“I’m Paul Barlow, and this is my daughter Jo.”

“Malone.”

“You got a first name?”

“Yeah.”

Anonymity: The Crackdown (my appearance on the Pink Smoke podcast)

I spent years trying to be mysterious and ambiguous in an age when everyone was anxious to expose their every pore and playlist online. It was mostly fun and mostly worked well to build an aura around me or something. It was a philosophy, but also a gimmick and a crutch. So I’m glad a few years ago I got an offer I couldn’t turn down that involved appearing in public. It was fun and flattering and inspired me to believe more in what I could accomplish. It changed my mind.

But I’m also conscious that it might be horrible for a long time reader to see or hear me and think “that’s not who I pictured writing all that.” It’s gotta be disorienting. So you don’t have to listen to me on this podcast if you don’t want to. I’m not gonna make you. But it’s there. You have the option.

I will have a review of the new DEATH WISH for you soon, but here you can hear me talk through it with John and Chris on the Pink Smoke podcast a few hours after I saw the movie on Saturday. I think I stepped on the intro and fumbled a few questions but I probly did okay ’cause these two carried me with their great knowledge and insights about the films discussed.

Thank you, Pink Smoke, I had a great time.

LISTEN TO IT HERE (IF YOU CHOOSE)

Oh, by the way, this is HEAVY SPOILERS, we did not hold anything back

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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37 Responses to “Anonymity: The Crackdown (my appearance on the Pink Smoke podcast)”

  1. I was disapointed you didn’t use a voice-changer for it like you did your YouTube video. Other than that, I enjoyed it and look forward to more podcast apperances.

  2. BTW, is this podcast going to be on your hitlist?

    Dear Sally: The Podcast

    The Porter Podcast where Felicity Fanatic, Jamie Rihacek, and freshman listener, Maria Waldkirch, discuss JJ Abrams' foray into a college soap opera.

  3. I don’t see any reason why I would be qualified to be on that podcast, but I would give it my best shot.

  4. This is awesome. Congrats man. If there’s more in the cards I’ll look foward to them.

  5. I know I’m the weird guy that tweets you and Scott Foy all the time but that podcast needs to happen.

  6. Cool, I will check it out. I will be interesting to know what Vern sounds like, I allways imagined his writing being in presented in a Kevin Conroy or Zeith David voice.

  7. Sorry Keith David. However, Zeith David is a kind of fun sounding name, so that was a pleasant accident.

  8. Congrats on getting podcast invites! I’m definitely gonna check it out, despite my podcast listening focus problem.

  9. We’re very honored that you agreed to join us on this topic, which you’re so clearly overqualified to discuss. We had an excellent time talking to you, open invite any time you’d like to tackle another movie.

    Can’t wait to read your final review!

  10. Next you’ll be telling us your name isn’t actually Vern.

  11. Kevin Holsinger

    March 6th, 2018 at 6:17 am

    Good morning, Vern.

    Listening to the podcast right now. I once expected you’d sound like Nick Nolte given that you once said you looked like him when he was in Hulk or something. However, you definitely sound like the kind of low-pitched, laid-back guy I imagined you to be. Less jokey than in your reviews, though.

    And kudos to the hosts for the Felicity joke. That’s when you know how much they really follow this site.

    Enjoy your day.

  12. I’ve been reading your reviews since AICN and I’ve read almost every word you’ve ever written (even the blog and the badass poetry). It was very weird (and wonderful) to finally hear your voice. I try to pay you back for all the years of entertainment and insight by buying your books and contributing to your Patreon. Just wanted to also say: THANK YOU.

    PS: How about Del Toro winning the Oscar?! Your book quote just gained some stature!

  13. I also assumed you’d sound like Kevin Conroy for some reason. If that isn’t the most flattering shit ever, I don’t know what is.

  14. I look forward to listening to the podcast soon. Since it’s sort of relevant, I’m going to repost a recent comment here, where people might actually see it; this was originally posted in the THUNDER RUN comments, where the last discussion of Vern making a podcast took place:

    ‘Unbeknownst to me at the time, all this podcast talk happened while I was otherwise occupied. The other day, I started catching up on my unread Vern posts, and added this comment to the MERCENARIES FROM HONG KONG review:

    “Suggestion: Vern and Mr. Majestyk should team up to write a book of reviews of the deep cuts from the Shaw Brothers catalog. Or how about a podcast? It could be like 80s ALL OVER but for Shaw Brothers films. I sincerely believe the world needs this. If we can make it happen, I will gladly pitch in to buy you guys matching jumpsuits.” ‘

    (Yes, I reposted a repost. Hopefully, I won’t ever have to reference this post in another comment, as that would probably break this websight.)

  15. The Undefeated Gaul

    March 6th, 2018 at 12:22 pm

    Wow. I was actually nervous before putting this on, and I even postponed it for a day, just because it’s such a big deal. Been reading your stuff since the Aintitcool days, think I must have visited your site every single day of my life since then (provided I had a working internet connection on those days, and I wasn’t getting married or having any kids or shit like that) just to see if you posted anything new. So I will admit to definitely having built up a certain persona of you in my mind, and to finally hear your voice after all this time… that’s crazy stuff.

