Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Lunatics Run Asylum: Low-budget

Filmmaking - Low-budget Studio Process

Of course, psychotic behavior isn't only limited in
Hollywood to those who can afford it. If you're
cobbling together a tiny, dinky little low-budget film,
and you haven't two nickels to rub together for either
budget or salary, you've probably still seen your share
of Hollyweird wackyville. Just like a big show.

Sometimes worse.

All the trappings of the big-budget mindwarp:

Insane tyrants, egotistical little actors. Love
triangles, marriage wrecktangles, suicide pacts.
Paranoia, delusion, controlled substances,
uncontrolled megalomania. Oh it's all there,
cash or no.

That is the odd part. You might think "all that money"
causes the insanity. That an outlandishly high salary
would reliably and eventually stimulate anyone into
a complete mental breakdown, but no. Seen it, seen it.
Money is definitely not required.

But I digress. Time now for crazymaking among the
impecunious. The second installment of our two-part
"Lunatics Run Asylum." Last time, we did big budget,
today it's little budget.

Many friends from back home wonder why I've worked
on such a variety of big- and little-budget movies,
many with names they just don't recognize, or didn't
end up in any movie fact book or database.

It doesn't matter what ImDb says, there are many such
"shadow" movies, ranging from little animated musical
productions to full superhero epics. Some were vanity
productions, made with private money. Some were only
made for tax reasons, or to satisfy a contract that
sounded good long ago.

One thing these features share: they will sit forever
on a shelf somewhere, because they cannot legally
be shown. They will never be seen.

One such project was undertaken by the Prince of Low-budget,
the legendary Roger Corman. Roger made this particular
picture, and it turned out surprisingly well. It was
made for Marvel comics, and Marvel locked it up, never
to be seen again.

Here's the interesting part. It's a property of which
you probably have heard, because they remade it recently,
into a big-budget movie.

Heard of it?

Three words - "The Fantastic Four."

Note to persons who love comics, and want to see
good movies made from comic books,
(I am one): don't read it.


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