With a month to go before the release of my film 'Mum & Dad', the activity surrounding the film has kicked up a notch. After a short delay while we got all the artwork sorted, the official website for the film is now up and running, with all the details about how to see the film - in cinemas, on DVD, on VOD and on download (we discussed beaming it onto the insides of people's eyelids while they slept, but the technology's not quite there yet) as well as the new trailer, some stills, cast and crew biogs and updates on other screenings. There's also a new Facebook group and MySpace page, if you're that way inclined.
I've been doing a lot of interviews around the film, including one in the latest issue of The Dark Side magazine
(which also features us - or rather a bloody, hanging Lena - on the cover). We've also kept the film going on the festival circuit, with another couple of screenings at the Northern Lights Film Festival in Newcastle and Gateshead next week. Lisa and I are also going to be on a panel about How to make a low-budget horror.
Ironically enough, one of the only festivals we didn't go to - only due to other commitments - was the Leeds International Film Festival where, we found out this week, we actually won an award (obviously our attendance at a festival must have a detrimental effect on the film's award prospects...). It was a real surprise - but greatly appreciated, especially as winning the award - a Silver Melies, named after George Melies, who made (amongst many others) the silent classic 'A Voyage to the Moon'
- means that we get entered for the Golden Melies, which is presented at Sitges next year, and is contested by the films which have been awarded the Silver Melies by each of the members of the European Fantastic Film Federation. If that means that there is even a slim chance of us getting a trophy of a grumpy moonface with a rocket sticking out of it, I'm there. The festival have posted up the Jury's comments on the programme, including their reasons for choosing 'Mum & Dad' here.
In other news - that's not all about me, me, me - Jeanie's film Goth Cruise is showing on IFC in the States tomorrow. You can see the American trailer for the film, complete with Trailer Voice Man, here. What with Jeanie screening on Thanksgiving and me on Boxing Day, we're seem to be staging a two-pronged assault on all national and international Bank Holidays. Watch it, Easter, you're next.
It was my birthday last week, and in a notable display of hitherto unrevealed almost supernatural detective powers, my brother managed to get me a copy of Death of the Fuhrer, the brilliantly insane pulp novel about Hitler, brain transplants, sexy German countesses with dark secrets and DIY surgery. Not only is the book the same edition - with the female Hitler on the cover - but it actually contains the ending of the story! (Unlike my previous copy which had a misprinted Mills and Boon denoument.) I haven't read it all the way through yet, but I'm hoping that the pay-off can match my expectations for it - which, admittedly, is probably very unlikely...
I also got a book on Jack Kirby by Mark Evanier (which has the only cover that it should have - a giant fist punching you in the face, like you're being chinned by brilliance.) When I was a kid reading comics, I was never really into Kirby all that much - and when I saw his stuff it always seemed to chunky and big and unnaturalistic and weird. But as I got older, all of those things suddenly became more and more appealing and the sheer scale of Kirby's imagination became apparent. I love his 70s stuff especially, or what I've seen of it - comics where he was editor, writer and artist all at once, and got to create entire worlds. Stuff like OMAC - 'One Man Army Corps', set in 'The World That's Coming', a dystopian future where you can buy a girlfriend in a box, the super-rich hire cities to play assassination games in and, if you're OMAC, you can punch 10 people in the face at once. There's also The Eternals, about ancient space gods, which is the dictionary definition of Grand Scale in every sense. (No.11 of the series starts like this:
'THIS IS WHAT HAS HAPPENED:GIANTS HAVE COME FROM SPACE TO BEGIN A FIFTY YEAR JUDGEMENT OF ALL THAT LIVES ON EARTH! THEY PROWL THE PLANET...THEY PROBE THE OCEANS...THEIR AWESOME VESSEL ORBITS ABOVE US LIKE A COSMIC SENTRY...
THIS IS WHAT IS HAPPENING: HUMANS EVERYWHERE ARE REACTING TO THIS...AND MORE!! WE SHARE OUR PLANET WITH TWO FANTASTIC SPECIES--THE IMMORTAL ETERNALS AND THE SCHEMING DEVIANTS WHO MUST FACE THIS WITH US!
THIS IS WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN: HUMANS WILL STRIKE FIRST!!'
Now that's how you write an attention-grabbing opening.)
