Social Media Pageantry and The Death of Weirdo Culture

bizarre-and-weird-people-2When I was a kid, my favorite comic book was The Maxx. Sam Kieth was my hero. Not only was he writing and drawing one of the weirdest mainstream comics I’d ever read, but the mail bag section at the end of each issue made me feel like I wasn’t alone in the world.

This was the early 90s, almost a decade before the internet would take off in earnest and unite strangers the world over. Being the outcast, the weirdo, the nerd, the dork, the loser in your community meant that you were isolated. Alone.

We all coped with this experience differently. For me, it was reading those letters to the editor in the back of The Maxx that made me feel connected to people. My people. Fellow weirdos.

I listened to Art Bell’s Coast to Coast radio and loved the call-in segments. I checked out serial killer books from the library. I read about cannibals. I watched John Waters movies and reveled in the interviews the Dreamlanders did talking about all of the drugs and weird sex they did/had with each other.

I rented movies like Eraserhead. Weird shit like The Jim Rose Circus Sideshow documentary after I saw his appearance on The X-Files and on the Closure video tape of the infamous Nine Inch Nails Downward Spiral tour. Hated, the GG Allin documentary.

I read magazines like Bizarre. Relished the articles about alternative lifestyles. Scarification, branding, suspension, extreme piercing and tattooing. When the internet did go mainstrean, I hung out on sites like Rotten.com and BME.com.

I listened to bands like Skinny Puppy and the Genitorturers, Pigface and Ministry. Weird shit. Shit for weirdos.

What the fuck happened to weirdo culture?

Social Media happened. More importantly, social media pageantry. The first social networking websites were great places to connect with like-minded people. Whether you were a weirdo like me who could rattle off a bunch of random facts about Ed Gein or HH Holmes, or if you were a conservative Christian looking for bible study church groups. Those Yahoo chat rooms, Myspace, Livejournal, IRC and eventually Youtube. These were great places to connect with people all over the world with similar interests.

And then Twitter and Facebook happened. Hashtags happened. Trending topics. Social networks became Social Media. Social Media became corporatized. Monetized. Then it all became political.

When I got into weirdo fiction around 2010 it was already called Bizarro fiction. I fell in love with it instantly. This was people just like me. Sick weirdos expressing their subversive obsessions through fiction. I found titles like Adolph in Wonderland, Abortion Arcade, The Ass Goblins of Auschwitz, Cripple Wolf, The Baby Jesus Buttplug.

This was my scene. This was where I belonged. Offensive literature that didn’t give a fuck who it pissed off. Didn’t pull punches and didn’t cater to mainstream publishing interests.

Only by then, Social Media had already taken hold. By the time I got my foot in the door in the weird fiction scene in 2012, everything had changed and the pageantry of social media was already in full force.

They weren’t called Social Justice Warriors yet, but they were already ripping through the internet subcultures enforcing rules and ruining the lives of anyone who didn’t meet their particular social agenda. Suddenly the same people with bright pink dreadlocks, dirty band shirts and facial piercings whom I’d grown up with and grown to love were spouting off the most intolerant, anti-free speech shit I’d ever heard.

From 2012 to now I’ve watched every deviant behavior performed by my heroes like Howard Stern, Marilyn Manson, even GG Allin and Divine be condemned by the extreme left. I watched in horror as lynch mobs of angry social media users found the home addresses of people’s mothers and brothers. Found out where people worked who dared to express social or political values different from their own and get them fired.

Social media became a weaponized tool for so-called liberals. So-called feminists. The SJW culture is neither of those things but unfortunately many well-meaning people who grew up just like me, who were into the very same things I was into, who consider themselves social outcasts just like I do have labeled themselves liberals and feminists and whatever else the trendy hashtag of the moment is because Social Media Pageantry, because virtue signalling is a REQUIREMENT in today’s online culture.

We don’t have to fear right wing Christians anymore. They’re as scared as us. Corporate social media is run by their enemies and those enemies look for any reason they can to delete social media accounts, humiliate families and get those who don’t fall in line with their narrow view of their world fired from their jobs for expressing opinions that go against current trendy politics.

Gone are movies like Retardead. Gone are books like Ass Goblins. You don’t see that kind of boundary pushing subversive art anymore because people are SCARED. They’re scared of the social media weapon and the militarized mob of puritanical SJWs who police your social media and mine.

Those are the people who are going to share this link with you. Who screen-shot private messages and publicly humiliate their peers for the very same activities they held in reverence just a few short decades ago. The same activities that these people perform in the privacy of their bedrooms. They’re hypocrites cut from the very same virtuous cloth as child molesting priests and politicians who push anti-gay legislation and then get caught in glory holes. Bad people. The worst people. Modern inquisitors. Salem witch hunters.

Gone are personalities like GG Allin. You won’t see anyone like him. You won’t see a modern Divine. You won’t see brazenly offensive movies or literature because we live in a socially censored culture terrified of exposing the darker sides of ourselves for fear of being pulled from our virtual homes by the cyber mobs who get off on exposing our families and our workplaces to the very same behaviors that we expected from our idols before Social Media pageantry ruined everything.

Weirdo culture is dead. We live now in hiding. Waiting for the day that we can be free to be truly weird once again.

 

Vampire Guts In Nuke Town Chapter 0

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Vampire Guts in Nuketown was originally published in 2013. It is available to purchase in full via Kindle or paperback by clicking here.

Chapter 0

BEFORE THE BOMB

“Is it on?”

“Yes, sir. You’re live.”

The man took a deep breath, eyes weary, and looked into the camera.

“My dear citizens of the United States, and those of you watching from around the world,” he said, sweat dripping off his pale, sickly face onto his suit jacket. His eyes were sunk deep in their sockets. He looked tired. A type of tired that no amount of makeup—and he wore much to cover his condition—was going to hide. “I come to you today, not as your president, but as your brother in this crisis. A crisis you all know too well. A crisis that ordinary people on the streets call ‘The Infestation’, an unbeatable virus that’s turning your loved ones into bloodthirsty monsters. But here, in the Whitehouse, we don’t call it The Infestation. We call it The Bitch.”

