Thursday, June 10, 2010

Babbling Bitch Session

I've been in my new home for about six months now. There have been a lot of changes in my life over that time period. I've had to learn how to clean, cook (still terribly unsuccessful at this one), micro-manage my money, etc. I've already been through one hellish roommate (I won't go into the sordid details of this fiasco since anyone who follows me on Twitter can see for themselves). Now I've got a potential second roommate lined up. I'm hoping she'll be better than the first one. If I were to play the odds, she most certainly has to be better than my previous one.
All of these changes, and others of a much more subtle nature. All of these changes...and yet, nothing feels different. I still feel as if I'm stuck in a rut. A dead-end job full of back-breaking manual labor that I will have to maintain until the day I literally drop dead, no real relationship prospects (that subject should be a whole blog unto itself), basically an almost completely sedentary life full of lonely nights in front of the television or computer.

I rarely go out. I work weekends when most others are out celebrating. My single day off is typically in the middle of the week. So, technically I could go out then but it would be by myself, as all my friends are in the midst of their normal work week.
And, speaking of friends, almost all of them live quite a distance away. So in order to visit them it requires planning ahead. I can't just visit them on a whim. The reverse is also true. This harkens back to my random work schedule. It's extremely hard to make plans ahead of time because I rarely know what my work schedule is going to be on a week to week basis.
Reading back through this blog, it seems as though my main problem, the thing holding me back from having an active social life, is my job. But I like my job. It's decent money. I like the people I work with (for the most part). I have medical benefits which is really important and something I'd like to hold onto.
And there you have it. My conundrum. The vicious cycle of my life. I'm done bitching. For now...

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Carlton Mellick III

Today, kids, we're going to talk about the author who has changed my whole way of thinking in terms of how to write a story.

Carlton Mellick III is at the forefront of the Bizarro Fiction movement. For years he has written stories of the weird and, in my humble opinion, he continues to improve and mature as an author. I've devoured every single one of his books over the course of little more than a year. I have yet to find one that I didn't zip right through at breakneck speed. Many of them I've already revisited because they're just that goddamned good.

Let's pause for a minute so that I may explain exactly what Bizarro Fiction is.

Bizarro is "equivalent to the cult section at the video store". It is weirdness of plot as opposed to experimental fiction which is weirdness of style. Many Bizarro tales are written in a very simplistic style but the characters and situations are very weird. One can pick up on influences from filmmakers such as David Lynch and David Cronenberg. Bizarro Fiction often takes typical characters or situations and adds many absurd (often hilarious) elements to make it weird and original.

Mr. Mellick is also a very kind, approachable fellow. Through Twitter, Facebook, and Brian Keene's Forum, I've talked to him. If only to tell him I've read and enjoyed his latest releases. He's always gracious and humble when responding to my praise. I've also talked with fellow Bizarro authors Jeremy C. Shipp (who has recommended so many great movies) and Jordan Krall (who shares my love of H.P. Lovecraft and Spaghetti Westerns). All great guys.

I can't thank author and friend Brian Keene enough for introducing me to Mellick and Bizarro Fiction. Reading Bizarro has totally changed my personal taste in literature. I've found a nice little niche where I feel I belong. As if the stories were written for me.

Here's a list of books/novellas by Carlton Mellick III:

Satan Burger
Electric Jesus Corpse
Sunset With A Beard (Collection)
Razor Wire Pubic Hair
Teeth And Tongue Landscape
The Steel Breakfast Era
The Baby Jesus Butt Plug
The Menstruating Mall
Ocean Of Lard (with Kevin L. Donihe)
Punk Land
Sex And Death In Television Town
Sea Of The Patchwork Cats
The Haunted Vagina
Cancer-Cute (Avant Punk Army Exclusive Collection)
War Slut
Sausagey Santa
Ugly Heaven, Beautiful Hell (with Jeffrey Thomas)
Adolf In Wonderland
Ultra Fuckers
The Egg Man
The Faggiest Vampire
The Cannibals Of Candyland
Warrior Wolf Women Of The Wasteland
The Kobold Wizard's Dildo Of Enlightenment +2
Zombies And Shit
Crab Town
The Morbidly Obese Ninja
Fantastic Orgy
Barbarian Beast Bitches Of The Badlands
I Knocked Up Satan's Daughter

Other notable Bizarro authors (in no particular order):

Gina Rinalli
Andre Duza
Jeremy C. Shipp
Jeff Burk
Jordan Krall
Cameron Pierce
Adam Pepper
Kevin L. Donihe
Anderson Prunty
John Edward Lawson
D. Harlan Wilson
Mykle Hansen
Andrew Goldfarb
Garrett Cook

I can't stress enough; if you're looking for something different, pick up some Carlton Mellick III books. If you like it, pick up some more. By this point you should be hooked. Then you can delve into some of these other fantastic authors I've listed above.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Uwe Boll-Cinematic Abortionist

Well, what can I say about Uwe Boll that hasn't already been said? He's a hack director of the highest (or lowest) caliber. An arrogant, self-involved ball of fury. His films, each and every one, are a grisly trainwreck not fit to be gazed upon by mortal eyes.

