ZERO LIVES REMAINING is Live!

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Hey all,

Just a quick announcement that the ebook and paperback editions of my novella Zero Lives Remaining are out now! So if you’ve been waiting for a way to read the book Fangoria‘s Shawn Macomber called one of 2015’s best reads: now’s your chance to do so cheaply.

Just an FYI: if you purchase the paperback through Amazon, you can download the Kindle version for free through their Matchbook program.

And if you’re in the market for something a little more substantial (and expensive) there are still a handful of the hardcovers left to buy direct from Shock Totem Publications.

Huge thanks to anyone who buys, reads, reviews, or shares the links to the book. That stuff helps so much.

 

In unrelated news: if you were jonesing for another episode of Project: Black T-Shirt, I’ve put the second episode live a little early this week. In this one I discuss Severin Film’s recent blu-ray release of Axe and Kidnapped Coed.

Black T-Shirt Begins

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I’ve been a busy bee lately. I’ll have a couple of project announcements coming up soon, but with all this stuff I’ve been working on (and my Cemetery Dance Online column taking up a lot of my “film writing juices”) I haven’t had much time to compose some straight-up movie reviews for the blog.

My solution to this delinquent blogging schedule involves a lot of uses of the word “ummm” and some questionable eye contact. That’s right: I’m doing a weekly YouTube show!

Each episode of Project: Black T-Shirt I’ll be talking about a movie (new release disc, archival title, the new VOD hotness) and then pairing it with a book recommendation.

The first episode is here (the subject is William Friedkin’s The Guardian). Watch it below and be sure to click over to the YouTube channel and hit the “Subscribe” button and let me know what you think (good or bad) with a comment.

 

Links. Links everywhere. (And a cover tease)

How’s it going everyone. Good? Good.

Don’t have a lot of time for extensive blogging, etc. But did want to let everyone know that I’ve got a new post up on Cemetery Dance Online. It’s a follow-up to that one I did 6 months ago about horror fiction that should make the jump to the big screen. I like this format because it acts as a way for me to do stealth reviews/endorsements of movies, TV, and books without having to be topical. For example: I touch on my love of Fargo Season 2, Dahmer, and Honeymoon in this installment.

Some more links, while I’m trying to unload traffic:

Yesterday (yes, two on the same day) my books made an appearance on Hunter Shea and Amber Fallon‘s year-end lists. It’s so nice to be recognized by my peers and extra sweet to be put in the same company as some of the folks on those lists. So huge thanks to them.

And not content with just sharing yesterday’s news: today radio host and blogger Jay Kay put me on another “Best of 2015” list! Worth noting that all three of these mentions are for different titles. I’m diversified! So a big thanks to Jay. (Edit: after I initially posted this I was reminded of another “Top 10” appearance on Shane Douglas Keene’s Shotgun Logic blog. So additional thanks to him.)

Fallon’s list is particularly cool because she says nice things about Zero Lives Remaining. Which is a book only available in hardcover limited edition right now, so feedback on it has been scarce. There are only a handful of copies left of that edition of the book (so act fast if you want one. Once they’re gone they’re gone forever), but a more affordable paperback and ebook edition should be forthcoming later this month.

And finally, since you’ve sat through all those words without pretty pictures. Here’s a little preview of something that will be coming in the next few weeks. Don’t get your hopes too far up, “The Blackest Eyes” is not a novel. But it will be completely FREE.

This cover was done by Dyer Wilk and I’ll have more to share about this project soon.

Blackest Eyes revised (1)

 

The Giving(away) Season

 

Edit: thanks everyone who entered. A winner has been picked and prizes will be mailed out tomorrow (1/4/2016). Happy New Year!

My friend,artist Dyer Wilk (website here if you need design work done, affordable rates), made me these seasonally-themed covers and it got me thinking: I haven’t done a giveaway in a while.

Leave out some sugar cookies and let’s get me mailing out some crap.

