Sunday, July 08, 2018

Rish Outcast 112: Creative Constipation

So, I had quite a stretch this year where I did not write, and more importantly, didn't want to write. It was no fun, and I did a handful of things to try to get out of that creative funk.

Hey, maybe "Creative Funk" would have been a nicer title for this episode. But you know how I am.

Unfortunately, I complain about Harlan Ellison in this episode, and it was supposed to be released the same day he died (for the Patreon supporters, anyway).  I had to sit on it for a few days, deciding whether it would be okay to call him a horse's ass when the man just passed away. Ultimately, I'm releasing it as-is, since the show was recorded months ago, and I meant the stuff I said, even though I've heard much praise this week of the man and his good works.

If you wanna download the episode directly, just Right-Click HERE.

If you wanna support me on Patreon . . . well, good for you!

Good for us both, actually.

Logo by Gino "The Playah" Moretto.

Monday, July 02, 2018

A Parallel World?

Years ago, I was released from prison after serving part of my sentence for Second Degree Aggravated Mayhem because of inmate overcrowding.  We'll not go into that, but let me just say that, when I got out, I was blown away by all the new television and music I had missed when I was on the inside.  What was this "Deep Space Nine?"  Why were people Counting Crows?  Was it true Dennis Franz had a show where he showed his butt all the time?  Were there really bands called Hole, Deadeye Dick, and Bush on the charts at the same time?  Who were the "Friends?"  Who was Alanis Morrisette, and why the fuck were people listening to her?

But bigger for me, were all the movies.  Pretty much every star that I liked had made a film or two (except River Phoenix and John Candy, for some reason), and I didn't know which ones were good (SPEED, MAVERICK, FORREST GUMP?) and which were bad (ACE VENTURA, ROBIN HOOD: MEN IN TIGHTS, Disney's THREE MOUSKETEERS?).  It was a wondrous time to go to the cinema and the video store, and due to my time sweeping the machine shop and chortling prison guards, I had enough money to check everything out.

That sort of thing hasn't been repeated (since I now have diplomatic immunity), and I didn't think that it could be.  Until I walked into Target the other day, and saw a big display of new movies.  They were on sale cheap, just in time for Father's Day, July 4th, or Manatee Eve.

I did a double-take.

It wasn't a bevy of recognizable new releases, installments of PACIFIC RIM, TOMB RAIDER,
or BLACK PANTHER.  These were right there, next to the New Releases, in a prominent display.  And they were all mysteries to me.

I didn't recognize a single one of these movies.

Furthermore, all the actor names that were being promoted as selling points ("Marquee Names," as they used to call them, or "Above The Title" names, as they call them now) were mysteries to me too.
They certainly *looked* like real movies, but the titles . . . I dunno.

Take this one, for example, THE SWEDISH COMPROMISE.  Not exactly a riveting title, but still better than HURRICANE HEIST, or SOURCE CODE, or THE ECHELON CONSPIRACY.  And the word "Swedish" gives it a bit of exotic international flavor and/or makes you hungry for candy fish.

But then I looked at the tagline.  "Sometimes, the only option is compromise."

Wait a minute, is this a joke?  While I agree that sometimes the only option is compromise, when used as a tagline, it's awfully similar to, "Sometimes, the only way to win a fight is to give up."  It just doesn't fill me with the image of characters who never stop fighting, and who go through all sorts of intrigue.  Excitement, who needs it?


RED FEAR 2, starring Brock Chavez.  SNAIL'S PACE starring Ronald Piedmont?

Natalia Rodriguez?  Stone Jones?  Gene Manchester?  Jack Russell?  Vanessa Fairmont?  Gustav Doberman?  Not only do they not sound like real movie stars . . . that last one doesn't even sound like a real name.

THE EVIDENCE ("They wined him . . . they dined him . . . they framed him") has three names above the faces of three vaguely-celebrity-looking actors.  The three names?  Evans, Cooper, and Jones.  No first names, because these guys are either so famous that last name says it all . . . or they're deliberately trying to sucker people into thinking this movie stars Chris Evans, Bradley Cooper, and Shirley Jones from "The Partridge Family."

That's more than a bit evil, isn't it?

Here's another one.  Pretty girl, if you can get past the flames and red eyes.  Damned if I've ever seen her before, though.

BREAK POINT DAWN INFINITY.  Dynamic words, sure, action-oriented words.  But a movie title?  These didn't sound so much like a title so much as the trigger words to brainwash the Winter Soldier.  Were they just randomly generated by a machine?

This film is the sequel to OCEAN MISSION, OCEAN MISSION: DARK TIDE.

How deep is too deep?  I don't know, actually.  But I know this cover reminds me of both CRIMSON TIDE and THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOB--

Just a second, does this film star Donald Trump?  Is that a picture of him with a submarine captain's hat Photoshopped on?

*Are* these real movies?

