What are Splatter Westerns? (and Where to Read Them)


Good news for fans of gory horror and pulpy Westerns: Splatter Westerns are here! This subgenre takes elements of “splatter horror” and mixes them with the Old West genre to portray worlds of blood-drenched violence, sometimes with supernatural elements. These tales often feature antiheroes who leave a trail of bodies behind them–and whose exploits you just can’t tear your eyes from.

First: what is Splatter Horror?

This type of horror, originating as a cinematic subtype, leans heavily into graphic and explicit violence and gore (think “splattering” blood and guts) to disturb the audience. Splatter horror shocks and disturbs more viscerally than other types of horror, often to highlight how vulnerable we are in a brutal world.

If this sounds like your cup of tea–and if you love the Old West aesthetic–read on for where to find the top Splatter Western stories.

Where do I read Splatter Westerns?

One publisher in particular is pushing the frontier on this subgenre. Co-founder, Patrick C. Harrison III of Death’s Head Press coined the term “Splatter Western” and launched a Splatter Western series in 2020, which combines Western pulpiness, eye-catching covers and brutal violence. The Splatter Western series kicked off with The Magpie Coffin by Wile E. Young, an extreme horror supernatural tale. With nearly a dozen to date, and some stellar authors lined up for 2022, this publisher is the place to go for your Splatter Western fix.

Splatter Western series from Dead Head Press.

Recent Splatter Western Titles

  • THE MAGPIE COFFIN
    by Wile E Young
  • HUNGER ON THE CHISHOLM TRAIL
    by M Ennenbach
  • DUST
    by Chris Miller
  • THE NIGHT SILVER RIVER RUN RED
    by Christine Morgan
  • STARVING ZOE
    by C. Derick Miller
  • A SAVAGE BREED
    by Patrick C.Harrison, III
  • RED STATION
    by Kenzie Jennings
  • THE THIRTEENTH KOYOTE
    by Krisotpher Triana
    SHADOW OF THE VULTURE
    by Regina Garza Mitchell
  • THE BUILT A GALLOWS FOR YOU AND ME
    by Cody Higgins

These books are not for the faint of heart. They dive deep into the brutal Weird West and feature creative and powerhouse authors such as Wile E. Young, Kenzie Jennings, Kristopher Triana, Patrick C. Harrison III, Christine Morgan, and others.

As one example, Horror Oasis describes The Thirteenth Coyote by Kristopher Triana as: “‘like Evil Dead, dialed up to eleven’ but, honestly, this book makes the Sam Raimi classic seem like a restrained slow burn in comparison.” (For a deeper dive into reviews of the 2020 series, check out Horror Oasis’ full list here.)

Ready to give Splatter Westerns a read? Head over to Dead Head Press to check out their offerings. Not your thing? Check out my list of other Weird Western recommended reads here.

1 Comment

  1. Reblogged this on The Bloody Book Blogger and commented:
    I found this posted on MeltdownMessiah’s (Nikolas P. Robinson) page, originally posted on WeirdWestFiction.com, and this is a Must Read! Everything you need to know about Splatter Westerns, and some great recommendations.

    Like

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