To enter, all you need to do is leave a review for one of my books on amazon (you can leave a good, bad, or indifferent review: it doesn’t matter as long as you read and are telling other about the book) and then drop me an email letting me know you’ve done so. Only new reviews count, so no trying to pull a fast one.

Private blog, goodreads, and Barnes & Noble reviews are all great and appreciated, but they should be in addition to an amazon one. That’s where most people get their books. I didn’t make the world, I just live in it.

If you haven’t read one of my books or have already reviewed the ones you own (or you’re looking to get a gift for a friend, you hero you): you can still participate in the giveaway. What you have to do is buy one of my books, ebook or paperback, and then email me your proof of purchase.

Yes, this is a purchase necessary giveaway, but it’s also one where you’re guaranteed to win a prize.

Every person who sends in a valid entry will receive either a book or dvd from my private library. I’m not going to promise that all the prizes are spectacular, but at the very least you can find solace in the fact that you’ve made me endure the Philadelphia postal system.

On top of the chintzy prizes I’ll be mailing out: one lucky winner will also receive a shirt of their choice from Skurvy Ink Press. You don’t have to choose one of the three designs they offer that feature my books, but I will be offended if you don’t.

The giveaway ends on January 1st, 2016 and on that day I’ll draw a winner for the shirt.

Entries should be sent to adamcesare @ gmail dot com with the subject heading “Holiday Giveaway” and include your mailing address. If you win the shirt I’ll be in touch to ask your preference for size and design.

The fine print: offer only valid for U.S. residents (people in other countries can still play, get in touch and I’ll send you an ebook, but the shipping costs on physical items would murder me).

Happy hackin’ holidays!

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What to Buy the Creepy Kid in your Life

 

Quick post here, just letting you know that another installment of my column for Cemetery Dance Online went up yesterday.

It’s a “Holiday Gift Guide” that’s really just an excuse for me to write about movies and books that I like. And for fun I paired them together, movies and books, like I’m some kinda fancy pants sommelier.

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You can click here and read that.

Also, I’m hearing people are starting to receive their copies of Zero Lives Remaining. They seem happy with it, even after the long wait. I knew they would be, it’s a dynamite production.

Not many of the signed and numbered 100 copies left.

ZERO LIVES REMAINING is here!

It’s been a long time coming, but my haunted video arcade novella Zero Lives Remaining is finally printed and ready to ship.

Shock Totem Publications faced several production delays on this title, but there was a big time payoff for that long wait: one of the coolest books I’ve ever had the pleasure of holding.

Here I am, this past weekend, signing them all:

 

 

You can go here to see pictures of the finished product and place your order (it comes packaged in a plastic VHS clamshell and with bonus liner insert and trading cards). These will sell out, Shock Totem just yesterday posted these pictures and already this limited edition is over 50% spoken for.

As I’ve said in previous posts: yes, this is an expensive (and relatively short) book, so if you’re on the fence about it or are not a collector know that there will be more affordable ebook and paperback editions. Those will be available sometime after the “early adopters” who bought the limited have received their copies.

Huge thanks to everyone who’s been patient while we made this a book you’ll be proud to have on your shelf, and an equally huge thanks to everyone invlolved with the production.

Before you go, be sure to watch the short film Mike Lombardo and Reel Splatter Productions shot to promote the book:

“No Giant Mouse?” and Other Disappointments

Last week one of my publishers, Samhain, terminated one of my editors, Don D’Auria. If you’re at all into horror fiction, either reading it or following the industry: then you probably read something about it online.

If you haven’t, I’m not going to give too much of a recap here because, frankly, I’m no good at that stuff. If you need the scoop, I think John Everson has the best rundown of what happened and Don’s pedigree while also giving voice to a writer’s experience with Don, a prince of a man. But if you want a little more fire in your reading, you can also check out the post Brian Keene wrote on the subject. I don’t wholly agree with Mr. Keene (someone who’s been very supportive of me and whose writing and industry know-how I greatly admire) but I can nod my head at a lot of what he’s saying.

