Writing Movies for Fun and Profit: How We Made a Billion Dollars at the Box Office and You Can, Too!

There’s a word used among professional writers that describes those who refuse to write anything for which they do not feel a deeply emotional connection: unemployed.

Those of us who have been fortunate enough to manage on occasion to make a living putting words to paper understand that writing is first and foremost a job, and not a form of personal expression. On occasion, you may be lucky enough to work on a project that you love, but it will almost invariably pay far fewer bills than the ones you loathe.

Read more »

Happy 40th Anniversary, THE EXORCIST!

William Peter Blatty’s novel THE EXORCIST recently earned a hardcover reissue from HarperCollins in a 40TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION. To celebrate, a few BOOKGASM staffers weighed in on their experiences with the book and, naturally, the Oscar-winning movie it spawned. Turns out we need to read more.

I’ve never seen THE EXORCIST. And I realize that makes me a giant pussy. I started watching it once. At a Halloween party in high school (circa 1987). And it scared the shit out of me. I’ve heard all about the pea-soup vomit and the spinning-head stuff — the stuff that entered the pop-culture lexicon and, if you really think about it, it’s pretty effed up that it did, you know? 1973 was strange, glorious times.

Read more »

18 Endings for Your Next Cat Mystery

1. The uncooperative chauffeur thought Knobs was just rubbing his fur on the man’s legs, but in actuality, he was dusting his fine-pressed trousers for gunshot residue.

2. As the tennis pro proclaimed his innocence with an arrogant cry of, “No jury in the country will convict me without that weapon,” Scoots was busy digging something up from his litter box. There, among the freshly rolled turds, was a Luger P08 pistol! With seven bullets left in the cartridge!

Read more »

Writing Movies for Fun and Profit: How We Made a Billion Dollars at the Box Office and You Can, Too!

There’s a word used among professional writers that describes those who refuse to write anything for which they do not feel a deeply emotional connection: unemployed.

Those of us who have been fortunate enough to manage on occasion to make a living putting words to paper understand that writing is first and foremost a job, and not a form of personal expression. On occasion, you may be lucky enough to work on a project that you love, but it will almost invariably pay far fewer bills than the ones you loathe.

Read more »

Foxy: My Life in Three Acts

Here’s the thing everyone should know about Pam Grier’s autobiography, FOXY: MY LIFE IN THREE ACTS: It wasn’t written by a Pam Grier fan.

If it had been written by someone who was as obsessed with Grier’s film career as much as any other responsible B-movie buff, there would be whole long chapters about the making of COFFY, FOXY BROWN and SHEBA, BABY. There’d be anecdotes about working with William Marshall on the set of SCREAM BLACULA SCREAM, Jim Backus on FRIDAY FOSTER, and what it must have felt like co-starring as a slave in the studio-made DRUM, just a few years after playing such strong female lead characters in lower budgeted non-studio films.

Read more »

Evel: The High-Flying Life of Evel Knievel: American Showman, Daredevil, and Legend

I must admit that when I decided to read EVEL: THE HIGH-FLYING LIFE OF EVEL KNIEVEL: AMERICAN SHOWMAN, DAREDEVIL, AND LEGEND, I did so less out of any enthusiasm for its subject than my appreciation of author Leigh Montville’s excellent 2008 book, THE MYSTERIOUS MONTAGUE: A TRUE TALE OF HOLLYWOOD, GOLF, AND ARMED ROBBERY.

That nonfiction work detailed the fascinating tale of the rise and fall of John Montague, a large, boisterous golf hustler whose reputation as the best trick-shot artist in America was quickly undone by his inability to play in front of large crowds and — more significantly — his being arrested and tried for an armed robbery committed years earlier.

Read more »

Happy 20th Anniversary, AMERICAN PSYCHO!

Ready to feel old? It’s now been a full two decades since Vintage Books first published AMERICAN PSYCHO, Bret Easton Ellis’ satirical novel told from the perspective of Patrick Bateman, Wall Street mover and shaker by day, serial killer by night. To celebrate, we asked some of BOOKGASM’s contributors to share their recollections about the controversial work, whether they read it or not, so put away your chainsaws and enjoy.

I’ve unfortunately never actually read it. Saw the movie. When it came out my friend Christi read it and all I remember her mentioning was something about jumper cables on bare breasts and his obsession with name brands. —Brian Winkeler

Read more »

Stories I Only Tell My Friends

I think it’s safe to say that Rob Lowe and I are about as different as two life forms can be and still be classified as belonging to the same species. It is equally safe to say that given the evolutionary choice, nature would definitely select him over me. This should make me resent him, and I do (I really, really do!), but not enough for me to not recommend his very entertaining new autobiography.

Beyond having a title guaranteed to encouraging legions of stalkers to show up at his house, STORIES I ONLY TELL MY FRIENDS also manages to pull off the nigh impossible trick of being extremely likable for a memoir detailing the supermodel-humping adventures of the prettiest of all pretty-boy Brat Packers.

Read more »

Jeannie Out of the Bottle

Although I am by no means a stranger to the genre of completely unnecessary autobiographies dedicated to aging actors whose relevance as celebrities ended before I was born, I can’t say that I picked up this latest entry out of any enthusiasm for its subject. As much as I love 7 FACES OF DR. LAO, if you were to ask me which gorgeous blond star from a classic ’60s sitcom about a magical beauty prone to creating comic situations whilst attempting to help the man she loved owned my heart, I’d say Elizabeth Montgomery without a second’s hesitation.

It wasn’t out of any interest in Barbara Eden’s life and career that compelled me to listen to the audiobook version of JEANNIE OUT OF THE BOTTLE, which is credited to her and (I presume) the actual author of the work, Wendy Leigh, but rather a personal interest in the subject of ghostwriting itself.

Read more »

Music on Film: Cabaret

As far as I’m concerned, the 1973 Academy Awards was the setting of what has to be the biggest upset in the event’s history. That year, the Oscar for Best Picture went to a film you might have heard of called THE GODFATHER, but instead of awarding the prize for Best Director to Francis Ford Coppola, the Academy’s voters instead gave it to Bob Fosse for his work on CABARET.

Can you friggin’ believe that? Have you heard anything so completely bug-nuts insane? There’s no way THE GODFATHER should have gotten Best Picture!

Read more »

Next Page »