Action Figures & Their Beers – Horror Show

by Beedo Sookcool
on 2018-03-11, 09:51:58

I was grocery shopping the other day, and I saw this eye-catching bottle painted to look like stoneware. The name leapt out at me. Delirium. Now, I own a large number of action figures that anyone who was alive before the 1950s would look at and wonder what in the Hell was going through the mind (or bloodstream) of the person who thought them up. Ten-foot-tall flatworm-gibbon headhunters (Amanamen). An extremely METAL giant skeletal samurai alien robot that turns into a tank (Bludgeon). Parasitoid creatures like a cross between a scorpion and an ichneumon wasp that gestate inside people and burst out in a spray of gore (Xenomorphs). Dinosaurs. Robots. Barbarians. Magical space knight monks with laser swords. A whole lot of plastic and metal weirdness. What could possibly stand out as exceptionally freakish-looking amidst all that? THIS GUY: Image

Some of you are probably thinking something along the lines of: “Sweet sodding arse crackers, what the Hells is that?!!” That, my friends, is Mantenna, from the Masters of the Universe Classics line. In the already weird and all-encompassing Masters of the Universe . . . er . . . universe . . . they felt they needed some new big bads for the heroes (and even other villains) to fight. Thus was begotten The Evil Horde, of which Mantenna is one of the original members.

The Evil Horde ran along the general theme of Classic Horror. Hordak, with his bat-like features, red teeth, and dark colour scheme was the vampire. Grizzlor was the shaggy werebeast. Leech: the swamp monster from some lagoon or other. Modulok was both Dr. Frankenstein and Frankenstein’s monster rolled into one. Shadow Weaver was the obvious witch. Mosquitor has the 1950s Giant Bug angle locked down. New Millennium newcomer, Callix, is a rock golem. The forthcoming Wrap Trap, based on a concept from the late 1980s which didn’t get made, is a mummy. And so on and so forth.

But just look at Mantenna up there. The original figure from 1985 actually looked pretty cheap and silly with a few corners cut, but this Four Horsemen-sculpted update gives him all his revolting original design features. Stalked eyes like a snail. Ears like . . . an elephant . . . sort of? Mouth like a predatory worm’s nightmare maw, with added tusks. Six limbs like an insect. Ripped like a steroid abuser. He hits both the Bug-Eyed Monster from Outer Space button and the Lovecraftian Hybrid Horror button at the same time. No wonder he got redesigned for the mini-comics and cartoons, and turned into a comic relief wimp. Any kid seeing the original Mantenna design realised like this would probably need counselling and therapy. He is easily one of the most horrific and disturbing figures, and one of the most demented and hallucination-induced character designs I have ever brought into my house. And that’s only because I couldn’t afford any Inhumanoids toys as a kid, and never really collected anything from McFarlane Toys. Now those were really messed up!

Anywho. The beer.

Delirium (or “Delirium Tremens” as it showed up on my itemised grocery receipt) is a Belgian, family-produced 8.5%ABV strong beer (their use of red fonts). The Huyghe Family Brewery, around since 1654, has produced this triple-fermented 330 mL bottle of yumminess. It’s multi-lingual ingredients panel lists “water, malted barley, hops, and yeast.” That’s it. It has a Best Before date of October 2020, but I wanted to try it now. There’s also an admonition in shiny metallic copper on the back label that reads “BEER BREWED CAREFULLY, TO BE CONSUMED WITH CARE.” What am I, a frat boy? This wasn’t going in a funnel, this was going to be enjoyed.

And, boy, did I enjoy it! It was crisp. It was flavourful. It was strong. It was balanced. It was smooth as butter. And, considering it just looks like a plain old ordinary lager, that’s not a bad trick. The funny thing is, though, I’ve had much maltier or hoppier or more liquor-y beers at this potency; Delirium is like standard lager, only exaggerated. It’s a caricature of beer, but in a good way: all the recognised features of a decent standard beer, but turned up to 9.5 or so. Funnily enough, it puts me in mind precisely of the flavour of the beer biscuits we used to make with Stroh’s, and the aroma of the batter before we baked them. So this is beer-biscuit beer. Makes me wonder what it would be like if I actually made it into beer biscuits. Meta.

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