Who will survive the smackdown?
Timber Tantrum, the series, is live on Kindle Vella, with a new episode dropping every Saturday until mid-December. This is a broken-down version of the script with title cards inserted in parts to introduce The Vixens, Ranger Rick, Max, his one-eyed dog, and Tree Thing. This story is so wrong, but fun!
I had a dilemma about how to release it. The story is an exploitation one through and through. All of the films I watched with Lee Webster (co-writer, R.I.P. 2008) when we wrote the original draft were exceedingly over-the-top. Some were fun, like the Switchblade Sisters, and others were hard to watch, like Ilsa the Wicked Warden. The drive-in rules of blood, breasts, and beasts apply to all genres of exploitation. (Sometimes the beast is just a bad person.) Film is a visual medium, and writing is more up to the imagination of the reader, so the material is there, just not in an in-your-face manner as when watching it on a screen. Needless to say, I was leery of how to format Timber Tantrum since Kindle Vella’s biggest audience skews younger and the newer generations are different than my own Generation X.
A similar situation happened with Escape from Dolphin Street, as my publisher at the time thought it was too much for KDP and wanted me to make the runaways older and tone down the ultra-violence. I did a scaled-back version, and then when I regained the rights, I put a lot of the censored bits back in. The changes tightened the story a bit and made me more aware of the tone.
Timber Tantrum, on the other hand, has more inuendo, so I replaced the stronger cuss words for the market, but the story is the same. There was never a version that went too far in its descriptions. If it was a film, it was always meant to be a hard R, not an NC-17.
Vella is an experiment for me. The concept of serials in the fast-paced digital world is intriguing. This project may or may not be successful, but I have enjoyed putting Timber Tantrum out there in this format in memory of my lost friend, Lee.
Here is a character breakdown:
ANGELIC ANGIE — Angie is innocent and naive, yet she is a fighter, a true wrestler. She wears a teddy over her sports bra and thong and carries a tattered German Shepherd plushy. Kindhearted, she loves animals (especially Max, the one-eyed dog) and nature and wants everyone to get along. An environmentalist, scientific classifications for trees turn her on, so she is attracted to Ranger Rick.
NURSE CANDY STRIPES — Candy wrestles in a white medical-style singlet with her hair up in a nurse’s cap. She is the backbone of the Vixens and a real medic who has a thing with Rachel Rage.
DIRTY DIXIE— Dixie is a country girl with her hair in ponytails who wears the smallest Daisy Duke shorts allowed by law and a Confederate flag bikini top. As one part of the racial tension tag team, she learns to overcome her hate and befriend her teammate, Pretty.
PRETTY BLACK PANTHER — Pretty is a tall Nubian goddess with legs as long as skyscrapers and a large Afro who is wearing black, knee-high, soft boots and a white bikini with Black Power fists. As one part of the racial tension tag team, she learns to overcome her hate and befriend her teammate, Dixie.
MISTRESS MELON-EE — Melonie is a dominatrix with double E breasts clad in full leather domination gear, busting at the seams. Her black high heels are not quite regulation, nor is her whip.
RACHEL RAGE — Rachel is athletic and muscular with an edge. She wears standard wrestling gear and has severe anger issues. Only Candy can cool her down.
JIM BOB — A backwoods, burly man who wears coveralls and always has a dip of chewing tobacco in his mouth. Jim Bob is a little dense and easily cowed by his boss, Vinnie, but he means well. He is an assistant coach to the Vixen’s and driver of the team’s Winnebago.
VINNIE VANFULCOLO — Vinnie is a thin, shifty-eyed, particularly sleazy businessman in a suit. He is the manager of The Vixens.
RANGER RICK — Rick is a tall, handsomely built man. He is a Forest Ranger in a skin-tight uniform, armed with a gun, and Max is his faithful one-eyed German Shepherd. He is attracted to Angelic Angie and serious about saving the forest until it attacks.
TREE THING — A monster of the forest, it has a thick trunk torso with long, leafy, branch-like arms and hands ending in hardened splinters for fingers with stocky legs and feeler roots. Its face is harsh and carved cruelly, with a gaping mouth that drools over rows of sharpened wooden teeth. Adorning its head is a crown of foliage fit for a demon king.
Read them in action on Vella!