Feels like forever since we've talked. How are you? I missed you too.
Where do i begin? Might have to pull an IRREVERSIBLE (no, not what you think) and start by going backwards to best recollect...
-Last night (5.1), went to a special screening of a book-to-movie adaptation that I've been wanting to see for almost 20 years. Going in, I was psyched, and the story's writer was sititng right in front of me, which gave me a cineboner. The movie? Honestly, the first 45 minutes of it was pretty awesome, exactly what i wanted from that story and from that director adapting it....and then the script got in the way. But DAMN did it have some amazing moments in the first hour. Wish i could say more, but I'll let you figure out which flick it is (I will say this, it aint DEATH RACE 2000).
-Been desperately trying NOT to buy GTA4, in fear I might lose myself in Liberty City entirely and look like the old dude in BRAINSTORM who gets stuck drooling on the couch in a virtual reality loop of a hot 80's chick banging away at his dong. I wish I had that clip to show, but you get the picture. That shit is addictive, so after i get back from our trip next week, I'll plan a trip to the L.C....see ya there.
-Tuesday night (4.29) I met up with Adam R. for dinner after the Landis signing at Dark Del's, which was fun but sorely under attended in my opinion. Pretty surreal to see John look at me and go "Hey Joe!" and then tell everyone in earshot that I made a movie with an unfortunate title but which he loved regardless. So strange, but very frikkin cool. But just as he asked me about my "Australia story", in walks in Carl Gottlieb, and my story was quickly dashed in favor of Landis screaming to the light crowd "This guy is a cinema god! He did THE JERK! He did the JAWS movies!! CAVEMAN!! He wrote AMAZON WOMEN OF THE MOON!!" so hell, who am I to complain? I was in the middle of walking talking movie history, right before my eyes. Very rad. After that, Adam and I ate a lot of fried food at a local mexican joint next door (I'm still shitting burritos at the time of this writing) and we had a great time geeking out and talking shop. He's good peoples.
-Monday night (4.28) Bri and i got to see IRON MAN, and like rest of the world, we fucking loved it. LOVED. IT. Might be one of the best SuperHero movies in the last few years, maybe ever. Who would have thought, 10 years ago, that the drunk from CHAPLIN who was found passed out in a kids bedroom would team up with the doughboy from SWINGERS and together, make a truly powerful piece of pop cinema? God bless Hollywood. But its one of those movies you just can't stop thinking about without grinning like a kid. Indy's got some competition....and if IRON MAN is any hint of what's to come...its gonna be a good summer.
-Last weekend (4.25-4.27), I attended the Fango Weekend of Horrors, which was a bit of a mixed bag. Not for anything more than just dorking out on horror and buying some new black t shirts. Last year, the year I was in full "WRONG TURN 2 PROMO" mode, was a bit of a blur, but because it was in Burbank, it was small but felt big because everyone was packed in like sardines. Reminded me of the good ole days of the Pennsylvania Hotel in NYC when the Fango cons were wall to wall horror fans. Burbank had that energy to it, both in the dealers rooms as well as the panel room. Maybe the fire alarm helped...
This year was at the L.A. convention center, and with a bigger venue, the event was so spread out that it felt like it lost that spark, that life coercing through the place like the lightening bolt that blasts through the Nazis from the Ark of the Covenant in RAIDERS. Thanks to Barton (the fucking man, mind you), I got passes for the weekend... (unlike last year when I was presenting in the show and couldn't even get a +1 for my wife, thanks Creation) and even that was a hassle. But seeing all my friends there was at least worth the hassle, and supporting guys like Rob G, presenting his PSYCHO panel on Friday (featuring a clip of me ghost whacking as Terry Gilliam all over PSYCHO 3 and flicking spirit sperm on the screen like Spidey...Thwap! I had 3 different people come up to me over the weekend using that hand gesture. Im...honored?) and Rotten do his work with the FEAR ITSELF panel was really fun. FIERCENESS!
That night we went to dinner with Sid Haig, who is one cool muthafucka. The guy is a fountain of knowledge and hi-larious to boot. We traded stories while waiting forever for drinks, and he told us terrific tales on how he could eat like a goat when he was young, even devouring an entire watermellon, to which i said "You should have gotten Melvin Van Peebles to film you!" and his eyes lit up. Always appreciate when someone gets my stupid references, so Sid is top Tits in my book; plus i got to tell him how great he was in LITTLE BIG TOP, and he was shocked that I had even seen it, but very grateful for the kind words.
Saturday had Adam & Jace's AUTOPSY panel which was fucking funnycakes (and the clip they showed was KICK ASS...can;t wait to see the finished product). I unfortunately got stuck talking to a bunch of people on the show floor (not that I minded, really) and missed the Barker panel, but it was nice just being on the DL and chatting up the genre we love with like minded fans and filmmakers. After hitting Bishara's for his party that night, I walked in bleary eyed to Fango on Sunday, ready to spend some money on bootlegs and Black T's, yet I feel like I walked away lacking anything that could really be considered a prized find. Then again, getting the new Argento DVDs from Jonathan, the killer hype guy from AB was a nice plus. Saw the panel from JACK BROOKS: MONSTER SLAYER, which looks like a blast of monster-y fun and FEAR ITSELF, which looks like meh fun.
