Wednesday, August 05, 2009

"The Marilyn Tapes" by Ed Gorman

MARILYN TAPES, & JFK, RFK & J. Edgar Hoover Go All Under Cover


Guess Who’s Coming To Drill In Her!

A Keeper in Krime: E. J. Gorman’s

The Keeper of the Pit

(But first, a red hot tomato deadication. Then about the book we’ll stalk.)

Ah, the sweet wonders of MM, I mean mammar, I SAID memories. Here I sit on Mario Bava’s birthday and find myself thinking upon an older relative of mine, the guy who took this Keeper kid to see BLACK SUNDAY in a theater when it was Steele new. Whereupon I reek of lies, that’s realize: the very same feller once took me to see THE SEVEN YEAR ITCH at a loco entertainment emporium, and Asa witch BLACK SUNDAY, ever since I’ve never been the same poison.

Now this relative was a trucker. On the road meant lots of time to kill, which he did by buying Mickey Spillanes and John D. Macs by the 18-wheeled tons. All of these he’d loan to me, providing me with an education unobtainable in any classroom those daze of "I Like Ike." Me, I liked anything with tough guys and soft babes whose private eyefulls could make any male reader, no matter how mild-mannered in reality, suddenly become quite the, uh, hard case. As I’d loin layed her.

Same guy also told the ole Keeper Kid his theory on “the three stages of love between man and woman,” witch were as follows: 1) The Lover’s Plea 2) The Lover’s Pledge and, last butt not lust 3) The Lover’s “Piss Off!” Spurned out he was right, although that’s bedsides the point.

My loaner out of hard-boiled paperbacks told me tale upon tale, any chance he’d get, of driving rigs across the Great Lakes during winter’s longest, deepest depths. That’s as may be, but the same guy had some free time one night and called my folks, was it okay if I kept him company at THE SEVEN YEAR ITCH? Itch was, and it didn’t take me long looking at Marilyn Monroe, for the blonde hairy first time, upon a, as E. J. Gorman sez, “fifteen foot tall” screen for me to realize this woman, this actress, was one for the ages, and I suddenly dreamed of being more aged my own self. I was so getting into such thoughts I wasn’t much noticing that my benefactor of the box office started lake, I SAID licking his lips at Marilyn, tilting his head just like Tom Ewell as he gazed at the unseen by us nude Marilyn in that photography book, as if he, too, could move his neck just so and crawl the heck IN there. Necks thing I knew, I was doing the same, whereupon I got an elbow in the ribs from my adult supervisor. But he hadn’t turned to speak at me at all, his neck twisting further to the opposite side as he went, “Watch it, kid!”

Watch it? Whuh oh, was I in trouble now! Only one thing to do: try with the hand most out of my ticket-payer’s vision to reroll my tongue into my mouth. Luckily the blow to my ribs hadn’t made me bite said tongue so hard that it was bleeding, much. I wondered, as if stewed, if maybe I could pass that blood off as coming from, homina homina, those screen-filling tomatoes upstairs. Maybe, just maybe, I could get such an excuse pasta my truck-drivin’ taker to theaters. My folks, though, they’d hear that line of red-faced reasoning and, no matter how fast I could run, they’d ketchup to me.

But, no, such was not to be. All he said was another “Watch it, kid, “as followed by, “ya might learn something,” which was soon emphasized by a low wolf whistle, as I heard my clutch-jammer for a chaperone go, “Yowl, that’s what I lake!” Had I really heard him say “lake”then? Up to you, but I know he Kontinued all ape-shittedly with a somewhat subdued murmur of “That is one Superior woman!” I said nothing, shuffled my feet, looked at decades-mold Jujube reekmains, whereupon my BLACK SUNDAY bud chose what seemed the quietest part of the movie to suddenly shout, “Man, that Marilyn, I’d sure love to try HURon!”

Hey, I was too young to make this long story squirt, okay? Allow me to Kongclude, though, that as the ushers, with no refunds for our being well-behaved during last week’s creature feature Price ape-parently forthcoming, escorted us to the door, an embarrassed theater manager leaned down to me and said, “Kid, you’re alright, it’s your…”

“Uncle,” I supplied.

“Yeah. It’s your uncle got carried away,” he said as he slipped me a few tickets. “Come next week to that new spook picture. Bring summa your school pals instead.”

“You sure?” I whispered, Kong-spirit-torily.

“Sure I’m sure. And never mind your uncle. He’ll be fine. Last night a drunk about tried to crawl into the screen and unplug Marilyn Monroe’s toe from the bathtub. I shoulda plugged him.”

“Yeah," said one of the slightly older than I usher kids. “He said ‘That Marilyn, I sure would like to plumb her!’”