I also love Kamandi, another dystopian future (actually linked to the one in OMAC), where, in a scenario slightly influenced by a very popular 70s film series, TALKING ANIMALS HAVE TAKEN OVER THE WORLD AND HUMANS ARE THEIR BEASTS OF BURDEN!! What I especially love about all these comics is the fact that everything is so BIG - big ideas, big splash pages, big stakes - and especially Big Close-Ups Man, Kirby did great freak-out faces. I mean, just look at the guy in the bottom left corner of this two-page spread. That's what's happening in The World That's Coming - Space Gods, One Man Armys and Jack Kirby freaking you out.
And now it's November already. The past few weeks have gone by in a bit of a blur, what with Mayhem (which was on last weekend) and loads of stuff to prep for the release of 'Mum & Dad', and trying to work on a couple of new outlines, so AiU has suffered. I'll attempt a bit of a catch-up...
Mayhem 2008 went brilliantly well. We had a couple of sell-outs, a couple more near sell-outs and some great crowds throughout. This being the first year that we've run for a whole weekend as opposed to a single night, our workload increased exponentially, so that despite there being three of us, we still needed to constantly be in two places at once.
Highlights for me were the guests. On Friday, Mark Tonderai, director of 'Hush' (who I met at the Fantasy Filmfest in Germany recently) and his producer Zoe Stewart, who both came to our special preview screening of the film. It seemed to go down really well - even with an unscheduled intermission, when the fire alarm went off about ten minutes before the end of the film after the smoke machine in the bar got a bit out of control (and which Mark and Zoe were thankfully very understanding about). It was great to see Mark again and get the chance to catch up - even if he was faced with my specially-grown-for-the-night Beard of Evil.
Also on Friday was the Halloween party at Broadway, run by No More Parachutes, which we as Mayhem piggyback onto each year. I don't know why, but this year everybody seemed to really go for it with the costumes, including these great zombie American footballers(who seem to be haunted by a tiny ghoul...)
Jeanie and her friend Katie also did their bitwith Jeanie previewing the look she'll be wearing for our wedding next year.
Winner of first prize in the fancy dress costume was Scary Hellraiser Lady (otherwise known as Annie), seen here being presented with her prize by Chris Cooke with a Freddie Mercury tribute microphone pose On Saturday our guest was Mark Gatiss. I interviewed Mark in front of an audience for our 'What Are You Scared Of?' spot, where we ask people to talk about the formative horror moments in their lives, the moments that have really frightened them. Mark was terrific - very entertaining and charming, and we showed a clutch of clips from 70s Doctor Who ('Terror of the Autons') to Hammer House of Horror, Carry On Screaming and the BBC Ghost Stories for Christmas. These last clips were especially relevant, as Mark is just finishing three of his own Christmas Ghost Stories - a horror anthology spread over three nights leading up to Christmas called 'Crooked House'. He brought us a short trailer to show and it looks great. I can't wait. Talking to Mark about Carry on Screaming, he told me that it was one of the formative experiences in the lives of all of the League of Gentlemen, having all watched it one Bonfire night in the 70s. When he said it, it brought back my own memory of the same night - I burnt my hand on a sparkler and was allowed to sit up and watch the film as some sort of comfort. Pain, shock, horror and comedy all melding together in my little brain...
Also on Saturday, we had a screening of 'Mum & Dad' which was unexpectedly nerve-wracking for me. It was weird showing it at Broadway, especially as a load of people I knew were in the audience. It felt a bit like dropping your trousers at a christening. Afterwards I got some good feedback from some and some perturbed looks from others, which I've come to expect as par for the course with this film.
By Sunday, we were all feeling mental with tiredness, but still had a whole day of films to show, as well as runing events like Horror Wii tennis (basically Wii tennis on a big screen, except you get to play as a variety of horror characters - a werewolf, a vampire, Freddie, Jason, Sadako amongst others).
Our guests on Sunday, for a special screening of their new film 'Salvage' - another microbudget production, this time from the Digital Departures production scheme - were writer Colin O'Donell, director Lawrence Gough and actor Shaun Dooley, who I last met at FrightFest, where he was promoting 'Eden Lake'. They were all really nervous as the film hasn't really been seen before, but it went down really well with our crowd, who gave them a great response at the end.
The last film of the festival was 'Martyrs', which left a lot of the audience looking pretty battered (it's a very intense and brutal film), although that might have been me projecting my own feelings onto them, feeling as I did, like my brain was about to pour out through my ears and collect in a puddle on the floor.