Oh wait, I guess I should backtrack a little bit and give you examples of some of Boll's films. Purely for those uninitiated. He's the master director/producer behind such masterworks of cinema as House Of The Dead, Alone In The Dark, Bloodrayne, Postal, In The Name Of The King: A Dungeon Siege Tale, among others. The majority of his fare is based on video games. Of course, he pays no attention to the actual plot of the video games themselves and instead veers way off course to create his own "vision".

He's been called the modern-day Ed Wood (director of Plan 9 From Outer Space--which is widely considered the WORST film of all time) by many. I, for one, think this assessment is accurate. His films are a jumbled mess. Sloppily filmed and edited. And the acting...oh boy, I won't even get into that.

I was watching House Of The Dead the other night on FEARnet and it is a godawful film. But, having seen several of his other films, "House" is his greatest achievement. When placed next to his other films it is a masterpiece. But that still doesn't mean it is good by any means. Why, oh why, are there snippets of the ACTUAL VIDEO GAME intercut between scenes? I know he was intentionally going for over-the-top fun but he failed miserably.

Not only are his films bad, but he's also got an uber-cocky attitude. He has called Michael Bay and Eli Roth "fucking retards". He also claimed that his film Postal (also based on a video game) would beat Indiana Jones And The Crystal Skull at the box office. I kid you not, as I just typed that I couldn't help but laugh out loud. What a ridiculous statement.

If this isn't enough, Boll is a boxer. In 2006 he challenged critics to "put up or shut up". Then he held an actual boxing event entitled "Raging Boll". Invited to challenge him were Quentin Tarantino and Roger Avery, among many others. Now granted, out of the five boxing matches that were actually held, Boll did win all of them.

Maybe he should have persued a boxing career instead of film...

Saturday, April 10, 2010

It's Curtains For You!

After a long day at work I had planned to come home and relax by immersing myself in the world of online gaming via XBOX LIVE. Not long before I was due to clock out, my mother called and reminded me that we had tentatively planned to go curtain shopping for my new digs. Okay, so video games are out. An afternoon of fighting mobs of rowdy teens, slow moving old people (zombies), and rent-a-cops who think they're the real deal because they have walkie-talkies was in.

Of course, my mom also failed to mention that she had to stop at Costco first. Now, I'm all for cheap bargains but that place is full to the brim with the lowest walks of life. I don't know which is worse; Costco or WalMart. At least WalMart isn't usually packed so tight with customers that you can barely move.

Once finished at Costco, we headed for the Christiana Mall in the adjacent parking lot. As we drove toward the sprawling consumer metropolis, I said to my mom, "You know you're taking me straight into the lion's den right?" There is a brand-spanking new Barnes & Noble inside the mall that has the ability to draw me in like gnats to a light bulb. To avert this, we went directly in the J.C. Penney entrance. After spending some time browsing through the plethora of curtains contained therein, I found some I liked and we went about making the purchase. Of course, they didn't have one of the colors I wanted so I had to order them. They won't be in for 2-4 weeks.

That done, we proceeded into the main part of the mall so I could look for a hat. I found an awesome Transformers hat at F.Y.E. of all places. Stinking Hot Topic only had crappy hats. I remember when they used to be cool. Sad that those days are long gone.

At this point we were both hungry so we paid a visit to the food court. While we were eating my mom kept pointing out females to me. One in particular was obviously in the advanced stages of pregnancy. Though I will admit that she was a very attractive young lady, I can't say I'm ready to jump into a relationship with someone in that predicament.

Somehow, I managed to convince her to let me go to Barnes & Noble. While there I was disappointed by their serious lack of horror fiction. Not to mention the fact that it's all lumped into the "Fiction & Literature" section. Making it harder to find the books I'm looking for. I did manage to pick up Triage (Jack Ketchum, Richard Laymon, Edward Lee) and Dweller (Jeff Strand). When I'd finished making my purchases, my mother said, "She was flirting with you." She, of course, was referring to the young lady who completed my transaction. I, who some of you already know, am completely oblivious to girls flirting techniques. So I cannot comment or speculate on whether or not she was indeed flirting with me.

So instead of coming home to relax after work I got to spend the afternoon being auctioned off like a pig at the fair by my mom. Sadly, no one was buying.

Don't Call It A Comeback...

Well, it's been far too long since I've last blogged. Don't really have any excuse other than I'm lazy and tend to lose focus easily. So, in an effort to "step my game up" as the young kids say, I've come up with a plan to help me blog on a more frequent basis.

