Cavallaro's Cavalcade of Carnage
A double-header of Jack Bantry: first is a bigfoot themed novella, and second is issue #8 of his Splatterpunk Zine.

First impression: great title, and great cover art for The Lucky Ones Died First. Second impression is that it's really short, even by splatterpunk standards (108 pages). I was excited to dig in.

Bantry gets a few things right. The book is very fast paced, the action scenes are fun to read, and it has a nice little nasty ending. However, there were a few things that didn't work for me. For one, you never get a detailed description of the Sasquatch. This "less is more/let the reader use their imagination" strategy could potentially work in other monster novels but the problem with using it in a Bigfoot story is that you run the risk of the reader inserting Harry (Harry and the Hendersons) or the Jack Links Sasquatch into the story-which is exactly what I did. Secondly, I had trouble having affinity with any of the characters, which just turned them into cannon fodder for the monster. Also, all of the cliche' horror tropes were on display here: the mayor concerned with negative publicity (Jaws?!), the professional monster hunter (Jaws?), the scientist who no one takes seriously, and the photographer in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The Lucky Ones Died First, even with its flaws, is still a solid debut from Bantry. Thanks to him for sending us a review copy.

Grade= C-

Next up is Bantry's Splatterpunk zine #8.

Upon seeing this Splatterpunk zine, I was instantly reminded of being in high school and being handed a taped-up, dog eared, and torn up copy of The Anarchist's Cookbook. It's a simple, photocopied pamphlet in black and white. This is splatterpunk in its rawest form. It's literature's equivalent of seeing an explotaition film in a drive-in cinema.

The zine features interviews (Ray Garton!) and also includes fiction by Bracken Macleod, Ryan C Thomas, Nathan Robinson, and Gabino Iglesias. I thought all 4 stories were solid, and all of the interviews were solid. This would be an excellent gateway into splatterpunk for those not familiar with it. Thanks again to Jack Bantry for sending these copies to for review.

Grade= B

Review by Jason Cavallaro

No comments

The author does not allow comments to this entry