Suggested Audio Jukebox
 Survivor “Burning Heart”
 Survivor “Eye of The Tiger”
 John Cafferty “Hearts on Fire”
 Bill Conti “Going The Distance & The Final Bell”
 Joey B. Ellis “Go For It (Heart and Fire)”
 Robert Tepper “No Easy Way Out”
I have a little poser for you Grueheads? Who would come out top in the ultimate skirmish involving all our beloved slasher Gods from the annals of horror? The Keeper of the Crimson Quill is prepared to hedge his bet on Marcus Miller but in the interests of fairness I am prepared to put my money where my mouth is and see this melee through. Twelve rounds, twelve deadly treasures. Miller shall take on each in turn with the prize being slasher sovereignty.
Now I must warn you in advance, heads will most definitely roll, spleens will invariably be wrenched free from their casing and inevitably used to garrote and gouge out the eyes of any failed combatants. Ultimately it will be last man or puppet standing, and whomever that shall be will have been required to display God-like fortitude and a hefty pair of testicles. We’re talking hulking, oval, pulsating, clean-shaven death spuds to make it through this brutal roster. Seconds out…
Round One: Marcus Miller vs. Ghost Face
Don’t make me fucking laugh! You call this a warm-up? Something tells Keeper that this will be both swift and pitiless; the most one-sided brawl this side of Wendy vs. Jack. Marcus Miller crosses the barbed wire threshold a full five minutes before his prank-calling challenger. Too busy making heavy-breathing crank calls to powerless adolescent airheads, Ghost Face takes an eternity materializing from his backstage sanctuary.
Of course being such a moronic klutz, he trips over his own poncho on numerous occasions while his antagonist looks on bemused from inside the ring. I have always speculated as to why this douche goes down like such a pussy wimp. Is it the sheer awkwardness of Billy and Stuart fumbling around inside that suit, skirmishing over the top bunk? If so then surely only Matthew Lillard has the cranial cylinder elongated enough to fill out that gormless visor.
By the time these bumbling buffoons eventually make it ringside and attempt to clamber in through the ragged ropes; Marcus, seemingly weary of the procrastination, rains down five machete blows to the back of Stu’s neck, almost severing it clean from his twitching torso. A couple of further saws of the blade through any enduring cartilage and it’s all over for hapless Stu, who at this point must be regretting his decision to take top bunk. Meanwhile, witnessing his associate’s grim reprisal from beneath the remainder of his convulsing cadaver, Billy turns to make a hasty exit from whence he came.
Of course, he immediately slips on the cruor of his obliterated compadre; hitting the hard floor like a sack of sopping shit and knocking himself clean out in the process. This is all the invitation Marcus requires as he slithers through the bloody barricade, strolls nonchalantly up to the sniveling goon and places the heel of his boot on Billy’s temple. Three vicious stamps and it’s seconds out; comprehensive dominance shown with one of his many glorious signature moves, leaving fragments of shattered skull and squishy membrane strewn across the floor before the rapturous fans. On this early indication Marcus Miller is going to prove an inimitable rival.
Round Two: Marcus Miller vs. Leprechaun
For fuck sake!!! You won’t find your pot’o’gold here you charlatan. Marcus takes particular exception to this miniature assassin and the psychological ordeal commences backstage. As Leprechaun opens his locker to prepare for combat, he is greeted by a minute coffer perched in the cubbyhole. “Me gold!!!” the impish imbecile proclaims elatedly and hurriedly he grasps the item with both hands. There is no bullion here however, just a cluster of Stu and Billy’s giblets as a stern warning not to even bother turning up for his inevitable evisceration. To the feisty little guy’s credit, he shows none of his fallen predecessor’s tardiness. If nothing else five turgid sequels show some perseverance, no matter how misguided that may be and, unperturbed, the pint-sized plum shuffles down the crimson carpet on time and barely detected by the baying crowd.
With the aid of a nearby foot-stall; he rolls fluently under the bottom rung and into an absolute shitstorm, poor fella. Saying that, Marcus is empathetic in his six second dispatch. Maybe it’s because he witnessed the Oompa Loompas kicking the living fuck out of him in the car park prior to the bout. Whatever his reasoning, Miller swiftly slides a screwdriver straight in through one temple, exiting the other and embedding itself deep into the grue sodden canvas before he even gets time for a single limerick. Ding ding!
Round Three: Marcus Miller vs. Charles Lee Ray
Come on now, this is starting to become far too straightforward for our, as yet, untested mask-headed madman who I’m confident is beginning to expect the Muppets to come bounding out. In truth, I’d envisage Animal to pose a sterner challenge than our ‘Good Guy.’ I’m assured that, had Charles transferred his blackened soul to a more fearsome vessel then he would have given an upright account of himself, but alas the infamous Lakeshore Strangler ended his reign of terror inside a potty-mouthed piece of plastic with no penis.
Tough brakes indeed. Something tells me that his profane insults won’t carry much weight when faced with such a formidable opponent. Chucky is delivered to the scene via FedEx; with Marcus’ manager, the almighty Matt Farnsworth, signing for the parcel ringside. The souvenir is gratefully received and impatiently unwrapped by Marcus. Years of being beat up on and having his head dunked below the surface by those appalling holy whores at the reformatory, and never once did he receive even the smallest gesture of affection so he’s inside the paper in no time at all.
Resting within his clear casing with a gormless grin on his stupid synthetic face, the Good Guy doll’s smug smile is soon replaced by a deeply concerned grimace as the realization sets in that this really will be Child’s Play. Chucky doesn’t even have adequate time to register Marcus’ dismay over already receiving one of these shitty dolls last year, before he is compacted by the orphan’s seething fist. If Fred Krueger had been the adversary here then I would imagine him coming out with some inane punchline, “This ain’t Toy Story, bitch!” or suchlike. Miller however remains strangely muted.
He has had ample opportunity to vocalize his repulsion but, up until this point, hasn’t received the opposition to warrant wasting the words. So, three rounds in and The Orphan Killer hasn’t even had cause to break a sweat. Admittedly, he has been pitted against the real bottom-feeders of the slasher mantle and the next two adversaries should provide a sturdier test of both brawn and wits.
Welcome back to the greatest motherfucking show on Earth. TOK and RoG are proud to present a baker’s dozen of the most identifiable faces from within the vestibules of slasher, all under one savage roof. These grizzled combatants will pit their wits against one another, with the aspiration of becoming crowned True Majesty of Cruel Carnage. All the most esteemed suitors are here, each vying to displace our, as of yet, untoppled tortured terrorizer… Marcus… Miller!
Thus far, Marcus hasn’t been requested to break sweat. Three frail combatants have endeavored to dislodge him from atop his lofty pedestal, with all three leaving the arena via doggie bag or, worse still, dustpan and brush. Ghost Face, Leprechaun and Charles Lee Ray all boldly attempted to become heralded the David to slay this snappily-dressed burly Goliath. Evidently, they all fell noticeably short (imagine the Time Bandits taking a brisk jog across the Golden Gate Bridge to the audio of Ben E King).
None had the gristle to withstand their pre-ordained slaughter and, in turn, they met with grisly ends at the bloody hands of Marcus. With marginal due respect, none of them appeared likely of laying so much as a breath cloud on him, complete obliteration became their prize for putting in their dying shift. Fuck, Chucky managed not to even break free from the cable ties which bound him within his shrink-wrap. Our apparently unassailable messenger of death will be assured burlier scrutiny of his ingenuity second time out as the stakes have begun to sky-rocket. Next up… The Creeper!
