Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The Drunken Hero (Dan Catalano, 1987)

A short film starring me when I was...let's see, I guess just turned 19. In fact, this was probably just a week or two before I went off to college, after dropping out of high school and doing a year at Indian River Community College, so this is sort of the end of my unnaturally extended childhood.

Our friend, Jen Ball, had a party at her house Saturday night (her parents were out of town). Zane had a camcorder there, and filmed a bunch of silliness at the party. Zane crashed at the house, and the next morning I came over to help them all clean up. Then he got this idea that he wanted to make a movie called The Drunken Hero, about a superhero whose power is that anything he touch turns into a beer. He had a gag where he was off-camera, playing a little kid, and he'd come up to me and say "Drunken Hero, can you fix my teddy bear?" He hands me the bear, I turn it into a beer, say "Thanks, kid," and walk away with a snearing laugh.

So we filmed a few variations on this routine, and then some more friends showed up, and...I really don't remember there being any discussion about what we were doing, we just started making a movie, as if that was what we had planned to do that day. And for some reason, Dan took the whole project over, and never even included Zane's bit about the teddy bear.

We ended up filming the whole movie at and around Jen's house (and a nearby convenience store) over the course of that day and into the night--you can see the light failing in the scenes near the end. Dan went home to edit the footage together, then decided that the ending was a mess, so he made us all get together to reshoot the climax (beginning with The Mayor getting the morning paper) and end credits at his house the next day. The denoument, which rips off A Boy and His Dog, is part of the original footage from Jen's house.

For reference, Zane is the one playing the assassin sent after me and Dan plays his boss. And Jen is the only female seen in the movie, so she's pretty easy to pick out. There is some racially insensitive stuff about the convenience store clerk, my only defense of which is that it was 20 years ago.


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