If you’ve been reading Cheese Magnet for any length of time (or my older movie reviews from Unsafe On Any Screen), you know I poke quite a bit of fun at some of the less-fortunate films out there. So in the interest of fairness, I figured I’d run a few of my old Super-8mm movies, made back in the previous century when kids did things like make short films instead of whatever the hell it is they do today besides listen to Justin Bieber.
First up is Replica — not the first Super-8 movie I made by a long shot, but the first I made with my pal John Howard. I met Howie when he responded to an ad I placed in the old Buyer’s Guide for Comics Fandom newspaper, looking for artists to contribute to a fanzine I was aiming to publish (Iron Moose, which ran 3 whole issues over the course of about 30 years). I lived in Albuquerque, but it turned out Howie lived in a little town in Kentucky about an hour away from the little town my relatives lived in (Flatwoods, home of the Tops o’ Kreme. I think). We had both been making crappy little Super-8 movies on our own, and to nerds like us, this was like The Avengers coming together to combine our powers for the good of shitty cinema.
When you watch Replica, you’ll notice that I play a series of clones (and you can tell us apart by the numbers on our shirts). This is because Howie and I were more or less scared shitless to ask anyone else (especially GIRLS!) to be in our little movies, and we needed lots of people to get killed in the flick. Easy 1970s answer: Clones! Howie plays the dude who kills me over and over again, and that’s pretty much the plot.
And yes, that’s a pair of underwear on Howie’s head, the legs sewn up and eyeholes cut out. You’ll see that mask again in at least one more of these things, assuming I actually post more.
I’m pretty sure this was made in the summer of 1978, when I was 14 (check out my ferocious acne). Howie would’ve been 15 or 16, I guess. Believe it or not, we came perilously close to making a sequel to this thing — I even sculpted some makeup designs for the clones to make ’em look cooler, and I’ve still got the script sitting here in a box. I think it was called The Body Shop.
And now, for your viewing pleasure, the silent epic Replica (music suggestion: “Black Diamond” by KISS).
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