Thursday, June 21, 2012


ok, so there’s a movie called Mega Piranha.

well duh.

I watched it on syfy the other day. I kept falling asleep, but there were some piranhas (duh) who grew to unfathomable sizes through the magicks of science & protein. as shown in the picture, they could leap out of the water and snatch helicopters out of the sky. they ended up in florida, thrashing around on the beach and eating all the swimmers and beachgoers and knocking down houses, etc. this was one of the worst movies I’ve seen in a very, very long time. it made me really, really angry like bad movies sometimes do.

it was a logistical problem. they tried to kill the piranhas in so many ways. they nuked them, via underwater submarine/torpedo, without visible effect. then they sent a special team of divers to shoot at the piranhas with underwater guns, trying to “make them bleed” so that the other piranhas’ bloodlust would all be focused on the wounded piranha, and then all the piranhas would attack each other and the day would be saved. so they fired blindly and poorly underwater for a while, until I guess one of them succeeded, at which point EVERY SINGLE PIRANHA swam over to cuddle with the wounded one, aka, circle around the wounded one rapidly while a lot of bluish smoky substance (piranha blood?) billowed forth. one piranha spinning, all the others circling him. and circling. without apparent touching. just circling. and then all of mankind erupts in celebration. first kisses are exchanged, the piranha threat has been neutralized.

except WHAT are the piranhas gonna do once they’ve finished circling/eating the wounded one? continue attacking each other? nah, I don’t think so, probably just TURN AND EAT FLORIDA. this is NOT a solution, I was not convinced by this movie.

also then yesterday I saw a guy with an arm tattoo that I SWEAR was a piranhaconda.

o - o - o

in other news, two stories of mine have recently hit the bricks online (as it were). The first was called “Manual into Grind,” and is over at Used Furniture Review. It was in-progress for a long, long time before it got to be where it is now. I’m glad that it finally found a home. It’s basically about, well, you know. Thanks to David Cotrone for making the magic happen over there.

The second is in NAP, where I have a piece called “Moments That I Haven’t Run Away,” which is basically the opposite. It’s a sad and squirmy one. Actually, both of these are sort of sad and squirmy. That’s the best way to be. That Chad Redden what rules NAP is quite a ship, I’m telling you.

I had a very special item accepted at Word Riot too, just a few days ago, which feels like pretty big news. I think you’ll all like it a lot when it shows up. I certainly do.

and… the Safety Pin Review’s got its 29th issue, which is pretty fantastic, work from Rachel Swirsky (whoa!), so CHECK IT OUT.

Anyway, happy mid-week post-humpday to you all. Big things next month, for me.

Anyone who reads this blog, I love you. Tell me you read it and I’ll tell you I love you. It’s so nice to have readers.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

bring on the moon spiders (first movie thing)

so from now on, or basically whenever I feel like it, I’ll be posting reflections/’critiques’ on the movies I watch as I’m watching them. because for one, this blog needs to be a home for something other than these boring-ass writing updates. gives people a reason to check back every so often.

plus, I’d like to DO something productive with all of my movie-watching binging beyond filing them onto the life-list and talking about them to myself, so I’ll start documenting them here, more or less just thoughts as I have them, probably without much reason or substance, in REAL TRUE BLOG STYLE (yay). maybe (hopefully) they will be

also I love movies so much I feel like I should dedicate a higher percentage of my time to writing about them. or writing them.

there will be spoilers, almost always probably, so if those kinda things bother you then please feel free to ignore these posts.

so today it’s last year’s Apollo 18, one of those horror faux documentaries that have become so popular in the wake of paranormal activity. this one’s about the moon mission in the 70’s that NO ONE KNOWS ABOUT BECAUSE EVERYONE DIED. tagline: “there’s a reason we’ve never gone back to the moon.” (all of the astronauts have boring astronaut names like walker and Anderson and scott and were not distinguishable to me, so forgive me for not referring to them by name.)

the only spoiler here is that the monsters are moonrock spiders.

pg-13 horror convention: “what the hell was that?”
r horror convention: “what the FUCK?”

astronaut says bring it/'what the hell was that?'

Apollo 18 subscribes to the ghosthunting-style pg-13 convention. one figures, that, when dealing with a movie that supplies so little blood and gore, it’s best to just play it safe and keep with the pg-13 rating, because why bother? you’ll get more, younger crowds this way. if you’re gonna go for the r and you’re funded by the Weinstein bros, you’d sure as fuck better be going all out.

