Suggested Audio Jukebox:
 Henry Hall & His Orchestra “The Teddy Bear’s Picnic”
 Alice Cooper “He’s Back (The Man Behind The Mask)”
 Iron Maiden “The Number of The Beast”
 Deacon Blue “Real Gone Kid”
 Kool & The Gang “Celebration”
 Rush “Force Ten”
 Blondie “One Way or Another”
 Paradox “Soul Feels Free”
 Sub Sub “Angel (Deep Love Mix)”
 Rush “Lock & Key”
Picture the scene Grueheads. You’re in the deep woods at the dead of night, the moon is full, and there is nobody else present. As little as an hour ago, several of your close friends were in attendance but, for some bizarre reason, they are no longer anywhere to be seen. One by one they wandered off, failing to return from their brisk strolls, and you are beginning to feel more than a little uneasy. If only you’d listened to those words of advice from the town crazy, perhaps you would have given the campsite a wide berth. Instead, you are completely vulnerable and beginning to question whether or not you will ever get to see dawn. However, for as much as things appear desperate, they’re only about to get a whole lot more ominous. You see, it turns out that you do have company after all, and not the kind interested in a game of pooh sticks down by the river either.
Should you have taken heed of local folklore instead of dismissing it as claptrap, then that sound emanating from the nearby shrubbery wouldn’t be causing your flesh to crawl. Minds have a tendency to play tricks with you at moments such as these and yours is currently proving quite the prankster. It could be a squirrel, just nature acting out, but something tells you that whatever is lurking in the dense overgrowth doesn’t possess a bushy tail. Things are starting to get frantic and you are now under absolutely no illusion that you are approaching mortal peril. Sooner or later, your unwelcome guest will reveal itself, and you have a niggling feeling that you’ll wish it hadn’t. Becoming little more than a statistic doesn’t appeal much and you’re fully aware of the amount of campers who have failed to see the light of day in these particular woods. Nervously, you edge forward, plucking up just enough courage to investigate that rustling sound coming from beyond the foliage, but ill-prepared for the enlightenment that waits on the other side.
As you reach forward and pull aside the branches, your very worst fears are confirmed. Standing before you, at around 6″7 and almost the same across, is a man who doesn’t appear particularly approachable. Perhaps it is the maggots slithering through the eyes of his mask that unsettles you so, or maybe the grue spattered machete he holds by his side. This is no friendly rambler in need of directions and it doesn’t take a master of deduction to fathom out that you are about to become his new plaything. There is a momentary stand-off while your eyes meet, his bloodshot and brimming with indifference about the harsh acts he has just engaged in, yours wide like a rabbit in fast-approaching headlamps and fighting back the tears. Do you turn about-face and dash off down the trail? Surely you can’t be expected to do battle with this juggernaut. Waiting for his next move is clearly not advisable as he is evidently not in possession of a backgammon set or flask of coffee. It would appear that you have arrived between a roc and a hard place. Methinks it is high time I step in.
Firstly I would like to set any racing minds to rest as, while appearances have not been deceptive and this is every bit the crazed killer his posture suggests, he is currently out of commission. Don’t go getting too comfortable just yet as this inactivity won’t last and his first thought will be whether to carve you up horizontally or vertically, once he snaps out of his dead zone. However, for now you have time on your side, albeit of the slither variety. Having recently fashioned a final girl, I have decided to see how the other half live and craft her an opposing threat. In true slasher fashion, we have been left with a one-on-one scenario and the odds of poor old Candi Cockwarren making it through ’til sunrise are longer than O.J. Simpson’s charge sheet. Naturally I tooled her up for the expedition as I’ve always been a sucker for a pretty face and don’t wish to watch her die without first presenting her the tools with which to proceed. Turns out that she’ll be needing every last one of them and a fair dose of good fortune as this behemoth is just about primed to spring back into bloody action.