Then Craig Spector and John Skipp, two of the founding fathers of the Splatterpunk literary movement in the 80's, got up to discuss their first film ANIMALS. I've been a huge fan of these sick minds for years and dismayed to hear they haven't met up in years, this appearance being the first time we've seen them together in a long time. Yet, the crowd was kinda cool to them, and not having a moderator on the panel made it feel like they were out to sea with no paddle, but then...they announced OUR movie together, an adaptation of one of my favorite books of all time, THE BRIDGE. I wont go into it too much (Im sure I'll be talking about it a lot more soon) but it was exciting to hear how those guys were thrilled i was involved. Skipp actually took me aside on Saturday to tell me how much he loved WRONG TURN 2, which I was blown away by. Now THAT'S validation to me!
So Craig then goes "There's the guy right there! Joe Lynch! Get up here!" Now this was unexpected, and it went against my "on the DL" front I wanted to maintain, but fuck it, right? So I ran up to the stage...and did a full somersault before bouncing to my feet! WHAT THE FUCK WAS I THINKING?? I don't know but it seemed that the crowd got a bit of a charge. it was just pure instinct, lost in the moment. "Sorry, but its been a while since anyone's had any fun uphere" I said, like when Bruce Campbell would flip himself onstage at the New York cons (doubt he'd be doing it now). Then I mentioned how amazing it was to see these two guys together on-stage, the originators of hardcore horror on page, and that statement seemed to get a rise out of the lethargic crowd.One dude in the front stood up (thanks man, you rock!). I was breathing fast, heart pumping, when it hit me: I was on-stage with THESE
guys...talking about a book I vowed to do almost 17 years ago.
I seriously came close to a full on faint.
To keep from collapsing on the stage (which at this point would have been construed as more "Lynch Shenanigans"), John asked me what i was intending to do with THE BRIDGE, which I explained "Well, I want to scare people so much with what could really happen if we don't stop abusing the Earth we live on, that audiences will walk out and want to buy a Prius, or recycle those bottles and newspapers...and hell, reuse old condoms, which is actually an interesting sensation, i highly recommend it." As Im saying it, my head is screaming "What the fuck are you doing???AGAIN?!?!" but clearly my mouth was heading up this show, not my brain. Again, going with that moment, which scares me a bit concerning the state of my natural instincts. But the crowd seemed to dig it and we got a big applause at the end before i humbily sat back down again and then realized that the douchebags who sat behind me put stickers on my back. Wonderful. What is this, 7th grade?
So...I guess i announced a new project. Holy shit. Well, stay tuned...it's gonna be an interesting adventure.
Overall, the con was hit-and-miss, but still great to see everyone. Thanks to all the cool people who i got a chance to chat it up with, to my friends who walked the dealer room with me (it was a short walk, so we walked...very...sloow) and to that chick from SHOWGIRLS who walkd around with that FEMALIEN-esque body suit that showed next to everything. Why was she there? Not a mu'fu'in clue. But it was glorious. Verhoeven is the man if he tapped that ass.
-Thursday (4.24), went to Rifkin's Aero Double Feature of DARK BACKWARD & DETROIT ROCK CITY. I haven't seen DARK in 10 years (and never on the big screen) so that was a perverse thrill, and hearing Bill Paxton's voice as he sat behind me instantly brought be mack to the days of endlessly quoting Chet from WIERD SCIENCE ("You're stewed, butt-wad!!") and Hudson from ALIENS ("We're on an express elevator to hell, goin' down!!!"). The movie itself is a really odd duck, but I loved seeing it again, and Im a big fan of DETROIT ROCK CITY (alas, my brothers and I were the only ones in the theater when it first came out) so it was nice to see it with a crowd. Tim brought the endlessly charming Lin Shaye, who plays the overbearing, kiss-hating mother in DRC, and I couldn't help but be starstruck, all the while desperately trying to hold in a fart that was marinating since the start of DARK. Painful stuff, but I made it out alive.
My poor car had to endure it hot horror of my anal air vomit, Sorry, Prius.
After the movies I raced over to a Pre-Fango bash that Rob G and Rotten set up at this place in Burbank, which was still raging by the time i got there at midnight. Nice to see everyone twisting the night away....and was that Brian Collins on the stripper pole? Wow that guy is nimble.
