Disappear Here: A Few Words on Bret Easton Ellis

Bret Easton Ellis.  Don't worry.  He's never heard of you either.

Bret Easton Ellis. Don't worry. He's never heard of you either.

NOTE: This article is slightly inaccurate, specifically the news that The Informers is going straight to DVD.  The film will actually be in theaters April 24, 2009.  More information can now be found here.

Is it wrong of me to think that Bret Easton Ellis’ American Psycho is one of the funniest novels ever written?  Wait.  You know what?  I’ll even take that a step further: American Psycho is the funniest AND most important novel of the nineties.  That’s right, I said it.  So why is it that most people still have no clue who Bret Easton Ellis is?  Maybe it’s because nobody quite understands him, myself included.

And nobody misunderstands him more than Hollywood.  Granted, the film versions of American Psycho and The Rules of Attraction have both been beyond excellent*, but we can’t forget about the Ellis disowned double feature of Less Than Zero and (sigh) American Psycho 2: All American Girl.  Like many of the best authors, his work has been called unfilmable, but hey…that’s never stopped Hollywood before.

Christian Bale in a scene you didn't see in Newsies.

Christian Bale in a scene you didn't see in Newsies.

Enter The Informers.  Based on the 1994 book of linked short stories by the same name, The Informers has always been my least favorite of Ellis’ novels.  It’s still worthy of a fine 7 out of 10, and I could spend all day telling you why, but this isn’t a book review site, so let’s just cut to the chase. No other Ellis novel screams “movie adaptation” more than The Informers. The stories are short, easy to understand (kinda), and feature some of his best satire of none other than the city of Los Angles itself.  I’m kind of surprised Hollywood didn’t make this movie three years ago.

Except they did.  See, The Informers has been sitting on the shelf for over three years and I can’t quite explain why.  With a cast that features Kim Basinger, Billy Bob Thornton, Winona Ryder, Chris Isaak, and the now bankable again Mickey Rourke, it should have been a sure thing.  Maybe it’s the fact that the novel also features club hopping vampires and gay aliens that scared the studios away.

Whatever the reason, it was announced last week that The Informers is now going straight to DVD, which must be both pleasing and insulting to Bret Easton Ellis.  Despite all the drama, I have to admit that I can’t wait.  Check out the trailer for yourself below and let me know what you think.  In the meantime, if you read this far than you now know who Bret Easton Ellis is.  That makes me happy.

(Note: This trailer is HIGHLY uncensored, so you might want to remove any children or small pets from the room now)

*As crazy as this may make me sound, American Psycho is one of three films in my top ten favorites that has the word “psycho” in the title. It is joined by Hitchcock’s Psycho and Charles Busch’s hilarious Psycho Becah Party. Needless to say, I’m a hit at parties.

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