Murmurs sound off from behind the camera. The President raises a hand, and they go quiet.

“I wasn’t supposed to say that. I’m supposed to follow the script and tell you all that everything is going to be OK, and that we’ve got this situation under control. I’m supposed to tell you all to obey the 5 o’clock curfew, to send only the strongest members of your family out to the food rationing stations, to stay in your homes at all costs, and report any sightings of… the creatures… to your local National Guard liaison.

“I’m supposed to tell you to take your immunity injections, and that more are on the way.

“But after what happened yesterday…” he lifted up his arm and looked at the bloody bandage it wore around the forearm area, “when we broadcast live from the lab to show you concerned citizens the progress we’d made toward a cure, well, I- I just can’t, in good conscience, come on national television and lie to you folks.”

More murmurs.

“I…” The president coughed hard into his hand. He pulled out a handkerchief and wiped his mouth. Blood came away on the white cloth. He swallowed hard and continued.“I’m telling you right here, right now, on live TV, what even the closest members of my cabinet don’t know. I’ve consulted with my top military generals, and indeed those from around the globe, and we’ve come to a conclusion about The Infestation. The only, conclusion, really.”

He looked sternly into the camera, redoubled his focus, and spoke on.

“Our war against these… things. Aw, hell, let’s call them what they are, for once. Vampires! Our war, the global war against these vampire creatures has failed!”

He slammed his fist down on his desk, showing the type of white-bred, southern gusto that had won him the election and re-election. The type of gusto he hadn’t displayed once since the first outbreak occurred over twenty-four months prior.

“Medicine,” he said, looking at his wounded arm again, “has failed us. There will be no cure for this epidemic, this nightmare apocalypse that has swept over our great nation, and the farthest reaches of the world. That is truth, America. Honesty.”

Shouting came from behind the camera. There were sounds of a scuffle, and then a door slamming hard.

“Do not panic, America. Do not panic, planet Earth. Hope is not lost. Where medicine has failed us, science will still be our savior.”

The president coughed again. This time, a fit seized him. His sixty years showed on his face and in his thinning hair as his body shook up and down from the force of the cough. A black-suited man came into frame, taking the president by the arm. He shook the man away, pushing him off camera. When he opened his eyes again and looked into the camera, they were shot through with thick, bulging red veins. When he spoke again, his voice had taken on a gravelly tone.

“Vampires rule the dark, but we will once again own the light. Strategically placed missiles across the globe are preparing to launch, even as we speak, an experimental type of nuclear weapon. This weapon will detonate simultaneously across the vast expanse of our upper atmosphere, triggering a fundamental molecular change in the ionosphere.

“Now, you know me, America. I’m no scientist. I don’t know what that means anymore than you do. But I trust these men and women. They’ve been working for two solid years on this weapon. They are our only hope.”

More coughing. The president was so shaken by the throes that he clutched the corners of his desk. Blood spittle flew from his mouth, flecking the papers laid before him. This time two men came into the shot, offering the president a new kerchief, wiping the dripping blood from his mouth. One of them said, “This interview is over, sir. Let’s get you back to bed. This was a bad idea.”

He shook them off. “Let me finish, damn you! I’m almost through!” The men backed away.

“The scientists have told me that the nukes are harmless to you and I; that the radiation will be pulled up and out of the atmosphere, creating a new layer of energy around the planet, a layer that will filter sunlight in such a way as to attack the corrupted cells mutated by the Infestation virus. Make no mistake. It won’t cure the afflicted. It will destroy the damn things! We call The Infestation Virus “The Bitch” because that’s what we’re going to make it, Citizens of the world! Our Bitch! We will eradicate this plague on our people! We will survive this horror! We will once again rule this planet!”

With that, the coughs seized him entirely. He slumped over on the desk, coughing, hacking, and spitting blood. After a few moments, he was silent.

The two men came back into the frame, attempting to lift the president from his desk. When he lifted his head again, his eyes glowed a preternatural solid red. Like a spotlight from hell blasting out from inside his head.

Voices from behind the camera cried out, “He’s changing! Get away from him, NOW!”

Before the two men could react, the president whipped out his hands, clutching them both by their throats. Their surprised, choked sputters found a quick end when he crushed both of their esophagi simultaneously.

The skin on his face and head began to twitch and squirm before the camera. He opened his mouth, revealing rows of fangs too large to be contained within his human jaw line, so it grew to accommodate its new cargo. As did his ears, gaining six inches and ending in points; forehead, widening; and brow, growing ridged and thick. His nose shrank, receding almost entirely into its own footprint, then shriveling into a raisin-like black scrunch in the middle of his face. Fine, red hairs slithered out of his open pores, covering most of his face and filling in his receding hairline. Finally his skin turned, in a matter of seconds, from a rosy pink to a dark brown.

The President stood, screeched a loud, inhuman sound from between his massive new jaws, and flipped the enormous desk forward, smashing into the camera and three men standing behind it, their screams of pain distorting the sound of the broadcast. The camera survived the impact, laying now on its side, filming the horrific scene at an odd angle from the floor, an angle which allowed the entirety of the nightmare beast to be shown, head to toe. Growing to nearly 8 feet tall, the thing had shredded its suit and slacks. Its huge, clawed toes stuck comically from ruined shoes. A pair of hideous prehensile wing appendages jutted out of its back, swaying threateningly with their razor-sharp, single-clawed tips.

The door crashed open, off camera, causing the monster to look up and screech again, defiantly ripping the remainder of the shredded clothes from its now massive form.

“Go, go, go, go, go! Take him down! Take him down!”

A young man in a black suit and glasses with a white ear piece dove into the shot, arms spread wide, protecting the vampire president from harm.