The plan is this: I will post AT LEAST one blog per week from now on. For every blog I post, I will reward myself with one blu ray, cd, or book. No blog, no reward. This will also help me to cut down on my spending on the above-mentioned items. One item per blog. As opposed to the amount that I typically buy which is a much more extravagant number.

This blog does not count toward my new plan. I feel that that would be a cheat to do so since this entry is merely explaining my intentions. So I'm going to give it a shot. Hopefully the rewards I've set for myself will be sufficient to entice me to post on a much more regular basis.

There will be another blog later today in which I explain my shopping excursion with my mother today. Until then, in the immortal words of Corp. Dwayne Hicks (Michael Biehn in ALIENS), "Stay frosty."

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Sexame Street

Okay, I have no mind-blowing things to say today. So I leave you with this:

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Jesus Police

Those who know me are well aware of my all-consuming, burning hatred for organized religion. This does not mean that I am an Atheist. I would consider myself to be Agnostic. I do believe that we're more than just a cosmic fluke. I just think that no one religion is right in their belief system. How could anyone possibly know for sure. Until one is proven, without any doubt to be 100% correct, I will continue to doubt. Religious organizations creep me right the fuck out. Seriously. I have never associated myself with any particular religion. Nor will I ever do so. To me it's just silly. I get so pissed when religious "recruiters" approach me trying to force their personal belief system upon me. I used to collect those CRAZY little pamphlets those nutjobs hand out on the street. I would flip through them and just shake my head and laugh. But sometimes, just sometimes, I would be genuinely frightened by their utterly insane beliefs. And I don't say this lightly. I would see certain propaganda that filled me with a sense of doom for the human race. Scary, scary shit. I wish I still had them but, alas, I threw them out a few years ago.
A friend recently told me a story about his girlfriend that I'd like to share with you all. This is a nice little example of the fear-mongering these religious groups utilize to oppress their followers.

This particular friend's girlfriend is a practicing Catholic. Now, if you know anything about religion, it is currently Lent, which runs from Ash Wednesday to Easter. The season of no meat on Fridays (except fish and/or poultry depending on how lax a person's church is). Are you starting to notice the inconsistencies and hypocracy of the various religions? It is also the season of sacrificing something you enjoy. For example: meat, beer, cigarettes, etc. Now, in this girl's case, she gave up chocolate for Lent. Okay, that's not crazy. Seems doable. A small, acceptable token of one's belief in their particular deity of choice. Hang with me folks, I'm getting to the point.

So this girl stops to get a sandwich and coffee while driving to a relative's house. However, she doesn't get just any coffee. Oh no, she gets CHOCOLATE coffee. Astute readers will recall that she has given up this guilty pleasure for Lent. She gets back in her vehicle and heads out on the road. Before long, she notices a cop following her, lights flashing. The cop gives her a warning for doing 36mph in a 25mph zone. A warning. No citation. She immediately texts her boyfriend with, "God is punishing me." He calls her back and she tells him the story. She was convinced that God was mad at her for having chocolate after she'd given it up for Lent. So He apparently sent her a warning. I guess next time she'll (gasp!) get a speeding ticket. Just seems so silly to me. Why should anyone be afraid to eat chocolate?

The previous example is just a small sample of the many rules and regulations religions use to...well, I don't really know why they do it. I don't think they know either. I guess it's just to maintain control over their subjects. I know a few other guys who utilized this technique. Do the names Charles Manson, David Koresh, and Jim Jones ring a bell? Granted these are extreme cases but they still held sway over their believers and controlled them without question. Sounds awfully similar to what ALL religions do.

I'm a firm believer in freedom of religion. If it works for you, fine. If it brings you peace and stability in an otherwise chaotic world, more power to you. Just keep it away from me. I don't try to convince people that my beliefs (or lack thereof) are the right path. I may discuss it with them but 9 times out of 10 the religious types will get all pissy and judgmental. So apparently I'm a heathen. I'm a sinner. I'm an infidel. Satan has a nice hot seat waiting for me in Hell. Well folks, I'll believe it when I see it.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Late Night Musings

The title of this particular blog is "Late Night Musings". Currently the time is 9:45pm on a Friday night. Some would say the night is young. For most folks, this would be a true statement. I, however, have to work early Saturday morning. Such is the nature of my current employment. Working in retail, no matter what branch, is tough on the ol' social life.

I can't really complain too much though. My job allows me to pay my newly acquired mortgage and puts food on the table (mostly of the microwaved variety unless my roommate cooks...or my mother sends me some leftovers). And I'm also able to purchase the occasional movie, book, cd, etc. to keep myself entertained.

