Monday, October 20, 2014

GUNFIGHTERS OF THE DRUNKEN MASTER



Twice a year, for many years now, I have attended an event called Cinema Wasteland. You could call it a convention, but I see it more as a reunion of my extended family. People I have met there and see exactly twice a year. Sure, there is Facebook, but it's not the same.
One of the first years I attended I went to a Grindhouse panel led by a man known only as 42nd Street Pete. Being familiar with the output of Alternative Cinema I knew who Pete was. Pete survived 42nd Street and lived to tell the tale.
Now, with those decades of film experience, 42nd Street Pete a.k.a. Pete Chiarella has thrown his fabled fedora in the ring of fiction.
And, oh what a piece of work this is.
See, while I remember when Mad Max first hit the theater, it was the sequel, The Road Warrior that did the most cinematic damage. There were so many post apocalyptic films after that you could fill a warehouse with them.
Now, years later, Pete Chiarella gives us GUNFIGHTERS OF THE DRUNKEN MASTER.
In a future where solar flares have dried up any liquid not stored in plastic or glass, people tend to drink...a lot. The ruler of this little patch of dried earth is the fabled Drunken Master, who is eventually ruined by the notorious El Roacho Rio. El Roacho manages to shoot The Drunken Master's gun hand completely off of his wrist.
Now, The Drunken Master is offering the ultimate bounty to bring El Roacho Rio to frontier justice.
One hundred cases of water.
Now The Blindman and his faithful companion. Dog, trek across the wasteland, meeting friends and foes as they shoot their way across the desert in the hopes of retrieving the ultimate treasure in a world gone dry.
This reminds me so much of the Road Warrior knock offs that showed up in every theater and vdieo store across these United States of ours. Half of  them predicting the end of the world over a decade ago. Psychos on motorcycles and death machines. In this sordid tale a group of bikers refuse to give up their machines in a petrol less world and retool their bikes to run on liquor. They run like Hell, but they still manage to get you where you need to go.
At a quick 128 pages, Pete Chiarella manages to tell an intricate, two fisted, blood soaked adventure tale that screams out to be made as a feature and leaves us wanting more.
GUNFIGHTERS OF THE DRUNKEN MASTER makes me no longer wanting for a hooker story from 42nd Street Pete at Cinema Wasteland.
It makes me want to read more adventures of The Blindman.

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