Trash Cinema, Weird Travel And Freaky People: Bizarre Book Club Non-Fiction Special

Merry morning my little chimpanzees in the planning stages of taking over the world. I’ve been reading lots of weird things and here they are:

Death Confetti: Pickers, Punks and Transit Ghosts in Portland, Oregan, by Jennifer Robin death-confetti-510x801

This is, no exaggeration, one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever read. I follow the author on facebook as well and, seriously, her status updates are miniature masterpieces.

Jennifer charts her non-linear journey from reclusive childhood to Portland artist with description as biting as William Burroughs and prose as rich as Anais Nin, but also completely unique. Sometimes she just remembers a character from her past, sometimes a full anecdote, sometimes she’s just looking at people on the bus, but all are beautiful. How can you not be fascinated by an intro like this:

“My directives, as established at seventeen—to experience real emotion, real contact with other people, all of the things you only learn by sucking cock, smoking rock, climbing cliffs, sleeping in catacombs, getting pregnant, and making a lot of mistakes—were fully enforced at this time. Within a year of my arrival I was playing in an electronic noise band. On and off-stage, we made—or perhaps “were”—performance art.”

The Disaster Artist by Greg Sestero ohm

I have genuinely never laughed so loudly and consistently at a book. If you’re unfamiliar with Tommy Wiseau’s complete mess of a film The Room, first of all where have you been, and second please watch it right now. Our fascination with it is hard to explain to people who don’t love terrible films. Example conversation with a friend:

Friend: Are you coming to Ian’s later?

Me: Yep. I’m bringing The Room

Friend: What? Not again. I’ve got Lolita at home, I’ll bring that

Me: Noooo, I can watch a good film anytime. YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND MEEE!!!

And so on. Greg is the guy who played Mark (Oh, hi Mark) and he recounts the complete debacle from beginning to end including the first time he met Tommy and the events that led to his making the film. What elevates this above merely poking fun at an eccentric is the genuine level of affection – though sometimes tested – and desire to understand Tommy. He’s not a monster, he has real feelings and a desperate need to be an actor, and perhaps another reason we enjoy The Room is his sheer determination to make that happen. As Greg says, “The Room is a drama that is also a comedy that is also an existential cry for help that is finally a testament to human endurance.”

There is a film coming out, called The Masterpiece, based on this book. I, for one, will be watching it.

Everything Wrong With The Room In 8 Minutes Or Less:

Dandy in the Underworld by Sebastian Horsley dandy

“Please allow me to introduce myself. I am a peacock without a cause, I am a piece of transcendent trash – a futile blast of colour in a futile colourless world.”

If Sebastian had been born in the 1800s he would be one of those sons paid by their wealthy family to stay away. He crashes through life like a mixture of Byron and Withnail, rarely likeable but always interesting, an artist who’s biggest art piece was himself.

On a whim he goes diving with sharks, has a fling with gangster Jimmy Boyle, bets on the stock exchange and becomes horribly addicted to heroin and crack. When he has money he doesn’t respect it, when he doesn’t he’s desperate. He makes no excuses for shoplifting and generally being a louche, entitled rich boy and if he did I probably wouldn’t have enjoyed reading him as much. He died aged 47 of a suspected overdose.

(Be warned, I suspect he says things because he likes to be ‘shocking’):

A Curious Guide To London by Simon Leyland curious

Yes, yes, there’s the Houses of Parliament and Trafalgar Square blah blah. Where are the corpses? A common cry, and one this book would like to answer.

Beneath the respectable layer of London’s past is a hidden world of information, such as the peculiar shrub in Chelsea Physic Garden that gave John Wyndham the idea for Day of the Triffids, St. Sepulchre’s watch house in Holborn (built to keep an eye out for grave diggers), the Haymarket cat opera (exactly how it sounds) or the leftover ‘snob screens’ in The Lamb pub which protected delicate wealthy eyes from the sight of the common man.

