Over the Edge
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 A mosaic of viscera, excrement, sex, and degradation whirls before our eyes in this anthology of stories and essays that run the gamut from lame and pretentious to genuinely stunning. Sammon, a former film publicist turned literary schlockmeister (he edited Splatterpunks, 1990), introduces this volume with the boast, ``They're bad. They're back. They're women.'' Yes, female authors and characters do feature heavily in this Splatpack, but stories like Sammon's own flaccid entry, ``Within You, Without You'' (in which a rock band sexually mutilates a female teenage groupie on video), and essays such as Martin Amis's self-serving, decade-old interview of filmmaker Brian DePalma (whose oeuvre includes the sexist classics Body Double and Dressed to Kill) serve as a curious counterpoint to the stated focus. Among the better entries are Gorman Bechard's ``Pig,'' a wickedly funny tale about an all-woman vigilante hit squad in 21st-century Los Angeles that simultaneously evokes Philip K. Dick and the frenetic violence of Japanese adult comics; Nancy A. Collins's ``Rant,'' a chilling glimpse into the mind of a deluded messiah; Anya Martin's ``Rockin' the Midnight Hour,'' which examines the connections between horror and rock; and ``Calling Dr. Satan,'' Jim Goad's interview with Anton LaVey, self-proclaimed ``Black Pope'' of the Church of Satan and author of The Satanic Bible. A genre that alternately craves and shuns acceptance, Splatterpunk is (for those not familiar with buzzwords used to pigeonhole literature) an amalgam of slasher films, brooding metal/Goth-inspired rock, and basic naughtiness disguised as nihilism; the editor describes it as ``a method. An attitude. A state of mind.'' This exercise in combining incongruous media elements into one discordant whole could be the real cutting edge--but Sammon dulls it in introductory passages whose smugness and hipster wannabe posturing frequently undermine the authors' contributions.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1994
ISBN: 0-312-85445-5
Page count: 416pp
Publisher: Tor
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 1994