Krull: Great Moments in Bad Storytelling

Krull: Great Moments in Bad StorytellingThere’s something grotesquely compelling about about bad movies; they enthrall, they fascinate. You spend hours staring at them wondering: “What was their secret? How did they get budget to tell a story this bad?” Krull is one of those movies, and that means it’s time for another great moment in bad storytelling.

If you’re like me and you’ve never seen Krull before, I defy you to fire it up on a random Tuesday afternoon. Give it the ’20 minute’ test – either it will capture your attention or it won’t. You’ll be sucked into the movie, or you’ll run screaming from the room – there is no third option.

The Good and the Bad of Krull

Krull is a dull hodgepodge of scifi and fantasy, a mixture of Dune and Captain Blood that manages to annoy as much as it amuses. The movie has it’s good points: The cast gives it everything they’ve got, committing to their parts even if there’s not much to work with. Expensive VFX and the stunt scenes are decent. You can trace out elements of the movie – the widow’s web, for example – inspiring Shelob’s Lair in Lord of the Rings.

But we’re not letting the film off the hook. This is ‘Krull: Great Moments in Bad Storytelling’ for a reason. All those pluses come with two hours’ worth of cringe-worthy minuses. After watching Krull I know where Mel Brooks got the majority of the Spaceballs plot. When you watch Krull, you’ll spend two and a half hours cringing through sleep-inducing cinematography, bad haircuts, and clunky dialogue.

That’s not all. Krull is full of poorly-constructed characters that seem to be a parody of themselves. Every line and action sequence of Krull pushes the movie forward like a stubborn mule. Movies are supposed to take you to a different place, right? Krull’s job is to make you wish you were at a third place altogether; somewhere bad movies were not allowed to exist.

What Went Wrong?

I’m not here to kick a bad movie when it’s down. Rather, I want to do a root cause analysis on how it happened. That’s the only way we’re going to get better as storytellers.

How could a movie with all the right elements result in disaster? I think the answer is a lot more simple than we think, and it starts from the very top. According to Wikipedia, Krull, it started out as a directive from the President of Columbia Pictures. That makes sense: the movie has all the charm of an interoffice memo.

There’s a given wisdom in the 21st century. Large creative corporations can be their own worst enemy. They’re too large, too disconnected from the audience, and they can’t get out of their own way. That wisdom comes the bad scifi/fantasy stories we got in the eighties and nineties; Krull is the proof.

So, with that analysis in place, let’s celebrate this schlocky, execrable attack on our brain cells! ‘Krull: Great Moments in Bad Storytelling’ – a cult classic, a B-movie with an A-movie budget, a dark spot on the scifi / fantasy genre. Long may it live, so that other stories may learn from its mistakes.

New Transhuman Microfiction – Major Dawg

New Transhuman Microfiction - Major DawgSo here’s some Thursday night awesomeness: I’m continuing to write new short stories! This week I started work on a new WritingPrompt that turned out so well I think I’ll develop it into a short story about an interesting scifi topic: transhumanism.

What is transhumanism, you say? It gets a little sticky, but essentially TH is the study of humans exceeding their physical limitation through technology. Androids? Cyborgs? Digital copies of our personalities? All sub-topics of transhumanism.

As Wikipedia describes: ‘a posthuman is a hypothetical future being “whose basic capacities so radically exceed those of present humans as to be no longer unambiguously human by our current standards.” Posthumans primarily focus on cybernetics, the posthuman consequent and the relationship to digital technology.’

Most discussion on the topic of TH tends to get deep pretty quick, so I decided to skip all that and just focus on what transhumanism might do to an ordinary person; a teenage girl. The ensuing first two parts might make an interesting Twilight Zone-esque episode – but we’ll see where the rest of the story takes us. For now, please enjoy this piece of microfiction!

Click Here to Read Major Dawg

If you’re interested in other pieces of microfiction, you can find them here.

 

More Mesh Music on Spotify

More Mesh Music on SpotifyMesh was inspired by movies, art, and music. I created this Spotify playlist so you could travel through the Mesh universe along with us!. Now it’s time to give you some updates: I’ve updated the Mesh Inspirations playlist to include more vibe-inducing audio selections.

Mesh is a book that will take you to another place – as you’ll quickly find out when you fire the playlist up. Some of the music is scifi-based – other pieces reflect the joy of discovery, of human aspirations. Enjoy and Happy Monday!

