The Greatest Moment in Film. Ever…

(This is a reposting of one of the essays from the old version of the site.  I believed in it then, and I still do.  If you’ve seen the movie in question, you know what I’m talking about and if you haven’t…get to it!  You can watch it streaming on Netflix.)

          I’m going to tell you about the greatest moment in film.  Ever.

I’m not kidding.  I’m actually writing about what can only be considered as perhaps the singular greatest visual piece of flat out art ever put to film.  It wasn’t scripted and I’m pretty sure it was an accident, but it is sheer genius.

            It is an Italian film of some minor note, directed by the late Lucio Fulci.  It has gone through several title changes; “The City of the Living Dead,” and “The Gates of Hell” being two of them that you may have the most luck should you chose to seek this film out (and you god damn should.)

            It is a zombie film.  That’s first in my set up here.  You must be very aware of that before watching this.  The big clue will be when several people die and come back as odd kinky looking zombies.  The special effects tread between brilliant and 5th grade-sometimes in the very same scene.

            I will not divulge any of the details of the plot other than a suicidal priest has caused the dead to rise up and seriously fuck shit up somewhere in upstate New York.  A psychic faints and apparently dies when the aforementioned priest hangs himself, causing the Fracas of the Dead.  (Don’t steal that-it’s mine!)  Being New York City in the 70’s, of course they pop her in a coffin without even embalming her.  Before she can be buried, the clock strikes 5PM and of course, the two union gravediggers leave their shovels and stop lowering the coffin.  Because it’s time to go home and fuck overtime.

            A reporter hears the girl wake up, screaming inside of the casket.  He does what any chain smoking reporter would do and tries to break the coffin open with a pickaxe.  Repeatedly.  Right up by the girls screaming face.

She's so happy to be saved!

          That is not the scene.

          No, as awesome as that scene is, it’s got nothing on THE scene.

          About three quarters into the movie, another girl (read; future victim) is painting quietly in her studio.  It’s a nice looking studio with a bay window to the ocean.  It’s a really nice looking studio and the girl, vaguely pretty, is concentrating on her next masterpiece.  The phone rings and she answers it.  The dialogue is unimportant as the camera swivels and exposes her “work.”

          The “painting” is a pretty ocean beach scene, which of course makes sense as she can look out of the window and hey, there’s a beach!  Let’s ignore the fact that it’s night during the scene, and think “Well, maybe she’s been working on it since the afternoon.”

          Hovering over the beach however is something that made me stop the movie for about five minutes.  It’s a head.  No body, just a head.  The head of a fucking rhinoceros.    Seriously.  It looks like one of those things you had to draw to get into that correspondence school in the back of your TV guide in the mid 70’s.  You know, either a pirate, a happy frog or a fucking rhino head?

Yeah, just like these...

          At this point, I’m totally distracted for the rest of the scene and subsequently, the entire rest of the film.  Who the fuck has that running around their head, begging the artist to bring it to canvas?  Where does this come from?  Even better, as the scene progresses and the camera changes angle, you see for a fleeting moment, that right in front of the window facing the ocean, there is a rather large model of a fucking rhino head on a stand.

          It’s brilliant.  It’s a goddamn movie in a movie as far as I’m concerned.  It’s as if the art department and the set designer had an argument and this was the compromise.

          “But,  what am I supposed to do with this rhino head?”

          “It’s not going on my fucking set!”

          “Well, she has to be painting something for Christ’s sake!”

          “Hmmm…good point.”

          I no longer cared about anything else that happened in the movie, even when the girl painting dies in a really stupid way a few minutes later.  Who is going to finish this amazing rhino head floating on the beach?  What’s the painting called?  “Floating Rhino Head Over Beach” is too obvious.  These are Italian filmmakers for crying out loud!  It’s probably something like “Bella Cosa Rinoceronte Amore Galleggiante,” or, beautiful rhinocerous floating love thing.   At least, that’s what I would call it.

          I wish every movie had a scene like this.  It made up for the amount of sucking that the rest of the movie had shot all over it.

          It’s hypnotic.

          It’s avant.

          It’s sheer genius.

          And boom, the greatest moment in film.

