Monday, March 09, 2009

Blood, Boobs & Beast

Allow me to take the time, if I may, to talk to you about movies. Not good movies, like Watchmen and Milo & Otis, or expensive blockbuster/epics like The Cat in the Hat and Army of Darkness. In fact, I’m talking about movies you’ve never seen, directed by a guy you’ve never heard of, featuring a cast of nobodies and filmed in the murky backwaters of Baltimore County, (and if you’ve ever been to Baltimore, then you know the whole place is nothing but murky backwaters).

Ahhh, Baltimore. What can I say that hasn’t already been said by The Wire and Ace of Cakes? It’s a weird town. Known primarily for being a dangerous place, it’s also a great city to go if you want to stock up on Gonorrhea. It was once home to Bob Marley, Edgar Allen Poe and Tupac. I think they all rented a house in Druid Hill.

Baltimore is also home to some interesting film makers. One, John Waters, you’ve probably already heard of, (if not I highly recommend that you rent Pink Flamingos, it’s a heart-warming family film that can be enjoyed by all) but I want to introduce you to two directors you probably haven’t heard about.

Over the past 30 or so years, film maker Don Dohler has graced the world with a dozen of the corniest, most low-budget and unintentionally hilarious horror and sci-fi movies you’ve never seen. I’m talking Ed Wood level movies. I’m talking about movies that can’t help but entertain you as you sit there, in front of the tv, enthralled by the train wreck unfolding on the screen.

Everybody loves a good bad movie, as oxymoronic as that sounds. How else do you explain the popularity of Paul Blart: Mall Cop, or anything with Julia Roberts? People are gluttons for movies with special effect budgets smaller than the GDP of Rhodesia. They go nuts for movies where the actors deliver their lines as if they went to the Joey Tribiani School of Acting. People are huge fans of movies with wafer-thin storylines and huge, glaring plot holes. Fortunately, Don Dohler movies have all of those things, by the boat load!

Sadly, Don Dohler died in 2006. But he left behind a legacy of movies that will be enjoyed by people for years to come, (until the zombie uprising destroys civilization).

Before his death, Dohler became the subject of a documentary by another Baltimore area film maker, John Kinhart. In his movie Blood Boobs and Beast, Kinhart chronicles Dohler’s life, from his early years drawing underground comics, up to his final movie Dead Hunt. It turns out, oddly enough, that Dohler gave a young, (at the tender age of 16, no less!) J.J. Abrams one of his first gigs, writing the music to one of the most hilarious sex scenes ever committed to celluloid. Dohler was also very influential in the careers of many people involved in movie-making today, people like Greg Schmekle, the preeminent key grip, Thom Trovenstien, Hollywood’s most celebrated boom mic operator, Olga Bepple, the acclaimed craft services table lady, and, of course, Zaphod Bebblebrox.

Kinhart’s documentary, the provocatively-named Blood, Boobs & Beast, made the circuit of film festivals across the globe, picking up awards and accolades as it went. It’s an excellent film, which means a lot coming from me because typically the only documentaries I like involve pimps being up and hoes being down.

Happily, Blood, Boobs & Beast was finally released on DVD the other week, which means you can get a copy, (which I highly recommend). It’s got drama, pathos, humor and boobs, (I think there’s also some blood and beast in there as well). And as a special deal, the movie comes in a pack of two, along with one of Don Dohler’s movies: Nightbeast. That’s the movie with the ridiculous sex scene scored by the guy who created Lost, Alias, Cloverfield and the new Star Trek flick.

So go to and order your copy of Blood, Boobs & Beast today! Do it now! I’m watching you and I know where you live!

And no, I’m not getting paid to pimp this movie. I just happen to be a big fan of obscure film makers from Baltimore. When you watch the documentary, you will be too. Or I’ll refund your money personally.*

*That’s a complete lie.