still I'm not sure exactly what happened. I know he had a procedure done to himself, but it doesn't give details, and I'm left wondering if that's the whole point. Whatever we come up with in our minds might be bad enough, if not worse than what George Daniel Lea intended. Was he getting parts of himself surgically removed? Getting parts of other people stitched onto him? Maybe I just missed it completely, and it's lost within his jumbled rambling!

The Going Rate by John Boden
Honestly, this one was just too short for me to get a real feel of anything. I liked the idea, of a neighbourhood having to give their pound of flesh to appease the demon, but I was left with too many questions. Like a flash, it was just over, offering what I felt like very little. I would've loved this had it been longer.

In conclusion - There's something here for everyone, but be aware of the pushing of limits. It's not pretty!

© Red Lace 2018


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Source: redlace.reviews/2018/02/07/splatterpunk-fighting-back-by-multiple
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review 2017-12-02 22:23
Something Violent - Kristopher Rufty
Something Violent - Kristopher Rufty

Dr Phil meets Natural Born Killers. Sound like an odd combination? It totally works in Rufty's Something Violent. When Jody and Seth are out on their killing sprees, they are all business. But their marriage has hit the rocks. Where do the serial killers turn to when they can't fix their marriage on their own? They kidnap the famous marriage counselor to the stars, Ron McClure. Ron isn't the first man to fall victim to Jody flaunting her lucious body in public. Too bad he didn't see the taser she had hidden under her skirt. No he finds himself knocked unconscious, shoved in a trunk, and wakes up ducttaped to a chair in some unknown basement. When you counsel Hollywood's elite, you come across some crazy clientele. But nothing could have prepared him for Seth and Jody.

 

 

Something Violent worked for me. The premise is just crazy enough to make you shake your head, but Rufty plays the whole thing straight and makes the streaks of black comedy work. As the demented couple unfurl their story to the counselor, the human element comes through. Sure they're warped as it gets, but in a very odd way, you start to feel for them, care about them. That's what makes the whole thing work. If all they are is monsters kidnapping a doctor, all you would have is the shock value without any substance. Rufty shows how nutcase like Seth and Jody can be three dimensional. Brilliant. Kudos to Rufty for making this a fun, page-turner.

 

 

 

4.5 Purple Wigs out of 5

 

 

You can also follow my reviews at the following links:

 

 

https://kenmckinley.wordpress.com

 

http://intothemacabre.booklikes.com

 

https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/5919799-ken-mckinley

 

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review 2017-11-13 20:54
A Farewell to My Arms by Alan Spencer
A Farewell to My Arms - Alan Spencer,Kristopher Rufty

<!-- [if lte IE 9]> <![endif]--><!-- [if lt IE 9]> <![endif]--><!-- [if lt IE 8]> <![endif]--><!-- [if gte IE 8]><!--><!--<![endif]-->This one reminded me somewhat of the movie called "The Cabin in the Woods". If you've seen the movie, you'll know what I mean. This one has a bit more gore to it and some of the weirdest monsters I've ever read.

 

 

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review 2017-02-03 00:00
Something Violent
Something Violent - Kristopher Rufty **SPOLIER WARNINGS AHEAD**

NOTE: Once the synopsis is up here on GR, this really won’t be a spoiler at all, but since I didn’t hide it, use caution and read further at your own risk.

Ron McClure, marriage counselor to the stars, just got roped in to do a little pro bono therapy work. It is an offer he can’t refuse, if he wants to live thru the session. He better be damn good at his job too. His life just may depend on it.

Jody and Seth were madly in love. Bathing in the glow of one another, drenched in blood. Some of the ole spark is gone, however, and the sex and murder just isn’t enough anymore. Time for some counseling. They know just the guy.

This was a well written, quick and enjoyable serial killer romp with a True Romance / Natural Born Killers vibe to it. I don’t know why, but I am a little surprised that I liked it as much as I did. It could have been a hot cheesy mess, but it wasn't. Kudos to Rufty for pulling it off.

*As a member of the DarkFuse Readers Group, I received an advanced copy of this title thru NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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review 2016-05-22 03:32
A Mixed Bag of Blood - David Bernstein
A Mixed Bag of Blood - Kristopher Rufty,David Bernstein

A collection of short stories from David Bernstein. Here we go:

 


The Trojan Plushy -

 

Another revenge tale that combines the werewolf with witchcraft and the Trojan Horse. Has a Twilight Zone-kind of feel.

 

4 out of 5 stars

 

 

The Booglin -

 

You'll think twice the next time you have a booger stuck and it won't come out. Fun, silly story.

 

4 out of 5 stars

 

 

Eaten Un-Alive -

 

Life isn't easy when you're a vampire in a zombie apocalypse.

 

4 1/2 out of 5 stars

 


It's Nice Not To Have To Share -

 

Georgia shares everything with her sister Gerri, but some things she wants to keep to herself.

 

3 out of 5 stars

 


Invasion -

 

Aliens plan to overtake earth by imitating a cockroach and using the neighborhood adolescent psycho.

 

4 out of 5 stars

 

 

Samurai Zombie Killer -

 

A zombie contagion in the water supply of the local samurai warrior.

 

3 out of 5 stars

 

 

Small Town, Big Trouble -

 

The werewolf legend to help explain Sasquatch. I love it.

 

5 out of 5 stars

 

 

Bad Cutlery -

 

When good knives go bad. A fun possessed object story.

 

4 1/2 out of 5 stars

 


Potty Mouth -

 

This is one messed up story! I won't even try to explain it. It's simply something you'll have to experience for yourself. Kudos to Bernstein for probably the most far out there original tale I have ever read! You need professional help, sir!

 

5 out of 5 stars

 

 

STD -

 

If you weren't convinced to practice safe sex before, you will be by the time you finish this story.

 

5 out of 5 stars

 


All in all, a nice collection of macabre tales. There were only a couple that didn't do it for me. The rest were fun and there were even some that I have to question Bernstein's sanity or blood alcohol level. Good stuff.

 

 

Overall:

 

4 1/2 Bags of Blood out of 5

 


You can also follow my reviews at the following links:

 

https://kenmckinley.wordpress.com

 

http://intothemacabre.booklikes.com

 

https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/5919799-ken-mckinley

 

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