Addressed by friends and family as just "Eddie," Edward Bunker lead a life of crime and did not even realize it - so he says - until his mid-twenties and then continued on only to gain more material for his novels.
What many may not know is that No Beast This Fierce was not actually his first novel. It was his sixth, but Bunker doesn't like to talk about the others because they were so bad.
Indeed it took him those six first novels and countless of other short stories, before his first book was published. His other books included Animal Factory, Boy Blue and Dog Eat Dog.
Despite his life in crime, Bunker was always interested in movies and used them as a form of escape. Early on in his life, he befriended Louise Wallis who was a former star of the silent screen. Wallis really introduced him to the world of cinema by taking him into her circle of friends including Jack Dempsey, Tennessee Williams and William Randolph Hearst.
Bunker played in over 20 films and so it didn't come to him as a great surprise when he was cast as Mister Blue in Quentin Tarantino's smash hit Reservoir Dogs. Bunker had been playing a bodyguard for most of his career and he didn't think that this would become the big success that it did.
Eight years later, he would re-team with his Reservoir Dogs co-star Steven Buscemi to adapt his novel Animal Factory.
Bunker was the youngest inmate to go to San Quentin and he learned everything he knew behind bars, and most importantly a sense of loyalty and respect which was highly valued in prison. He often told in interviews that it wasn't for his wife; he would still be robbing banks and caught up in his forgery routines.
Although he doesn't consider himself a crime-writer, he does enjoy reading novels of the genre, especially by his good friend James Ellroy - whom he considers to have a completely opposite writing style as his own.
Machiavelli Hangman (http://www.hangmanmovie.com) is the latest film in the genre that repeatedly hints at the Bunker legacy and his sense of gritty storytelling. In No Beast this Fierce, he traced the struggles of an ex-conman trying to go straight and pull himself together. In the brilliantly made Machiavelli Hangman, the filmmakers take that premise that has been used over and over in other films, and they fuel it with a new fresh energy that blows audiences away.
After his great turn as Mister Blue, Bunker was considered to play the coveted role of Locksmith in Machiavelli Hangman.
About the author:
Chich Fernando Jonquez is a movie reviewer.
His current review is of the upcoming
movie, "Machiavelli Hangman".
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