The Boy Who Cried Wolf

Tonight’s the night.

Surface reflection all I desired babe/I am melancholy, flower cutting through stone/
I’m a crime everybody has at home/Papers hate me but they need my behaviour.*

The Mark Twitchell trial ended this week.  ‘Canadian Psycho’. A star in his own warped mind – talented filmmaker, womaniser, and uncatchable killer. All lies eventually lead to the truth.  One that’s learned to spell. Or in Twitchell’s case,  just another lie.

A wannabe serial killer. Who was meeting and having an intimate and interesting gig with his Dark Passenger. Profile of a Psychopath. Released as a piece of original writing profiling a psychopath and based on Twitchell’s own life. Fact meets fiction. The contents of which were not  shown to the jury at his trial as it was deemed too prejudicial. Holding a mirror to himself. Reflections unreal. A self-diagnosis. No innate value in human life. Taking out the trash was a good thing. Living his life like a charade. Staying true to his dark self while maintaining the facade that nothing was wrong.

Twitchell lied to his wife about everything – from unemployment to infidelity to his burgeoning film career. He lied to investors about his film plans when he hadn’t even finished a film. He lied on the Internet, posing as a pretty girl, to lure his victim to a garage for a date with a woman who didn’t exist. After he killed his victim and almost killed another, it took Mr. Twitchell over a year to come up with a lie to explain it on the witness stand. Boy cried wolf.

He blamed it on ‘Savant’  power. Inspiration. Taking mere hours to come up with ideas that other moviemakers would have taken months to develop. “But it’s not something that I can manually control or manipulate.” (Edmonton Journal, April 8, 2011, p. A3). An excerpt from his script is linked below. Not for everyone. Disturbing reading.  An insight in to the mind of a psychopath, reading like a mediocre Dexter spec script.

Full details about Mark Twitchell and his trial can be found at

The Fame monster within. Planning an imaginary ‘kill’ as Dexter, believing that his victim, also a fan of the show, would be impressed at the detail. Back when he was first charged with the murder of his victim, Twitchell was linked to the fictional Dexter Morgan character. Executive Producer Melissa Rosenberg was horrified  that the show ‘inspired’ Twitchell.

There is a line between reality and fantasy. In ‘Psycho’, Norman Bates allowed his fantasies to enjoy him.

The Twitchell case is another in a series of tricky fine-line ‘inspiration’ events based on the power of popular culture. Several years ago, a  high profile case involved metal band Judas Priest’s song ‘Suicide Solution’. A very famous court case resulted that linked that the song contributed to a real-life suicide. The songwriters were found not guilty and rightfully so. Other entertainment examples exist along with the now-standard legal clause of ‘based on fictional characters and situations’.

No one really knows who the audience is. Neilsen numbers can be misleading.

The visit to the Dark Side.

Hollywood loves the ‘feel-good’ inspiration stories. The dark ones don’t get the same attention.  It’s fiction. The closing credit says so. Well they do. It’s great to hear a celebrity talk about someone positively inspired by them. Standard press. It’s a script. I’m an actor. I’m selling my project. Contractural obligations. I have security to keep me away from the ‘crazies’. The movie pays the bills.

Plato’s ‘Phaedrus’ talks of the silent painter’s product.

Art, in all its forms, is open to interpretation. One person’s ugly pot is another’s work of beauty. A showpiece.

A criminal mind.

I watch and enjoy ‘Dexter’. I enjoy the show’s conceit of the antihero as hero. Sympathetic to the darkness. Moving to light. Brilliant at times. I am fascinated by the human ‘shadow’. I’ve written a spec script for the show. I enjoyed the process, I enjoyed visiting a different ‘world’. The challenge of this world. It’s also an internal world. With its own rules. I leave my keyboard and I leave that world. If I’m doing a workout or long walk, well, I live my character for its duration. All fantasy, all subjective. No inclination to ‘act out’ my thoughts. They stay on the page.  I’ve been asked many times by people I know about my visits to the ‘darkness’ in my writing and my love of dark TV and movies. It’s primarily a case of ‘the Devil tells the best stories’.  I’m not particularly interested in writing love stories. I liked the ones from the 40s and not today’s ‘meet cute’ and keep people apart til Act III brings them together in a post-modern cookie-cutter cliche. They’re boring for me to write. You write what you know and what you observe. And what interests you. I like research. I study people, I watch people.  Yes, all the characters I write are aspects of me. Am I any of them? No. I also approach my writing as both a writer and actor. I also employ an element of the tonal, which reflects my music interest and background. Words as musical notes, words as musical progression. I like symmetry and symphony. Do I defend my writing and creativity? No. It opens a door for people and it’s up to my readers to decide where they wish this door to go. Based on their own lives, histories, world-views. Reality is an interesting mirror. Home to distortion, dysmorphia, the human fun-house. The maze.

And no, I won’t end up as a TV movie of the week or as an episode of a blah TV procedural.

The old adage of ‘be careful what you wish for’ comes to mind.

*Patrick Bateman, 1993 (Bradfield/Moore/Moore/Edwards) – available on YouTube. Explicit content warning.


~ by hooklineandthinker on April 18, 2011.

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