Frank Grillo holds the center of the frame as the wheelman easily while matching a solid supporting cast including Garret Dillahunt, Shea Whigam and Slaine. And that's good news for fans of N@B star Frank Bill, 'cause Grillo's also front and center as Chainsaw Angus in the Tim Sutton directed adaptation of Donnybrook which starts filming this very morning.
Which makes this a banner month for Bill as his new novel and follow-up to Donnybrook, The Savage, is going to be published in a matter of weeks.
Here's a piece I wrote at another site years ago on the occasion of the release of short story collections by the two of them - Frank's Crimes in Southern Indiana and Rusty's Mostly Redneck.
(note: hyperlinks appearing in the original piece are no longer there - sorry if that makes for a choppy read)
The article also included one Frank Bill whose debut collection, Crimes in Southern Indiana, just hit bookstore shelves this week, (and broke more than a few, I’d venture). Whew! These are some hardboiled hardscrabble crime tales. Truth be told, I'm not sure the people in these stories know there's a recession on. Bill’s characters don’t live on the edge of society, they’ve long since fallen off, and meeting them on their own turf is a harrowing experience (the manufacture and cultivation of controlled substances, gunrunning and prostitution are the family businesses - just imagine being downsized from that).
His prose is a stripped-down muscle car without a muffler, tender as a brick and soothing as a gasoline popsicle, arriving at a tone you might call old-testament-pulp, while the stories themselves bite and kick and howl, and are run through with notions of the bonds of blood and kin that threaten as much as they ever may comfort. Themes of survival, revenge, family and good business practice are explored in these short, punchy, straight to the point with no beating around any scrub brush bursts of narrative. Bill cut his teeth on crime publications like Plots With Guns, Thuglit and Beat to a Pulp, that prize brevity and brutality above grammatical propriety and metaphorical feinting, but he's quickly been sniffed out by the capital 'L' literary world and with good reason. Read in succession, this collection transcends the harsh environment of guns and drugs and nastiness to a place where, (to quote the Salon.Com piece quoting Bonnie Jo Campbell paraphrasing William Faulkner) "the only writing that matters is about the human heart in conflict with itself. 'And there's plenty of that around here.'"
To sum up - grotesque, infectious and a quick fix for a flat-lined pulse, read it if you wish Hank Williams III would record a soundtrack to Knockemstiff, or Chuck Palahniuk would collaborate with William Gay more often.