I didn't get much of a chance to recover from the weekend as I had an outline to finish for 'Empire of Flesh', plus some teaching to do. Then, on Wednesday, myself and Lisa went in to do the DVD commentary for 'Mum & Dad'. (Because the film is having this all-platform release on Boxing Day, it means that everything has to be done now - film trailer, DVD box, cinema poster...). It was strange sitting there talking away imagining that people are going to be listening to us (hopefully) in a couple of months. We pretty much went straight through in one take, with only a couple of moments where we paused for breath. It actually went really quickly - it felt like the minute we got into talking about one scene, we were straight on to another. Having done a load of Q and As and interviews over the last couple of months, it felt like a lot of elements in the film were really fresh in my mind, but I also did some homework by reading up on my blog from the time, which, even though it's only 18 months ago, felt a bit like leafing through a leather-bound journal you find next to a bricked-up corpse from the late 19th century.
After that, we had a meeting with our distributors Revolver, to discuss the poster and artwork for the cinema release and DVD, plus some more press stuff, screenings and the new trailer. During the meeting I got a fleeting icy jab of fear through my intestines as I realised that, yes, the film will be OUT on Boxing Day - but I quickly dismissed it by telling myself that Yes, That's Been The Whole Bloody Point Of The Past Two Years, You Idiot....
'Mum & Dad' has been submitted to the BBFC, and passed with no cuts - which is great. The actual wording for the certification is this:Well, I'd go and see it. At least it didn't say 'contains mild peril'...
Last weekend 'Mum & Dad' was playing at the Sitges festival in Spain and I went over for a couple of days, flying out from East Midlands Airport late on Friday night on a plane filled with hen weekenders (if anyone's looking for a safe investment in these troubled financial times my tip is put your money in these).
I arrived too late at the hotel to get the chance to see any of the festival on Friday night - which was a shame, because it was the night of a massive Zombie walk on the beach, apparently opened by George Romero - so I just got an early night (although I did entertain myself briefly by pretending to have a massive cameo head). I did get my festival pass though, complete with alternative spelling of my name: I might adopt it in a Lars 'von' Trier kind of way.
Next day I was up early, and belatedly realised what a great view I had from my room window. I had a quick breakfast then headed off to get tickets for a couple of films. I went to see 'Donkey Punch' (which I've missed up till now, despite it being on at Edinburgh and already come and gone on theatrical release) at the Casino Prado, a very old venue in the middle of the town, with a terrifically ornate stage and ceiling, and balconies. The film, like everything else at the festival, played in its original language with Spanish and often Catalan electronic subtitles, and got a big cheer when the title at the start 'Mallorca, Spain' came up (in fact, audiences were very vocal throughout the whole festival, cheering and clapping loads). After the film, I had a couple of hours to kill, so I walked down to the beach, where I had a bit of a paddle and basked in the hot sun. When I say bask, I mean squinted uncomfortably, obviously. Next up, again at the Prado, was a 35mm print of 'King Kong'. Funnily enough, this was the film I was really desperate to see at the festival, having never seen the original film on the big screen. It was great, watching it with a big, enthusiastic crowd (including quite a few kids). It's been a few years since I watched it (I think the last time was about a month after my daughter was born when I found myself up all night rocking her to sleep and happened to find it on telly), and I'd forgotten how brutal it is - Kong rips the T.Rex's jaws open to kill him, bites quite a few sailors to death and treads at least two native men into the ground. He's a real monster - a fact which the remake seemed to soften quite a bit, what with the needless ice-skating crap at the end.
'Mum & Dad' was part of the festival's 'Midnight X-treme' programme, which meant that it was playing third on a bill of four films, starting at 1.00am, so I had a lot of time to kill before the screening. I couldn't get any other tickets for the evening films, so went for a meal - the festival gives guests a load of food vouchers to spend in local restaurants, and though it was tricky trying to find anywhere that did anything remotely vegetarian, I ended up in a great place where the staff were really attentive and the food terrific, all pomegranates and walnuts and gorgonzola and African chocolate cake and stuff. After that, I headed over to the Retiro cinema to see if I could get in to see JCVD, the new film with Jean-Claude van Damme playing himself - an ageing action star caught up in a bank heist. I managed to flash my badly-spelled laminated pass and get in, where the cinema was packed. (It was the same in Germany - Jean-Claude must have one hell of an international fan club...)