-Wednesday (4.23)...FINALLY watched INSIDE, which i was purposefully avoiding because I had heard so many good things that i didn't want the hype to overshadow it. kept missing it on the festival run, but it finally came out on DVD 2 week's back so i had to man up and check it out. Plus, I had a feeling that it was the type of shocker that Bri wouldn't want to be around for (no not THAT type of shocker, pervs...she doesn't like those either and I hate washing my hands so much) so I waited for the right evening home alone to subject myself to some Fresh French Fright Frittes...and boy was it good stuff. INSIDE, or A L'INTERIEUR if you wanna get all snobbish about it, is the simple tale of a young woman on Xmas Eve, about to go to the hospital to deliver her baby after a horrible car accident months before left her an angry, disillusioned widow. She is home, alone, and suddenly...a knock at the door. A mysterious woman is outside, waiting to get in, asking her to let her in...then telling her. Then....well, let's just say it gets VERY messy. But the first 40 minutes is perfectly crafted and tense, earning all of its scares through sheer atmosphere and calm moments before the storm. When the bloody starts flowing however, it get EXTREMELY bloody, so much so that I was pleasantly surprised that they went to the lengths they did with the crimson-letting. This movie is not fucking around here, and despite a few flaws near the end, it will get your heart racing for sure. The whole time i was watching the film, this being AFTER the directors were dropped from helming the HALLRAISER remake, I kept thinking how amazing these two sick french fucks would do in Cenobite Territory; sadly we will never know what they could have done with the material. INSIDE is a great horror film, to be sure...just don't watch it with grandma, putting HAUTE TENSION to shame with it's unbridled intensity and carving out a nice niche in the world of eurohorror. I can't wait to see what they do next.
-Saturday (4.19) Bri and i went to Animal Acres
, a farm sanctuary where they take in injured and abused animals, which is located by Palmdale. We had a great time playing with the cows and the goats, and the pigs there were fucking enormous. Bri almost got gored by an abused steer named Mr. Ed, who we were told does not like to be touched on the head...whoops. Near bloody mishap aside, It was nice being out in the open air with the animals, and everyone there was really nice. Didn't expect a 2 hour talk about signing people up on the street for the cause, and my ass was sore as Lewis Black form sitting on that blae of hay, but regardless, it was really nice to hang with the farm animals and see them enjoy life a little, not be stuck in a pen, awaiting death. Very zen.
-Sunday & Tuesday (4.13 & 4.15)....GALACTICA LIVE. Wow. What a event for the books folks, and my lucky irish ass got to see it twice! Bear told me while we were putting the score together for WT2 that he had played Galactica tunes at The Mint on Pico and it did really well, so they set up a night at the Roxy to do another live concert with a condensed orchestra, as well as his usual merry band of brothers (Bt4, Bartek, Vatos, et al), for the BG fans. Bri and I had gotten tickets early and lo and good thing we did, because the Sunday show quickly sold out! So, Tuesday was set up and I asked Bear "You want me to cover this for G4?" He was thrilled and we set it up...the ONLY media outlet allowed to shoot the show. So...I was gonna be able to see the show twice, which for me was very welcome. When I got to see Bear work his mojo on the WB lot when he was scoring BG season 3 (this was when I was not caught up to my favorite show on TV now, so i was completely lost...why is Ty's eye gone???), it was like watching John Williams at the Bowl, just cooler and with less wrinkles, and knew this was going to be a great night. Little did i know that it was going to be a HISTORIC night, with lines down the block, celebs (Darabont recognized me! Baltar is just walked past!! Nerd alert!!!) and an encore chant of "So Say We All!" that lasted 5 full minutes before an awe-struck McCreary came out again to say 'We didn't expect an encore!".
Aside from that, the performance itself...simply Frakking extraordinary. Nearly 2 hours of Bear and Co. just banging out the hits, and was something akin to a rock show with more strings. It really felt like a fucking good ole' fashioned 80's Pop Metal gig at the Roxy, with fans banging their heads and swaying to the music and the performers, totally energized, feeding off the crowd. Thinking back to reading LESS THAN ZERO when i was a kid, it was thrilling to be in the Roxy watching Oingo Boingo members Bartek and Vatos playing in the same venue described in that seminal 80's book. Sunday was just a slice of magic for both fans and newbies to Bear's music, and all of us left buzzing.
But what was also "verr nizze" (hey, noone's doing Borat anymore these days so its retro-cool, suck it) was that I could technically write off Sunday's tickets as a location scout since Tuesday we were going to be there on behalf o G4 to cover the event. Bear, Christina (his invaluable Production Manager on the show) and Beth (who put the show together...Kudos!) gave us full access, so i was gonna do this right. With Blair and Jon Hunt (a producer and fellow Galactica fan) in tow along with the crew of Mike and Joesh, we stormed the gates, got some great interviews pre-show, and then positioned ourselves for the live performance, which was equally thunderous as Sunday was, possibly a little tighter and more focued. I was right up front, catching the action through my 24p lens, and its arguably one of the best live performances i've ever shot....and I've shot a LOT of concerts and love doing it. Just wait till you see what i've got cooking with the footage. Thanks to Bear, Brendan, Steve and everyone else up there, bringing down the house....it was an honor to shoot you.
So say we all, indeed.
OK....WHEW. I think Im somewhat caught up. I've decided not to divulge in my birthday party dabacle cause well...its a story best told in person and away from any booze. Ask me about it next time for a wonderful cautionary tale of drunken debauchery and the benefits of having plastic bags in your car.
Be back soon, promise. Now give me your badge and get the fuck outta my office.
Go see IRON MAN, dammit!!