THE LAST RANGER #8 THE CUTTHROAT CANNIBALS BY CRAIG SARGENT

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Copyright 1988.

Martin Stone and his dog Excalibur are driving along on their Harley when an avalanche occurs. It takes them to a river valley where the bike is destroyed and Stone has a broken leg. So with the help of his dog they manage to fight off some wolves but get captured by a tribe of Indians living in the valley. They don’t kill Stone as they usually kill outsiders because his dog looks like their god. So instead the two are taken to a village made of tires and Stone gets some medical treatment from a half Native American-Jewish doctor.

So the story meanders along while in the village until the chief decides to kill Stone. Stone decides to call for a trail by combat and has to face the chief’s son. So he manages to kick the son’s ass but the chief still decides to have Stone killed. Luckily the guy he defeated but didn’t kill is now his slave and helps him and Excalibur escape. They then come on a pack of wild dogs lead by three super intelligent mutant dogs. The Indian gets killed but the three dogs are defeated. Then they get captured by a group of cannibals called the Hungry. Lead by twin albino brothers named Top and Bottom because one likes to eat the top and the other the bottom. They like to spend their time arguing about philosophy. Stone finds that he has company with a young beautiful girl and her brother and father. They were captured by the Hungry and will suffer the same fate as Stone. Except the young girl will be raped by the twin brothers and she is a virgin and doesn’t want that to be her first experience. So naturally Stone has to be her first. Well Stone manages to free himself and make it to the girl’s captured jeep which has a fifty caliber on it. Stone blows away the cannibals and frees the captives.

Well this book was a mess. Not a pretty mess either. The story just meandered along without a care in the world. The main advertised villains the cannibal Hungry don’t show up until the final chapters. Oh and the author just realized at the end he has to have a sex scene so just throw one in at the last moment. A young girl who manages to undue Stone’s pants with her feet and have mad passionate sex. Sex in front of her dying brother and knocked out father. Granted they were out of it and didn’t notice but still that just seems a little bit of an uncomfortable situation to have your “Please, do it, get it in” sex. She manages this by using her feet to undue Stone’s pants. At the end Stone makes a remark that he is glad to be leaving the valley and I was too because his time there dragged on forever.

Now I know the author was dying of AIDS at this time so I guess that is an excuse for not putting your best story forward. I know that after this book I quit reading the series. Well fortunately for you the wonders of the internet delivered the final two books of this series to me. So I got to finish reading this series and you will be privileged to find out how it ends. I will tell you that this is not the worst book of the series.

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THE LAST RANGER #7 THE VILE VILLAGE BY CRAIG SARGENT

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Copyright 1988.

Martin Stone and his dog Excalibur are riding in search of April. They get caught in a radioactive thunderstorm that almost kills them. Fortunately they are found by the Undertaker and his many kids. The Undertaker manages to nurse Stone and the dog back to health. Even more helpful is the young eighteen year old daughter Luann. After a while applying all this ointment to Stone’s naked body just drives her crazy and she jumps in bed. So Stone must once again have endless sex with a beautiful young woman instead of proper rest from his injuries.

So after a while he finds out the Undertaker has a thriving business in coffins since the town of Cotopaxi was taken over by two opposing factions. On one side is the biker gang The Head Stompers. The other are the Strather Brothers a bunch of mountain men psychos who worship Al Capone. They are bleeding the locals dry with taxes and Stone comes up with a plan. Posing as The Preacher Boy he kills the second in command of the Head Stompers and ingratiates himself into the Strater Brothers. He comes with a plan to turn the two factions against each other. It doesn’t work and he’s captured and subjected to torture which he manages to escape. It looks grim but the two factions do start fighting and he is saved by an uprising of the local farmers. The Undertaker has plenty of business at the end.

So this is basically Yojimbo or A Fistful of Dollars adapted to the world of Martin Stone. A small town being exploited by two factions. A mysterious stranger comes in and manipulates the two sides into wiping each other out. This was actually a well done book that kept my interest. Some more goofy stuff are the various cat dishes the locals eat. His pit bull defeats a lion. And basically the whole area has stereotypical Mexican peasants or somewhat inbred mountain-men. Not really the people who live out in the country as someone from the East Coast probably believes inhabit the vast center. Still one of the better ones as he was suffering from the AIDS virus. As we will see the series will start to go downhill fast.

RIFFTRAX LIVE: OCTAMAN

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So its spring and a new year. Which means we get a whole new slew of Rifftrax Live. We start off with this turkey of a movie. First though a warm up with a short from the eighties featuring McGruff the Crime Dog. Yes a guy in a dog costume lectures us on dangerous of poisons. Specifically the various household chemicals with the pirate skull and crossbones on it denoting danger. Well this goes into the dangers of old prescription drugs lying around and then into the evils of illegal narcotics. With an old eighties say no to drugs and users are losers message. Somehow I don’t think these helped much given the current opioid crisis and success in legalizing marijuana.

McGruff lecturing kids.


Then we start with the movie. A film from 1971 shot in Mexico. Some science type guys and one girl are investigating the effects of radioactivity from underwater nuclear tests. This lake next to the ocean is just full of radiation. So much that it creates these weird mutant octopus.

Live calamari. Yum.


It also created an octopus man a.k.a. Octaman with an A instead of an O. Now Octaman doesn’t like these scientists one bit and starts to stalk them.

I have my eye on you. Octaman’s first victim.


The scientists the greasiest gringos you ever saw seem perplexed on what to do. Bullets don’t seem to have any effect but light from flashlights do hurt Octaman.

Waiting for the oxygen to get consumed so it can suffocate Octaman.


They do finally manage to trap it in a ring of fire. Then they manage to capture it in a net but that doesn’t work.