This one is TIME GAMES starring . . . Matt Baba?  I don't know who he is, but the cover reminds me of TOTAL RECALL.  Baba' name is much larger than the title (like Schwarzenegger's was in 1990), so that should tip me off to just how big a deal Matt Baba is in Laos or Malta or Wisconsin or some far-away foreign locale.

Oh, and Red Fear 2 (or is it 3?) has the subtitle, MASSIVE HEAT.  Does that work?  Maybe it had to be put that way, to make the awesome tagline work.

"If you can't stand the Heat . . . time to die."

Oh, but that tagline is "Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water" compared to TIME GAMES.

"The future of the past is now."

Digest that, kids.

The one that I simply couldn't get my brain around was BLOOD OATH: REMEMBERANCE.  Which looked like a real movie, the kind shot in Slovenia by folks that liked GLADIATOR even more than I did.  It had a quote from the critics at the bottom of it, and used one of those awkward images where they stick the actor who's in the movie's head on the body of a stand-in.  You've seen that wacky shite, right?

It had a really decent tagline: "His country is gone . . . but his oath is eternal."  So, yeah.  Nothing wrong here--

--Except that REMEMBRANCE is spelled wrong.

And worse, there's a line through the O in "Oath."  That gives me the fudgin' heebie jeebies.

Oh, but it gets so much worse.  BLUD OATS: REMEMBERENCING stars Hom Tanks.

Hom H. Tanks.

Come on, kids, that's the kind of joke I regularly made in seventh grade, when I started calling Jennifer Kirk "Kennifer Jerk" and actually thought I was funny.

Not to kick a dead horse, but the craziness doesn't end there.  I don't know if you can see it in the photo, but at the bottom of the DVD, it touts, "From the director of JOANIE LOVES CHACHI 4: DEFENESTRATION."

I couldn't help but marvel.  Nobody would believe me if I just told them about this, so I got out my cellphone.

Finally, after I had taken these (admittedly shitty) pictures, a man stepped up to me and asked, "Can I help you, sir?"  He did not seem to be a Target employee, but more of a security guard type.

"Yeah, I was just looking at these movies.  Do you recognize any of these people?"

"I don't watch movies, sir," the guy said, as plenty of people have said to me (although, to be frank, I hear it a lot more about reading books, and people do love to brag about that), and I sighed, because someone who didn't know who Edward James Olmos is wouldn't understand if I said, "It sort of looks like Edward James Olmos in DARK TIDE 2, but only if you squint."

Finally, I said, "Well, these movies just seem weird to me.  As if they come from another--"

I looked at his face.

The man only had one nostril, in the center of his nose.

"Another . . . ?" he asked, and if I've ever heard a loaded question, it was this one.

"Another country," I said instead.  Then I pretended to notice something.  "Oh, the *Swedish* Compromise.  They must come from Sweden."  I made a happy sound.  Mystery solved.

"Sweden," he said quietly.  He raised his sleeve to his lips and exhaled into it.  I don't know if it was a word in another language or a sound or a code, but I know a signal when I hear one.

I started to walk away.

"Would you mind coming with me, sir?" he asked behind me.

I started to run.

Rish Outfield

*Check out the poster for that Madonna-seduces-a-gay-guy movie sometime.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Marshal and I Review Solo: A Delusions Story

Though sometimes it seems we were the only ones, Marshal Latham and I saw SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY and spoke about it recently.  Marshal also dug out our predictions of what would happen in the movie, so we could see how right we were.

I do complain about the one character I hated in the movie.  Guess I should do that more often.

Check it out HERE.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Rish Outcast 111: Grandpa's Prize

In an extremely noisy environment, I present a story from the Nineties about a little boy and his ailing grandfather. I talk about it being dated (and the ubiquity of cellphones), but it's up to you whether it actually is.

I tried to record this one at the lake again, and ended up getting turned away and rained on, but I hope you like it anyway.

Download the episode by Right-Clicking HERE.

Support me on Patreon HERE.

Logo by Gino "The Chimpanzee" Moretto

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Noble House (of Ideas)

I recently got to go back to Santa Monica, California for the first time in a decade or so.

When I got out of school and moved to Los Angeles, I had (pretty close to literally) no money.  I learned to do, for leisure activities, things that cost very little, or things that cost nothing.  One of the first things I learned to do was to go to the 3rd Street Promenade (the street-long collection of shops, boutiques, and touristy places three blocks from the Pacific Ocean), where I could park for free in one of their multi-level garages, and look around, go to the beach, or cleverly . . .

. . . I could go to the Barnes & Noble on the corner, pick up a book or magazine, and leaf through it until it was time to go (or buy something), to keep from having to pay to park.

I loved the Barnes & Noble.  It had three levels, and there were escalators in the center of it, but instead of one side being to go Up and the other to go Down, they made you circle the entire floor on each level, just to eff with you.  It was kind of a magical place for me, since I ran into a couple of celebrities there (including a certain muscular Austrian I do a fairly unpleasant [but amusing?] impression of).

