Where the hell is Mel Gibson when you really need him???

Where the hell is Mel Gibson when you really need him??
I just slogged my way through the DVD of King Arthur. What the hell were they thinking? Arthur of Rome? Roman “Knights”? Celts that dressed like Mongols? Picts that were called “Wodes”? That whole cartoonish chopping-the-ice Magnificent Seven/Seven Samurai us few against all of them battle scene (“Come on men, let’s march in formation onto the thin ice – we’re Saxon and can’t think). That equally unbelievable final battle – “Look it’s one man standing alone on the hill and we’ve got an army so let’s tiptoe up on him, and then charge blindly through a gate into the killing ground so we can mill around while those blue painted “wodes” (wode is the name of the blue paint, not the people) shoot the hell out of us.

The Saxons must have trained with Darth Vader’s storm troops, judging by their accuracy. Fortunately the miniscule forces of the “Wodes” (aaaagggghhh), have amazing accuracy.

On top of that you needed a program to tell one “knight” from another (that’s Galahad, no it isn’t that’s Bohrs, no it’s Launcelot).

Christ. Wake up, Hollywood. Don’t fuck with the story, just tell us the story. Give us characters we can root for, rather than cardboard cutout Magnificent Seven dress up dolls. Give us a plot and a little continuity and a black hat and a white.

Remember Braveheart? That was a movie that knew what it was up to. Man I wanted Gibson’s character to win so badly. He fought army against army, used standard military tactics, made a battle look like a battle rather than a posturing contest.

Last week, (for the first time ever), I watched Mel Gibson’s Passion of Christ. What an amazing piece of cinematography. All those dolts who got so worked up about how Gibson portrayed the Hebrews were missing the point. There were two bad guys in this movie – the Pharisees and the mob. There are two bad guys in the modern world. The politicians and the mob. (not Tony Soprano and his boys, I’m talking herd thinking, mob mentality, follow that stampeding buttocks charge). Gibson told the story, just the way the Bible’s been telling us it all those years. That’s the story. Those are the archetypes. When he played Hamlet did folks get up in arms over the negative portrayal of women by Hamlet’s adulterous mother? No. That was the way it was in the story. Don’t fuck with the story.

That’s what King Arthur forgot. In their urgent need to show us a different “take” on the situation they forgot to tell the story. Arthur, Launcelot, Mordred, Guinevere…the pieces are there and they fit together just the way they always did. EXCALIBUR was great. The world is ready for another King Arthur movie, but this piece of Xena-esque trash just wasn’t it.

I’d like to see Gibson take on King Arthur. Then we’d see some emoting.

End of rant.

On the working side of things I’m three-quarters of the way through the rewrite of my next novel. I decided to change the voice, and had to stomp right through the whole draft. Now I’m just touching things up.

I’ve got a query out to one agent, but we’ll see. I want to sell this in 2005, to a publisher who will pay me an advance and see to it that it gets in honest to god stores. So I’m taking my time. I don’t want to jump the gun on this one.

I’ve recieved a bit of favorable feedback on Nightmare Dreams, but I have no illusions about that making a big splash in the Stokers. There’s some big boys who are well seated in the collection category. I’m just hoping to get a few more people to check out my writing. I’ve officially declared 2004 a practise run. Next year, I’m hoping to see some change. In the meantime I’ve been told that Long Horn, Big Shaggy has recieved one recommendation in the long fiction category. It’s funny, but that’s the book I figured would draw more heat.

Enough said on that account too. If anybody wants to check out either of those books, check my website. There’s several complete stories posted there, (including one that hasn’t been on my website before – just click to my Library and click the excerpt section of NIGHTMARE DREAMS for a spooky train story), as well as an excerpt of the first chapter of LONG HORN, BIG SHAGGY.

That’s enough for tonight I think.

Yours in horror,

Steve Vernon


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