austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

Got a dream they've come to share

Another day of everything being closed except for fast food places, select restaurants, DVD stores, and sporting goods stores. Why the last two would find the staff to be open I don't know.

But I took the time to watch the DVD of Parts: The Clonus Horror. It's a rather well-assembled DVD, actually, including the trailer with the catchy tagline ``the only thing they don't use is the scream''; an interview with director Robert Fiveson; director's commentary; production and promotional pictures; plus a pretty good-looking print of the original movie. It includes a couple of scenes cut from the Mystery Science Theater 3000 version.

One was a rather gruesome scene of Little Nose Woman Clone's lobotomy. Another was a scene where it's explained why most of the clones blink so slowly (Hero Clone and Little Nose Woman are the smart ones -- the rest were brain-damaged as fetuses, but these were two controls allowed normal mental capacity) and it was established the camera system audio was broken, which is why they could watch Hero and Little Nose but not overhear their plans. Hero Clone had a nightmare (it's the one he wakes up from, when Professor and Male Model Son are talking near the end, and he has to tell them ``I'm just like you!'') featuring those bagged dead clones coming to life; in reality, the bagged clones were local nudists. Professor and Male Model Son are explicitly killed. And there's a lovely scene of a Dr Pepper truck where it turns out Dr Pepper truck drivers are part of the evil conspiracy.

Fiveson's comments are rather interesting, with startling tidbits like the budget of the whole movie (US$257,000, or about one and a half episodes of the original Star Trek), the story of accidentally losing Hero Clone, how they paid off Keenan Wynn, or where they stole the footage for the History of Clonus video. I was impressed by the thought which went into it, and the movie does play reasonably well; there's a good movie struggling to get out of it. I do have some more respect for it, and wonder more if I can fairly judge a movie if I've only seen the Mystery Science Theater 3000 version.

It turns out Dr Pepper and Old Milwaukee were, indeed, product placement, so Dr Pepper's corporate overlords paid (or at least donated soda) for the shot of their truck and driver ratting on Hero Clone. Old Milwaukee sent cases of beer, useful for pacifying the cast and crew on long work days. And Fiveson hates the composition of the ``smoking crotch'' scene, but it was the end of a very long day and night of filming, and Little Nose Woman's actor got to hating him, and they only had 18 days total to shoot and he just had to take it as it was. Fiveson went on to make documentaries for the Air Force and for The Learning Channel. Huh.

Trivia: The reinforced carbon-carbon material used for certain portions of the space shuttle's thermal protection tiles was originally developed by Ling-Tempo-Vought for the Dyna-Soar program. Source: Space Shuttle: The History of the National Space Transportation System, Dennis R Jenkins.

Currently Reading: London: The Biography, Peter Ackroyd.


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