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In 1975 factory worker Don Jackson (above) assembled an amateur crew on an $8,000 budget to shoot his first feature, The Demon Lover. Don took sick leave for two weeks from the speedometer cable factory he was then working at to shoot it. His bosses would later see an interview he did with the Detroit Free Press and fire him. Co-director and writer Jerry Younkins used the money he got from an industrial accident to fund the film. To be more specific, Jerry intentionally cut off one of his fingers so he would be awarded the money to back this shit-show. This is mentioned briefly in the film, when Don complains that Jerry should have waited a few more months to get the full $15,000 industrial accidents were paying out at the time. Jerry also looks like a viking and stars in the film alongside a 14 year old girl. All of this sounds like the makings of a superb mockumentary, but it’s all fact and it’s all documented in the hilarious and face-palming documentary Demon Lover Diary.
Shot by Joel DeMott, the girlfriend of Demon Lover’s cinematographer, Jeff Kreines, it becomes apparent early on that Jeff and Joel have way more film experience than Don and Jerry. In fact, the first-time filmmakers have no fucking clue what is going on. Ever. During an interview with a local newspaper, Don explains how groundbreaking the film is going to be. Standing right next to him is Jerry, who states that the film is “junk” and that they know it’s junk (this is the man who cut one of his fingers off to fund the film). Don swiftly clarifies with “When he says it’s junk, he means it’s pure entertainment.”
The documentary is filled with depression, anger, screaming-matches, and purely oddball moments. Like how the crew is staying at Don’s mother house and they’re not allowed to tell her what the movie is about because she’s religious. Or how they borrow one of Ted Nugent’s guns. Yes, they go to Ted fucking Nugent’s house and borrow a gun. And while the first hour and 20 minutes is fun and whatnot, the last five minutes are downright insane.
I won’t say anything more because the film is honestly worth tracking down online and soaking in. If you’re a fan of American Movie (who isn’t), Demon Lover Diary is like its bastard child – only filmed 19 years earlier.
December 16, 2009
kool moe dee
August 25, 2009
In the 1980s video cassette technology made it possible for “mobile cinema” operators in Ghana to travel from town to town and village to village creating temporary cinemas. The touring film group would create a theatre by hooking up a TV and VCR onto a portable generator and playing the films for the people to see.
In order to promote these showings, artists were hired to paint large posters of the films (usually on used canvas flour sacks). The artists were given the artistic freedom to paint the posters as they desired – often adding elements that weren’t in the actual films, or without even having seen the movies. When the posters were finished they were rolled up and taken on the road (note the heavy damages). The “mobile cinema” began to decline in the mid-nineties due to greater availability of television and video; as a result the painted film posters were substituted for less interesting/artistic posters produced on photocopied paper.
The artistic freedom that these artists were given allowed for the creation of some very interesting and sometimes bizarre posters that, as screenwriter Walter Hill wrote, were quite often “more interesting than the films.”