Categories
TEAMWORKING DAY

Teamworking Day: Monster Wars 2 🌭

Last time we talked about Monster Wars and their always angry, sometimes a cat, never coherent truck men. Today we’re talking about… Monster Wars again! Why would we talk about other things, when we have found the best thing?

Seanbaby: I’m so jealous of the joy spreading through you right now as you let yourself realize none of this is a bit. We really are dedicating an entire week to the immediately canceled 1993 show, Monster Wars.

Brockway: Episode 2 is here to shake things up a bit – the trucks aren’t racing in a straight line, but on a mini-NASCAR track in the New Orleans Superdome. This concludes the list of differences.

Brockway: “Wow, an extended race allowing for tactics and skill!” You, an idiot, are asking. “How many laps are there?”

One.

Listen, monster trucks are the Andre the Giants of trucks. They’re huge and impressive but God did not mean it when he made them and they break a lot quicker than your heart would like. They can barely manage one action-packed lap around this course, which everyone calls the “Roundy Round,” and it’s adorable every single time they say it.

Seanbaby: Imagine a bulldog on a skateboard and take away all the cuteness and maneuverability. The dog is very sick and can’t see. The owner of the skateboard took out a reverse mortgage to replace the wheels. The whole thing is called Thrashkiller and it’s also a mailman and an Indian chief. You are seeing him for the first and only time and he has 1 unexplained point and 13 catchphrases. Congratulations to me, for perfectly explaining Monster Wars episode 2.

Brockway: Nearly perfect, you forgot that if you opt out of making your dogboard a wrestler, all the other Indian Chiefs and Mailmen will dunk on him endlessly to no opposition. Hey, speaking of exactly that thing I said: Our first matchup is Grave Digger, easily in our top three Skeletors, versus Kodiak, who skipped the ‘I Agree To Have a Feral Truckboy’ box on the signup form.

Brockway: I don’t know that we stressed enough how much monster truck racing sucks last time. We did? Let’s do it even more. Each race takes 40 minutes to set up, the event itself lasts 15 seconds, victory is on a point-based system most of which takes place offscreen, but oh, those crashes…

Are also boring!

Seanbaby: If you’re in a dainty little panel van resting on top of 6 foot tires, it’s not like physics gets confused about what to do when you turn left. They invented a race where any speed means being trapped under 10,000 pounds of debris. Kodiak went into the turn slightly faster than a human jog and the laws of our universe saw their opening and finished it with a swinging neck breaker.

Brockway: Yeah including slight turns was a mistake. Christina Hendricks could tell you, never take a top-heavy turn at speed. She always comes to a complete stop first, rotates, and then accelerates. But that means Grave Digger is the winner! Hell yeah, what does the sigma skeleton have to say about Kodiak’s overturn and ensuing loss?

Hold on he’s fucking dead??

Seanbaby: He died the same way most of us will– taking a corner at 4 mph, worrying about insurance premiums, and being taunted by a skeleton.

Brockway: Wait, who is Grave Digger talking about? Kodiak didn’t sign up for a trucksona, so he could only mean the driver. Jesus, RIP Mark Bendler, who died like he lived: Not a lot of fun.

Wait-

Brockway: Mark is completely fine, but I guess his truck gently overturned and died like a turtle in the sun. Even though it was never alive in the first place. That could be the show’s elegant way of explaining why some trucks don’t have a guy – the wrestlers are the truck’s souls, and if they lose a race, they vanish. Then it’s just their husks being piloted around by hillbillies. That’s fucked up, Mark Bendler. Release that zombie truck from your service so it can rest in Monster Heaven.

Seanbaby: That would mean… any truckman that has lost a race is , in addition to all the other things they are, undead. So that piece of shit Predator is a Mötley Crüe roadie, a pickup, a kitty cat, and a ghost.

Brockway: How can you be so many things and still not enough? Our next race is- aw, god dammit. It’s Predator.

Brockway: If you’ve already forgotten about Predator I’m sorry to remind you, you did some tough mental labor and it should have been rewarded. He’s like a less butch Night Man, and he’s here to do two things: Slink and make horny cat noises. Too bad he’s not out of either of those.