Where we disagree is that I don’t read the decision to let Don go as one predicated on him being replaced with an editor who is “social media savvy.” Even if that’s how the company’s press release seems to be (insanely unfortunately) worded, I think his exit from the company was likely a much more straightforward matter of economics.

As a Samhain author for three years (a book a year, even though it was constantly implied that I should be on a faster release schedule), I’ve seen a lot of internal emails and press releases that read similarly to the one sent out last week. The gist of those pieces of correspondence are usually “we know there’s a problem with [marketing, distribution, art direction, etc.] and we’re working on fixing it.”

Without getting too far into my thoughts on last week’s press release, my opinion runs towards:

“Big changes are coming that will make things better for everyone!” begins to sound a lot like “remain calm. No shoving. Make an orderly line to the lifeboats, please” when you hear it repeated ad nauseam.

The bottom line is: while I haven’t always thought that Samhain made the right moves, there are good people working there in the Cincinnati office and I want to see them succeed. Thanks to Don, Samhain is currently publishing some fantastic authors (some of them I count as great friends), and I hope that the company can continue the horror line and grow sales/the readership to where authors like Jonathan Janz, Sephera Giron, Kristopher Rufty, Patrick Lacey, David Bernstein, Hunter Shea and many others deserve. Support these people.

As for Don himself, I’m sure you read enough sappy blogs last week to hold you over for a lifetime. He’s a great editor, a fantastic guy, and I have no doubt that there are already talks on-going for another publishing house to bring him in. Last week I put this picture and caption up on Facebook and I think it sums up my feelings nicely:

“Here are some more fun Don facts, as they pertain to me:

  1. He’s not just an expert in horror fiction, he’s as big a Euro-horror cinema geek as you’re likely to find. Most of our World Horror Convention conversations have been about DVDs and Blu-rays, even the conversations where the drinks were going on the Samhain company credit card and we were supposed to be talking business. Thanks, Samhain!
  1. I pitched him my first novel, Video Night, and lied about it being finished. Not only that, I was sweating bullets during the pitch session (at Stoker Weekend 2011 on Long Island) and it had to be apparent to Don. He put me at ease by making small talk instead of asking me about the manuscript (I hadn’t sold anything beyond a few short stories at that point), we landed on topics like Boston in the ’80s and Warren Zevon. He later acquired the book.
  1. He doesn’t do a lot of afterhours events at cons, and when he does he always knows where the paparazzi are, as evidenced by this photo from Killercon:

Don and Adam

Don will be a catch wherever he goes, and I hope to work with him (and chat movies) again one day soon.

I may not have any books forthcoming with Samhain (I have some coming from elsewhere though, so don’t worry if you’re one of my four readers) but they’re still the publisher of a large section of my backlist. Not only that, a month or so ago events were set in motion to get one of those backlist titles discounted for a limited time.

So, uh, I’m left in the awkward position of making this blog post about two different (somewhat ill-fitting) topics and will now proceed to try and sell you something.

We’re about to switch over to shilling mode, don’t hate the player hate the game.

For the next week my book Exponential is on sale for a measly 99 cents wherever ebooks are sold (amazon, B&N, Kobo).

I think that’s too low a price, but Exponential is a bit of an odd duck when it comes to my books. It’s kind of my “sleeper” title. And it got that way via an underwhelming release that can be traced back to a lot of factors.

For one—and this one’s totally on me—I was very busy when the book was released and didn’t get to send out requests for press (reviews, interviews, etc.) or plaster the internet like I should have. At this level of publishing (at basically all levels, really, these days) the onus for a book launch is placed partially or wholly onto the author’s level of hustle. I thought I’d try a “set it and forget it” approach here with Exponential, and it didn’t work. Even the folks who bought (and presumably enjoyed) my prior two novels didn’t show up to the party. And maybe that’s because they weren’t made aware that there was a party going on at all. Again, my bad.

