Rejoice, all ye connoisseurs de la decrepit! 2011 is coming to a close—and what a particularly petrifying year it has been! Let’s look back and give thanks for what has been a boon year for the macabre, arguably a step up from last year at least—what with the death of the Saw-franchise, a diminishing roster of remakes, and some superbly bloodcurdling flicks you most definitely missed at the multiplex. Here’s my top ten…
10. RED STATE
Written and directed by Kevin Smith.
I know, I know—you don’t have to tell me. Kevin Smith made the list. As a Hostel retread, at least one-third of Red State fumbles for its torture porn aspirations—providing Smith’s dunderheaded high school horndogs some of his most humorless dialogue yet. But Michael Parks performance as ultra-fundamentalist Abin Cooper conjures up a cool-headed psychotic in the vein of Westboro Baptist Church’s pastor Fred Phelps mingled in with Robert Mitchum in Night of the Hunter. His fifteen-minute sermon at the center of Red State is worth the rental alone.
Written by Leigh Whannell. Directed by James Wan.
From the minds of Saw, fused together with the producers of Paranormal Activity, these two frighteningly successful franchises join forces to deliver a technical exercise in cribbing from the greats. Fans of Poltergeist should file a lawsuit, but I’ll argue that the first half of Insidious is a rather sturdy rift on the haunted house yarn, supplying an proper dosage of violin strings (and boy are they shrill), bait-and-switch Boo!-scares, and a decent heap of eeriness to thrill the kiddies for the film’s requisite 90-minute run-time. Let’s skip any discussion on Insidious’ latter half, shall we? When Lin Shaye pulls out the WWI-era gas mask and starts communing with the dead, you can almost hear the pinched warble of Zelda Rubinstein calling from beyond: Carol Anne? Tell her to go to the light! Read the rest of this entry →
The new Awkward Podcast is finally here! This here is the first chapter from the audiobook version of Johnny Astronaut by Rory Carmichael. Yes, it starts on Chapter 2. Wanna know why? Buy your own copy of Johnny Astronaut right here for only $.99!
Music totally stolen for this podcast:
“Fables of Faubus” by Charles Mingus
“Rye Bread2″ by the Price Is Right Band
“Green Jeans” by the Fabulous Flee-Rakers
“Heaven and Hell” by El Michels Affair
“Disgruntled” by Rancid
Hello. Jeffrey Dinsmore here, publisher of Awkward Press. Back in the mid-2000s, I wrote two novels – Johnny Astronaut and I, An Actress: the Autobiography of Karen Jamey. These books sold out their print runs and have not been available since then.
This made me sad. I worked hard on these books and I have a lot of affection for them. They are really, really funny. I’ve always wished they were still out there, lightening the world’s mood in these dark days.
Well, now, with the magic of the eReader, I am pleased to say these books are finally available again. What’s more, they’re chock full of extra material for you to enjoy. What’s even more more, they are only $.99 each!
Here’s what your $1.98 will get you:
Johnny Astronaut by Rory Carmichael
(Buy it at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0061RKDV2)
- the complete text of the original sci-fi-hardboiled-disco-dancing adventure!
- over 70 pages of bonus musings from “author” Rory Carmichael himself!
I An Actress: The Autobiography of Karen Jamey
(Buy it at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005Z5F7BM)
- the unedited author’s cut of the novel, including a never-before-seen chapter that was cut from the original pressing!
- a special essay from Karen Jamey on the James Frey memoir scandal!
- three short stories by Jeffrey Dinsmore, including cult faves “Faggy on the Streets” and “The Alcoholic Monkey Who Took Over My Mind and Turned Me Into a Cold-Blooded Killer!”
Hi everyone! Did you know I’m a writer? I’m a writer. And a few years back, I wrote two novels. I’m pleased to report that the second one, I, An Actress: the Autobiography of Karen Jamey, is now available on all Kindle reading devices for only 99 CENTS!
And that’s not all! Many years ago, when I originally released the book, I ended up cutting out a chapter. The print version always felt a little naked without it, so I have restored the missing chapter for the digital edition!
AND THERE’S STILL MORE! In addition to the full text of I, An Actress and the special bonus chapter, you will also get an additional essay from the one and only Karen Jamey herself, entitled, “Karen Takes on James Frey!” Very timely!
