The Spy Next Door (2010)

TSND

Country: United States
Director: Brian Levant
Starring: Jackie Chan, Amber Valletta, Madeline Carroll, Will Shadley, Alina Foley, Magnús Scheving, Billy Ray Cyrus
Music: David Newman

I blame Arnold Schwarzenegger and the film Kindergarten Cop for all the ‘tough-guys with kids’ films. Since then we’ve had Vin Diesel as The Pacifier, The Rock as The Tooth Fairy, and many, many more – now we have Jackie Chan as The Spy Next Door. The problem though, is that Jackie was never really a tough guy, and many of his films are family friendly, so dumbing down even further seems almost redundant.

The biggest problem with the film is Jackie, himself. Look, I love Jackie’s movies, but he is pushing sixty years old, and for him to be playing this particular role at this stage of his life is ill-advised. The central conceit of the movie, is that Jackie falls in love with his neighbour, Gillian (Amber Valletta) and has to win over her kids. But just the age difference between Jackie, and the love of his life, makes the whole relationship seem rather stilted, and at times, verging on downright creepy! It probably doesn’t help matters either that the opening title sequence, features a montage of clips from Jackie’s previous spy film roles, some dating back to the 1980s.

Having said all that, The Spy Next Door is probably a better film than The Tuxedo or The Medallion, – but that isn’t saying much – and as a family film, it hits all the notes that it should, complete with an over-wrought misty-eyed ending.

Ultimately, if your a fan of Jackie, you can do better than this one. Unless you’ve got kids, I’d give it a miss.

The Spy Next Door (2010)

Noir Carnival

Noir CarnivalAustin Powers once said that only two things scare him. One is ‘nuclear war’. The other … ‘carnival folk’. Why? Because carnivals are scary. Is there anything more creepy than a clown in full make-up?

For those who share those same fears, may (or may not – depending on how deep your phobia goes) be interested to know that Fox Spirit books have just released their latest anthology, Noir Carnival.

Here’s the promo spiel.

Dark’s Carnival has already left town, but it’s left a fetid seed behind. There’s a transgressive magic that spooks the carnies and unsettles the freaks. Beyond the barkers and the punters, behind the lights and tents where the macabre and the lost find refuge, there’s a deformity that has nothing to do with skin and bones. Where tragic players strut on a creaking stage, everybody’s going through changes. Jongleurs and musicians huddle in the back. It seems as if every one’s running, but is it toward something—or away?

The carnies bring you stories, a heady mix of shadows and candy floss, dreams gone sour and nights that go on too long. Let them lure you into the tent.

Carnival: whether you picture it as a traveling fair in the back roads of America or the hedonistic nights of the pre-Lenten festival where masks hide faces while the skin glories in its revelation, it’s about spectacle, artificiality and the things we hide behind the greasepaint or the tent flap. Let these writers lead you on a journey into that heart of blackened darkness and show you what’s behind the glitz.

Underneath, we’re all freaks after all…

Noir Carnival is available for Kindle and as a paperback from Amazon.

Noir Carnival

Stripper Pole at the End of the World

StripperIt’s no secret, when it comes to movies I like ‘Ploitation’ – whether it be Exploitation, Bruceploitation, Sexploitation, Nunsploitation, Dwarfsploitation – all of it. And over the years, Permission to Kill has presented its share of ‘Ploitation’ or schlock cinema reviews.

Now that same kind of cheap and nasty thrills can be downloaded onto your kindle. From Schlock Zone Drive In Theater comes their latest novella, Stripper Pole at the End of the World scribed by the prolific Eric Beetner.

Here’s the blurb.

In the near future, after The Collapse, work is hard to come by. The economy is in ruins, much like the city crumbling around Janet, a woman who has lost everything – her husband, her job … her leg.

When the lure of a job brings her out on the increasingly dangerous streets she must confront the deadliest of new fears – the bands of cannibals who roam the city.

With a ragtag group of bikers, strippers and survivors Janet must face down the most dangerous night of their lives. When dawn comes, not everyone will live to see a new day and dance at the Stripper Pole At The End Of The World.

So yeah, Strippers, Biker Gangs and Cannibals. Sells it self really. Of course, to a fella like me, this is a must read.

The Stripper Pole at the End of the World is now available from Amazon.

Stripper Pole at the End of the World

Brooklyn Beatdown

Just a heads up to all the Fight Card fans, that the latest story is now live. Brooklyn Beatdown, is the title, and hiding behind the Jack Tunney pseudonym is prolific pulp author Derrick Ferguson, the creator of one of New Pulp’s most distinctive characters – Dillon. In Fight Card: Brooklyn Beatdown, Derrick brings us Fight Card’s first African American lead character, Levi Kimbro, who knows more about backroom brawls than is healthy for any man.

Below is the official blurb.

FIGHT CARD: BROOKLYN BEATDOWN

Brooklyn – 1954.

Bare-knuckle brawler, Levi Kimro battles his way through the bloody backroom ghetto bars of Brooklyn in pursuit of his dream of owning his own business. It’s a hard and vicious road he walks and it becomes even more complicated when he falls hard for the electrifying Dorothea McBricker.

Dorothea’s brother, Teddy, has fallen under the influence of notorious gangster Duke Williamson – a powerful man who is pressuring Levi to join his stable of fighters or face off against the human killing machine, ‘Deathblow’ Ballantine. A knock-down, drag out, Brooklyn Beatdown is brewing, and Levi will need every ounce of his fighter’s heart if he wants to save not only himself, but the woman he loves …

As I implore readers every month, if you haven’t checked out the Fight Card series, get hold of one of the tales (it doesn’t matter which one, as they’re all pretty good), and give it a shot. If you don’t, you’re missing out on some the best New Pulp fiction going around at the moment.

Brooklyn Beatdown is available now from Amazon.

And you can find out more about Derrick Ferguson at his site, Dillon.

Brooklyn Beatdown