“Thass nuttin’,” said the other kid. “My mom’s cousin down in Maryland got himself hauled outta this same picture, kept yelling ‘That Marilyn Monroe, what Chesty Peaks!”

Yeah. And no doubt he’d been baying at the MM’ly moons, too.Years later I’d forgotten all about this, until the week before he died my uncle handed me a cardboard tube all wrapped up. “Whuzzthis?” “Open and see.” Started to, but he was already in his vehicle, driving off, waving “Gotta go, hope you like it, kid!” Yeah, he really went, all right. We’d both been busy guys, and for no good reason that tube got lost in the shuffle of life. I didn’t think upon the thing until I refound it a coupla hours after his funeral service. Opened it, found a beat to shreds movie poster 1-sheet to THE SEVEN YEAR ITCH inside, and I’m not ashamed to say tears came to my eyes as I read my uncle’s dead letter note as passed on tomb me.

“Picked this up, okay, I stole it, when I had to go see the end of this movie at another theater. May you grow up to plant even firmer than Marilyn’s tomatoes upstairs.” His hand had become shakier next paragraph, and I thought about the pair he’d wanted to grab, as I double-D-ciphered out: “Oh yeah, the second joint was over in the coal region, but I managed not to get ‘trone’ out.”

Now you know, dear reader, ‘specially if you’ve read these things before, that the same guy who took me to LI'L ABNER…some way to Capp this, huh?... and BLACK SUNDAY, seemed to enjoy Marilyn Monroe in SEVEN YEAR ITCH up on the screen above all udders.

So today I’m offering this piece in fondness to the man who got me started on the Mick, the Mac and Marilyn, as we coMMemorate her passing, August 4th, some say 5th, 1962, of Marilyn Monroe, waif, woman, goddess, whom man, in his quest to plant ever redder tomatoes on even Mars, will take along with him in whatever playable form movies take in our far-flung, fur-schlonged futures. As the story above was meant to show, man and woman are a playful and racey race, and if you ask me my uncle woulda LOVED Gorman’s Marilyn Tapes, as will any future vid-viewing voyagers who’ll want after watching a centuries old MMovie wanna make the carnal coupling Deimost of it, as do modern readers of this 2lst Century…he said, trying at lust to bring this baby come down, slow and E. J.-ly.

(And may man and woman always, no matter how we advance or Double-D evolve, enjoy themselves, even if they’re not all born a’lake…)


On lake, that is, unlike yer creative typist here, E.J./Ed Gorman is a master of novel wordfare, with manly of his books and stories being the kind men lick, I mean lake, dammit, LIKE: westerns, thrillers, horror. My uncle woulda loved the man’s stuff, although he never read horror. Westerns, yeah, if they had Donald Hamilton at the Helm. Temple of Schlockers probably don't need tomb be told that fearfully fine horror by Mr. Gorman hexists. Curse, with a name like GORman, how could it rot? Check out, for startlers, the Gorster's Kongtributions to Kolchak: The Night Stalker anthologies, ghoul on, I'm Darren ya! Or, Robert E. Lee-p into the Confederacy of the Dead collection, and beware that it takes a strong stomach to learn what Civil War zombs really Confeder-ATE. Plus they paid for it with horrible rebelly aches. Witch, I ghost, now that I stink on it, should be taken for Grant-dead.

Spooking of that collection, The Keeper reekcommends Gorman's "The Face," as ghouled a Civil War chiller as any you'll ever find, even after a few Bierce.

One thing, I ever see a sign like in Hitch's PSICKO, dammit, I said PSYCHO, that gives directions to GORMAN, I'm heading for the fright Crane! (Hey, I always was the Marion kind.)

Another reason men may ghoul for The Marilyn Tapes? I could be wuh wuh wrong, but I believe there’s but one chapter in the novel over the length of 3 pages. Being a thriller of crime, suspense and naughty national intrigue, Tapes simply gunbarrels along and unlong in its breathless chase through an era no longer ours, when our country was yet to bescum so frequent an assassin nation.

The time, 1962. John F. Kennedy rocks in the White House. And rocks and rolls with any sweet thing in panties. Brother Bobby’s got, at lust with Marilyn, the same sinclinations. Even as Lyin’ Bastard Johnson lusts to make a bigger Nam for himself, no doubt finding the V P job Dallas they come.

Book opens third-person with a brief glance at a messy room wherein lies the lifeless body of Marilyn Monroe. Chapter lays the framework sad and melancholy at first, how have the mighty fallen style, then shifts just enough for the casual reader to think about the “Who’s to blame?” work with:

“For just as there were jackals in Marilyn’s life, so too will there be jackals after Marilyn’s death.”

