I don’t follow @riversofgrue for his tweets exactly. I mean, they’re good, they’re full of great images and intriguing updates on his projects and collaborations. But what I actually follow him for is what his tweets click through to. And that’s words.
I still don’t totally understand @riversofgrue – where he comes from, who his associates are and so on. His website is superb but some of his links take me through to sites that are a barrage of confusing words and pictures.
So I’m going to focus on his writing. This ranges from horror fiction to film criticism and introspective pieces, and it's always clear as crystal.
The first tweet I clicked on was this:
New to his feed, I thought it would be just another rambling blog. But then I was whacked over the head – in a good way, an excellent way - by the first paragraph:
I wish to start by making one thing unmistakably clear. Tobe Hooper’s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is the most despicable, mean-spirited, rotten hunk of celluloid that I have ever had the outrageous good fortune of being subjected to. That’s a compliment in case you’re wondering.
What followed was a rollercoaster of kinetic, lyrical, exhilarating prose that articulated the insight that’s always been on the tip of my tongue about TCM – it’s actually beautiful. For example:
I would implore you to experience the restored version if you can take the relentless mental anguish a second time. Daniel Pearl’s cinematography really comes into its own here and every solitary strand of jade green Texas grass stands out defiantly against the brilliant azure skyline.
And he’s a bottomless pit of this stuff.
Now us horror fans are a diverse bunch. We all come at the genre with a slightly different take. And I’m not in exactly the same tribe as @riversofgrue. He writes erotic fiction and that’s not my bag (although I did read one story and I can see it’s a quality example of the genre).
He also published an article recently about @kreepazoidkelly, a special effects artist, model and icon of the horror community who is suffering a serious illness. Reading it I felt like I’d blundered into a private space.
But it was powerfully written, as if he was crying as he got the words out. And isn’t everybody always saying we have too many taboos around discussing illness and mortality? When was only hanging out with people in the same tribe the best fun?
@riversofgrue is anti-censorship, anti-niminy-piminy-hangups, and pro-tolerance. I think he's absolutely terrific.
So I am a #gruehead (yes, his fans have their own groovy moniker). To see just how much #grueheads love @riversofgrue, check out these tweets:
And there are literally hundreds like this.
Personally I’d like to see @riversofgrue publish some longer fiction in which he explores his twisted characters in much greater depth. But I get the feeling he’s already got a plan. I’ll certainly be watching it unfold.