One new-to-DVD/VOD documentary I’m interested in checking out is “Damn!” It’s not about my favorite expletive, but YouTube sensation Jimmy McMillan.
The founder of the political party known as Rent Is Too Damn High, the 64-year-old New York gubernatorial candidate McMillan seems like quite the character, being a Vietnam vet, black belt karate master, former stripper and 1970s soul singer. He became famous when his televised appearance on the 2010 debates went viral, with more than 2 million views in 24 hours.
A screener’s supposedly coming our way, so expect a review before too long. In the meantime, check out these three deleted scenes from the doc. In the first, he shares a sexual secret; in the second, he demonstrates “verbal judo”; and in the third, he shares his love for Eminem, marijuana and his favorite movie, which is ... um, “Deep Throat.” —Rod Lott
Edmond-based Sure Crossing Films is behind the Internet-fueled thriller “iCrime,” which hits DVD and VOD on Sept. 27.
Sure Crossing principals Richard Ford and Scott Bridges produced the flick, set in the world of vlogs. Here’s the official synopsis: “’iCrime’ begins with the live kidnapping of a popular Internet celebrity and follows an Oklahoma girl obsessed with exposing it as a hoax, catapulting her to her own online celebrity in the process.”
Plus, the page for the film’s YouTube trailer mentions the phrase “sex tape.” Now you’re interested, right? —Rod Lott
Talking with the mastermind behind ‘Monster Brawl,’ the movies’ ultimate fight of the living dead.
No apologies necessary if you don’t recognize the name of Jesse Thomas Cook. Just know that the Canadian filmmaker is to the new film Monster Brawl what Vince McMahon is to the WWE: its supreme leader. The wrestling analogy is apropos, given that the writer/director’s movie is, as the title promises, all about creatures battling it out in the ring.
R&R: From watching the movie, it's obvious you love wrestling and monsters, but what about comic books? Because I got a definite comic-book vibe from it.
Cook: Yeah, I mean there is that feel to it. I wasn't a huge comic book fan, but a lot of the people involved in the movie were, especially Jason Brown, who designed all of the monsters and the sets.
R&R: Being structured as a wrestling match, Monster Brawl is not traditional storytelling. And you’re catching flak for that from some reviewers. Did you expect that going in?
Cook: It exists outside of a traditional movie structure, for sure. It's more of a pay-per-view event and tournament-style movie. That's why we put in the backstories, that let us cut away here and there to get a glimpse of each monster.
R&R: Was DVD your ultimate goal from the start, or did you have visions of a huge theatrical release?
Cook: We knew going in this would be probably more of a VOD and DVD and Blu-ray. It's really hard to do theatrical nowadays as an indie film. No, we didn't have huge ambitions for that. We had a limited theatrical release in Canada and thought it would play well at midnight screenings, and it has.
R&R: I was surprised at how kid-friendly it actually is. Other than the character being named Witch Bitch and some minor gore, I could let my 7-year-old watch this. And believe me, he really wanted to, but since I hadn’t yet seen it, I couldn’t find any info online at how appropriate it was.
Cook: We wanted to make it accessible to everyone, even people who weren't huge fans of wrestling and monsters. We just wanted to make a fun movie.
R&R: And you may be too close to it to answer this, but are you pleased with it?
Cook: Absolutely, looking back a year or two after, we could've done things here and there, but with the money with had and such a small crew, I think we pulled off something really special. The budget wasn't much more than a documentary film would have. If there were ever a sequel, it'd be nice to have a bigger budget, but that's something down the road.
R&R: How possible is that?
Cook: I think it's very possible. There's been talks of a remake. We've had discussions about that with a few companies. If that weren't to happen, we'd definitely explore trying to do a sequel or turning it into some kind of franchise.
R&R: If you do have a sequel, what monsters might be in it? Or were they any you had to cut that you’d want to bring into another one?
Cook: We definitely wanted to do a yeti and a sasquatch as a tag team. We wanted to do a Royal Rumble with some zombies against some trolls. We had a list, but logistically and practically, some we could not afford to do with our special-effects budget, so the monsters we did select, we wanted to appease fans of the classic monsters and toss in a couple of ones that would kind of mimic wrestling archetypes.
Like, Swamp Gut is the essential obese wrestler, like King Kong Bundy. Witch Bitch, we wanted to have a couple of female wrestlers in there. We had a list of several mythological monsters, but Cyclops is the only one off that list we chose. But yeah, there's a long list of possibilities. And obviously, in a sequel, you could bring monsters back to life. —Rod Lott
Sci-Fi Rod Lott
Prepare to have your mind violated. Beyond the Black Rainbow
hardly represents conventional storytelling, but the film is an
absolute visual feast. Expect sensuous rather than sense, and
open-minded movie lovers will be well-rewarded.
Salma Hayek stripping isn't even the film's best element.
Drama Rod Lott
Mathieu Demy's Americano opens with a little death,
followed immediately by a big one, as Frenchmen Martin (Demy) receives
one of those middle-of-the-night phone calls that deliver the worst of
bad news: His mother has died.
Former Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl makes a music documentary, ‘Sound City.’
Dave Grohl’s not just a Foo Fighter. Now he’s a film director.
Sound City, his documentary on the historic L.A. recording studio of the same name, is set to screen locally once and once only: at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Harkins Bricktown Cinemas 16, 150 E. Reno. It’s scheduled for nowhere else in the state.
Fresh from its Jan. 18 premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, the film includes such music heavyweights as Nirvana’s Krist Novoselic, Tom Petty, Fleetwood Mac’s Stevie Nicks, Rick Springfield, Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor, Barry Manilow, Pixies’ Frank Black, producer Rick Rubin, Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo, John Fogerty, Metallica’s Lars Ulrich and many, many more.
The one-time ‘Nutty Professor’ just wants to be loved. Is that so wrong? Well, now that you mentioned it ...
Documentary Rod Lott
There's a long-standing joke about Jerry Lewis being loved by the French, and to paraphrase The Simpsons, it’s funny ’cuz it’s true. We even see the adulation — then, now — in Method to the Madness of Jerry Lewis, a two-hour documentary about the man whom one celebrity admirer calls “The Beatles of movie comedy.”
Documentary Rod Lott
Don’t feel stupid: I didn’t know who Ralph Zavadil was, either. After
all, we can’t be faulted for living in Oklahoma City instead of Ontario,
Canada. Ultimately, it makes no difference, because Beauty Day,
the documentary about the man, is a fun viewing nonetheless. That’s
because there’s something about watching stunts of bodily harm that
holds universal appeal.