Brockway: I think he’s adding lightning powers to his whole deal? He was already an urban shapeshifting offroad were-kitty. Be on the lookout now for electric city cat truck puns. Whether you know it or not, you have an instinctive sense of the order descriptors should appear in the English language. If I say this werewolf goth monster truck skinny electro-panther sucks, you understand it should be this skinny goth electro-panther werewolf monster truck sucks. Wait, no “werewolf” should be after “monster truck,” right? No, hold on, because in this case “werewolf” is being used as a modifier and not a subject. Fuck, I’m saying Predator is so many god damn things it’s breaking the language.

Seanbaby: I’ve read enough X-Men comics to be able to keep a dozen powers, skills, and secondary mutations straight in my head, but I don’t think I’ll ever be able to follow Monster Wars wordplay. These truck beings think it’s okay to pull any pun from any aspect of their many things and then spin off from there. They are constantly dropping these bizarre, unsatisfying puzzles on your brain and by the time you figure out, “Okay, I think Fartvan wants to give Predator’s chassis a licking because cats are fastidious cleaners,” you have missed two driver death announcements and all 4 seconds of their race.

Brockway: The stacking concepts are getting heavy and Predator is not a load-bearing character. Plus he’s really fucking up the curve for Carolina Crusher who’s struggling to keep his “construction worker” lore straight. He comes with a hat and dynamite and he forgot the dynamite this time. Here’s how he responds to the uppity catboy’s savage wordplay:

Seanbaby: ha ha Carolina Crusher has no idea what’s going on. He thinks this is probably a foot powder commercial, but would definitely break down crying if you pressed him on it.

Brockway: Crusher is trying so hard. At the end he seems to realize he hard stressed a chicken pun to a cat man and resorts to his panic state-

Seanbaby: Poor Carolina Crusher would lose an argument to one of the normal trucks with a Doug White in it. He has no chance in a word battle against these monsters with quadruple his themes and no regard for tenor.

Brockway: Yeah this isn’t a fair matchup. If it were a physical contest Crusher would use Predator to clean bits of better men from his folds. But all they can do right now is trash talk, and Predator’s not done piling themes on this sinking cargo ship of a character.

Brockway: That’s not a cat pun! It’s an ESP pun. He’s psychic now. Also this is episode two, we’ve seen episode one, and he has never mentioned any of this before. I wouldn’t know how to respond to that. Carolina Crusher knows exactly how to respond to that.

Seanbaby: I was wondering how long it would take for the fucking to start.

Brockway: Am I misinterpreting what’s happening here?

I am not.

Seanbaby: This seems strange by today’s standards, but you have to remember that in 1993, two men had to legally be trucks in order to get married in North Carolina.

Brockway: I’d say I sexually identify as an exploding monster truck and mean it, but that’s the only joke conservatives have and I don’t want to take it from them.

Please don’t think we’re making up subtext here. We’ve established there is a greater Monster Universe where these men form friendships and sometimes something more. I’ve searched PrimeHide on the Transformers DeviantArt, I know what it looks like when two trucks fall in love.

Seanbaby: And it’s never been this beautiful or noisy.

Brockway: Let’s settle this dance-

Brockway: Haha, remember this is what’s actually tangibly happening: A Gary is racing an Allen for up to 20 seconds, and not enough prize money to pay for truck parts. There’s no way they told those men what was going on in these promos. They both agreed to be part of the wrasslin’ show and wanted to be good sports about it, but there’s no chance Allen Pezo knows he’s driving a power-bottom cat twink.

Seanbaby: I think Gary knows what’s going on. There’s a knocking in his flexplate that can only be love.

Brockway: Carolina Crusher easily dominates Predator, which is met by the kind of yowling cat screeches that presage kittens. Monster Wars just wrote the first openly gay vehicles and they should be proud of it. Here’s exactly, no bullshit, how Crusher responds:

Brockway: I’m not cutting out relevant bits. He didn’t previously establish what those ounces might be, or why he needs to squeeze to get them. He says that shit out of nowhere, and then holds up his wrench with two hands and shakes it next to his mouth.

Seanbaby: “Yeaargh! I’m looking to be someone’s daddy, their big wet daddy next race, 8 inches cut!”

Brockway: Carolina Crusher driver Gary Porter, how do you feel about that win?

Brockway: Next up is Taurus versus First Blood.

Brockway: You haven’t met First Blood yet. If you had, you’d already have a First Blood tattoo.

