It’s the first image on screen after the roar of the MGM lion fades away. A blood red background with white block letters reading “Metro-G oldwyn-Mayer presents.” That odd letter-spacing between the G and the O, it’s there. Most people probably don’t notice it, or maybe they only register it on a subconscious level, but it’s there. Once you notice it, it has a way of burning into your brain. Punching you right in the cornea. Drawing your eyes like a flaming car crash.
Why though? Its very existence contradicts the film’s title. Point Blank – a gun fired very close to its target. Why have that subtly curious image (that we’ll call the “Space” from here on out) be the first on screen? Why place the gaping chasm between two letters in a major studio’s name at all?
John Boorman is still alive as of the 50th anniversary of his avant-garde masterpiece Point Blank, released in the summer of 1967, so someone with the means could go ahead and ask him. Like his film, there probably won’t be an easy answers or a sense of closure. But still, that small and powerful breach in the MGM name serves to subliminally defamiliarize the audience with not only the studio itself, but also with what they’re about to watch for next 91 minutes. It lets you know that something uncanny is coming your way.
Continue reading “Why Don’t You Just Lie Down and Die: POINT BLANK at 50”
Ghost Parachute is a literary magazine where they pair stories with original art, an idea I really love. That’s why I’m thrilled to have my new short “The Most Metal Band Name You’ve Ever Heard” in their July issue. The original art for my short was done by Kaylan Stedman and I fucking love it.
Also, my wicked talent wife has a story in the new issue as well, “Low Country.“
Head on over to Shotgun Honey and check out my new shortie “The Sucker.” It was inspired by the “Collar Bomb” bank robbery that occurred in Eerie, PA in August 2003. I’m fascinated by the fact that the dude with a bomb strapped to his neck took a lollipop while he was waiting for the teller to give him the loot. What an unwavering sweet tooth!
Read “The Sucker” here.
Got a new shortie published in Out of the Gutter today, called “Waiting for the Man.” It’s about remembering faces and, just as importantly, forgetting them. There’s a bit about George Leslie in there too – one of my favorite mythical criminals.
Check it out here: WAITING FOR THE MAN. It’s always great to be back in the gutter.
Late posting this bad boy, but hell, it’s never too late to keep the Christmas spirit alive. Consider it a belated gift, you ungrateful swine.
I was part of a fun series of fiction over at Out of the Gutter called the 12 Daze of Christmas. The premise was simple: 12 crime-orientated pieces of flash for the 12 days leading up to Jesus’ birth (alleged).
My shortie “Dead Letter” made the cut. Enjoy it here along with the 11 other wicked yuletide fools.
Back in the ’90s, ambitious crooks in Orlando used to grind a caper on tourists that revolved around pizza delivery. They’d make up phony flyers for non-existent pizza joints, leave them on windshields in hotel parking lots, and wait for the unsuspecting tourists to order. Then they’d show up at their hotel rooms with an empty pizza box and the marks would just let them in.
That dated caper was the inspiration for this story, “95 Degrees,” published on the UK crime site Near to the Knuckle. Thanks for having me!
Read “95 Degrees” here
Spinetingler published my first crime story, “Gun Coven,” back in September 2014. I’m happy to return to the site years later with “One Gold Tooth” – a punchy short I wrote, hated, refined, hated, and wrote again.
Check “One Gold Tooth” at Spinetingler Magazine!