Handshake Inc., the independent film production/music video company behind the Maryland Deathfest: The Movie franchise and recently formed record label of the same name (Sulaco’s Build and Burn), is extremely proud to announce its first foray into publishing with the release of underground writer Andrew Bonazelli’s newest novel, DTV (Direct-to-Video).
The book is a super-cool fusion of literary prowess and action-movie bravado, and though fully aware of the inherent, unintentional comedy found in the genre, Bonazelli has avoided the tongue-in-cheek route, instead crafting a story that celebrates the machismo, animal magnetism and culture of American action movies from the ‘80s and ‘90s. The novel itself is a brilliantly fun and poignant read, and could do for action movies what the nouvelle vague did for Hitchcock and Orson Welles.
“Andrew is like a walking ‘B’ action-film encyclopedia,” says producer David Hall of the author. “He lives and breathes this stuff, and when you read the book, not only do you feel like you’re watching a Van Damme film, you feel like you’re watching the the best Van Damme film never made. The dialogue, plot and overall execution of the story is quite fantastic.”
Paired with the book is an accompanying soundtrack performed by a who’s-who of underground musicians either covering their favorite action-movie music, or playing an original inspired by the book. The Atlas Moth, Wolvhammer, Total Fucking Destruction, Graf Orlock, Cretin and Liberteer’s Matthew Widener, Great Falls, Stomach Earth (Mike “Gunface” McKenzie of the Red Chord), Dirt Farmer, the Austerity Program, Lauderdale and members of Zombi and Early Graves all contribute tracks ranging from original pieces to covers of music from such films as Robocop, Double Impact, The Running Man and Out for Justice.
“No good ‘80s/’90s action clusterfuck is complete without an awesome soundtrack that your significant other will detest,” explained Bonazelli of the logic behind the soundtrack idea, ”so I hit up some of the bands I’d gotten to know over the years working at Decibel. The result is over 50 minutes of new and unreleased music from some of underground and extreme music’s most imaginative bands.”
And then there’s the art. The novel itself is housed in an actual VHS clamshell, with interior and exterior art rendered by Graf Orlock drummer Adam Hunt (adamrhunt.net). DTV is a multimedia cornucopia, and a project that incorporates elements of the genre it’s celebrating in every aspect of its content and form.
Available for pre-order through Handshake Inc. (handshakeinc.com) starting March 15, DTV comes with a download card for the music, and will start shipping March 30. Starting with a limited run available through mail-order only, DTV is a marriage of “b” action, underground music, great writing and killer artwork. A four-dimensional tribute to a golden age of ass-kicking and taking names that ended far too soon.
Check out The Atlas Moth’s amazing cover of Hooray for Earth’s ‘Black Trees’ courtesy of Pitchfork.
Andrew Bonazelli is the managing editor of Decibel Magazine and the author of the novels A Regular and The Dreamt and Deathless Obscene.
David Hall is the owner of Handshake Inc., an independent film and music video production company, and most recently, a record label specializing in digital and vinyl releases.