It’s separated into districts so you can have a flick through next time you go to London and see what’s about. If you’d like to see a bit more of weird London via a guide have a look at this spooky tour we embarked upon for Halloween.

Midnight Movie Madness by Ian Watson midnight-movie

A cavalcade of truly terrible films, this collection takes you from Maniac ‘director’ Dwain Esper‘s exploitation efforts, through fifties B movies to nonsensical modern day fare. Some of the descriptions made me chuckle out loud, particularly in the WTF section.

If monster movies are your thing, or perhaps overseas oddities, each film has been separated into categories ( I like categories, don’t I? I never realised that before), making it easier to dip in according to mood. Enjoy!

Rainbows Suck – New Bizarro Book With Eraserhead Press

Hello my little packets of tomato sauce! Important news: my novella, Rainbows Suck, is out with bizarro publisher Eraserhead Press this November. Toddle off to their blog for a sneak preview of all the treats on offer, you won’t regret it. My cover art was done by none other than Bill Purnell, the wonderful human who puts up with me on a daily basis. Also, if you need a good editor, may I suggest Garrett Cook, who works for Eraserhead as well as freelancing like a possessed demon.

Hooray!rainbows-suck-by-madeleine-swann

Ballerina dances on a knife edge

Have a look below at a clip of a video installation by artist Javier Pérez. Follow this link for more info and some amazing pictures. Ballerina Amélie Ségarra dances en pointe literally on a knife’s edge. Pretty and scary, like me on a good day.

Monster cakes, rainbow cakes and some evil shoe cakes

I thought I’d share these exciting cakes by artist Scott Hove. He does other varieties of art too, have a quick look at his website. scott-hove-shoe-cakeHove_LG_Snapa1-dolljaws2

For anyone wanting to make their own spookily brilliant food stuffs the obvious choice is the Food and Drink section in blog Halloween Culture.

Pop over to evilcakehead to sample scariness.

Have a peek at this earlier post with a recipe on how to make rainbow cake.

A little list of post-Halloween weird for you

Bonjour, how are my little cocktail sausages? I decided to share a couple of things I’ve seen via t’internet over the last few days just to reassure myself that Halloween is never over:

Firstly is some stunning pumpkin carvery by artist Ray Villafane. Wander over to blog Halloween Culture for more (and you know you want to):

Secondly blog and home of loony literary kittens Bizarro Central will be alerting us to a new weird artist each day of December. Write it in your diaries! Not in blood, try this biro. Have a look at this blog post for more info and a list of last year’s December artists.

Next up is a facebook page (that’s it, I’m getting technical on you) dedicated to the gothic world of Old Hollywood: Decaying Hollywood Mansions. Enter a world of vintage stars, studio overlords and bootlegging gangsters.

Also included is this post on the Gashlycrumb Tinies, a children’s book for adults I remember reading many years ago. To read through the whole ghastly business (apparently Neville died of ennui, I know how he feels) visit this post on The Year of Halloween.

Lastly, it would be silly to miss out the Body Parts Bakery. Here is a picture and video stolen from Bizarro Central featuring the stash of bready body bits all made by artist Kittiwat Unarrom in Thailand (everything is edible and sold in the bakery):

Stephenage’s artistics

I must share with you my friend Steve’s (or Stephenage or Weeven) art blog.

He sells his proper art along with t-shirts etc from his website, but his blog is purely for entertainment.

Have a look and witness such delights as a picture and poem about Wayne Rooney (apparently his favourite dinner is something with mash). Also there is this picture of Charlize Theron:

Freaky short film wrap party

A while ago I wrote a little article for Bizarre magazine to help raise funds for a short film called Annabelle’s Tea Party. Performing in it are Bizarre favourites Missy Macabre, Samppa Von Cyborg and sideshow performer Baawo Bee.

Well, by golly they raised those funds and now they’re having a wrap party in London (have a look at their facebook page for more info). There’ll be performances from the likes of Veronica Valentine and others.

Here’s a clip of Missy Macabre in action:

*Warning* perhaps not for children