Thursday, March 19, 2009

STATUES AND MEDALS

Montgomery, Alabama. We'd tell you what day it was, but at this point we have lost all track of time as we knew it. All we know is that it was still daylight when we found ourselves in the lobby of the Capri Theatre, being greeted by our host, Martin. In short order he shared with us his own filmmaking background, including his foray into LA's feature film business. It only took this intuitive character six months to glean that Hollywood was not for him. He still managed to aquire some pretty lasting memories, however. His journey found him working for the legendary Roger Corman. His job on one low-budget classic, SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE, was to do the foleys, which means to create and edit sound effects for the film. He proudly gave us the recipe for the drill kill sound effect. It was something to do with placing a grapefruit in a blender, followed by pressing a two by four through the fruit and into the whirring blade. Apparently, the splintered wood and pulp made for a bone-chilling noise. It is no doubt that SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE's success was due to Martin's artisanal skills. You bet we tucked that tip away for future use -- you never know. Vic had in fact, early on in his career, worked on such drive-in classics as WOMEN IN CELL BLOCK SEVEN and THE BODYGUARD, with Sonny Chiba. Those works linger in his psyche -- I am still awakened in the night sometimes by his tossing, turning, and power-kicking, as his dreams are haunted by the Kung-Fu yelps and screams in his head.


Luckily for us, we arrived in Montgomery just in time for a whirlwind quickie of a tour. Martin entertained us with his wry sense of humor as we drove to our first stop, Hank Williams' grave. It appears that the intersection between music and film is not only something that's prevalent in our work, but has become a theme of this tour. The sun was shining and the birds singing sweetly in the wisteria scented air as we examined the box of Korean Twinkies some previous mourner had laid at the foot of the headstone. This made for an interesting sight, placed as it was next to the intricately carved white stone cowboy hat.


We then proceeded to the state government buildings, all very impressive, with the grassy grounds studded with statues of Alabama notables such as politicians, war heroes, and the piece de resistance, The Father of Modern Gynecology, J. Marion Sims.


Next to the Capri Theatre was a Mexican cantina, where inside we were re-united with Vic's cousin Yvonne, whom we'd not seen since her wedding thirty years ago. Her amiable husband, Bill, who reminded us of Albert Brooks, seems the perfect match for Yvonne, and they seem as in love with each other today as they did at their nuptials. Yankee transplants, they've made a wonderful life for themselves in the South.


Post-screening, we were greeted by an exuberant crowd. The 4-H Club had two busloads of high-school kids in attendance, and to our delight, they were enormously energized by watching RANDOM LUNACY. The Q&A went like gangbusters. Sometimes one kid would jump in to answer another's question. We're talking life and philosophy here. To know that we created something that touches people of all ages and provokes thought and passionate discussion is gratifying beyond words. We were also presented with a medal by the 4-H Club as the Alabama chapter celebrates 100 years.


In the morning, prior to our hitting the road again, Bill phoned us with a recommendation for some good barbecue in Mobile. We were locked and loaded for our next stop.