The film seemed good - I say 'seemed' because it played in French, with Spanish subtitles, with only about 10% of the whole film being in English (I'm sure the trailer's in English...) which meant that with my severely limited knowledge of those two languages (mainly glommed from episodes of 'Dora the Explorer' and watching 'Betty Blue' as a teenager) I didn't make out everything that was going on, although I got the jist. The film's got a great opening shot (to a great song, though I can't for the life of me find out who it's by) and JC seems to take the piss out of himself quite well. I'm going to look forward to seeing it properly when it gets a release over here.
After 'JCVD' I went outside to see how the crowds were building for the all-nighter. I'd worried about it being a bit of a graveyard slot, but the place was packed, with queues round the block. Before the screenings started, I had to stand up at the front - being the only filmmaker present - and do my normal intro spiel, which was translated by the guy introducing the films. Again, the crowd were great, cheering the allnighter, my introduction, the mention of the budget and a few points in between. Then the first film started - '100 Feet' ('cheer!') by Eric Red ('big cheer!) - a story about a women who is tagged with an electronic device so that she can't leave her house, after being released from prison for the manslaughter of her physically abusive husband, who was also a cop, whose partner is now in charge of her case and hates her for it. I'd heard some mixed reviews of the film (but then I've heard some mixed reviews of my film, so who knows...) but I really enjoyed it - it was solid genre fun, with some good scares, a couple of great set pieces and decent effects. The crowd loved it too, cheering wildly at the most gruesome death in the film. After that it was 'Acolytes', an Australian film about a trio of teenagers who stumble across the dumping ground of a serial killer, then track him down - and start to blackmail him to kill the bully who's been hounding them. Although it started slow (and a group of lads in front of me were, by this point, cheering everything - each credit in the opening titles, the first shot of a girl running, a close-up of a butterfly - until the rest of the audience told them to shut the fuck up), it had a good set-up and some nice moments of 'River's Edge' style teenage callousness, but by the end it had got a bit too twisty-turny for its own good (and by this time it was 4 in the morning, so not the best time to be trying to retrospectively tie plot points up together). Still, I enjoyed it.
Then it was time for 'Mum & Dad'. I stayed in for about half the film - they'd put me in a little side-box with chairs in to watch the film, which meant that I could get in and out quite easily. It was strange seeing the film with subtitles - some of the nuances of the dialogue seemed to get lost (or maybe some of the lines are too British to resonate with the Spanish (or maybe they just didn't think there was nuance to get), and some things that normally get a response in the UK didn't translate, but it seemed to go down well. We got some good cheers for the deaths in the film and a great round of applause at the end. A few people come up to me to say well done and give me a thumbs up (unless in Catalan that means something totally different...) before I slunk off to bed - after the JCVD incident, I didn't fancy attempting 'Tokyo Gore Police' in Japanese and Spanish.
Next day, after about 4 hours sleep, I checked out of the hotel and spent the rest of the day wandering Sitges before my late evening flight back home. I kind of wish I'd been at the festival earlier - this was the last day, so there was nothing much going on - and been able to see more things, but at least I got to have a paddle in the sea again.
On the plane on the way home, trying to take my mind off the turbulence, I munched on some themed sweets and read another book. After Pynchon last time, I went for something pulpier, namely this: (Complete with trashy 70s cover, designed to make you look like a sleazy misogynist whilst reading.) I first read 'The Killer Inside Me' about 10 years ago and it's always stayed with me. It's a great, brutal, twisted story about a small-town deputy called Lou Ford (from whom this band took their name) who presents a face to the world of being a slow-witted fool, while hiding 'the sickness' inside. Hey, Stanley, what do you think about it? Yeah, me too. After finishing the book, I got to thinking about how it'd work as a movie, and when I got back I looked it up, to find that there was a version of it made in 1976, starring Stacy Keach (which sounds like pretty great casting to me) - which was a bit TV-movie-ish, but also that there is another version currently in development. Part of me really wants to see it, while another part of me hopes it never comes off so that in my fantasy career, I get to buy the rights and do it. Hey, maybe JCVD would be interested...
After posting my car boot haul of horror VHS tapes the other day, I found out that Final Girl had also recently been on an 80s retro tape tip. There must be something in the air. (In fact, Chris Cooke was talking the other day about doing a really lo-fi film festival where you only screen from original 80s VHS tapes. Instead of a cinema, there'd be a big room with loads of sofas and a fridge full of beer, and the tapes would all be on a shelf like in a video shop. He'd call it 'Tapestock.')