“He’s still the president! Back down, now! You have no jurisdiction in the White House! I will consider any act of violence upon his person a Coup attempt! I will personally-“

And then the vampire reached out, grabbed the young man’s head, opened its enormous fangs, and sunk them deep into his brain. Clear cerebral fluid and blood gushed out of the jagged holes in great spurts. The man convulsed in the vampire’s arms. His sunglasses fell off, revealing eyes already rolled into the back of his head.

The vampire screeched again in defiance, tossing the helpless body to the floor. It landed directly in front of the camera. The man’s face contorted and twitched. He gurgled as the seizure continued, foaming at the mouth, bleeding from the ears and nose.

“Fire!”

Gunshots ripped through the air, smacking into the vampire’s wide chest with a series of quick thump, thump, thumps. The monster staggered backward as the gunfire continued. Black glowing blood erupted from its wounds, but it did not go down. Instead, it pushed forward into the hail of bullets until it stood directly above the Secret Service agent dying on the floor. Only its taut, muscled leg remained in the shot.

A stream of urine rained down on the man’s face as he died, an act of inhuman ferocity that would serve as the final publicly broadcasted image from the United States Government. The signal was cut off, replaced with a marker and looped music. It read:

“Please Stand By. Make sure to take your immunity shots twice daily and report any suspicious behavior to your local National Guard Liaison. We must persevere. We must be vigilant. Together we will survive. We will return you to your regularly scheduled programming shortly.”

At 6:41pm August 9th 2020, just twenty-four hours after the last Presidential Address, the nukes launched, and everything changed. Forever.

***

Check back next month for the next exciting chapter of Vampire Guts In Nuke Town, or click here to buy the full novel via Kindle or paperback on Amazon.com.

Kevin Strange Is This Week’s Guest On The Horror Show With Brian Keene

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It was my honor and privilege to be invited onto The Horror Show With Brian Keene this week, along with my good friend, author John Bruni. The episode airs on TheHorrorShowWithBrianKeene.com at 7pm EST Thursday, September 22nd 2016.

The Horror Show is also available through ProjectiRadio.com, iTunes, Stitcher and all other major podcast channels. But before you listen to the episode, I’d like to give you a little backstory on how I ended up a guest on one of, if not THE most popular horror fiction related podcast on the internet.

Our history with the show, beyond both being huge fans of both Brian Keene’s fiction (which can be found here, if you’re not already familiar with him) and The Horror Show podcast, started when the two of us both ran ad copy on the show way back in January. Only the ads didn’t run. For either of us.

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After a few months, John (whose great books can be found here) and I talked about how we’d heard episodes that had no ad copy since we’d paid for our spots and found it odd that ours had never aired. So we both independently contacted Project iRadio (The Horror Show’s podcast network) and asked if there had been some kind of mix up.

It turned out there had been, which lead to a hilarious bit on the following week’s show where Brian gave John and I both cover blurbs for our books since the network had screwed up the ads.

One thing lead to another and both John and I were extended invitations to appear on the show as future guests. Which got me thinking. I’ve hung out with John many times while on trips to Chicago for writing related activities and even personally vouched for John with the Bizarro Writers Association’s midwest chapter.

So I called up John and asked if he would be interested in joining me on a crazy cross-country adventure which would see me hopping a train to Chicago, hooking up with John, then driving the nearly 12 hours to appear on The Horror Show together.

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A little more back story is necessary. Way back in 2006, I met filmmaker Mike Lombardo (check out his awesome body of work here) just as both of us were starting out in our burgeoning filmmaking careers.

He and I supported each other for years online, and became great friends. Over the years, he and Brian Keene also became great friends and business associates.

Through a bizarre coincidence, years later when I would start my career as a fiction writer, I found the bizarro writing scene and the pinnacle of bizarro fiction, Eraserhead Press. Eraserhead happens to own a horror imprint called Deadite Press which happens to be the trade paperback home of author Brian Keene.

The fates, it seemed, were going to make sure that Brian and I met. And so we did. John Bruni drove us the 11 some-odd hours to Mike Lombardo’s house where we would ultimately end up recording this week’s episode of The Horror Show. You can read all about the rest of the trip beyond the recording of the podcast by clicking here to read my weekend recap.

I’m not going to talk about the show itself. I want that to stand on its own. I will say that the energy in the room was electric as Brian, Dave, Mike, Marry, Phoebe, John and myself spent two hours talking about writing, metal music, godzilla movies, Billy Zane in The Phantom, porn, publishing and so much more.

I wanted to gimg_20160918_145624ive shout-outs to my friends and fellow authors Danger Slater, Melissa Lason and Michelle Garza The Sisters Of Slaughter, CV Hunt, and fellow Project iRadio podcaster and host of Bizzong, Frank Edler.

But alas, I was overwhelmed when Brian and his crew rushed into Mike’s house and I just sort of hung on for dear life as the podcast started and 7 people started talking. But i suspect a great number of people are going to visit this post over the next few days so please consider this your shout-out, guys. Sorry I messed that one up!

Please give this week’s show a listen, even if you aren’t an avid podcast fan or even a fan of Brian Keene. This show is what happens when a bunch of great people travel great spans of time and space for an opportunity to chat with one another. We did good, gang. I’m proud. 🙂

#MyToxicWasteParty Weekend Recap

img_20160918_111750I’m not exaggerating when I say that this past weekend was one of the top 5 craziest weekends of my life. I feel like I lived an entire month in the span of a few days.

This was, of course, exacerbated by the fact that I coordinated the release of my brand new book ALL THE TOXIC WASTE FROM MY HEART to drop the same weekend. So I spent the entire week leading up to the trip frantically formatting and designing the book.

Then I hopped on a train at 4:00AM Friday morning for Chicago Illinois where I met up with the real hero of this story, John Bruni of TALES OF QUESTIONABLE TASTE fame. This motherfucker had just gone through emergency dental surgery and still toughed it out and drove us the 11ish hours from downtown Chicago all the way to Lancaster Pennsylvania.

We rolled into town in the dark of night somewhere around 11pm Friday night, where we were greeted by one of my absolute favorite people on the planet, Mike Lombardo.