But there’s also another problem I’ve run into with book, and this one’s only partially on me: people seem to read the back-cover copy and think that Exponential is about a giant mouse.

Exponential is not about a giant mouse.

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You heard me.

(Yeah, this entire post was basically an excuse for me to use that gif.)

Neither does Exponential, as the cover art “strongly inspired” by the poster art for 1988’s The Blob implies, feature Kevin Dillon’s long flowing hair nor a dude getting sucked down a drain.

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The ad copy and the cover weren’t prepped by me. I did offer some notes for the cover image (eventually getting cut off after a couple rounds of revisions for being “too nitpicky,” if I remember) and probably could have had the synopsis refined, but I somehow let the notion that people could falsely assume the book’s about a giant mouse slip by me until it was released.

After that, people at cons started asking “So this book’s about a giant mouse?” after reading the back cover synopsis. Leading to a reaction from me similar to this:

job mistake

So if not a giant mouse, what is Exponential about? 

It’s about a bunch of characters who seem like they’d be better suited to an crime thriller ending up face to face with a gelatinous bone golem that is cultivating mass by eating people and wildlife as it moves from Arizona towards Las Vegas. In short: it’s a giant monster road novel that I pitch at cons as “Tremors meets Breaking Bad!”

I honestly do feel like it features some of my best writing and character work and the reviews bear me out on this (it got a nice write-up in Rue Morgue #152 and even made some “Year’s Best” lists). It bums me out that the book wasn’t a hit on initial release, but I hope that you’ll give it a chance now and that it’ll find a new audience (and if you don’t like reading, there’s even an audiobook version).

And whether you like the book or wish that it had slightly more giant mice: please tell someone about it (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Goodreads reviews do wonders, even if they’re negative/mixed).

Thanks for listening to the spiel and good vibes to all my Samhain brothers and sisters,

Adam

Halloween Treats (i.e. short stories) and a Seasonal Discount

Spent last weekend slinging books and kissing babies at Rock and Shock 2015. And while I had a great time hanging out with buddy Matt Serafini, I don’t talk about that experience here. If you want to hear about it head over to my Cemetery Dance Online column.

Just stopping in to offer three quick updates for your Halloween season.

I’ve had not one but two short stories drop this month.

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The first was in UK ‘zine Splatterpunk. If you’re frightened off by the name and cover of the magazine (which I love, but it is brutal): you shouldn’t be, because there’s nary a drop of  blood to be found in my satirical ghost story “Readings Off the Charts”. It’s a little more sarcastic than my fiction usually goes, so I think I have the punk part of splatterpunk squared for the issue. That’s available to order direct from the publisher and even if you live in the US it’s still a bargain and ships quickly. Also features Krist Rufty, Jeff Strand and Garret Cook. Each story’s illustrated and mine is handled by the wonderful Jim Agplaza.

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I’m also overjoyed to announce that I’m a part of Dark Hallows: 10 Halloween Haunts, a collection featuring Richard Chizmar, Brian James Freeman, Norman Partridge, Ronald Malfi, Lisa Morton, and others. It’s also fully illustrated by my friend Aaron Dries (and features a story by him, too!). That’s available in paperback and ebook right now and is a pretty good way to celebrate the season. Thanks to editor Mark Parker for including my story “Starting Early”, which is original to this collection (as are all but one of the stories, I believe).

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Lastly, but not leastly, my new novel Mercy House has been selected to be a part of Barnes & Noble’s Halloween Horror Sale. Grab that for your Nook right now while it’s cheap ($2) and tell your friends to do the same. If you don’t have a Nook, then that’s okay because the sale price is available on all other digital platforms. Thanks to B&N and publisher Random House Hydra for hooking that up.

Happy Halloween!

Goodnight Expectations, Goodnight Click-Bait, GOODNIGHT MOMMY (2014)

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“The Scariest Movie Trailer of All-Time” hails MTV and Uproxx! “People are Freaking Out About this Horror Movie Trailer” exclaims Buzzfeed!

