All is Not Quiet on the Western Front

And by “front” I mean “vampire movie remakes” and by “western” I mean just that in one of the two cases. And by “quiet” I mean “good.”

I’ve been keeping y’all* updated on the two vampire movie remakes due to be hitting theaters near you in the near future. The first is the Fright Night remake and the other is the Americanization of Let the Right One In, retitled Let Me In.

I’m sorry to report that neither is looking promising.

They’ve turned Peter Vincent into Criss Angel:

Doctor, why? This is worse than when the Daleks and the Cybermen fought each other. Exterminate! Exterminate!

Even Roddy McDowall didn't wear that much makeup for Planet of the Apes

No one should look like Criss Angel. Not even Criss Angel wants to look like Criss Angel, which is why he always looks like a douche-canoe different.

They’ve turned the morally ambiguous, romantically turmoiled, sparsely intense Swedish thriller into an oh em gee she’s evil, dumbed down, American snore-er with the subtitle: INNOCENCE DIES. ABBY DOESN’T.

Half of the dialogue is stolen from the Swedish and half of it is made up to fit into the black-or-white-there-is-no-gray mentality that Mr. Cloverfield thinks American audiences want. He’s also reporting that he’s “written” the screenplay. I feel as though I need to have a talk with Mr. Cloverfield and tell him the difference between “writing” and “adapting.” One involves him choosing to acknowledge a respected source that simultaneously guides and shapes his work, but leaves him room to grow as a movie director and the other involves my fist.

And in case you’re wondering, The Vampire Diaries is back and I’m still hoping that SOMEONE OF IMPORTANCE (read: Elena**) is going to die and stay dead. This has yet to happen. I have a feeling it never will.

*VAM-pie-ur. SUH-kie. She-YET. These are all words I’ve learned from True Blood.

**I named a character in my novel Elena. She died. A horrible death. There was much gnashing of body parts, but not so much of teeth.

Advertisements

Aw-oooo! Werewolves of Moscow

Reading and writing go together like GIR and tacos. So I’ve decided to make a section about all of the books I read because sometimes they affect my writing, but most of the time, they’re just the novelizations of popcorn-movies with Victoria Secret models and ‘splosions, directed by Michael Bay philosophically stimulating.

The Sacred Book of the Werewolf by Victor Pelevin is actually both brain-candy and retains more depth than all of the CW’s programming combined. It follows a girl named A Hu-Li (which is a cuss word in Russia, where she lives) who’s a fox — metaphorically and mythologically. She’s an ancient Chinese being who sucks the life out of men using her tail, that’s otherwise hidden when she’s not feeding. She meets up with a Russian werewolf and adventures abound.

It’s first-person narration — my favorite — and A Hu-Li’s thoughts are wildly entertaining and thought-provoking. Her interactions with people border on the comically anti-social and pop-cultured; she’s talking with a client — did I mention she works as a prostitute? — and I quote: “‘You look like Captain Nemo.’ ‘From 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea?’ Oho, I thought, what a well-read portfolio investor! ‘No, from the American film The League of Extraordinary Gentleman .'”

She also talks about how whenever someone says something — an opinion or impassioned speech — to her, she has to repeat it sooner or later in her life because that’s just what foxes do. They reflect back on the human population that keeps them fed. This struck a chord with me because I feel I do that a lot. I will ingest something that someone feeds me and then digest it a little and then spit it back out in order to keep a conversation alive. (I’m notoriously bad at making small talk, which is funny, given that I work in customer service for a living.)

A highly original book, which is mostly what I crave. A little intensive on the critique of Russian society which can be a little obtuse at times, but relevant to life that spans Eastern philosophy and Western perception.

Frangipani

I don’t know what a frangipani is. At least, I didn’t until earlier this morning. See, I woke up from my somewhat restless 4-hour limbo between waking and sleeping that happens every Saturday night to Sunday day because I have to get up at 5:30 when I usually go to bed at 2:00, and had that word stuck in my head.

Have I heard this word before? Maybe, but not in recent memory. However, I knew how to spell it and that it actually existed somewhere, despite the protests of others who dismissed me as making yet another neologism, sort of like going into a coma and waking up speaking a completely different language. I looked it up and it’s another name for a plumeria, a rather beautiful flower I associate with Hawaii. Was I thinking about Hawaii? Nope. Not even a Snakes on a Plane reference within the last month — which sure has made my co-workers happier than usual as of late.

My only logical conclusion is that it was put there by Mr. Fedora. (My incessant chattering about fedoras, however, has maybe taken the luster off of the Snakes on a Plane quietude.) “Who’s that?” you may ask, thinking that this is a character from Lost or something. (May I make a side note about how over Lost I am and everyone’s incessant chatter about that? See, it works both ways.)

Mr. Fedora is my ghost. Yes, like Phantom Dennis haunts Cordelia, the young child whose hands got cut off in an industrial accident in the early 20th century at my coffee shop haunts my co-workers, and like Annie haunts the sets of Being Human, Mr. Fedora haunts my basement.

In order for this to be fully explained, however, you have to learn one thing about me and remember another. I get night terrors, or the cooler-sounding pavor nocturnus, which means that sometimes I’ll partially regain consciousness whilst dreaming so that my dreams are projected onto real-life and scare the complete and utter be-jeezy-creezy outta me. I had one two nights ago where there was a man standing at the bottom of my bed with a bear’s head, turning his head from left to right and being as creepy as a David Lynch movie. Next to him, though, was a dude in a fedora, pale as a black-and-white movie, leering at me like he wanted to eat my soul.

Fast-forward to my pseudo sleep last night and I had a dream where I was in a 60s convertible Buick, going down the aisles of a hardware store and who should be there in the back driver’s side seat, but Mr. Fedora, all sepia-colored whereas everything else was vibrantly colored. (Charlie “Detective Kumquat” Crews from the brilliant-yet-cancelled Life was there, which is, surprisingly, not the first time I’ve had a dream about him, and his hair was as ridiculously red as ever.) He was still staring, but this time more concerned with the lady in green to his right than devouring my immortal essence.

What you have to remember about me is that there were, until recently, four dudes in my basement, two feet from my room, cleaning out my crawl-space and disturbing things that maybe shouldn’t have been disturbed.

I’ve got a theory. Construction guys — totally ruining my moment at a romance novel and turning it into a Stephen King horrorfest — dug up Mr. Fedora’s unhallowed remains and now he haunts my dreams, telling me to write him into my novel holding a bunch of…really pretty….flowers. Lamest. Horror. Novel. Ever.

Nevermind.

Wait, wikipedia to the rescue again? Frangipani are associated with death, funerals, and ghosts? And even an Indonesian vampire? I am both incredibly heebie-jeebied out and suddenly inspired to add a little fedora’d frangipani to the mix.