Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Couldn't help myself. 1984's Electric Dreams was one of my favorite films as an awkward teen and it still resonates with that inner geek. Atari-chic? Pixilated-goodness? Who know what the real appeal is but it's buried somewhere deep in this tale of a lovesick PC.
Architect and full-time wuss, Miles, played by Lenny von Dohlen, buys a new computer to sort out his life. After he spills some soda on it the computer short circuits and gains a personality, voiced by Bud Cort. Virginia Madsen is the love interest that both Miles and Edgar - the computer - compete for. This triangle deal is old hat but the film's got so much style and such a quirkly twist that it just feels fresh. Layer on some Culture Club, a Phil Oakey-Giorgio Moroder electro trashsterpeice, Heaven 17 and Bach and you've got '80s nirvana.
Director Steve Barron cut his teeth at MTV and screenwriter Rusty Lemorande (yes, seriously) got his start here before moving on to that 3D Michael Jackson masterpiece , Captain EO. Filled with Steadicam swoops and montages set to electro rock, Electric Dreams is really one of the slickest looking films of the early '80s. And it's exactly what you'd expect from the title - a visual love letter to everything the electric '80s were supposed to be.
Solarstone - bless his heart - has uploaded the entire (now OOP) film onto Youtube. Above is part one of tweleve. Dig the Virgin credit animation.
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
So, yesterday my book deal was posted on Publisher's Marketplace (PM) - in the middle there. PM lists most of the deals to the major and moderate sized houses and it's been one of those benchmarks for me. When I wrote this novel two years ago I thrilled at the thought of seeing it listed on PM - go giddy just thinking about it - and like every new author I was a bit naive in how long I thought the whole process would take. Get an agent? No biggie. Get a multi-book, six-figure deal? No sweat. Yeah, right. It's amazing how difficult the whole process is and how slowly it moves - glacial, honestly. I could go on and on about the steps and details - if you want to hear about it let me know. Thanks to everyone who helped along the way and those of you who've sent kind words. Hope you enjoy the book. Cheers.
Friday, January 26, 2007
The Kid (Marquard Bohm) wanders into a desolate wasteland of a town with a bullet in his arm and a million bucks in his briefcase. He's found by Charlie Dump (a.k.a The Rat)(Mario Adorf)and rehabilitated in Dump's rotting junk yard. The Kid tells Dump that Mr. Sunshine (the fantastic Scot Anthony Dawson) will soon be coming for the money. Throw in an old crazy lady and her feral but beautiful daughter and you have a peculiar but thrilling slice of Euro-nihilism.
Roland Klick was one of the darlings of post-WWII German cinema. His early '60s films were counterculture gems - rarely screened outside of Germany - but it was this 1970 flick that put him on the map. With a tumbling soundtrack by Krautrockers Can, Deadlock joins Matalo! and Django... Kill! as the most unusual off-shoots of Leone's The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. And you don't get much higher praise or psychedelic credit than having Alejandro Jodorowsky describe your film as, "fantastic. A bizarre, glowing film."
Being a Western, Deadlock is as much about the swirling dust of the landscape as it is about Manifest Destiny. But Deadlock's also a crime film and the land is useless, it's the money and the women that the men who inhabit this desolation are after. Cat and mouse games, deception, it all adds up to a protracted and nihilistic ending. Hell, even The Ending. Deadlock remains an obscurity - a Spaghetti Western with Beckett-like gangster tropes, stunning camerawork and a Can soundtrack. Surely, this is a cinebomb ripe for rediscovery.
Monday, January 22, 2007
Crippled Dick has branched out into publishing again (anyone remember the Lucertola books?). The company is called Lauschrausch or, ignoring my terrible German translator program, "Listening intoxication." The first release is a 2CD audio reading - with a full cast (including Herbert Fux (!)) - of Lovecraft's At the Mountains of Madness or in German Berge des Wahnsinns.
This joins the jazzy DVD label, Monitorpop, in Crippled Dick Hot Wax's eventual take-over of everything cooly obscure and Euro. I just wish they'd get around to releasing some more Gert Wilden goodness...
Saturday, January 20, 2007
Anthony Lucas's Academy Award nominated short film is a stunning combination of steam punk fantasy and William Hope Hodgeson inspired nautical (well, airborne in this instance) horror.
Here it is in three parts:
Here it is in three parts:
Monday, January 15, 2007
For Geek Monthly #3 - due out March-ish - I'm doing an overview of Christian scare films. You know, like classroom films but about the Lord. These flicks have an odd almost hypnotic charm. Filmed on bare-bones sets with non-actors, the majority are a chore to sit through. But there are a few that really stand out. Perhaps the craziest, most absurdly violent of these was Ron Ormand's If Footmen Tire You, What Will Horses Do? In this 1974 shocker Godless commies invade and commit atrocities. They gun down church goers, torture Sunday school children. What did you expect? Most of the running time is actually devoted to Rev. Estus W. Pirkle preaching but beware the "docudrama" segments. Surprisingly strong stuff. Pirkle's foundation claims that millions of people have been saved by his films. You can see for yourself here.
Thursday, January 11, 2007
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Psyched to announce that my debut novel - 6 Sick Hipsters - will be published by Kensington and on shelves in April '08. I've set up a website for the book - it's little more than a place holder at the moment - and will have all manner of sordid details available in the coming weeks. So, stay tuned...