I started watching Scream again. You probably know the franchise, made famous by Wes Carpenter of Nightmare On Elm Street. The young woman alone at home gets the dread phone call asking, “What’s your favorite scary movie?”
Yeah. It was a killer when it first hit, and spawned five sequels plus some spoofs. But I have been watching some of them, along with other horrorific gems, because I just laid down the first words for my first horror novel. Sort of. I do put a foot into horror with my dieselpunk Down Jersey Driveshaft, but not fully.
Now, this is the first book for me in the genre, and it will fall into a specific subgenre (more on that below), but it isn’t my first horror story.
Some time back, the geniuses at Wattpad were laying out offers to write various punk fiction short stories based not only off of a predetermined punk, but also had to funnel out from a given song. Now, if you don’t know me, I am an indie author of punk fiction. Steampunk. Dieselpunk. Decopunk. Gothpunk. Atompunk. Keep going, LOL, because there’s a lot. I’ve covered a lot over the last nine years.
But then Wattpad gave me the Michael Jackson song, ‘Blood On The Dance Floor,’ and the quaint lil’ subgenre called splatterpunk.
I got very, very happy.
One, I’m always up to try a new punk. Second, I love Michael’s music, and the combo of punk+song track did a rare thing: an immediate story idea. A horror tale, similar to the zombie apocalypse oversaturation but without really doing zombies, and let’s set it in my birthplace.
Delaware. The First State. Don’t ask me why, but throughout my journey as an author, I often think of what genre is this place/person/thing. Delaware, to me, would be excellent for horror. It’s low key. Not overly populated. Mostly rural. People keep to themselves. Let’s not forget the history of enslavement, Native genocide, sexism, colonialism, etc. In those dark truths, horror reigns.
From all of this, in the snap of a single synapse, the short story ‘Drinken Alive‘ was born. Tap the title and give her a read. But it’s splatterpunk, so be warned. If I did the subgenre right, it’s less tension and dread, more, well, bloody.
As in by the bucket.
You get the idea.
That’s what splatterpunk is. It sort of says nay to the regular tenets of horror. Tension. Dread. A creature coming at you in slow motion. Those things can be there. But splatterpunk is more concerned with over the top, bloody, disgusting, wretched killing. It’s Kill Bill, but in horror instead of action/drama. It’s extreme horror, almost to the point of tragic absurdity.
So I was super happy to try it out. I feel like I got the gist of it, but I also felt that, once it was done, the story was really just getting started. It needed more. More telling. More depth. More characters.
It needs a full blown, bloodletting novel that drips in your hands.
Something that will make you feel like even three showers taken after you read it, the blood remains in the pores.
If you need more splatterpunk imagery to understand it, try Evil Dead 2, the beautifully hideous Evil Dead (2013) I also watched for the first time in between Scream flicks. Oh, and try the splatterpunk list on Wattpad to keep you busy.
As this is my first post for Threads, let this be my introduction as well as a discourse on splatterpunk and horror. I will gladly discuss any punk subgenre. But for now, my brain is deep in hemoglobin and plotting out the fate of my homeland. The blood, like inspiration, must flow, even if it’s in random spurts.
Speaking of, if you love horror, what’s your favorite book or film? If you write horror, would you try splatterpunk, and who are your fave horror authors?
3 responses to “(Blood) Letting Things Flow”
A fascinating post, negatrite!
Splatterpunk certainly has its fans, although I’m not one of them. And kudos to you for giving it a try.
Would I try writing splatter punk? No. I prefer my horror on the cerebral side of the scale. But even if there is plenty of action, keep the gore off stage.
I’m not much into film, so I don’t have a favorite.
As for fiction, there are a number of standout novels and stories. RH Hale’s Church Mouse and its sequel are marvelous examples of the contemporary vampire novel. Hale’s books are modern gothic at it’s finest. 1984 is a powerful book of political terror. “The Colour Out of Space” is Lovecraft’s finest work, IMO. A great piece of slowburn SF horror. “Pigeons from Hell” and “The Man on the Ground” are two fine examples of Robert E Howard’s horror writing.
As for fav horror authors, it’s difficult to not list Poe, Lovecraft, and Howard. Beyond those three there are many fine writers of horror, both past and present, covering every sub-genre there is.
On the contemporary indie scene, Crispian Thurlborn and John F Leonard are two fine writers of the macabre that come to mind.
I like the occult detective sub-genre. And there are many fine writers in the field: the Heron’s Flaxman Low stories, Hodgson’s Carnacki, and Seabury Quinn’s Jules de Grandin. There’s also The Akuma Files novellas by Jack Tyler. Very good tales.
There is good reading aplenty out there today. Something for everybody.
And welcome to Threads. Glad to have you on board!
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Thank you, sir!
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Wow, what an introduction by a new member of our little group! I continue to be amazed by the parallels between my views and CW’s, though. I don’t care for horror movies, not because I don’t like film, but horror movies in particular have degenerated into a series of jump-scares that numb you to the suspense until by the time the final monster arrives on the screen, your reaction is most often “not again!”
I definitely prefer my horror written; Hollywood doesn’t have the budget to compete with my imagination. As to splatter, I view it the same way I view sex scenes: If it’s integral to the plot, bring it on. If it’s just gratuitous it tends to diminish my opinion of the author… Which, as you might imagine, puts me in an awkward position when it comes to reading splatterpunk by an author I like.
Well, I have a tendency to deliver comments that are longer than the post, so with those high points hit, I’m going to curtail my natural tendencies and just say welcome to the Web, sir. A great first post, and we’ll be looking forward to more!
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