Mike played host to us and we stayed up way late into the night talking about all sorts of crazy shit, making Friday the second day in a row that I got zero sleep.

Saturday we got out of bed early and ran around Lombardo’s home town eating and perusing used book stores, just barely getting home in time to meet up with the one and only Brian Keene of THE RISING and EARTHWORM GODS fame.

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If ya don’t know, Brian hosts one of the most popular literary podcasts in the world called The Horror Show With Brian Keene. Now ya know.

Brian showed up with his co-host and producer Dave along with author Marry Sangiovanni (another great writer!) and Dave’s girlfriend Phoebe (one of the BEST horror show personalities.) For those of you who are avid listeners of the show, you’ll remember from a few weeks back the now classic Phoebe and Lombardo book club show.

So with this full house of great people we proceeded to have some of the most fun I’ve ever had recording. Mr. Bruni and I were honored with the privilege of being guests on the show for this upcoming week’s episode which airs Thursday, September 22nd 2016 from Project iRadio, iTunes and all other podcast programs on the net.

I’m not going to say anything else about the show because the energy and joy we had hanging out as a group absolutely comes across and if you’re friends and/or fans of any of the individuals involved, you owe it to yourself to give it a listen and laugh along with the rest of us!

But that wasn’t nearly the end of this adventure.

Saturday night, Lombardo took us on some more home-town adventures where we ended up at one point at a carnival complete with funnel cake and a professional fireworks display. Again we stayed up way late into the night talking crazy shit and once again got barely any sleep at all.

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Sunday we got up early and headed up to a local restaurant where Lombardo convinced the wait staff that it was Lex Quinn‘s birthday. For those who followed my trip on Instagram and Snapchat, you’ll know that we horrified Lex with a loud and obnoxious rendition of happy birthday while she wore her Jim Dandy birthday crown. Great, great fun.

From there, we proceeded to Philadelphia and the infamous Mutter Museum of medical oddities. You know, for being the author of such fucked up books, stories and movies, I sure have a weak stomach for this kind of thing. From the skeletons of midgets and giants, to Albert Einstein’s brain, to a giant preserved colon, I was able to hang pretty tough, that was until we got downstairs to the seemingly endless wall of pickled deformed babies….

After we finished getting our brains bleached by the insane specimens of The Mutter Museum, we hooked up with a local friend of Mike’s and then we proceeded to hit the Philly used book stores and actually came across a signed copy of my very first book as an author and publisher, the STRANGE SEX anthology! What are the odds of that? Awesome.

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We had some local Philly cuisine, then headed back to Lombardo’s house where Bruni and I were treated to a very special screening of Mike’s upcoming feature film, I’M DREAMING OF A WHITE DOOMSDAY.

Even though I was operating on almost zero sleep for an entire weekend now, I was still blown away at the quality of Mike’s movie. I’ve known him for a long, long time. Since both of us were making backyard splatter flicks on crappy cameras. I’m so proud of my dude for sticking to one of the hardest artistic jobs there is and getting better and better with every movie he makes. This is the one. You better not sleep on Mike Lombardo, he’s the guy to look out for.

After even less sleep than any of the previous nights, Bruni and I hit the road at 6am Monday morning and made the long, LONG trek back to Chicago where thankfully Bruni got to end his journey and get some much needed rest for himself and his cadaver tooth. I then got on another train and, after 19 hours on the road, finally got home around 1am Tuesday morning.

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Holy SHIT what a trip!

I can’t thank John enough for taking on the huge responsibility of driving us across country. I couldn’t have had this crazy adventure without him! We’re now road brothers for life, my guy. Never forget that!

I’m forever in debt to Lombardo for championing me after I transitioned from film making to publishing, leading to this unique opportunity to be a part of The Horror Show, and for being such a gracious and cool host for the weekend. Expect me back sooner than later, sweetheart!

And I can’t forget a shout out to Lex for putting up with Lombardo’s and my antics all weekend. Just having one of us to deal with is a chore, let alone having BOTH of us in your ear endlessly fucking with you. You’re one of us now, kid! Happy Re-Birthday!

And lastly, I have to give a huge thanks to Brian and Dave (and Marry and Phoebe!) for having us on as guests and having the faith in us that we’d put on a quality show.

I really, really do hope you’ll give this week’s show a listen. It was SO SO much fun!

All The Toxic Waste From My Heart Is Available NOW!

It’s here, gang!toxicwaste194x300-1 My brand new book All The Toxic Waste From My Heart: Stories by Kevin Strange is a collection of 14 of my weirdest most fucked up tales to date.

And if you know me, you know that’s saying something! This collection is over two years in the making and features MANY never before released stories including Whale Farts, The Nowhere and one of my favorite stories I’ve ever written, Lich Tits, a sword and sorcery yarn that pits a sexy lich woman against my rustic fantasy hero, Korek.

So how do you get this book? Easy! It is available three different ways. First, you can buy it on Amazon Kindle for $4.95.

Second, you can buy it from Amazon in paperback for $10.99. But if you’re a REAL collector of Strange Fiction, you can buy it directly from me from my Square Store for $15.00 postage paid AND for the first week, if you buy All The Toxic Waste From My Heart from the square store, you can choose one other Strange Book absolutely free!

As if THAT wasn’t enough, ALL Strange Books on the square store are currently discounted to 10 dollars for a VERY limited time!

Each order from the square store receives a personalized inscription and signature absolutely free. And if I have time, I also like to doodle self portraits onto the packaging material.

So there you have it, gang! Please show your toxic love by choosing one of these three easy ways to buy my brand new collection! I hope you like it! 🙂

Kevin Strange’s Top 7 Toxic Waste Movies

toxicwaste194x300-1Gang! Let’s kick #MyToxicWasteParty off right! In celebration of my newest book release, All the Toxic Waste From My Heart: Stories by Kevin Strange (available for pre-order now,) I’ve put together a SWEET movie viewing list to get ya’ll in the mood to read my newest devastating literary accomplishment! Below are my absolute favorite toxic waste movies.