Round Four: Marcus Miller vs. The Creeper
The tale of the tape looks favorably upon the following entrant. His reach is far greater than Marcus Miller’s due to his daunting wingspan and enviable aerial maneuverability. Less than heartening is his track record; a meager brace of prior bouts (heavy defeat in the second) push the odds out of favor for him even getting close to his ambitious desire for Miller’s peepers. With the trusty old pick-up truck (Mater in all but teeth) valet parked already and the audience, which includes Justin Long and his guide dog, but no sign of Alison Lohman, are in prime vantage point for divergence.
A full three minutes pass and still no sign of the winged cretin. The addressees grow restless. Miller meanwhile, paces from one plane of the canvas to the other growing progressively more perturbed as it begins to appear a no-show could be on the cards. Not the case however; the illumination dims in the auditorium and audio finally cloaks the room. A somewhat consoling 78 vinyl crackle commences and, with that, The Creeper makes his overdue overture.
Swooshing down, the winged assailant picks off a couple of the congregation with apparent ease, dislodging their noggins and flicking them in Marcus’ course to with the audible auxiliary of Louis Armstrong. Marcus is blasé about this expected cowardly exhibition of gamesmanship. Has this prick not seen Rocky IV? Carl Weathers did a marvelous job of engaging his plentiful minions and teasingly attempting to rattle his opponent. Look where that got him? Fucked up and broken, that’s where. He became the cue to another ‘rousing’ montage.
The Creeper orbits the ring a handful of times, notably always shy of Miller’s calculated trajectory. What a showboating shit-fuck he is; evidently clueless to who he is dealing with here, the occasion seems merely a marketing shoot for the deeply uninvigorating prospect of the inevitable second sequel. After a full two minutes of pacing disgruntled, the indifferent Miller picks up his chosen tool of dispatchment, poleaxe, proceeding to fling it full-tilt towards the flapping fucktard.
It makes cruel contact, there’s precision in its incision as it strikes first the wing and instantly slices through The Creeper’s vertebrae. The rapidity of its launching is sufficient to remove both pinions from their source, leaving behind a spurting stump of bloody broccoli, where wings once formerly enabled altitude. Thanks to Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity, The Creeper comes plummeting down into the barbed rungs and instantly becomes ensnared. Akin to an ill-fated fly trapped in an arachnids elaborate gossamer; he struggles to break free but to no avail.
Marcus saunters across and time appears to slow down, at least for the wounded quarry, as his aggressor’s shadow fluidly engulfs him. Cowering haplessly, he winces in expectancy of an obliged conclusion to his suffering. His provoker stands latent for a moment or two, thus allowing one last look for The Creeper, into the whites of his eyes. Finally, he agrees and glances up wearily, only to be greeted with the blackest pools of evil but it is fleeting as our aggravator produces a small timber crucifix from within his trouser-pocket and proceeds to lunge forth with the icon of supposed holiness.
It probes deep into the malleable fleshy tissue surrounding his left eye-basket. The sheer might of this action ladles free the entire eyeball; leaving a jagged gorge strewn with exposed nerve-endings and gory membrane. He then concentrates his undivided attention into forcing the instrument into the opposing eye, this time teasing it more leisurely from its confines and leaving it dangling from a filament like a fleshy swing ball.
One hand on The Creeper’s slackening head; he pulls the wire-bound rope around his dupe’s esophagus and constricts. A sickening concentrated spray of crimson glugs from the yawning wound and the skirmish has reached its ending. The stylus moves toward the centre of the vinyl leaving a deathly hush, but for the sound of sanguine fluids jutting forth from the limp cadaver. Still unvoiced, Marcus returns to his corner and sits down with composure.
Round Five: Marcus Miller vs. Harry Warden
Events are prepared to take a hefty turn for the more psychotic as the stakes of this royal rumble are about to be raised inexplicably. You see, for the first time, Marcus doesn’t have a particular axe to grind in the face of his following opponent. This will invariably be business very much over pleasure for The Orphan Killer, no real foul has been committed and the congenial miner has even gone so far as to send a Valentine’s offering out of mutual admiration for the undefeated and, as yet, untested aggressor in his opposing corner. Miller, being ever obliging, returns the favor; with The Creeper’s inked bleeding heart sliding around like the darkest of candies inside its heart-shaped box. While this may appear as one-upmanship on both men’s part it is, in fact, a two-way exhibition of reverence.
As the bell chimes around the hushed auditorium Warden is already present and correct. He stands defiant, legs parted and breathing exaggerated by the all-encompassing miner’s mask he parades behind. There shall be no cheap shots here; this skirmish is pre-destined with being the first tangible match-up as both men step forth to commence the melee. Weapons still lowered, both combatants stride to the ring hub until faced with one another’s unflinching gaze. That deathly stare doesn’t so much as flicker for a full new york minute as the psyche-out reaches its zenith.
Naturally it is Warden with his diminutive supply of oxygen who succumbs first to peer pressure from the rapturous crowd as he raises that iconic pickax from his side and takes a step back so as to evade potential splash back. He deduces trajectory as he prepares to swing the tool in the direction of his nonchalant foe. At the precise moment before attack he pauses momentarily as it becomes abundantly palpable that Marcus simply doesn’t feel that ominous dread associated with being lined up for slaying. He is unfazed, moreover, psychologically already the victor.
Being the consummate professional, Warden procrastinates only fleetingly and reconvenes his pendulum-like swing with all the intent and purpose that is customary. Marcus accepts the pickax into his palm, clenching the instrument mid-plummet around Harry’s own faltering feelers. What commences is the final battle of wits as the stare-down recommences; this time transiently as the excruciating arm wrestle reaches its apex. One last glimpse south reveals to Warden that Miller has come to battle without his own weapon of choice; he has every intention of gifting the miner a death by his own puncturing pickax.
In a swift motion it makes critical impact. There is nothing benign about the blow, it inevitably makes contact with Harry’s chest and sits there while the sanguine fluids drain from his newly-fashioned cavity. Those precious few emphasized breaths cloud his mask, growing more labored as the life siphons out like the last few grains in the sand glass. Harry Warden slumps to his knees, pushing the blade deeper into his own twitching body in the process and leaving a poetic exit wound at the back of his broken heart, which gradually subsides. The glass of his mask is now fully steamed and, behind that mist,his peepers lose their grip on vitality, becoming fixated in that last gasp for diminished air. The bell tolls and Marcus Miller returns to his corner.
Welcome back Grueheads to fight night and this fascinating skirmish between slasher behemoths past and present…and Leprechaun. We’ve lost nearly half our number and, to be fair, most of them were merely coasting on the last minute injury sustained by The Gingerdead Man as he ate himself in anticipation. Leprechaun’s buckled shoes are facing the heavens, Stu and Billy are back to watching Scooby Doo re-runs and saving up to pay for their phone bill, Chucky is now a ‘dead guy’, The Creeper has embroidered his last peeper and even the resilient Harry Warden is back digging trenches for his community service. Now things are about to get messy folks as next up is a man who will need absolutely no introduction. I can smell his rotting mother from the commentary box and it is time for this keen ornithologist to spread his wings in the ring.
Round Six: Marcus Miller vs. Norman Bates
Momma’s boy Norm has moral support in the audience tonight; rocking anxiously as her vacant sunken sockets catch any strobe-like illuminations amidst the baying crowd. We are now at full-tilt; no more unwarranted swagger or gamesmanship, Harry Warden has, if nothing else, showcased the quality in the tail end of this roster whom will be bidding to pilfer Marcus’ barbed crown.
Norman Bates may herald from an entirely different epoch to Miller but, through the formidable legacy left by the gangly pampered Peeping Tom, he has earned himself a shot at the belt. He’s already running tardy and the men’s shower room has proved to be the ideal pre-match splash zone. Presumably There’s Something About Mary has been showing on Netflix as the Farrelly Brothers’ advice over not leaving your quarters with a loaded weapon is ringing in his ears, along with the incessant screeching of his haggard mommie dearest.
