In 1984, director Walter Hill was riding high on four successes in a row: The Warriors, The Long Riders, Southern Comfort and the mega-hit 48 Hours. Having earned carte blanche, he used it to create a strange, one-of-a-kind pet project that blended genres, eras, and musical styles in what he termed a “rock and roll fable,” Streets of Fire. His … Read More
As we near the April 2009 release date of my vampire novel Blood Groove, I’ll periodically discuss favorite vampire-themed books and movies, looking at what makes them special. It’s not every movie that can overcome the total miscasting of its titular character, let alone a title that is completely misleading. Yet 1943’s Son of Dracula, starring Lon Chaney, Jr., does … Read More
This postcard will be going out from the cool-as-heck folks at the Lemery House to promote an upcoming reading. I’ve never been the subject of a direct-mail campaign before.
Lately the mater familias and I have been watching Northern Exposure, a show I caught only haphazardly during its network run in the early 90s. At the time I much preferred the grittier fantasmagoria of Twin Peaks to the bucolic magical realism of Northern Exposure; as I’ve mellowed (i.e., gotten older), though, I find that Northern Exposure (hereafter referred to … Read More
A special belated shout-out to gladiolii, whose blog post discussing my novel The Sword-Edged Blonde contains what may be the best review I’ll ever get: “The main character is cooler than I’d have expected, for an old guy.” Thanks, Kit, and I hope you like the next one as much.
I don’t have a lot of real-world heroes as an adult. There are people whose work I admire, and whose accomplishments I find impressive, but for me a hero is about being as much as doing. The late Steve Irwin and Charlton Heston were heroes; among the living, Bruce Springsteen and George A. Romero currently qualify. But no one is … Read More
Recently a friend mentioned that she loved the Transformers movie, and I said I disagreed. When she pressed me for an explanation I demurred, for a couple of reasons: I wanted to marshal my thoughts with more clarity, and I didn’t want to sully an otherwise delightful group lunch with what could easily become a semi-coherent rant. But yes, I … Read More
Last night the family went out for post-dinner ice cream at the local Culver’s. We sat outside, since in the shade it was quite pleasant. However, we could still hear the background music, probably more clearly than the lucky folks packed inside. And so, ladies and gentlemen, I give you, in order, the music from Hell’s Waiting Room*: Ever Changing … Read More
Movies about writers tend to be pretty dull, because unless you’re sitting inside our skulls, what writers do is pretty dull. We stare at blank paper or screens, mutter to ourselves a lot, pace mindlessly and drink way too much (coffee and otherwise). Even writers with exciting lives don’t always make exciting films. For example, the atrocious In Love and … Read More
The city of Ur, now located in Iraq, is considered one of the world’s oldest civilizations. Its name has become synonymous, therefore, with the first recorded instance of something. And so, in that spirit, I give you Grazia, the Ur-Goth. Grazia, played by Evelyn Venable, is the heroine of the 1934 film Death Takes a Holiday. And she is in … Read More