Friday, February 13, 2009

The Devil Jumped Up On A Hickory Stump

One day the barber shaves your earlobes, the next you decide to buy a corduroy jacket, then the next day you think, "You Know, England Dan and John Ford Coley had some good songs," and then the day after that you think you might look good in a sweater vest.

I am old and tired, it is February, it has gone from a foot of snow to tornadoes, and I have to have a root canal Tuesday.

On the bright side, for my readers who are horror fans, it is Friday the 13th. Those who have been, from their own perspectives, blessed or cursed by seeing a number of my movies might be surprised to learn that I missed pretty much all of the slasher genre of the 80s and thus do not feel the same resonance that some do at this holiday. I grew up on Japanese rubber monsters, Italian sandal epics, Mexican wrestling, and Russian Sci-Fi, but I had a long layoff from genre stuff in the 80s when I went to college and actually studied film. instead turning my mind towards Italian Neorealism, French New Wave, and so on.

In the late 90s I smelled a trend, like the boom of the mom and pop video stores in the late 80s that gave rise to many of my peers launching their careers when the content-starved VHS pipe opened up. I thought the same thing would happen again with DVD, and I felt that genre projects would be most needed. I was right, though loyal readers know I have been wrong; I once said that CDs would never catch on, as they were "just little records."

I gave myself a crash course in horror, and though I have still some gaps in my knowledge of giallo and Paul Naschy werewolf movies I think I was able to get caught up. I still don't understand the slasher genre, though those raised in the 80s probably feel that same twang that I feel about the original 70s Dawn of the Dead (I know the remake's supposed to be decent, but still).

That being said, if anybody wants to see the new Friday the 13th, I'm game (But I'd rather see Coraline). I try to follow trends and study likes and dislikes for future projects. As I have said before to loyal readers, writing is a craft that can be learned. It is not achieved by sitting under a tree in your boxers waiting for the muse, or, as I know some have speculated about my work, banging your butt cheeks up and down on a keyboard until a script coughs out.

Along the way, I became more of a fan again (Which was why I was thrilled anew when Fangoria mentioned me here). A good thing, because one thing I have learned about genre fans is that they can smell a rat. If you think genre writing is easy and anyone can just "bang it out," the fans will know. The other side of that is that genre fans are the most loyal fans there are (as seen by this very blog which, unbelievably, thousands have returned to from time to time). No less a person than screenwriter Michael Tolkin taught me that (he also once wrote me an email, believe it or don't).

Along those lines, some potentially interesting projects on the horizon; until later I am at johnoakdalton@hotmail.com.

2 comments:

Dr. Squid said...

"banging your butt cheeks up and down on a keyboard until a script coughs out."

That is your best quote yet, my friend. I've thought of your "butt-to-chair" comment many a time, but this one is so much more visual...and disturbing.

John Oak Dalton said...

Just trying to keep it fresh, doc! :)