Norm chooses to undertake surveillance from the safety of his cubicle; ready to gather mind bullets as he leers over Marcus’ baby sister Audrey, who is lathering her peachy orbs in the adjacent booth. Little is he aware that he is being spied upon also; Audrey is very much mindful of his presence as she soaps her nooks and crannies teasingly. Norman can only discern her side profile, any reciprocation too his gaze is from a solitary eye which she uses to keep tabs on her prowler. He remains hunched over and clutches his member from beneath his favorite pinafore stolen from mother’s closet.
“Norman. Get that brazen slut out of my sight” is not the ideal dialogue to run through his protracted cranium as the blouse he is wearing accepts a full stash of Bates and there’s a shudder to his sigh of satisfaction upon release. This turns immediately to consternation as she turns to reveal a long slender poker, fractionally smaller than the peep hole he has fashioned, and slides it forcefully through the cavity and straight into his fleshy point. “Blood mother. Blood!” is his delirious cry as he recoils back, fragments of marrow and dislodged gristle protruding from the newly-carved wound. This sends him reeling back into a crumpled heap on the shower floor.
As he lays choking on the crude amalgamation of blood and bile rising in the back of his elongated palate he hears the patter of bare feet behind his position. Norman is not afforded the opportunity of turning to face his inbound assailant as the apron strings of which he has been perpetually held captive for his entire adult life are wrapped securely around his larynx and steadily drawn together until the last puffs of oxygen have all but relinquished. Cruel cruel irony. The last visual to flash through his rapidly deadening eyes is that of his dear mother’s favorite hairpiece as it circumnavigates the blood spattered plug hole. Meanwhile, back in the ring, Marcus appears perturbed by his sibling’s selfish disposal of his intended quarry but the fact remains that the outcome would have been no different had the cross-dressing creep made it to the ring.
Round Seven: Marcus Miller vs. Cropsy
Ample crimson is already splashed across the canvas to make even Da Vinci blush and this fresh lick of claret paint has left the area resembling a slaughterhouse floor. We have reached the halfway house; six hopefuls of admittedly varying credentials have been sent crashing to their knees, had their wings clipped or batteries removed but our next proposed unfortunate is one of Keeper’s own personal darlings, Cropsy. One thing is for damned sure and that is that this crispy critter isn’t choosy with those trademark shears. There’s not a stick man in the world who deserves a bout of polio and, by the same token, not a soul who should see this frazzled mugshot staring back at them on a dark night.
Miller holds his masked head in his hands, still needled by his Baby Sister’s evisceration of a vital scalp and readying himself to come out swinging. A wooden canoe is delivered to center stage and placed in the opposing corner, once the blue corner but now painted crimson. Our undefeated champion rises to his feet and slowly begins his short journey across the ring. It’s a protracted jaunt and it seemingly takes forever to reach the destination but Marcus arrives at the business end of the giblet trail and stands before the vessel prepared for the pre-ordained rise of his next combatant.
There is an air of predictability about Cropsy’s eventual salmon-like leap from the timber and Marcus has the measure of his challenger, having meticulously researched his opponent prior to the bout. Leprechaun seems a distant fading memory now and this dude poses a far more tangible threat. Regardless, Miller couldn’t resist a sly dig at Cropsy as he stashed three rashers of charred bacon in his locker pre-fight. The burned one bounds forth from his rickety vessel and Marcus strides backward to accommodate his arrival. This show of respect despite the hackneyed manner of his unveiling is more than simply that. It is a statement of harsh intent; Miller is primed to feel that sweet sinful sorrow for the first time since his ‘rumble in the jungle’ with Audrey back in New Jersey.
Not a soul has tested his chin as yet and, to offer proof of his all-round capability, he will be required to access all sides of his cerebral dodecahedron this time out. Marcus invites his opposite number forward, offering his chin as a token gesture and Cropsy takes full advantage by swinging those razor-sharp death talons, catching his mask as he moves further onto the back foot. However, what hasn’t been entertained is that this is intentional on Miller’s part; nobody has so much as landed a blow to call their own but Marcus considers that Cropsy has earned his stripes and thus donates him a free strike on the house.
Of course kids, for every action there is invariably a reaction. From behind his back Marcus produces his woodsman’s ax, already tainted in cruor, only now it remains squarely within his grasp. The primary swing reaches its destination; never intended to maim, it is meant as a mere glance, like for like if you wish. Cropsy however isn’t nearly as agile, possibly due to the 98% scalding which he suffered at the hands of those petulant campers, and the ax catches his charred throat-box which proceeds to jettison darkened crimson.
He retaliates instantaneously but his snippers are greeted by metal as the ax blade penetrates their gaping arrival. Both men retreat; Cropsy through consternation but Miller purely to line up a subsequent flurry. When it comes, and it is remarkably rapid, it makes a far more emphatic impact; this time crashing a full three-inches into the shoulder blade of the inhuman torch. Cropsy grunts in agony but is, in no way, finished yet. He reaches back into the canoe and presents a more ranged tool of disposal; his trusty flamethrower. Orange dancing flames burst through its slender funnel, our defending champion neatly side-stepping its widened reach and making his way along the caretaker’s flank. He holds aloft his ax once more, already having tasted well-done flesh and ready for the prime rib.
This time he plunders a more critical strike straight into Cropsy’s cranium, causing him to drop his hot rod to the canvas and its flame is extinguished in the same moment as the marauding madman exhales final breath from his chapped lips. Again, the bell chime cometh and again, Marcus returns to his stool. Seventh heaven, now time for numbers eight and nine, and these planks of driftwood have done much to infuriate The Orphan Killer.
We are getting to the business end of our battle royale with cheese. Smoke us a kipper as we’ll be back by dawn. Right now it is the turn of two combatants with which y’all will be more than familiar. Neither are likely to pursue a career in underwear modeling so they have spent their hours perpetuating their cycle through countless inane sequels. Both are worthy of a sound ventilation but neither have any intention of simply making up numbers. This proposes to be a particularly savage soirée Grueheads; look out for our mobile hot dog vendor as her wieners are to die for.
Round Eight: Marcus Miller vs. Freddy Krueger
Our next hopeless hopeful was always going to have a few cunning tricks up his filthy sweater sleeve. Freddy Krueger didn’t get his name from playing fair. He uses dreamscapes as his stomping ground and has therefore operated under this own unique set of house rules. The reason for this is elementary; he is a yellow-bellied coward, the worst type, a philandering one. His creations do most of the hard work for him and he just pops up at the close to dig in those five-fingered blades of his and claim each scalp. Never once is he in the thick of it; always lurking from a safe vantage and never with enough courage in his conviction to actually augment his terror mano-a-mano.
His playground has far more scope than any of his compatriots and the dream weaver actually begins the skirmish the evening before the proposed big fight. The dastardly dreamscape he concocts is rigged; Fred has memorized his one-liners and painstakingly fashioned a hellhole of considerable consternation. Chuckling to himself maniacally, he performs any last-minute checks to the savage sandbox he has devised. Krueger is feeling brazen and is exhibiting more than a whiff of arrogance. Let’s study the facts; he has been solely responsible for the deflowering of infants, pilfered their innocence and drawn the curtains on their short lives for his own sick amusement. He dallies not over the prospect of of defiling one more bastard child for the road and has pockets bulging with dream confectionery. What a douche.
