“If you try to make a horror film where somebody says ‘I don’t know what that sound was but I’ll go investigate,’ if somebody in the room doesn’t say ‘Well that’s from Halloween‘ or whatever, then it becomes false.”
–Sir Wes Craven
or, more particularly, from DEAD SILENCE: going to the Guignol ‘doll’ Theater on Lost Lake in a town called Raven’s Fain when there’s a killer on the loose who eats living tongues is pretty much just asking for trouble. This isn’t to say DEAD SILENCE isn’t pretty surprisingly good either, though. I’m not really one for doll-movies — they all kind of smack of Chucky, and I was tired of him instantly (though, just because I’m scared, I’d never badmouth that twisty-armed POLTERGEIST doll) — and those familiar SAW cheekbones in the trailer weren’t especially promising (though I have dug all the SAWs), but, anyway, it’s not like BEHIND THE MASK or HATCHET is soon to open at my local Cinemark, so DEAD SILENCE it was. And it did about everything right, too, I thought. Which I guess is the sum-total of my non-review, yeah, except to note that the bad Olds in DEAD SILENCE is the second one this year, right? Didn’t the C. Thomas Howell kid in THE HITCHER remake drive one too? The saddest moments in all these movies are always when the car gets it. I mean, when all it was doing was being cherry, sleeping, carrying those scenes which would have otherwise been kind of boring.
Just yesterday finished that Ledfeather novel I’ve been writing all the long way since January, and am two weeks late with already, or, ‘late,’ anyway, maybe even with double quotes there, and anyway, yeah, I love the hell out of it, can’t imagine I was even able to trap the thing on paper, but, too, like with The Bird is Gone, it kind of skewered my brain, but none of that’s even what I mean to be saying here.
A few years ago one of my publishers was cool enough to send me up some forever elevator in New York to get a full day of some much-needed media training. Just in case. It was excellent, too; got to watch myself on a big screen over and over and over, and have every stupid thing I kept doing pointed out, the idea being of course that once I’d said, Yeah, that’s pretty ridiculous, obviously, c’mon, that maybe it’d click that I should stop doing that. I’d guess that training stuck for a good six months, anyway. Which is something like a record with me. And I only think of this now when listening to pieces of this recording (scroll down a touch, click the grey arrow . . . ) of the reading I did March 1st, and how I seem to crutch through every half-sentence with a pretty predictable ‘um.’ Which is supposed to have been conditioned out of me (along with lilting my sentences up into a running series of questions). But oh well. Maybe I can be like Mel Tillis: I only get mired in that kind of stuff in the commentary. At least in what I listened to of the story reading, there’s no umming.
In Georgia, I mean, where I just was (GC&SU) to do a reading and meet many cool people. All kinds of fun (no recordings or pics that I know of, though); they have really old buildings there. I think some of them are Roman, even. And, Lobo — he was out of Georgia, right? I seem to remember the opening credits showing downtown Atlanta. Anyway, I miss him. It was only a thirty-minute show, as I recall, not a full hour like the Dukes got, but still, I mean, BJ & the Bear? You can pack a lot into thirty minutes. Though, talking BJ & the Bear, I was always very confused how he carried those red Firebirds (or were they TA’s?) around, just wherever he needed them. It did teach me that driving through a wall can solve a lot of life’s problems, though. And that it’s always to your advantage to know people with names like ‘Stax.’
Was poring through some story or novel the other day, to submit it, and realized, now that the story was more or less in place, at least until somebody else jammed their hands into it, that all I was looking at were the words, the sentences. Which is nice, yeah, makes a piece feel ‘done.’ Like Carver’s supposed to have said, he knew it was time to step away from a piece when all he was doing anymore was changing commas (but yeah, look at the differences in his “The Bath” and “A Small, Good Thing,” which “The Bath” became).
Too, that “monkey torture” — thanks to Carolyn for suggesting YouTube — it’s (t)here. And, talking Lindsay Ballard — this is kind of from the podcast — that alien race, they’re the Kobali, of course, from the “Ashes to Ashes” episode of Star Trek Voyager. Which I know because I’m cool. As to why I love it, though, that’s complicated, but completely understandable.
Here’s the whole ballot. Some pretty steep competition, I’d say:
SUPERIOR ACHIEVEMENT IN LONG FICTION
“Hallucigenia” by Laird Barron (The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction)
“Graffiti” by Jason Brannon (Winds of Change)
“Winds of Change” by Jason Brannon (Winds of Change)
“The Ballad of Road Mama and Daddy Bliss” by Gary Braunbeck (Destinations Unknown)
Failure by John Everson (Delirium)
Mama’s Boy by Fran Friel (Insidious Reflections)
Then Comes the Child by Christopher Fulbright and Angeline Hawkes (Carnifex Press)
Bloodstained Oz by Christopher Golden and James A. Moore (Earthling Publications)
“The Muldoon” by Glen Hirshberg (American Morons)
“Raphael” by Stephen Graham Jones (Cemetery Dance)
Take The Long Way Home by Brian Keene (Necessary Evil Press)
“Dark Harvest” by Norman Partridge (Cemetery Dance)
The Colour Out of Darkness by John Pelan (Cemetery Dance)