Want to buy it? Of course you do. It’s almost less than nothing for one of the funniest novels ever written. You can buy it right here!
My wife and I took our 10-month old daughter Zellie on the Occupy LA march over the weekend. It was a very peaceful, if somewhat subdued moment of people coming together to express their common frustration with the state of our country. I was pleasantly surprised at the diversity; I know the coverage of Zuccotti Park tends to focus on the punks and hipsters, but every age and walk of life was represented at Occupy LA. I would even say it skewed old. Turnout felt somewhat sparse when I was in the thick of it, but the local news estimated the crowd was between 10 and 15,000 strong, which sounds like a pretty impressive figure to me. Zellie did not seem that impressed, but the only thing that really excites her at this age is bananas.
It was the first march I’ve ever been a part of. I’ve always been more of a complainer than a protestor. My civil disobedience mostly takes the form of snarky Facebook status updates and rambling emails to my friend. That’s not a typo, I really only have one friend. My only real involvement in politics to date consisted of attending the Ralph Nader rally at Madison Square Garden in 2000 (Tim Robbins showed up as Bob Roberts! Don’t worry; no one got it then, either) and making a few hours worth of phone calls for Obama in 2008.
Oh, I also went to see George Bush Sr. speak in high school, but that was for a girl. The President was on a Whistle Stop train tour that whistled to a stop 20 miles from my hometown, and the highly crush-worthy Julie C. invited me to join her family at the station. Under those kinds of circumstances, how could I refuse? You show me a guy who won’t drive 20 miles to watch the President wave from a sweet-looking vintage train with the girl he wants to bone and I’ll show you a guy who doesn’t believe in America. Read the rest of this entry →
Haha! Fooled you.
I have always secretly suspected that Jim Carrey was the creepiest creep in all of Creepville. Now it’s confirmed! And it’s not because he’s a 49 year-old father proclaiming his love for a 22 year-old actress completely unprompted and so the whole world can see. It’s because ewww.
Thank you video and Internet, for once again making me want to stab my eyes and ears out with a fork. Mission accomplished for today!
I do not have any interest in being famous. I’d like to be respected. That would be nice. I’d like to make works that people enjoy. I’d like to be wealthy enough to not have to think about how that box of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream bars is going to affect my grocery budget. All of those things would be great. But famous? For the birds, in my opinion. The worst part would be having people bother you all the time. Leave me alone, dammit! I’m just trying to get my legs waxed in peace like a normal fellow!
That’s why I would not want to be an actor. Because the only way to succeed as an actor is to be famous. I mean, I guess you can be that guy who’s in those things that no one has ever heard of. But I would doubt there are a ton of actors striving to be that guy. If you’re an actor, the winning trajectory is to make the most of a small role so you can get better roles in bigger movies where you will be seen by more people and make more money.
Not that it’s all about making more money – I would imagine most actors sincerely enjoy pretending to be other people. But what I’m saying is it isn’t a job that can exist in a vacuum. Sure, you can pretend to be other people all by yourself in your bedroom, but I’m not sure how to turn that into a viable career path. A successful actor doesn’t just love pretending to be other people, he loves pretending to be other people in front of other people.
Unfortunately, along with all that pretending to be other people and making lots of money comes a few job requirements. One of those requirements is publicizing the movies you just got paid a shit ton of money to be in. Sometimes this promotional period can last for weeks. You might have to do one interview after another for a whole day. A whole day! Can you imagine? Like, 20 interviews in a single day, talking about the same thing. You might have to say the same thing 20 times! You will be fed and coddled and you will sit in a comfortable chair and you will almost certainly be treated in a very deferential manner by everyone who talks to you. But you might have to say one thing 20 times in a row! Read the rest of this entry →
When I heard they were making a Battleship movie it did not seem as absurd to me as it seemed to everyone else. I assumed it would just be Top Gun with boats. Fine, make a movie out of anything. Make a Cap’n Crunch movie for all I care. I think Pirates of the Caribbean definitively proved that you can take any old name in the public consciousness and make a shitload of money off of it, so long as there are moving things and explosions.
But then I saw the trailer for Battleship.
Um … pardon? What is this? Tim Riggins? Sea Transformers? Booo. If this movie had a face, I would punch it.