Already he senses the presence of The Orphan Killer within his tightly-woven dream fortress, marshmallow moat around its perimeter. Genuinely excitable, he removes his five-fingered death glove from the grinding wheel and slides it over each of his fried fingers. The perfect fit, this quintet of terrorization could carve through steel and a handshake is never going to be on the cards. “Freddy’s coming to get you” is his typically inane retort as he moves briskly across the grounds in hot pursuit of the next planned notch in his belt.
A cursory glance to his left reveals to him a young girl skipping rope amidst his limbo oasis. A cunning smile leaves his fast flaking desperate-for-balm lips accompanied by a nod of confirmation that all traps are seemingly in place and defense of his tower can inaugurate. However, that mischievous grin of his is wiped from his thin crust like freshly laid bird shit on a windscreen as it becomes audible that the nursery rhyme being hypnotically recounted is not the ditty expected. One, two, Miller’s coming for you. Three, four, he’s been here before. Five, six, He is wise to your tricks. Seven, eight, he’s decided your fate. Nine, ten…”I’m asleep again?” Fred delivers the final line of verse in an ominously muted pitch as he discovers that the bairn rhythmically hurdling rope before him is none other than Audrey Miller. This dream being woven is not of his design.
His peepers bulge in their encrusted sockets and two fumbling strides backward see him hurtling down the river bank and directly into the soft gooey moat of his construction. Wrong again fuck beans; his back, already victim of acute sun burn, feels a myriad of harsh pinches and it fast becomes evident that this quarry is laced with a far more rigid filling, barbed wire to be exact. As he flinches in angst Krueger is released from Miller’s phantasm and awakens spread-eagled on the canvas.
Totally neutered, Freddy rubs his eyes to confirm that his one true strength has been snuffed away. Marcus musters a growl for the first time in sheer disgust of Krueger’s underhand antics. He isn’t best pleased about Freddy’s steady and predictable decline of purpose through way of endless increasingly banal sequels; such heinous wasteful crimes are not looked upon favorably here and Marcus has absolutely no intention of making this swift and pain-free, not by a long chalk.
The morose molesting marauder rises to his feet but not of own his instruction.There is no more pain, all nerve-endings are long-since shot, but the visceral sting of watching his own forearm tendons levering him upright sucks any diminutive supplies of carbon monoxide straight from his lung hamper and identikit threads along his thighs tug harshly forth soon afterwards bringing him vertical, rendering him impotent and wholly exposed. This is no time to be flashing your junk Fred. Snared like a shrew, he can only watch on hopelessly as Marcus lunges forth and thrusts a fistful of sharpened talons into this puppet’s strings with a solitary side swipe.
With all four threads being removed he plummets earth-bound once again and the five razors puncture a second time, straight into his underarms and exiting through his back fat. Now this time it smarted some. “This cannot be. What about the souls of the children?” As a last throw of the dice he hoists up his filthy sweater to reveal a melange of contorted souls, each screaming in agony over being yanked prematurely from existence. This guilt trip doesn’t wash for a second and there is no tugging of Miller’s blackened heartstrings.
Marcus gets straight to work on pinching every last petulant pimple with Krueger’s own scissor-handed mitten. As each pustule pops, another trapped soul is relinquished until his chest plate resembles a shat on paella. But there is more folly about to befall Fred. The deciding blow is to his groin with his over-cooked sheesh taking the full force of Miller’s middle digit and side pinkies pushing through each of his flaming meatballs. One final erection is attained but, once again, this is not of Freddy’s own free will. Marcus flicks the bird, a big final ‘fuck you Fred’ and with that all his fingers are erected, tearing his sack to ribbons.
Marcus brings each blade vertically up his torso, popping numerous vital organs en route to the summit. As they reach his heart receptacle there is nothing. Zip, zilch, nada, no occupancy whatsoever. With that, Krueger sinks through the canvas floor like a brick in a cow pat. Of course, this being Freddy, he has to have one pathetic last word and his glove bursts back through the sheet to reclaim his fedora. Denied, even Indy wouldn’t have gotten away with such a cheap shot and Marcus brings down the ax on his hand, sending this genie back into his bottle for eternity. What a fucking nightmare!
Round Nine: Marcus Miller vs. Jason Voorhees
There is a common misconception with our next combatant that he’s a little hard done by which he has coasted on for too long now. Granted the beginning of his life posed some particularly gnarly challenges; the worst of which being that the poor bugger drowned in that lake. He was meant to be wearing a rubber ring that day but staff at Camp Crystal couldn’t force it over his misshapen head. Consequently he endured a watery demise, not the most pleasant turn of events for one of such tender years. Even then, it was his mother who was culpable, not on-site staff as suggested. Most of them were no more than seventeen and only guilty of a little promiscuous sex and some harmless pot smoking. His ma should have been more responsible and this all could’ve been avoided had she been on her game and not fixated with their shenanigans.
Poor Jason, doomed to forever wander those woods in search of retribution, Wrong again, the counselors all pitched in to send him on an all expenses paid round trip to the Big Apple. Not satisfied with their show of kindness, he bitched and moaned until they repeated the gesture, only this time he was gifted with a spot of space travel. A lot is said about his ill-fortune when, in actuality, not many folk are afforded the chance to share a pot of herbal tea with E.T. Sure he has suffered a few indignities during his transience but it’s all in the past now and he is both big enough and ugly enough to have put that shit behind him and moved on. Norman knows all about the stress caused by having an overbearing parent and Ma Bates has long been his cross to bear. All we ask is for a little perspective; Norm still has to flannel bathe his mother daily whereas Jason has been allowed to stand on his own two feet so really has nothing to bitch about.
Predictably his dear mother has accompanied him to the bout this night and is first up to the ring while her son paces impatiently backstage. She makes her way ringside but, rather than taking a pew in the family enclosure, she cannot resist taking a swipe at Marcus and climbs in through the barbed-wire ropes to challenge him. She is culpable of not taking sufficient care of herself and it appears she shops for clothing at Good Will just like Freddy Krueger as her dirty woolen sweater hasn’t seen a rinse cycle for many a year. Dental hygiene is far higher on her list of priorities however and she has a face full of grand piano keys to show for her regular brushing. Her well-maintained gnashers are first in the ring, a grill of pearly whites which would make Gary Busey proud. Shame they’ll soon be in a basket.
Marcus cannot be held responsible for the atrocities which befell her son that day, he wasn’t even born when it occurred. Any empathy felt is tempered by his annoyance over Jason’s wasteful antics since. He could have used it as a stepping stone, spent a few years with his head in the books and become a rocket scientist or a marine biologist but instead he allowed his bitterness to overwhelm him and set upon ventilating co-eds for a living. A loving parent’s influence could have made all the difference but Pamela, in her infinite wisdom, decided it would be preferable for him to go on a grand killing spree instead. She is due a little punishment and Miller is more than contented with the notion of being the one to lay the smackdown. Years spent in an orphanage being set upon by unscrupulous nuns and you don’t see him bitching about it.
She makes her way to the center of the ring with a glare of hatred in those wild eyes of hers. Still woefully deluded into believing life owes her something, she is beyond redemption and deserving of whichever horrid comeuppance Marcus has planned this day. He has packed his own machete, it seems only fair that he use this to make his point given as Voorhees has used his many times to interrupt coitus and annihilate said teens. “My boy, my only child. My Jason, he didn’t deserve the treatment he received” is her opening rant and, for the first time since this royal rumble commenced, Marcus breaks his vow of silence. “Cry me a river bitch” he snarls and, with that, he slices the truffle from her neck root and watches as it pings off into the front row of the crowd and into the lap of one lucky spectator. Quite the prize one feels, if nothing else, it will make an ideal paper weight.
