Knights of Badassdom

I hate spoilers. I HATE that Uber-Jason was on the frakking poster. I HATE that you knew from the trailer that Milton was from hell. As far as I’m concerned marketing spoilers are of the devil. Website spoilers are of the devil’s sister. Twitter spoilers are of the devil’s momma. Basically, spoilers = Satan.

For instance, I still haven’t seen a Captain America trailer. Why would I? That movie is trailer and review proof. I was already gonna see it. I watched the Potter trailers once but I didn’t have too. Only reason I was willing was that, you know… I’d read the books.

But sometimes, I need to see the trailer to decide. But even when I do, I only need to see it once. And after that, I avoid like the plague.

Except this time. Knights of Badassdom.


Of Freaking Badassdom.

I was gonna see this one regardless. Therefore had ZERO plans of watching the trailer. But I could not help myself. Not only did I fail to stay away…

I’ve watched the above trailer 20 times.

I don’t remember how old I was when I discovered Dungeons & Dragons but it truly did change my life. But not in the way most would assume. For me, it was a creativity epiphany. Or orgasm, depending on your religion.

Brad Weaver and I were riding our bikes and saw four high school guys sitting around a picnik table in a back yard. We stopped and watched them playing something the likes we’d never seen. Dungeons & Dragons. We watched for hours.

To this day very little compares to that… pure feeling of discovery.

We rode our bikes to Wal-Mart that afternoon and bought the game. We came back to my house and played it totally wrong.

Yes. I know I spelled his name wrong. No emails please. Over the years we’d played off and on. We didn’t live for it. We had sports and girlfriends and the pursuit of sex.

Wow. A sudden wash of memory. Footballs games. The smell of freshly cut grass. That sound when we first took the field. The glow of the lights. The calm before the storm. The field of battle. Then to the locker room. That scramble to shower and dress and find your girl. Hand holding and kisses and heavy petting. Drop her off. Then off to whoever was hosting the night. Dungeons and Dragons til dawn. Geeks and Jocks and even a psycho or two. We rolled twenty sided dice as Ferris Bueller sang Ten Years Afters’ I’d Love to Change the World.

I love how some these days claim they are geeks. Pfft. Lightweights. They claim it cuz it’s in. But the real geeks are so embarrassingly geeky that their actions make self-proclaimed geeks cringe.



On the 30th I did a Twitter “Drive Angry” search just to see if anyone had noticed the movie was on DVD BLU. They had. Over the years I’ve seen assorted people retweet praise for their projects. Eli Roth does it. Simon Pegg does it. Steve Niles does it. So I figured I’d do it. Within reason, of course. Too much and it annoys. Just a handful that grab my attention. Once or twice a day.

I wanted to go. Never been. But have heard great things. There was a catch. Would they “get it” and play along? Or would they hate on it? If the first then it would be a blast. If that latter then it could be awkward for both me and the performers… if they found out I was there. I could have reached out to determine… had I thought about it. But I didn’t. So I didn’t go. As it tuns out Billy Burke went and had a blast. Benson and the panel got it. The audience got it. I should have gone.

On day two of “retweet the tweets” I noticed the hate. Wait. I spelled that too small. I noticed the HATE. While there was tremendous love for our little movie. There was massive hate. And I caught myself giggling at it. I thought about posting one or two hates because they were so funny. And in truth, we knew going in this would be a movie you either got or didn’t get. We knew it would be either loved or hated. So it wasn’t a shock. But tweeting hate? That’s not how it’s done.

It was also on day two that I got a little star struck. Megan was watching Drive Angry. Megan Ganz? She’s a writer on Community! And she was photo posting Drive Angry on her blog. A writer from my favorite television show was watching my stupid little movie? Yeah, that’s geeky cool.

A few hours later I decid to check out more feedback. And there it was. Both love and hate. So I decided I’d tweet the hate as well.

… and the confusion.

There was a poster contest. People going nuts to get a poster. Others were praising the movie. Others were turning it off with disgust. I was completely fascinated by the whole experience.

How could one person call it the best movie of the year, while the very next person called it the worst? I don’t know the answer but I found the food delicious.

As for those sending me personal notes, they were all filled with love. And Old Milwaukee. While fun to read and certainly makes ya feel good about the 18 month investment it takes to make a little movie…

… not as fun as posting the hate.


Still Angry

First off, I’m not really angry. “Drive Angry” was originally called, “Don’t Drive Angry” and named after Bill and Phil’s pickup driving skillz above a rock quarry. If you’re gonna name a movie after a line in GROUNDHOG DAY then not only are you my kind of gal, you likely ain’t the angry type. BUT there are those who assume that the title along with my lack of journal sugar-coating translates to my being angry. Well, I ain’t angry, damnit.

As for my lack of sugar-coating, what’s wrong with telling it like it really is? You want to know why Hollywood is a mess? Great. I’ll tell ya. It’s because everyone is sugar-coating it. Getting your foot in the door takes massive sacrifice. The reason you do it is because you buy into the sugar-coating. You believe that there’s this special VIP room where you get your money for nothing and your chicks for free. Oh my friends. Don’t fall for that. This was a ruse created by them what write the checks. Work for nothing now because this will get your foot in the door AND once inside… your dreams will come true! Not exactly. Once inside you might find it a fraction easier to get your next magic bean job. I’m not saying don’t do it. I’m just saying don’t be naive.