Calamari in a net. Now what?


Oh the Octaman also has a crush on the lady scientist and numerous times tries to carry her off. But the creature moves so slow it is stopped by the others and has to drop her.

Attempt 621 to carry off the girl.


Eventually the scientists decide to leave but find the road blocked by some brush and one fallen tree. Their inept attempts to clear the road fail so they decide to go after Octaman. They have some endless time crawling through a cave. Eventually they manage to pump enough bullets in the creature where it crawls off into the ocean to die? Or not?

Octaman and his two of four working arms.


So this movie was one big turd. My god it was endless scenes of guys in a rowboat. Guys crawling through a cavern. The Octaman coming out of the reeds and flailing its tentacles. Many scenes were shot in the dark and you could hardly see any action. The baby octapuses would meow like kittens. This was one of those painful movies to watch. You need to crack jokes just to keep your sanity which makes it an excellent movie for riffs. So only watch with the professionals riffing and never attempt to watch alone.
Rifftrax trailer

Octaman trailer.

And coming in June Star Raiders.

THE LAST RANGER #6 THE WARLORD’S REVENGE BY CRAIG SARGENT

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Copyright 1988.

Martin Stone and his allies have just defeated the mad general Patton III. Only they had to do it by detonating a nuclear missile that he launched. So deadly fallout has started to fall. They decide to head out of the area. There is one Cheyenne that is a little nuts and thinks its macho to breath in the fallout and burn his hand on the radioactive remains of a tank. So the mixed force of Cheyenne and deserters have to fight off some local warlords. Stone takes some time off to go back to his bunker and consult the supercomputer on treatment for radioactive poisoning.

At the bunker he finds out that his sister April and Dr. Kennedy were there. She left a message telling Stone to meet them at their old vacation cabin. So Stone gathers some medication and goes back to find the crazy Cheyenne fighting his girlfriend for leadership of the tribe. Stone intervenes and saves her life. Then he gives out the medication and has the group go to distribute to people downwind of the blast as he and Excalibur go to find his sister.

They arrive at the cabin and find Dr. Kennedy dying. He tells them a Mafia boss named Scalzanni took his sister. So after burying the deceased Kennedy they head off to Keenesburg. There the Mafia has established themselves and have converted a shopping mall into a weapons and slave mart. Stone disguises himself has a nerdy guy and goes to the local bar called “Get Drunk.” He finds out about Scalzanni but is drugged. Fortunately for him the prostitute who was supposed to dispose of him has a heart of gold. Peaches was rescued by Stone from the Dwarf’s resort so she returned the favor.

So Stone finds his sister on display and goes nuts and tries to break her out. Only its a trap and he is now prisoner of the sadistic Scalzanni. Seems Stone killed his brother at the Dwarf’s resort and now Scalzanni’s honor requires revenge. So Stone is scheduled for some serious torture. Luckily the prostitute Peaches breaks him out and Stone goes Rambo on the place destroying it. He fights Scalzanni who welds a pair of meat hooks and almost loses but his faithful dog rescues him. Unfortunately they manage to take his sister April and he must once again go questing after her.

So the sixth book was a mixed bag. The author at this time was dying of AIDS so the writing for this series was in decline. While an OK book it took to page 100 out of a 185 page book to finally get to the main story. When he does get to Scalzanni’s town then the book finally picks up. The whole nerdy act he puts on when he visits the sleaze bar is hilarious. Naturally he follows the basic template of getting captured and subjected to torture. Has some help in being rescued and single-handedly wrecking the place. Although his dog is the one to defeat the main bad guy. One a side note Stone had sex with the same woman he had it from the last book. Two books in a row. This is a long term relationship for the guy.

THE LAST RANGER #5 THE WAR WEAPONS BY CRAIG SARGENT

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Copyright 1987.

Martin Stone has just defeated the fascist general Patton III. Now he is looking through the ruins of his old base when he is confronted by some men left behind to guard his stuff. Luckily its his fellow recruits he went through basic training with. He manages to convince them that he destroyed Patton’s base because the general was a genocidal maniac. So they find outside some members of the Guardians of Hell playing around with some captured tanks and take the three tanks. Then its off to stop Patton at his other location in the north. Along the way they fight some bandits and Stone has to deal with a hit squad.

They reach the base but are ambushed and captured. Seems there was a traitor that told Patton they were coming. Stone is covered in a sugary syrup and left out to be eaten by the ants. Only he is saved by a young beautiful Cheyenne woman. Her people are being hunted by Patton’s soldiers. She takes the time to help Stone with his injuries by smearing some healing green gunk that consists of rattlesnake guts all over his body. But this causes a massive erection on Stone and we know what happens next. Yes he has hot passionate sex and the green gunk gets smeared over both their bodies.

Back to some serious stuff. The Cheyenne are going to attack Patton’s base on ATVs. They infiltrate the base and rescue just in time Stone’s men and his dog Excalibur who were in front of a firing squad. His dog manages to defeat Patton’s pit bull in a dog fight and they destroy his nuclear missile. Only Patton has escaped in a helicopter and launched his other missile at the base. Fortunately they have a missile expert with them that manages to hack the guidance and turn the missile back to where it was launched. Still they have to find shelter from the blast and some don’t make it.

So the fifth book picks up where the fourth left off. Stone manages to find some allies. They have some goofy adventures together. He gets captured again and about to die a gruesome death. Fortunately a beautiful young twenty year old comes along and rescues him. But as normal he can’t properly recuperate from his injuries because the young woman insists on having sex. This guy has it so hard. All ends well with the defeat of the mad genocidal nutcake Patton. Although we never do see him die. I always wondered if the ambiguous ending maybe the writer had plans to bring him back. This never occurred so I suppose he died in the nuclear explosion.