nate patrin.


INLAW CINEMA

So, you think your favorite website posting a whole bunch of fake video game screenshots or putting together unlikely band reunion rumors or insinuating that Diddy had Tupac killed made for boffo April Fool’s hijinx? Amateurs. The singularly-dubbed Vern, a champion of what he dubs Outlaw Cinema or, alternately, Badass Cinema (which ranges from El Topo to Action Jackson but typically can be linked in spirit to the first Die Hard movie), is a man who went from prison to a life in cinephilia and writes better than I ever could about movies. He is one of those guys who seems to write better without an editor, and his tendency to go on compelling and funny tangents and be flexible with grammar and punctuation and technical film-school terminology (he likes to describe directors as “filmatists”) gives him this casual relatability that cleverly hides a severe enthusiasm. He’s still on GeoCities, and he seems to be one of those old-schoolish personalities you used to see on the web back around 2000 before everyone got caught up in Web 2.0 and embedded MP3/YouTube/digg whatnot, like the kind of person who’d probably be doing this as some sloppy-looking but endlessly-readable Xeroxed fanzine if it was 1991.

And then he “sold out”.

This has some of the funniest shit I’ve ever seen in a parody/April Fool’s site: the banner ad for ’80s nostalgia t-shirts (“IACOCCA”; “CRACK EPIDEMIC”), the baffling list of corporate sponsors (The Carlyle Group and Quizno’s), the elaborately-constructed, ad-plagued commenting system (“if page does not reload within 5-10 minutes please commit advertised products to memory and then CLICK HERE”), the fake Google analytics ads, the list of categories (“I’m So Disappointed In This Young Actress For Making a Sex Tape, I Thought She Was Better Than That, Here’s the Link (210)”), the angry nerd commenters, the Dragon Dynasty edition of Warrior Clan (aka The Joy Luck Club) and, above all else, the shallow blogger prose with all the personality wrung out of it by the daily grind of content churn and the hype cycle. It is glorious.

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