I wrote a story called "House of Ideas" that was set there.  Maybe not my finest work, but they say it's among the twenty-three best "magical toilet stall" tales ever run on the Dunesteef.

Well, after a dozen years, I went back this week, and found a rather sad sign on the window (as well as a rather empty building behind said window).  The Santa Monica Barnes & Noble has closed.

Of course, that is the way of things (the way of the Force).  Pretty soon, my local Toys R Us (and yours as well) will be closing its doors* and eventually, every place (and person) I've ever liked, visited, or loved will also be gone.  I ought to get used to it.

But it's nice to get melancholy about stuff like this; it's because I had good memories associated with the person or place that makes it noteworthy.

Guess I should find a new place to write a story about.  Maybe a strip club or two?

Rish Outfield, Once Actually Bought A Book In Barnes & Noble

*And I wrote a story that took place there as well: a Holiday-themed zombie apocalypse story where the town's survivors go in search of presents on Christmas Eve and one of them ends up getting trapped in the back room by the living dead.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

I Perform "Water in the Desert" by Abigail Hilton

Sometimes I feel like one of those actors who were blacklisted during the McCarthy era, once riding promising careers, now professionally untouchable.  But Abigail Hilton is like Kirk Douglas to my Dalton Trumbo., keeping food on my table till this administration gets replaced.  Hopefully, like Douglas, she also lives to be a hundred and two.

The most recently-published Hilton piece I have narrated is called "Water in the Desert."

Set in the same universe as "Hunters Unlucky," WIND takes place seven years later, with the characters of Sauny and Valla now grown and having an adventure on their own.  Because I had voiced those characters as children, I pretty much got to come up with new voices for everyone in this story, which is fun.

Hopefully, the story (and my reading) is fun too.

Check it out, if you're of a mind to.  Here's the link, over on Audible.

Friday, June 01, 2018

Rish Outcast 110: Uptown Skunk

Continued from last show, I go (by myself, of course) to my family cabin, and look around. I find a smelly surprise waiting for me. Can you dig it?

Note: One of the five ideas I came up with on this trip I DID turn into a story. Just not a very good one.

If you want to download the episode directly, here's a LINK to Right-Click on.

If you want to support me on Patreon, here's THAT LINK.

Logo design by Gino "The Belching Spider" Moretto.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

I Narrate "Cram Time" Over At Starship Sofa

So, I got to perform a short story on a podcast, and I thought it turned out well.

Written by Konstantine Paradias, "Cram Time" is a very tongue-in-cheek tale of a couple of students at a school based on H.P. Lovecraft's worlds, and the hijinks they get up to trying to undo the damage that one misused Necronomicon spell causes.

Feel free to check it out over at StarshipSo--

Wait a minute?  What?  Starship Sofa?  I thought I was banned on their campus.  After all, they once had Security escort me out, and added insult to injury by using their fattest, least-intimidating security guards (one used a solar-powered electric wheelchair).

I suppose I have Gary Dowell (late of Far-Fetched Fables) to thank for this dubious honor.  Guess it's like when one of the SNL cast members Lorne fires becomes famous and he has them come host the show,* only not, since I'm far less famous now than I was when I last "appeared" on SSS.

Anyway, I can heartily recommend the short story, though I admittedly have a bias.  One of the main characters hails from the sunken city of R'lyeh** (from ye olde Cthulhu Mythos), and I decided to give him an accent . . . which was more fun than anything else in the story.

The performance was actually a lot harder than most of the stories I do for podcasts.  But if they were all easy, I guess I would never get better.

Check it out at THIS LINK!

Rish "Ingrate Old One" Outfield

*That's happened several times over the years.

**Hoo boy, it was no fun to figure out how to say that word, or worse, the language R'lyehian.  Luckily, my boy Norm Sherman used it in a song, so I appropriated that pronunciation.  Thanks, Norm.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Rish Outcast 109: Idea Man/Boy

Rish drives down to the family cabin, through a rainstorm, talks about Ray Bradbury, calling up a girl, the name of his would-be production company, and brainstorms a story idea on the fly.

If you care to download the episode, simply Right-Click HERE.

If you care to support me on Patreon, here is the LINK.

Thanks to Gino "The Man-Bat" Moretto for the logo.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Marshal, Renee, and I talk about Han Solo on "DoG"

Hey there, Marshal Latham has published another of our "Star Wars: Delusions of Grandeur" podcast episodes. This is one we recorded to discuss the character of Han Solo BEFORE he gets his own origin movie in a few days.

The editing on this particular episode was a real beast (for some reason, Renee's lines kept getting out of sync with our lines, despite us all starting at the same time), but I was buoyed up by the feeling that, if this isn't the best episode we've ever done, it's at least in the top two.

Check it out HERE?