In the annals of masculine teen fiction few writers are more revered than Chester Ivan Hudson, whose two-fisted tales of hot rod science fiction adventure have enthralled generations of adolescent schoolboys. The following are excerpts from Hudson's 1956 classic "The Blog," which would later become a popular low budget drive-in release from Irving Z. Korfmann's American Intracontinental Pictures, starring a young Slate McNicholson as plucky protagonist Biff Baxley.
Still spry and lively at 85, Hudson lives an active retirement in Prescott, AZ where he manages 9 daily holes of golf while answering his many fan letters. "The school librarians never quite approved of my books," he says. "But they always got the biggest overdue fines."
Biff Baxley had just finished re-jetting the Stromberg 97 carbs on "Betsy," his gleaming Ford V-8 roadster, when he heard the drive-up service bell ring outside the Eastvale Gas & Garage. Biff frowned for a quick moment and continued his final adjustments. The customer would have to wait, because Biff needed every second. That night -- at midnight sharp -- he would be driving Betsy out to Old Factory Road for a drag race against his nemesis, Chip Biffler, and his menacing '40 Coupe.
Biff stood back and admired Betsy - drinking in her beautifully dimpled chassis, her gleaming intake, her supple curves. He hungrily eyed her enormous headlights, slowly reaching out to caress them and ...
HONK HONK! The customer's horn snapped Biff back to attention.
"Keep your shirt on, I'm coming!" he yelled -- then paused, embarrassed, when he realized the waiting customer was Professor Von Kleinstein, the head space scientist at Eastvale College. He was sitting in his clunky Nash alongside his vivacious daughter Darla, a brilliant Eastvale coed who assisted him in his many important space science experiments.
"Jeepers, Professor," said Biff, wiping his hands on his overalls. "Sorry about that language, I didn't know it was you! Hi, Darla!"
"Hello, Biff," she replied. Did something in her tone suggest she was attracted to him? Biff wondered, as he continued slowly wiping his hands on his overall legs.
"No time for ze small talk, Beeff," said the white-haired space scientist. "Fill it up with super ethyl and quickly! Vee haff to get out to Westville Pass!"
"Jeepers, Professor, where's the fire?" said Biff, breathing in the intoxicating scent of Darla's perfume as he furiously pumped the super ethyl.
"Zere hass been a mysterious explosion zere last night! Darla recorded it on her radar inspectro-oscilloscope, and vee are on our vay to investigate!"
"Golly, Professor, your old Nash will never make it up to Westville Pass," warned Biff. "I'm no scientist, but I can get you up there in my car."
Professor Von Kleinstein eyed Betsy suspiciously. "Zat reekety jalopy?"
"Let me tell you something Professor," said Biff sternly. "She may not look like much, but everybody knows Betsy's the hottest, fastest piece of iron in Eastvale, and golly does she put out! Just last night I had her wide open, screaming, all the way up to Westville Pass!"
"I'm sorry to doubt your car, Beeff," he said, apologetically. "But eet only has two seats -- perhaps Darla should go with you, and I weel communicate via the radio-phone."
"Okay, Professor! C'mon, Darla... hop in!"
Darla jumped in alongside Biff, as his key coaxed Betsy's powerful ported 8BA flathead to life.
"And Darla... I suggest you hang on tight," said Biff. "And also, maybe hike up your skirt a bit."
"Well, Okay, Biff," she said, curiously. "But why?"
"No time for questions, Darla! We're off to Westville Pass!"
"That's funny, Biff... the epsilon-ray counter is showing high levels of atomic activity, but the space-o-scope is not tracking the proper electowaves," said Darla, leaning over the mysterious crater. She slowly strained to take a better reading, her sinuous calves tightening as she leaned further and further.
"Biff? Biff?" she called.
"Oh, umm, I'm sorry Darla, I was just checking out the rear end gear," he said.
"Honestly!" said Darla. "Is that all you males think about -- cars?" Suddenly, the radio-phone rang.
"Darla, Beeff! You must get back to Eastvale quickly!" said Professor Von Kleinstein's voice through the static. "Zhere has been a mysterious disappearance at ze college -- Professor Bellisiles!"
"I don't get it, Professor Von Kleinstein," said Biff. "Professor Bellesiles was a famous scientist -- golly, he practically invented the whole history of space ray guns! Why would anyone want to hurt him?"
"Anyone... or any thing?" said Darla with a shudder, her creamy skin hardening into tiny bumps, as she shimmied her shoulders.
"Vhat are you saying, Darla?" asked Von Kleinstein, with a serious scientific expression on his face.
"You saw the radio-oscilloscope readings, Father. That mysterious explosion at Westville Pass. The weird space activity the other night, in Galaxy sector X-99..."
"What are you people doing in here?" an angry voice rang out.
"Oh -- Professor Cramer, Professor Reynolds! You had me startled for a moment," said Darla with a nervous laugh. The two college space scientists, normally collegial, were angrily glaring at Biff and the Von Kleinsteins.
