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They can tear the scream from your throat.

WOLFEN (1981)







JUNE 2015
©2015/ Turner
Entertainment Co. and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved

Letter From The Editor
And The Celebration Of Hip-Hop In Film
Pretender To The Flame: The Robot Who Joined The Fantastic Four
Director Joshua Oppenheimer On THE LOOK OF SILENCE
Essential Documentaries
From Executive Producers Errol Morris and Werner Herzog
An Archangel With an Automatic Weapon: Bill Lustig’s MANIAC COP 2
Your Guide To Drinking: The French 75
BMD Q&A: Kevin Bacon On COP CAR
Drafthouse Recommends: COP CAR
Video Vortex: Actor George Stover Revisits His BLOOD MASSACRE
The Last Word With FANTASTIC FOUR Director Josh Trank
Devin Faraci

Managing Editor
Meredith Borders

Associate Publisher
Henri Mazza

Art Director

Joseph A. Ziemba

Graphic Designers

Zach Short, Stephen Sosa, Kelsey Spencer

Copy Editor

George Bragdon

Contributing Writers

Mark Lambert Bristol, Jacob Q. Knight, Bill Norris, VyceVictus, Devin Faraci, Tim League,
Haleigh Foutch, Jon Stobezki, Meredith Borders, Joseph A. Ziemba

Advertising and Sponsorships

Corey Wilson |

Public Relations Inquiries
Brandy Fons |

All content © 2015 Alamo Drafthouse | |
Promotional images and artwork are reproduced in this magazine in the spirit of publicity and as historical illustrations to the text.
Grateful acknowledgement is made to the respective filmmakers, actors, and studios.


Letter From
The Editor
Badass Digest Editor-in-Chief

That face on the cover isn’t Ice Cube -- it’s Ice
Cube’s son, O’Shea Jackson, playing Ice Cube in
N.W.A’s rise to fame back in the ‘80s and ‘90s. It’s
also a sign that I’m officially old, as I never imagined I
would live to see the group best known for their track
“F*** tha Police” getting a big budget, slick biopic.
But man, am I glad it’s happening. Hip hop has been
a major part of American culture for 40 years now,
and it deserves a spot at the prestige biopic table. The
movies have long embraced hip hop -- sometimes
well, sometimes with hilariously out of touch results -and this issue we take a look at the history of hip hop
at the cinema.
Also a part of the American culture for about 40 years
now: Kevin Bacon! It’s actually been just shy of 40
years since he made his big screen debut in ANIMAL
HOUSE, and he’s still one of our favorite movie
presences. This month we’re throwing a lot of support
behind his raucous indie movie, COP CAR, and we
even managed to score an interview with the man
himself. Now we are one degree from Kevin Bacon!

Stretching back a bit farther than 40 years is the
First Family of Marvel Comics, The Fantastic
Four. This month they’re getting another crack at a
movie adaptation, and it’s one that has drawn some
controversy over the color-blind casting of Michael
B. Jordan as The Human Torch. But how many of the
complainers remember the time the Human Torch
was replaced by… a robot? We dig deep into the
forgotten history of FF cartoons.
And there’s much more, including a peek at the
NATION and even an article championing MANIAC
COP 2! It may be hot outside this August, but it’s
really cool in here. 6




Storyboard Artist

"Every sequence in ROGUE NATION had its own unique complications. In every
case, their execution relied heavily on Mark Bristol's artwork. His understanding
of what I see in my head borders on an invasion of privacy."
— Christopher McQuarrie, Director



Writer-director Chris McQuarrie and I have been friends
for twenty years. I have storyboarded many of his projects
over the years. He invited me to help him visualize
became the highlight of my career. I spent fourteen months
on the film and traveled to London, Vienna and Morocco.
A true life adventure!

Here you can see the aspect ratio has changed to
2:35:1. By this point I walked through each shot
with director Chris McQuarrie in Vienna, so I had
a tremendous amount of reference photos to sample
from. As you can see the storyboard and the final shot
in the film are nearly exact. That is always a thrill.

This scene was heavily choreographed by the
amazing stunt team and Tom Cruise. I sketched the
shots based on their reference video and rehearsals
that I attended. We worked on the Vienna Opera
action for four to five months. I even traveled to
Vienna twice.

105_01 - 102-02
We worked on Ilsa and Ethan's extraction from the
Opera House for a long time. I was literally drawing
the revisions here in Austin while they were shooting
in Vienna. Fan photos of Tom Cruise on the roof of
the opera house helped me with the details.



