Written by: Matt Molgaard
I’d call Tony a friend, despite the fact we’re not exactly able to hang on Saturday nights and guzzle booze until our judgment flips the vacancy sign. He’s done some incredible work for HNR, and that work isn’t just appreciated, it’s enjoyed immensely. The guy can write. He can write damn well and he’s got one hell of a personality. But there’s a difference between writing a review, or an editorial, and writing a piece of fiction. We’re talking a big difference, two different worlds, to be honest. Rapino however, just proved, unquestionably, that it doesn’t matter what arena he steps in, he’s going to give his all, and he’s going to produce something damn entertaining.
Loosely Enforced Rules is a short story that I can’t talk too much about. It runs about 20-30 pages in length, and homes in on the events of one single night. If I give you too much info, I’m going to spoil this little guy, and it just so happens to be a beauty that deserves to be absorbed rather than ruined by a wordy review. I will say this: it’s essentially about a professional terror job gone wrong. That’s it.
If I’m underselling it, and creating something of a flat image for you, I’m not doing the story justice. It’s certainly not flat. Understand, it’s just really tough to sell it as it deserves to be sold without feeding you too much 411.
Loosely Enforced Rules is a little reminiscent of the amazing and highly underrated flick, Seven Psychopaths. It’s not a carbon copy of the picture, but the mood, emphasis on character examination and wild finale all feel rather similar. And I’m in for that. Seven Psychopaths was insanely entertaining. Loosely Enforced Rules was also insanely entertaining, and Rapino’s flare for colorful personalities keeps the narrative moving quite smoothly.
Expect to develop a quick fondness for a few key players in the story. Also look for a nasty little twist and a fun, albeit extremely dark climax. The humor is alive and kicking (which won’t be a surprise to anyone who knows Rapino’s work) and the concept Rapino works with is the kind of concept that can easily gain universal recognition. You don’t have to be a horror freak to dig this story, it is balls to the wall crazy, and it’s exactly the kind of effort you want to see from an author who has the potential to go far in the business.