Showing posts with label Paul Hofrichter. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Paul Hofrichter. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Roadblaster #03 - Blood Ride

I am requesting that this book be enshrined into the Library of Congress. Paul Hofrichter, aka He Who Creates the Horror, should be commended for not only this novel, but the trilogy of trophies known as the ‘Roadblaster’ series. It’s truly extraordinary, a spectacle of grand design. Those of you familiar with my reviews of this novel’s predecessors, “Hell Ride” and “Death Ride”, understand just how low I place this author on the rungs descending into that scorching, skin-searing abyss known as Hell. “Blood Ride” far surpasses the legendary status of the prior books and lowers to the ranks of what can only be deemed as the new "worst piece of fiction ever created". It’s an utter abomination worthy of high praise and endless critique at world-renowned libraries like the Reading Room of the British Museum and The Vatican. I’d like great Monasteries like Saint Gall and Benedictine to marvel over its printed pages for centuries to come.

Paul Hofrichter, the horror…the absolute horror.

Stack, our “Roadblaster”, begins this final chapter of spiraling doom with a visit with a biker gang aptly titled The Harley Davidson Club. They request that he accompany them across the Golden Gate Bridge to locate two sisters of a deceased gang member. It’s only four days after the nuclear bombs annihilated America and Stack is concerned about his parents, kids and loving wife back in New York. Rather than mourn the potential melting of his entire family, he graciously accepts the offer. At one point, the narrator explains that Stack wants the military to fly him – a New York city cab driver by trade – to New York so he can check on his loved ones. He clarifies to a biker that he can’t drive his van across the US for fear of depleting his fuel or experiencing engine failure. He dismisses the fact that cars are strewn everywhere, and that fuel should be in abundance considering the nukes just fell and people are still driving. But, instead of vanning cross-country, he’s walking across the cables to a stranger’s house to locate two sisters that are probably dead. The walk…takes 60 pages.

Mercifully, Stack reaches the other side, and, instead of searching the ruins of the house, he sits down for lunch. Later, an elderly man swings by hoping that Stack will offer his tuna. Stack doesn’t and the whole chapter is just awkwardly dedicated to…lunch. Food is brought up again in the next chapter as Stack and the group disregard the importance of searching for bodies and decide a night at the beach frolicking and eating crabs is an important use of precious time. In 12-pages of utter nonsense, Hofrichter explains that it’s a cruelty to cook crabs while they are alive. He goes on for pages and pages of how barbaric it is to eat crabs and lobsters boiled or broiled. At one point, the group can’t properly boil the crabs, so they fetch a pot of dirty, radioactive seawater to use. After crabs, an aimless Stack gets invited by a female colleague to engage in anal sex (because she doesn’t want to become pregnant). Stack, consistently demanding more than anyone in this post-apocalypse nightmare, says it physically hurts too much. The female, in her infinite wisdom, requests he run to the water and fetch another cup of dirty, radioactive seawater and pour that on his penis and reenter. I barely have words.

Somewhere, around page 160ish, Stack is thinking about the abandoned B-52 in the mountains. If you will recall, the first book discussed the bomber and a motorcycle gang in demand for a B-52. The stereotypical gang, The Bloodsuckers, are still running around wanting this plane so they can rule California, eat pizza and commit intercourse with the state’s residents. They are big on intercourse. So, they remain in the book and the author spends time introducing us to them in long backstories with absolutely no point or story development. One character he describes as angry because of his “prison experience”. Apparently, this guy could only masturbate on his cot with his knees bent. He wanted to do it lying completely flat but couldn’t due to the gay prisoners seeing him. This experience has made him angry with the world and only a B-52 bomber can expel that pent-up sexual frustration. There are pages of this, so much that with only 20-pages remaining the plot finally rears its ugly head.