"You shouldn't be poking around in college business," said Cramer, his eyes flashing.
"It is against the prime direct... I mean, college policy," added Reynolds.
A wave of dread swept over Darla. Her chest began heaving, slowly, breathlessly, as she arched her back in recoil. Transfixed by a sudden tension, Biff didn't hear the radio-phone ring.
"Vhat izzat? Ve are on ze way!" Professor Von Kleinstein put down the radio- phone and looked at Biff.
"Somezing has attacked Mr. Raines at ze newspaper... and now it is headed for ze old radio station on Southtown Road!"
The interior of the abandoned radio station KCBS was covered with splotches of pulsating green slime, which Darla and her father investigated with the epsilon ray counter. As Biff shuffled through the wreckage, he wondered -- why would something attack a popular DJ like Wolfman Dan, let alone his perky producer Mary? Could this have something to do with the explosion at Westville Pass? The proportional space compu-typewriter? And did Darla realize he could see her taut, bare midriff peek out when she reached up high with that epsilon ray counter?
There was a stir at the studio door. It was Charlie Johnson, Eastvale's town beatnik.
"Looks like squaresville Dan and his Rudy Vallee records are completely Splitsville, man," said Johnson with an evil grin and a fiery green glow in his eyes. "From now on, the Prime Directive is... Rock and Roll, baby!"
"Look father! Out the window! A massive green glob, and it's headed for Eastvale!"
Biff looked at Darla's tight figure silhouetted in the green glow of the window. Waves of confusing urges washed over him... he needed to do something... what it was, he didn't understand.
"You haff to admeet, Mr. Hinderaker, it's very odd," said Professor Von Kleinstein. "Ze thing has attacked ze radio station, ze college, ze newspaper... efferyzing but your bank."
"It is not the Prime Directive," the bank president answered in a blank stare. He stood up, lumbered to his radio, and switched it on. The familiar voice of Wolfman Dan had been replaced.
Heyhey hot cats and cool kittens! This is your new Eastvale DJ, Hughie the H, with a hot stack of Blog wax and a new Rock and Roll Prime Objectives!
As Hinderaker broke into a stiff jitterbug, Darla cried out at a terror lurking in the street below.
"Father, look! The pulsating green blog! It's headed.... straight for the TV station!"
She let out a blood-curdling scream as a gigatic eyeball broke through the window.
"Jeepers!" said Biff.
"No, no!" cried Darla. She collapsed into Biff's chest as the glowing menace wrapped its suckered tendrils around Professor Churchill, Eastvale College's only Apache space scientist.
While Darla nestled under his arm, shielding her eyes from the horror, Biff protectively studied her disheveled blouse to make sure she was okay.
"I'll teach that thing to target journalists! This is Jordan Eason, signing off!" The television reporter suddenly dropped his microphone and hurtled down the street screaming, headlong into the Blog, which was now over 20 feet tall.
"No... Jordan, you suicidal fool, you can't stop it!" cried Professor Von Kleinstein, but it was too late... the reporter was quickly swept up into the pulsating plasmoid mass. Suddenly, instinctively, it began heading for the Eastvale movie theater.
Biff's eyes narrowed. Just what was that lacy thing peeking out of Darla's torn skirt?
The rest of Biff's car club -- including Chip Biffler and Kick Chopley -- began circling the Blog with their hot rods, keeping it at bay while Biff and Darla mapped out a plan in the glow of Betsy's headlights.
"It's got to have some sort of central nervous system," said Biff. "Jeepers, if we could just find its brain, maybe we could kill it."
"That's just it, Biff -- it doesn't seem to have any head whatsoever! It seems to be some sort of pure unedited energy, and any attack only seems to make it stronger!"
"Biff!" yelled Chuck Huckler over the roar of his lakes pipes. "We're losing control! Run for it!"
The Blog was now headed full speed at Biff and Darla. They hopped into Betsy and peeled out down Old Factory Road.
"Biff! It's gaining on us!" Darla screamed, peering behind the roadster as her blonde hair toussled in the wind.
"Don't worry Darla, they haven't made anything yet that can keep up with Betsy!" Biff hit the electric overdrive switch on his Lincoln transmission, and they were both pushed back by the acceleration. The Blog, however, had now developed a speed to match its terrifying size, and its slimy tendrils began slapping and spanking furiously on the lid of Betsy's rumble seat.
"You keep your paws off of my Betsy's rear end!" yelled Biff. Suddenly, he had a flash of inspiration.
"Darla," he shouted over the roaring headers, "start throwing your clothes at it!"
"Oh, Biff, your hot rod was magnificent!" said Darla, lighting a cigarette. "I would join you and Betsy for a three-way science adventure any day."
"There's no time for that, Darla," said Biff. "Eastvale is gone, destroyed. We have to get word out to Southtown, and Northdale, and Middleside! We have to warn them -- the Blog is coming! Coming for you!