Those are real headlines.

And I’m of two minds about them.

For one: I’m glad that whatever advertising firm/distributor was able to get Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz’s Goodnight Mommy this kind of press coverage.

In an age where so many movies deserving of theatrical runs end up dumped on VOD, then need a second flush to move them down the pipes to Netflix: I’m glad that someone found a way to sell this beautiful, idiosyncratic movie.

But I also saw those headlines back in April and deliberately avoided clicking on the links.

Mostly because I’m so entrenched in this horror thing, that if a film is getting any kind of positive word-of-mouth I know that I’m going to end up seeing it. But also because I don’t respond well to click-bait. I try to rise above, I don’t want to give into the cognitive SEO hackers who write that crap.

Well, those noble reasons and the cold hard facts that trailers have a way of giving up too much of the goods.

Tonight I saw Goodnight Mommy along with Superghost author and superfriend Scott Cole. Coming out of the theater, he was way more introspective than I was.

“It’s just not what I was expecting, the trailer sold me something else,” Scott said (I’m paraphrasing).

For the record,  I was ranting and raving about how much I loved the movie. And that much must be stressed upfront. Recently I’ve been inundated with a lot of films that were falling in the “like not love” camp, only the upper echelons of that crop of unloved warranting mention on the blog.

But DAMN does it feel good to love a movie. And, even though the romance hasn’t had a chance to cool yet, I gotta say that I do love Goodnight Mommy.

But back to Scott’s reaction to the flick.

I pressed him on it, wanting to know why he didn’t like it. But he pushed back, clarifying his point, articulating that he definitely enjoyed the film, he just felt a little betrayed by the trailer. That trailer that got all those headlines.

So what did I do upon returning home? You can bet that I fired up that trailer I’d been avoiding.

And after watching it: I see what Scott means.

The trailer for Goodnight Mommy is incredibly misleading. Like, nearly class-action-suit level misleading, because for a moment it cuts three unrelated shots together to make them seem like they’re one contiguous scene in order to better “sell” the narrative of the trailer.

As shady as it is to reconstruct a non-existent scene in a trailer, I also think that it’s a kind of brilliant marketing move. Most bad trailers show you all a film’s “money shots” (pardon, but if there’s a better term for this phenomena I’m unfamiliar). Instead of doing that, Goodnight Mommy’s trailer builds an alternate first act for the film.

Sure, it’s a punchier alternative first act that completely misrepresents the Austrian film’s arthouse leanings (leanings that I’m TOTALLY into), but if it gets asses in seats…

So, if you haven’t already: maybe don’t watch that trailer. If you have a theater that’s playing Goodnight Mommy near you (it made it to Philly, can you believe it?): go see it. If not, I’m sure it’ll have a VOD run soon. The trailer is an interesting curio, but take my word for it and go in to the movie cold.

And, no, I don’t want to do a proper “review” of Goodnight Mommy. Because that would require synopsizing. Synopsizing that might hurt your enjoyment of the movie. But what I will share is comparing Goodnight Mommy to the work of Jack Ketchum and Miike’s Audition. From those reference points I’m guessing that you can put together that this film is rather brutal. And a specific kind of high-minded brutality, at that.

If that doesn’t sell you, to wrap up, there’s the pithy tagline I thought of coming out of the theater:

“It’s a Hardy Boys Adventure as filmed by Michael Haneke!”

Now, if you have seen the movie, feel free to keep reading for one additional thought about the internet’s reception of the film. There are no spoilers, per se, but if you read any further you won’t be going in to the movie tabula rasa.

…one more thing, and this has slightly more to do with the content of this film itself.

While I was on the Google warpath of looking up the ridiculous headlines about the film’s trailer, I couldn’t help but see another trend among the articles. There is a small-but-vocal minority of reviewers slamming the film’s twist ending, labeling it as “predictable.” I won’t reveal the ending here, but in most cases I’d argue that even knowing a film has “a twist” itself constitutes a spoiler. With Goodnight Mommy not so much.