Before Candi gets too comfortable in her relief, I feel duty bound to inform her of just what she is up against here. A fair fight this is not and neither should it be as he has the home advantage. Should Candi and her fellow trespassers not have seen fit to poke around in places that don’t concern them, then this midnight rendezvous would have been avoided and we’d all be sleeping easy. However, there’s only so much cage rattling that a beast will endure before lashing out through instinct alone. I am tasked with getting him battle ready and, given that his opponent is fully versed on the dos and don’ts of being the final girl, it only seems fair to equalize the odds some. He shall receive six items with which to wrangle his supremacy; the same quota as his intended victim. But that’s in addition to the brute strength that comes as mandatory and it is here that the tree begins to shake. I guess it is high time that I give and he receives. Thus, it’s time for Candi Cockwarren to start conjuring up that plan B and pronto.
Does this look like the face of a domesticated creature? Perhaps that leash will not be sufficient after all. You see, my crazed killer is indigenous to these very woods and has never actually vacated these leafy greens. Most would have suffered wanderlust at one point or another but not he, this native is never more content than when traipsing through twigs and berries and disinterested in suburbia. He gets by on animalistic instinct alone, knowing his surroundings, acknowledging his intended quarry, then waiting for the ideal moment to strike. It is imperative that I provide him with Mother Nature’s starter kit as he is a hunter first and foremost and will be needing every last bead of feral instinct to whittle the numbers down to a more manageable level.
A strong sense of smell will be crucial as, like the alpha wolf, much of his fortitude will rely on his ability to pick up on any lingering scent. However, this is where I spice things up some, as is customary for a crazed killer to trace trails back to sweaty, copulating couples. This is not the case here, sporting an intact hymen leaves you little more than a red flag, and he can track that shit from a country mile off, as the crow flies no less. The aroma of split liquor and even the densest hash clouds disinterest him, whereas enduring chastity positively tests his gag reflex. Should you find yourself locked in his crosshairs, then my advice would be to cram the nearest oversized vegetable between your thighs and commence frigging for dear life. That is precisely what Susan Belfort is doing as we speak. Had I mentioned that Candi has six friends? We’ll deal with each in turn or rather he will.
Susan Belfort just wasn’t ready to take the plunge. Her parents had drummed it into her that she should wait until sex truly meant something, preferably well into her mid-twenties, thus she took solace in the scripture, excelled in her studies, and made captain of the school debating team to boot. Her long-suffering boyfriend Mitch arranged this whole outing on account of his desire to finally pop that cherry and somehow managed to reassure her that his intentions are nothing but honorable. Of course, they’re not. Should she continually resist, then Mitch has a secret stash of Rohypnol on hand and fully intends to plunder her paddock while she catches up on her sweet dreams, unbeknownst of the breach. By morning, Susan may well feel a faint throbbing in her haunch and be reluctant to perch herself on any tree stumps for the foreseeable. Actually, she’ll do nothing of the sort. Ladies and gentlemen, I bring you our very first victim.
Susan deserves whatever callous denouement is coming to her just for suggesting that the group should stick together when the camp circuit breaker fused out unexpectedly. This, in itself, is punishable by death most severe but her fate was sealed by her next action. Mitch came on a little strong and tried to force his clammy palm down the gusset of her chest huggers. She resisted of course and dashed upstairs to repent for her sins to him upstairs. This is where you join us as him upstairs isn’t the forgiving type and neither does he possess a white beard. Instead, he is driven only by feral instinct and do-gooders such as Susan Belfort happen to give off one helluva stench. Feeling dirty from the whole Mitch debacle, she decides to take a quick shower and rinse away all that date rape grunge. Naturally, by the time my brute arrives on the scene, she is in the midst of stripping for her hose down. However, only to her one-piece all over bathing suit. I shit you not, it even comes with arm sleeves and reveals virtually nothing of the pure as snow lily beneath. You’re damn right he’s incensed.
Given that Susan enrages him so, weaponry is superfluous to requirements here. Bare hands will do the trick and, indeed, I’d pay good money to watch him peel a nectarine in record time. Starting with that plain but pretty little face, he tears himself a strip. Alas for our pre-bloom flower, his grip is pretty decisive, and her entire epidermis begins to free up from its bindings. Of course, because of the no nudity clause in her contract, the bathing suit remains figure hugging as her entire pelt is wrenched away in a single harsh motion. But we didn’t really want to see her tits anyway. Nobody likes a dick tease and I feel for Mitch, really I do. You see, while his reluctant subject is being literally ripped flesh from bone upstairs, the poor lad accidentally mistook the Rohypnol for ibuprofen and is currently passed out on the couch. As for Susan, well soapy water may reinvigorate the skin, but it’s not quite so beneficial to one’s exposed membrane.