Brockway: Roid-raging vampire monster truck man! I love how many things you have to be to make an impression in this universe. Quick, don’t overthink it, just answer: What happens if he bites you?

Seanbaby: You merge with the weirdest thing and place you’ve fucked into one superthing. Oh my god, I just solved this. All of it!

Brockway: Oh my god, you’re right. First Blood is the head demi-truck. He started all of this and if you drive a stake through his hemi the entire economy of Tuscaloosa disappears.

First Blood’s opponent is Taurus, who is a cowboy plus nothing, which by the Seanbaby Law of Truckification means he once fucked nothing on a cowboy.

He’s here to lob some weak vampire puns-

Brockway: And is wholly unprepared for the wild volley First Blood returns.

Brockway: Haha you’re the vampire!

Seanbaby: Ha ha ha he has no idea what he’s supposed to be. He saw Vampire Hot Dog on the call sheet and figured it must be the other guy. “I’m glad I’m not you, Vampire Hot Dog Man! Because me, Barbarian Charlie Brown, is no wienie!”

Brockway: Taurus, rightfully, is completely thrown by his reply. In a perfect world, these would be scripted races and Taurus would stumble off the starting line – still reeling from the time he lobbed a limp stake pun across the net and a truck vampire spiked it right back in his face. Instead, First Blood loses because his driver decided to play it conservative and save his truck for later races.

Seanbaby: That was an option? I feel like caution and foresight are the only two things that should be illegal in mantruck racing.

Brockway: Do you think anybody told First Blood the Gym Bat that right after this frothing promo where he blew out his voicebox, his truck body gently ambled about to faint boos?

It really emphasizes the strangest part of Monster Wars. Well, one of the top five strange parts of Monster Wars. The wrestlers constantly escalate the stakes – fucking Grave Digger decided you die if you lose! But no matter what they say, the final result all hinges on some old redneck calculating the cost of a new drive shaft against trailer rent.

Brockway: In the second episode, we really start exploring the potential of an infinite truckboy universe. You saw it earlier when Grave Digger retroactively killed every truck who stalled out. You make the world you want. Now Equalizer says the words-

And immediately splits into two. He only did it because he couldn’t decide which sea-based pun to use on Tropical Thunder. He went with “both” when the correct answer was “neither, apologize.” But he stressed the word two weirdly, so now he can multiply at will. These are the ironic rules of a school film strip universe where a child learns why he was foolish to say nobody needs a dictionary anymore.

Seanbaby: Wait, I think my theory from earlier explains this! A truck vampire bite merges you with the weirdest thing and place you’ve fucked, so if Equalizer was masturbating on a motorcycle in the bed of a pickup, he’d… yeah! Yeah, he’d turn into a double him Evel Knievel truckitaur. It works! This is the unifying theory of Monster Wars we’ve been looking for!

Brockway: I know! You’re already getting the Monster Wars equivalent of the Nobel Prize, which is a half price Grand Slam and a Debbie handjob.

Equalizer’s opponent, Tropical Thunder, is one of the vehicles without an associated wrestler – possibly because he took a weird bounce one time and Grave Digger ate his truck soul. So Equalizer is up there trash talking nothing. An object. Tropical Thunder has no way to clap back after it loses very badly due to engine trouble.

Clearly the driver, Wayne Smozanek, didn’t sign up for the wrestling part of the show. So obviously they respect that choice when-

Brockway: Wayne didn’t want to play wrassle trucks and threw a rod, now an American Gladiator is aggressively shit talking his passion project. There’s no way he thought his life would end up like this. You’d never believe the drunk fortune teller trying to warn you about it.

Seanbaby: I bet Wayne’s wife loved watching this rippling star hunk emasculate the man who came back to his family after two months on the road with only a $47,000 repair bill. The following joke requires a full understanding of my newly formed Monster Wars communicable truck hypothesis, but Wayne’s wife is going to be madder than the time First Blood bit him and he turned into a half-porta potty/half-her sister.

Brockway: This has to be the least accessible joke you’ve ever written, and that makes it the best. You need an Associate’s Degree in truck vampires for that giggle.