All of these movies have a theme that was prevelent during the 1980s, long before the current climate change craze became the newest bleeding heart fad-of-the-moment. In the 80s, quicksand, roaming gangs of street punks and motherfucking toxic waste were my generation’s biggest fears.

These movies are gratuitously violent, over the top gory and a HELL of a lot of fun. Before you even THINK about cracking open my new book, watch all the flicks on this list!

robocop_film7. Robocop (1987)

You might be asking yourself, “wait a minute Kevin Strange, you done lost your mind. Robocop isn’t a toxic waste movie.” And you’d be right. I am out of my mind. But not about Robocop! There’s a toxic waste scene in Robocop.

Why would I include a movie that only has one small scene about toxic waste in a list about toxic waste movies? Because Paul Verhoeven is a bad motherfucker who makes super ultra violent movies and even though there’s absolutely no reason for it, he put a god damn toxic waste scene in his futuristic dystopia movie about a cyborg cop fighting crime.

This scene is is definition of “violence for violence’s sake.” It is gratuitous, it serves absolutely no story purpose and it is one of the coolest fucking meltdowns you will ever see in trash cinema!

Basically, one of the bad guys crashes into a random barrel of toxic waste stored at the big warehouse during the climactic action scene. As if it wasn’t enough that the bad guy crashes into a huge vat of toxic waste, he actually gets back out and walks around with his body parts melting off! As if THAT wasn’t enough, another bad guy smashes right into him, splattering him all over the windshield! I’m sorry, but ANY self respecting lover of slime cinema has got to include Robocop on their list.

 

teenage-mutant-ninja-turtles-ii-the-secret-of-the-ooze-53d0240fbb41b6. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Secret of the Ooze (1991)

Man, was a I a Ninja Turtles kid. Collected the comics, watched the cartoon, loved the first movie. But when I got Ninja Turtles 2: Secret of the Ooze on VHS tape when I was 12, I watched the fuck out of it every single day!

Back when the absolutely awful Michael Bay produced remake came out a few years ago, people tried to bust on this movie like “You don’t like this Michael Bay piece of crap but you liked Secret of the Ooze? Har har har!”

Yeah, motherfucker! I LOVED Secret of the Ooze. I loved Razar and Toka. I loved Super Shredder. I loved the pizza delivery sidekick. I loved EVERYTHING about this goddamn movie, which of course is centered around the toxic waste ooze that originally transformed the turtles and splinter into mutants.

Shredder gets his hands on some and kidnaps one of the TGRI scientists in order to create his own super mutants with which to fight the turtles. And they’re COOL AS FUCK big ass Jim Henson-esque muppet mutants!

The whole thing climaxes with a dance off in a club with, I shit you not, Vanilla Ice! V-Ice even recorded a brand new song for the movie, the ninja rap! If you don’t know, now you know, kid. Ninja Turtles 2 ain’t nothing to sleep on.

 

5. C.H.U.D. (1984)p45901_d_v8_aa

Fucking C.H.U.D. The title of this trashy little flick is an acronym that stands for Canibalistic Humanoid Underground Dweller. How cool is that?

C.H.U.D. might be the movie that inspired every other goopy slime monster movie after it. At the very least it was part of a great trend in the 80s of marketing gross-out stuff to little kids, myself included. C.H.U.D. stands right there along with the Garbage Pail Kids, Mad Balls, and Boglins. What a glorious time to be a kid!

Anyway, so these toxic waste monsters eat homeless people, and since the homeless population has dropped, the toxic monsters have come to the surface and started feeding on the regular folk.

But more than anything, C.H.U.D. is probably most remembered as the movie that came before the jaw-droppingly awful sequel C.H.U.D. 2: Bud the Chud. I’m talking, take everything that was OK with the first flick, throw it out the fucking window, and then add song and dance numbers and a completely over-the-top slap-stick comedy style to it. Yeah. It’s really that bad.

C.H.U.D. might not be quite as bad as its sequel, but it’s definitely the weakest movie on my toxic waste flick list.

 

download4. Return of the Living Dead (1985)

Night of the Living Dead is on every horror purist’s top most influential horror movie list. Romero invented the modern zombie for fuck’s sake!

But every trash cinema lover can tell you, the BEST zombie movie from the 80s was Return of the Living Dead. Featuring zombies, slime monsters, and that god damn roaming gang of punks everyone was scared of in the 80s!

Trioxin is some nasty stuff. It reanimates the dead! The government bottled it up in air-tight barrels and stored the shit all over the place and then forgot all about it. God damn government.

So blah blah blah, one thing leads to another and a couple of goofballs release the Trioxin gas all over a cemetery. All hell breaks loose when zombies start crawling up out of the ground forcing the punks and the goofballs to fight for their lives as the whole town is overrun by the dead.

Standouts here are Linnea Quigley’s turn as “Trash” a red headed punk girl who loves to get naked and fantasizes about being killed by a group of old men. She gets her wish when a bunch of zombies rips her to shreds, bringing her back as the (second only to ROTLD 3’s Julie) sexiest zombie bitch, ever!

Also we get to meet the zombie stored inside the barrel of Troxin, Tarman, one of the coolest looking zombies you’ll ever see in cinema of ANY era. Really ALL of the zombies in this flick are inspired and original. A classic treat for any gore hound and zombie lover, and a stand out on my weird little toxic waste movie list.

 

3. Street Trash (1987)p50444_d_v8_aa

I’ve already used Street Trash on a list here on the site, and guess what? I’ll probably put it on two or three more lists before it’s over because this movie is fucking badass!

Viper is a toxic liquor that violently turns anyone who drinks it into a melted puddle of technicolor goo.

This is another homeless people movie from the 80s. It seems like in addition to quicksand and roaming gangs of punks, Hollywood really wanted a young and impressionable Kevin Strange to believe that homeless people were going to play a MUCH bigger role in my life than they ever actually did.

