Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Only now does it occur to me... LOST IN AMERICA

Only now does it occur to me... that a throwaway line in Albert Brooks' road-trip satire may have influenced the TERMINATOR franchise.

During a brief exchange between Brooks, Julie Hagerty, and a motorcycle cop (that ends with a ticket being avoided due to a mutual appreciation of EASY RIDER), Brooks says:

"Did you see THE TERMINATOR?" 

–"No, I didn't. Heard about it, though."

"You should see it. You look like him."

"Thank you."

Now, since LOST IN AMERICA was made in 1985, Brooks must be referring to Cameron's original TERMINATOR (from 1984), drawing a humorous comparison based on the cop's demeanor and sunglasses, comparing him to Arnold Schwarzenegger's titular character. However, while the cop doesn't actually resemble Arnold in any meaningful way, he is a dead ringer for Robert Patrick's motorcycle cop-impersonating T-1000 in TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY...

...which was not released until six years later, in 1991. So maybe James Cameron was watching LOST IN AMERICA when he decided he needed a motorcycle cop Terminator? Or perhaps Brooks is referring to Patrick, whom he glimpsed in a time-traveling VHS copy of TERMINATOR 2. (Which must have been the splitting point for the Berenstain Bears parallel universe.)

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Only now does it occur to me... SPEED

Only now does it occur to me... that the SPEED franchise shares peculiar connections with the David Lynch universe. Now: to merely cite that it contains Dennis Hopper doing a poor man's Frank Booth from BLUE VELVET
is obviously not enough, because most post-1986 Hopper villains are some variation on "poor man's Frank Booth."

We could go the philosophical route and examine how Hopper's retired cop character is a corrupted, insane, dark-side-of-the-mirror version of Keanu Reeves' young, clean-cut, and aggressively Boy Scout-ish cop––in a similar way to how Hopper's and Kyle MacLachlan's characters mirror each other in BLUE VELVET... or we could point out Hopper's penchant in both instances for calling himself "Daddy":

...or the gruesome particulars of how each of these Hopper villains makes their exit:

"He lost his head."  –Keanu Reeves

Or we could consider the fact that SPEED 1 takes its villain from BLUE VELVET and that SPEED 2: CRUISE CONTROL casts Willem Dafoe as its baddie (who was the villain of Lynch's WILD AT HEART). Does this mean that if there ever were a third film, let's say, SPEED 3: FAST AND LOOSE, that the villain would have to be Robert Blake, portraying his character from LOST HIGHWAY?

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Sean Gill's "Shore Leave" in Columbia Journal

My latest short fiction "Shore Leave," a nontraditional ghost story set in modern-day Vietnam, has been published online in Columbia Journal, the literary journal of the Columbia University School of the Arts Graduate Writing program. Columbia Journal has previously featured work by Raymond Carver, Noam Chomsky, and Lydia Davis.