What’s Bizarro Fiction And What Does It Mean For Chainsaw Enthusiasts?

Posted: May 10, 2011 in Uncategorized

If you know me, you’ve probably heard me use the word “Bizarro fiction”. I even use it on this page. A lot of you reach this page because you are searching for things that have to do with chainsaws. As well you should. Chainsaws are loud, gory and awesome. They are often used in movies that are loud, gory, awesome and could be called “cult”, like Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, wherein Dennis Hopper has a chainsaw battle with Leatherface or Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers, a film that helped me think of the phrase “Chainsaw Noir”. Bizarro fiction is weird fiction. Sometimes violent fiction. Sometimes sexually explicit fiction. Always weird. Carlton Mellick III, Bizarro author and founder of Eraserhead Press calls Bizarro “literature’s equivalent to the cult section at the video store.” Do you see where I’m going with this?

Bizarro fiction features stories you can’t read anywhere else. Gorehounds,remember how excited you were the first time you saw Basketcase or Reanimator? These were stories you couldn’t see told anywhere else. They had eyecatching posters, provocative titles and a lot of intense, weird shit in them. They weren’t just great because they were gory or frightening, they were great because they were unusual. And with books like Shatnerquake, Assgoblins of Auschwitz, Apeshit, Warrior Wolfwomen of the Wasteland and Fistful of Feet, you can relive that fresh exploitation feeling.

But before I simplify things too much, I’ll tell you that Bizarro has heart and brains as well as guts and weirdness. Horror fans aren’t stupid. Comic fans aren’t stupid. Noir buffs aren’t stupid. No matter who you are, you want books that engage your mind as well as tingle your genitals and twist your stomach. All the books I’ve mentioned above manage to do that. Some like to say that Bizarro is weird for weird’s sake, but in all of these books there is a strong thematic core and they’re written with heart. These are books that you can read for fun and then go back and mine for insight and references. Other Bizarro  books come primarily from this place and are more thoughtprovoking and emotional through and through. Cameron Pierce’s recent three novella collection Abortion Arcade will surprise you with this, Andersen Prunty’s Zerostrata is one of the most warm, meaningful love stories I’ve ever read, Bradley Sands’ My Heart Said No, But the Camera Crew Said Yes is full of strange, cerebral wordplay and unlikely situations to test your neurons and Forrest Armstrong’s The Dead Heart Shelters is a hip hop artfilm masterwork of a novel.

If you look into Bizarro more and have trouble deciding where to start, I’d recommend the three Bizarro Starter Kits. I’m in the Purple one. The other two are also good in spite of the baffling absence of me.

The Bizarro Starter Kit (Orange)


The Bizarro Starter Kit (Blue)


The Bizarro Starter Kit (purple) (The one I’m in)


Hope you’ve learned something and that this might lead you to something you like. If you’re here to find out about movies or books with chainsaws used in cool gory ways, you’ll dig some Bizarro stuff, if you ended up here because you were looking to purchase a chainsaw, good luck in your search for chainsaws and remember that nothing beats relaxing in a hammock with a beer and a weird book. If you’re here because you’re a fan of mine and already know plenty about Bizarro, scold me on Facebook for patronizing you.  Bizarro is great.

  1. Lee Widener says:

    Another great movie with chainsaws used in cool gory ways is Motel Hell. Not to mention the pig head mask. And people planted in the ground. And cannibalism…

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