First let me point out that I should have published this post in August of 2006. I'll be surprised if Evil Monkey hasn't put out a contract on my life. Although if Evil Monkey is truly evil, he will have put a contract out on our cat's life. I think that would piss me off more. Is that strange?
So on August 19, 2006 Cindy and I hosted a private Shriek movie release party. In attendance was a group of our friends, most of whom hadn't read any Vandermeer before. You can imagine the looks on their faces at the exact moment they realized they would not be eating anything that did not contain mushrooms; except for the milkshakes. The only "milkshake" recipes we could find when using "mushrooms" as the search term involved "sticky icky". Go figure.
Everyone that sent an RSVP arrived by 8:3o PM. Once our friends got comfortable Cindy and I went through our introduction of the festivities and kicked the celebration off by holding our first drawing for Vandergoodies (the drawing involved us distributing scraps of paper with numbers from ranging from 1-12, and then me drawing a bingo number from a bag). The first prizes we gave out were one bottle of Smashing Todd's Wartime Stout, an Ambergris specialty brew, a copy of The Church's new album "Uninvited, Like the Clouds", and a Bantam copy of City of Saint's and Madmen, in which we included a bookplate signed by Jeff. A more complete list of awesome Vandergoodies includes:
- A stack of bookplates signed by Jeff Vandermeer
- Three bottles of Smashing Todd's Wartime Stout, an Ambergris specialty brew
- Extra Smashing Todd beer labels
- Two copies of The Church's new album, "Uninvited, Like The Clouds"
- A copy of ParaSpheres (please see below post)
- Two paperback copies of City of Saints and Madmen, courtesy of Bantam (much obliged)
- Shriek coasters
After the first drawing, and after everyone had at least one plate of food and a beer, we screened Jeff Vandermeer's introduction for the Shriek movie release parties, followed by the "Rough Introduction to Ambergris", which got a lot of giggles for the scandalous typeset it discusses. Before screening the Shriek movie we held a second drawing and gave out the remaining Smashing Todd's beers, the second copy of "Uninvited, Like the Clouds" and the second copy of City of Saints and Madmen, also including a signed bookplate.
I forgot to mention that during the time leading up to the screening of the Shriek movie, we had The Church's soundtrack to Shriek playing in the background, which made for good party music.
We screened the Shriek movie, which according to most accounts was trippy, and managed to evoke suspense while relying mostly on voice acting, photography, lighting effects and some archival footage. Some of our friend's couldn't get into the lack of live action shots to correspond to the voice acting and narration, but overall the movie seemed to have made our friends more curious in the war between the Greycaps and Ambergris' human inhabitants (personally I think the fungal mines cinched it for the guys). Interesting detail that stuck in my mind: I don't know if it was done on purpose, but if you watch Janet Shriek's eye closely it seems as though the movement of her eye unsettles the iris, causing it to swirl out of place and spill over onto the sclera, and gravitate back into place when eye movements end. Or am I just crazy?
Promotional materials that came along with the Vandergoodies left with our guests in small bags at about 1:00 AM. All in all the movie party was a success and we can proudly announce that it has led at least three of our friends to start reading Vandermeer.
In case you're not familiar with Jeff Vandermeer and/or Ambergris, the fictional location in which City of Saints and Madmen, and Shriek: An Afterward are situated, Jeff has uploaded his "Rough Guide to Ambergris" to Youtube (watch out for the sexy typeset):
For more Shriek news and information please visit:
Please click on the picture of Shriek's cover to purchase it from Amazon!