Still, the best scene in the movie (and there are MANY outrageously violent scenes in this movie!) is when a bum downs a whole bottle of Viper while taking a shit on the toilet. He completely melts down into one of the gooiest, grossest piles of gunk you’re ever going to see in a movie.

This ain’t one to miss if you love sleazy cinema. It’s also quite possibly the meltiest movie of all time. If you love melt movies, be sure to check out my previous movie list for Kevin Strange’s top 6 melt movies!

 

maxresdefault2. Class Of Nuke Em High (1986)

Love em or hate em, Troma was without question the king of the toxic waste movies of the 1980s. So much so that on my short list, Troma appears TWICE!

Class of Nuke Em High is the natural follow up to Troma’s first bonafied horror hit, The Toxic Avenger and it is probably a better movie. Nostaliga rules though, and I have to cite Toxie as my favorite Troma film, maybe because I saw it first, or maybe it’s because I have a thing for blind blonde bimbos who fuck stomach-turningly ugly mutant men.

But back to the flick in question. Class of Nuke Em High is bigger, weirder and WAY more toxic than Toxie 1. Troma had a lot more money to work with this time around and it shows. The monsters are bigger, the slime is gooier and the girls are sexier.

Essentially, a small group of Tromaville Highschool kids has to battle a gang of mutated freaks called the Cretins and a toxic waste mutated monster fetus after an accident at the Tromaville nuclear power plant spills toxic chemicals into the school’s water supply.

This flick is every bit as loud, obnoxious, pervert and bloody as any exploitation film you’re likely to find. And I’m serious when I say that if The Toxic Avenger didn’t exist, this would be the best Troma movie of all time. It’s definitely the high water point of the company, and a rock solid number two on my list of toxic waste flicks.

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1. The Toxic Avenger (1984)

Everybody has that one thing. That thing which will define the course of the rest of their lives. For me, it was when twelve year old Kevin Strange first rented The Toxic Avenger on VHS at my local video store.

This movie was everything that described my life. The character of Melvin was a complete social outcast and nerd, and yet even after he became a super human toxic mutant violent killing machine, he still had a soft side. He was still a good person under all the ugliness the world had afflicted him with.

It sounds silly, but it affected me profoundly and not just from an artistic perspective. Sure I would go on to write and direct what would amount to be little more than tiny no-budget love letters to Troma, but more than that, I felt an emotional connection to Toxie in a way I was never able to do with the other 80s action movie heroes like Stalone and Schwarzenegger.

And further more, Toxie was MINE. Nobody at school was watching this weird crap. This wasn’t my parents’ horror movie, it was MINE and mine alone. Some monster kids had Dracula and Frankenstein. Some had Godzilla or Ultraman. But me? I had the motherfucking Toxic Avenger all to my own weird self.

Anyway, it’s about a kidnamed Melvin the Mop Boy who falls into a vat of toxic waste, becomes a super hero mutant monster and saves Tromaville from a corrupt mayor while also finding the time to bang his hot blind wife. And it is without question the best God damn toxic waste movie ever made.

If you’re only going to watch one movie on this weird list, make it The Toxic Avenger. If you’re into odd crap, goofy gore and off-the-wall violence, you can’t do any better than this disasterpiece of modern sleaze.

That’ll do it for this list, gang. Goodnight, and please buy my new book.

 

All The Toxic Waste From My Heart Pre-Order Starts Saturday 9/17/16!

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Gang! My brand new book, All The Toxic Waste From My Heart: Stories by Kevin Strange, goes up for pre-order on KevinTheStrange.com next Saturday, September 17th, 2016! I’m throwing #MyToxicWasteParty in celebration!

What the hell is a toxic waste party? I don’t have any fucking idea, but I’m going to have a sale on all of my StrangeBooks for the occasion! What does that mean to you? It means that when you pre-order a signed and personalized copy of the new collection for 15 bucks, you can choose ANY OTHER StrangeBook for no extra cost! The best part? THAT book will be signed and personalized by me as well!

This sale includes the FINAL TEN LIMITED EDITION copies of Inside An Asshole, my gut-wrenching hardcore horror novella that WILL NEVER BE REPRINTED AGAIN as a stand alone book. Get those last ten copies while supplies last!

As if that wasn’t enough to get hyped as fuck about, I’ve got more fresh flavor for you StrangeHeads! This is a toxic waste party after all! (whatever the fuck that is.) In addition to the buy-one-get-one pre-order, ALL STRANGEBOOKS will be discounted to ten dollars with FREE SHIPPING! Get any or all StrangeBooks in the entire Strange Catalog for only ten dollars! Tell me this isn’t the best toxic waste party you’ve ever been to! (Never mind that it’s probably the only toxic waste party you’ve ever been to.)

So join me here on Saturday the 17th for #MyToxicWasteParty and the pre-order release of All The Toxic Waste From My Heart!

I Can’t WAIT for you all to read this collection! 😀

Kevin Strange’s Ash Vs Evil Dead Season 1 Review

I am a lifelong, anTitanic Blood And Steel 2012d I mean lifelong fan of the Evil Dead franchise. I credit Evil Dead 2 as my favorite film of all time. It was my first introduction to H.P. Lovecraft’s Necronomicon. And I have devoted many scenes in my films and pages in my books to both subtle and not so subtle homages to this fantastic series by Sam Raimi and his crew of cinema soldiers. And I even hired Danny Hicks who played Jake in ED2 to read an audio version of one of my Lovecraftain short stories.

To say I’m a fan of Ash and Co. would be an understatement. I’ve been obsessed with Deadites and chainsaw wielding douchebags since before I had pubic hair. Now, as a 36 year old man, I and every other horror lover on planet Earth got to experience that backwoods, demonic possession, goofy one liner and over-the-top gore world once again. Does Ash Vs Evil Dead season 1 live up to its 30+ year legacy, or is it just another cheap TV horror nostalgia cash-in?