I traveled with the crew to Morocco where we spent a
week planning all the amazing chase sequences. Simon
Pegg was screaming for real as Tom Cruise tore down
those narrow streets. Intense!

Chris and I explored many different versions of this sequence
until we arrived at the final one you will see on screen.
Huge stunts of an SUV exploding in the streets of
Vienna require intricate planning. Storyboards are a
major communication tool for the crew.

Early Concept work
This is one of the first drawings I did for the film
back in December 2013. Chris McQuarrie had me
sketching and pitching all sorts of action scenes as he
and the team were designing and writing the film.
Christopher McQuarrie, Mark Bristol, (editor) Eddie
Hamilton and (script supervisor) Lisa Vick.


This shot is from a sequence ultimately not used in the film. An
early version of Benji's arrival to Vienna. I just like the drawings.


A400 iconic shot
I was in a meeting with Tom Cruise and all the department heads to discuss this amazing stunt. Tom kept
saying he wanted his feet to fly off the plane. I did a quick sketch and handed it to him. He showed it to the
crew and said, "Yeah, like this!" This storyboard represents the final frame.

400 Compare2
One of many storyboards depicting Tom Cruise's
absolutely remarkable stunt. Yes, he really did hang
onto the side of that massive plane. Amazing.


MIV - 0017
Chris really liked this shot. He knows exactly what he wants and
is able to perfectly articulate his vision. Within that structure
I would sometimes deliver additional shots for him to consider.
Thankfully he was often thrilled with the contribution. 6
July 31. See for listings.

Celebration Of
Hip-Hop In Film
Birth.Movies.Death. Contributor



Hip-hop music has long since proven to be an
incredibly effective medium for providing a voice
to the voiceless. The daily struggles of AfricanAmericans, which society at large had been oblivious
to and ignorant of, was injected into the mainstream
consciousness via the widespread proliferation of
hip-hop. These messages have been part of the music
since its earliest days in songs like “The Message”
by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five. It
continued with the explosively groundbreaking
impact of Gangsta Rap and groups like N.W.A. in
the ‘90s, and lives on with contemporary artists like
Kendrick Lamar, whose street authenticity and pop
crossover appeal reflect modern sensibilities. Film
has also been intrinsic to hip-hop, as movies about
the culture spread the message concurrently with
the music. From the earliest films like 1982's WILD
STYLE, to the smash hit BOYZ N' THE HOOD,
to dramas like 8 MILE, the movies reflect various
aspects of the struggles expressed in rap lyrics.

movies that promote the celebration of black culture
and life in general. Most everyone is familiar with the
modern classic comedy FRIDAY, so this list contains
some weirder and lesser known favorites of mine that
I hope others will discover and enjoy.

Having said all that… this piece isn't actually about
the significance of serious messages in hip-hop music
and movies. Instead, I feel that it's important to
emphasize the other aspect of hip-hop that is just as
crucial: hip-hop is also about celebration. Though
social commentary was part of its earliest forms,
we must never forget that hip-hop was originally
born as party music. I believe that the expression of
jubilation is just as vital and critical to our culture
as the expression of sorrow and anger. Music is part
of how we coped with the great evils of slavery, and
hip-hop was born in the despair of a city on the
brink of annihilation from violence and poverty in
the late 1970s, instilling a sense of hope in the face
of hopelessness.

You might have seen the Def Jam rap group The
Fat Boys in the seminal hip-hop movie KRUSH
GROOVE, but I've always been a fan of their
comedy/headlining vehicle DISORDERLIES.
They star as a trio of bumbling hospital orderlies
hired to take care of a billionaire, while his no-good
nephew seeks to facilitate his demise and claim his
inheritance. DISORDERLIES is basically a black
Three Stooges movie with beat-boxing thrown in,
and I love it so.

Growing up in Brooklyn and Queens during the ‘80s
and ‘90s, I had my share of hard times, but I was
equally blessed with many good times despite the
hardships. The music I listened to and the movies
I watched reflected both of those aspects. On one
hand, the anger and sadness in those songs and films
let me know that I was not alone in my struggles.
However, the joy and wonder in other films let me
know that I was more than just some disadvantaged
statistic; they affirmed that I am a Human Being, a
person with a soul and hopes and aspirations. And
if people who looked like me and talked like me and
came from where I came from were able to manifest
expressions of that joy and make their dreams a
reality, then I knew that I could too.
And so, rather than smack you with a boring laundry
list of Important Black Hip-Hop Movies that you
can find in any other stodgy film publication run by
white people, I'd like to share with you some hip-hop


HOUSE PARTY is the better-known Kid n' Play
movie that is historically important for showing that,
although it may occur in different places and through
different methods, the teenage quest to party and
get the girl is universal. Even so, I like CLASS ACT
better. Though it uses familiar black settings and
language, the mistaken identity plot about a straightlaced nerd trading places with a hard core juvenile
delinquent has a collective appeal, and the movie's
freewheeling sense of slapstick comedy tickles my
funny bone in just the right spot. In the end, each
character grows by learning the importance of both
aspects -- the street smarts and the book smarts -- in
their lives, and I've really taken that to heart.

