The Travesty Story

 One Saturday night in the summer of ’76, I abandoned a group of pot-smoking friends (I didn’t inhale) to watch the weekly Creature Feature that played on UHF Channel 20 in Washington DC.  I don’t recall what the feature was, but I’ll never forget what followed it.  Count Gore De Vol, the program’s vampiric host, had introduced a new segment: amateur horror/sci-fi movies made by local filmmakers.  Even though I’d refused the pot, I found myself getting high on Attack of the Paramecium Men.  It was a silent, black-and-white slapstick short (with jazzy music), featuring three leather-clad greasers who first evade and then defeat the humanoid paramecium. It was, in the word of Wallace Shawn in The Princess Bride, “inconceivable.”

One month later, on Pre-Orientation Day at the University of Maryland, I began my inevitable future as the compleat film auteur.  I was enrolled as a film major and found myself in the company of a single fellow “auteur.”  He was a Woody Allen-type, only taller, and looked just as bewildered as me.  We struck up a conversation, and he casually mentioned that he’d made a number of 16mm shorts.  One of them had even aired on Channel 20.  It was, of course, Attack of the Paramecium Men.  I hailed him like a brother, and from that moment on my life took a turn for the comedic.

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Cinema Misfits Podcast, Episode 34: Win Win, Thor, and The Beaver

6 ‘n 90!  Da Man reviews six films in ninety seconds.″

Win Win.  The Misfits might not know a “pinch head lock” from a “cover down,” but they know when a film is “advantage/top.”″

Thor.  “By Odin’s beard!”  The movie Thor arrives on the big screen–but is the screen big enough to contain all the CGI in this picture?″

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