It’s not surprising that I loved this new series, but I would be lying if I said that I didn’t watch the pilot with a lot of apprehension. It had been many years since the crew of Bruce, Sam, Rob and them had taken up the chainsaw and boom-stick. For a lot of years, they said they would never revisit the property. Then, out-of-nowhere, there was a remake (which I loved. The director and star went on to make this month’s hottest horror film Don’t Breathe, btw.)

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Just as out-oh-nowhere was the announcement that Starz had ordered an Evil Dead show to series. With Sam Raimi writing and directing the pilot episode and Bruce Campbell reprising the role of Ash after nearly 20 years.

And then it was here. And it was awesome! The show wastes no time reminding us of how much of a complete loser douchebag Ash is, and how much he still loves himself. My favorite part of this new Evil Dead story is that, essentially, the only reason these new events with the Deadites are happening is because Ash gets fucked up with some chick he met at the bar and reads out of the Necronomicon to get laid. That’s just such an amazingly Ash thing to do.

The addition of Pablo and Kelly really works well here, as it allows Ash to comment on current social issues in the most awful and pompous ways possible, while having characters from this generation to keep him in check.

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Now, there are sloppy episodes in this season. They’re not all winners, but the gore is so on point and the good episodes are so great, that the totality of Ash Vs Evil Dead Season 1 ends up being a lot more good than bad. High points for me include the episode “Books from Beyond” and the glitch demon Eliogos as well as the episode “The Host” where Kelly gets evil and sexy. You’ll never look at bong smoking the same way again…

And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Lucy Lawless’s turn as Professor Knowby’s daughter Ruby. She adds that air of sincerity as an actress that keeps this series from floating away on Ash and Pablo’s goofball antics.

Probably the saddest episode is “Ashes to Ashes” wherein Ash returns to the Cabin from the original movies and the Deadites taunt him saying that he’s gotten everyone he’s ever loved killed. It’s sad because they’re not wrong. And his Ash vs. Ash scenes were as epic and fun as anything in the original run of the movies.

In the end, I’ll give Ash Vs Evil Dead Season 1 4 Strangeheads out of 5 for amazing gore, great fun, and awesome monsters bringing my all time favorite horror franchise into 2016 in a big, sincere way. Raimi and Co. did not half-ass their return to their most beloved franchise, and this weirdo can’t wait till October for Season 2 and more bloody, outrageous fun with Ash, Pablo, Kelly and Ruby!

4outot5strangeheads

Free Strange Story: Gods Act

Gods Act

by Kevin Strange

Originally published in The Last Gig on Planet Earth and Other Strange Stories. Available now on Amazon.com.

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Edwin spotted them the moment he stepped off the train. The Men In Black. The Spooks.

That lying fuck!” He said, under his breath.

Edwin turned to hop back on the train but the shorter, stockier of the two spooks grabbed his backpack, easily overpowering Edwin’s smallish, fourteen year old frame and halting any forward progress.

Edwin Marshalls, by order of Department of Homeland Security, you’re coming with us.”

How original.” Edwin quipped, brushing his shaggy brown hair back into his eyes, as they marched him toward their black Escalade.

The taller, fatter of the two forcefully took Edwin’s pack off his back.

Are they in the bag?” Fatty asked. His accent was decidedly southern.

Are what in the bag?” Edwin asked, playing dumb.

As they rounded the corner away from the crowded train station, away from prying eyes, the short one punched Edwin in the side of the face, sending Edwin sprawling onto the sharp gravel below his feet.

Ow.” Edwin looked around at the empty parking lot hoping to spot some means of escape.

There’s nothing in the bag.” The tall one said into the communication piece attached to his ear.

Edwin felt a molar come loose when he nudged it with his tongue. He spat out blood and said, “Where’s Brad? Brad told me he’d be here. I explicitly said no spooks.”

Bradley Charnle is dead.” Shorty said. His accent was unidentifiable, due mostly to his pronounced and ridiculous lisp. “Give us the stones. They’re highly unstable. This is a very serious situation, Edwin.”

Edwin cursed under his breath. Fuck, he thought as he stood on shakey legs. It’s over. Defiant till the end, he said, “Five million in cash. That’s what I asked for, that’s what I’m getting if you want your little alien rocks.”

Shorty whipped the rear passenger side door open. He forced Edwin inside. He crawled in beside Edwin as Fatty got into the driver’s seat, started the truck, and pulled away.

Shorty took off his generic black sunglasses. Edwin was half surprised to see brown eyes behind them. He sort of expected them to be black like everything else these goons carried.

Look. I know you think you hit the jackpot when a meteor landed inside your kitchen, kid. But you don’t understand just how many innocent lives are in danger by having those stones out here in public like this.” He un-holstered his pistol and sat it threateningly in his lap. Black. Of course.

Edwin looked the spook in his brown eyes and said, “I ate them.”

The truck screeched to a stop in the middle of the road. Fatty, who Edwin now noticed was sporting a pretty bad comb over, made worse by his bristly ginger-red hair, spun around frantically.

You ate the stones?”

Yep. Figured Brad would fuck me. Figured you wouldn’t pay me. Thought, what the hell, I’ll down em with some Frosted Flakes and see if what happened to my mom would happen to me, too.”

The spooks looked at each other nervously. Fatty spoke into his ear piece. “Situation has upgraded to a level 7. I repeat, level 7. Full threat level. The subject has come into immediate proximity with the stones. Send all available backup to our location immediately. GPS coordinates sent.”

The spooks sat still as statues. Finally, Fatty added: “And please hurry.”

Edwin began to glow. A bright blue luminescence filled the large cab of the Escalade. It pulsed rhythmically in time with Edwin’s breathing. His shaggy brown hair stood on end, creating a series of jagged spikes which waved threateningly. Finally Shorty spoke. “That was suicide, Edwin. Suicide.”

