Friday, May 1, 2015

WTF Friday: Razor Wire Pubic Hair by Carlton Mellick III

Every once in a while, as the mood strikes me, I like to indulge in those titles that are a bit odd . . . a bit different . . . a bit bizarre . . . and a bit freaky. These are books that don't get a lot of press, and which rarely get any retail shelf space.

They're often an underground of sort of literature, best shared through guilty whispers, and often with embarrassed grins. These are our WTF Friday reads!

Since it's been a few weeks since I last tapped into the darkest of shelves (and since I didn't get a chance to finish Cattle Cult! Kill! Kill! in time for today), I thought I'd dig deep into the archives and revisit a review from my pre-blogging days.

As you might suspect from the title, Razor Wire Pubic Hair is a weird-as-all-hell, seriously messed-up, jaw-droppingly nasty, almost impossibly imaginative, literary ejaculation. It's the kind of book that will make you cringe, shake your head, and wonder what the hell is wrong with you that makes you want to turn another page. Turning each page is like driving by a series of horrific accidents - you know you should avert your eyes, speed up, and get the hell off the highway . . . but you're wondering what's next.

Having said all that, I am neither a sadist nor a masochist, and carnage alone is not enough to keep me reading. As guilty as it makes me to admit it, I really did enjoy this on some deep, visceral level. Stylistically, the grammar and narrative format is a bit more experimental and avant-garde that I would normally have the patience for, but the plot and the characters are so weirdly compelling, I was compelled to read on.

The story is set in a futuristic dystopia where all the men have disappeared, all the women have become sadistic sex addicts, and self-aware hermaphroditic sex-dolls serve as both sexual partners and domestic slaves. I'll pause there for a moment and let all sink in. The somewhat unreliable narrator is actually one of those sex-dolls, purchased for the sole purpose of getting its mistress pregnant, and lamentably successful in fulfilling its role . . . leading to the creation of a monstrosity that's quickly left to hide itself in the shadows.

When not impregnating its mistress, the sex-doll is being abused and tattooed by her sister, a even more depraved woman. She's not just sadistically cruel - that hardly stands out in this world - but is instead clearly, truly, completely, and unquestionably mad. We're talking bat shit bonkers here, full of conflicting emotions, and given to simultaneous moments of terrifying insanity and even more terrifying clarity. She's not just a character, she's a window into this perverse world, and a commentary on the kind of people who inhabit it.

The plot meanders for a while, moving from one scene of sexual sadism to another, before finally settling into the rancid meat of the storyline. I'll pause here again while you wash your eyeballs and wring out your brain. If you're still with the tale at that point, then you're in position to appreciate the slow, subtle, literary weaving that Carlton Mellick III has accomplished. Suddenly, all the little hints and throwaway moments of depravity begin to make sense, and we begin to see through the carnage. If a zombie invasion, dismemberment, cannibalism, and sexual destruction sound bizarre . . . well, that doesn't begin to scratch the surface.

Make no mistake, Razor Wire Pubic Hair is a weird, difficult, torturous journey through the Bizarro wastelands, but the gloriously disgusting climax is even more surreal than you can imagine, and pulls together all the plot threads and weird themes into a story that, despite its initial appearance, actually works rather well.

Paperback, 176 pages
First published March 15th 2003 by Double Dragon Publishing


  1. Gotta admit I haven't read that one.

  2. Carlton Mellick III sure likes to indulge his audience with sexy/weird covers and books that are over the top weird-fests. It's too much for me though...