#prettyfrankenstein-Final Entry

Yeah, this is it.  I’m a sucker for a schedule, but as far as content or bloggery on a consistent basis, I’m just not that kind of guy.  I may never be, but in spite of all the ‘groovy’ shit I do, I’ll just never be that interesting.  300 words a day?  That’s easy, but I don’t like being told what to do even if I’m the asshole doing the telling

Sigh…

So, it was a good run, but now that I’m abandoning it, I’ll probably have a shit load of things to write about.  It is the way of things.  My first thought was to change all the previous #prettyfrankenstein references and just pass it off, but I’m not that disingenuous.  (A little, not a lot.)

I have bigger things to hit, so I’ll keep them up on the site…I still need content after all!

Adieu for now.  Thanks JB for your suggestion of this writing project.

NWP

#prettyfrankenstein 8,9,10, 11, 12, 13, 14,15 and 16

Madeline...I really love this picture
Kiss me!!

I have almost no excuse other than I’ve been on vacation.  It’s not much of one, but I have been working.  And networking.

And really, just a little bit of mild drinking.

For one thing, I’ve submitted two stories for submission.  One for an anthology that suddenly and out of nowhere also features a story by Clive Barker.  Yeah, that Clive Barker.  It’s through the mighty Eric Bebe and Post Mortem Press.  I really do dig working with Eric and PMP.  I owe them a lot and the other authors I’ve met through PMP are really great and supportive people.

The second submission was for an online podcast/horror fiction repository I won’t name right now, but the story is one of my favorites and if read correctly, should really rock.

I also finished the leg work for joining the HWA this week, which is pretty cool.  I hope now that it’s official, my muse doesn’t get up and split.

I’ve been corresponding with a few authors I met last week at the Horror Realm Con.  It was a good time as usual.  I hung out with Eric, obviously, but Gary Vincent and Rich Bottles Jr. from Burning Bulb Publishing were there and it is always good to see them.  David Fairhead, Jonny Axx and Kimberly Bennet from the Big Book of Bizarro were there as well.  Kim was hanging with author Christine Soltis, whom I’d never met before, but she’s way cool and has her hands in a load of writing projects.  I envy that more than you can know.

Hell, I even got interviewed.  Got ten minutes to kill?  Check this out-

Nice sideburns, right??

Things are going well I’m afraid to say anything else.

NWP

#prettyfrankenstein: Entry 7

I spent most of yesterday and last night writing (and rewriting) a story for an anthology based on the ‘mythos’ of H. P. Lovecraft called Torn Realities.  It’s by my pals at Post Mortem Press.  The guidelines are reasonable as usual, and I think I have something, but I may be missing something.  It’s a disturbing little story but is it horror? 

Understanding that all art is subjective, it’s a little important that a horror story be, well…scary.  Horrifying.  Maybe not terrifying, but fucking spooky would be cute.

As self-inflicted pressure starts to pay off, this first test will be interesting.  I like my story, but I’m biased.  However, I’m hopefully developing not only a style, but a reputation as a writer.  One that sticks and one that is quite positive.  The best way to improve your writing is to of course, to write.  That’s what is happening in my little universe to be sure-writing.

I have to say the #prettyfrankenstein project already is yielding some pretty cool things for me as a writer.  I love deadlines and most work done by my hand is better with a gun to my head…so to speak.

Tomorrow will be an interesting writing for the site as I am going to try to not use “I” at all in the entry.  Reading these things back makes it look like I’m a total ‘me monkey’ and although it may be true, I’d like to think I’m, a little more clever than that…well, we shall see.

If you haven’t noticed, there isn’t anywhere for you to put comments.  That’s because I’m gun-shy about opening up that little can simply because of al of the destroyed work from last time.  Until I figure it all out, there won’t be anywhere to dig the ride and comment as it were, but the old means (email) will still work.  You know where it is on the site.  Use it if you’re so inclined!

NWP

#prettyfrankenstein Entry Six

The alarm went off at 4:30am and I answered the call.  The shoulder roll out of bed, the crawl to the door, the making of the coffee and the creak of my creative lizard part of the brain!

And the sad cold truth that the project I’m working on it not on the new PC.

I must have said “fuck” about 18 times before the first cup of cofee reached my lips. 

This is going to be unusual writing like this again as I do so without my old friends, cigarettes.  Can’t say I exactly miss them or even want them.  But, there is no denying their impact.

Well, there really is denying their impact.  They didn’t do anything except make me look cool.  Oh, and make me cough and stuff.  What little bastards those smokey treats are…

In spite of the lack of the current project, I have started to eliminate some of my baggage both emotional and actual.  I left my “Jack Bauer” messenger bag at home.  Really, what the fuck am I bringning to work every day?  Today, it was my black organizer and a copy of my comic book “Forever After” as a reminder of what I am supposed to be doing with my time.

