I'm not trying to be a hero! I'M FIGHTING THE DRAGON!!

interview

tn_vernI got interviewed on a websight called The Vulgar Cinema, if anybody’s into that sort of thing. I talk about movies and what not.

2004 Summer Flashback pieces and other reviews are in the works. Have a good weekend everybody.

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.
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25 Responses to “interview”

  1. Interesting insight into your writing process, Vern. I don’t do much freehand writing anymore but every time I do I wonder why I don’t do it more often. There’s something inspiring about putting the words directly down on paper that you don’t get from the ephemeral nature of typing on a computer screen. You can’t just go back and delete something if you change your mind so it encourages you to plow forward. You can’t second-guess yourself as much.

    I’m really glad to hear you’re almost done with your novel. That’s the publishing event of the decade right there. If you want another set of eyes on it before it goes to print, my decade-plus of editing experience and MFA in Fiction are at your disposal.

  2. I’m equally excited for a novel by Vern as I am for a Bosworth book (or e-book, or e-pamphlet — let’s be real, the Boz doesn’t have as much explorable, writeable complexity to him & his career as Seagal).

    More people need to see & love ONE TOUGH BASTARD aka ONE MAN’S JUSTICE. Other than a relative lack of explosions, it’s almost the perfect ’80s/early ’90s action film.

    That Desert Island films list is immaculate. Sara’s savvy enough not to contend that KILL BILL could be considered 2 films, thus tragically knocking 1968 Jane Fonda off your island.

  3. I can get more of a flow going from typing straight into the computer, ’cause I can type way faster than I can write, and sometimes that’s a good feeling. But the notebook thing works out well because it forces me to rethink and rewrite as I type it up later. I think it helps just by slowing me down and making me do a better job.

  4. I did not expect 2001 be one of those movies you would take on a deserted island,Vern. I´d thought one of Peckinpahs movies would slip in there instead.

  5. Vern, I feel now might be the time to ask, how old are you?

    I know you’re not into giving personal details, but that’s something I’ve been very curious about since the start, if you don’t want to give a specific number than how about just “30’s/40’s/50’s” etc?

  6. Lexi Alexander could make a bad ass all-ladies version of the Expendables.

    Nice lil interview there.

  7. Wow, two classic summer movie reviews and an interview about Vern’s process! This is great reading tonight!

  8. Now that you’ve had more time to think about it, if you could add 5 more to your desert island list, what would they be?

  9. Cool interview. It’s always nice to learn a litle bit more of you and the way you work, Vern.

  10. “(for personal reasons)”

  11. Thanks again, Vern! It was awesome to interview you. :-) I’ll buy any and all books you publish until my dying day.

  12. Nice interview, Vern. I just learned about CLiNT’s cancellation yesterday, which is a bummer. It sucks to loose a little bit more of your writing.

  13. The original Paul

    August 17th, 2013 at 2:28 pm

    I’m curious about “Way of the Dragon”. Not disagreeing you understand (I wouldn’t disagree with ANY Bruce Lee film apart from maybe “The Big Boss”), but it wouldn’t, I expect, be the populist choice. What prompted that movie in particular for inclusion on your “desert island list”?

  14. RJ – Maybe ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST, STONE COLD, KNIGHTRIDERS, DAWN OF THE DEAD, THE 36TH CHAMBER OF SHAOLIN. By the way, #10 was supposed to be a masturbation joke. I genuinely love BARBARELLA but realistically some kind of XXX box set would be a better choice.

    By the way, with the proliferation of streaming movies over physical media will future generations lose the concept of the desert island?

  15. Stu – oh, I didn’t know about that. They stopped responding to my emails a few months ago, so if there have been any issues lately I missed out on them. I figured something like that was going on. Too bad, they were very nice to keep publishing my stuff in a place I never really thought it belonged.

  16. Paul – obviously most people would choose ENTER THE DRAGON as the ultimate Bruce Lee movie, but as I argued in my review of WAY OF THE DRAGON, “As awesome and as historically important as ENTER is, WAY is the most undiluted showcase for Lee’s skills as a fighter, a choreographer, an actor and a storyteller.”

    http://www.outlawvern.com/2010/05/20/the-loose-canon-way-of-the-dragon-aka-return-of-the-dragon/

  17. grimgrinningchris

    August 17th, 2013 at 10:30 pm

    Sara Freeman- Please post here more often. We need more females posting regularly.

