PseudoPod 708: Tenderizer


Tenderizer

by Stephen Graham Jones


Brutal Is the Night: A Review

Remember The Blair Witch Project’s marketing campaign? It was an update of sorts on 1971s The Last House on the Left, except where Wes Craven would have us keep reminding ourselves that it’s just a movie, it’s just a movie, Blair Witch kept whispering that this was actual found footage. Its the same dynamic, though; it was tapping the same sensationalistic vein.

Writer/director Sean Mickles (Abasement, Thirty-Nine) knows this vein very well. And, for Tenderizer, he let it bleed.

As you probably recall, the first trailer was released as a “rough cut,” with the media outlets quoting Mickles’s grumbled objection that Tenderizer wasn’t ready, that production difficulties were built into a project like this, weren’t they?

Speculation was that he just wasn’t ready to let it go, of course.

It wouldn’t be the first time. (Continue Reading…)

PseudoPod 707: Crybaby

Show Notes

Per the author, “I watched several Michael Haneke films, back to back, one evening. A brilliant director, but not exactly light entertainment. The bleak, disturbing world of the director was hard to shake. I felt like I was trapped inside the films. What if someone was, I thought.”


Crybaby

by P.R. Dean


The lights came up abruptly. Audience members shifted in their seats and whispered in shocked voices. No one laughed. After a moment someone stood up, and then one by one people rose to their feet, adopted a neutral expression, and waited patiently for those in front of them to move. 

Leon felt oppressed by the harsh fluorescent light. The world of the film, with its deep shadows and French vowels, still clung to his sensibilities. 

He hunched down in the seat and shaded his eyes against the glare. His hand was shaking.

He’d wanted to leave the moment the credits began to roll but Hayley had glared at him as though he was transgressing some long-standing film festival behavior code. What did it matter? Dozens had walked out during the screening. 

Part of him wanted to curl up into a ball and not think about anything, the other part just wanted to get out of the cinema and go somewhere else. He was being ridiculous. He knew that. Overreacting. Just tired, probably. His eyes felt gritty. He’d been out five nights in a row, he had to work in the morning, and he had an overdue assignment. Had he even had a shower this morning? He couldn’t remember. (Continue Reading…)

PseudoPod 706: The Giant Wistaria


The Giant Wistaria

by Charlotte Perkins Gilman


“Meddle not with my new vine, child! See! Thou hast already broken the tender shoot! Never needle or distaff for thee, and yet thou wilt not be quiet!” 

The nervous fingers wavered, clutched at a small carnelian cross that hung from her neck, then fell despairingly. 

“Give me my child, mother, and then I will be quiet!” 

“Hush! hush! thou fool–some one might be near! See–there is thy father coming, even now! Get in quickly!” 

She raised her eyes to her mother’s face, weary eyes that yet had a flickering, uncertain blaze in their shaded depths. 

“Art thou a mother and hast no pity on me, a mother? Give me my child!” 

Her voice rose in a strange, low cry, broken by her father’s hand upon her mouth. 

“Shameless!” said he, with set teeth. “Get to thy chamber, and be not seen again to-night, or I will have thee bound!”  (Continue Reading…)

PseudoPod 705: Vertep


Vertep

by Daniel Watt


The jack-in-the-box is a simple toy. It is a wooden box. The wooden box has a handle. The handle, when turned, operates a mechanism. The mechanism powers a music box. The music box plays a little tune. The little tune, as if by magic, calls (from his hidey hole) the ‘jack’—a clown, or other children’s toy. Things follow a very simple pattern in the world of the jack-in-the-box—but, despite their simplicity, they always guarantee a surprise. 

I collect jack-in-the-boxes. I repair them; sometimes I even trade in them—when money is tight. I collect other things too—don’t we all! I’m a hoarder more than anything; old records, postcards, books and magazines, but mostly records—and jack-in-the-boxes. These things—and the gathering of them—are my hobbies. It passes the time. (Continue Reading…)