Jason is up on his feet instantaneously, mortified at the atrocity he has been subjected to. Game on, the playing field has been leveled and both men are now orphans. Voorhees signals his intent by ruthlessly spearing a couple of teens making out a couple of rows back before making his way down to center stage. Marcus, meanwhile, hasn’t moved a muscle and still grips the bloody machete used to decapitate dear old mommy. Jason has come suitably tooled up for this battle-to-the-death and is dragging an old burlap sack filled with instruments of torture by his side. Ax, machete of his own, hedge trimmer, archery set, fisherman’s spear; all present and correct. He is fully aware of the threat posed by Miller and has watched him dismantle every combatant sent his way with precision and no discernible conscience.
In a somewhat cowardly opening move Jason loads up his bow with a couple of pointed pinchers from his quill and fires them into Marcus from a safe vantage. They both make contact, years of knocking about an old camp site have given him ample time to perfect his archery. Yet, Miller has taken these body blows entirely in his stride. He breaks them off from his chest and right thigh respectively and discards them, ushering Jason forth in the process. The bow is loaded up once again but this time the incoming arrows are caught mid-flight before they can make their impact. Voorhees panics and reaches back into his quill but the cupboard is bare. He tosses his bow to one side and produces his hatchet, climbing in through the ropes and making his way over to square up to his antagonist.
He procrastinates not in making his presence felt, lunging forward with his ax and attempting to sink it into a fleshy spot or two. Marcus is having none of it and he foxtrots both incoming blows with the grace of Fred Astaire on the top of his game. Jason throws his hatchet to the canvas in frustration and dips once again into his bag of tricks, this time presenting the strimmer. His keen gardening skills are wasted on Miller and a couple of swipes are effortlessly evaded. Soundly befuddled, Voorhees delves back into his inventory and this time it’s the turn of his trusty spear. Freshly plucked from the human sheesh back in row four, this weapon has already tasted blood and is thirsty for more. He prods at Marcus but to no avail, his advances are welcomed and the spear wrenched free from his grasp.
Now soundly discombobulated, the juggernaut reaches for his final weapon, the machete. This serrated blade has seen its fair share of gaping wounds and up-ended appendages. Now we’re talking, this is exactly what Miller was hanging out for. Machete vs. Machete, it’s almost poetic; this battle shall continue on an even keel and one of these hulking monstrosities will remain standing come the end whereas the other shall be dispatched in a manner far less than hospitable. Jason plunders first and his attack is prosperous, the blade settling into Miller’s bicep and commencing to carve away at the cartilage. His opponent’s response is more telling and makes contact with the big man’s abdomen, then hoisted horizontally opening his gut like a fish. Speaking of which, a couple of carp heads come glugging out of the fissure; accompanied by a clutch of algae, a dozen maggots and an old boot. If you are what you eat then this guy really needs to find himself a good dietitian.
Visibly in some pain, Voorhees reaches out with his bare hands and starts to advance but Marcus reciprocates with the tossed-aside hatchet, plunging it straight into his forehead. This was sufficient to end Cropsy’s claim for the throne but Jason is nothing if not persistent and keeps on coming. His mask splits down the middle revealing his deformed fungal face and this is no time for a snapshot. It’s a hideous sight to behold, nothing is where it is supposed to be, his left eye is on his cheek and he could’ve done with wearing a brace a long time back as his teeth resemble chipped-away mossy tombstones. Anybody else would have felt more than a dash of pity when being made privy to the fateful hand this doomed adolescent has been dealt but not The Orphan Killer. There are no excuses within this ring, no holds barred.
The spear tip is next and it exits Jason’s spleen as it is forced through his inner undergrowth. This is enough to send him careering into the canvas, face-down thankfully. He knows he is beaten, he has seen his Final Friday and there will be no New Beginning, not this time. He begins a macabre metamorphosis before Miller’s very eyes and turns back into a bandy-legged child, whimpering as he awaits his denouement. His wait isn’t protracted for long as Marcus has no interest in making a child suffer after his first-hand experience with neglect and abuse. He kneels down, slides the faithful screwdriver from his boot and rams it into Jason’s temple. Game over, his fast-hemorrhaging brain activates sleep mode and with that the bell chimes once more.
That moment is drawing ever nearer now fight fans. Nine pretenders have now come and passed; none of them able to topple our undefeated champ. Some have fared significantly better than others but all have perished and thus we are left with the crème de la crème. All hell raisers in their own right, Leatherface and The Cenobites are next up to the fray and chomping at the bit to take Marcus Miller down a notch or three. I’m not kidding, one of them is literally chattering away and those grinding teeth are really setting my shit on edge. Enough from me, let’s get to the money shot. First up, we have forgiven him for dressing up in lipstick and frock for Renee Zelwegger and he’s back from behind that rickety door, chainsaw humming like a turd on Route 66. It’s the one, the only, Leatherface!
Round Ten: Marcus Miller vs. Leatherface
No more larking around now, this shit just got serious. This man-mountain has only pain at its summit. Towering above Marcus; the tale of the tape doesn’t make for encouraging reading and that reach is considerable too. Hundreds of teeth, all wailing Miller’s name as it percolates by his side. It’s good to see the family enclosure bustle so; the entire brood have shown up for this one. Granted his family are a smidgen dysfunctional but at least they’re here to support. Even Grandpa is present and has been wheeled ringside where he uses hammer and bucket as percussion. Actually, he seems to have forged a connection with Old Ma Bates who is rolling down her stockings suggestively at this very moment. With all the bloodshed and brutality it is delightful to see young love blossoming in the crowd.
Leatherface enters the ring, ignoring the thorny ropes as he is entirely focused on the task in hand. Marcus Miller may well have been the dark horse of this tournament but his exploits have not gone unnoticed. He places the chainsaw down and pulls out his tenderizing mallet for starters. This earns a nod of appreciation from Miller as it suggests that getting up-close and personal is not going to faze his opponent. Marcus, in turn, plumps on that trusty screwdriver once more; freshly plucked from Jason’s barnet, it is still coated in membrane and seaweed. The two then begin their psyche-out; grill to grill and both respectful of one another’s personal space. Who knows, in a different set of circumstances, the two could have been bosom buddies but right now there will be no such thing. Miller wins the stare off as Leatherface is distracted by Mrs Bates hollowed head bobbing up and down on Grandpa’s lap to his left.
The opening toll chimes and both men circle the ring like dab-hands; eyeing one another from stem to stern as we await first blood. Neither appears willing to commit and the first few seconds of this bout play out as a somewhat dour stalemate. Despite any inactivity the crowd are far more animated; Leatherface has quite the loyal fan base it seems and every hillbilly hick in the state appears to have turned up to egg the manchild on. He also has an extensive cluster of second cousins, all of which are married to each other. Among the inbreds present are Pluto, Jupiter, Saw-Tooth, Three Finger, Major Buckman and even good old Captain Spaulding has put in an appearance. Throw in Granny Boone and Annie Wilkes as cheerleaders and you have yourself one hell of a hootenanny.
Eventually we see some action and it is Marcus this time who makes first move. Striding back to the midpoint, he is joined soon after by Leatherface as the pair square up once more. This time there is no such mind given to personal space and they are in each other’s grills from the offset. Yet their eyes don’t so much as flicker with emotion, poker faces are on and this psychological battle looks likely to go to the wire. Again, Marcus comes out victorious, Leatherface can’t resist a quick glance over to his left to ascertain how Grandpa is getting on with his sexual conquest. The Viagra appears to have kicked in now and the old coot is being ridden like Silver as he frantically attempts to hold his dentures in. He needn’t bother; Mrs. Bates is no spring chicken herself and farts with each of Grandpa’s subsequent pumps. Not a pretty vista.
