“An enjoyable, irascible collection” of smart and sometimes-scathing film criticism from a famously candid author (Library Journal).
Everyone’s a critic, especially in the digital age—but no one takes on the movies like multiple award-winning author Harlan Ellison. Renowned both for fiction (A Boy and His Dog) and pop-culture commentary (The Glass Teat), Ellison offers in this collection twenty-five years’ worth of essays and film criticism.
It’s pure, raw, unapologetic opinion. Star Wars? “Luke Skywalker is a nerd and Darth Vader sucks runny eggs.” Big Trouble in Little China? “A cheerfully blathering live-action cartoon that will give you release from the real pressures of your basically dreary lives.” Despite working within the industry himself, Ellison never learned how to lie. So punches go unpulled, the impersonal becomes personal, and sometimes even the critics get critiqued, as he shares his views on Pauline Kael or Siskel and Ebert. Ultimately, it’s a wild journey through the cinematic landscape, touching on everything from Fellini to the Friday the 13th franchise.
As Leonard Maltin writes in his preface, “I don’t know how valuable it is to learn Harlan Ellison’s opinion of this film or that, but I do know that reading an Ellison essay is gong to be provocative, infuriating, hilarious, or often a combination of the above. It is never time wasted. . . . Let me assure you, Harlan Ellison is never dull.”