Image A- Sound A+ Extras B-
"Apéritif," "Amuse-Bouche," "Potage," "Œuf," "Coquilles," "Entrée," "Sorbet," "Fromage," "Trou Normand," "Buffet Froid," "Rôti," "Relevés," "Savoureux"
by Walter Chaw I read Thomas Harris's Red Dragon some time in the summer of 1985, when puberty and a crippling stutter conflated new, confusing biological drives with defensive rage. It's a wonder, really, that anyone gets out of junior-high alive. I had developed a taste for outré entertainments long around this time--thirteen, gawky, outcast in my mind, if not necessarily in reality. It was easier for me to identify with the Michael Myerses and Jason Vorheeses of the underverse: hiding, voyeuristic, jealous, yearning. I think we learn affinity with monsters as our own bodies betray us, metastasize around us, dosing our brains with liquid spikes of ecstasy and their attendant pitch-black abysses. I took refuge in movies rented from the local video stores in and around my suburban oubliette, and eventually in books like Harris's masterpiece, which, once discovered, was something I came back to like a scab, like a totem to be worried. Watching Manhunter on VHS a year or so after its release, I was astounded to discover it was Red Dragon. I hadn't considered that anyone else knew about, much less was interested in, the contents of my secret stash. In the years before Internet and the vast, instant dissemination of information, there were still such things as the private, the personal. Manhunter was validation, exposure, and sanctification of my perversion. I was outed.