Leatherface, annoyed at himself for taking his eye from the prize once again, can no longer mask his frustration and the tenderizer is brought into play in the most vitriolic manner. He aims for the soft summit of Miller’s head but Marcus manages to evade the mallet and stumbles to the side while he prepares his own attack. For a hench dude, Leatherface has pretty lightning reflexes and the bludgeoning tool is again swung, this time finding a spot on Miller’s left leg to leave its bloody imprint. In synchronicity, Marcus punctures his excess fat with his screwdriver, ripping away a few layers of blubber and settling right near the lunk’s kidney. Leatherface winces and recoils in visible agony but still manages to execute his next move like a consummate professional.
The brunt of his weapon hits Marcus square on the chin and, for the first time, The Orphan Killer topples to the canvas, clearly concussed. Could he be about to buck the trend and emerge victorious from this brutal clash of the titans? Sensing that he may just have gained the upper hand, he strides back to his corner to retrieve his chainsaw which is sliding wildly across the mat. Miller may be down but he is far from out and the taste of blood on his lips only serves to heighten his desire. He is up on his feet in anticipation of Leatherface’s return and astonishingly drops his only tool of defense. Has he lost his mind? Admittedly a screwdriver is always going to struggle against an instrument which could bring a 200 year old oak tree to its knees but it appears a suicidal act on his part. Maybe the chink in his valiant armor has been revealed.
It’s just another in a long line of instances whereby he has finally spotted the weakness of his opposite number. Leatherface is a big motherfucker; colossal, Freddy Krueger could fit snugly inside one of his thighs and still have space for two Leprechauns and around forty minions from The Gate. Yet, for all his heft, he can be a little heavy-handed; a clusterfuck if you will and he just cannot keep his chainsaw under control. Instead he waves it wildly above his head and this presents time for Miller to deliver the knockout blow. He sweeps the big man’s ankles and the bigger they come, the harder they tumble.
What Leatherface hadn’t reckoned on is that irony is about to play its own hand. The humming chainsaw goes down with him, toppling from his klutz-like grip and straight underneath his apron as his entire body mass falls on his own sword. Sadly he is a couple of seconds shy of being saved by the bell and has been disemboweled by the time it chimes. I’m guessing the family will not be inviting Marcus round for thanksgiving dinner after all. Never mind, at least Grandpa hooked up; let’s just hope the Morphine doesn’t wear off before he exchanges digits with his new belle.
Round Eleven: Marcus vs. The Cenobites
A box. A mystifying box. It seems harmless to the naked eye and nothing to bother a hardened warrior such as The Orphan Killer. But looks can be very deceiving and Marcus is already aware of The Cenobites after rebuffing their pleas for him to join their new model army. They evidently hold him in great esteem but won’t have taken calmly to being given the cold shoulder. In truth, Miller could win this bout purely by negating to tamper with the cantankerous cube but that wouldn’t be like our Marcus now would it? Our Marcus never shirks a challenge, is always thriving to learn and is not fazed by the prospect of perpetual hell after years of suffering at the hands of his proposed gatekeepers.
He is, however, a realist and doesn’t fancy the prospect of single-handedly taking on all four of these hell dwellers in one go. That would be plain dumb. Who knows the kind of foul tricks Pinhead and his associates will have tucked away up their sleeves? These guys have a bedsit in hell, they clearly cannot be trusted. It is therefore time for a new pawn to be introduced, a Baby Sister no less. For one round only we shall see the siblings as a double team and this presents something of a first. It will, of course, still be 2 vs. 4 but Butterball has a bad case of gout in his left ankle and Chatterer has a wisdom tooth coming through so they will likely pose little more than obstruction, at any rate.
Audrey Miller emerges from behind the curtain and the crowd go into rapture. Grandpa takes one look at the flaxen-haired harlot and then another at Mrs Bates and his chemical-induced boner finally subsides. It’s a shame as they are matched well but rumor has it that he may have planted some of Grandpa’s special little seedlings in her last remaining ovary so we could be hearing the squeak of tiny wheels in the next few months. I’ll keep you posted on progress. I’m digressing, back to the supple and salacious sight just begging to be feasted on. Audrey is clad in her usual sparse arrangement which leaves bare minimum to the imagination, just what the doctor ordered after watching Freddy parading around with his sweater round his head.
She slinks her way down to center stage and slides past the barbed wire barricades with minimum fuss. Been there, done that. On arrival she offers her big brother a sarcastic grin and he doesn’t look amused in the slightest. Cast your minds back, if you will, to Norman’s fight. That lanky streak of love wee was never likely to ruffle the nest so to speak. Marcus could’ve dismantled him in the time it would take for him to pull his piece from the hole in the shower wall. Yet he was denied his quarry by his own flesh and blood. Having been a constant thorn in his side since they were reunited it appeared that relations had cooled. She had come around to his way of thinking and proven herself on the field so omens were positive. Then she stole the cheese from right under his nose. What a minx.
This siren can scrap; those ocular emeralds alone can bring an ogre to its knees and her smile has been reported to cause spontaneous combustion but, in addition to being a delectable dish, she is a trained assassin able of ripping out throats and taking notes. Marcus makes his annoyance crystal clear and bumps shoulders as he walks back to the corner. She bumps him right back and stands firm as though to remind him that she is nobody’s bitch and certainly no shrinking violet. The pair shall have to set their differences aside to stand a chance of emerging victors here as the odds are stacked against them. Backs will be against the wall and any breakdown in communications could have cataclysmic ramifications.
“Oh, big brother. A dainty ornate box, you really shouldn’t have” She skips over and sits down with both legs crossed, immediately starting the sequence “This is going to be so much fun.” She slides the dimensions in the correct combination and the cube lights up in her excited hands. “Oh deary deary. Somebody’s been a bad girl Marcus. Look who let the cat out of the bag.” She places it down on the canvas and skips back to her sibling, twisting her pig-tail around her middle finger and blowing gum in his ear. He still doesn’t respond and her flagrant disregard for his wishes earlier have really hit him where it hurts. She did Norman a favor as Big Brother had a far more destructive path planned but, for the next three minutes, he is prepared to set their differences aside in favor of getting the job done.
Captain Kirk would be proud of The Cenobites’ entrance; they beam in surrounded by an ethereal glow and in their very best S&M get up. Butterball is halfway through a frosted doughnut, blatantly disregarding doctor’s orders and Chatterer is muzzled up but evidently still in some pain as the soonest appointment she could get was for next Thursday and her orthodontist doesn’t do call-outs. Audrey’s eyes are instantly fixed on The Female and she is ready to reveal her kitty claws for this one. Pinhead is emulating Jehovah, clearly relishing the magnificent light display and really playing to this crowd. They are out of their seats, maybe this dude is the messiah?
Butterball may as well have not shown as his attempt to advance ends in tears. His ankle buckles and he falls headlong towards Audrey, smashing his designer shades on impact with the cold hard canvas. “Oh bless. Well isn’t that just the cutest thing I ever did see big brother. He fell at my feet” She lets out one of her devilish giggles and blows her largest bubble yet, bursting it on the back of the downed demon’s big bald head. One down, three remain and Marcus takes double duties. Chatterer is up first as Pinhead is still transfixed by his own effervescent aurora and milking the audience for all that they’re worth. Alas for Chatterer, the smarting pain of his ingrowing tusk has left him toothless to Miller’s fury and he feeds Chatterer a sandwich which consists entirely of knuckles, shattering every last tooth in his face. On the plus side, the wisdom tooth has evacuated also so at least his final few breaths won’t be so pain-laden.
