Archive for humor

“10 Things Writing Has Taught Me” at Pen, Paper, Pad

Posted in Writing with tags , , , on February 7, 2013 by Scott Emerson


Guest blogging today at T.A. Woods’ Pen, Paper, Pad blog. And since I’m probably the last person who should dispense writing advice, I made a list of ten things I’ve learned about the craft.

Check it out here:


Review: Tall Tales with Short Cocks Vol. 2 edited by Arthur Gelsinger

Posted in Books with tags , , , , , on December 30, 2012 by Scott Emerson


Not satisfied with its first offering of the weird and irreverent, TALL TALES WITH SHORT COCKS returns with a sloppy, slimy vengeance. Bizarro Press’ second anthology assembles 15 oddball tales chock-full of strange humor, off-the-wall imagery, and singularly bizarre concepts.

Like many multi-author collections (especially in the bizarro genre), the results are mixed, but TTaSC2’s hit-to-miss ratio is commendably solid. Highlights include Eirik Gumeny’s “The Ballad of Billy the Squid” (chronicling an octopus-headed boy’s foray into the Japanese adult film industry), Danger Slater’s “The Apple of my iPhone” (you know those people hopelessly attached to their Apple products? What if the feelings were reversed?), Vincent K. Sakowski’s “The Legend of a Ho Named Walrus Sounds,” and Nick Cato’s “Necrocandy,” a sort-of zombie tale as gross as it is funny.

As with the previous volume of TALL TALES, most of the stories rely on humor—particularly of the crude and vulgar variety—so readers on the lookout for serious or cerebral writing may be disappointed. (Though with a title like that, would they be surprised?) Those who like their fiction gross and giddy will have much to feast upon.

Beavis & Butt-head: The Shocking Origin?

Posted in Movies with tags , , , , , , on October 7, 2012 by Scott Emerson

I don’t know if Mike Judge ever divulged where the character designs of B&B came from, but taking a look at the above image I’m tempted to assume the 1959 creature cheapie THE MONSTER FROM PIEDRAS BLANCAS served some inspiration.

Review: Hellhole West Virginia by Rich Bottles Jr.

Posted in Books, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , on January 16, 2012 by Scott Emerson

Author Rich Bottles Jr. continues his brand of “humororrorotica” with his second novel HELLHOLE WEST VIRGINIA. Not content to simply focus on a single plot, Bottles offers several seemingly unrelated storylines before mashing them together in an over-the-top riot of Mountain State madness; in addition to vampiric eco-terrorists, you’ll find cave-dwelling zombies, a seedy motel/tattoo parlor with unusual amenities, and the real story behind the Mothman.

HELLHOLE is a swift, entertaining read, with frequent detours into deviant sex and colored with raunchy, often unspeakable humor (there’s a doctor’s visit in this book that ranks as one of the most hilariously repellent scenes I’ve ever read). Fans of Richard Laymon or Edward Lee’s backwoods tales will want to plan a trip to Hellhole.

Review: The Sex Beast of Scurvy Island by Andersen Prunty

Posted in Bizarro Brigade, Books with tags , , , , , , , , on January 5, 2012 by Scott Emerson

(Review for Bizarro Brigade.)

A team of mystery-solving porn stars hopped up on suspicious energy drinks travel to a resort island to figure out who (or what) has been killing its men and impregnating its women in this hilarious, raunchy SCOOBY-DOO spoof from bizarro master Andersen Prunty. True, Prunty has essentially written a dirty parody of a kid’s cartoon–and it is plenty dirty, suggesting Prunty’s probably seen D’Amato’s PORNO HOLOCAUST a couple of times–but it’s spot-on and peppered with many colorful, and off-color, details. It’s also really, really funny–if your sense of humor is more than a little perverse.

Currently available on Amazon as a 99-cent ebook, THE SEX BEAST OF SCURVY ISLAND is a brisk, entertaining read well worth your dollar. You’ll never look at Scooby Snacks the same way ever again.

(UPDATE: Andersen Prunty informed me shortly after this review was posted that he has not, in fact, seen PORNO HOLOCAUST. I didn’t quite recommend he correct that, but I’d be curious as to his reaction to it.)

Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil

Posted in Movies with tags , , , , , , on November 27, 2011 by Scott Emerson

“Perception is reality,” many Human Resource manuals claim, a rather unsettling way of saying If the woman two cubicles over thinks you’re a leering pervert, then you are. It’s also the hook that director Eli Craig hangs the twist on in the 2010 splatter comedy TUCKER AND DALE VS. EVIL.

Alan Tudyk and Tyler Labine star as the titular duo, a couple of good ol’ boys headed into the West Virginia mountains to restore a cabin. Along the way they meet a pack of party-minded co-eds, among them 30 ROCK’s Katrina Bowden, with whom Dale gets immediately smitten. Unfortunately, Dale’s awkwardness with women, paired with the college students’ prejudiced misconceptions, causes them to mistake him and Tucker for creepy, ill-intending hillfolk. Thus sets up a series of misunderstandings and half-assed assumptions that quickly escalate out of hand into an inadvertent bloodbath.

TUCKER AND DALE mines plenty of laughs out of slasher-film and scary-redneck cliches, spoofing their tropes without the annoying meta “we’re totally in a horror movie” approach that usually infects recent horror-comedies. The script stretches the premise almost to the breaking point, threatening to turn its slapstick plot points unacceptably ludicrous, but wisely switches gears in the second half, offering one of the would-be “victims” (Jesse Moss, in a weasely nefarious turn) into a genuine threat.

There’s nothing special to TUCKER AND DALE VS. EVIL (which reportedly sat on the shelf for three years before seeing limited release), but it does provide some plentiful gore and genuine laughs. Tudyk and Labine make for a winning pair of reluctant heroes, displaying great chemistry together (I wouldn’t mind seeing these guys in more misadventures–maybe next time they can stumble upon a zombie outbreak?). And Bowden gets a chance to be funny without playing dumb, while still playing up her, um, less subtle assets.

It’s no classic, but TUCKER AND DALE VS. EVIL is definitely worth checking out.

The Heart, She Holler

Posted in TV with tags , , , , , on November 12, 2011 by Scott Emerson

So I made my way through THE HEART, SHE HOLLER, Adult Swim’s miniseries from WONDER SHOWZEN creators Vernon Chatman and John Lee, and I have absolutely no idea what to make of it. I’m pretty sure that was the point.

And while I’m filing the show under the “Did Not Like” column, it was just too damn off-kilter to fully dismiss. A soap opera/family melodrama parody so surreal it makes TWIN PEAKS look straight-laced and even-keel, THE HEART, SHE HOLLER was often stupid and unfunny (that’s not to say I didn’t laugh–I did, many times, at the show’s audacious, taboo-bursting sensibilities), yet undeniably compelling. Exactly why is hard to pinpoint, but it’s helped by the wealth of bizarre imagery Chatman and Lee stuff into each eleven-minute episode, as well as an array of fearless, colorful performances, especially leads Patton Oswalt and Kristen Schaal.

Unfortunately the escalating weirdness and wild narrative twists add up to a fizzling anti-climax at the miniseries’ conclusion. This may have been deliberate on the creators’ part, as Adult Swim might be ordering additional episodes and obviously Chapman and Lee wouldn’t want to definitively end the storyline; however, as it stands, THE HEART, SHE HOLLER was little more than a distraction, albeit a frequently dark and off-color one.