Archive for September, 2013

Good book review of THE GUNS OF SANTA SANGRE on Hellnotes!

Friday, September 27th, 2013

Reviewed by Michael R. Collings

For connoisseurs of the Old West, Eric Red’s The Guns of Santa Sangre has all the elements of a classic:

*It opens with a fast-and-furious stagecoach heist;

*It has outlaws who, beneath their coarse exterior, boast hearts of gold;

*It has cruel, corrupt representatives of the law, who deserve everything that happens to them, and more;

*It has touches of Seven Samurai and The Magnificent Seven…with perhaps a tiny wink in the direction of The Three Amigos;

*It has sacrifice and heartbreak;

*It has a beautiful heroine disguised as a boy, even though the disguise isn’t exactly perfect;

*It has a town drunk who hides a secret that has kept him alive…and acts as the key to his redemption;

*It has gunplay and horseplay;

*It has a treasure in silver waiting for the taking;

*It ends with the heroes riding off into the sunset, justice…and love…having prevailed.

And…oh yes!…it has WEREWOLVES!

Somehow, though, everything weaves together nicely to create a fun, rapid-paced yarn. The werewolves are given enough background to make their presence entirely logical; and the remaining—human—characters run true-to-type without quite becoming stereotypes. Their actions are at once unique to each and representative of what one would expect in a good Western.

Three gunslingers on the run from an American bounty hunter and the Mexican authorities meet a young Mexican peasant who convinces them to help his small village, now overrun by ruffians who have made their headquarters in the local church. Their reward: the silver statues and other artifacts in the church. All they need to do is kill the ruffians.

Sounds simple enough. Three against a dozen or so…no problem.

Until, of course, one factors in the supernatural. Ruffians killed by day rise again in the night as werewolves, insatiably hungry for human flesh…and they’ve almost run out of villagers.

Quick, smooth, easily read, The Guns of Santa Sangre satisfies on both accounts. It is an almost filmic rendition of the time-honored traditions of the Western, with a deftly handled incursion of the unnatural, with the two blended into a single, intriguing story.

Read the full review at

Great book review of THE GUNS OF SANTA SANGRE at Arrow in the Head at!

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

PLOT: Under a full moon, a hardened trio of Pistoleros are tasked with ridding a Mexican village of a rabid wolf-men infestation.

REVIEW: The great Eric Red has wasted little time pounding out his second novel, THE GUNS OF SANTA SANGRE, which I’m happy to report is an utterly enjoyable read! If his first novel DON’T STAND SO CLOSE was a welcome alternative for the slightly younger crowd who thoroughly despised the TWILIGHT saga, SANTA SANGRE is for the hardened horror head who craves an even more violent, visceral, overall priapic experience. Set in the arid Mexican desert, Red’s prose and storytelling are somewhat redolent of Cormac McCarthy and Stephen King, with SANTA SANGRE evoking shades of what a twisted lovechild of BLOOD MERIDIAN and SILVER BULLET might cast. High praise indeed. Even higher praise is due, because of his many years of screenwriting experience, to the way Red paints such a visual world without subjugating the importance of believable, three-dimensional characters whose journey we truly care to ride along with. Props Mr. Red, you’ve done it once again!

The titular GUNS refer to Tucker, Bodie and Fix – a troika of hired gunmen with a bounty swirling overhead for their inglorious ways – with SANTA SANGRE referring to men’s destination, a small village dubbed Saint Blood, named too for its portentous past. The two troubled nouns are on a collision course of grisly destiny, but until that fateful full-mooned night finally arrives – we live, breathe, drink, sweat and fight with the gun-slinging trio on a bloody warpath of bare survival. Tucker assumes the de facto leader role, Bodie’s a sizable Swede with muscle, while Fix is the consummate pragmatist. Together they’re a formidable gang you don’t want to cross, physically or otherwise. As the story starts, the gunmen are on the run, but they soon happen upon a young peasant girl named Pilar who solicits their much needed help. You see, her family village has been pillaged by a legion of wolf-men – Men Who Walk Like Wolves – a race of 8-foot tall, red-eyed, bear-clawed monsters who skulk the night under a full moon. Quite a tall task for our gruff, no-shit-taking antiheros…especially considering the beasts’ insatiable penchant for human flesh. Are the boys up to it?

What I love most about SANTA SANGRE is the seamless marriage of not just horror and western genres, which I always appreciate, but rather the specific folkloric interplay between the outlaw and the werewolf subgenre. Eric Red is no stranger to such tropes, remember, he made the iniquitously undervalued BAD MOON back in 1996…which sort of touched on similar themes. Here though the gauntlet is thrown down with hardcore force, highlighted by prose and story-action that are boastfully brusque, ultra-bloody and unremittingly brutal. Seriously, if babies getting gulped-up-whole by ravenous Wolf-Men might offend you, well, I say suck it up and take the hit. I really do. For the AITH crowd though, this is a surefire must read…fevered, sweaty and dusty by day…twisted, gory and hyper-violent by night. It’s the kind of successful genre mash-up Hollywood has tried to get right on many a occasion, often with tragic and laughable results. Refreshingly, though only literary at this stage (fingers crossed), THE GUNS OF SANTA SANGRE aims high and hits the bulls-eye dead f*ckin’ center!

