Ultra Fuckers Review: Having Dinner in a Bizarro Suburban Dystopia

The world of fiction is vast, with numerous genres, subgenres, and subsubgenres within to please damn near anybody. For those with a penchant for the gonzo, there is what’s commonly referred to “bizarro fiction,” absurdist tales with no true connecting theme other than “make it weird and push the envelope.” Since circa 2001, Carlton Mellick III has been the Pied Piper of this movement, leading a merry band of similar-minded writers to explore the depths of their screwball imagination. Among his 60+ combined works in the genre, “Ultra Fuckers” works perfectly as a small taste of the bizarro fiction world.

Published in 2008, “Ultra Fuckers” follows Tony a husband dutifully joining his wife Tammy at her boss’s business dinner in a brand new suburban community. Upon passing through the gate, it quickly becomes apparent that things are a bit off. All of the houses are identical, the street names are blurringly similar, and there doesn’t appear to be a single person on the street to ask for directions. Within hours, as Tammy and Tony wind up getting hopelessly lost and then separated from each other, Tony decides to call it quits and attempt to make his way back to his own house. He gets himself only more lost in the suburban maze, and then things get weird as he encounters crazed Japanese punk rock anarchists (the eponymous Ultra Fuckers,) automated fast food restaurants, and a woman sporting a mohawk comprised of goldfish.

As is Mellick’s preference, this is a remarkably short novella at a mere 100 pages. Do not mistake this book’s brevity for lack of quality. It is precision absurdist horror at its finest, blending the underlying themes of suburban creepiness shown in classics such “The ‘Burbs” and “The Stepford Wives” to their ultimate Kafkaesque extreme. “Bang for the buck” is the method here, ensuring that the idea of loss of individualism as a horror theme is right alongside the insanity of punk rockers and goldfish mohawks. It somehow works.

Bizarro fiction is a world unto itself. It is certainly not going to commonplace in any mainstream bookstore or library, as many of the works of Mellick and similar authors are outright banned from these establishments. Online and specialty stores are where one will find these gems of insanity. Sometimes a little weirdness doesn’t hurt.

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