Shock Totem #10 (Jan 2016)
- The State of Shock Totem Publications, or We Are Not ChiZine Publications
- Closing for Submissions
- Shock Totem Returns!
- Apex Publications Acquires Shock Totem Book Line
- The Head, the Tail, the Whole Damn Thing: Musings on Jaws, Part 8
- The Head, the Tail, the Whole Damn Thing: Musings on Jaws, Part 7
- The Head, the Tail, the Whole Damn Thing: Musings on Jaws, Part 6
- The Head, the Tail, the Whole Damn Thing: Musings on Jaws, Part 5
- The Head, the Tail, the Whole Damn Thing: Musings on Jaws, Part 4
- The Head, the Tail, the Whole Damn Thing: Musings on Jaws, Part 3
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Tag Archives: Dorchester Publishing
I have long heard Wrath James White’s name being used synonymously with hardcore horror, usually in sentences that also mention Edward Lee . Being a long time fan of Lee’s work, I knew I needed to check this cat out. Color me late to the party, as usual.
Recently I picked up a copy of The Resurrectionist at a used book shop in Rehoboth Beach. Within a day I had finished it. I know it’s such a cliché praise point, but I literally couldn’t put it down.
It is the story of Dale McCarthy, a man with a gift. Dale has the power to resurrect the dead. They have no memory of their deaths, most of the time. Dale is not a good man. He is a sadistic and brutal monster, one that preys on his victims through rape, torture, and vicious murder—only to bring them back to life and clean up the traces of his deeds.
Dale moves to a new neighborhood and comes to like his new neighbors. Josh and Sarah Lincoln, a nice young couple, fall under Dale’s obsessive gaze and soon come to find things are not well. Sarah wakes to flashbacks of horrendous violence and rape. She begins to notice things are different in the bedroom: the sheets are different from the ones she had on the bed upon going to sleep, there are clean spots on the walls and carpet. Eventually she puts it all together, and the story really takes off from there.
How do you arrest a murderer who leaves no bodies behind? How do you explain to the police that you’ve been raped and murdered every night for a week without them hauling you off to the funny farm? These questions become the framework for the second act.
White has a deft hand at surefire pacing and character development. The writing is lean and sharp…no extra wordage for the sake of pomposity. Just what is need to get the story across. His flair for description made everything easy to envision and quite often hard to shake. The lines of good taste are nonexistent in this book. I’m sure White would take that quote as a badge of honor.
This was released in 2009, by Leisure/Dorchester Publishing, before they screwed the pooch. It is definitely worth seeking out if hardcore horror is your cup of tea. Wrath has several books out through Deadite Press, as well. I will definitely be seeking out more if his work.
In 2008,Tim Waggoner put out Skull Cathedral, a supremely short and limited edition booklet, via Squid Salad Press.
Skull Cathedral is a bizarro tale that is a smorgasbord of trippy images, the premise of which appearing to be the delusions of a man going through a barbaric procedure to cure him of his less than pure thoughts. These sections of his warped psyche appear in the form of short chapters where we encounter a wide array of fucked-uppedness. Yes, I invented a word for it.
Behold a smoldering midnight in a town on fire. Hang with a man with assholes for eyes who sprays gawkers with optical diarrhea. Witness a depraved man on a raft stitched from the skin of four sluts as he floats on a menstrual sea…and gets horny. Attend a dinner date with a cannibalistic toddler. This is Bizarro on steroids.
This brief book was my first experience with Waggoner’s work and I can say I look forward to reading more. Devilishly and deliciously disturbing. Available via Squid Salad Press, but it is limited edition, so act quickly.
Jack Ketchum is a name synonymous with brutality and edgy violence. He is quite capable of that on his own. Add to that a partnership with renegade film director, Lucky McKee, and you’ve got a shimmering bouquet of dripping red madness.
The Woman follows the last surviving member of the reclusive cannibal clan featured in Ketchum’s novels Offspring and Off Season. As she stumbles on, weak and wounded, she has the continued misfortune of crossing paths with local lawyer Christopher Cleek, a man highly regarded in his stature and position, but so cracked and flawed in character and soul…well, better to leave the rest for you to discover.
Cleek captures the woman as she bathes in a stream and takes her to his home, imprisoning her in a cellar until he can “tame” her. Which he plans to do with the help of his family. This is where things get very bad.
The Woman takes you just where you expect it to, then kicks you in the shins and knocks you down a dark stairwell, where it then stands above you, sneering as it pisses into your sniveling face. It’s a bully of a novella, populated by some of the nastiest characters ever to live on the page.
My edition comes from Dorchester Publishing and also includes a bonus story, “Cow,” which ups the disturbing ante. It made me feel the need to shower, immediately. That is high praise!