BODY ART by Kristopher Triana (Blood Bound Books)
I’ve been reading the work of Kristopher Triana for over a year now. I started with his collection, GROWING DARK and then beta read several things from him before his novel, THE RUIN SEASON carved it’s name in my heart. With his newest novel. BODY ART, Triana tackles erotic horror….or as I beg to clarify, porno horror as I’m old school and tend to think erotic is something a little classier than the type of fuzz bumping shenanigans we get here…but that’s a semantics issue and probably just a personal thing of mine.
BODY ART tells the sordid saga of Kandi, an aging Adult film star who is summoned to the estate of an old producer friend for a role that he swears will be the comeback of the century. He’s quite secretive about the concepts but assures her she will be stunning. Meanwhile, across the lake Toby and Jessica are camping and fucking. Toby is a bit old-fashioned for Jessica who harbors a deep-seated lust and animal hunger for sex that he has only vaguely imagined. When they catch a glimpse of Kandi across the water and decide to go investigate, they find themselves immersed in a strange and eventually brutally batshit scenario of pornography, violence and madness.
Meanwhile…meanwhile, the town mortician is playing with the dead. His ex-lovers start showing up in body bags and he begins a macabre collection. Turns out his connection to the events at the lake house is an important one. And what is the deal with all the weird red dust?
I really had no idea what I was in for with BODY ART. I half expected some sort of A SERBIAN FILM angle and while it is there fleetingly, what we have more of is what I like to call “that surreal splatter”–the hyper-nutso stuff that I couldn’t get enough of in the early 90’s. Novels like THE BRIDGE by John Skipp and Craig Spector or THE JIM-JAMS by Michael Green. Just a sensorial assault that keeps ratcheting until your head threatens to topple from your shoulders.
The story here is original and the characters are richly carved. And while there is a lot of blood and cum spilled, it is all crucial and not for the sake of the shocked gasp. It’s the lost collaborative film from Larry Flynt and David Cronenberg. It’s messy and brutal and a lot of goddamn fun. I strongly recommend it. (John Boden)