But it’s true, Monster Wars rules and it ruins families. Almost every episode we pause the action to highlight one of the drivers, and almost every time it’s a tale of woe and sadness. The show is very clear none of these men make any money from this. If anything, they’re all going slowly bankrupt trying to pay for the maintenance on huge steel monstrosities they break every single weekend. There’s a savage commentary about America in there somewhere. Even the winners are barely hanging on week to week, and if they let the show assign them a truckboy they could at least have an avatar to fight back. But without one, Wayne Smozanek just has to sit there and quietly eat the loss, the cost of a new carburetor, and the many rhyming insults of a huge hunk in Captain Falcon cosplay.

Brockway: Up next is Bear Foot versus Invader!

The alien truck from space who came to Earth to conquer!

Against…

Fred Shafer, 70 year old Dodge enthusiast.

Seanbaby: The name Bear Foot is still more whimsy than Fred would like. “I wanted to call it Sensible Workboot, why, I remember the day the US Hot Rod Association first added tires to horses. I said you boys are havin’ too much fun.”

Brockway: Fred never wanted to play this game, and you can’t blame him. He’s been a champion of whatever this is for 20 years, and he thought he was right to laugh off the coked-out TV producer who offered to make his truck into a beefcake with a shaved chest and a novelty hat.

Seanbaby: It would be so funny if grouchy, normal-sized Fred won the whole thing and brought the trophy home to his adult grandchildren.

Brockway: It is extremely funny. Because Fred Shafer will go on to easily win this season. One of the trucks that didn’t get a character wins the whole thing. That’s been a very real danger from the start! A single driver doesn’t want to play truckboys, and the entire truckboy narrative is fucked if he wins it. All these colorful characters that Monster Wars wanted to sell toys of – and they did make toys – had to sit on the bench while a Kentucky retiree smugly took the winner’s circle.

Seanbaby: I love this show. Everything about it is so expertly wrong.

Brockway: We need a serious distraction. Luckily host Luann Lee, the apex of womanhood for any Ratt fan, has just the thing.

Brockway: She’s saying America’s biggest party, our cultural shorthand for debauchery, the one place where it’s still cute to harass women for their tits and reward them inadequately, is tame compared to some tractor pull. And she’s saying it while filming in New Orleans, a town infamously defensive of their wild reputation. If this isn’t some Nero-level shit, like several partygoers accidentally eat a minor celebrity kind of shit, New Orleans is going to tear Luann Lee apart.

Seanbaby: “If you want a real party, come watch Randy and a bulldozer he’s not licensed to operate shove dirt in between brief car malfunctions next to weird adults and their disappointed nephews!”

Brockway: This is the single frame I would pull from an entire weekend of footage to make the tractor pull at Bowling Green, Ohio look as bad as possible. It wouldn’t be fair of me to sit here and pretend the whole event is best represented by a 58 year-old carpet salesman droning the words “full pull” with the same sexual energy as the guy who yells “ass to ass” in Requiem for a Dream. It wouldn’t be fair, but it would be completely accurate because that’s exactly what Monster Wars does. They really do smash cut from a Playboy Playmate promising the party to end all parties to a Jerry objectifying tractors. It’s an incredible editing choice that sets a perfect tone for the reel that follows, which is mostly police sketches against machinery jumbles.

Seanbaby: You can always tell when something’s AI-generated because of the big letters spelling “OHIO.”

Brockway: That’s the cardback art for the only banned Go-Bot.

Let’s throw it to 84-years-young Harold “Sewer Hookup” Whitman. Tell us about the party, Harry!

Brockway: I did not cherry pick that quote. I didn’t even fake the sicko camera tilt and slight fisheye, which was ‘90s visual shorthand for “what a psycho!” It has to be sarcastic, this has to be the world’s first sarcastic camera angle.

Seanbaby: “I’m Harold Whitman, newly single because it turns out the devil can die. The top five best things about tractor pullin’? I can list zero and one of them is drainin’ the shitter on the RV.”

Brockway: Hold on, I know who can save this. We need to get famous tractor pull party animal Crazy Frank in here. His first name is Crazy! His second first name is Frank! You gotta be careful if you even go looking for Crazy Frank. A driver pulls the crew aside to whisper “you wanna find Frank?” Like they’re looking for a forbidden tractor sorcerer. “You just look for the orderlies with the straitjackets.”