    But I did it. I listened. And no worries dude, while your voice wasn’t ANYTHING like I imagined, it’s all good. I’d say, get out there more, get more confident in this shit, get a podcast, and make it the very first one that manages to make me listen to it on a semi-regular basis!

    Btw, was it me, or did these podcast presenters sound a little nervous as well? Is this new terrain for them as well or were they just blown away by being in the same room as you? I know I would be – at least a little.

  16. Oh, I think they are pretty new at it, but we spoke over the internet, so they didn’t get menaced by me. I thought they were very polished, I just didn’t know how to speak in turn and they were always polite about letting me go when I stepped on what they were saying.

  17. The Undefeated Gaul

    March 6th, 2018 at 2:33 pm

    Oh it wasn’t too bad, overall I think the conversation flowed pretty well. But definitely in the first 20 minutes or so I think I detected some shaking of their voices at times, which I interpreted as them being like “holy shit we got Vern on our thing, be cool, just be cool goddammit” in their minds while trying to maintain the chat. But if this is truly only the 4th episode they ever did of this podcasting thing, they’re probably still just getting in their groove and I think they did a good job at it overall. I enjoyed it in any case, and I pretty much never listen to podcasts ever.

  18. Awww, VERN!!!

    What a great interview!!

    I would pay you good, personal money for a Rolling Thunder commentary by you.

    Did you ever write a full review of that? I know you love it.

  19. Fucking loved it Vern.

  20. Mancow I guess as of this morning doesn’t have a station to transmit from. No great loss.

  21. Because this podcast was so good they saw the writing on the wall and hung up the towel.

  22. For real? Why?

  23. Raygabriel64: Wow, Vern commentary tracks might be an even better idea than Vern podcasts!

    I’ve listened to a few commentaries by Jim Moon of Hypnogoria podcast fame(?), and they can be a lot of fun (not to mention very informative). I can see Vern doing a great job with this format, since like Mr Moon, he has a deep well of knowledge to pull from in preparing his remarks.

    Vern, would you ever consider doing a commentary track for a movie like ON DEADLY GROUND or DIE HARD?

  24. Or, you know, COOLEY HIGH? :-)

  25. Commentary tracks would be a great idea, Vern. I’m not really a podcast guy (I’m gonna make a special case for this one) but I would eagerly gobble up every commentary you did.

  26. Count me in the pro-audio commentary camp. I considered doing something like that too a while ago, but decided against it, because it would be just a “here is what I think about this movie + random trivia that you have probably already read over at IMDb and Wikipedia” thing that nobody would care about. I trust Vern to take that idea and make something cool with it.

  27. Mike – I put alot of work into detailed notes for a scholarly ON DEADLY GROUND commentary track I wanted to record. But after Seagal was accused of raping an extra on the movie I no longer felt like doing that. I’m trying to figure out another movie to do, but I’m not sure there is one I could do as well as that!

  28. Die Hard commentary?

  29. *cough*Rolling Thunder!!*cough*

  30. I guess I missed that particular bit of Seagal news. That’s really awful.

    While it would be very interesting to hear you address these accusations and wrestle with Seagal’s legacy and your feelings about it, I can see that being extremely difficult, and also probably better suited to the written word than audio.

    Having never seen ROLLING THUNDER, but still wanting Vern commentaries, I vote for that one. You’re welcome, Raygabriel64!

    Or maybe FURY ROAD?

  31. Sure this is the plan but commentaries would be a pretty cool perk and driver for Patreon contributors.

    I vote for Vern commentaries for Stephen Sommer’s and Michael Bay’s filmography!*

    *This is why you shouldn’t set request to those of certain monthly payments

  32. It was great, but man you sound exactly like a guy I work with. I mean exactly.

    I don’t suppose there’s any chance you’ve been putting us on about the Seattle area and you really live in upstate New York is there?

    Seriously, I hope this isn’t the last time that you step out of the shadows. I think it’s a good thing.

  33. Oh, I think they are pretty new at it

    Seeing that they’re new, I’ll put this as friendly tip for newbs: When the person isn’t speaking, please kill the signal (select dead space -> delete in post). That way the listener doesn’t hear them breathing, jostling their phone, moistening their lips (the absolute worst), munching cheeze-its, etc.

    It’s stuff like that that makes me unable to listen to podcasts.

  34. Nabroleon Dynamite

    March 10th, 2018 at 10:23 pm

    WTF? Didn’t know PS had a podcast. I know the guys from the Wrong Reel podcast. Gonna listen to this now.

  35. Crushinator Jones

    March 15th, 2018 at 10:56 am

    Hey Vern.

    Vern.

    Hey Vern.

    You did great!

  36. Thank you so much Susanne!! Lot of kisses

  37. Mancow is off the air because his station switched formats. I’m sure he’ll land on his feet somewhere.

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