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A Halloween Tantrum

Friday the 13th in October is a perfect time for horror, so I have decided to go ahead and launch my first Kindle Vella series with Timber Tantrum. Any trepidations I have had since my co-writer, Lee Webster, died in 2008 are surmounted by knowing he would love for people to read the story.

I have reformatted Timber Tantrum into a serialized story of eleven parts (the first one dropped on October 7th), with a new one every week on Saturdays. The way Vella works is that the first three episodes are free, and the remaining are purchased with tokens, one for roughly every hundred words at one cent per token with a base bundle of 200 tokens. Vella also sells larger, discounted bundles with extra tokens. New times call for new venues. I am curious as to how this experiment will pan out. I will also put in a drive-in content tag so no one is surprised by the wrongness of the subject matter.

This is an adaptation of the Timber Tantrum script, which won Best Original Screenplay at Grindsploitation Film Fest in 2021 and an Honorable Mention at Boobs and Blood International Film Festival in 2018.

Timber Tantrum is a fun, tongue-in-cheek homage to the exploitation and horror films of the seventies and eighties. Long ago, I wrote the original version with my friend, Lee Webster, who passed away in 2008. The collaboration on Timber Tantrum was years in the making, as I had been friends with Lee since the 1980s because of a mutual interest in horror and grindhouse films. Lee proposed the idea of writing an exploitation horror project. We decided to each write a scene and then follow up on the other's work in the style of reform school girls meeting a monster slasher. I wrote the opening bit where a tree creature in the woods attacks some coeds, and Lee wrote the introduction to the 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.

The tone of Timber Tantrum is ultimately a comedy, with exploitation riffs mirroring the age of tongue-in-cheek horror. After being sent a copy of the original script, Lloyd Kaufman of Troma Films actually wrote back, “Good luck with that.” Rejected by the studio that created The Toxic Avenger, it was both funny and a letdown at the same time. The original title, Arbor Day, was also denied by the Arbor Day Foundation as a copyright issue, so we changed it. We may have lost a horror holiday title in the 1980s tradition, but we gained a better one in Timber Tantrum.

We always enjoyed b-movies and wanted to create something delirious. The newly revised Timber Tantrum serial is dedicated in Lee’s memory to all the amazing b-horror, women in prison, and anything goes action films we watched with gusto.


Timber Tantrum

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?

Here is the Vella link:

I have also submitted and been accepted to participate in this year’s Halloween Haunts by the HWA (Horror Writer’s Association), and my blog entry this year is titled What the Drive-In Means to Me. It is about how the drive-in and Halloween make perfect companions. It went up on their site on October 9th.

Here is the Halloween Haunts link:

I do miss watching horror and listening to metal with Lee.

Lee Webster, bassist Infernal Butchery, R.I.P. 2008
Lee Webster, bassist Infernal Butchery, R.I.P. 2008

JACK LEE WEBSTER passed away on June 1st, 2008, leaving behind a wife and son. Born August 31st, 1971, in Baytown, Texas, he was a design draftsman contracted to NASA. He was also a bassist in a metal band, a lover of movies, especially those in the horror genre, a collector of knowledge, and an aspiring movie producer.

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