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Archive for the ‘Blog Post (short for weblog)’ Category

Happy New Year, friends

Thursday, December 31st, 2020

So much for that bullshit. Now for the next one. Hopefully we can start digging our way out of the wreckage from this one.

Thank you everybody for reading and posting this year. I’m so grateful to be able to talk movies and everything else with you all, to hear your insights and your jokes and your feedback. I appreciate the community you all create here and all the other ways you’ve supported me and helped make it possible for me to spend most of my time writing.

So consider this a toast to all of you, to great movies, to terrible movies, to kung fu and samurais and funk music, to excellence, to weirdos, to kindness and generosity and sticking it to The Man. Love you all.


check me out on a podcast about Jet Li movies

Saturday, December 26th, 2020

As I mentioned in a few recent reviews, I was one of the guests on the podcast Postcards From a Dying World, talking about the films of Jet Li. I had fun and it was a good excuse to fill in or revisit some of his movies (a couple more of those reviews coming soon).


And by the way this is part two in a trilogy of Chinese cinema episodes. I’m excited to listen to the other two because honestly the guests are much more impressive than me: Part 1 has Dan Halsted, the Portland film programmer you may have heard on RZA’s commentaries and who stars in the legendary story of the guy who tracked down a treasure trove of pristine Shaw Brothers beneath an abandoned theater. Part 3 – Best Hong Kong Cinema of the ’80s and ’90s – has Lisa Morton (author of The Cinema of Tsui Hark), Joey O’Bryan (screenwriter of FULLTIME KILLER, MOTORWAY, DOWNRANGE and TRIPLE THREAT) and Jeff Briggs (archivist at Warner Brothers and Hong Kong cinema expert).

If you check out my episode let me know your top Jet Li movies so I know which ones I need to hurry up and watch or re-watch.

New Patreon bonus: Martial Law: “Sammo Claus”

Thursday, December 24th, 2020

Merry Christmas and/or have a good weekend, everybody! Over on Patreon I have a new exclusive, reviewing a Christmas episode of Sammo Hung’s short-lived American TV show Martial Law. I hope you enjoy it.


And I don’t want to be an asshole and only give a present to people giving me money, so also I unlocked the techno song I made in September so you can listen to it without donating. It’s about the ’90s. Sit around the hearth with your family and listen to it, maybe it will become a treasured holiday tradition.


I talked about slamming evil on a podcast

Sunday, November 15th, 2020

On the podcast SO DO WE STILL LIKE THIS?, Shawn M of Canada convenes with friends and guests to revisit pieces of pop culture from when he was younger (mostly the ’80s and ’90s) and see how they hold up. He was kind enough to have me on to talk about WORM ON A HOOK and my other books, but more importantly he let me be on the episode that revisits the 1996 film THE PHANTOM! He actually hadn’t seen it. I had. I was honestly so hyped to do this because I really believe there’s alot to discuss about this movie and I enjoyed the conversation. Let me know what you think.


Programming note

Monday, November 2nd, 2020

I did a couple extra reviews last week, so I ran out of back log and I don’t have anything new to post like I normally would on a Monday… but I sort of need to play it by ear this week anyway. I’ll see if I’m able to concentrate enough to finish the ones I’ve been working on or if it will even feel right to post anything. Like, I might not post a monster movie review right away if a new civil war starts. Maybe wait until a couple days after the first important battle out of respect or whatever. But I promise I have some good stuff coming soon.

Anyway I just want to say stay safe everybody, take care of your mental state, we’re in this together, nazi presidents fuck off, let’s blow up this stupid Death Star and get ready for the next one.

The Shape of Evil: Confronting darkness through the ‘Halloween’ series

Wednesday, October 28th, 2020

Two years ago, but it seems closer to ten, a nice deputy editor for a new publication approached me to write a piece. He had been reading me forever and was working for this company with a bunch of money invested in it, could pay pretty well and expose me to some new readers not only on the web but a print magazine he compared to Rolling Stone. I said yes and we were going back and forth about what my first piece should be, and then my mom died.

