Madness Takes Its Toll: A Look At EsoTerra, the Journal of Extreme Culture

Madness Takes Its Toll: A Look At EsoTerra, the Journal of Extreme Culture

Greetings, Brothers and Sisters of the Psychotronic Video World.  I’ve got a story for you today that would make Carl Denham blush, so let’s get right down to brass tacks. Get the fire going, roast some weenies, and put on your big girl pants because this is where shit gets real.

Our story begins two weeks ago; I was in Rochester, New York for my twice-monthly game of Dungeons and Dragons, when I received a text from Wes.  He wanted to know if I was interested in writing a review of a book called “EsoTerra: The Journal of Extreme Culture,” being a collected form of EsoTerra, the magazine.  Wes pitched it to me that, as best he was aware, it was a book on “cult culture.”

Now, I go into this thinking I’m going to get what I consider cult culture — articles and interviews with filmmakers on the fringes of what’s considered good taste, maybe some stuff on hotrodding Kustom Kulture, Bettie Page impersonators, etc.  Ohhhhh no.  No no no.  Not by a long shot.

EsoTerra seems to largely concern itself with OCcult Culture.  Modern Theosophists, devotees of Aleister Crowley, practitioners of LaVeyan Satanism…Hoooo boy.  I’ve made my opinions on Western Ritual Magick known in the past, and a lot of what I read in EsoTerra confirmed my suspicions.  The collection of interviews I went through felt like a cavalcade of individuals demanding that the world pay attention to them.  The interviewers seemed less like detached observers and more like panderers, pushing the interviewee to see how far they would go, and after a while it started giving me heartburn to keep reading it.  And I consider myself a fairly liberal, open-minded individual.

A few points…

  • Dear Marilyn Manson: You are not, nor were you ever, the AntiChrist.  You are, and were, a scrawny asshole who collects lunchboxes and brags about how cool you are for the time you shit on a plate and left it on your neighbor’s doorstep in New Orleans.
  • Necrophiliacs (and there’s more than one in this book) who attach a spiritual dimension to fucking a corpse, and claim to get communion with a higher power or some other hippy-dippy bullshit out of it, freak me right the fuck out.
  • Alan Moore is completely bugfuck insane.  Don’t get me wrong, I liked Watchmen and V for Vendetta, as well as the first volume of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (even if Phillip Jose Farmer tackled the concept first, and did a better job of it), but he needs to stop eating those hallucinogenic tubers off Swamp Thing’s taint.  Just sayin’.

All in all…EsoTerra is not my cup of grue.  If you’re into Serpent Worship and Necrophilia and Spontaneous Human Combustion as a form of entertainment, then by all means, give this book a whirl.  Me, I’m gonna go curl up in a corner and pretend I didn’t read a woman’s explicitly-detailed description of fucking a dead person.


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Bill Adcock likes long walks off short piers and eating endangered species. In addition to his work for the Blood Sprayer, his writing can also be found at his personal site, Radiation-Scarred Reviews, which he's maintained since 2008. Bill has also contributed, as of this writing, to GRINDHOUSE PURGATORY issues 2 and 3, and CINEMA SEWER issue 27.

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