Deep in the woods, the trees are stirring to life on Arbor Day. The Vixens: Angelic Angie, Rachel Rage, Nurse Candy Stripes, Dirty Dixie, Pretty Black Panther, and Mistress Melon-EE, are undefeated on the backwoods wrestling circuit. That is until their Winnebago crashes and they come face to face with Tree Thing, an aberration of the forest. Their salvation lies in Ranger Rick, a one-eyed German Shepherd, and their wrestling skills. Who will survive the smackdown?
Timber Tantrum is an homage to the exploitation films of the seventies and eighties. After being sent a copy of the script, Lloyd Kaufman of Troma Films actually wrote back with, “Good luck with that.” I guess that says something in itself coming from the creator of The Toxic Avenger. The original title, Arbor Day, was also denied by The Arbor Day Foundation as a copyright issue so we changed it. We may have a lost a horror holiday title in the eighties tradition but gained a better one.
Thirteen years ago, I wrote Timber Tantrum with my friend, Lee Webster, who passed away in 2008. We always enjoyed B-movies from The Big Doll House (mud wrestling) to The Evil Dead (tree carnage) and wanted to create something as delirious. The collaboration was years in the making as we had been friends since the 1980s from a mutual interest in horror and grindhouse films.
It started with Night Angel on VHS at a metal party. Lee had asked what was on TV and I said, “That is Lilith and she is from hell,” and from that moment on we got along. Our friendship was based on horror as we led divergent lives. We both had Laserdisc collections and would seek out import discs or bootleg VHS tapes to see cult films and debate the merits of style and uncut gore. After years of searching out films, going to Fangoria Conventions, and discovering all the subgenres of horror, we began talking of making a film.
Around 2006, Lee proposed the idea of writing an exploitation horror screenplay. We decided to each write a scene and then follow up on the other’s work the way Stephen King and Peter Straub did on The Talisman but with the flavor of Reform School Girls meets Don’t Go In the Woods. I wrote the opening bit where a tree creature in the woods attacks some coeds in the woods and Lee wrote the introduction women’s wrestling scene then we switched styles. Going back and forth we created an unusual mix that hit all the tropes of a b-movie with an anything goes action gusto.
I am currently updating Timber Tantrum with a new edit and putting back some bits and pieces from the first draft in 2006, so I can submit the screenplay again in memorium of Lee Webster, a good friend I miss to this day. Last year in 2018, a rough version of this script received an Honorable Mention for The Boobs and Blood International Festival and has prompted me to do this side project.