Meaning that, just like during the times of , say, the pharoahs, men of power always needs must have more power, and the best way to achieve it is by the elimination of the top dogs. Never mind this mention of cryptic times and tombs, it haunt Gorman’s intent to have you put down The Marilyn Tapes and say “Egypt me!”

And, let there be no deNile, the high and mighty of 1962 America are wide open… and dead she, I SAID ready!… for Anubis-ness.

Except for pertinent facts and quotes, plus brief chapters from “Marilyn’s diary,” the book is driven authorial voice with each chapter giving us the lay-fest low-down on one particular character, all within a cast that makes for a perfect politi-kill thriller which conspiraces to the finish. Oh yeah, well get a load of these babies, some of whom were mentioned oilier and girly leer, if ya think I’m Condon ya!:

Marilyn Monroe, way off stage cuz she’s in a Hollywood bed dead, having finally got that killer part to die for. I mention that since if she’d been found dead in our nation’s capitol, she woulda been officially D.C.eased.

Not that there aren’t a few Washington types wouldn’t mind if she’d died a little sooner, including John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Marilyn’s former lover as purr our story’s moitivations, who is described as a fellow who couldn’t KEEP his pecker in his pants. Well, yeah, butt if he could have he’d never be the great romantic figure of a man he seems to us now to be, now woody? Plus, it ain’t lake, sigh, like it was JFK bonely who brought nude meaning to the term Oval Orifice.

Naughty to woman shun Bobby Kennedy, who, when it, ahem, comes to Marilyn, feels lick thighs.

Then there’s the first member of our dramatis historical figures to show up live and onstage: F.B.I. director J. Edgar Hoover. Yep, the man who brought down Dillinger in the Great Depression’s very Depps.

Which brings my unc back to mind. Guy always said, “Yeah, one look at Dillinger and all every gal wished he was drillin’ her.”

Like the Kennedy boys…and he doesn’t… the J.-ster’s all hot and bothered to get his hands on a certain batch of tapes made by Hollywood-connected mob boys who also hate the John & Bobby, and if they can’t have the tomb of ‘em killed, they can at least get them K.icked out. So they record certain illicit butt fun acts which have been purr formed with Marilyn, and soon everyone in Hollywood and D.C. is in hot pursuit of those tapes while tripping over each other's should be private dicks.

Hoover, too, has no love lost Oval Orifice, I mean, over the Kennedys. He wants the Federal Bureau to go more, oh, Federal Bureau International. And boy, when it comes to someone else’s undressers and bureaus, J. Ed can go through them like nobody’s love nest.

Next to Hoover is his right hand man and purr laps lover, Clyde Tolson. Tolson may enjoy, somewhat, Hoover’s methods of bagging folks he doesn’t like, no matter if he achieves those ends suckily. As end, Hoover’s got the goods on Rock Hudson, whose explicit photos Hoover looks at in awe, thinking the man’s “insatiable.” No word, howlever, if Hudson was such for periods as long as both the night and day are Doris. Tolson even tempts J. Ed with gossip about Tony Perkins. We don’t hear it, but you can bet the Bureau’s got the f-n facts down Psychold. Tolson wants J. Edgar to have no part of this Marilyn matter, though, when it purr taints to a certain Melanie, Hoover’s rampaging redhead of a crack agent. More on her slay her.

Also in the MMix, Louella Parsons, ex-gossip columnist supremess. She’s been told she will be supplied with the tapes of MM mmaking smothered in brothers love. She sees these scandalous items as just the thing to bring her hack to the prominence she once enjoyed as queen of the kinda sensational squeeze froth the sleaze that could make the big boys and girls of Hollywood get down on their knees, puh-leeze. Curse, only Mr. Gorman knows whether she’ll achieve this goal, and how much headline blazing untruths as truths can, as we said in the ‘60’s, really Hearst, donut.

Thrown in for good MMeasure are the Mob and Mobbed-up Movie types, plus innocents, more or less, like young Sara, INSIGHTful writer of arty kills on the golden daze of movies; her ex-husband turned gigolo, over a decade too oily and he’s still mostly Travolting; daughter Laura, cute as a new pet, who gets shot by Melanie and rolled UP in carpet. Up to you, suddenly fearful reader, to read The Marilyn Tapes and see if Laura survives by virtue of her individuality being so rugged.

There’s Tully, a private dick who may or may not be in on the double-cross with the tapes, I’ll never tell when it’s up to the author and his tale of the TAPE to getcha all wound up.

There’s Vanessa, Tully’s wife, an amputee who begins rather piteously and through chains of eeek!-vents gets stronger and stronger as she goes alonger. No wonder, after what she goes through at the hands of… no, I can’t say it, although hysterical historical types may object to an oily ‘60’s Hollywood crime story shooting the beav…no, I won’t go any further, you have my ‘60’s family sit com Ward.