Anyway, in further honour of the great cultural artifact of our time that is the Eighties Big Box Horror VHS Video, I present the worst cover in my small collection, bought at a charity shop in Sherwood last year. I give you Beyond Evil! Now, as with many of my purchases, I've never got round to watching 'Beyond Evil'. which is apparently a wannabe giallo thriller with atrocious effects and John Saxon, but nevertheless I find the cover oddly spellbinding. In the annals of bad cover art, I think this holds a special place, being probably the least scary demon I've ever seen. I mean, look at him - piggy nose, tiny fangs in his tiny mouth, above which sits either a John Waters 'tache or, I dunno, a gaping hole? Then there are those things on his cheeks - what are they? Blue walnuts? Squirrel brains? Topping it off you've got sad eyes, pathetic ten-to-two horns and what looks like a child's pitchfork poking out of his disco collar. It's so far Beyond Evil that it's gone round the other side and is Entering Stupid. One of the reasons I haven't watched the film yet is that I couldn't bear to see the film and find out (as is highly likely) that nothing resembling this demon actually appears. Although I guess I would at least get a explanation behind the cheeks...
With my head down all this week writing and working on finalising the programme for Mayhem, I forgot to even mention that 'Mum & Dad' has now got a release date - Revolver (our distributor) going for a simultaneous theatrical/pay-per-view/rental DVD/retail DVD release on Boxing Day, December 26th. Apparently, this will be the first time that a film has been released with this strategy, so we'll see what happens...
This Sunday, anticipating the imminent vanishing of the sun for the rest of the year, we packed up a load of random crap from our house and headed out to Bottesford car boot (just off the A52) for the first time in ages. We were selling a pile of books, boxes of comics, some children's toys (when we could prise them out of my daughter's hands) and various oddments like a compact lightbox in a briefcase (which attracted a lot of attention, and which we could have sold easily, as long as we'd have priced it at a pound (in fact, you could pretty much have sold anything at a pound, it was the default 'make me an offer' offer, regardless of the price you put on anything)). We did okay - about £70 - but we maybe need to hone our selling a bit more. My one inspired moment of Budget Apprentice-style salesmanship was to take the book on Hitler which was at the back of one of the boxes and put it face up at the front. I bet Jeanie that we would sell it within five minutes. Before I even finished the sentence, we heard a bloke go 'Oh, Hitler, he's my hero!'. The enthusiastic purchaser was about 30, shaved head, big fella, with tattoos all over his arms, and, worringly, over half his face in a kind of Maori/Orc mix. He was with his mum. While she paid Jeanie for some of her lovely fairy cakes, he enthused about how Adolf had the right kind of ideas and how things would have been much better if he'd won the war. His mum just shook her head, wearily, and tutted under her breath, like he was a four-year-old wiping bogies on her coat. (This isn't to say that the people of Bottesford are Nazis, by the way, just that anything Hitler-related seems to sell at car boots wherever you are. It's one of the eternally bouyant markets - Hitlerania...). The book was just a plain biography, bought when I was studying German, but selling it made me remember that it's actually the third book about Hitler I've owned - the other two were 1) a luridly packaged NEL paperback called 'The Insane World of Adolf Hitler" (not related to this bloke) and 2) The Greatest Pulp Novel I've Ever Read: I used to have this book, years ago, bought because I thought the cover was funny. I read it immediately - probably at about the speed it took to write it, because it was just about the most insanely plotted thing I've ever read. From what I can recall, the story concerns a spy (lets call him James) who is sent undercover to a German castle, because the British government have heard that the castle's owner, a beautiful blonde Countess, is part of a neo-Nazi cell. James infiltrates the castle, meets up with the gorgeous blond Countess and then, as spies in luridly packaged pulp novels do, starts having sex with her. It's during the sex that James starts to realise that there's something a bit odd about the Countess, especially as she starts to lose control of herself - it's almost as if her voice, her whole manner changes. Finally, at the point of orgasm, with the Countess frothing madly and Seig Heiling on top of him, James realises the awful truth - the Countess may have the body of a beautiful blonde Aryan aristocrat - but she has the brain of Adolf Hitler!
