Why Don’t We Cry For Throwaway B-Movie Characters?

I’ve got a new short story up at Word For/Word, where they ran a special section of Orlando writers (I’m joined by Chris Wiewora and Teege Braune, “Best Bartender in Orlando,” according to Orlando Weekly, and the man I will likely be ordering beer from later this evening…).

The story is called “Possible Regrets For the Supposed Hero of Dark Side of the Moon,” and is part of a series of short-shorts I’ve written which attempt to bring real empathy to the throwaway victims in bad horror movies. I’ve seen a thousand horror movies in my life, after all, and after awhile I’d watch and then just start feeling bad for the nerdy guy that died in Minute 18, or the jock who got his throat slashed in Minute 24, or the hot chick who died (topless, usually, and in mid-sex-act) in Minute 31. The horror genre needs victims, dead bodies, but too often the characters seem as if they are written solely for the purpose of dying. What about their lives outside of the movie? The hot chick (killed in mid-sex-act, remember) was around for 20 years before her death, and the nerdy guy had real-life struggles for all 18 years of his life. Maybe he had a college picked out; maybe he was going to be the first member of his family to make something of his life. Then: Jason Vorhees comes and chops his head off.

Anyway. My stories try to create a story for each victim, and try to treat the death as a real tragedy rather than as an audience-pleasing killshot.

The first was called “The True Anxiety…” and was published in Molotov Cocktail last year. Check it out here. It uses a character from a terrible Bigfoot movie called Demonwarp.

And you can read “Possible Regrets…” here at Word For/Word. The character in this story is from an equally awful space alien movie called Dark Side of the Moon.

Word For/Word, by the way, is a cool online publication that seems to be dedicated to really pushing the envelope on what is possible with electronic literature. The site is best viewed on an iPad or e-reader, I think, where it’s gonna look super-sharp, but you can obviously follow the link and read it straight from your computer screen.

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