I feel good today-better than in a long time.  Focused, not needlessly furious (although that is always hovering around the surface with me.)  I’m looking forward to really tearing into the writing process again.This year needs to count.  It needs to really start happening, but as I told a friend of mine, it’s not a race.

It’s the journey, not the destination.

Okay, time to get to work.  As I’m fond of saying, this shit ain’t gonna write itself.

I thank you so for reading these little things…if anyone is actually, I don’t know.  But thanks all the same!

NWP

#prettyfrankenstein Entry Five

(Written 3/5/12)

Today was the first day back at work after the Steel City Con and I’ve made quite a discovery;

I really hate my job.

I’m not so stupid as to put where I work on my website.  There was an incident where someone at the job actually started badmouthing the whole place on her Facebook page and subsequently got into a righteous amount of trouble for her trouble.  You ought not to do that really…

It’s not that what I do is terrible or that where I work is so terrible.  It’s mostly a sense of “I’m not doing what I should be doing.”  I’ve heard it refered to as a crisis of faith…except I’m not talking about God or anything like that; it’s a belief that my time could be better spent creatively.  I’m sure that’s true of most of us really.  Who doesn’t want to spend all day looking at clouds?

There’s the deeper feeling that I’ve wasted so much of my time ignoring this feeling that it’s nearly too late to do anything about it at this point.  I know this is not true, but I’ll easily admit, I hear a clock ticking somewhere and I don’t like it one little tiny bit.

So, to counter this, today the alarm went off at 4:30am.

And, I ignored it.  I hit snooze until 7am.  I was pretty beat…sigh

It almost doesn’t matter.  It’s about getting up and moving.  Getting up and thinking.  Getting up and writing…and I’ll do it tomorrow.  All these things are not going to write themselves, no matter what technology comes up with-I have to do the heavy lifting in the long run.

If truly, this is what I want to do, then I’m gonna have to get to it.  No more downturned eyes, no more hating the job.  Shut up and DO IT.

NWP

 

#prettyfrankenstein: Entry Four

(written 3/4/12)

Today was the last day of the mighty Steel City Con and wow, what a great experience.  There was a very good reason to have done this show and it came in the form of artist and writer Chris Yambar.

I had asked Chris if he had a day gig-what he did when he wasn’t plugging his impressive array of comics.  He said he was a painter.  Since I’m a blue collar guy, I instantly assumed he meant a commercial painter.

I was wrong.

He said no, he was a painter-pop art kind of stuff.  Portraits and things.  I thought that was great and said as much.  As of late, I had been second guessing my desire to write exclusively and eventually without the aid of my day job.  He began to lay the heaviest rap on me the likes of which I have never heard before.  It was a variety of things I have said myself, but never really put a lot of truck into it as much as this guy had, and damn, it felt better and better to hear.  He said it was totally doable.  He just does it.  He justified me waking up at 4:30 in the fucking morning to write as a way to get things done.  It doesn’t matter what needs to be done, as long as it gets done.  And really, isn’t that what it’s all about anyway?  As an artist, isn’t the idea to just get it done anyway you can?  For your own sanity?  For your very soul?

No, apparently.

For the sheer joy of it.

That, and getting it done.

I love writing and I rediscovered the ever loving shit out it this weekend by actually not writing and just talking to other writers, especially Chris.  Check out his work-you’ll kinda be floored.  www.yambar.com

More to come!

#prettyfrankenstein: Entry Three

In what could easily be considered the coolest thing I’ve done in quite some time, the first and second day of the Steel City Convention leaves me waiting for more unbridled fun for tomorrow, the last day.  I have met an icon or two and made friendly aquaintence with some really bitchin’ folks.  Firstly, though has been the whole “getting to know you part” with Crystal Ash.  We have about three full volumes of stories for our three vampire girls Brenda, Madeline and Eleanor.  This series is seriously going to kick your asses; if you haven’t started reading it, you should.  Go here to start.

In addition, we’ve met the truly badass James O’Barr.  If his name sounds familiar, it’s because he created “The Crow.”

Yeah, that J. O’Barr.

He’s very cool and very funny.  He has tried for two days to get us to move our table next to his.  This is mostly because Crystal sat next to him last year and she does pretty much rule.  He comes by and lays art advice on Crys and makes me laugh, especially with the Carrie Fisher story he told us.  (She apparently told him every time she looks in a mirror, “I  owe George Lucas five fuckin’ bucks.“)  He’s a really cool guy.

