Badass Horror

Badass Horror is not kidding. This anthology wastes no time; from the first page it gets right to the point, which is to freak you out with the creepiness and brutality of the seven stories contained within. There isn’t any of the already-cliche self-aware nudge-nudge-wink-wink funny-scary horror either. Nothing but old-school, visceral tales of fright and disgust. The writing is unflinching, the body count innumerable. Most of the stories have no supernatural elements at all, or leave it intentionally ambiguous, preferring to keep the reader guessing while reveling in the revulsion of…well, getting chopped up, murdered and desecrated–and not necessarily in that order. The most notable exception being Michael Hemmingson’s earnestly noir zombie detective story, “Hard-Boiled Stiff” which is written with such a straight-shooting style that it seems perfectly natural to have hippie zombies wandering around 1960s Miami. There isn’t really a bad story in the whole collection, though the end of “The Essences” by Davin Ireland seems a bit psychologically naive, if you ask me. There’s even a story by that guy who played Carter on Spin City, who is apparently a not-entirely-unknown writer of horror fiction. This is a really compelling anthology. If you’re at all into horror, it’s worth checking out. (Richard Rosenbaum)

Fiction, 147 pgs, edited by Michael Stone and Christopher J. Hall, $12.75, Dybbuk Press, 516 W 188th Street, Ste 25, New York NY, 10040 USA, dybbuk-press.com

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