Monday, November 23, 2009

Harvest of Wrath

Recently I was invited back to my high school to talk about my book, and during a Q&A someone asked me to relate my favorite high-school memory. My response: I really enjoyed not going to my senior prom. The answer drew applause, though it was meant as a joke. Now that I think about it, though, it was a better answer than I realized, maybe even the best answer.

I was the model kid: ace student, involved in so many activities that I was president of a couple groups that I never even attended (it's true!), and doer of all things I was supposed to do. As rebellions go, not attending prom was pretty pitiful, but it's all I had--I turned down a few potential dates, and, for what seemed like the first time ever, I did what I wanted to do. And that was to stay home and rent a movie.

That movie was Reservoir Dogs. Now before you start rolling your eyes, keep in mind this was before Pulp Fiction. No one--certainly no one in Fairfield, Iowa--had ever heard of Quentin Tarantino, and my plucking the VHS tape from the bottom rung of the grocery store video wall was pure chance. It blew my mind, and like a teenage Roger Corman, I wasted no time cobbling together a knockoff. (A couple years later in college, every film student would be doing the same. See, I was a vanguard.)

If there was ever a Danman Production in need of a re-edit, this is it. It doesn't help that I start this "thriller" with two-and-a-half minutes of the most flaccid fireworks you'll ever see, followed by even more opening-credit crap. I recommend skipping to the 4-minute mark. Even that is a tough recommendation to make. I'm honestly shocked at how bad this is!

Mostly notable for Jami's surprisingly comfortable turn as biker Bobby McGoon, his legendary (accidental) destruction of my mom's marigolds, and the surprise cameo of cult hero Officer Bill Johansen. A failure, to be sure, but one I reworked (much more successfully) into the climax of The Godfathers: Part Two.

(Hint: You know how in Star Trek, red shirts tipped off those poor suckers about to get vaporized? Same deal in the Danman universe. I knew that fake blood showed up best on white, so that right there is your tip-off: if someone is wearing a white T, they're in for it. Keep this in mind as we move forward.)

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At November 30, 2009 at 7:12 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

just can't get enough Bill Johansen.


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