So we’ve ascertained that untapped virginity buys you no free passes here. Well neither does being a killjoy which is precisely what our next sorry hopeful is. With a name like Garry Moss, you just know he’s going to throw a spanner in the works as the party approaches full swing, and Garry just couldn’t resist making it all about him. With his best friend comatose on the couch and his sworn enemy, Japanese foreign exchange student Me Snide Wang, putting moves on the girl he had planned to proposition, this state champion wrestler just couldn’t help himself when throwing that wobbler. After taking a swing at Wang and discovering that his street repertoire doesn’t stand up against one swift dragon punch to the kidney, Garry took his green-eyed rage out into the elements and is currently over by the lake skimming stones while concocting a bitter revenge plan. For his crimes against jamboree, he will now pay the ultimate price, as our crazed killer doesn’t take kindly to party poopers.
What makes him most furious is that there are still two other females back at the cabin and he is likely missing spin the bottle right now on account of this joy-sapping knob fleece and his no-can-do attitude. However, to my crazed killer’s infinite credit, he has decided to bring the party to Garry after all. It seems the perfect time for a brisk exhibition of the masked marauder’s combat skills and he has opted for an environmental weapon that he procured on his way out to the lake. There’s nothing more satisfying to an aspiring death-dealer than a hint of irony so he selected carefully when rifling through the collection of old 45s by the vintage record player. The very last thing Garry needs presently is spinning vinyl to perk him up but since when has this been about what Garry needs?
Having just got hands on with Susan, this time it’s all about finding that range, and he lobs the Kool & The Gang 12″ bootleg from a distance of around twenty yards just to set himself a decent personal best. By the time Garry discerns the whistle of incoming plastic in his slipstream, the needle is already on the record and celebrations are about to be cut short along with his windpipe. I believe TIMBER! is the term as his top trunk is subtracted from his shoulders and rolls off into the swim, still sporting that same pathetic scowl as it sinks sub aqua. The fishes will do the rest and Garry’s punishment for being such a killjoy will be to have his eyeballs pecked away by pond scum. How very dare he douse the good vibes with his rancid wet blanket? Time for my crazed killer to retrieve himself a party bag.
This unpleasantness has left a sour taste in his palate and he no longer desires wasting another solitary second from hereon in. This is what is commonly referred to as crunch time, as his anonymity is all set to be swiftly compromised and it’s no knee-jerk reaction either. There are five remaining adolescents inside the cabin including Candi, four if you exclude Mitch who is too busy counting sheep to even figure, and all are about to receive a full and decidedly informal introduction. In short, my crazed killer is about to burst through the front door, taking it clean off its hinges in the process. This will provoke something of a snap shot moment as pennies all drop in unison. For the record, Candi is currently playing Butt Naked Twister with fellow town Trollope Missy Ebsworth so both will be granted temporary immunity. This is where prioritizing correctly becomes critical. Let’s consider the options shall we?
Mitch can wait as it’s just no fun obliterating a passive target and the group stoner and token black guy Tyler “T.J.” Jensen is far too predisposed toking on his bong to pose any real pressing concern. Thus, it simply has to be Wang. We’ve already seen that he possesses the way of the dragon but his blink-and-you’ll-miss-it tussle with Garry was hardly the game of death. Something tells me he won’t fare up so well against the big boss as he stares in the face of demolition. Wang raises his fist of fury but is second to the punch on this occasion as my crazed killer has already entered the dragon with his very own circle of iron or a buzzsaw blade to be precise. He has assessed the situation, prioritized accordingly, reached into his bag of tricks, and pulled out a winner. That makes Wang a loser. How did you enjoy that first trip Stateside Wang? Guess you’re all out of spare ribs then? Indeed he is as the buzzsaw has snagged itself a fair clutch of ebony fence posts and shattered the cage so to speak.
