Double Barrel Horror Vol. 2
Edited by Matthew Weber
Pint Bottle Press
July 20, 2017
Reviewed by Brian James Lewis
Before I dig into the review of this fine piece of literature, I’d like to give props to the folks at Pint Bottle Press for letting conservative readers know that this book is not for them or their children. There is a parental advisory stamp on the front cover and to quote from page 2, “The tales presented here are intended to disturb.” Got that? Although I felt a gleeful surge of adrenalin when I read that sentence, not everyone will. That’s why they kindly provided me with a barf bag in case the going got too rough. Readers, you have been warned – so from here on out, NO WHINING!
Double Barrel Horror Vol. 2 delivers the goods and then some! Grab a fresh pair of shorts and let’s hit the street for Blinky by M.B. Vujacic. Ever had somebody tailgate you so damn hard that they’re practically in your back seat? Rod and Emily have. Not only that, but the guy is an ancient creep who has the balls to accost Rod at a stoplight. The problem? “I seen some blinkies in my time, but gosh darn it, you take the cake.” The what, what, now? The old man is very upset that Rod forgot to shut off his left hand turn signal. Rod responds by telling the creepy geezer to get a life and roars off. But Blinky isn’t done. In fact, Rod’s use of profanity when he yelled back at him makes the old man even madder. By the time Blinky catches up to “brats” Rod and Emily, he decides to silence Rod forever. A huge gun makes short work of Rod’s head and Blinky goes on a shooting spree while attempting to end Emily’s life. That’s pretty wild, but wait until you read the twisted end of this story. It’s gonna blow you away! M.B. Vujacic also delivers the chilling tale The Midnight Show. I’m no spoiler, but I will tell you this, it’s even scarier than Blinky!
For story number three, we have Punk Rock Re-animator by Chad Lutzke. It’s a weird horror blast about a professor who likes to frequent the dark, mosh-pit-infested punk rock club that the narrator has been dragged to by his buddy. The only problem is that he’s carrying a syringe. What’s in that thing? The other story by Lutzke, Holes, has us hanging out with the neighborhood watchman, who enjoys keeping track of the neighborhood with his telescope. Today is just another day, until he sees something unique happening. A person is in danger! No, wait-He’s being tortured! But the “victim” is the local loser who’s spent his days ruining life for everyone in the neighborhood. In fact, the guy even killed the watchman’s beloved dog, Quincy. Should he call the cops or join the party?
John Boden contributes the bittersweet horror of There Will Be Angels about a child held captive by a pervert who accidentally died and the kid isn’t long for this world either. Marlene The Magnificent is a portrait of a very unique magician who pulls some amazing things out of her “hat” You may laugh, you may cry, but you won’t be able to forget her.
Simon Dewar’s and Patrick Freivald’s characters have something in common. They’re all on the move. Dewar’s characters are teenagers riding bikes in The Perfect Figure 8 who show us that having just one chance to do things right is enough if you do it perfectly. There’s a Lovecraftian flair to the Black Rock Boys who become one with an ancient totem and unleash lethal force against their enemies. Freivald takes us from ecstasy to horror in Roadkill and gives our blood to one hellion of a little girl. While The Getaway turns into anything but. Sometimes it’s monsters against criminals and when that happens, the criminals do NOT win. All I gotta say is that those guys jacked the wrong BMW! Check it out!
Last, but definitely not least are two stories by Karen Runge, a quickly rising force in the horror world. Her first novel, Seeing Double is currently available from Grey Matter Press. Shellfish is a powerful whirlpool of emotions and ethereal memories. Is the narrator evil, or is it just how she seems? Only she escapes the seaside resort unscathed. Exile is hard to describe. It is a flood of sensations. A woman escapes the city and into madness in a setting that should be a peaceful but is horrifying. Slowly she destroys herself mentally and physically until her spirit travels.
Double Barrel Horror Vol. 2 is an awesome collection featuring a wide variety of flavors for mature readers. Great job of editing, Matthew Weber! Highly recommended! Do yourself a favor and grab a copy today!