Kill ‘Em All

We don’t know the guy personally, but we’re guessing it must kill Bruce Wayne that he can’t leave his own batcave without putting on a mask. At this point in his life, what is his true identity? Is he a billionaire industrialist/philanthropist, or is he Batman, a lunatic who suffers from a psychological disorder brought on by his inability to cope with stress? If we had to guess, we’d say his “true” identity is the one wearing the cape and cowl.

Rico Slade has the same sort of problem. In the movies, he’s Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis, Jason Statham, Jet Li, and Mickey Rourke all rolled into one. He’s a one-man Expendables wrecking crew. Millions of people know him as an ultra-violent urban guerilla action hero. Off screen, however, a few close friends know him as a bald gay man who wears frumpy clothing. But when you think about it, which reality is more accurate?

Even Rico Slade can’t answer that question. His self-identity crisis is driving him crazy. He’s having trouble separating reality from fiction and now he’s rampaging across Hollywood in an attempt to stop Baron Mayhem from detonating a neutron bomb. “I’m going to stop him from destroying the world by punching him in the fucking face a bunch of fucking times,” says Slade. Queue up a soundtrack of pulse-pounding heavy metal riffage.

Rico Slade Will Fucking Kill You can be read two different ways. You can enjoy it as an over-the-top macho farce. And in this way, it is a raw, funny, and totally silly piece of entertainment.

But the novel also comments (broadly) on more serious matters, such as how perception alters reality. Rico Slade isn’t a superhero action figure; he’s merely an actor who plays one in the movies. Millions of people don’t see the difference, however. To them, Rico Slade is Rico Slade all the time. Bang a gong, get it on, motherfucker.

Putting an image of Arnold Schwarzenegger on the book’s cover was a great idea. Here’s a guy who achieved a certain amount of fame as a bodybuilder. Good for him. But then, as we all know, he became a model, a movie star, a businessman, a politician, and a philanderer. What the hell happened? Like Rico Slade, did he get confused along the way? Did we (gulp!) get confused also? For better or worse, a weightlifter from Austria can now put Governor of California on his resume. Hasta la vista, baby. Arnold Schwarzenegger will fucking kill you.

[Rico Slade Will Fucking Kill You / By Bradley Sands / First Printing: February 2011 / ISBN: 9781936383474]

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