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...