Movie review: “Glengarry Glen Ross” (1992)

“I’ll cut you in on the $82,000 sale I just made!”

“Bruce and Harriet Nyborg? You want to see the memos? They’re nuts. They used to call in every week when I was with Webb and we were selling Arizona. Did you see how they were living? How can you delude yourself?”

“I got their check!”

“Yeah? Well, forget it. Frame it. It’s worthless.”

“The check is no good?”

“Yeah. If you want to wait around, I’ll pull the memo. I’m busy right now.”

“Wait a minute! The check is no good? They’re crazy?”

“You want to call the bank, Shelley? I called them. I called them four months ago when we first got the lead. The people are insane…they just like talking to salesmen.”

A salesman is, in practice if not by strict definition, an unwelcome stranger, a wraithlike apparition that materializes at inopportune moments in our lives to proffer offers we should refuse, then stubbornly loiters at front of both mind and eyeline until, by virtue of charm, pitch, and/or dogged tenacity, they wear our defenses to ribbons or finally slink away coated in disdain. The three weeks I spent as a telemarketer after graduating college 118 years ago began in confusion, ended in the closest thing I’ve had to a nervous breakdown, and instilled in me an understanding, however necessarily limited, of the inherent desperation that fuels and informs the salesman’s mindset. Continue reading “Movie review: “Glengarry Glen Ross” (1992)”

Movie review: “Creepshow” (1982)


“Har-ry! The lady fair is waiting for her knight in shining corduroy!”

Whether or not we might remember or care to acknowledge it, the world owes a debt to the creators of EC Comics, the trailblazing, still romanticized horror imprint that thrived throughout the 1940s and into the 1950s. At the dawn of the Cold War, a period that would seize the globe in a vice grip of apprehension for decades to come, EC titles such as The Vault of Horror and Tales from the Crypt subtly defused the steadily mounting popular paranoia in their young readers by getting them to focus instead on stirring yarns concerning implacable, supernatural terrors, in effect teaching them, at a time when the threat of nuclear annihilation seemed increasingly real, if not yet omnipresent, to maybe stop worrying so much about the bomb, a solid decade before Kubrick and Dr. Strangelove took their own crack at it. Sure, EC seemed to say, the world is a dangerous place, but that’s conventional thinking, not to mention boring. Continue reading “Movie review: “Creepshow” (1982)”