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November 25th, 2005

Gobblin' Day

Ricky and I enjoyed a lovely Thanksgiving with skipheller and his too-fabulous wife Skye. We acted like almost real adults and got dressed up and went to the pricy banquet and ate too much and went home and passed out in a tryptophan-induced haze.

I've breached the 55K number of Netherworld, and I'm still having a blast with it. Really, haven't had this much fun writing in years. Although I think this book (with some polishing, of course) will actually be quite good, I've no idea if it'll be marketable, considering the number and nature of genres it's crossing - horror meets period piece meets action/adventure meets social commentary about status of outsider culture in 19th century (really, I'm not kidding!).

Had several ridiculous turkey flesh-manufactured dreams last night: The best involved RL and I going to Universal Studios (the amusement park, not the actual movie-making biz part), and somehow getting an angle onto the "Revenge of the Mummy" roller coaster ride that we weren't supposed to get. We could see up into the final tunnel of the ride, and as the cars came whooshing down the track, these guys in very bad mummy costumes would suddenly leap out of hidden alcoves and lurch after the cars for a while. What made it especially silly was that these poor schmos had these absurdly huge headdress-thingies on that were so tall these guys were top-heavy and couldn't walk without nearly tipping over; now picture them trying to lumber about and scare people, when all they're really trying to do is not fall down. We also saw that, after the cars had passed by, these guys would drop the mummy act and mutter and curse as they returned to their alcoves to wait for the next train.

As usual, I'm happy that my subconscience enjoys leaving me giggling when I wake up, but I have no idea where it comes from otherwise.

More weird synchronicity

Last night we finally watched High Tension, and while I was mixed on the film (very nicely shot, terrific lead performance, but - no big shock here, I guess - a bad script), I was struck by its central plot gimmick. Not because I liked it (I didn't, at least in this film), but because it happened to be exactly the same gimmick which was employed by another film from the other side of the world, South Korean Kim Ji-woon's masterpiece A Tale of Two Sisters. Upon checking release dates, I found that the films were released (in their respective countries of origin) within five days of each other, so this is complete coincidence...or just weird zeitgeist.

SPOILER ALERT:









In both of these films, the big finale reveals that the protagonist and antagonist are actually the same person. I can't think of many other movies in the past which used this twist, so it's relatively current.

What does this say about us globally in 2003, that two horror films from such disparate places would feature this device? Are we all worried that our villains are also our heroes? Is this some kind of bizarre worldly reflection on the Bush years?

It's also interesting that the same revelation works brilliantly in one film (Kim's) and not so well in the other. In Two Sisters, the clues are planted throughout, and the revelation works both logically and psychologically; in Tension, however, the clues as to the heroine's fractured state really aren't there, and the revelation is accompanied by physical evidence (the protagonist/antagonist's battered body) which disproves the entire premise. One is a brilliantly - and carefully - made work of art. One is a slightly-better-than-usual slasher pic which is willing to sacrifice logic and sense in favor of a supposed surprise twist.