Storyline (from IMDB)
Benjamin, home-schooled by his eccentric mother, is a loner whose passion for writing leads him on an journey as his story first gets ripped off by the legendary fantasy novelist, Ronald Chevalier, and then is adapted into a disastrous movie by the small town’s most prolific homespun filmmaker. Written by Fox Searchlight Pictures
I’ve had several requests for this one. Generally, I would say a film like this is too mainstream for ISMN, but I do love Gentlemen Broncos, I do relate to it, and it’s definitely bizarre enough. Sadly this film was very poorly advertized, it was only shown at a very small group of theaters, and hardly anyone even knew about it till it was out on DVD. I for one, wish that I had seen it on the big screen.
Not only is it a great film, but my main reason for wanting to show this is because of all the odd local/Utah connections.
First of all, most people recognize the scene from “Utah Book” on Main Street in SLC (featuredAbove).
Another scene takes place at one of my favorite Utah hot spots for home-brewed weirdness, “The Pyramid of the Summums”.
Some you you may remember our ISMN field trip to one the Summum meetings years ago open to the public. Inside the pyramid we met founder “Corky Ra”, witnessed a beautiful UFO mural, lots of mummified dogs, cats, and birds, with several “live” cats walking around, there was a human sized mummy (Corky said that no one was inside), an alter with various objects including a double-phallus candle stick holder, a huge vat of “nectar” (the homemade Summum wine), we were also treated to a lesson in Egyptian theology by a woman follower. A golden phallus was taken out from under the alter before the lesson began, and put back under afterwards without explanation. I had the feeling this meeting was dumbed down for the public.
We also had to sign a paper stating that we wouldn’t take our clothes off during the meeting, or drive after drinking “nectar”. We didn’t touch the stuff.
(Above: Summum computer art.)
Afterwards we entered the building next door, where we saw a cat in the process of being mummified, already drained of all fluid. To my knowledge, they don’t only do pets. You can also pay them to mummify your own self after you die, or your relatives, etc.
Outside the gate is a faucet for sanctified water, with a schedule of hours which and when the faucet works. Once I saw a Latin American fellow walk by and fill an empty plastic milk container.
There were also several peacocks wandering around the premises.
My favorite Utah connotation is the character of campy low budget film director Lonnie Donaho played by Hector Jimenez. Who is an altered depiction of a certain local BYU film student turned underground movie director, behind the infamous CoughUtah W0lf ProductionsCough.
He has made close to 100 films, most are only the length of trailers, many of which are his own versions of other people’s films like “Lord of the Rings”, “Resident Evil”, “She-Hulk”, “Tomb Raider” etc. (See photos below).
From what I’ve been told, the “rose petal bed room” scene from one of Donaho’s films in Gentlemen Broncos (the one with the cut-up dress) is lifted directly from a cough-W0lf Production film.
I wasn’t supposed to be there, but last Fall I caught wind of the debut screening of the latest cough-W0lf feature “Rubi” from a film friend and snuck inside.
“The man” introduced his film, dressed like he came out of the Matrix and gave my favorite quote: “Some people say my movies are terrible, but the point is I MADE A MOVIE. And not a lot of people can say that.”
Afterwards I shook his hand, told him I was a fan, but he said I couldn’t come to the Halloween party at his mom’s house, because I’ve never been in one of his films.
I thought about being part of his Resident Evil pt. 6 or 7 (I don’t remember which) the week before, so I could attend the “amazing” so called party, but on the day of shooting, I was like “ehhhh” and found something else to do.
Here’s an example of a UWP music video, with the MAN himself dancing in the background (Click Here): http://www.utahwolfproductions.com/movies/Crazy.wmv
Other Utah connections: I swear I once saw this guy at church in Provo (Above). If not him it was another actor who said he was in G. Broncos who looks like him a bit.
The religious characters in this film are obviously not LDS, but the phrase uttered by the Jennifer Coolidge character, “Remember who you are and what you represent”, is typical of what you hear from parents around these parts.
There are also many mentions of people being from “Saltair”. Which is actually the name of the pavilion site on the shore of the Great Salt Lake, once used in the 60’s horror classic “Canival of Souls.”
Let’s see what else … Oh yeah, just a side note:
Let your mind wander a few years back to the ISMN screening of British 80’s D&D cash-in film “Krull” (top right). Do the cyclops in GB look familiar? (Don’t ask Angela Calchera because she was asleep ;) In a film about plagiarism it’s pretty funny to see things like this ripped off, but I feel Krull tribute seems pretty intentional.
Despite the lots of crude humor: plenty of jokes about gonads and barf etc, this is my favorite Hess film. It’s definitely his weirdest. As much as I love watching it, I’d have say that I like it even more afterwards, thinking about it.
The Phone Call (1977)
VHS/23 Mins/Not Rated
Once again, I’m showing local film “The Phone Call” written by Jack Weyland, only because it’s obvious inspiration for “Napoleon Dynamite”, played by Marc McClure (Superman, Freaky Friday).
A nerdy kid who plays bassoon, and has a weird fro, strives to get skills and confidence by throwing the perfect newspapers on his route, getting a job at a neighborhood hamburger stand, taking a home Karate course from a book, and making lots of failed practice phone calls in order to ask a girl out.
Half the scenes were filmed at “Ripple’s”, the mom and pop hamburger joint that’s still in business on Canyon Road in Provo. The only thing missing is the phone booth.
I’ve probably seen this film over 50 times during my life and it’s still classic :)
Time: Thursday, May 24th @ 8 PM
Place: The Art City Mansion - (300 S. 363 W., Springville)
Parking and Admission: Free
See you there,