Wednesday, August 14, 2013


A few years back, I was happy to discover that the guy living across the hall from me in my Chelsea apartment building was Alex Winter.  You may know him as Bill from the movie "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure", released back in 1989.

He turned out to be a fan of my short film "Your Face", and we became good friends.  After the 2nd installment of "Bill & Ted", he turned to directing commercials and features (right now he has a wonderful documentary about Napster called "Downloaded", check it out...).

But, before he left to live and work in London, he left me a VHS copy of his directorial and acting project, "Freaked".  It's actually a take-off on that old Todd Browning feature film, "Freaks".

But in the new version, Alex plays a famous actor who gets stuck in a South American freakshow, run by Randy Quaid.  Randy turns Alex's character into a mutated monster, who becomes another of the sideshow's weird performers.

It's definitely one of the weirdest movies I've ever seen.  I don't know if it got a theatrical release, but it stars a number of celebrities: Morgan Fairchild, Bobcat Goldthwait. Mr. T and Brooke Shields.  I heard even Keanu Reeves has a cameo as the dog-faced boy.

But what attracted my attention was the far-out visuals.  This was done before computer animation took over visual effects.  A lot of the characters look right out of the work of Ed "Big Daddy Roth".

And, as an added bonus, the opening titles were created by the legendary David Daniels, and his strata-cut animation technique.  Check this film out.  I give it a B+.

Bill Plympton

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