Bag of Tricks
The buzzsaw blade was an ingenious idea and Kool & The Gang 45s can be replaced but what else lurks in that wonderful bag of tricks is anyone’s guess. Take five my grossly overworked crazed killer, kick back for a little, and reveal those lustrous wares so we know what we’re dealing with here. Fret not over T.J. as he was about to run for his life, but then he got high. Twister is hotting up far too much to even contemplate breaking it up so Candi and Missy can keep on rolling those dice for the time being. However, Mitch’s snoring is beginning to grate, and there appears ample time on the clock to choose that next weapon wisely. Besides, we’re a nosy bunch us Grueheads, and have been starved of both hack and slash for too long now. Give us something to be enthused about please, march us into the next shower of blood and pass us the loafer so we can really lather up. What’s in the bag huh?
Three reasonably decisive tools, one of which will be saved until last. The first is a frying pan and this may appear somewhat tame at first glance but, believe me when I say, that he knows only too well how to bring shit to the simmer. Next to that are a pair of bolt cutters, real industrial ones too, and capable of some reasonably agonizing back fat pinches. Then there is the all-important machete and this item is reserved for our final girl and one other lucky young hopeful. Before it touches down in the supple flesh of its ultimate prey, said blade will first require a short baptism. Mitch can count himself rather unfortunate as his state of slumber presents sufficient windows of opportunity for my crazed killer to make this a round robin affair. Right then, how many eggs must one break to prepare that omelette?
A few friendly thwacks should assist Mitch in shaking free from his forty winks and indeed they do as we now have ourselves a live one. I say friendly when the bloody contusions all over Mitch’s soundly battered body aren’t looking all that hospitable. However, things haven’t so much as started getting started yet as the bolt-cutters are about to make their primary extraction. Mitch’s teeth are looking particularly inviting now as his metal brace would provide the ideal test for their mettle. In one foul motion, they make contact with the mesh and, in the next, yank this wire dental gatekeeper directly out of poor Mitch’s gaping maw. Needless to say, this causes something of a chain reaction and the desperate teen is left with a top grill full of gushing gums and missing the entire lower portion of his jaw. Kudos to my Crazed Killer for taking the time to provide us all a QVC-style demonstration. Like I said, he’s packing.
Mercy For The Underdog
As already mentioned, T.J. is of African-American origin and, thus, regarded as the obvious fall guy here. Granted, he may come out with the odd witty retort and throw in a customary “Dang!” or two to remind us all that he’s black. This, in itself, makes him an underdog as the crowd-pleasing brother never quite makes it to sunrise. Fuck that shit in its drop-box with a randy mallard’s bill, I happen to be rather partial to rooting for the little guy and have been meticulous in my Crazed Killer’s education that the stalk and slash brigade traditionally love them a long shot. Why shouldn’t T.J. survive the night? There’s a tendency to look at the stoner as some kind of nondescript with only limited dialect and vocabulary at his disposal and T.J. doesn’t fit this description. When he gets high on his own supply, this dude can philosophize with the best of ’em, and has been solely responsible for some of the finest dialogue this sorry group have engaged in since they first called dibs on their bunks.
Currently T.J. is pondering the amount of blood in an average human and seems to have stumped on ten pints as that is exactly the amount which Mitch appears to have relinquished and that shit deserves another toke on the bong. Moreover, he’s even seen fit to pass the dutchie to the left hand side, even though my Crazed Killer is currently hovering round his right. Such lack of spacial awareness is forgivable as T.J. takes great pride in his hippy mentality and is only too happy to share the wealth. I did warn my Crazed Killer beforehand of the dangers of too much pot as the last thing he needs is room spin when there are still hard targets to vanquish. However, there is no harm in taking the edge off, and it benefits our underdog to the power of being granted last-gasp immunity. Of course, there must be conditions to his eleventh-hour pardon, one of which being that he is not permitted to move a solitary muscle while the hunt reconvenes. Shouldn’t prove too much of a problem to T.J. Secondly, he will be expected to have reloaded the bong for my Crazed Killer’s planned return as this is good fucking shit and even psychopaths deserve a dash of downtime.