Freelance gigs are usually a little stressful and all-consuming for me, but for some reason I still wanted to do it. Looking back at my emails, I was literally trying to schedule around the days off I had other than the one for the funeral. I agreed to write about the Halloween series, in conjunction with the upcoming David Gordon Green sequel. I watched all ten existing movies (including remakes) and came up with this piece that ties them all together thematically, at times addressing the grief and fears I was dealing with at the time. I took longer than I was supposed to and ended up with twice the agreed upon word count and I was so unsure anybody else would be interested that in my email I said, “If you don’t want it I understand, just let me know and I’ll use it on outlawvern.com and we’ll come up with something else for me to work on for you.”

Then the magazine (you will never see this coming) ran out of money, all the editors resigned, I don’t believe I ever got paid and the article could only be seen on the Wayback Machine. But I got no regrets because working on this helped me in a tough period of my life and gave me a better understanding of my relationship with the genre. So I’m proud to repost it here.

(I’ve kept their edits, so you’ll notice some British spellings in here.) (read the rest of this shit…)

New bonus on Patreon: Knight Rider: “Halloween Knight”

Friday, October 23rd, 2020

I realized last night that Halloween is a week away and I still feel like I’m just getting started on the seasonal festivities. Maybe October will have to be held over. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the OUIJA: ORIGIN OF EVIL review today, and over on Patreon I have a new post taking a look at a Knight Rider episode called “Halloween Knight.” There are some goofy Scooby-Doo elements, Halloween costumes and a bunch of references/homages/connections to horror movies, including the very obvious one pictured below and a slightly more obscure, much more surprising one that I’m excited to share with everybody.


Thanks everybody, and there’s plenty more to come right here on outlaw vern dot com.



I was on Zebras In America again!

Friday, October 16th, 2020

The other day I was honored to return to the podcast Zebras In America now that I finally have a book to promote. I definitely need to get better at discussing this thing, but I love talking film with Scott and Marcus (as we do for most of the episode). They know their stuff, they appreciate a spectrum of “high” and “low” culture even wider than mine, and they’re not afraid to get emotional. (So of course I ended up talking about movies that made me cry.)

Things I forgot this time: I wanted to ask them if they’ve listened to Public Enemy’s new album, and to congratulate them on their recent episode with Charles Burnett. How am I the next guest after Charles Burnett!?

Thanks Zebras, I had a great time!

Worm on a Hook

Monday, October 5th, 2020


Well, I finally went and did it – I published my new book Worm on a Hook. I want to be a little vague, but basically it’s a horror story about a group of friends who rent a cabin for Memorial Day weekend and run afoul of a seemingly-invincible killer back from the dead. And then, I promise you, it’s on. The goal was to find overlap in the conventions of traditional slasher movies and the ’80s and ’90s action I love, and meld them into one ass-kicking novel. I’m very proud of the results, and I think you’ll not only enjoy the story but get a kick out of spotting the ways I apply concepts from reviews and Seagalogy to my own storytelling.

I hope to find this one a bigger audience than I’ve managed for Niketown, so forgive me for going into promotions mode for a bit and leaving this as a sticky post above the new reviews. I’m available for podcasts and interviews – email me at outlawvern@hotmail.com for inquiries. And if you read it, let me know what you think!

NOTE: If you’re outside of the U.S. your local version of Amazon should have it too – try searching for “worm on a hook vern” to find it.

Happy October + Patreon bonus: Young Indy Halloween episode

Friday, October 2nd, 2020

Happy October, everyone! I’ll be celebrating the impending pandemic Halloween with my usual flurry of horror movie reviews, hopefully including at least a little slasher searching (though I don’t know how many undiscovered gems could possibly be left on earth). I’m also happy to say that I’m in the process of finally publishing my action-horror novel WORM ON A HOOK – I will of course post incessantly about it as soon as it’s available.

I should mention that those things are made possible in part by your generous support, including on Patreon, so as a thank you I have a new bonus post over there, this time about a Halloween episode of The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles directed by Dick Maas (THE LIFT). If you missed it last year, I wrote about a pretty funny Halloween episode of Walker: Texas Ranger. I plan to do at least one more Halloween episode post this month.

And this is a good place to ask – what’s everybody been watching and/or recommending this year? I’ve already found and caught up with some good ones, but you guys always tip me off to good stuff.