Thursday, June 30, 2011

I Saw the Devil All the Time

Finally caught up to Jee-woon Kim's I Saw the Devil this week. Really did like it, but y'know, for once, I probably could've done without a lot of the graphic brutality. Come to think of it, I turned off Steven Kastrissios's The Horseman because I just didn't wanna look at it. I dunno, just wasn't rooted deeply enough in any emotional soil to sustain the weight of the onscreen violence. And while I did finish Devil and think it's certainly one of the best serial-killer movies I've seen, there just came points where I thought, "this feels gratuitous and it's not adding anything worthwhile to the picture." I found myself thinking back to Eli Roth's Hostel, a far less elegant film that matches the onscreen awfulness pound for pound, but where I loved it in Hostel (you read that right - I loved Hostel and don't make me defend my fondness for Hostel II, I'll do it), I merely liked Devil. Apples and Oranges you might say and I'd counter with Oranges and Tangerines. We should talk.

What I loved loved loved though? Donal Ray Pollock's The Devil All the Time. I'll be brief 'cause I'm gonna cover it elsewhere in the blogosphere soon, but if anything is gonna top this one for book of the year, it's not on my radar. You know what is on my radar though? Rusty Barnes' collection of short stories Mostly Redneck. Man, if you likes you some hardcrabble, blue-collar Americana, (and if you don't why the hell are you reading this blog?) you've got to check this one out. It won't be available till summer's end, but I'll remind you then. Just save that name and save some money to purchase it when the time comes. (And yeah, cat's-out Pollock will be at Frank Bill's book release in Corydon, IN. on September 10 along with Scott Phillips, Kyle Minor and lil''ol me, but you can catch him in St. Louis at Subterranean Books July 20.)

I was getting pretty tired of The Nerd of Noir reviewing Ray Banks titles that I couldn't get my hands on in the USofA and wrote The Saturday Boy hisself to bitch about it, ('cause you know, he doesn't want anybody not living on the island to be able to read it - must've been my reasoning) and he suggested The Book Depository, which I checked out. A UK online retailer that charges 0 shipping all the time. So, yeah, I ordered his novellas Gun and California and received em by post Monday and Tuesday. Then Wednesday I received Needle #4 featuring part two of Banks' Wolf Tickets, so thanks, I'm full up for that blendashit for another week or so. Thinkin' I'll hit up the Book Depo for summat Allan Guthrie next.

Oh, and if you've read the latest Needle and taken in Daniel O'Shea's The Bard's Confession and Dog's Breakfast by Cameron Ashley - just think how awesome it'd been to have caught them reading it live at N@B last October, (okay, Dan read a different piece). Man, I wish I had a recording of that sexy, manly growls... fucken woof! Look for Dan and Cam to shine in print together in the N@B antho (coming soon!) So, think of the history you've missed and make the fuck sure you show the hell up at the next N@B event August 6 at Meshuggah Cafe with Jesus Angel Garcia, Jane Bradley, David Cirillo and unconfirmed.

And somebody tell me what the sweet hell is going on here? I saw someplace the Duane Swierczynski is reading at a Noir at the Bar event in July. C'mon, that'd be awesome, but it's not nice to tease folks like that. He's not gonna be anywhere near St. Louis before Bouchercon... oh, my bad. He'll be at that other Noir at the Bar. Y'know, the one in La-la-wood that Eric Beetner and Stephen Blackmoore have cooked up to try and approximate a St. Louis evening. As if. Still, the Swizzler's a pretty good start. What really chaps my balls though, is that former St. Louisan Jordan Harper will almost assuredly participate there before he comes back home to read. Really chaps.


Nigel Bird said...

jesus, the world's awash with amazing things. it's like the flood all over again. boys and girls, get building that ark.

i'm just about to post an interview at Sea Minor with Charlie Williams and by Charlie Williams. maybe see you there.

Cameron Ashley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cameron Ashley said...

Thanks man. I wish I'd concocted "One Fine Bird" by N@B last Oct. My one regret is that I tried to read something -with an accent- with a bunch of characters (if it's not too late, please dedicate 'Bird" to Sub books: they got me my shirt.) Can't wait to see see you and your end of St Louis, where I felt remarkably at home, soon. I loved I Saw The Devil and I'm sad you didn't make it through The Horseman, but I probably have some bias there. I'll email soon about Sept. I plan on coming early and leaving late. drinks on me, brother. Love to the fam. xx

Ben said...

I never watched Hostel. Quite frankly, I've heard anything good said about it before you did. But you're probably the most trustworthy person with an opinion on the subject.


jedidiah ayres said...

Nigel - How many damn interviews have you cataloged by now?

Cam - One Fine Bird is one sick story and I'm so excited to publish it. I've already started drinking, so you'll have to catch up.

Ben - Hostel was a great exploitation film about... exploitation. It's far more clever than you'd think and got some fantastic and memorable supporting acting. But first and foremost just a no-skimp-on-the-sick honest to God HORROR movie. II suffered from re-visit-itis, but looked at the world more from the predator's POV and had some awfully awful moments to savor. BOTH very funny too. Neat trick.

Heath Lowrance said...

I also watched I Saw the Devil just the other night. Liked it a lot, didn't seem any more violent than any other Korean flick of late, but maybe I'm getting de-sensitized. And fuck, man, Oldboy was it.

jedidiah ayres said...

Oldboy... just no topping that one.

pattinase (abbott) said...

OLDBOY is my favorite Korean movie so far. I often wonder if it was as enigmatic and surprising to people hearing it in their old language. Perhaps reading subtitles so much that you don't catch what's above them lends a certain unexpectedness to the film.