I saw this dvd in the library and picked it up because I’d never heard of it and was curious to know what kind of evil lurked on the moon. as it turns out, it’s tiny little rock spiders with mysterious infective powers. at first this kind of disappointed me. insects and giant bugs and the like are just about the least inventive of all monsters. I was hoping for colossal moonmen or gods. instead: rock spiders. oh well.

if you’re an astronaut and get questionably infected then you basically just turn into a zombie.

there’s one scene that got me: when one astronaut (Anderson, I think, he was one of the important ones) is checking out the infected one sleeping in his bunk, looking at the state of his infection, when the sleeping guy suddenly grabbed his arm all crazy-eyed. I knew enough to know that that was going to happen, but it still got me.

next scene, the tables are turned, and its our uninfected astronaut who’s being watched. apparently, just about the scariest thing in horror convention ever is standing over someone else while they’re sleeping. we saw it in time-lapse in paranormal activity, now we’re seeing it in Apollo 18. after which the infected guy claims that they’re “everywhere” (classic insane-person claim) and starts bashing out the cameras in their spacepod.

oh! another cool scene was when Anderson (?) was trying to escape in the dead cosmonaut’s ship, and he entered orbit, and all of the little rock monsters previously on the floor of his shuttle rose around his chair via lack of gravity and attacked him. screams over the radio. lost ‘em.

communications are incredibly unreliable in space. think about it this way: you are communicating with someone who is actually hundreds of thousands of miles away. how can you even possibly believe that it’s even reliable? it’s not. it’s not reliable. and whoever’s on the other end, you know they’re lying to you. you know.

apparently, whenst exploring in space astronauts are equipped with these flashbulb thingies that provide a bright burst of light that lasts for about half a second and illuminates about three feet in front of the wielder and have a ~1.5 second recharge time. great for suspense building: [soundtrack of breathing] rocks, then rocks, then rocks, then rocks, then rocks, then GAUNT DEAD COSMONAUT. but. WHAT A USELESS TOOL. these are about a hundred times less useful than a flashlight and if this film is to be believed than nasa is doing an exceptionally poor job at preparing our astronauts to face the unknowns of the moon. scold.

as I said, the monsters in this movie are tiny little rock spiders who live at the bottom of craters. one of the coolest scenes in the movie is when we see these spiders (via flashbulb thingies, of course, low-budget) coming up from the bottom of a crater; it looks like the ground is bubbling.

also impressive were the numbers of camera filters that apparently come pre-installed on the moon and in the spacecraft for observation of the astronauts. so many different grains and colors and staticky effects, framerates, etc. technology must have been so inconsistent back in those days. we can go from grainy hyper close-up to about 14 fps view of astronauts walking moonsurface in the same scene. and yet there is a question in the faq’s on imdb asking if this movie is irl for real.

remember this is supposed to be film circa 1974.  they’re clearly trying to get away with as much as possible in order to keep our modern audience entertained while also staying moderately faithful (or so I imagine) to the film ‘quality’ around in the 70’s.  the really brief pre-space part of the movie was pretty good at doing that, but then it just sorta gave up.

I liked that Yes was in the soundtrack, ‘closer to the edge’ era (how timely!). they often sing of moons and would probably see this movie as pure fact. also a lot of times in creature horror movies there’s the tiny, generative specimen (here, the lil rock spider guys) that we see early, and then later on there’s the huge, fully-developed version that comes chasing after us. here, it’s just the small ones crawling around. they don’t grow into anything; there is no uber-rockguy, and I appreciated that.

“we’ll let your family know you died a hero,” says the department of defense. fairly stupid, to tell one of their own that they wouldn’t be bringing him back to earth, that he was a security risk for being “infected.” at least lie and tell the guy you’re coming for him, give him some comfort as he goes.

and there’s the question, “do you think you can pilot that thing?”

the answer: not if you’re being attacked by rock spiders. collision.

their bodies were never recovered.

(there were definitely ten minutes of credits, too much for a faux documentary.)

(let me know what you think about this kind of thing; I’ll know whether to pursue or give up the ghost.)

- - -

Check out the 28th issue of the Safety Pin Review, rippled around South Korea.

Saturday, June 9, 2012


Because it’s summer and I have too many things to do, I’ve gone back to my obsessive movie-watching habits. So pardon any future submergences.

I have several new things writing-wise and life-wise out and about, but for brevity’s sake (always for brevity’s sake), we’ll restrict this post to the writing ones:

1. I have seven dedications in the June issue of decomP magazine. You can listen to them too, which seems more personal or like I’m talking to you or whatever.

2. The eighth installment of Red Lightbulbs holds a story of mine, “Things That Gary Says,” which I think is pretty creepy. Maybe you will too. Mebbe.

3. Mike Meginnis has an utterly brilliant project going on in collaboration with Artifice Magazine, a literary text adventure of sorts called Exits Are, and my game, “Journey to Makeout Point,” just went up this week. You’ll like it if you’re like me.

4. Finally, I had a small piece about ghosts and me andghosts and me in mensah demary’s little side project, The Narcissist Magazine.

5. Since I last wrote, the Safety Pin Review has gone to Turkey and back. Our latest issue—the twenty-seventh—is making rounds in Dubuque, Iowa.

I guess I do it for the Facebook likes and a vague sense of community.