Sundance Movie Review: World’s Greatest Dad

Bob Goldthwait‘s 2006 film Sleeping Dogs Lie (originally titled “Stay”) was about a relationship that is destroyed when a guy’s girlfriend reveals a past indiscretion (read: blowjob) with a dog. Believe it or not, Goldthwait’s 2009 follow-up is at least 10 times more twisted and probably 20 times funnier. The film seems to be unofficially inspired by Chuck Palahniuk‘s infamous short story Guts and the A Million Little Pieces fiasco.
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Koen Mortier to Adapt Chuck Palahniuk’s Haunted

Koen Mortier (Ex-Drummer) will write and direct a big screen adaptation of Fight Club/Choke author Chuck Palahniuk‘s novel Haunted. This is the first property optioned by Brian Levy’s new management and production company, New School Media. I’ll let the official description from the book explain the plot:

Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk is a novel made up of stories: Twenty-three of them, to be precise. Twenty-three of the most horrifying, hilarious, mind-blowing, stomach-churning tales you’ll ever encounter—sometimes all at once. They are told by people who have answered an ad headlined “Writers’ Retreat: Abandon Your Life for Three Months,” and who are led to believe that here they will leave behind all the distractions of “real life” that are keeping them from creating the masterpiece that is in them. But “here” turns out to be a cavernous and ornate old theater where they are utterly isolated from the outside world—and where heat and power and, most important, food are in increasingly short supply. And the more desperate the circumstances become, the more extreme the stories they tell—and the more devious their machinations become to make themselves the hero of the inevitable play/movie/nonfiction blockbuster that will surely be made from their plight.

Haunted is on one level a satire of reality television—The Real World meets Alive. It draws from a great literary tradition—The Canterbury Tales, The Decameron, the English storytellers in the Villa Diodati who produced, among other works, Frankenstein—to tell an utterly contemporary tale of people desperate that their story be told at any cost. Appallingly entertaining, Haunted is Chuck Palahniuk at his finest—which means his most extreme and his most provocative.”

I’ve always assumed that Haunted would never make it to the big screen, because for the most part it’s essentially a collection of short stories tied together with a narrative. Each chapter contains three sections: a story chapter, a poem about a particular writer and a story written by that author.

Guts is probably the most notorious story in the book, so disturbing that over 60 people fainted while listening to readings of the story over the course of Chuck’s book tours. The story is about three incidents involving accidents during masturbation. If you’ve never read Guts, I’d highly recommend that you do. The short story is available for free on chuckpalahniuk.net.

Discuss: Can Palahniuk’s Haunted really be translated into a big screen movie?

source: variety

Fight Club and Choke author Chuck Palahniuk‘s official website is hosting a contest where the winner will have a a character named after them in Chuck’s next book. Pretty cool. Basically the person who gets the most people to go see Choke in theaters this weekend wins. And who knows, if Chuck’s next book gets adapted into a big screen movie (and chances are good since almsot all his books have been optioned at this point), you might even have your name immortalized in a feature film. You can read the full rules at ChuckPalahniuk.net.

Fight Club and Choke author Chuck Palahniuk tells MTV that DC Comics approached him about doing a comic book miniseries. Nothing has come of the talks, but Palahniuk says he would love to create a ghost/monster series like the Tales from the Crypt comics he read as a kid.

I would love to see what Palahniuk could bring to the world of paneled storytelling. I’m sure it would be something unlike we’ve ever seen before. DC’s Vertigo label needs to ink a deal with him right now. Am I wrong?

Casting Chuck Palahniuk’s Lullaby?

When we last talked to Chuck Palahniuk at Sundance, he told us that a big screen adaptation of Lullaby was set up with a Swedish director he met named Rolf Johansson, who had one more year to get the film into production. Now according to our friends at Film School Rejects who recently spoke to Chuck, Johansson has since secured funding and is currently in the casting stage.

Not much else is known at this time. I’m assuming that the film will be another low budget production like Choke. Actually, I’m not even sure if this Rolf Johansson guy exists. I can’t seem to find any information about the guy outside of the few times Chuck has dropped his name in interviews. Does anyone have any concrete information on this director or the development of this project? Please email us.

