Rudy Ray Moore, Mark Mothersbaugh, Timothy Leary, Steve Albini, David Yow in ‘Duelin’ Firemen’

David Yow and Steve Albini on the set of ‘Duelin’ Firemen’ (via Bogart9)

The video game Duelin’ Firemen would have blown minds if it had been released in 1995. Think the Jodorowsky Dune of games. Much of the cast is straight out of the pages of Mondo 2000 or Fiz: Rudy Ray Moore, Rev. Ivan Stang, Mark Mothersbaugh, Timothy Leary, David Yow, Steve Albini, the Boredoms, Terence McKenna, Buzz Osborne, and Tony Hawk all had parts to play.

But unlike other worthy computer games that were actually produced in order to suck away vital months of my adolescence, such as DEVO’s Adventures of the Smart Patrol and the Residents’ Bad Day at the Midway, Duelin’ Firemen never passed from becoming into being. All that remains is a seven-minute trailer and a seven-inch record with David Yow on one side and the Boredoms on the other, both embedded below. From 23 years ago, here’s Rev. Ivan Stang’s account of the shoot:

12.21.1994- Run-n-Gun! filming
by Reverend Ivan Stang

I’ve been in Chicago for the last week, and although I took the modem with me, I never had time to plug it in. I was being an actor in a CD-ROM interactive video game called DUELIN’ FIREMEN being produced for the 3D0 system by a group of SubGenius filmakers and computer animator/vr programmers called Runandgun. It’s a combination of multiple-choice filmed scenarios and v.r. game situations, all taking place in Chicago while the entire city burns to the ground. I have played two roles in it so far—first an evil Man-In-Black and second, Cagliostro the evil 1,000-year old Mason whose spells started the fire. What sets this game apart from anything else I’ve ever seen is the TOTAL MIND-RAPE HILLBILLY SPAZZ-OUT STYLE of it. It makes Sam Raimi look like D.W. Griffith by comparison… makes Tim Burton look like Ernie Bushmiller. It is sick, twisted, weird and ‘Frop-besoaked like nothing on earth. It stars Rudy Ray Moore aka DOLEMITE as the main fireman with cameos by Tim Leary, Mark Mothersbaugh, Terrence McKenna, David Yow of Jesus Lizard and all manner of local Chicago freaks and jokers. (YES! I spent the week WORKING with DOLEMITE. We DO BATTLE in a scene and you get to “PLAY” us in the game section. Now is that cool or what. Of course, you’re probably too SOPHISTICATED to even KNOW who Rudy Ray Moore IS!!! (None of the crew did, although the winos outside the set recognized his VOICE.)) The real stars are the animation, fx and sets. It’s like a LIVING-SURREAL CARTOON from the mind of a CRAZY MAN (in this case, director Grady Sein). The Runandgun crew are like this commune of crazed hillbilly technoids. I had the time of my life. The game won’t be finished till July ‘95, though.



The trailer’s quality reminds me of the way videos looked on the screen of my Macintosh Performa during the late Nineties, except that back then they were about the size of a matchbox. What I’m trying to say is: prepare your mind and body for ugly fat-pixel video…

Watch after the jump…

Posted by Oliver Hall
06:57 am
Give me some slack: High Weirdness By Mail online

In, I think, 1988 or 89, I mailed hundreds of letters to all of the freaky organizations and crazed loners listed in Rev. Ivan Stang’s classic book on oddball culture, High Weirdness By Mail.

I sent the exact same form letter to all of them (“To Whom It May Concern, I am interested in more information about your organization, Thank you, Richard Metzger”) and within a very short period of time—about two weeks—my mailbox was overflowing daily with completely insane shit from some extremely marginal individuals. I used to have boxes and boxes of it. I’m sure that the current tenants of my former East Village apartment still to this very day get whimsical, creepy and outright alarming things addressed to me.

Among the high weirdness highlights were these people in Kentucky who sent me several homemade cassettes featuring some seriously demented (and low IQ) “alien channeling” sessions with “The Commodore” that became more and more paranoid and racist with every tape. This stuff was out there, existing in a parallel continuum of irrationality far beyond anything heard then on Art Bell’s radio show. With each cassette they’d send me—there were dozens sent for my one single letter of inquiry—there would be a crude drawing of their house and an appeal for money so that they could build a “UFO landing lookout” (something that you and I might call it a “porch”).

Equally persistent, but no less nutty, was the curious assortment of incredibly stupid items I received from disgraced TV televangelist Peter Popoff. Popoff—who was exposed as a fraud a long time ago on The Tonight Show and many times since—must assume that the people who contact him are the dumbest people on Earth and for the most part, maybe he’s right. Among the nonsense I got from him were a “prosperity prayer rug”:  You were instructed to kneel on the “prayer rug”—a cheap paper poster with a dotted line circle—and put your wallet in front of you and pray for money (for a monetary donation, Popoff would also personally pray to God on your behalf) and a Handi-wipe type thing with supposed “holy water” that would make your debts vanish by supernatural intervention. Or something.

(He’s still around. The last time I saw Peter Popoff on TV, he was on BET and had re-invented himself as a sort of preacher/debt councilor)

High Weirdness by Mail has been out of print for a long time, but a Sub-Genius named Friar Synapse has lovingly recreated the book online, after discovering that nearly ALL of the groups and individuals listed there are still around!

The zaniness is broken down into categories like Weird Science, UFO Contactees, Jesus Contactees, Weird Religion, New Age Saps, $chemes & $cams, Cosmic Hippie Drug Brother Stuff, Weird Politics, Rantzines, Comics, Badfilm & Sleaze and Rudeness & Sex Wars.

You’ve got your slack cut out for you…

Honestly, I must say, spending 3 or four hours writing to all of those kooks was one of the best things I’ve ever done. I highly recommend High Weirdness by Mail. No really, in some ways, it changed my life! Praise Bob!


Posted by Richard Metzger
04:54 pm