The Ability To Destroy Something Beautiful
Okay ladies, it’s been a blast watching you navigate a plastic sheet in the altogether, and I especially liked Candi’s impression of a startled starfish as she opened wide between the green and red spots. Regrettably, body counts don’t amass themselves, and this machete is primed to taste something supple and suitably oiled up. Great job on the lotion Missy but I regret to inform you that it is your number that is up. My Crazed Killer may be prone to moments of weakness and T.J.’s fortune is your misfortune as I cannot run the risk of him being labelled a wussy. Please don’t think for a second that my heart isn’t heavy right now, although it’s significantly lightened by the fact that all the blood in my body is currently bunched up around my dick mutton. Destiny states that one must die before it can become two and Candi has had the good sense to postpone this round of Twister and scurry off into the thicket screaming like a true queen. What’s your excuse? Cat got your tongue?
More of a whimper really if I’m honest. This alone gives my Crazed Killer cause for carnage as what good are lungs if you’re not prepared to test them? Being nude may have earned you a temporary bye but reputations are at stake here and my Crazed Killer can’t become known for always sparing the slag. Should he not make an example of you, then slasher will once again become predictable. One flash of the jubblies and it’s plain sailing. Who wants to pay money for that shit? (present company excluded of course as I had my hand in my trouser pocket before the bra popped off). Tell you what Missy, how does a swift and decisive strike to the lower abdomen sound? Are they agreeable terms? Fret not as my Crazed Killer will supply the all-important blade twist and bleed-out shouldn’t take more than a handful of vaguely uncomfortable moments. Are you ready dear? On my count. One… two…
Apologies for my Crazed Killer’s lack of numeracy skills and it appears as though more sorries may yet be inbound as he seems to have doubled back on his word regarding singular puncture. Those breasts will have to go too you know, although not in their entirety if that’s any consolation. Two areolae, pink and perky, is all the token my Crazed Killer is looking to relieve you of. They’ll come right off in two quick-fire slices and it’s not like you’ll be needing them anymore is it? Perhaps my Crazed Killer will use them as cufflinks, perhaps a pair of earings for mother, or maybe he will discard them like surplus cellulite. I’m past guessing his next action at this point as predictability was the very first thing I taught him to avoid and it appears he took my advice on board. I feel downright wretched that he has opted for oral consumption, although they could be easily confused with twin salami to a feral gibbon with an I.Q. of fourteen and one helluva rumbling tummy. Let’s search for the negatives shall we? There is no doubting his ability to destroy something beautiful. He’s learning see.
Eventually any parent must accept the fact that their offspring will need to stand on their own feet and fly the nest. I feel responsible now, having breathed life into my Crazed Killer, and recoiled from the funk of twenty-year tooth decay. My boy is all grown up and has completed his objectives just as his very precise orders. Granted, T.J. is still perched in the corner in a dense fog of cannabis vapor, but I’m just pleased to see him grasping his right to individuality. If I were Adolf Hitler then I’d be wearing a ridiculous mustache and there’s no facial hair here other than a couple of random stragglers and a worryingly thick white nasal hair which appears no longer willing to hang out in its cavern. I’m all for freedom of expression and, casting my eye over the pile of mangled bodies strewn about this log cabin, would say he has exceeded expectation.
That said, the night is still young, and there is still the small matter of Candi Cockwarren at large in these here woods wearing nothing whatsoever apart from a pair of Onitsuka Tigers, cum-soaked party hat, and rucksack containing a Swiss Army Knife and some throwing stars. Of course, she also has her wits and something of a fire in that belly. If she’s not careful, she may start a forest fire, and that overgrown eighties bush could prove a blaze without glory. Candi is ready, my Crazed Killer is ready, I guess it would be a good time to administer a name and take my front row seat for the festivities. I had been thinking perhaps Callum Jenkins would fit but, on second thoughts, it’s just a little too bright and breezy for one so dense in evil. Thus I name thee Rodney Felchman. All that is left now is to sit back and enjoy those fireworks. Needless to say, you’ll be sticking around for that one right?