This episode the original Brutes are back together after a short hiatus.  We catch up on what we are reading or watching in Pop Culture.  Frank Bill’s “The Savage” thrilled our own Wild Bill. Rob binged on a new sci-fi book called “Serpent’s Pact” by one W.E. Wertenberger.  The Abysmal Brutes discussion turned to a movie that got tepid reviews on Rotten Tomatoes but they found a tense modern Cold War type tale, a strong Jennifer Lawrence vehicle that is different than Atomic Blonde but held our interest just as much.  The Abysmal Brutes are back. We never left. And it’s jabberin’ time!!

Music: Matt Mitchell Project “Back to Me”

Books: “The Savage” Frank Bill

“Serpent’s Pact” W.E. Wertenberger

“Homesick for Another World” Ottessa Moshfegh

The Abysmal Brutes don’t really care if you watch the 90th Academy Awards show but we celebrate them none the less.  A siege of films invaded the theaters last year to the delight of the masses and the curse of critics. The Academy membership plucked such films as “The Shape of Water”, “Dunkirk”, “Get Out”, “Darkest Hour” and “Lady Bird”.  Directors and actors considered exemplary this year are Guillermo del Toro, Allison Janney, Willem Dafoe, Greta Gerwig, Sally Hawkins, Christopher Nolan and Margot Robbie.  Rocko and Rob bring their rough-hewn opinions on who should win and who should have been nominated instead.  Get on board our Oscar Fastball Special!

Once upon a time Guillermo del Toro took his passion for Creature of the Black Lagoon and re-imagined it into a Cold War fairy tale where the creature and mute cleaning woman consummate their love.  The Abysmal Brutes are lifelong fans of del Toro’s wondrous and macabre storytelling. Giant piloted robots, grotesque vampires, supernatural Nazi’s and hard luck princesses.  What is so great about del Toro’s films, is that there is so much depth and detail to discuss after a viewing. Rocko and Rob take that deep dive into this latest and most successful movies of Guillermo del Toro’s career.  Plunge into The Shape of Water with the Abysmal Brutes but mind the Gill-man and fairy princess.

Music: "This Town" Matt Mitchell Project


Whoever is tired of “Best of 2017 Lists” raise your hand high? Wow. That many? Just wow. So basically all of our listeners have had their fill. Maybe that’s because you haven’t heard Rob’s love for two great P.I. novels by Sam Wiebe and Kristin Lepionka. Or that Bill couldn’t finish Christa Faust’s Money Shot fast enough. Comics, novels, films and television shows are all fair game in our endless cheerleading for Pop Culture storytelling. Mister Miracle, The Orville, Atomic Blonde, Invisible Dead, The Last Place You Look, The Driver, Money Shot and many other creations are discussed in our year end wrap up. Our business is Pop Culture storytelling and business is good.

Music: Matt Mitchell Project “Glad You’re Gone”

I’ll never finish. This story sucks. I suck. Everything I’ve written is garbage. Total soul-sucking garbage!! No one will read my book, not even my mother. Have you ever had these thoughts as a writer? Thoughts so pervasive they crush your will to create? They are mostly mind-gremlins scheming to take you off task. The one truth they do contain is that no one will read your book if you don’t FINISH. Bill and Rob confess their own issues with finishing creative work and discuss ways to fight off your own personal mind-gremlins.

Music: Matt Mitchell Project “This Town”

Are you one of those writers who think your dialogue is untouchable? That everything else is fair game for critiquing but don’t even think about changing your dialogue. Not. One. Iota. These convictions place you on Bill’s side of the battlefield. If you are of the mind that none of your writing is sacrosanct and is open to editing, you stand with Rob’s faction. All you Elmore Leonard wannabes need to pay heed. Will this frothy fracas lead to the end of the Abysmal Brutes as we know it? See whose side you belong with on this episode!

Music: Matt Mitchell Project “This Town”

A good Beta Reader is more precious than gold, Frankenstein and myrrh. I think I got one of those right and that’s why you need a Beta Reader…to let you know what doesn’t work. Clarity, tone and pacing are just a few of the areas benefiting from a second pair of eyes. Bill likens them to his “screening audience”. Rob values their worth but is experiencing a recent dearth in Beta Readers and potential candidates. The time to hunt for these valuable allies to your success in writing is now.

Music: “Life in Stereo” Matt Mitchell Project

This is your mission if you choose to accept it. Atomic Blonde was seen at local Cineplex nationwide. Agent Rocko Jerome along with the support of the Abysmal Brute Ops team witnessed the electric brutality of this film. We will stop at nothing to promote Charlize Theron’s  Cold War neon spy movie dominance of the summer blockbusters.  Codenames are revealed. Agents are unmasked. 1980’s synth beats are pounded.  This podcast will self-destruct in 3 seconds…

Grab your sunscreen. Pick up your beach towel. We have the cool read for your hot summer days. The Abysmal Brutes bring you their 2017 Summer Reading list or as Bill calls it, “Rob’s Reading List”. Bill is still reading Peter Benchley’s “Jaws” from the Summer of ’74. Lot of great writers putting out thrilling reads this year. Jordan Harper  “She Rides Shotgun”, Sarah Pinborough “Behind Her Eyes”, Benjamin Percy “Thrill Me”, Sam Wiebe “Invisible Dead”, Sarah Gerard “Sunshine  State”, Josh Malerman “Black Mad Wheel”, Sam Hawken “The Houeswife”, Jeff Vandermeer “Borne” and more to flex your eyeball muscles.

Music: Matt Mitchell Project “You Feel The Way I Do”

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Director Edgar Wright put tremendous heart and soul into his passion project Baby Driver. Baby played by Ansel Elgort is a music thrilled wheelman who drives a car like Fred Astaire dances in the rain. Jon Hamm, Kevin Spacey, Jamie Foxx, Jon Bernthal and Eiza Gonzalez fill out the roles of Big Bad Wolves and Wicked Stepsisters in Wright’s modern day heist fairy tale heist. The greatest compliment we can give a movie, novel, TV show or any creative endeavor is that it inspires us to create something new ourselves.  If you want to cleanse your palate from all the hack Summer blockbusters, go see Baby Driver.

Music:  Matt Mitchell Project “Life in Stereo”

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