Listen to Mesh Inspirations Here

Chadwick Boseman and Other Sunday Night Author Notes

Okay, I give up. I usually spend Sunday night zoned out in front of the TV because I don’t want to think about Monday morning. Too much happened this weekend, and I don’t want to sink into a depression over the loss of Chadwick Boseman or other life stuff. Let’s make the time productive. Here are some notes and a quick update on the ‘Jackson is trying to be an author’ story in progress. Here we go:

RIP Chadwick Boseman

Chadwick Boseman and Other Sunday Night Author Notes

The ‘Black Panther’ actor died at the age of 43 after a four year battle with colon cancer. People are checking in from all over the world, talking about what Black Panther meant to them, and Boseman’s portrayal. Although with us for a relatively short time, Boseman’s body of work is remarkable. He was brilliant as both Jackie Robinson (in 2013’s “42”) and James Brown (in 2014’s “Get on Up”). I’m not a huge Marvel fan but there’s no denying the impact Chadwick Boseman had on the world of superhero stories. Clearly, he was more than a good actor, he was a great person. The world is a little more dim, having lost such a powerful light. Good night, sweet prince.

Technical Notes on the Website

I spent a little time this week working on the SEO of Inkican.com and I didn’t see any change in the analytics of the website. I’m not too worried about it; SEO isn’t everything. If I’m going to be an expert at something, let it be storytelling and not website development.

Other Good Publishing News

I was busy adulting on Friday, so I skipped my promised ‘big update’ about my publishing. Here’s what is going on: I submitted ‘The Necktie Party’ to an SFWA-affiliated scifi magazine and received the following email last week:

Dear Jackson,

Thank you for submitting “The Necktie Party” to Apex Magazine. One of our first readers has read your story and believes it deserves a closer look. We would like to hold it for further consideration. Good luck!

Happy squeals all around – The Necktie Party has passed the first round of review by a scifi ‘zine and is that much closer to publication. Up until now, it’s been rejection and self-publication, but Apex Magazine may change all of that.

So there you go, my Sunday Night Author Notes. Yes, SEO plugin – I know this blog post has not been optimized for SEO. Deal with it.

Mesh and the Big Book Deal Adventure – Part Two

 

Mesh and the Big Book Deal Adventure – Part TwoGood news, everyone! I have an update on the ‘Big Book Deal Adventure’ I started for Mesh a couple of months ago – some good news to share. Actually, strike that – this isn’t good news, it’s GREAT news for the writer game. Here’s what’s going on:

So the mission has always been to write a novel, find an agent, and get a book deal. In professional terms, it’s the difference between getting hired by a large company versus being an independent contractor. There are pluses and minuses either way, but I decided a long time ago that I’d rather go the professional route and get a book deal. Here’s the next installment of the story:

Our hero, Jackson, was rejected by many, many book agents. Like many other authors, he knew that this was part of the process. Jackson knew he must keep pushing forward, even though it felt like he was pushing cold, wet laundry up a mountain.

As Part One told you, he got what he thought was good news: a lit agent team at a prestigious book agency expressed interest in Mesh. Hooray! Could this be the moment when Mesh finally sees the light of day? No! Due to circumstances beyond almost everyone’s control, the agency imploded in a social media scandal. Agents resigned from the agency in protest, meaning all potential deals were null and void.

Then, the most amazing thing happened: the lit agent team, having gone their separate ways, ended up at a variety of other literary agencies. The person who responsible for recommending Mesh to a lit agent was now a lit agent themselves! More than that, she never forgot MESH and encouraged Jackson to resubmit Mesh for consideration. Then, after many weeks, Jackson received the following email:

Dear Jackson,

I’m digging your submission of MESH and would like to request the full if it’s still available. Please follow the instructions below.

Can’t wait to start to reading!

Huzzah! MESH takes another step forward toward the book deal!

It’s wonderful to see Mesh move forward to the next step of acceptance at a major lit agency in Manhattan. But let’s put this in context: in professional terms it means a recruiter likes your resume, and thinks they may be able to help you get a job. Anyone who’s ever looked for a job will tell you – recruiters who like you are great, but that’s no guarantee of success. The end of the road is when you get a new job, or sign a book deal. Our hero can’t afford to get too comfortable yet.

But it’s still great news, and I’ll post another piece of great news later today!

 

Amazing Music Video Set to Star Wars Animation

Since it’s the weekend, enjoy this *amazing* music video by The Weeknd, set to animation from the official Star Wars Kids youtube channel. The song is a banger unto itself, but when combined with the Star Wars animation well, it’s just awesome, that’s all.

Have a great weekend!