Horror Favourites – Adam Howe

Just in time to escape 2020 forever, the world is ready for the return of ’80s action icon Shane Moxie, star of the smash hit action favorites Amishing in Action, Gung Ho-Ho-Ho, American Sumo, and Lambadass who now stars in Adam Howe’s new novel One Tough Bastard!

From Adam Howe, writer of Die Dog or Eat the Hatchet and Tijuana Donkey Showdown, and the winner of Stephen King’s On Writing contest, comes a ‘buddy’ comedy in the tradition of Lethal Weapon, 48 Hours, and Tango & Cash, and a love letter to the gory glory days of 80s/90s action cinema. One Tough Bastard will turn you into a goddamn sexual tyrannosaurus… just like its author.

Talking about the book Adam said “One Tough Bastard is a fist-bump to 80s/90s action movies, especially those of Joel Silver, whose work (Lethal Weapon, Die Hard, Predator, Roadhouse) made a big impression on me as a kid; mixed with the kind of ‘Big Dumb Comedies’ Hollywood used to make without fear of causing offense. This is the Ready Player One for action movie fans, filled with Easter eggs from your favorite action flicks. The lead character – I hesitate to use the word ‘hero’ – Shane Moxie (aka The Mox) is a fusion of Kenny Powers, Steven Seagal, and Jack Burton from Big Trouble in Little China; a legend in his own mind, and a magnet for trouble. With the characters of Moxie and his chimpanzee partner, Duke, I riffed on the dynamic between Jack Burton and Wang in Big Trouble, a blowhard ‘hero’ and his more capable ‘sidekick,’ leaving the reader to decide which of the two is the book’s eponymous “tough bastard.”

While the book is first and foremost an action/comedy, and reads like the kind of movie we only wish Hollywood still made, through the character of Moxie, a man out of time, struggling to navigate the “Woke” modern world, I was able to filter much of the insanity of the late twenty-teens… and given all the crazy shit going on in this “Clown World,” is it really so hard to believe that a washed-up ’80s action star and a chimpanzee could save America?”

While we had him we asked Adam Howe what his favorite horror film was and the answer was unexpected. Below Adam discusses the horror movie he loves which just happens to be the MOSQUITOSAUR VS. CRABSHARK:

“Natasha Henstridge (Species) plays the sassy Environmental Protection agent sent to the Florida ‘Glades to investigate reports of mutant creatures caused by industrial pollution. Shane Moxie (Armed & Dangerous, Unarmed & Deadlier) cameos as the ex-Special Forces turned Quint-like gator hunter/wrestler who guides Henstridge into the swamp on his airboat, leading to a thrilling confrontation with the eponymous Mosquitosaur and Crabshark.

This would seem like a strange choice for ‘my favorite horror movie,’ since MOSQUITOSAUR VS. CRABSHARK is every bit as terrible as it sounds, even by SyFy standards. But as a recovering addict myself, to me there is nothing more horrifying than the frailty of man, and witnessing a former A-list star like Shane Moxie reduced to making Video on Demand schlock horror pictures to support his drug habit is tragic; Moxie’s pitiful physical condition makes the spectacle all the more monstrous.

MOSQUITOSAUR VS. CRABSHARK marked the nadir not only of Moxie’s career, but his addiction to phencyclidine. This would be his last movie before an intervention was staged. He would next be seen on Celebrity Rehab, tearfully voiding himself into a bucket, an all-too-public fall from grace akin to a drunken David Hasselhoff belligerently devouring a cheeseburger, or the guy who played the dad in ALF blowing guys for crack cocaine.

I’ve been a fan of Shane Moxie since the early 90s, when my father, home from working on the oil rigs, rented a double-bill of AMISHING IN ACTION and GUNG HO-HO-HO from the local video store. (I’ve been an admirer of Ms. Henstridge since her debut in Species, when as a pubescent boy I skinned my palms raw and exacerbated my already poor eyesight… but that’s an anecdote for my forthcoming article for Juggs magazine.)

