Monday, March 26, 2007

World Horror

I’m heading off to Toronto this week for the World Horror Convention.

I’ll be doing:

- A signing with the fabulous Sarah Langan, author of the truly terrific debut THE KEEPER, also a nominee for a Stoker for First Novel, in the Dealers Room at the Toronto Marriott (the con hotel) on Friday at noon (HWA booth).

- A mass autographing on Friday night, 8-10, in Ballrooms A-B.

- A panel at 11 am Sunday morning, YOUNG BLOOD, NEW WRITERS TO LOOK OUT FOR, with Michael A. Arnzen, Sarah Langan, Violette Malan, Sarah Pinborough, in Ballroom C.

- And of course I’ll be at the Stoker Awards Banquet on Saturday night -
THE HARROWING is a nominee for Superior Achievement in a First Novel.

And then all that partying. I mean, working.

I have to say that packing for a horror convention is more fun than packing for other conventions. You get to throw in that red velvet corset, those dominatrix boots, the Victorian opera coat, that fishnet – thing. Because, well, you just never know...

Monday, March 19, 2007


Miracle of miracles, I didn’t end up in some Irish bar on St. Patrick’s day (and consequently had a good work day on THE PRICE yesterday, funny how that works).

I went out and saw ZODIAC instead.

Even though I’m a little late seeing it I’ve been waiting for this one a long time – that cast, for one thing, and of course, the subject matter, because that’s just the kind of twisted person I am.

It is a gorgeous movie - beautiful photography, set design, period details, and I love watching so many of those actors and I ALWAYS love looking at San Francisco.

Much has been said about the (over) length of the film and I don’t really have to add to that, except that yes, I believe it would have done better with a half hour cut from it.

But even beyond that, it never engaged me the way I was so hoping it would.

I think the real thing that was missing from this film – for me - was the FEAR of this guy. This all happened before serial killing was even named that, but Zodiac was one of the first modern celebrity killers, and I can't believe the killings didn't have more of an impact - like on a panic level - on the citizens of those communities. I grew up in California and YEARS after this guy had dropped off the map, we kids were scaring ourselves senseless by telling ourselves Zodiac stories around the fire at Girl Scout camp. He was our Boogey Man. So if that legend pervaded with kids, it must have been there at the time, too, that deep, mythic fear of this creepy unknown guy and his creepy ciphers and threats of killing schoolkids.

I didn't feel any of that in the movie. And I didn't even feel much fear in the murder scenes – I had only passing empathy for the victims, when obviously, those situations would be terrifying.

I think a huge opportunity was lost here to get under people's skin with that film, just as the real Zodiac obviously did.

Now, that’s not the movie Fincher was making – there’s a good interview with him here about it.

I’m just saying – because it’s subject matter I tackle, and it’s my job to figure out what would have done it for me.

Anyone else see this one? Thoughts?