There is something beautiful and poetic about the splatterpunk redneck fiction on display in Edward Lee‘s novella Header (1995) and the long-form novel Creekers (1994).
Lee’s redneck horror pays homage to Richard Laymon‘s novels of backwoods terror as well as James Dickey‘s classic, Deliverance. Lee’s work is violent and nasty, but his pacing and dialogue are so swift and on-target, you’re knee-deep in foul shit before you even know what happened.
Headers is a twisted novella about rednecks that drill holes in peoples’ skulls and stick their erections inside. Creekers is about backwoods inbreds, and the slick tight rope they walk between an ancient evil and the modern plague of drugs.
The drug trade is the backdrop in both Headers and Creekers. Both stories have lawmen protagonists who are down on their luck and looking for redemption. It doesn’t work out so well for either guy.
Both of these novels are rollicking fun, even if they’re bloody disgusting. Like a Quentin Tarantino movie, Lee’s work seems to revel in a cartoonish level of violence and gore while searching for some kind of existential meaning beyond the mutilation and torment of the physical body. There are lots of dirty sex scenes, too. What’s not to like?
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