However, my job doesn't leave much time for social interaction due to the sporadic, random work schedule I'm forced to endure. Because of this, here I sit on a Friday night blogging, Facebook and Twitter being my only means of socializing. So when I do have opportunities to interact with actual live human beings (and not the virtual kind) I cherish those times. Many times I come across as not enjoying myself. But I'm generally a quiet individual unless I know the people who I find myself surrounded by. Or unless copious amounts of alcohol are involved, in which case "Social Mike" makes his appearance.

I spend most of my free time alone, watching movies. Which is fine with me most of the time. But I do get lonely on occasion. I've been in my new home for just over two months now and, to date, only two of my friends have paid me a visit. Granted my birthday/housewarming party was cancelled due to two feet of snow but still. This is unacceptable. Of course, it's not really my friends' fault. It's just that they have normal work schedules and mine is all over the place. So they rarely coincide and enable us to get together.

Well, it is now 10pm on Friday night. It's time for me to retire for the night.

Hopes And Dreams...Sometimes Met, Sometimes Crushed

So on Tuesday two films I was eagerly anticipating were released on home video. The first, Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever, was a MAJOR letdown. The second, Black Dynamite, was even better than I expected.

Let's start with the bad (Cabin Fever 2) and end with the good (BlackDynamite):

I love the first Cabin Fever and I'm proud to admit it. Eli Roth competently directed this first effort with style and cinematic know-how. It had everything genre fans love; gore, tits, an original idea, etc. That being said, I was really looking forward to the sequel. I should have gone with my gut and realized that without Roth's name anywhere on the project it was doomed to failure. But I ignored this red flag and purchased this cinematic abortion the day it was released.

There's not much to like about this film at all. The plot is very disjointed, silly and contrived. The characters are all shitbags who elicit no sympathy. Be warned: we're led to believe from the trailer and various write-ups that the majority of the action takes place at a senior prom. This is very misleading. The prom outbreak scene is very brief and not entertaining. If you want to see a real prom which erupts into chaos rent Carrie, a classic of the genre. This flick goes for cheap gross-out gore, which is fine with me if it's engaging and makes sense in the context of the film. Not if it's done purely to shock.

If I were to equate Cabin Fever 2 with any other flick it would have to be the Feast sequels. I loved the first Feast but the sequels were just a series of gross-outs and mean-spirited humor. I won't spoil any of the plot details for those who don't like spoilers (like myself) because I want you all to see this film and form your own opinion.

Now, on to Black Dynamite:

This film is a throwback to '70s blaxploitation flicks (i.e. Black Caesar, Shaft, etc.). It is a satirical interpretation of these films which today are looked at as silly but entertaining. At the time they were made though, the filmmakers took them very seriously. Unfortunately, most of those filmmakers were very green at the time so the films were poorly acted, shot, edited, etc. Black Dynamite pays homage to all of this. Also, look for some great cameos!

Michael Jai White wrote and starred in this brilliant and hilarious film. He kicks ass as the title character. He gets to utilize his extensive martial arts training in many well choreographed fight scenes. This film holds true to its grindhouse roots. It very well could have been the headlining feature in a sequel to Tarantino and Rodreguez's Grindhouse (which I also loved). I guarantee this film will attain cult status with the passing of time. It is worth a view so check it out. Grab some friends and a six-pack of your favorite poison, kick back, and be prepared to enjoy a fun flick.

Blogging (An Introduction)

So, thanks to Skip Novak (known in some circles as Wolfnoma), I've been inspired to start blogging. This is a new venture for me. I've never blogged before. Wow, something about the word "blog" sounds perverted, especially when used as a verb. Example: "I spent all day thinking about blogging." Dirty.
Okay, so here's how my blog is going to work. Some days you'll get rants and raves. Some days you'll get reviews of movies, books, and music. Some days you'll get incoherent gibberish. Some days you'll get nothing. Some days you'll get news from the filmmaking front (right now there's not much to report). Some days you'll get musings on life and other such subjects. Actually, I'm sure it'll mostly turn to gibberish every time I blog since I have an acute lack of focus. Don't fret though, even in the midst of my mindless ramblings I promise there will be some gold nuggets (covered in piles of poop nuggets). See, rambling.
Anyway, I doubt I'll get real up close and personal in this blog. I've learned my lesson by getting too personal on other social networks. It's never a good idea to flaunt one's dirty laundry for all to see. No good can come of this. I will, however, post lots of personal opinions on highly volatile subject matter. I will offend some. I will INFURIATE some. Others will agree with my insane beliefs and morals.
So feel free to read this blog. Or don't. Tell your friends. Or don't. My goal is to come up with a blog so monumental, so EPIC, that it will cause someone's head to explode in a Scanners-like shower of gore and flecks of brain matter. So, until this event happens, you're all stuck with my insanity.
To be continued...