That’s because everything about Goodnight Mommy is smart and deliberate and exceedingly well-made. It’s a quiet film, one where most of the dialogue is presented as the shorthand mumbling of two prepubescent brothers. For much of its runtime it’s about as close to silent film as modern movies can get.

And like a silent film, Goodnight Mommy demands your attention, your taking in of subtle details. It does very little hand-holding for much of its narrative, which is what leads me to the conclusion that co-writer/directors Franz and Fiala don’t want the ending to be a twist. They WANT you to guess it beforehand, or–if not want–are fine with you guessing.

In fact, I think they tip their cards pretty early in the film (maybe by the 20 minute mark, in my estimation) and offer scant red herrings to try and elude audience prefiguring. The twist is less a twist, more a series of treats for the attentive.

This isn’t me being some douchebag petting his beard and bragging that “I guessed the ending!” I rarely get this kind of stuff right. I’m a total sucker when watching movies, I get blindsided by simple twists all the time. That said: I completely foresaw where Goodnight Mommy ends up going and it felt like I was intended to.

It’s kind of a case of parallax view: if you recognize where it’s going early on in the film, Goodnight Mommy is recontextualized as a tragedy from its earliest scenes. And that “educated guessing” does nothing to harm one’s enjoyment of the movie. If anything it enhances that enjoyment, because you get to sit there with the thought “I’m pretty sure I know where this is going, but I don’t want to be right” dancing around in your head, not knowing for sure that you’re right until the final reel.

I can dig on that.

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If you like this rambling about a movie, than you’ll probably love to read me and author Orrin Grey ramble about a century’s worth of our favorite movie monsters over at Cemetery Dance Online. It’s the fourth installment of my monthly column, Paper Cuts, and I’m just so freakin’ glad that they haven’t asked me to leave yet.

THE GREEN INFERNO (2015): Run Through the Jungle

green inferno

Now that we can all finally see it, Eli Roth’s The Green Inferno is going to end up being a kind of litmus test among horror fans.

After a two year delay, the movie opened fairly wide this weekend.

With festival screenings happening sporadically over those two-plus years, there have been plenty of opportunities to hear what people think. But grapevine word has been hopelessly mixed.

I didn’t much trust any of the opinions I was hearing, good or bad. The negative reviews sounded mostly like they were coming from Roth detractors and the positive reactions seemed to be praising the film’s unabashed gorehound roots.

To the people who dislike Roth: that’s not really an opinion I understand. I can see being mixed on some of his other films, but who in their right mind doesn’t like Hostel Part 2? And the blackshirts who would give a movie a pass by measuring onscreen blood in fluid ounces…eh, not really my barometer.

So I was going into this one blind. Haven’t even seen a second of footage, as I’ve avoided all clips and trailers (no easy feat when you stretch a film’s release out for years).

To end the suspense: The Green Inferno is my jam. I enjoyed it a lot, even more so as I think about it.

In interviews, Roth has recently begun re-branding the movie as a response to “hashtag-activism”/“slacktivism” (I’m using quotes because the people who use those terms as slurs often end up being more obnoxious than their targets).

Roth may be selling a few extra tickets with that kind of talk but he’s actually underselling the surprisingly nuanced set-up that gets our characters stuck behind cannibal-lines.*

Where the default moral setting for the cannibal films of the seventies and eighties was “the cruelty of man knows no bounds and is beholden to no level of ‘civilization’” (a message frequently stomped on by movies that are, by and large, pretty icky), The Green Inferno’s characters, for the most part, aren’t dicks. They’re kids who, while naive enough to be manipulated, are legitimately trying to do some good in the world. One of the first scenes has our protagonist walking out of Zabar’s and a few scenes later she’s ready to padlock herself to a bulldozer. This is clearly a character willing to put her money where her mouth is.