Stack wants to use a Soda Truck (let’s call it “Shasta”) to transport the missiles and bombs from the plane’s wings and undercarriage. He has no tools for this and the weapons weigh over 500-pounds. Once he places them on Shasta, he will then drive them to a river, load them on canoes and float them into an underwater cave. The reason? He feels if they are left in the sun for an extended period they will heat, creating an explosion. Thus, placing them on water in an underground cave resolves this potential environmental disaster. The Bloodsuckers appear. Stack and his group shoot at them. The Bloodsuckers go back home. Telos. The End.

At the 160th page of this 190-page book…we still don’t have purpose, planning or anything remotely resembling a damn plot or what is promised to us on the cover. At the end, we still don’t. We deserved that cloak and smoking CAR-15 and we damn sure deserved that painted motorcycle-outlaw cave shit at the bottom. Hofrichter, you thief extraordinaire, you baited and hooked us again only to troll us at the deepest depths like some slimy, trash eating carp. I’m gutted, defeated and scorned…but in your unskillful brilliance you have miraculously provoked me to tell others about this literary monstrosity. Somehow, your ‘Roadblaster’ atrocities will live eternally, carrying on long after I’ve departed this world. For that, I applaud your half-assed effort and bow to your coveted immortality.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Roadblaster #02 - Death Ride

Author Paul Hofrichter, also known here at Paperback Warrior as “he who creates the horror”, wrote three 'Roadblaster' books total. The second, “Death Ride”, was released by the Leisure Adventure line in 1988. If you haven’t read my review of the first novel, by all means please do. It’s called “Hell Ride”, and it is easily the worst action-adventure novel that I’ve read. I would even push the envelope a little further and say it ranks pretty high in the “Worst Fiction Ever” list as well. It’s utter garbage…so it’s mandatory that you read it.

I was able to locate the second book at a local used store and figured…what the Hell. Basically, our hero, Stack, is a New York resident and ex-National Guard serviceman. In the first book, he’s in California on a little vacation and the big bombs fall. The US is a nuked-out radiation zone and the book picks up just a day after the bombs fell. With very little heroics, Stack saves a town and a young girl from being gang-raped by bikers. Really, after 24 hours we have rampaging bikers, perverts humping everything and even one-word nicknames for people living in Armageddon. It’s crazy.

“Death Ride” picks up at day three of post-nuke America. Stack is doing his normal gig, driving around in his van and generally doing a whole lot of nothing. The book starts with Stack visiting Rayisa, the young girl he saved from the bang-train. He tells her he has to head East to tend to his wife and kids. Rayisa doesn’t want him to go so he agrees to take her with him when he leaves. From there Stack heads out to the desert to talk to the “B-52” people. In the first book this damned B-52 bomber landed in the desert and it apparently has some nuke firepower on board. Stack wants to keep it in good hands and needs somebody wearing stars to step in and command the safety of the bomber. Here’s stupidity:

The mechanics working on the B-52 want Stack to take himself, and a “Harley Davidson” club, to San Francisco. The reason for San Francisco? Because the mechanics say that’s where the real authority lies. Once there, Stack needs to find someone in uniform that can have a message sent up the chain of command to notify someone in the ranks that an armed B-52 is sitting in bumfudge Egypt. Nobody gives a flying beaver. But Stack, needing to be in a hurry to get East to his family, agrees to do this. Along the way he promises he will search for the biker’s missing relatives. Geez.

Stack and the gang ride over to Frisco, find some military brass assisting with the wounded, helpless, starving people of the city. Stack tells the guy something like this: “Hey man, we are just driving around trying to find some missing relatives. We need you to help us”. This guy tells Stack that he is busy running a skeleton crew that’s rescuing senior citizens from apartment buildings and rooftops. He’s trying to run a hospital for the injured. Feed people. He’s basically Mother Freakin’ Teresa here. Stack looks at him and says in utter disappointment, “So you won’t help us at all?” Oh. My. God. The utter nerve of this loser. 