At one point Fight Club director David Fincher admitted to MTV that he was “pretty interested in Lullaby” but that it would have to “be dumbed down a bit to work as a movie.” Haven’t read Lullaby? Here is the official plot description:

“Ever heard of a culling song? It’s a lullaby sung in Africa to give a painless death to the old or infirm. The lyrics of a culling song kill, whether spoken or even just thought. You can find one on page 27 of Poems and Rhymes from Around the World, an anthology that is sitting on the shelves of libraries across the country, waiting to be picked up by unsuspecting readers.

Reporter Carl Streator discovers the song’s lethal nature while researching Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, and before he knows it, he’s reciting the poem to anyone who bothers him. As the body count rises, Streator glimpses the potential catastrophe if someone truly malicious finds out about the song. The only answer is to find and destroy every copy of the book in the country. Accompanied by a shady real-estate agent, her Wiccan assistant, and the assistant’s truly annoying ecoterrorist boyfriend, Streator begins a desperate cross-country quest to put the culling song to rest.

On one level, Lullaby is a chillingly pertinent parable about the dangers of psychic infection and control in an era of wildly overproliferated information: “Imagine a plague you catch through your ears… imagine an idea that occupies your mind like a city.” But it is also a tightly wound thriller with an intriguing premise and a suspenseful plot full of surprising twists and turns. Finally, because it is a Chuck Palahniuk novel, it is a blackly comic tour de force that reinforces his stature as our funniest nihilist and a contemporary seer.”

I’m really hoping for a  Survivor movie, but for now I’d be more than willing to settle for Lullaby.

Chuck Palahniuk’s Rant Optioned?

Chuck Palahniuk‘s official website has word that the Fight Club/Choke author’s last book Rant, might have been optioned for a big screen movie adaptation. We’re not sure what studio made the purchase, and we really don’t have any more information. I’ve been calling sources for the last few days and have come up short.

But before you get too excited, I must remind you that all of Chuck’s books have been optioned, but so far only two movies have been greenlit. Studios love to develop Palahniuk projects, but no one is willing to front the money, especially in this post-9/11 world. I’m still hoping Survivor will someday be given the go ahead, but I’m not holding my breath.

Rant is probably my least favorite Palahniuk novel thus far (I have yet to find time to read his latest). The book is structured like a oral history of Buster “Rant” Casey. Essentially, the stories are told by an assortment of friends, enemies, admirers, detractors, and relations. Part of the appeal of the book is the differing versions of stories from the different characters. I’m not sure this would translate well to the big screen. I’ve included the official synopsis from the book below:

“Buster Casey was every small kid born in a small town, searching for real thrills in a world of video games and action/adventure movies. The high school rebel who always wins (and a childhood murderer?), Rant Casey escapes from his hometown of Middleton for the big city and becomes the leader of an urban demolition derby called Party Crashing, where on designated nights the participants recognize each other by dressing their cars with tin-can tails, “Just Married” toothpaste graffiti, and other refuse, then look for designated markings in order to stalk and crash into each other. It’s in this violent, late-night hunting game that Casey meets three friends. And after his spectacular death, these friends gather the testimonies needed to build an oral history of his short life. Their collected anecdotes explore the charges that his saliva infected hundreds and caused a silent, urban plague of rabies…”

Choke: Two Video Clips

Fox Searchlight has released a couple clips from Clark Gregg’s big screen adaptation of Chuck Palahniuk’s novel Choke. Sex addict and colonial theme park worker, Victor Mancini, has devised a complicated scam to pay for his mom’s hospital bills while she suffers from an Alzheimer’s disease that hides the truth about his childhood. He pretends to choke on food in a restaurant and the person who “saves” him will feel responsible for Victor for the rest of their lives. The first clip comes from Moviefone, and involves Victor and his best friend Denny raiding the mail for donations.

The second clip comes from ChuckPalahniuk.net. This flashback sequence takes us back to when Victor’s mother would kidnap him from his foster homes as a child.

Chuck Palahniuk & Clark Gregg Talk Choke

Fox Searchlight provided us with the exclusive video clip of author Chuck Palahniuk, and filmmaker/actor Clark Gregg talking about the big screen adaptation of Choke during a recent Q&A and the Los Angeles Film Festival. Enjoy!

[flv:http://bitcast-a.bitgravity.com/slashfilm/trailers/chokeex.flv 460 344]

Choke hits select theaters on September 26th 2008.

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