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Splatterpunk

I was looking up information about another blog and came across the term “Splatterpunk”. I had no idea what that was so my curiosity got to me. After all my motto is “curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought him back”.

Apparently the term Splatterpunk was coined in 1986 by David Schow at the 12th World Fantasy Convention. Splatterpunk is a style of writing within horror fiction that is graphic and gory, detailing violence with no limits. When I wikied the term I found out that I have been a fan of these authors without knowing it . They too may be your favourite , or soon to become so.

My first introduction to Clive Barker was through the Hellraiser series; not your typical horror movies. The amount and type of violence scared me, even though I usually find most horror movies predictable. I’ve had discussions with patrons on who is better — Jason vs Freddy vs Pinhead. In my mind it would be no contest– Pinhead would win by a mile!

What I find unusual about the creator of Pinhead is that he also wrote some wonderful children’s novels, Abarat and The Thief of Always. I love that Barker has his website divided into 2 sections, one for kids and the other (with parental warnings) for adults. His Books of Blood had Stephen King stating that Barker was the future of horror. Definitely a busy man, people can enjoy Barker’s works in art, films, graphic novels, video games and in novels.

I get a kick out this author’s name: Poppy Z. Brite. I think it is half the reason I even picked up any of her works. Born Melissa Ann Brite in New Orleans she recently announced her retirement on her Livejournal, stating in part that her decision was a result of Hurricanes Katrina and Gustav. I like the dark humour in Exquisite Corpse. Andrew Compton is a convicted homosexual serial killer, cannibal and necrophiliac. After slicing the throat of a man he just had sex with Compton states “you look like a bleeding queer”.

Jack Ketchum’s novels, The Girl Next Door, is once again something I read as result of seeing the movie. Of the movie, Stephen King said “the first authentically shocking American film …. …If you are easily disturbed, you should not watch this movie. If, on the other hand, you are prepared for a long look into hell, suburban style, The Girl Next Door, will not disappoint.” …”.

There is another movie version of this novel entitled “An American Crime” which stars Haligonian Ellen Page. Ketchum based his novel on criminal acts of Gertrude Baniszewski towards Sylvia Likens in 1965. Baniszewski, a single mother of seven children, took in Sylvia and her younger sister while their parents travelled with the carnival. Sylvia became the object of Gertrude’s abuse. She harshly beat the young girls and encouraged her children as well as the neighbourhood children to do so as well. Sylvia was locked in the basement, tied up, starved, beat, burned, raped and tortured. Truly a horrific story.

Some other authors linked to this genre you might want to check out are Joe R. Lansdale, Richard Christian Matheson, Robert McCammon, David J. Schow, John Skipp, and Craig Spector.

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