What is Splatterpunk?

The antithesis of soft horror. This subgenre is also referred to as grindhouse, visceral, slasher or extreme horror. Splatterpunk can be dissected by its name. Splatter, like the severe gore of a body splattering against asphalt after falling from a building. Punk, usually revolving around marginalized, in the gutter characters. Compared to other subgenres of horror, it is very unconventional.

Splatterpunk is brutal, gritty, and in your face. It unflinchingly depicts harsh violence without boundaries and cranks the sadism level up to 11. Common themes tend to be technology, disturbing sex, and a massive body count. Splatterpunk aims to make the reader cringe and squirm. Vulgar and extremely graphic could best describe the genre but a more sullen definition would be literary torture porn.


Characteristics of Splatterpunk

Level of Characterization
Moderate to high amount of characterization. The characters that exist in the Splatterpunk world deal with their own crisis's such as existentialist angst, identity, urban decay, etc., when they are still in one piece. Think Travis Bickle meets Pinhead.

Level of Plot Complexity
Usually not complex. Unlike soft horror, there is little room for subtleness. The plots tend to be straight forward and the primary villains easily identifiable. 

Level of Supernatural
The level of supernatural elements depend of the author's preferences. The villains could be aliens or they could be cannibals with no supernatural elements.  

Level of Scary
High amount of tension and discomfort. It has the scare factor of a Slasher film as opposed to psychological or Gothic.

Level of Violence 
Contains more violence than the other horror subgenres...put together.

Typical Setting
The settings are often remote and isolated places. Examples: A cabin in the woods, a decrepit farmhouse, or even intangible

Related Fantasy Sub-Genres

Dark Erotica, Bizarro, and Sci-Fi Horror.

Splatterpunk Isn’t For You If You Dislike

Offensive sex and copious amounts of blood and guts.  


    1. American Psycho, Bret Easton Ellis. Follows Patrick Bateman, stockbroker by day, vicious serial killer by night.

    2. The Hellbound Heart, Clive Barker. A hedonist opens a puzzle box said to hold carnal pleasures but finds hellish creatures instead.

    3. Off Season, Jack Ketchum. Cave dwelling cannibals terrorize a group of friends vacationing in a cabin.

    4. Angel Dust Apocalypse, Jeremy Robert Johnson. Meth-heads, man-made monsters, murderous Neo-Nazis, and the un-dead roam the war beaten streets where nuclear bombs have become self-aware.

    5. The Girl Next Door, Jack Ketchum. Based on the true story of Sylvia Likens who was brutally tortured to death by her foster mother.

    6. Endless Night, Richard Laymon. Killers crash a sleepover but one girl escapes. Rapist and murderer Simon Quist must hunt down and dispose of the only eyewitness to the massacre.

    7. Elfen Lied, Lynn Okamoto. A manga series that tells the story of Lucy, a super-powered escapee from a project where she was imprisoned and studied.  

    8. The Summer I Died, Ryan C. Thomas. Roger is home from college for the summer and is having a fun time with his best friend Tooth until they are Forced to fight for their life against a sadistic killer armed with razor sharp blades and a hungry dog.

    9. The Resurrectionist, Wrath James White. Dale has the power to heal and raise the recently dead. He uses his power to kill the woman next door, night after night but no one believes her story.

    10. Afraid, Jack Kilborn. A helicopter has crashed and unleashed something horrifying. The town of Safe Haven is isolated and terrorized.

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