Spooky Reads

Tag: splatterpunk

Richard Laymon's The Beast House

Woah! Yes, that’s right. Woah! How else can one start a review of a Richard Laymon ‘Beast House’-based book, but with an exclamation. It probably should be an expletive, given Laymon’s predilection for all things excessive, but I’m feeling a little reserved at present, so a simple woah will suffice. So, where to proceed to next, expletives aside, with this review of The Beast House, sequel to the bloody, over-the-top murder and shock-fest cult pulp-horror book The Cellar? I guess…

The preface to Rock and Roll Reform School Zombies has Bryan Smith scribe a dedication to the punk rock and heavy metal bands that featured prominently in his life; as he clearly states, it’s a nod also to those acts that kept him sane as young man. With a comprehensive list of artists who influenced and motivated him it’s an interesting read for sure, understandable by anyone who feels passionately toward any art, whatever form it takes. He then follows…

The Cellar is the first of Richard Laymon’s Beast House series of books, comprising this novel, The Beast House, The Midnight Tour and the novella Friday Night at the Beast House. It’s not just the first book in this series, but was the first novel that Laymon ever had published, and showed us a glimpse of what would be in store from this great horror novelist. It’s a short, punchy, yet quite brutal novel, but one that doesn’t lack depth…

Shaun Hutson’s debut 1982 novel Slugs chillingly touched upon the dangers of mutation at even the lowest part of the food chain, in a true horror style. Erebus builds upon these foundations by toying further with the kind of haywire, havoc and bloody pandemonium that can occur when the subject of animalistic rampaging fury is a few more steps up the ladder of aforementioned chain. The death of his father brings Vic Tyler back to the small town of Wakely…

Jonny Glynn’s The Seven Days of Peter Crumb is a real horror novel. That’s not to say it’s non-fiction, for this is a lovingly crafted, thankfully invented, tale of debauched serial-killer-style madness. And by that we’re talking genuine ‘chaos in the pre-frontal cortex’ type-stuff, not just ‘two pencils up the nose and boxer-shorts on the head’-inspired fakery. It’s also a book touched with moments of brilliance, but equally counterbalanced with an at times misdirected, overabundance of violence.  When it was…

The Woods are Dark was one of Richard Laymon’s earliest novels. Whilst it’s certainly not the strongest amongst the many horror books which he wrote during his lifetime, it exudes much of that style which came to define one of the canon’s great contributors. He’s also a personal favourite genre writer of mine, but I won’t let that bias the review (too much). The book focuses upon the dangerous and bloodthirsty backwater community of Barlow. Those unfortunates whose travels take…

In an early draft of this review, of this sentence in fact, I used the word decadent to try to describe Brite’s writing in Exquisite Corpse.  Why that word? Because I really wanted to be fair to a text that has been considered by many since its 1996 publication as being an extremely violent, gruesome, torture-porn outing in a world of violence, depravity and death. Everything in the book is amplified to giddy and distressing heights, including extremely detailed descriptions…