RED ROOM ISSUE 1: MAGAZINE OF EXTREME HORROR AND HARDCORE DARK CRIME contained a ton of variety not only in the stories showcased, but also in their cool features such as: Barfly Bob's Highballs and Lowballs. This is an article which talks about some of the most disgusting adult beverages I've heard of. I mean, really, how many magazines have articles featuring 3 dick cocktails? Not too damn many!
The stories here were also quite entertaining: my favorite probably being MEAT CUTE by Larry Hinks. This is an hilarious flash fiction piece which left me getting looks at the coffee shop because I was laughing out loud so damn hard. (Not that it wasn't bizarre or horrifying because it WAS, I am just a sick person.)
Jack Ketchum's MEGAN'S LAW came in a close second, with a last sentence that kicks you HARD right in the gut. In a weird development, I listened to the latest episode of The Horror Show with Brian Keene on Saturday morning, and there was a feature where Phoebe, (a show regular), interviewed a bunch of authors at the last Scares that Care convention. She asked all of them what their favorite short stories were and why. MEGAN'S LAW was mentioned in those interviews, so imagine my surprise when I neared the end of the magazine and there the story was. I can't remember which author chose this as their favorite story, but I can easily see why they did. Bravo to Jack Ketchum! (And a big FU to child molesters.)
THE MIDDLE CHILD by Meg Ellison was a nice surprise. A sly commentary on the state of affairs in this country as regards reality television and what people will do to be even a small part of it. I think it also comments on the people watching this stuff, without whom there would be NO reality TV. I like to discover new authors through anthologies and magazines like this one, and Meg Ellison is one to watch, I think. (There's also an interview with her included at the end of the story.)
SICK JOKES by Josh Scott Wilson was an innovative story in that I couldn't really tell where it was going for most of the time I was reading it. And then I agreed: Sick Jokes indeed!
The Video Nasties feature by Duane Bradley talked about how difficult it was to get VHS versions of some films in the UK. I had no idea this type of censorship occurred over there during the VHS movie boom, so I found this article enlightening.
Even though my days of enjoying bizarre and/or extreme horror are winding down, I thought this magazine was well put together, with beautiful artwork and stories that were chosen with care and quality in mind. Even a "quiet horror" fan such as myself admired the talents of the authors herein and will probably make an exception in my reading habits for the next issue.
Highly recommended, especially for fans of extreme horror!
You can get your own copy here: Red Room Magazine Issue 1 *I received a free digital ARC of this magazine in exchange for my honest review. This is it!*