Yes, Evil Nazi Scientists managed to save Hitler's brain, transport it out of the Berlin bunker, keep it alive for years, and then implant it into a curvaceous blonde countess. Obviously at this point in the novel, a few questions come up about what exactly Countess Adolf thinks she's doing...but these are quickly wiped away as the book becomes even more crazed and ridiculous. After discovering the Nazi's plan, James is knocked out and captured. When he comes to, he discovers that the Evil Nazi Scientists have been working on him too - they have removed the top of his head and started experimenting on his brain! Apparently though, they got called away mid-Evil to do some other fucked-up thing (sewing batwings to monkeys or something, probably), so poor James is left there, brain open to the world. How does he escape this predicament? Well, being very, very careful not to spill any precious brain fluid, he reaches over to pick up the top of his head from the plate next to him, and very, very carefully, sews it back on. Yeah, that's right. Take that Rambo, you lightweight. With his headcap stitched on like a pissed dad sewing on a scout badge, James heads off to confront the Nazis...
But how does it end, you ask? How do you surpass this madness? Well, I never found out. You see, in an unexpected development that I'm still not sure wasn't some kind of hideously elaborate practical joke, the last thirty pages of the book were misprinted. Instead of the conclusion of 'Death of the Fuhrer', it was a Mills and Boon romance about a doctor called Clive and a nurse called Jenny and their tepid light petting. If you can imagine how pissed off I was, it's probably nothing compared to the poor soul who was reading Barbara Cartland's 'The Heart Surgeon' and found the climax involved a lot more Nazis, spies and brain-stitching then he or she bargained for.
Anyway, back at the car boot, and despite the fact that we were trying to get rid of stuff, I ended up buying a carrier bag of stuff, much to Jeanie's disgust. The mitigating factors were 1) I only paid 44p for the whole lot - 4 books and 4 VHS tapes and 2) Bottesford is one of the homes of great 80s big box horror VHS films. (And home-made porn.)
So, for 10p each I got: I've never actually owned this, so it was a good one to get.I'm a sucker for anything with a drawn cover. Even when it looks like it's drawn by an 8 year old.Ditto with this one, although I've no idea what's supposed to be going one here - a bloke growing out of another bloke's head holds the body of a masked third bloke like a knife? The back cover promises "Fetishism, Machismo, Misogyny are but some of the ingredients of this suspense riddled horror thriller." Ah, the 80s, when misogyny was a selling point. And films could be riddled with suspense. Like woodworm. And finally: This film has a series of the worst reviews I've ever seen (although it was played though till the end, so someone must have made it through), but the premise, set out on the back cover, sounds intriguingly nuts - " Nightmare Weekend is the story of a desperate, evil woman who manipulates a computer with the ability to warp people's minds, by shooting a tiny silver ball through space which then implants itself in the head of its unsuspecting victimes transforming them into crazed mutantoids". A posting on the film's IMDB page purports to tell the real story of the film's production, so I'll leave the last word to them:
"From An On-Line Producer and Gas Station Attendant, 6 October 2004 Author: beilttog (firstname.lastname@example.org) from New York, New York
I was the on-line producer of "Nightmare Weekend" and was responsible for casting it. I have to agree that "Nightmare Weekend" may be the worst movie made of all time. The very fact that it has been considered for this category should speak volumes. However, while there is truth that this film was made for a direct-to-video release as was popular in the 80s, the film started with good intentions and a decent script. The problems arose when the co-executive producers, (all from France and England) who were supposed to put up their 50% of the $750,000 budget decided that in lieu of $, they would provide a script (horrible - written in French), a director (whose only credits I was told were porno pix out of Thailand, a film crew (again, all from France) and some equipment. We never got our money's worth. When we (I represented the American contingent) looked at the script, I hired a new writer (American) to re-write the entire thing. However, when we finally arrived on location in Ocala, Florida to begin shooting, the French writer had once-again re-written the entire film on instructions from the co-executive producer, an Indian chap named Bachoo Senn from India/London. It was a joke but once on location, there was little we could do.
All the young actors and actresses were having sex with one another (not that we cared). The acting was appalling, although I did take great pride in casting Dale Midkiff and Andrea Thompson, both of whom went on to somewhat successful careers. I gave up my dreams of the film business (having obtained my BA in film from Univ. Miami, Fla.) and now find the entire event amusing. I currently practice law on Wall Street. The only good thing to come out of that film was my daughter (now 19) who was conceived on location. Hope this clears things up for some readers.
By the way, I played the gas station attendant only because they needed someone and I happened to be there! Perhaps I stole the show."