Of course, no one says this. At least not out loud. Well, I do. And as a result some people consider me angry. Not angry. Just honest.

The Drive Angry Blu-Ray is out there. If you haven’t seen it and you like me at all then you’ll like it. We spend so much time in life trying to be like everyone else. Now’s your chance to be different. Go see the movie no on else saw.

It has Cage channeling Eastwood’s Stranger from HIGH PLAINS DRIFTER. John Milton. Rightfully named. Nic was perfect. He walked onto set and I kid you not, knew every line. I helped Patrick write the silly thing and when I walked on set to play Frank, the first word I spoke on film was “Line?”

Nic was an absolute professional. One day he pulled me aside and just dove into this big piece of heavy dialog. Warned me ahead of time that he’d cut all the vulgarity. That everyone else was tossing the F word left and right so he wouldn’t. Which was great. A “wish-I’d-thought-of-it-myself” moment. People ask Patrick and I if we were thinking about Cage when we wrote John Milton. The answer is no. But that’s because we never dreamt in a million years we’d ever get NICK CAGE!


April Pitches

And by clicking Publish, I am caught up. 10 years have I kept this journal. Two years has it taken me to catch up when I got behind. The plan would be to dive into stream of consciousness from this point forward. Post when something catches my fancy. We’ll see. But for now…April 2011.

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First things first… you MUST go to to read about JASON GOES TO HELL. Dean’s career has been surrogately documented over the last ten years on my journal. Well. Now you can got get it in full detail from his. From now on I will only document his major failures.

We had sent in our Hellraiser outline (step one) so at the beginning of April we were tweaking based on studio notes.

Meanwhile Tom and Tim read Devil’s Commandos and were compiling polish notes.

I had been toying with the idea of joining young master William Schaeffer Tolliver and southern friends at a horror convention in Kentucky. However, after speaking with the organizer, learned that said con fell on the same dates as San Diego’s Comic Con. Oh, Kentucky. You silly rabbit.

On the 5th Dean told me that ABC Family bought his pilot.

April 9th Good’ol Days. It’s small town awesome. Parade Saturday morning. Then Lighthouse Avenue is shut down Saturday and Sunday and stuffed with rides and vendors. Custom clothes to fried Twinkies and a dreamy tri-tip sandwich that only comes around ones a year.

On April 11th I was up at 4am. I stumbled through an uncoordinated workout then washed my balls and brushed my fangs and by 5am there was a shuttle outside my door. I would have napped but I’m a picky sleeper so I listened to the driver’s jazz. I know the guy now. Have shuttled with him several times before. He told me about his estranged son. Again. He’s proud. Has regrets.

Soon he kicked me off the shuttle in San Francisco and I jumped Virgin America to Vegas. Let’s take a moment to talk Virgin America. Best airline on Mother Earth. Clean. LOTS of room. Personal tele. I don’t never wanna fly nobody else.

In Vegas a driver picked me up and shuttled me to the convention center where I first found Ryan Turek. He was hosting our little 3D thingy. Later Patrick and Max arrived. Then Brian. The whole gang. We chit chatted and caught up while Rudy Ruderson miked us. You know Rudy, he wears a keyring outside his pants with twelve hundred keys on it. This guy is VERY important. And rude.

Patrick had prepared clips. Ryan asked questions. And we had a great time to a full room.


March Recovery

10 years is a long time to keep a journal.

Here’s a story most of us already knew… OR most of us claimed to have read when actually we had simply suffered through a very not so good animated version. Either way my heart still pounds watching this trailer for a movie I’ve seen a dozen times.

In the on going story of “Everyman gets screwed”, in March Mel got a notice that my insurance had been cancelled. I called Patrick. His was fine but that was only due to his having insurance through the director’s guild as well. He pulled the agents into it and within a couple of days it was resolved. However, the insurance company refused to reinstate me. Basically I did two jobs in ’09 and neither company paid into my health fund. I had, but they had not. While I had done nothing wrong, my insurance was gone. They said they’d reinstate it next quarter. Gee. Thanks for that. I get more and more conspiratorial as I get older and I wonder if the cost of having an autistic child has anything to do with their snail like speed. But truth is, I don’t think it does. I do, however, think they look for any excuse to bone you. I hate them all by the way.

Okay. So, Drive Angry didn’t do so well at the box office, but we’d survive it. Adapt. Improvise. Overcome.

Through all of this Dean had been working his little butt off. He was on Running Wilde but also wrote a book, created a feature pitch and a TV pilot pitch. As for his feature pitch to the junior Suit, the one who loved our original horror idea until the Monday after Drive Angry came out, yeah, Dean still hasn’t heard back from him.

On the 4th we finished a polish on our rewrite for De Laurentiis Raffaella.

On the 8th I told Patrick I was thinking about speccing the Wanting, a pitch we created based on a ghost story that happened to Melanie when she was a kid. The backstory, which is likely already journaled but will hereby be refreshed, goes like this: Mel and I were spending the night at Patrick’s. She told the story of what happened to her when she was young. It’s a terrifying story told during the day. It’s pure panic told at night. So Patrick and I agreed that we’d write it as a spec. I started the first pass.

On the 10th I gave some quotes to the fella writing the Kane Hodder Biography.

We also sent our TV show outline to DeLuca.