Guilty Pleasures: Victor Gischler

Today, Victor Gischler steps up to admit to one of his dark pleasures. Seeing how Victor is one of the baddest, hard-boiledest dudes on the planet, one would think this will be the kind of thing that leaves us with nightmares for years.


Honestly, we first need to examine the suspect term “guilty pleasures.” Or as I like to call them: Pleasures. I guess I don’t feel guilty about doing things I enjoy, including watching films that others might find embarrassing. I don’t embarrass easily. However, I do understand that I’m supposed to play ball. I’m supposed to pick a film that will motivate others to say, “We thought you were cool …. Now we know better.” (The notion that anyone ever thinks I’m cool already blows the whole premise, but whatever.)

So in keeping with the spirit of this feature, I am now looking over at my DVD collection and see that I have a copy of MAMA MIA.
Go ahead. Laugh.

Maybe we should first talk about what this film does NOT have. Nobody is knifed. Not a single character is shot in the head with an automatic pistol. Number of Kung Fu showdowns: 0. Car chases: Nil. Beheadings? Nope. Well … you get the picture.

MAMA MIA is the singing-ist, dancing-ist, Abba-ist DVD I own. The Bill Criders of the world and I make no apologies for loving Abba’s music. Maybe part of the reason is that it transports me to my childhood of the 1970s, and it was irresistible to hear/see all of my favorite Abba songs shoved together into a tolerable narrative. (Something I’d been doing in my head for decades.) Even Remington Steele’s appalling singing voice – which could murder a small cat at a hundred yards – is endearing in some warped way. Maybe it’s the thought that, hey, if he can do it, then I can do it. I can sing my ass of and screw it! The purchase of this DVD was motivated almost entirely by the fact that I had intended to see the stage show, but I simply never got around to it.

Although I feel no “guilt” owning this DVD, I do think it’s kinda … well … dumb. But the Gisch can do dumb. Dumb is often fun. And there the DVD sits on my shelf. And here I sit, knowing full well that sooner or later, I’ll take it down again.

Victor Gischler
Edgar and Anthony nominated author Victor Gischler lives in Baton Rouge with his wife and son. His novels GUN MONKEYS and GO-GO GIRLS OF THE APOCALYPSE are currently in development to be motion pictures. He also writes for Marvel Comics. He likes black coffee, red wine and video golf.