There was something about Moxie that appealed to middle-aged men of the late 80s to mid 90s, especially those accursed with male pattern baldness, like my father, who naturally admired Moxie’s ‘power-mullet.’ He was huskier than the other musclebound beefcakes of the age (Seagal excepted), with a singular appearance best described by the hookers from Fargo as “kinda funny-lookin’.”

Yes, there was something relatable about The Mox that led a blue-collar fella with some suds inside him to think: Shit, if that jackass can do it, so can I.

As for myself, I was young and naïve enough not to recognize the absurdity of Moxie, and enjoyed the man and his ultraviolent movies without irony.

But over the years, as Moxie’s star waned, so too did my interest. He appeared more frequently in the tabloid press than he did on the movie screen, most heinously for his unprovoked assault on American Ninja actor Michael Dudikoff at The Viper Club. By the time of the digital age, Moxie had become little more than a footnote in action movie history – an internet meme and a laughing stock.

Then one night while channel surfing, I stumbled upon MOSQUITOSAUR VS. CRABSHARK on SyFy, and saw what appeared to be a post-apocalyptic stewbum battling a giant mutant shark with crab claws. What the fuck is this? I thought.

It was some time before I recognized the stewbum. Bloated, ruddy-faced, with an Artie Lange-like swollen nose, hair standing in wild horns like a Nick Nolte mugshot, and slurring nonsensical dialogue like a dental patient with a mouthful of Novocain; he bore little resemblance to the Moxie I remembered.

The movie, too, was equally wretched; I watched it unfold like a rubbernecker at a circus train derailment… The cinematography had a shaky-cam quality quite unlike the standard SyFy fare, as if the Director of Photography was forced to shoot handheld, guerilla-style, just to capture the unpredictable Moxie on-screen. In her scenes with Moxie, Ms. Henstridge appeared more alarmed by her shambolic co-star than she did the computer-generated creatures. But it was Moxie’s final fight with the Mosquitosaur, in which his character sacrifices his life to save Ms. Henstridge, which truly chilled the blood – for all the wrong reasons.

As Moxie flailed and screeched, I sensed I was watching a man wrestle, not with a computer-generated T-Rex-with-mosquito-head, but his own demons. (These harrowing scenes would foreshadow what television audiences would later see on Celebrity Rehab, as Moxie detoxified, and underwent the DTs.)

After the movie premiered, and received a record number of complaints from regular SyFy viewers expecting another sub-Sharknado knockoff, the network hastily withdrew the movie from its schedule, a commendable decision for exploitation producers. Legend has it that MOSQUITOSAUR VS. CRABSHARK bootleg DVDs change hands for big money on the Dark Web, though I would urge any curious viewers to exercise extreme caution. Though I saw the movie only once, burned indelibly into my brain is the sight of an intoxicated Moxie (shirtless, oozing flop-sweat, and quite visibly aroused) breaking character to make moves on Natasha Henstridge. Once seen, it cannot be unseen.

So, MOSQUITOSAUR VS. CRABSHARK is by no means a good movie, or even a good bad movie, but it remains one of the most horrifying motion pictures I have ever seen, and a shocking testament to the dangers of phencyclidine abuse.

Remember, kids. All things in moderation. Especially angel dust.”

“ONE TOUGH BASTARD” A novel by Adam Howe is published by Honey Badger Press, 280 pages approx. Released March 1, 2021 (Kindle, TPB, and Audible) One Tough Bastard is available to pre-order now:
Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08NF5W1HF/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=one+tough+bastard+adam+howe&qid=1605282249&s=digital-text&sr=1-1
And UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08NF5W1HF/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=adam+howe+one+tough+bastard&qid=1605282635&sr=8-1

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Alex Humphrey

Alex studied film at the University of Kent and went on to work for Universal Pictures in their Post Room gaining an inside look at the movie industry from the very bottom. Constantly writing reviews in everything from local magazines to Hip Hop sites Alex honed his critical skills even spending a brief period as a restaurant critic. Read more

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