|Title:||Tales from the Quadead Zone|
|Director:||Chester N. Turner|
Other Movies Seen By This Director (1)
- Black Devil Doll from Hell
|10.25.13||Marchesa|| After a pretty great Q&A (highlights: learning that during production of Devil Doll one location burned down and one actor was murdered; they made up names for most of the credits to make it seem like it wasn't all just Chester, his brother Keefe, and Shirly; Devil Doll was originally going to be one of the Tales from the Quadead zone but in his frenzied three-day writing binge he realized it would be too long, but they had already shot the 'Brothers' segment from Quadead before Devil Doll) everybody settled in to watch a midnight screening of this movie.|
Also pretty rough on second viewing. the white hillbillies "living high on the hog in the witness protection program" was still funny but both the Brothers segment and the last part dragged for me. I noticed people bailing though which gave me a weird nice feeling of some of the rougher Weird Wednesdays back in the day.
I also made the mistake of not eating before the show so by the end I was preoccupied wondering if anywhere was still open for me to eat. Because of that I kind of hurried out which was surreal because I swear I saw Steve Little (improve comedian best known as Stevie in Eastbound and Down) outside as I left and if I was hanging out more I maybe could've told him I liked his performance in Wrong.
Anyway, it was a fun night. The reality of the movies themselves hit me a little more than I thought they would, but I definitely enjoyed the experience.
|01.24.08||Terror Thursday|| It's great that Chester N. Turner made another movie after Black Devil Doll from Hell. I wonder if he had some sort of distributor in place or weird deal with some company or what because they look like the home movies I was making with my friends when I was like 12. It was a pretty big shock to be watching the opening titles for this movie and see a "casting by" credit. That means that there were strangers in this movie!|
See, here's how I choose to explain Turner's oeuvre: Shirley Jones is Turner's wife. They made Devil Doll as something fun to do on weekends that doubled as their "private tape" to put on at night as foreplay. Chester knew this guy, David Ichikawa, who said "hey, the video market's booming right now. If you have a movie I can probably sell it and you can make a few extra bucks." So Turner makes a copy of his tape and hands it to David who re-cuts it to add beginning and end credits and supplies his own awesomely kickass theme song just to make it presentable and before you know it, Turner sees his fun little perv-proj on the video shelves complete with cover art. Wow, that's great! He thinks. Imagine how successfull I'd be if I actually made a movie for real! Hence Tales from the Quadead Zone.
Utilizing in-camera special effects, custom artwork, intricate plot framework, and more than one actor, this is a (kinda) real movie with (barely) more than three scenes. It's much more polished than Devil Doll and I think it may be a better in-the-moment viewing experience, meaning it's not quite as tough to sit through. It's still only like 62 minutes long but it attempts to be an anthology. Zack had warned us that there were only 3 actual tales from the Quadead Zone but I kind of thought he meant three stories in addition to the wraparound. Nope. And not only that, one of the stories is like five minutes long. It's a pretty amazing five minutes though, recounting the harrowing struggle of a large white family who are so poor as to not have enough food to go around. Why they can't cut the sandwhiches in half to accomodate all 8 of them I don't really know, but whatever.
So Zack's blog about this pretty much covered the bases. I was too tired to write about it last night and now it feels like I'm cribbing from him but I will say it was pretty awesome. Probably not as "important" to the history of cinema as Devil Doll, but definitely more polished and like I said, easier to sit through as you watch it. I think the idea or memory of Devil Doll is greater though...
And what was up with the basement graffito of "1 2 3 4 5" ??? That was awesome. Awesome enough to laugh about for 23 minutes. And living high on the hog in witness protection program? Or being sent to the state gas chair? Great. Also great is the white line on the left edge of the screen from where the camera captured the edge of the printed title card when they saved the image. And a lot was mentioned about the boobie mug. I remember seeing a whole line of those in my dad's Easy Rider magazine as a kid, detailing the fun happenings in Sturges, SD along with the softcore centerfolds of ladies on motorcycles. I really think I came close to making this movie in my early teens with the family VHS camera and my neighborhood buddies. The only difference is we never finished our stuff and could never find a girl willing to have a fan blow on her face as if a ghost son was talking to her. But I loved how the movie started on a close-up of a Madball. I had that particular Madball and was just in Toys R Us the other day to find out that they've brought them back for the next generation except now they have rubber interiors filled with blood and plastic guts for an extra gross-out factor. So this movie is ripe for a re-make!
Lots of fun with this amazing experience. I love that the Alamo subjected like 160 people to this. What other theater in the history of the universe would ever even entertain the thought of showing this?