To sell the movie as “dumb college kids get what’s coming to them” is not only false advertising, it runs the risk of making the movie sound brainless and generic. Which it isn’t.

Much of the film’s (surprisingly involved) plot seems to be asking who’s right to tell people they’re wrong? With “people” alternatively being Americans, Peruvians, and natives.

It’s this complexity that heightens the film beyond where its baser instincts sometimes want it to go.

At the beginning of this write-up I said that The Green Inferno would end up being a litmus test. What I mean by that is the movie’s a kind of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup taste-test. How much comedy can you take with your gore and how much abject depravity can you take in your comedies?

What you certainly wouldn’t glean from the film’s marketing is how much humor is in The Green Inferno. And you’d be even more surprised how much of the humor successfully lands. In a couple of situations the jokes land better than the gore effects. I really regret seeing this as a Friday matinee. It would have played better with a bigger audience, and I felt strange laughing when there were only three other people in the theater. All more serious.

The gore is plentiful and above-average. It’s largely practical (although when there is computer animated blood: you notice it), but it’s the smaller gags (background trauma in the aftermath of a plane crash, for example) that really shine and that’s because they’re allowed a little mystique, aren’t given enough screen time to outstay their welcome.

The cast (which starts out pretty sprawling and is…whittled), is uniformly good. With the exception of Lorenza Izzo, who is excellent. Izzo plays our protagonist, Justine, while walking the razor’s edge between sweet and over-naive (there’s that word again). For a film so reliant on location and effects, Izzo bears much of its success or failure on her shoulders and succeeds.

All this positivity isn’t to say that the film is without flaws. It has a few legitimate ones, and they may be deal-breakers for a lot of people.

Despite shooting in Peru, there’s not going to be any mistaking The Green Inferno for a nature documentary. Every piece of wildlife, including a group of insects integral to a late-movie kill, ends up being some unfortunate mishmash if CG and green screen. There’s also a couple of weird pacing snags and a final reel that fizzles more than pops (complete with a Marvel-style post-credits tag, which feels like a first for this kind of movie).

But all of those are quibbles when I think back on the fact that I just sat in a multiplex theater and watched an honest-to-goodness gore film. A good one! A gore film that is very modern (and smart!) in its framing and storytelling, but is plenty old-school enough when it comes to what fans want: gallons and gallons of the red stuff, some of it coursing through a still-functioning brain.

One last thing. There’s a subsection of fans for which The Green Inferno won’t be a litmus test, but instead an entre to a pissing match. I’ve already seen it happening on my Facebook wall. The argument mostly boils down to “he’s ripping off Deodato!” and is mostly coming from people who haven’t seen the movie yet.

You’re right, dummy: they don’t make them like they used to. And they can’t, because we live in a different time.

To flash my own cred for a second: I’ve seen Cannibal Holocaust projected in 35mm (a feel-good, animal-friendly double feature in conjunction with The Man From Deep River). It wasn’t my first time seeing it, but as I told a friend leaving the theater: I think it will be my last. There will simply be no topping that screening experience and as much as I love so many aspects of the movie, watching those animals die makes me feel terrible. Terrible and glad that ‘they don’t make’em like that anymore.’

And, gaining ethos-wise, there’s also that thing I wrote a few years ago.

What I respect most about The Green Inferno is that it’s not a reference fest. It is reverent to what’s come before, but it understands that it needs to be a modern movie with modern concerns.  It does its own thing, and any horror movie that does that is worth supporting in a theater.

Horror fans: don’t be snobs. You claim to hate snobbery (we are the most looked down upon genre, as many are quick to point out). See the movie and make up your own mind, but don’t go into it thinking you have to dislike it because it walks a different tonal path than the cannibals that have come before.

*and, don’t get me wrong, I do appreciate the P.T. Barnum-ness of Roth’s claims, along with the normal “viral” rumors of people fainting and being sick at screenings, something we’ll surely be inundated with this weekend. William Castle would be proud.