Edwin grew noticeably larger in that moment. He now had to duck his head to avoid touching the high ceiling of the truck. His voice took on a curious harmonic quality. As though his words were being naturally auto-tuned. “Was it suicide when your friends gunned down my mother in cold blood? Was it suicide when you dissected her still living body? While she screamed in pain, hmm, was that suicide?”

Fatty spoke this time, slowly. Cautiously. “It was a matter of national security, Edwin. What burst out of your house was no longer your mother. It was a monster. It had to be put down. We had no way of knowing whether or not her condition was contagious until the proper tests had been run.”

Shorty moved his trembling hand toward the door.

Edwin began to drip raw energy into the seat cushions. Spots where it touched instantly melted away.

Command is two minutes away. They’ve authorized engagement.” Fatty said, reaching for his gun.

Edwin heard the helicopters and assault vehicles before the spooks did. He could hear everything now. Literally everything. He heard the elderly fat lady at Kroger half a mile away haggling with the disinterested young clerk about the price of her eggs after the coupon. He heard the happy family in the car on I-95 one hundred fifty miles away singing songs and laughing with one another. And he heard the fighter jets screaming through the air at 700 miles per hour with his name in their head sets.

Edwin grew again, ripping the roof off the Escalade like a can opener works a container of sardines, forcing the spooks out into the street. They were babbling into their ear pieces, aiming their black guns at what used to be his head.

He no longer cared what the spooks said or what they did. He tried to open his eyes and was amused to find that he both no longer had eyes and that he could see everything without them. Everything. Clearly.

The spooks opened fire. Their bullets simply flashed blue as they harmlessly entered into his body. They caused him no worry.

With his thoughts, Edwin turned the spooks into blue flames which flickered then went out almost instantly. Surprisingly though, the two men were not dead. Not in the sense that Edwin understood life and death now. Time, space, matter, energy, all of these terms were relative, human terms. Terms he could no longer relate to. The spooks were not really dead. Their personalities had left a mark on the particles around them. A Sort of emotional fingerprint before absorbing back into the whole of reality.

Edwin was in awe. Seeing it all. Hearing it all. Understanding everything perfectly for the first time in his life.

The irony was not lost on him that it took an organism launched through vigintillions of years and unfathomable miles from a long dead planet to awaken in him a true understanding of the human race and its full potential and purpose in the universe.

He saw and understood connections and pathways between light and love, between death and time that no mortal being had any right to conceive. He reveled in his new found enlightenment.

Edwin grew one final time. He gushed now. Blue plasma cascaded down from his titanic form as a radioactive avalanche of death and destruction. It swept through city streets like a nightmarish tsunami or protoplasmic sludge. Tens of thousands perished where they stood like little blue pulses on an electronic switch board. Hundreds of thousands more would die in the coming days and weeks as new and terrible forms of cancerous disease overtook their fragile forms. Mile after mile of once fertile terra would be left uninhabitable for millions of years.

Does an organism weep for ten thousand dead bacteria when it is infested with ten billion more?

The black choppers and military tanks had arrived. They were no more a concern to him than the tick is to the elephant. His mind raced. He knew he only had moments to live before his gelatinous body collapsed entirely.

This final growth brought with it the realization that he was no longer Edwin Marshalls. He was God now. He saw into the souls of every person walking the earth, saw their thoughts, their dreams.

He knew he had the power to destroy them all like he did the spooks. Like a child drowning an ant hill. He wanted to, for what happened to his mother.

But he could not hate these people. Gods do not hate. They simply did not know, did not understand, as a whole, what he understood now. Edwin dwelt on that notion. That they may never know their true place in the cosmos. In the Grand Design. The Intergalactic tapestry of existence. And it made him sad.

Edwin began to dissolve, to come apart. In his final moment, he did not doom human civilization. Instead, he sent out, without knowing if he even possessed that kind of power, one thought. One thought he hoped to plant into the mind of every human being on the planet. As the last of him pulled away from itself, he did not care that he would not live long enough to see if his thought had the intended impact. Gods don’t care. Gods act.

In the instant of his demise, the Edwin Marshalls that was no longer an Edwin Marshalls but instead something entirely new, Something that have never existed in all of the fathomless depths of the universe before and may never exist again, sent out his one thought to seven billion minds simultaneously. His dying thought.

We are all one.

Kevin Strange’s Movie, TV and Comic Book Reviews

A wise friend ofSnapchat-6858734831345374570 mine told me this week that if social media dorks were getting me so worked up, I should focus on my website where all the social media traffic is coming anyway.

So I started looking around here, kicking up the cobwebs and doing some virtual inventory. I realized I’ve been doing quite a few movie reviews and cool lists lately, but there’s no actual archive or database here to look those up! You either see them in the news feed when I post them, or they vanish forever. That’s not how a website is supposed to work…

So I created a new page here at the ole KevinTheStrange.com called “Reviews.” Here you’ll be able to access every movie review or cool cult movie list I create, with the newest review appearing at the top of the page, and then chronologically in order after that. Why I didn’t do this from the very beginning is anybody’s guess.

But that’s not the only change coming to the site. I used to work very hard at maintaining one of the best, most up to date websites in the cult underground. And while I do post here often, I don’t think I’m utilizing my internet space to its full potential.

In the coming weeks and months, I’m going to add a “Stories” section. Here, I’ll post free stories from my short story collections and create new free flash fiction pieces from time to time that will be website exclusive. I may also do a serialized novella or novelette if the mood strikes me.

But what’s really got me excited is the idea of a paid portion of the “Stories” section where I post hot and steamy original erotica stories. I don’t know what I’ll charge yet. Probably like 5.99 for a month of access to the entire paid story archive. I don’t know. I’m going to play with it first and see what happens.

Either way, expect a lot more organization and a lot more content to appear here at KevinTheStrange.com as we move forward, and a lot less activity from me on dork central social media. Your boy Kevin Strange just doesn’t have time for that nonsense.

Oh, and did you notice the new site banner? All The Toxic Waste From My Heart: Stories by Kevin Strange, bitch. September 17th, only from KevinTheStrange.com!