Interspurted between all the third person persons we have short excerpts from Marilyn’s supposed diary. All are short, yet many are sweet, like her relating how she flavored her husband’s coffee. It’s a wonder he didn’t Maxwell parachute her down to the last drop!

Swill and all, lots of MM’s mam, I SAID memories are horrendous, exploitatively and justifiably so, and certainly plausible from what we now know of Marilyn’s life, if we can indeed separate truth from Hollywood legend from modern t.v. shows that would probably scumflounder anyone who lived as an adult in Marilyn’s time, leave ‘em realiteed off. Which is the easy read, sleazy charm of such a book, the fractured by our times truth stirred with fast and furious fictons that drive us tomb it.

Hey, did I mention DRIVE? Aside from the mob’s heavy hitters…and wait till ya learn why the mob boss behind the Kennedy/Marilyn tapes arranged them, because he’d met Kennedy, and what a dark meet it was…we have Lenihan, a WW2 buddy of JFK who winds up the Man’s own troubleshooter in charge of if not destroying those types, at least running them down. The scene where Lenihan calls out not Laura’s name but…well, lemme allow E.J. Gorman to have that pleasure. Gotta give space to a man who can do a novel where there’s barely a chapter in the last, what, 50 pages…I seem to have MMs.-laid the durned book.. that goes over two pages, as we get down to the bare bones matter of Lenihan surrounded by lesser cast members of no national import other than what their actions may determine, as in the balance hangs not so much the fate of the nation as does our land’s very faith. And you, dear reader, will be driving through The Marilyn Tapes’ pages with the slick ‘60’s speed of a Cape Canaveral Apollo rocket. Or maybe more like, since I already brought up Hertz donuts, a guided muscle.

As threatened, here’s where I bring up the real driving femme force of Marilyn, that being Melanie. She’s J. Edgar’s, as I suppose they’d slay in the daze of a girl from U.N.C.L.E., a lady from L.U.S.T., and a miss from S.I.S., TOP female assassin free-lancette. Unsaddled and non-sad dolled by any of Lenihan’s guilt or grief, she has it all. Fast cars and the ruthlessness with witch to handle them, the furry lust firepower, the ability to take things to the MMax to achieve Hoover’s goal: get those tapes. Murder? No big squeal. Torture?…piece’a rake over the hot coals. Kidnapping? That’s for Goo’ed Leave Her Child!

There are things, howlever, that J. E. H. doesn’t know. Yet. Like Melanie being a lesbian. Leave someone else to tell Hoover that info, and inflict its toll, son! Like with the Kennedy Brothers, what may have begun as fun becomes deadly serious, and Melanie soon goes completely ape-she-it and outta Kongtrol. Oh wait, wrong ‘60’s sleuth and spy stuff, it was Kongtrol vs. Chaos, right? Hey, whoever said the Keeper of the Pit was Smart? Although in those daze, Agent 99 was a gal he woulda loved to have felled on…

So there ya go-go: I reread this novel aROWL!nd this time every summer, because it takes me through MMany a MMood, even though I’d still rather purr fur not a blonde in my brunecks life…

Try Tapes, by all Double-D Mmeans. Don’t expect a ride tame and tired, this thing is will shake and quake ya and sneak up on ya like jello on springs from behind. Say you get a wicked pleasure from watching, oh, Melanie lose it as her level of, even for her, violence escalates beyond belief. What she does to a female prisoner she has Mmoments before admired for her “big, beautiful breasts” is especially hair-blazing. Hooked and laddered now, ain’tcha? As to what Melanie does, I haunt telling, don’t even gassed.

And yet, fire all that, Gorman’s way enough the pro to, when Melanie’s met the end of her moll in ghouled fun function, give her a peaceful send-off of sorts, non-sordid and divinely merciful. Just as Marilyn under Gorman’s hands never suffers any pain that she herself she does not relate with the world-weary voice of a little girl, revealing herself lost to the lusts for money and power of cinematic Cohn men, politi-killers and those worse in villainy for their ordinary-tude. Up to you, potentially leer reader, to decide if the Kennedy boys had anything to do with it. Me, I jest say the bigger you get, the more you bedher watch out for yer peter. And if ya don’t, there’s probably a lawford that. (No matter whatcha MMay thin’k, man…he said, like his thrilling to pback thrillers uncle always one to Hammett up.)


Up next for Keepers In Krime?: The Magic Bullet, as written by an IN his ‘60’s ex-agent of Spector. (Even Perry Mason would find it The Case of a Different Cali-Burr!)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Shlock is right.