Later, Stack and the bikers find a young man who's on the run from a militant group called Vengeance Team. Apparently they are out hunting down the gay community to keep them from spreading AIDS. Really? No shit. Stack wants to help, so he puts aside all of the B-52 bullshit, looking for biker relatives and his family in New York. He is shown an underground cellar labyrinth of rooms and hallways that is never really described to the reader. What is this place? Why is it so large? Hofrichter never bothers with describing the setting, instead just picks a random place and says to the reader, "The gay folks are here, hiding out, underground, fighting to stay alive." Right. They are so weak aren't they Hofrichter? Needless to say this is 1988 and they need a savior so Stack is the guy. 

Stack runs back and forth from the cellar dwelling to Candlestick Park getting guns and ammo. He gives it out to the community and says he will defend them and make an attack formation to fight Vengeance Team. In an incredibly painful Chapter 6, we are forced to read nearly 30 straight pages of battle between members of Vengeance Team and the community that we have barely been introduced too. The author spends an enormous amount of time talking about characters that we don't know waging war with other characters we don't know. I can't even make heads or tails of which character is on which team. It's just senseless garbage from pages 116-191. A character goes up a few feet, fires. Another character returns fire. Rinse. Repeat. Agonizing.

The book really just ends after the last of Vengeance Team dies. No worries, no one gives a rat's ass who won, who died and who's left to rear their ugly heads in book three. Geez. This one is equally as bad as the first book. Paul are such a horrible author I am now deeming you as the dream killer. "Death Ride" is exactly that for any readers daring to jump on this wagon of putrid green horseshit. 

Buy a copy of this book HERE

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Roadblaster #01 - Hell Ride

I have been reading books for over thirty years now and this is by far the worst piece of trash I've had the pleasure of reading. I plan on buying copies of this book and sending it out as gifts to my buddies. It is one of those strange things in life that is so abysmal that it is laugh out loud funny. Thank God for "Roadblaster". Thank you Paul Hofrichter...better known as the voice of "he who creates the horror".

The 'Roadblaster' debut is called "Hell Ride". It's filth was released to the masses in 1987 via Leisure's "Adventure" line. I believe there are a total of four books in the series and I am searching high and low for the other three. The author is Paul Hofrichter and I'm sure that isn't a house name but it damn well should be. Of course the series is yet another 80s entry in the "Soviets nuked America" formula ('The Last Ranger', 'Out Of The Ashes', 'Phoenix'). This one was supposed to center around a one word hero named Stack and his mechanical abilities. 


80s action heroes need guns, bullets and babes. Stack has none of these. In fact, Stack has no skills whatsoever, runs from action and is a complete loser. But more on that in a minute.

Let's start with the cover. It shows us some sort of science fiction/fantasy scenes of a hero in some sort of shoulder padded cloak complete with a gold coin badge and bullet belt.That hero is not in this book. There are no cloaks, shoulder pads, bullet belts or gold coin badges. Our hero Stack...the Roadblaster...has jeans and a t-shirt and his gold coin badge is a taxi driver's license. Yes. The motorcycle gang on the cover wearing cloaks, American Gladiator apparel and battle helmets is not in this book. Our criminals are your normal Mel's Bar & Grill variety that shoot pool, chase broads and happen to ride motorcycles. There is a B-52 bomber on the cover and...oddly that is in this book.

The novel begins with a guy named Stack. He is in northern California doing a little hunting on vacation. His wife and three kids are in New York holding down the fort while he is trampling about. From a mountain side Stack witnesses the mushroom clouds of doom and realizes the Soviets have nuked most of California. Oddly enough he doesn't panic...certainly the idea of his family being killed by bombs had to cross his mind but instead he makes his way into Fresno picking up a few survivors along the way. Once this is established the book completely switches gears and now tells us all about a small Airforce team flying over the Pacific in a B-52 with nukes ready to drop on the Soviet Union. They have engine trouble and are forced to land in California with a belly full of armed death. After sixty plus pages of Stack's story we now get fifty pages of B-52 engine failure. Where the Hell is this Roadblaster versus motorcycle psychos alluded to in the synopsis?