Audrey and The Female are deep in the thick of it, trading spiteful blows. The cute bubblegum princess is now something far more feral and her protracted talons are leaving her insignia all over The Female’s tattered pelt. However Baby Sister has left her defenses down for a reason and has been subjected to a flurry of body blows in return. A haymaker to the jaw proves that Audrey has the chin for the fight as well as the obligatory verve and swagger. There is a misconception that women can’t be tough and she wishes to show all sides of her game to reveal what misinformed drivel it really is.
The Female is badly beaten and repeated blows to her cranium have left her disorientated. Baby Sister decides that now is the time to stop toying with her playmate and steps forward to finish what she has started. Body modification always appears a good idea at the time but right now The Female is about to discover its distinct disadvantages. One by one Audrey plucks each decorative ring from its root, much to her opponent’s bemusement. Six or seven are ejected before she leans in and slides her painted nails between the cenobite’s thighs. Maybe a tender moment is scheduled; an innocent exploration between two women, one admittedly easier on the eye than the other, but both prisoners to their quim’s desire.
Not this time, anyone hoping to yank their chains shall be provided with yanking of a far less erotic nature. “Oh you dark little pony. I see you have your clit pierced. Mind if I play?” With that, Baby Sister tweaks the piercing from its labial origin and The Female drops to the canvas, tears streaming down her cheeks. Audrey too has a vagina and is quite aware how much this would smart so decides to end their skirmish swiftly. She pulls back her leg and performs a devastating low kick which knocks her opponent spark out. Audrey has prepared and a rusted razor blade protrudes from her boot which slices The Female’s throat as it glances by. Evidently she won’t be getting up from this one.
Marcus and Pinhead are locked together like rams but, sensing that his comrades have been dispatched, the prickly one has begun to lose much of the spring in his stride. He leaves an opening and Marcus forms a barbed wire fist to deliver that knockout blow. However, playing fair is not a concept The Cenobites are familiar with and Pinhead calls upon his puzzle box to throw him a bone. It does; although there is no marrow to be seen, just a dozen rusted chains with vicious hooks which flail from the cube and lurch in Miller’s direction. The full dozen make significant contact, restraining him where he stands and swinging the pendulum of fortune the other way once more.
A buoyant Pinhead is ready to tear yet another soul apart and he chuckles to himself as he augments his counter. This is a cheap trick and Baby Sister is not amused in the slightest. “Hey. No fair mister.” Ordinarily Marcus would be mortified at his sibling meddling into his affairs but there is no time for alpha bullshit now as Pinhead is clearly disinterested in playing by the rules. “Prove to me that you are worthy Baby Sister.” This is all the invitation she needs “hmm… okay” she replies and bounds to his aid gleefully. Grabbing the inhuman pin-cushion round his spiky head, she proceeds to push each of the pins in deep with her thumbs.
This buys Marcus the time to break free from his ominous shackles and grab that infernal box. Three slides to the left, two to the right and push. Marvelous, the box returns to its original configuration and all four Cenobites are sent back whence they came in a flash of blinding light. Pinhead, being the eternal raver that he is, clutches wildly at the illuminations with one hand as he clings on for dear life with the other. In a bolt of cruel electricity it is over and the rats are back in the trap where they belong. Marcus looks over at Audrey but this time he has softened distinctly. “Not bad”. The bell tolls and Audrey leaves her sibling to prepare for his ultimate showdown and tonight’s main card event.
Dearest Patrons of Grue, welcome to the ultimate showdown. We have had eleven grueling rounds of inexplicable carnage, numerous pretenders have stepped up to the throne and been ruthlessly dispatched and now only one remains. There have been countless thrills, unbounded spills and merciless kills aplenty. Tonight we take it to the vicious extreme as we witness the match-up of two undeniable behemoths from the annals of slasher. Only one can emerge victorious and, for the other, the time has come to accept second best. The Orphan Killer, unbeaten in eleven fights and The Shape, back from retirement for one last shot of supremacy. ‘Tis going to be bloody, make no mistake, and only one of these majestic warriors shall be left standing come the end. Hedge your bets now ladies and germs; the grand finale is upon us.
First up; heralding from Haddonfield, Illinois is our challenger. Every babysitter’s worst nightmare, the man without a face, known by many as The Boogeyman, it’s the inimitable, the magisterial, the irreplaceable…Michael Myers! Next to center stage and all the way from New Jersey is our current champion. He rips, he tears, he obliterates; nicknamed The Orphan Killer, it’s the seemingly unstoppable angel of death, the sovereign of modern slasher…Marcus Miller! Take a seat wherever you can find one, grab your Twinkies and don’t forget to wear your mackintosh as things are about to get very messy indeed.
Main Card: Marcus Miller vs. Michael Myers
It’s the night he came home, the return of the prodigal son. Michael Myers has been away for some time now and things have changed considerably in his absence. There is a new swinging dick in town and he has utilized the platform he has been provided here to elevate himself onto the shoulder of giants. The path has been strewn with obstructions, some diminutive and others greatly challenging but Marcus Miller has come through every single encounter with machete raised high. Of course, this being the grand finale, he is very much aware that there shall be no easy progress. The Shape has been unchallenged at the apex of slasher folklore for over thirty years now and he sure as shit isn’t giving that mantle up without a bloody fight.
He is a picture of composure in his corner; head down, fiercely focused and not allowing the magnitude of the occasion get the better of him. Baby Sister has now left him to his own devices as she knows how much this win means to him. This will be strictly one-on-one with no interference; whoever is left standing come the end will have gotten there solely on their own merits. Marcus appears relaxed and resolute, his body language tells a tale in itself. Unfortunately, this being such a pivotal bout, there is always going to be adversity and there are a row of nuns towards the back of the amphitheater who have decided to heckle our reigning champion. This rowdy bunch of religious croons are trying every low-down and dirty trick in the book to upset the apple cart and have been hurling abuse at Miller right through the intermission.
There are a couple of minutes left until battle commences and The Shape is still meditating in his dressing room so Marcus decides the best defense is offense and picks up his already bloodied woodsman’s ax and proceeds to quieten these naysayers. “You’ll rot in hell Miller. You’re a filthy, evil child.” Sticks and stones sister, it seems wasteful to make your last words so teeming with vitriol. Marcus reaches the enclosure and the ax handle is raised above his head as these God-jeering bitches begin to see the error of their ways. He runs his eye over each in turn and, with that, his recollections begin to flood back. In the name of the son, the father and the unholy spirit; there is about to be blood.
So it begins. The ax drops time and time and time again, unfastening joints and severing limbs with absolute abandon. Some see only one strike and that is enough to end their vow of mortality. Others aren’t so fortunate. After nearly twenty punishing blows quietude is attained. The remainder of the crowd are totally muted, many of them coated in a thick layer of cruor from Miller’s reckoning. He looks around and surveys his audience then raises one finger to his lips. “Ssh” This is his only address and, with that, he makes his way back ringside to limber up before the pre-ordained arrival of his true challenger. Michael Myers is punctual as ever.
The lights dim and the deathly hush grows quieter still as The Shape appears from behind the crimson curtain. You could cut the atmosphere with a knife right now but, chances are, it would cut you straight back. His walk to the ring is leisurely, no reason to run, he takes it all in his stride like the true champion that he very much is. But every dog has its day and perhaps we are about to see something truly spectacular tonight. A real Rumble in the Jungle. Michael certainly isn’t taking the occasion lightly, thirty five years ago he was the underdog, wet behind the balls, he wasn’t expected to make the impact he did that day. Champions are born that way and this is The Orphan Killer’s sole chance to redress the balance and join the slasher elite.
