Justin Stone's creekbed

songs, prayers, poetry, stories, art, photographs, moving pictures, fondnesses, tall-tales and meditations

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The Anterior Insula and Hwy W

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


An image from the April 2007 Fangoria interview with the great actor and my dear friend Angela Bettis. The Weirdo Layout Editor In The Sky made the gonzo editorial decision to place my picture in this article believing me to be my longtime brother and fellow filmmaker Lucky McKee. Angela was Lucky's leading lady in the cult classic film MAY as well as the Showtime Masters of Horror film SICK GIRL, but now in the soon-to-be-released ROMAN Angela and Lucky switch places, with Angela directing Lucky in a script he wrote. I worked behind the scenes on ROMAN (as I did MAY) and the photograph featured in Fangoria was taken during this production. I have served on these movies as something of a Spiritual Fluffer, glad to put my hands to use if you know what I mean. Another crazy twist is that the prosthetic hand I am holding in this image, as well as a key severed leg prosthetic also featured in ROMAN, was taken from casts of parts owned bodily by my cherished friend Valerie Pensky, special effects make-up artist extraordinaire; the hand was created by a special effects laboratory for which Valerie worked long before the ROMAN production, and long before Valerie was an integral part of our lives. What I'm saying is that here in this image we see a glimpse of a magical collective bigger than logic. The full arc of these things is really way too much to comprehend, much less elucidate here. Eventually the story will be told, if only by mice in the walls of a dream manse to those with small, keen ears and a long attention span.

The awesome Jaye Luckett--Lucky's longtime film scorer and the musical genius behind Poperratic and the new album Vagus (the Wandering Nerve)--said a funny on her website today: "Guess all white dudes with beards and glasses look the same!" And we do, I guess. We all look hot. And we all carry severed hands in our hands.

This gives me a great chance to recommend to you the movie ROMAN, around which this Fangoria article is constructed. ROMAN is a work of truly independent cinema, a work of high art really, and it is being released next week (3/27/07) on DVD by Echo Bridge Entertainment--trailer and information here. You will be able to buy or rent it from all major outlets I am presuming. Please check this movie out. It is a great example of how a movie can be made today outside the studio system, but be made with loving care and a deep respect for the art of cinema, deeply crafted and thought out stories cut lucidly and surrounded by dreamy soundscapes. Besides Lucky McKee's literal inhabitation of the sullen, disturbed title character, ROMAN also features great performances by my friends Ben Boyer, Jesse Hlubik, Chris Sivertson, Mike McKee and Eddie Steeples--an endearing, capable ragtag troupe if ever there was one. The salivating sort will be glad to know that the movie also features interesting turns by Kristen Bell (Veronica Mars) and Nectar Rose (Serenity). ROMAN was photographed and nursed through a difficult conception by the sweetfella iconoclast Kevin Ford of Mo-Freek films. And one of the best parts of this movie I have to say is a deranged, hypnotic animation short created by the nimble hands and unknowable brain of Zach Passero, with whom I write, direct and act in the still-buried MOTEL, GLIMPSE. Each of these folks are pretty damn wonderful, both in this movie and in this life, but please do not mistake my recommendation as the empty, fawning adoration of a glad-handing friend. The work speaks for itself. ROMAN is a sweet piece of cinema. A piece you may like to ingest and run around feeling weird off of. Rent it, at least. Fans of Lucky, Angela, or intelligent horror movies (intelligent cinema in general, I should say) will not be disappointed. It is the latest in a long line of movies that have been and will be made by this distinguished group of folks.

Lucky can only wish he had these sweet features:


Just kidding. Lucky McKee's countenance is like one carved from the dense stone buried only in the oldest earth. An Easter Island Astronaut, gazing up, down, out, away, some other place. He comes to your town like the Pied Piper, leads the people to the shore of some crazy river, starts throwing body parts in.