Friday, April 15, 2011



JEREMY: While filming Joe Devine's Blood Pudding he and Dar often hung out with me at my grandmother's house, where I was staying while I saved money for our eventual trip to Florida. I had a large bedroom that was nearly a miniature apartment in its own right, and it sort of became our unofficial headquarters. The house was also right down the street from Marsh, so it was the natural place to convene after work.

We did a lot of planning for Blood Pudding here. I worked on storyboards with Joe, discussed the script, shot a couple of scenes, and even edited parts of the film here via two VCR's. Joe and I had come to the conclusion that Byron would decapitate the villainous Patch in the film's climatic confrontation, so I had secured some flesh-colored clay from Dar, borrowed one of my grandmother's Styrofoam heads she stored her wigs on, and went to work on creating a dummy head for Patch.

I covered the Styrofoam head with the flesh-colored clay, smoothing it out from neck to forehead until it resembled human skin if viewed from a distance. I then used a marshmallow for an eyeball (the other socket would be covered with a patch), Since I would be playing this insidious character I sculpted the nose and lips to match my own, and used one of my grandmother's wigs for the hair. It didn't quite match my hair, but I figured I could overcome this problem by pinning my character's black Stetson to the head. I doubted I would win any awards in the field of special make-up effects but I thought the end result looked pretty damn good.

As written, Patch and Byron have their final confrontation in the basement of an old, dilapidated house. Patch knocks Byron to the floor and raises his sword over his head, smacking a light bulb dangling above him. The light bulb swings back and forth, creating a cool light and shadow effect. Byron manages to secure the knife he'd been fighting with, stabs Patch in the guts, steals the sword from him as he collapses to his knees, and lops off his head.

We planned to use fishing wire to yank the false head from a dummy body. A tube would be inside the neck area in which we would shoot out fake blood. The head would fly through the air and land in a corner of the basement. The audience would only catch a brief glimpse of this; just enough to give the impression of what had happened, and it would mostly be masked in the shadows. For a short feature shot on camcorder in a friend's basement on a shoestring budget, it would do the job quite nicely.

I was excited at the prospect of shooting this scene and stayed up all night in order to finish the head by the next day. I then invited Joe and Dar over in order to bask in their praise. They indeed liked it. I remember Joe being equally excited about using the false head in the upcoming fight scene. In fact, we were so pumped up that we decided to shoot something that very night. Since we only had a couple of hours before everyone had to go home we decided not to work on anything as complex as our current film projects. We were really in the mood to experiment with lighting and camera angles anyway. So we decided to come up with something off the top of our heads; maybe a short, short film.

We made up a half-ass story on the spot. A detective is looking for a serial killer who leaves poems at the scenes of his murders. Joe had a folder containing some of his dark and brooding prose as did Dar (though his work bordered more on the weird side than dark and brooding), so we decided to use them with Joe playing the serial killer and me playing the detective. From time to time we would cut from us to Dar narrating the ‘story’ from behind a desk, beginning and ending each narration with one of his own poems.

We made no attempt to be serious about the work. We cracked jokes, hammed up our performances and made the overall work as off the wall as possible. We edited the film as we went along by shooting only one take per scene. If we screwed up, too bad, we worked it into the so-called story. The finished product had a fever dream quality about it, like a nightmare that makes little sense once you wake up and try to contemplate it. But the lighting and visuals looked great.

All we needed now was a name for this little stink-burger. I don’t remember who came up with the title Blud Turd, but I'll go out on a limb here and say Dar is the most likely candidate. I have no idea what it means. Never did, never will. But for some strange reason none of us ever questioned the fact that it fit the short film perfectly.

Now, the only thing that sticks in my craw about this little endeavor of ours was that Dar, out of the blue, decided to eat the dummy head of Patch on camera. Okay, maybe he didn't eat the Styrofoam, or the wig—well, not all of it, anyway. But the flesh-colored clay and marshmallow eye all disappeared down his gullet. I suppose it was my fault for handing the dummy head to him in the first place, God knows I should have known Dar well enough by then, but I figured that a short about a serial killer would be the perfect place to showcase my proud work.

I told Dar to hold up the head in one scene and announce to the audience something along the lines of, "Here then is all that remains of the killer's latest victim." (Pure cheese, I know). Dar did just that and then said, "Look at that nose, looks rather tasty," and proceeded to bite it off.

Joe and I were stunned and appalled by this senseless act. "What are you doing?" We demanded. "Relax," Dar said, "you can fix it later."

Well, I thought, it is only the nose, it shouldn't be that hard to redo. The only problem was that each time we did a shot of Dar narrating he would bite another hunk out of the dummy head. We'd chastise him about destroying our prop, he'd promise to stop, and then do the exact same thing again.

In the end, Dar suffered a stomach ache (Gee, I wonder why) and since he couldn't get us any more clay and my grandmother, understandably enough, wouldn't allow us to use anymore of her Styrofoam wig heads, Joe and I had no choice but to cut the decapitation scene from the film.

Ah, a moment of silence for what could have been.

JOE: As I recall, Darren wanted us to record ourselves reading our poetry in front of the camera. What! Why?

I don't remember who--though my money's on Jeremy--decided to spice it up by adding in the story (such as it was). We each read at least one of our poems, which were supposed to go along with the story. Serial killers, cops, and poetry! That is a winning combination for any motion picture! All we were missing was a Waca Chica beat! We shot this whole thing in Jeremy's bedroom. Sounds pathetic and boring, you say? I remember watching it when we were finished. It struck me that it didn't seem like it was shot in one tiny room! That amazed me.

The other thing that amazed me was the willingness of Darren to eat clay. The fake head Jeremy created for Blood Pudding was also a prop for Blud Turd. All he had to do was put the head on the table. That's it! I couldn't believe it when he bit the nose off of that head! Jeremy really did a good job on that fake head and Darren ate its face off without batting an eye! Unbelievable!

I don't remember who came up with the title. It seems to fit though. It was a lot of fun making that little thing.

JESSE: I remember seeing this later at the premier and thinking, These guys are nuts, what have I gotten myself into? Which means I enjoyed the fuck out of it.

JEREMY: Yeah, I remember Joe and Dar making me introduce the movie before we played it so that everybody thought I directed it. I cringed then, and I cringe now.

JOE: I recall Jeremy insisting that he introduce Blud Turd! He wouldn't take no for an answer! He thought it was the best movie we had there!

JEREMY: Lying bastard.

JOE: You're just in denial!



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