The stage couldn’t be more set for this bloody battle to-the-death. Both men are of similar body mass, likewise reach and identikit stats. Even during weigh-in, the ordinarily vocal Miller chose not to utter so much as a solitary word, clearly as a mark of reverence but also to show the free world that he can let his actions speak for him. He isn’t blinkered, he hears the cynics’ venomous deconstructive criticism and that is part and parcel of the industry he has chosen to ply his trade. But like any true warrior, his dignity has remained intact throughout. While lame-brains like Leprechaun were prancing about in their polished buckled shoes and attempting to lighten the mood with limericks he didn’t rise and instead let his weapon do the talking. That sets him apart and is entirely the reason why he has earned himself countless new fans over the course of these twelve punishing rounds.
The two great men square up and commence the obligatory psyche-out. Nothing, not a flicker of emotion, faces are game and both are fully focused on matters at hand. Michael tilts his head to the side but both sets of peepers remain locked together the whole time. As the bell tolls and they return to their respective corners, The Royal Rumble reaches its zenith. One thing is totally clear this night, blood shall spill from both goblets. In addition, there will be no underhand tactics or showmanship. Miller has even refused to wield his trademark machete and is meeting Myers on his own terms, with a kitchen knife and just his wits and endurance. They turn back to face one another again and, at precisely the same moment, stride back to commence their skirmish.
Injuries are sustained instantaneously by both combatants. They trade early slashes like Wall Street brokers and each weapon gains its first taste of blood. Michael comes away slightly better from the opening exchanges; three or four gashes across his biceps and an admittedly rather nasty aperture on his right shoulder. Marcus has taken the same number of blows but one in particular, down the side of his left cheek and right down to his shoulder blade, has left him flinching. This provides Myers the vital moment in which to achieve his primary insertion. He chooses Miller’s thigh and slides the elongated blade in about three inches, just long enough to sever sufficient nerves and send Marcus staggering backward onto the ropes. This will be his first true test of character in this bout as many would throw in the towel with no further ado. Not Marcus Miller.
He grunts as he slides the blade free and tosses it back towards his opponent. Myers procrastinates not in retrieving it from the canvas and marches back to apply more pressure. He swipes at Marcus, weapon glancing his sternum but this time there is retaliation. Miller plunges his knife into Michael’s lower neckline and slowly rotates it in the cavity. He continues this for a handful of seconds, during which time, their gaze becomes locked once more. Both are surveying for tell-tale signs that doubt is creeping in but both investigations yield the same desolate result. Utter commitment on adjacent fronts, these two proud lions are prepared only to emerge victorious and no thoughts of defeat have entered either man’s head. We are witnessing something of significant magnitude Grueheads.
The crowd are on their feet unanimously and the entire room is ablaze with emotion but tellingly none of that is escaping the ring or making its way across the threshold for that matter. Another lunge from Michael and this time his blade finds a temporary home in Miller’s right hand before exiting through his palm just inches away from his face. Marcus refuses to make this a one-way exchange and plants his knife into The Shape’s lower abdomen but, before it can gyrate, Myers steps back and applies his hand to the rupturing wound. For the only time yet he looks ruffled, Michael knows full well that he has just suffered a critical blow and lesser men would have dropped to their knees but he stands defiantly and ready to reconvene.
This time however he decides to take the low road and plunders his blade into Miller’s left boot, pinning it to the Grue-sodden canvas. To make matters worse, he then nudges Marcus back on his heels, keeping his grip tight on his weapon. It tears through ligaments and forcibly exits between his toes, leaving The Orphan Killer at a new level of agonizing pain. Still, he isn’t done, and Myers reclaims his knife and rises once more to his feet. Miller is still upright but clutching the barbed ropes to steady his shit before the next episode commences. Then something totally uncharacteristic occurs; Myers stops dead in his tracks, faltering just long enough for Marcus to lodge his own attack.
Considering his equilibrium being severely hamstrung at this point, his choice is an astute one and a glance of his blade is preferred to any ‘sticking’. It catches Michael across the brow, sliding across his hairline and unhinging the top portion of his ear. Myers retaliates rapidly but, for the first time in the fight, his blow isn’t landed. Instead he is left flailing and off center as Marcus shoulder barges him to the canvas. He can barely maintain balance himself and thus reaches back for the ropes as his foot is not able to withstand any weight. The Shape rises up to a seated position and glances round to the left while he ascertains his opposite number’s coordinates. Again he is back on his feet and any claims of being the actual boogeyman have been solidified after such a gusto-laden display. Win or lose he can leave with head held high.
Marcus reciprocates any attention and quickly surmises that this time Michael is not brandishing his trademark. He has left it in a fast-expanding pool of crimson honey and, furthermore, this hasn’t been an accidental pursuit. He has sensed that Marcus is undergoing hefty balance concerns and he desires to feel with his own bare hands from hereon in. In one final exhibition of gallant grace he too loses his weapon, dropping it outside the ring where Granny Boone scuttles over to retrieve it. It will look grand on her mantle and she has Pluto and Jupiter heading over a week on Tuesday for a southern-fried banquet. What finer cutlery to carve herself a pheasant.
Back in the ring, Michael has arrived and has both hands firmly snagged round Miller’s throat. As he tightens his vice-like grip, Marcus is forced into thinking on his feet as his airwaves are slowly sealing up behind the pressure of his probing thumbs. He hooks Myers; once, twice, three times. Still the air continues to dissipate in his gullet and lightheadedness begins kicking in. A fourth clout is more substantial and lands directly on Michael’s already decimated left temple, forcing him to relinquish his hold. Adrenaline dissipates and Miller clutches his throat, desperately catching his breath for a moment. His opponent is still punch drunk and swaying on his feet; it is this moment which can dictate history, Marcus is bruised, battered, bleeding and practically beaten but it is then that you see the true soul of man.
I’m guessing Marcus possibly never got round to watching Rocky IV. It’s hard to concentrate for a full ninety minutes when noxious nuns are swinging by to dunk your head in a bowl of holy water every ten minutes. Balboa would be proud as, Marcus Miller’s heart may well be a touch blacker, but it is no less committed. Fighting through excruciating pain, he stumbles over and places both hands on Myers, one grasping the back of his boiler suit and the other gripping his skullcap. He then summons every ounce of his reserves and drags The Shape to the edge of the ring and into the direct line of the barbed wire shackles. Michael is still regaining visibility and can see them coming but hasn’t anything left in his tank to prevent what has been bound to happen next.
He wraps the pinching wire around Michael’s throat and begins to press down harshly. It punctures in numerous spots around his neck, most crucially in his larynx. Marcus knows by the shift in body weight that the fight is won, his finger tips discern the life ebbing from this enigma and thus he performs last rites. He has remained muted out of pure admiration until this point and three words are ample to convey any fleeting sentiment. “Sleep now Michael.” He draws the wire together, pulling it taut enough to cut through Michael’s gargling throat chamber until the entire head frees up and rolls off the side of the ring. Granny Boone is delighted and scurries in like the face hugger that she is, wrapping the token in her apron whilst licking her lips. It is over. There really isn’t any coming back from that.
It has been decided. Time marches on and old friends say goodbye. But their memory still very much lives on regardless. Michael Myers has had a magisterial run, unchallenged for the most part but there is a new sovereign this night. Marcus Miller, or Marcus Miller to his closest friends, has proven his mettle consistently against a rowdy bunch of marauders all hell-bent on ending him. None have succeeded. Baby Sister joins him in the ring and they butt heads affectionately. This is his moment, her time will come as there’s also a women’s division. Had I negated to mention that? Must have slipped my mind.
Truly, Really, Clearly, Sincerely,
Keeper of the Crimson Quill
Copyright: Crimson Quill: Savage Vault Enterprises 2014