On the day before principal photography began on Drive (directed by Steve Wang, starring Mark Dacascos, Kadeem Hardison and Brittany Murphy, written by me), we shot all the TV stuff that would be playing in the background during certain scenes. One of those (the hospital episode of Walter the Einstein Frog) was included on the UK DVD of the director’s cut of the movie, but as far as I know, the others have never been released. I stumbled across my old VHS of ’em recently and figured I’d upload them to YouTube, since people are always asking me about them.
I’ll post them here in the order they appear in the movie. First up is Bash the Bastard, which is pretty much what it sounds like. During shooting, I asked the blonde to pose for a photo with me, which she did. As I was walking away, she asked producer Mike Leahy who I was. When he told her I was the writer, she said “If I’d known that I wouldn’t have posed for the photo.” Hello, glamorous Hollywood career.
Next up is the first episode of Walter the Einstein Frog, who began life in the script as Willie the Einstein Ape, but that’s a whole ‘nother story. This marked the day I met screenwriter/author Nathan Long (who plays one of the doctors) — he read a line of the dialogue and said “Who wrote this crap?” I meekly waved and thus was born a friendship that’s lasted to this day. Walter’s sidekick is played by the amazing Bob Burns, a great guy who’s had a long career in the movie biz. Walter now resides in Bob’s incredible collection of movie props and memorabilia, in fact (the photos in this post, taken by my friend Patricia Rogers, are of Walter relaxing in Bob’s house). Effects guy Wyatt Weed is another of the doctors, and the masked guy is Yutaka (whose last name I don’t remember). The President’s son is played by yours truly.
Next is Walter the Einstein Frog episode two, wherein Frog and Bob find themselves in the vast reaches of outer space. Effects by Wyatt Weed.
And finally we have HardCops, the show that causes Toby Wong (Mark Dacascos) to awaken just in time to fight off Madison, the Hedgehog and their hired muscle. If I remember right, this one was ad-libbed. It’s taxing the ol’ memory, but I believe the victim seated on the ground is editor Ivan Ladizinsky, the cops are Wyatt Weed and Evil Ted Smith, the guy in the green jacket is producer Mike Leahy, the guy who tells the cops where the perp went is Yutaka and I think you can also glimpse Asao (sadly, I don’t remember his last name, either), who built Walter the Einstein Frog. Oh yeah — the guy the cops rough up is me.