It's 2035, ten years after World War III unleashed nuclear, chemical, and bio terrors across the globe. America is now a neon wasteland populated by mutated people, animals, and con-artists who still know how to capitalize on any situation.
Mr. SIlver is one such shady character. He organizes an anything-goes car race from Jersey City down to Atlantic City after hand-picking five of the country's best racers. The winner is promised plenty of food and provisions, as well as residency on R'lyeh, a sparkling new city that has recently emerged from the depths off the Jersey coast.
The contestants are Samson, a man bent on finding the gang who raped his wife and kidnapped his son; Junko, a former slave who's adrenaline is pumped to be in his first race by himself; Gabby Peppermint, a spoiled rotten girl who murdered her family on her sweet sixteenth birthday; Mama Hell, a foul-mouthed holy roller; and Drac Dunwich, whose gasoline-filled crystal skull is almost as eerie to behold as his tentacle-jacked hot rod. Each driver has a car rigged with various weapons, Mama Hell's saw-blade equipped mini-van being one of the coolest.
During the race, the drivers come across mutants, religious cults, strange animals, weird roadways, and endless, violent confrontations with each other. Samson also rescues a young boy who becomes a pivotal part of the story. Each character's background is colorful and is revealed at a nice pace.
The first half of TENTACLE DEATH TRIP reads like a stranger version of DEATH RACE 2000, and for a while I wondered if this would be nothing more than a bizarro version of the classic cult film. But Krall kicks it into high gear during the second half, making his story so much more. There's double crosses, plenty of well-placed humor, non-stop action, and during the psychadelic thrill-ride of a finale, we even get a father/son moment of (literal) bonding that's all heart.
With even more surprises not mentioned here, TENTACLE DEATH TRIP is easily one of Krall's finest--and funnest--offerings. Buckle up...