Schlock & Gore: The Toxic Retards (2015)

My dearest Jade,

I am writing this introduction from the safety of my home, as one who has not yet subjected himself to Carl J. Sukenick’s The Toxic Retards. I am doing this because I know that in just a couple hours time I will be forever changed–no longer the man I used to be. My world may take on a different tilt, and my perspective will likely be coated in a tarnish so thick, that removing it would take tools not yet invented. I will try my hardest to make it through unscathed, but in the event I emerge catatonic I just want to say… don’t give away my movie collection. Okay. I’m hitting play now. Pray for me.

My dearest, the horrors have already begun. The first thing to poison my screen was a message, written on notebook paper with Carl Sukenick himself reading it aloud. “Play this tape loud” it demanded. I’m so scared…

Snippets of Alien Beasts have already mysteriously slipped themselves into this feature, notably the arrow in the eye. But context is nowhere to be found. And then my dearest, the jarring strangling of a woman covered in blood, followed by the camera holding an excruciating period of time on a photograph of a woman, followed by another. I can not make sense of these choices, these…impulses!

Dearest Jade, you would never guess what happened next— amateur animation! A man slinging ninja stars! For. What. Reason!? My sides cramp and my stomach rolls over like a discontented skeleton in its grave. And just when I thought I had seen it all, the clay appeared.

This has been the most arduous 4 minutes of my life, and there is still one hour and five minutes remaining.

Carl Sukenick is shouting a brief about a healing ray to his mother. He keeps repeating himself and increasing the volume of his voice. I am certain that this man knows not how he is melting my brain.

Oh If you could only witness these horrors… The inexplicable aging of 20 years by Carl. The random breasts. The shots that are held 20 seconds longer than necessary after the characters have left the scene. An achingly long shot of an empty pot on the stove. I am toiling and I long for your comforting embrace…

“WE HAVE LOST THE VIDEO TRANSMISSION. WE HAVE LOST THE VIDEO TRANSMISSION. REPEAT—WE HAVE LOST THE VIDEO TRANSMISSION ON MY MONITOR. REPEAT— ON MY MONITOR.” If only the same were true for me.

My heartbeat has slowed and I am becoming very cold. Why does Carl keep filming his mother? Why is Carl so obsessed with monitors? Why does he think he understands kung fu? Why is the offscreen coughing included? My gums are peeling away from my teeth and my hair is sliding out in my hands in clumps. Please, I long for your return.

Remember the time we drank at the Myers’? We went for a walk in the autumn night in an attempt to sober up and ended up falling in the grass. How we laughed! But this, my love, is like drinking in hell, where there are no laughs, only tears. See you on the other side. I love you.

-Rat


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