Seanbaby: When you brand yourself as the “crazy” guy at an event where sad drinkers scream at farm equipment, you’re not the good kind of crazy.

Brockway: Yeah, do we even want to find Frank? We might not be able to handle his giant foam cowboy hat, his pink sunglasses, his that’s it. Old two-prop Crazy Frank. You wanna know where the real party is? Oh, Frank knows, and you better get ready to throw down baby because-

Brockway: That’s the best Bowling Green, Ohio has to offer. A beach-themed party, like somebody forgot to brainstorm for a 10 year old’s birthday.

Seanbaby: Beach-themed!? Sounds like the Bowling Green dry goods store might finally sell its bikini.

Brockway: Puts Mardi Gras to shame! This is the least anyone has ever delivered on a promise. Luann Lee looks like the kind of woman who always brings sensible flats in case she has to run for her car. It’s definitely gonna be a flat time in New Orleans tonight.

Back to the races! Equalizer: the Scion of Space versus Bear Foot: the Fred of Fred’s House!

… was supposed to happen, but both trucks had engine troubles.

Seanbaby: They should have to race on foot if their trucks break down. In his twilight years Fred may no longer have the physique of Equalizer, but he’s also not wearing 60 pounds of starcop armor. He’d still have a chance. Or they could have a dog food eating contest. There’s really no idea that could make the show more insane.

Brockway: How about no ideas? We just skip it. It was weird to call it out in the first place! The show is completely falling apart and they want you to know it.

Now it’s Predator vs. Grave Digger.

Brockway: Grave Digger is the best, we’ve established this, but there are still ways to explore why he’s the best. Here’s one: He never brings any sense of proportion. It doesn’t matter if his opponent is a Galactic Space Cop or an Exploding Construction Worker or a Chose to Abstain, he always gnashes teeth like it’s the fate of the universe. He knows he’s only up against a randy catboy here.

Brockway: What a hell of a thing to say to a man you’re about to kill with a monster truck.

Seanbaby: “Frightful” because he’s a sexy skeleton? This is a sincere murder vow with the minimum requirements of wordplay. It’s like a mechanic wrestler character hissing, “I’m going to fucking kill you here in this Jiffy Lube.”

Brockway: Predator, how are you going to match that bloodthirsty savagery?

Seanbaby: What the fuck?

Brockway: That seems nuts at first, but really it’s excellent character work. Predator would completely fold in the fury of a true Skeletor. He’d quickly realize his convoluted lightning cat glamrocker motif pales against a man with nothing but a skull and confidence.

Seanbaby: “I can see meow I’ve made a terrible meow-stake! Panther form escape!”

Brockway: He loses badly. Grave Digger embarrasses Predator, and Predator, in turn, embarrasses driver Allen Pezo.

Seanbaby: Allen Pezo leaps into frame and shrieks, “I will clezo your skinless neck until you’re zezo malezo!”

Brockway: Speaking of things I barely understand: First Blood was never our most eloquent vampire. He’s no Gary Oldman whispering about the cold majesty of the night, he’s more that guy from John Carpenter’s Vampires whose dick still worked okay. Even so, he’s better than this:

Brockway: This is episode 2! The writers were given a world of living muscle trucks who each dwell in their own secret dimension and they ran out of steam halfway through the second hour? We wrote ten thousand words about it already! If you gave this prompt to an anime it would be on episode 1052 and all of those trucks would be on the same team, their petty rivalries pushed aside to ally against the corruption of God.

Seanbaby: Whenever you talk about anime I feel like Fred Shafer trying to figure out why all these wolfmans keep threatening his truck.

Brockway: Somehow Crusher comes out the coherent one in this exchange.

Seanbaby: Where the hell did this insult come from? This is on-theme and haunting.

Brockway: He’s just as surprised as anybody. It doesn’t last, he gets too excited about the victory.

Seanbaby: There’s our Crusher.

Brockway: Race time. First Blood the truck, holy shit, loses power again?

They must film these promos after the race, right? It’d be crazy to record before the event, what if Skeletor says he’s gonna eat Bear Foot’s soul the day Fred flips his truck into the stands? That’s the retirement plan for a Monster Truckist. It forces the league to pay for the funeral. But it’s just as crazy to think Monster Wars knew this race ended with the truck equivalent of erectile dysfunction and still hired a wrestling lunatic to dress up like a vampire and scream about it

Seanbaby: Most sporting events have commentators to give fans an appreciation of mishaps like this. The audience would probably be forgiving if an expert explained the complexities of these trucks and the importance of each member of the crew. Instead, Monster Wars cut to twenty seconds of a man losing his mind and waiting for the dynamite in his hand to go off. It was obviously the much better choice.