  18. Vern, I’ve been a regular(daily) visitor to your website for about 6 months now, after I came across Seagalogy in a Sydney bookstore. It was one of those rare discoveries that comes out of left-field, so I immediately bought it and embraced your wild bad-ass style of prose. Love your humour too, I completely understand your fondness(read Lust) for Jane in Barbarella. And I just finished Yippee-Ki-Yay Movie Goer after ordering from Amazon. It’s a book I can return to again and enjoy. Keep writing, the movie-review-world needs your bad-ass perspective…

  19. Excellent interview Vern. I’d like to thank you for your reviews that have always been insightful and most often so effing hilarious. You’ve made me think about the films of cinema in a different light.

    Your “Vern Tells It Like It Is” essays are also a great read. I was blown away by “Man Stuff” when I first read it (1999?) and still am today.

    Someone at the Vulgar Cinema site said Outlaw Vern is a national treasure.

    National treasure? Yep.

    Thanks, Bud.

    Tom Zielinski

  20. The original Paul

    August 18th, 2013 at 4:45 am

    Vern – good answer. VERY good answer.

    And you know I absolutely love “Enter the Dragon”, but “Way of the Dragon” has a special place in my shrivelled little heart as well. The ending of the Bruce vs Chuck fight… whoa.

    If I had to pick a favorite moment from that film though, it wouldn’t be from the Bruce vs Chuck fight. It’d be from much earlier on – I’d choose the scene in the alley where Bruce first gets to show his skills, utterly demolishing a guy with two moves, all the time talking his opponents (and the restaurant workers) as though he’s a college lecturer. Just a perfect combination of humour, tension – the “oh shit, what’s gonna happen here?” factor is in effect perfectly – and fantastic payoff.

  21. The original Paul

    August 18th, 2013 at 5:27 am

    Also a perfect example of how a fight scene, even such a short one, can perfectly play into the “tone” of a particular scene, advancing Bruce’s character with a moment of sheer awesome, playing into the characters of the others involved as well (I love the restaurant workers’ reactions), and acting as a payoff to the increasing tension from earlier in the scene. Too often nowadays action filmmakers seem to think it’s ok to just have the designated hero and villain start fighting immediately, throw in a group of innocent civillians as possible collateral damage to give it some “stake”, and think that that’s an acceptable way to make the scene tense or interesting. And it just doesn’t work for me.

    The perfect example of that would be Iceman vs Pyro in X3. They just meet in front of a line of people who I neither know nor care anything about, and immediately start blasting CGi effects at one another. Where’s the build-up? Where’s the acknowledgement that these two used to be friends? Why should I care about any of this? The film doesn’t give me a reason to. Compare that to, say, “Blood and Bone”, where the Frank Capra scene (where Bone takes on one, two, three, then a small army of Capra’s fighters) and how it’s built up by Pinball’s mistake, followed by Capra’s overconfidence, and ends with the fantastic moment where Carano offers Bone her phone number – instantly changing the tone of the film, and providing a great payoff. I’d like to see more of that in modern film – filmmakers who understand about flow, buildup and escalation in action scenes. Would the Bruce – Norris fight be as memorable if there wasn’t such a great buildup to it beforehand? I think not.

  22. Thanks Darren, that’s great to hear that you found my books in a store and came here for follow-ups. I really appreciate it.

  23. That’s how I found you too, Vern. :)

  24. Vern, you really should watch some quality to TV – even on BluRay after the fact if you’re not the type of guy who can (or don’t have the time to) wait for new episode weekly.

    STRIKE BACK for example is consistently the best damn action thing – TV or film – that has happened in a decade. Fun characters, really fantastic production values, and action scenes that rely on old-school craftsmanship. Blanks, squibs and restrained camerawork. Doesn’t shy away from hard hitting violence, and no lame CGI blood spurts or ugly fake muzzle flashes.

    And above all, it feels like the people making it give a shit instead of doing some quick cash grab Eastern European direct-to-video flick, or a watered down four-quadrant blockbuster that doesn’t offend anyone with too edgy action. It’s simply solid, fun action show.

  25. That was a nice interview, with some cool insight to your writing process. I look forward to your novel and your Brian Bosworth project. Speaking of the Bos & STONE COLD, I watched FIRESTROM the other day and was thinking that work of William Forsythe deserves some form of critical examination/appreciation. The guy has to be one of my all-time favorite character actors right up there with his STONE COLD costar Lance Henriksen.

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