Posts Tagged ‘The Last Lullaby’

On the Horizon

Monday, June 15th, 2009

Several people have mentioned seeing KING OF THE WEEDS listed on Amazon as a book coming out this year — it’s even available for pre-order. How exactly a phantom like this gets into the system, I don’t know. But KING OF THE WEEDS — which is one of the six substantial Mike Hammer manuscripts Mickey Spillane left for me to finish — isn’t even written yet. In fact, of those six Hammer novels, it’s scheduled to be the sixth, as (like GOLIATH BONE) it’s about Hammer in the last days of his career. As I’ve mentioned here, the next Hammer will be the ’60s era THE BIG BANG, published next year. This year I’ll be doing KISS HER GOODBYE, a ’70s Hammer, for 2011 publication. That will be the end of the current contract, so KING OF THE WEEDS isn’t even under contract yet, anywhere.

A number of projects are on the horizon but aren’t quite official yet. Terry Beatty and I are in serious discussions to do a new Ms. Tree graphic novel, which would herald a complete reprinting of the series in uniform format. I am close to signing with DC/Vertigo to do RETURN TO PERDITION as a graphic novel — this would be the last, chronologically, of the saga and a direct sequel to the prose novel ROAD TO PARADISE. Efforts to get ROAD TO PURGATORY made, from my screenplay and with me directing, continue, and are looking favorable. All of these, however, are not “done deals.” Stay tuned.

Jeffrey Goodman and I had a nice response to THE LAST LULLABY in Des Moines this past weekend (the film played through/including June 11 at the Fleur). The Q and A after the weekend screenings was excellent (Jeffrey said he’d been asked questions that no other audiences had thought to ask — i.e., did he have a completion bond?). We had a nice review locally in City View, too. And last week the film was featured at a Brooklyn film fest, marking the picture’s first New York screening.


The Last Lullaby: Showings and Reviews

Monday, June 1st, 2009

The Last Lullaby showings: Des Moines (June 5 – 11), Brooklyn (June 7 – 8), San Jose (June 12 – 18)

THE LAST LULLABY — the film based on the Quarry short story “A Matter of Principal,” and co-written by me — will be showing at the Fleur Cinema in Des Moines from June 5 till June 11. Director Jeffrey Goodman and I will be there for the two evening showings on Friday June 5, and probably on Saturday June 6, as well, doing intros before and Q and A after. This is our last scheduled appearance together in support of the film, and marks the final of the three Iowa bookings.

Jeffrey continues to roll it out slowly and carefully. The film will show at the 6/5-6/14 Brooklyn International Film Festival. Tickets are now on sale at this link. We screen Sunday, June 7th at 9PM and Monday, June 8th at 8PM. Jeffrey will be there for both of our screenings.

The film also plays 6/12-6/18 in San Jose, CA at the Camera Cinemas 3.

The film continues to rack up great reviews. Here’s two of them:

Stark Silvercreek: “A movie that gives the movie industry hope.” (Includes an interview with Jeffrey.)
Steve Rhodes: “New filmmakers should look at it as a paradigm on how movies should be made.”

There’s been some confusion about where the novel THE LAST QUARRY fits in. It was based on my draft of the screenplay and written prior to the shooting of the film, which reflects a draft by another writer plus a polish by me. Call it the Writer’s Cut.

Quarry is continuing to make a remarkable comeback for a character who appeared in an obscure four-paperback series in the mid-’70s. I was always proud of this character, and he remains one of my two favorite characters (Nate Heller being the other).

THE FIRST QUARRY has been nominated for the Best Paperback Novel “Anthony,” presented at the Bouchercon. It’s voted on by con attendees, so go to the con and remember what Al Capone said: vote early and vote often.

Also, THE LAST QUARRY’s magnificent Robert McGinnis cover has been chosen as one of the handful of images adorning a new group of Hard Case Crime t-shirts.


And later this year, look for a new Quarry novel, QUARRY IN THE MIDDLE.


The Last Lullaby Midwestern Premiere

Tuesday, May 12th, 2009

THE LAST LULLABY will play at the Showcase Cinemas 53 in Davenport, Iowa, on Friday May 15 through May 21. For the first two evening showings on Friday, director Jeffrey Goodman and I will introduce the film and do Q and A after. Tickets are on sale online (Friday night showings: 7:00 / 9:30). The film’s next Iowa booking is at the Fleur in Des Moines, where it will play June 5 through June 11 — again, Jeffrey and I will be there opening night.