Along the way, we meet a few other ancillary characters…many of whom parish, few who survive. One such is an 85 year old drunkard with an intimate knowledge of werewolves, having survived many an ominous full-moon rampage. His liquor stench hides the smell of human flesh, thereby giving him agility. It’s through him we learn more about the feral bloodthirsty beasts that await the gunmen, namely how silver bullets through the heart are the main way to dispatch such a nasty foe. Sounds rudimentary at first, sure, but remember this is the old west. Silver is much harder to come by, and when you finally do procure any amount of it, the raw material must be melted down and molded into properly calibrated ammunition. No easy feat. But quite auspiciously, the gunmen learn that the church in Pilar’s village is rife with all kinds of silver trinkets…many of which promised to them after mission complete. The three brutes agree to help, saddle up, and make their way to Santa Sangre. What bloodily befalls them in the interim is up to you to find out!

Thankfully though, it’s those very auxiliary characters and slight tangential red-herrings that keep the journey from ever being stale. If it weren’t for the offshoots and subtle misdirects, the story might be little more than a compilation of high-caliber action set-pieces, whereupon the trio of gunmen ride into a new town, show down, blow shite up, and move right the hell along (not that that would be a bad thing on its own mind you). As it is, the heft of those gnarly confrontations are more noticeable amid some of the lighter lulls we find all characters – the main three and others, namely Pilar – experiencing throughout. In shorter, there’s a measured balance Red strikes between the hyper-furious shootouts and the contemporaneous character building…and in a true symbiotic fashion, each one makes the other better. Like its own blood-flow, the story stays fresh and it stays rich!

In the end, THE GUNS OF SANTA SANGRE is a fun, good-old-fashioned horror read that often defies werewolf convention. It’s brisk. It’s bold. It’s bloody as hell. And as a lifelong storyteller who thinks in pictures, Eric Red will set us in one direction then deliberately crack the compass and laugh right in our face. Which is fantastic! The book is unpredictable like that, which keeps the story fluid and vibrant all the way to the climax. Spikes of terror, lulls of laughter, extremely well drawn and ultra-violent action scenes, deftly shaded characters we can care and root for…all make for a potent-hundred-proof-brew of fictitious bliss. I shit you not – hardened horror head or not – go out and get this book ASAP!

9 out of 10.

See full review at:

In the mail today. Beautiful hardcover special edition of Dark Discoveries Magazine issue 24! Includes my new short story and an interview.

Saturday, September 21st, 2013

Plus fiction and non-fiction by David Morrell, Jonathan Maberry and others. Come on, how many magazines are cool enough to put out a hardcover collector issue?

My new novella, STRANGE FRUIT, is being published by Evil Jester Press in March 2014.

Friday, September 20th, 2013

It’s a very different kind of murder mystery!

I’ll be doing a book signing for my new novel, THE GUNS OF SANTA SANGRE, at Dark Delicacies in Burbank, CA at 2:00 PM on Saturday, November 9th.

Thursday, September 19th, 2013

The address is 3512 W Magnolia Blvd. Burbank CA 91505.

Creature concept design for my planned Bigfoot film, NO MAN’S RIDGE.

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

Monster design by John Gallagher.

View the NO MAN’S RIDGE sizzle reel at–ridge-trailer

Stunning fan art for my upcoming novel, THE GUNS OF SANTA SANGRE.

Saturday, September 14th, 2013

This is framed on my office wall.   Big thanks to the artist, Bryan Yentz.

The book is being published in trade paperback and eBook by Samhain Publishing in November, and available for pre-order now at

NO MAN’S RIDGE sizzle reel.

Saturday, September 14th, 2013

Check out the trailer created by John Vulich and myself for an upcoming film project.  This sizzle reel was assembled from existing footage:–ridge-trailer

Good book review of THE GUNS OF SANTA SANGRE on The Horror Fiction Review.

Thursday, September 12th, 2013

Tucker, Fix and Bodie are wanted men—rustlers, thieves, killers—hiding out in Mexico. Low on money and nowhere to go, the three gunslingers are hired to protect a small village by Pilar, who has disguised herself as a boy. The church in the village, Santa Tomas, which is now called Santa Sangre due to the massive bloodshed, has been taken over by werewolves and they are holding the villagers as a food source. Pilar needs the gunslingers to get the silver from the church so it can be melted down for bullets, and then they can kill the werewolves.

I have to say, I really like the trend combining horror with Westerns and THE GUNS OF SANTA SANGRE increases my confidence in this surprisingly popular sub-genre. Red’s story is well-written and moves at a very good pace—I felt as though I were reading a novella, it went so quick. Character development is excellent with real depth to all of the main ones, including Mosca, the leader of the werewolves. I could feel Tucker’s conflicting emotions. The gunslingers have committed many crimes over the years, but are they really bad men? I didn’t necessarily think so. Pilar is a strong and positive female character, following her duty to her people and her faith. There is some sexual content (for the squeamish) but it is in context with the story and the time. The origin story of the werewolves is brutal and heartbreaking and almost makes you feel sorry for them—almost. I thoroughly enjoyed THE GUNS OF SANTA SANGRE with its flawed heroes and the savagery of the werewolves. If you have yet to read a horror Western, this is a good book to start with.

-Colleen Wanglund