The other cool guy is Chris Yambar.  Chris is a writer for “The Simpsons” line of comic books which means, of course, that he has almost no sense of humor whatsoever.  (That’s sarcasm.)  Really great great guy with a solution to annoying knock knock jokes.  (I”m not telling.)  It’s great to meet other writer’s and artists.  The guy on our right is a first time author named Larry (I’ll get his last name tomorrow, I swear.) It’s been interesting to interact with all these different writer folks for the past two days and there’s only one more day to go.  I’m a little sad, but it’s been such a great experience.

The hot cosplay girls don’t hurt either.

More to write about tomorrow.  Cheers!

NWP

#prettyfrankenstein/Entry Two: Pre Convention Fun

I’m nearly jumping out of my skin right now because soon, very soon, I’ll be sitting behind a table with my partner in crime signing stuff at a comic/toy/collectibles convention.  For those of you who don’t know what it is I’m talking about, in a nutshell it’s this; it’s like a ‘Star Trek’ convention except no one is dressing up like Mr. Spock (that I’m aware of anyway) and it’s not all about the TV show.

Even simpler, it’s this; it’s like a nerd flea market for independent comic books, books and kinda celebrities.  For example, the table Crystal and I have is right next to the guy who created “The Crow” comic book.  That, friends is fucking awesome!!!

I’ll be selling copies of “Dark Doorways” which has my short story “Where The Apple Shine Won’t Reach” in it, as well as great other works by F. Paul Wilson and Jack Ketchum.  And, the web comic Crys and I are plugging is based on that little short story.

Nice, huh?

I like to think so.

The only thing I see making this weekend suck is my back pain which is now coming in and out like a shit radio station while you’re driving through a tunnel.  Sometimes, it’s okay and other times, it’s your favorite Zeppelin song interrupted by Soft Cell.

This will be cool though, because of all the collaborations I’ve had, this seems to be the easiest one.  Crys and I don’t really know a whole lot about each other, but we enjoy each other’s work and it seems to just spring together so well; when the words I send off to her end up looking beautiful and terrifying and almost like what I see in my head but even better.  That’s nothing to sneeze at, friends.  It’s a rare thing and I’m excited to see how long this comic can last.

If you are so inclined, you can check the work out here – http://foreverafter.smackjeeves.com/

Well, I’m off for now!  Maybe if you feel like, you’ll stop by this weekend!!  (Or not)

NWP

#prettyfrankenstein: Entry One

Min Word Count-300
(Feel free to try this on your own…I thought it would be interesting to do as the ‘new’ site has no content…N)

Day One 

I’ve decided to write something at a certain length (300 words minimum) about nothing in particular for something my friend is calling “#prettyfrankenstein.”  I’m a sucker for a good name and for a smart pretty woman in glasses, so here we go…. 

I have been having awful back pain for the past few days and I have narrowed down the causes to three things and three things alone.

  1.  In a flash of irony, I ran a mile in under 15 minutes.  Not an awesome feat for most, but for my lazy ass, it is indeed pretty badass.  Being  impressed and pleased with myself, I worked out a little more on the arms and chest, not wanting to overdo it and wind up hurt
  2. On the very same day, my belligerent daughter Sam decided that darkness was in no way a good reason to go home from the park and I wound up carrying her up a rather large steep hill to get home.  She squirmed a whole hell of a lot.
  3. My rather literate work neighbor Bill and I had a very good discussion on a mutual favorite book; Heller’s “Catch 22” and our two favorite minor characters probably in any book.  Namely, the woman known only as “Nately’s whore” and the woman’s sister known as “Nately’s whore’s kid sister.”  (Please note that the lower case letters are how the names respectively appear in the book.)  The repeated use of the name “Nately’s whore” caused us both to laugh long and hard, sometimes doubled over in fact and Jesus, isn’t it just swell to laugh like that sometimes?

Well, apparently not.  I had maybe an hour of relief today when I swapped out my stupid corporate tool chair for a much different stupid corporate tool chair.  I’ve taken another 800mg ibuprofen and now, I’ll just wait for it to work.

Or not.

Regardless of how it happened, it sucks.  I have three days of sitting in a hard metal chair starting tomorrow.  I do not need to cry in front of Star Wars geeks.  More on the weekend tomorrow…

NWP