Bad Movies with Leif Garrett fo $500 Alex
The recent unpleasantness brought me to mind of an experience I had back in the day. And stories of back in the day are really the point of this blog. Sniffing around for work, my friend Dave asked me to go to a meeting with a guy that was trying to put a feature together here and would likely be interested in my preproduction skills. So I went and met and they seemed earnest but had not real funding. His name was Sean McGregor and he was this guy in his mid 50s with a penchant for wearing those photographers vests that are so Roland Hedely.
Don’t get me wrong. After hanging with Sean for about a year, I really grew to like him. He was full of bluster and BS and was responsible for a real bad horror show in the mid 70s called Devil Times Five. It featured a young Leif Garrett. I am not really sure what the story was about but that it involved a school bus full of demon children that overturns and then they proceed to terrorize this house or village or something. Awful stuff regardless. But Sean had history so Eric hopped onto the McGregor express and we were going to make this action adventure film. The basic plot was the Columbian drug smugglers took advantage of an earthquake. There were these children that were all broken up and were being moved to a hospital in the US. The smugglers packed the casts of these kids with drugs and somewhere over the Caribbean they played their hand and took over the plane, sawed off the casts to retrieve their drugs and tossed the kids into the sea. Nice Huh? I forget how the rest of the show was supposed to play out but it ends with a C47 doing a ballistic climb right in front of a luxury hotel in Florida. We fiddled around with that show for about a week then Sean decided against that. He was going to finish a show he started in earlier.
Remember Vanna White? Remember the talk about her doing a titty scene that she absolutely denied doing? I have a copy of the footage. Sean was the guy that made this flick. It was about biplane flyers in the mid west and they actually switch female leads somewhere into the first act. Pretty funny stuff and really poorly acted all around. Vana’s scene is just a shower scene in which they silhouette her in a transparent shower curtain and they dump cold water on her. I remember at a wrap party after doing a college multi camera project I showed the footage and one of my actors noted that, “Somewhere a calf is going hungry.” Think about it.
Anyway Sean was all full of lets start some buzz and the money would follow. WE finally gave up on the Vanna show and he pulled out this script called baked Apple. In a nutshell it is a very Brazilesque dark comedy about capital punishment and it was actually a really good script. I got to work breaking down the script and created a strip board and a reasonable budget. I think it was a 30 day shoot. We then auditioned actors and that was the end of it. You see with out really having the money to shoot you are not going to. And if you try without the money you make crap simply because you cannot afford Talent or equipment, bottom line. You do not need a lot but you need it regardless. In this case it was about 500 K by really scrimping and cutting corners. So after it became apparent that this was going nowhere I politely bowed out and bade Sean Luck.
I am not sure what ever happened to him but I do know he was all about making a gritty news show like Hard Copy that had jus hit the airwaves and was really popular. I found the host of Hard Copy to be really offensive and refused to watch it. I wonder whatever happened to that hack. I think his name was O’Reilly.