Brockway: The last matchup of the episode is Invader versus Taurus. Look at this low-confidence whipwork.

Brockway: That’s not fucking monster truck wrestler promo energy, that’s how you communicate marital troubles in a game of therapeutic charades.

Seanbaby: “Yee haw, but we gotta keep it down or mom’s gonna take away my truck promo whip again.”

Brockway: Taurus is bringing nothing this time, but it might be because Invader stole all the monster energy to fuel his home planet’s truck generators – that’s right, they breathe truck on planet Extorpa! He’s been a hero to his people this whole time! Don’t judge another truck’s highway ‘til you rode it!

Seanbaby: “Truck people of Extorpa, I have a plan to re-clezo our truck generators! I will truck to Earth in a form they call truck, the word you and I know to mean all things! Once there, I will truck against their mightiest warriors sometimes! Other times, their grumpiest normals! Do not truck confused! The victor trucks energy, but only if it’s me! The others make no mention of these stakes, though some seem to think it is to the death while others are truckly fucking! Truck-bye!”

Brockway: Invader has never been my favorite, but he fully commits to whatever the hell this speech is about, screeching every word like Starscream is tired of being ignored. He wraps up his manifesto with a fistpumping countdown to violence that ends in an explosion-

Seanbaby: Yes!

Seanbaby: Yes!

Brockway: Invader loses due to engine trouble.

Seanbaby: We just got a lesson a lot of bankrupt widows had to learn the hard way– don’t get emotionally invested in the outcome of monster truck racing.

Brockway: So much engine failure this episode. I know what’s happening in reality: Monster trucks break very quickly and we’re in week two of a monster truck series that doesn’t exist for a reason. What’s happening on the truck universe side of things? Are all these trucks sick? Are the truckboys spreading some sort of intestinal virus around due to close proximity and poor truck hygiene, like the second World Bodybuilding Federation? Because in the WBF that virus was actually a cover story to explain why the bodybuilders looked better in the first competition, when they didn’t test for steroids. Wait holy shit are there truck steroids in the truckiverse?

Hold on, Monster Wars is an absurd but traditionally straight-faced competition in the early ‘90s, now courting controversy for injecting costumed wrestling gimmicks, and mired with performance issues in its second installment – there’s even a Muscle Dracula! Was I not joking before, is this actually connected to the WBF somehow?

Yes.

But you’ll have to listen to the podcast tomorrow to find out.

Seanbaby: By the pulsing, purple thighs of Grave Digger I swear we are still not kidding! Monster Wars week continues tomorrow!!!


Monster Wars Week is thanks to a hot Hot Dog tip from Monster Mo. You know what they say: Mo monsters, Mo problems.

5 replies on “Teamworking Day: Monster Wars 2 🌭”

If this series doesn’t end by splicing in footage from that tv show where the kid turns into Truckasaurus and has him kill First Blood, freeing the trucks from this purgatory of constant battle and engine failure, I tell you I will have have lost all faith in the magic of cocaine.

So this all only makes sense to me if it is some kind of MLM scheme, run by the Shafer family, in which financially vulnerable hicks are convinced to take second reverse-mortgages on their modest homes in order to get a big truck and be allowed to race for pink-slips. They get to keep racing after they lose, but only if they buy back the truck.

The avatars are an add-on offered to the contestants, so the skits are self-financed by the drivers (using the expensive Shafer Studios sets and crews), but are considered to have incredible totemic power among the ensnared driver’s cult within the enterprise. Obviously Grave Digger is part of the scam, perhaps even the golden cap of the Shafer Pyramid (is he perhaps Fred’s father, orchestrating events from beyond the grave?), helping to sell the gimmick scam by being so powerful that he is undiminished by Fred Shafer (who obviously isn’t going to throw extraneous seed money into the plot) takes the slips (and homes) of all the other drivers.

I assume this can never be topped and you will not be requiring my Patreon in June. I am going to give it anyway but c’mon.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *