W. P. Johnson

Key West, Red Dragon

In Uncategorized on October 24, 2014 at 9:49 am

Vacation is over. And what a vacation it was! Lost luggage, unsolicited nudity, too many mojitios (no such thing, I know), and more naps than I’ve ever taken.

All in all, it was good fun and pure relaxation (except for the lost luggage part). I even managed to start and finish Red Dragon, which was a brilliant read and went by pretty fast despite it’s 400+ page length. There’s something about it that was so creepy getting into the head of this serial killer, and yet felt so real. Upon returning home I rented the film version, hoping it would somehow measure up to Silence of the Lambs (a tall order to be sure). I’m sad to say, it was a douche blockbuster at best. For starters, they had Norton play the old detective, which just didn’t work despite his skills as an actor. Someone more like Billy Bob Thorton would’ve had the look, though I don’t know if he would’ve captured it either. The lead detective had a kind of Frank Black vibe to him, only he would occasionally react with anger, whereas Frank Black always kept his cool.

They cut the balls off this movie. Silence of the Lambs, you just felt uncomfortable watching it. This movie… I felt kind of embarrassed by how many mistakes were made and how my opportunities were missed to make it the work of art it is. It should’ve been a long crime noir film, two hours at least. Even Hannibal felt hammy at times and not at all the lizard brained serial killer he was in Silence.

But I digress. I guess lately I’ve been thinking of what happens next when the book is finished and I make some lame attempt of getting into the film world, knowing it is far more likely that my work will be made into what some people consider palatable rather than take the risk of making something great, Red Dragon being the former and Silence being the latter. Of course it’s a risk and saying no saves jobs, putting the handsome actor into the lead role guarantees ticket sales even if he isn’t exactly right for the role (and again, I think Norton is great, but just not for that role). While watching Red Dragon with my fiancee, I casually mentioned an idea I had for a serial killer and that I might put him in the next book, explaining some of the ideas to her, to which she said that sounded more like a cult and less like the work of one person. And of course, I tried to defend it because I’m a stubborn bastard and always assume I failed to articulate what seems so clear to me in my own head. Well, what can I say, ideas are important to me and I like to see what I can do with them before I start changing things.

God save me if I ever get to Hollywood.

Back to the grind of the book, which is even easier since vacation. I was a little worried it would be hard to pick up again. But somehow it’s coming out faster than I can type it. I’m hoping for a first draft by the end of December, but hell, maybe I might put this thing to bed by November. Time will tell.

Until then, here’s to being scary.


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