The midwestern premiere of THE LAST LULLABY at the Collins Rd Theatres in Cedar Rapids went very well indeed — we had a very nearly full house for the 7 pm showing, when Jeffrey and I introed the film and followed up afterward with a Q and A.

The Last Lullaby Collins Road

Hard to believe, but this is the first face-to-face meeting between Jeffrey and myself, and years of long-distance collaborating first on the short film “A Matter of Principal” and then on the feature-length expansion, THE LAST LULLABY. He is a very friendly guy, low-key and very sharp.

A question that keeps coming up is whether the film is based on the novel THE LAST QUARRY. The answer is — sort of. The detailed answer is convoluted, so I usually just say, “Yes.” The truth is, THE LAST QUARRY is a novel based on my first draft screenplay for Jeffrey, itself an expansion of my short story, “A Matter of Principal” and my screenplay from the short film derived from it. The title THE LAST LULLABY reflects the novel’s title, obviously, and the novel and film are very similar, but not exactly so. That reflects me doing a second draft after getting notes from Jeffrey, another writer doing a draft for him when the film moved from California to Louisiana, and me doing a final polish. So it evolved away from the novel version.

The other question that comes up is, “Why is Quarry (Tom Sizemore) called Price in the film?” For the same reason Parker is “Walker” in POINT BLANK — to limit the film to a once only use of the character, not to license the entire series. Anyway, Quarry uses aliases all the time — “Quarry” is itself an alibi.

The Cedar Rapids screening was my first chance to see the film in a real theatrical setting — right down to popcorn with real butter, a point of pride for theater owner Bruce Taylor — and seeing THE LAST LULLABY in its full thirty-five millimeter (and of course nine millimeter) glory was a thrill. Quarry was born around 1971 at the Writers Workshop in Iowa City, where the first two chapters of what would become THE BROKER were discussed by a mostly horrified class. To see him come to life on screen so many years later, in a definitive portrayal by Tom Sizemore, is a real thrill for me.

Here are a few recent reviews/stories on the film:

The Gazette Online: “deliciously mixes old-fashioned film noir with newfangled violence.”
Shreveport Times Online: “bold, brilliant and inventive”
KWQC-TV’s Linda Cook: “A strong character study with a fascinating leading man”


The Last Lullaby to Premiere in Cedar Rapids, IA

Monday, May 4th, 2009

Announcing the Midwest theatrical premiere of THE LAST LULLABY this Friday, May 8, at the Collins Road Theatre, Cedar Rapids, IA!

The Last Lullaby

THE LAST LULLABY, director Jeffrey
Goodman’s version of my novel
has been doing very well on the film festival circuit over the last year or so.
On the weekend of April 3 & 4, the film came to my home turf, where it won Best
Professional Feature (The Gold Eddy Award) from the
Cedar Rapids Independent Film Festival. I
introduced the film, which was given the honor of the prime Saturday
evening slot (8 pm). The audience at the
Collins Road Theatre (no,
neither the road nor the theater was named after me) seemed to love it.

This festival win has special resonance because the short Quarry film, “A Matter of
Principal,” that was expanded into THE LAST LULLABY (and THE LAST QUARRY, for that
matter), had won Best Short Film at the same festival in 2003. In 2004, director
Goodman, having done so well with the short, commissioned me to a feature-length
version and started the ball rolling, or anyway got it rolling further. I did two
drafts of the screenplay, another writer did another draft when the production moved
to Louisiana and locations shifted, then I came in and provided extensive notes that
amounted to a sort of last-minute polish. The film differs in some respects from THE
LAST QUARRY, but I really like it. Tom Sizemore, baggage and all, is a wonderful
Quarry (herein called “Price”), and there’s a lovely modern noir atmosphere. We showed
it at the last Bouchercon to nice response, and it’s been an official selection of
numerous festivals with some impressive wins.

There will be a limited theatrical release starting in May. It will primarily be
showing in cities where the film has done well in fests, or where there’s a tie to the
film — meaning Louisiana (Jeffrey’s home state and the site of the filming) and Iowa
(my home state) will be on the list, with its Midwestern theatrical premiere at the Collins
Road Theatre on Friday, May 8. Director Jeffrey Goodman will join me at the 7 and 9
PM screenings to present the film, and take questions and answers from the opening
night audience. THE LAST LULLABY will also be showing in the Quad Cities the following week —
stay tuned for more details.

The original Quarry short, written by me and directed by Jeffrey, is part of my
anthology DVD, SHADES OF NOIR (essentially the bonus DVD on the boxed set of my indie
stuff, THE BLACK BOX).

THE LAST LULLABY Official Trailer