Friday, January 19, 2007

Miscellaneous: Spreadin’ The Good News

Some familiar faces are among the 2007 Edgar Award nominees. Bill Crider received a nod in the Best Short Story category for the down-n-dirty “Cranked,” featured in the anthology Damn Near Dead. And Contemporary Nomad Olen Steinhauer made the Best Novel short list with Liberation Movements. Congratulations to both on their well-deserved honors. I was also happy to see Massimo Carlotto’s The Goodbye Kiss singled out in the Best Paperback Original category. I’m fairly certain that my rave review in Mystery*File put him over the top.

What else have I accomplished recently? Glad you asked. I’m pleased to announce that yours truly is now a footnote in Wikipedia. I will be remembered for all eternity as one of sixteen people who observed that the young actress Gage Golightly looks a bit like Drew Barrymore. Factor in my recent citation in an Australian academic text and it’s clear that my plan to become a world-renowned expert on popular culture is proceeding incrementally apace.

Movie: The Descent (U.S., 2006)

Here’s how scary Neil Marshall’s movie is. It held me rapt even though the scenario – bad doings on a spelunking trip – would never happen to me. The only way I’d end up deep in a cave is if something far worse occurred on the surface. Say, an atomic holocaust unleashing rampaging hordes of zombified bears. In which case, better to make the movie about that. (You don’t want to be near me during a film about terrors I actually might encounter, like cannibals in the subway.)

The sense of claustrophobia that Marshall creates would have been even more intense in the dark, so I’m sorry I missed The Descent in theaters. But I’m happy to have seen it in its original form. The U.S. theatrical release cut the final ninety seconds – a single, beautifully executed closing shot – in order to end the movie on a more hopeful note. What babies we are.