A while back I wanted to get a copy of the book Cockfighter by Charles Willeford. The one the Monte Hellman movie is based on. I found it in a collection with two other Willeford books, so I read those first. I knew what Cockfighter was about obviously, but the other two I had no idea, so from page 1 on the books had me guessing where the hell they were going, and usually being wrong.
The Pickup starts out with this guy spending his days drinking in bars and finding jobs at diners, who seems to have real bad luck and get in fights everywhere he goes. And he meets this rich girl. Of course you assume she’s gonna be a femme fatale, she’s gonna lead him on and trick him into killing somebody or stealing her father’s money or some shit, but it never happens. Instead they fall in love for real but they have this fucked up Sid and Nancy love. They are tormented and depressed and they bring the book spiraling down into the abyss with them. Before you know it they decide to slit their wrists, and end up in an insane asylum, and it keeps going from there. Even the very last sentence of the book makes you say, “Whuh?” and have to go back and reconsider everything that happened before. I like that. (read the rest of this shit…)
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.