I must admit to never having heard of Barbie Wilde before she kindly sent me a review copy of Voices of the Damned and after reading it, I’m overcome with the sense of discovering something new, something horrifically bloody, lascivious and wickedly shocking.
Voices of the Damned contains eleven short horror stories, each story is prefaced by a piece of artwork malefic in origin, provocative and enticing hallucinatory visions. Produced by artists synonymous with the genre, Clive Barker, Nick Percival, Steve McGinnis, Daniele Serra, Eric Gross, Tara Bush, Vincent Sammy, & Ben Baldwin. Published by SST publications in Birmingham and available for pre-order now.
The spine of this collection is three stories set in the world of Clive Barkers Hellraiser, Barbie Wilde played the female Cenobite in Hellbound: Hellraiser II released in 1988, a mutilated visage that inspired the exploration of ‘Sister Cilice’ in the Cilicium trilogy. Sister Veronica’s life was work and prayer, her prayers were replied with a cruel empty silence and so the depraved dreams took over. There was a darkness in Sister Veronica that could not be abated, her sanity slowly slipped away and obsessed with her desires, she continually tormented her wretched body until laced with scars. Finally assigned to the library archives she found an ancient manuscript that allowed her passage into the world of the Cenobites.
‘The good Sister’s adoration for mutilation, sensation and agony would be legendary, even in Hell.’
The Zulu Zombies takes its origins from Rorke’s Drift where in 1879, 150 British Soldiers took on a small army of Zulu warriors and if you’ve ever wondered how powerful an orgasm you’d get whilst being ‘seen to’ by a zombie, then Trish will arrest your wonder. John Jones holds unbeknownst to him a container that imprisoned the spirits of the dead Zulu warriors and in a fit of panic he’s just thrown it out of the window. Now it’s time for a Zulu Zombie calamity, Zombie rape and rituals of spirit trapping proportion. Great fun in a dark and twisted fashion.
In American Mutant the Reverend Billy Bob Bannon is the epitome of the smarmy religious TV personality, charismatic, smooth as silk, he owns a cable TV company and preaches to his adoring flock as the donations come in. About to knock one off while dreaming about his last sexual conquest all those years ago he’s woken from his reverie by a cough.
‘Holy Roller levitation was not Billy Bob’s specialty, but it almost looked like it as he leapt out of bed.’
A woman and child, no, could it be the call girl from his dreams, things slide neatly into place in Billy Bob’s mind, ruination and blackmail beckon. But she’s giving him the kid, what to do? Damage limitation and much more.
Next up is The Alpdrucke, a weirdly nightmarish tale of demon harassment, sleep deprivation and the offer of help from an old men who seems to know all about demons and their wicked ways. Botophobia sees Lorraine go back to her parents’ house after the recent car accident that killed them both, a surprise awaits when she discovers an underground shelter and a devastating discovery.
Valeska, is a woman, a Seminal who drains the very essence of a man through his sexual fluids, an erotic story that leaves you hanging on every word for a number of reasons. After a kill she’s kidnapped by the Sanguines and we take a trip into the history of the Saguine, the blood, the fluid and a powerful race that live somewhere in the shadows. Now this is a vampire tale at its heart, blood drinking, cannibalism and plenty of sex, only without the happy ending you’d normally get.
Joining the erotic horror theme is Gaia, a girl raped in the younger years of her life, she shuns contact unless strictly necessary and when two thieves break into her house, hiding is the last thing on her mind. She lies on the floor, and starts to, you know, do something a little unexpected, but hidden in the most unlikely of places is a knife and guess who’s going to feel it glide across their throat.
Polyp is a bit of a worrying creature feature, when Vincent goes into hospital for a colonoscopy, something awakens in his bowels and you might say it objects to the attempted biopsy, it’s not fucking happy.
‘Finally, the endoscope came shooting out of Vincent’s rectum like a missile, whacking one of the nurses so hard on the forehead that she collapsed.’ And then something else, with pretty bad intentions.
In Writers Block, Bartholomew Atkins is going through a bit of a phase, hopefully a trip to Brighton and the Frighteners horror convention can pull him round. Just finishing his wine in the bar before bed, an incredibly attractive woman makes a beeline for him and he’s instantly smitten. And when she asks if he’d like to go to bed with her, well how could he say no. This isn’t a Misery style fan this is something much worse, dominatrix sex, tied up with no way out and the added ingredient of the Prince of Darkness. Can’t go wrong.
Did I like this? no I absolutely loved it, Voices of the Damned is hotter than sex in a sauna, bloody as a severed artery and more twisted than a Zombie’s stomach churning acid orgasm. My favourites? all of them, they all seriously rock and they’re all as captivating as the old handcuffs to the bed post, and we all know you never want out of them unless you’re the guy in Writers Block. If testosterone jumping erotica combined with heart racing fear is your bag of horror then this is just what you’re looking for and Voices of the Damned ranks highly in my box of favourites. Highly recommended.
Words by Paul Nelson, @pgnelson72