Oddly the next introduction we if we needed about a motorcycle gang that just happens to be cruising around looking for a town to take over. I am not making this up...the gang is called The Bloodsuckers and the member names are:

Black Doughnut
The Viking
San Quentin Sal
Billy Bullshit
Ivan The Terrible

The Bloodsuckers get about twenty pages or so before we switch back to Stack. He picks up a fifteen year old girl named Rayisa and drives to a small town for food and shelter. He hangs out in his van...eats, sleeps and makes mindless chatter with the band of survivors. You know...heroes named Stack do these kinds of things in action adventure novels. In one of the more ridiculous scenes, The Bloodsuckers decide that the small town of Vista Royale is perfect for an orgy. They roll into town and start shooting and raping all of it's citizens. The small band of survivors decide they will go out and liberate the town and push out the bikers. They go to Stack and tell him about the situation and that basically The Bloodsuckers are running a train on Vista Royale's women and they need to be stopped. They ask if he can join them. His response?

"No thanks. I've had a day and night I won't forget if I live to be a hundred. Good luck with everything."

Good luck with everything?!? A town is being raped in post apocalyptic Hell and this guy is going back to his van to lay down? What? His wife and kids are possibly dead in New York and he is taking catnaps down by the river? So, needless to say the survivors pounce on the town, get annihilated and retreat back to the safe zone. They return to town and stir Stack into saying this to the Sheriff...

"Sorry about what happened. I took a nap in my van, but all the commotion as your people came back into town woke me. What I want to say is that if you need my help in the future feel free to call on me".

Priceless man. Just priceless.

At one point one of the survivor's asked Stack if he knows anything about nuclear radiation cures. His response...

"I'm no doctor. Maybe home remedies. I don't know."

Home remedies for radiation sickness? Really. Really?

We read a few more despicable aspects of The Bloodsucker's reign in Vista Royale. Apparently only 24 hours removed from a nuclear war the only thing to do is to take over a small town and have pizza, beer and sex in various houses on Main Street. The gang fight a little with each other but none can really speak in complete sentences and resemble something more akin to 'Hills Have Eyes' than the roving motorcycle gang they should be. The survivors in the mountain decide Stack, of all people, will lead their next attempt at reclaiming the town. Apparently his naps in the van and ridiculous dialogue is enough to render him the only capable leader. Oh and this awesome conversation...

Sheriff: "Have you got weapons?"

Stack: "A Savage 99F hunting rifle that holds a five-bullet clip plus additional ammunition and various knives."

That spark of wisdom leads the Sheriff to ask:

"Have you had commando training?"

Stack says "I was in the National Guard and took commando courses".

What in God's name are commando courses? Is there some branch of our military that teaches Commando? Speaks Commando? Performs Commando? What is a Commando Course? Because of Stack's great commando skills he leads the assault and loses fifteen year old Rayisa to the gang. As he prowls around from house to house he sees his new "daughter" figure stripped naked and being whipped to oblivion with a leather strap. In her cries of pain she stops to ask the gang why they are whipping her and "she has never been whipped like this before". As if whipping a fifteen year old girl's bare back and buttocks spread eagle is just a normal Friday night. But this whipping is something really different. What does Stack do? He watches the whole thing and does nothing. He must have learned this in his commando courses.

Soon the battle spreads out and the motorcycle gang finds out a B-52 filled with nukes is just a few miles away. If they can get their hands on the nukes then they can have sex with most of the country's survivors. In a final battle scene, Stack really does nothing, asks for a lot of assistance from the town and survivors and eventually lets two of the gang members escape. 

Wow...all of that came from this back cover synopsis:

"One man stood out like a tracer round in the night sky. His name was Stack and his skills at staying alive made his mechanical wizardry even more valuable. Tough, dangerous and ruthless, he could build or repair any piece of machinery ever made. And in a world where cars and gasoline were worth far more than human lives Stack could name his own price."

Does that synopsis sound like a different book? Stack has no mechanical wizardry other than driving a van and sleeping. He doesn't build or repair anything after the bombs fall. How could gasoline and cars be worth that much? Ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous. The worst piece of trash ever written and one that will go down in the "Hall Of Shame". I desperately need to pick up the other books to see how our hero evolves in a world gone bad. 

Buy a copy of this book HERE