The Hang Fire Books Blog

The rantings of a bookdealer in Brooklyn, New York.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Streetcar Named Desire

I received this naughty fold-out/peekaboo card in with a lot of Tijuana Bibles and I had to share:
The unfolded version is here (NOT WORK SAFE). No publication info whatsoever but I'd put it somewhere between 1948-1955 based on the play's production date or the release of the film.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Weekend Stoop Haul

Had 14 promising sales mapped out for this past Saturday, but I overloaded twice; misread my map (mistaking one sale for another that started later); and had to leave the bike locked-up while I lugged a huge armload of items 2 miles home (then myself back to the bike). Ended up with bruised arms, a red neck and only four sales crossed off my list by the time it was too late to bother. Frustrating but did well on the ground I covered.

Picked up an original George Romero Season of the Witch poster, a lobby card for Eegah, the press kit for Radley Metzger's "Dirty Girls" and 50-60 higher grade vintage paperbacks. The above items (and more) were great but bittersweet finds as they came from a local eBay seller I've bought from before who seems like he's closing up shop. Most of my sunburn can be blamed on this sale as I went through every item he had.

Also picked up a "Young Architects" kit which allows you to create a 3D floorplan and a set of 100s of colored pencils. Think I'm going to use the floorplan to strategize bookshelf space. $1 each for these sets.

A cool "Rokenbok" construction toy that gives you an SNES style remote control and 8 receivers which you can place in a series of construction vehicles. Then you can switch--on the fly--between any of the vehicles and run a whole construction site by yourself! I'm afraid the Playmobile union is gonna shut us down though.

Lastly I picked up a great oldschool change dispenser that requires the double-safe belt and suspenders to hold up.

As always click on the images above to view in Flickr (w/ thrift-o-vision annotations). These are part of the "Junk in Your Trunk" pool devoted to documenting yard sale and thrift hauls.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Fires of Youth

34 new covers in the Pulp Fiction Cover Gallery.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Stoop Sale Haul, 2 Weeks Worth

Saved up a couple of weeks of stoop sale treasures to mix up the posts a bit. These hauls were the result of two beautiful weekends of warm, clear weather. Perfect for stoop sales because the sellers want to quickly get rid of their crap and hit the beach or go to BBQs.

Some highlights:
  • My second Da Vinci Code 1st after looking at 1000s of CR pages. Sadly the price has tanked and I need to bury them for a few decades
  • A beautiful Enzo Mari Animal puzzle (images here, here, and here) that I bought from a consistently triple fair-priced estate sale. The sale runners were supposed "pros" and priced at the highest realized final values on eBay (regardless of condition, or the fact that this was a Wednesday morning in Bushwick). I paid $5 for this since they had no idea what they had. Realized $275 at auction. Nyaaah. NOTE: This was the resin edition from '72. The original wooden version from the 1950s must fetch thousands
  • Crumb's Book of Genesis
  • Get Tough! 1st Edition of hand-to-hand fighting manual, "as Taught to the British Commandos, and U. S. Armed Forces". Wartime issue paperback in original HTF dust wrapper
  • A selection of Hot Rod and Big Daddy Roth titles
  • Handmade big rig toy chest! 52" x 18". Working wheels, removable trailer, detailed open cab. I f***ing love this thing!
  • Large pile of 100% wool and marino wool yarn, some handspun. According to the wife--for whom these were a bribe--yarn like this fetches $8-10 a skein. I paid $.50 each (don't tell her)
  • Tubful of Warhammer 40k Space Marines and LOTR miniatures. These can go for decent coin but it will require extensive undercover 21 Jump Street-style geek research.
If the summer keeps up like this, I'll be one happy camper.

As always click on the images above to view in Flickr (w/ thrift-o-vision annotations). These are part of the "Junk in Your Trunk" pool devoted to documenting yard sale and thrift hauls.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Zombie Report: The Roost

The other night I dreamt I was in a theater lobby with five different ticket booths. Each was selling tickets to a different zombie movie but, because there were letters missing on the marquees, I couldn’t tell which was which and I ended up buying non-refundable tickets to the wrong film (I’m guessing it was an entry in the Resident Evil series). This frustrating experience was my subconscious reminding me that I’m seriously behind on my zombie report. So here’s a review of a film I saw probably six weeks ago. Let’s test my horror recall.

The Roost (dir: Ti West, Glass Eye Pix, 2005)

I picked this up after winning (Thank you, MondoMovie) and loving West’s House of the Devil; a Halloween-meets-Rosemary’s Baby tribute to 1980s horror.

The Roost is West's first feature and understandably less accomplished than HOTD but still fun and (mostly) effective. It begins with a group of 20-somethings on their way to a wedding. They’re already off-course, on an ill-advised short cut, when a bat smacks into their SUV windshield and they wind up in a ditch. They do the classic “wander off in the dark to find help” and come upon a small farm with a massive, cavernous, Taj Mahal of an evil-looking barn. The barn is full of millions of temperamental bats who will bite you and turn you into the walking dead. That’s it. Pretty basic.

The barn (apparently the same as used in Hitchcock’s Marnie) is a great location full of murky corners, made even more murky by an effective use of DV. It’s hard to believe that the elderly couple who own the farm need such a behemoth of agricultural architecture, but that’s nit-picking.

The bat effects are simple and effective and--together with the zombies they’ve infected--make for a good two-stage monster. Bats can fly and fit through small crevices, zombies can open doors and wrestle; that doesn’t leave a lot of safe places.

The 20-somethings are self-absorbed douches who don’t like each other and don’t seem to care much about the couple they’re on the way to celebrate. The only time anyone says anything interesting or insightful is when they’re backstabbing. I see these kind of characters so often that I don’t know if they’re a shared trait of cynical early 2000s horror; if the inability to created likeable characters is a common weakness in screenwriters; or if I just don’t like anyone younger than me. In any case they kept me from becoming completely involved in the film and had me waiting for the kills (one of which—like another in House of the Devil--is so simple, sudden and brutal that it will stick with you for a while).

The Roost also features an odd framing device with Tom Noonan (the gangly killer from Manhunter) playing a late-night TV horror host presenting the events of the film. This device is cute but has absolutely no connection to the rest of the movie, and seems kind of slapdash. I’m guessing it was just to pad this out to feature length (though it’s still a brisk 81 mins).

Outbreak Location: Rural Pennsylvania
Zombification cause: Super-rabies
Mobility: Slow and awkward (but they vanish when you look away for 5 seconds)
Rating: Three undead Hare Krishnas (out of five)