Tuesday, March 31, 2009


UPDATED! April 4, 2009

Here's the final full-length trailer for Earth Day, ready to rid the world of progressive influences everywhere April 22! (Thanks, Bruce!)


Eugene, Oregon, a place very near and dear to my heart, is known for many things, including ducks, Ducks, rain, Nike shoes, Steve Prefontaine, National Lampoon’s Animal House, strong support for local theater and the arts, and the peaceful co-existence of a rather Green, hippie-friendly vibe within the greater population of career-minded college students and a liberal-leaning citizenry which also manages to make room for those of a conservative stripe. And now, with any luck, Eugene may be on the brink of making a name for itself as a place where locally and independently produced feature filmmaking can thrive, that is, if Mr. Ooh La La has anything to say about the matter. Self-billed as Eugene’s answer to John Waters (the Pink Flamingos director is a friend as well as a conscious inspiration), the writer-director has produced the first feature from his Faux Show Productions and is readying to spring it on a hopefully eager audience.

The picture, a horror-comedy called Earth Day, is set to premiere—take a guess—on April 22, Earth Day, but worries about this film’s potential audience being cannibalized by the likes of the upcoming Disney/Nature documentary Earth are undoubtedly misplaced. As Mr. Ooh La La would have it, Earth Day, parodies the holiday-centric emphases of ‘80s slasher pics like Halloween, April Fool’s Day and My Bloody Valentine (as well as, one assumes, Eli Roth’s Thanksgiving) in telling the absurdly-tinged story of a group of eco-crusaders who find themselves being systematically slaughtered as the one-year anniversary of the tragic death of their leader approaches. It will be very interesting to see how the eclectic Eugene sensibility, one very sympathetic to the hugging of trees, gets treated in Mr. Ooh La La’s satirically frightening scenario. (“Forget the Whales. Don’t Worry About the Trees. Save Yourself!” begs the breathless tagline.) One also hopes that the movie’s intentionally broad tone (as evidenced in the trailer) will end up being as much fun for viewers outside the Emerald City as it looks to be for those who live (or once lived) there. Mr. Ooh La La hopes the Eugene screenings will garner the kind of attention that will lead to further bookings in Northwest theaters and eventually pave the way for the festival circuit.

Pike (Christopher Anglin) informs Torrance (Bruce Lundy) about a lead as Dr. Peever (Gaylord Walker) and Priscilla (Daphne Danger) look on, in Earth Day.

But whatever the final verdict on the film, the movie’s happy, arduous and apparently hilarious journey from the mind of its director to the silver screen will end in Eugene on April 22, and if you happen to be in the area on that day you might want to consider taking in one of the three screenings (5:00, 7:00 and 9:00) at the Downtown Initiative for the Visual Arts, 110 West Broadway, that have been scheduled. I will be hitting the road to make the scene without a doubt—my best friend, Bruce Lundy, who has seen his acting career really start to take off since his move from the San Francisco Bay Area to Eugene three years ago, is featured in Earth Day, and in a juicy role too-- as the virulently racist cop tracking the bloody footprints of the killer. I’ll be there at the 7:00 show, my most impartial film critic hat perched squarely on my round and balding crown, but also in support my best friend and his associates in what one hopes, however Earth Day itself turns out, is the beginning of a long and happy ride with the movie, and with many others to come.

(Advance tickets for the April 22 premiere of Earth Day are available by calling 541-337-8283 or by visiting Mr. Ooh La La’s MySpace page.)

Play the Earth Day teaser trailer... if you dare!!!


Kevin J. Olson said...

Hey Dennis:

Movie sounds good. I may have to make the trip down. I'm in Salem, so it wouldn't be impossible, I suppose. Sounds interesting.

And yes, go Ducks! Haha.

Jason Bellamy said...

Dennis: One former Eugene resident to another, you really need to give it the respect it deserves. Leaving "pot" and "anarchists" off your list of all-things-Eugene is unforgivable.

Meantime, the Ducks and the ducks aren't getting along anymore. Oof.

Anonymous said...

I used to live in Oregon, about three hours from Eugene, on the coast. I didn't know there was film scene there. Mostly, when I visited the town, I got lost, although I'm not exactly sure why. Maybe its the way the river bisects the town in an unexpected way. There is a great fly shop downtown, and you forgot hops in your list.

Hope all goes well for your friend.

Dennis Cozzalio said...

Rick: Hops. Of course. Me dumb. And I think I know exactly what fly shop you're talking about. I spent a little time in there a couple of summers ago before a McKenzie River fishing trip. So Coosa Creek isn't in Oregon, then, not even as a state of mind?

Jason: I thought you had to go to Springfield for home-grown anarchism, right-wing militias and/or organized racism. But then I'm sure Eugene can lay some claim to all of these strains too. I used to draw a much stronger demarcation between the two cities, and I suppose you still could, but when I spent some time in Springfield last year with Bruce (that's where he lives) it didn't seem so bad or so much different than Eugene. They're just minus a college campus.

Speaking of that campus though, the article you linked to was really something-- I don't recall suppressed anger/testosterone ever unleashed against a respected and breathing local symbol before. And wow, what a line-up of comments. Reading that, I felt like it was 1977 and I was reading the Oregon Daily Emerald again!

Kevin: Please say hi if you make it down, Kevin! It'd be nice to think SLIFR managed to sell at least one ticket for this one! :)

Robert Fiore said...

My Tivo told me that Time Warner has added a channel called MGMHD, which it slowly dawned on me must be the nearest equivalent to Turner Classic Movies in HD at the moment. Judging by the lineup this will mean less of an emphasis on recent than classic studio era pictures than TCM, but they are showing Red River, Colonel Blimp and The Long Goodbye. I wasn't able to see if it was commercial free or not because though as I said Tivo told me it was added and it's in the program guide, all I got was a black screen. Tried to see if it was in a pay tier of some kind, but the Time Warner Cable website (from which it is very difficult to get information in the best of times) doesn't mention it anywhere, and the MGMHD website appears to be only half functional.

Robert Fiore said...

I do get confusing sometimes. To clarify the post before, the MGMHD channel will emphasize movies from the 70s to the present than TCM, and more to the point, movies in color. The only b&w pictures I saw in a quick perusal were Red River, Inherit the Wind, 12 Angry Men and Zelig, which doesn't exactly count. Other items of interest on the schedule are House of Games, Blood Simple, The Abominable Dr. Phibes and his encore.

blaaagh said...

Thanks for this terrific post, Dennis! I'm excited to see the finished film, which I'll get to see with you. It was great fun to make, and I think the script is so damn funny--hopefully it'll all be there in the final product.

Dennis Cozzalio said...

Robert-- I recently was turned on to the MGM/HD channel too, and it has revelaed some gems within that MGM/UA library that definitely have kept me watching. I recently saw a gorgeous print of Convoy there which was a real surprise for me. And yes, they are commercial free and uncut.

Dennis Cozzalio said...

My pleasure, Blaaagh. This should be loads of fun! See you in two weeks!