METEOR MAN stars the venerable director/
producer Robert Townsend as Jefferson Reed, a mildmannered school teacher whose D.C. neighborhood
is plagued by the deadly gang known as the Golden
Lords. One night while being chased by the gang,
Reed is hit by a meteor from outer space that imbues
him with super powers, and he soon takes up a
costumed identity to clean up the streets. To this day,
METEOR MAN has the most personally resonant
climax and thematic through-line of any superhero
movie I've ever seen; more than any of the recent
Marvel entries and more than anything in Nolan's
trilogy, and it even puts a unique twist on the iconic
superpowered street battle seen in SUPERMAN II.
It's a universal morality tale of good vs. evil, but
through the lens of hip-hop culture that speaks
distinctly to the black community.
stars Forest Whitaker as the Mafia hitman of the title
who lives and fights by the Samurai code. Though
not a jubilant comedy like the other entries listed
here, it is still in the spirit of hip-hop celebration
through film. Though I wasn't truly aware of it at the
time, GHOST DOG was the first “art movie” I had


ever seen, which was likely true for a great number
of black people upon its release. Jim Jarmusch
applied his esoteric style to a gritty crime drama, and
breathed life into it with the magnificent hip-hop
score/soundtrack by the renowned producer RZA of
the legendary rap group The Wu-Tang Clan. It is a
film like no other and an indelible part of hip-hop
culture and history.
WHO'S THE MAN stars Ed Lover and Doctor Dré
(no, not that one), who were morning radio DJs for
the world-famous NYC hip-hop station HOT97
during the ‘90s. Here playing a pair of bumbling
barbers, Lover and Dré reluctantly join the police
force at the behest of their well-meaning boss, but
when a local slum lord is implicated in a murder that
rocks the community, they throw themselves into
the case. WHO'S THE MAN is a super silly comedy
that may be too stupid for some, but it has a lot of


heart, which is big in my book. Though maybe not as
poignantly relevant to the scourge of police brutality
facing black people today, it does have a surprisingly
decent commentary on gentrification and the class
divide. Not to mention it might have the highest
number of rapper cameos in a movie to date.
Although grim and gritty street crime dramas
account for many of the most prevalent hip-hop
films, it's important to recognize the wide variety
of stories being told in the genre, stories that
mainstream audiences wouldn't think even existed.
As significant as those serious songs and movies have
been in relaying the truth of our struggle, it is just as
imperative that we have stories that relay the truth of
our joy and humanity for all the world to see. 6
August 14. Check for listings.




Pretender To The Flame:
The Robot Who Joined
The Fantastic Four
Birth.Movies.Death Editor-in-Chief

When Michael B. Jordan was announced as Johnny
Storm, the Human Torch, in the new FANTASTIC
FOUR movie, a certain segment of the fanbase became
agitated. You see, in the comics Johnny Storm is a blonde
white guy and Jordan is… not. A black man taking the
role of a white superhero? Purists were aghast.

goofy little fat kid who loves superheroes. He’s endlessly
teased and picked on at school, and he has no friends. He
seems to be a latchkey kid, coming home to an empty
apartment. Tommy wants to be just like his favorite hero,
the Human Torch, so he douses himself with fuel and sets
himself ablaze.

As is usually the case, the purists had little ground on
which to stand. Even taking into consideration the fact
that the Human Torch wasn’t always Johnny Storm (or
even human. The original Human Torch was an android
back in World War II. Comics!), there’s nothing about
the character that is informed by his whiteness. He isn’t
the king of an African nation like The Black Panther
and he wasn’t a social worker in Harlem like The Falcon.
Johnny Storm was created as white because white was
the default color for comic book characters back in the
early 1960s.

It doesn’t go well. Tommy is covered in burns and dies
in the hospital, but before he goes, Johnny Storm comes
to visit and hears the kid’s last words: “I only did it to be
like you!” After Tommy’s mom slaps the Torch in the face
he finds himself unable to even flame on, and he takes a
cab back to Fantastic Four HQ. But he soon learns that,
while Tommy’s death is tragic, the Torch’s heroism was
the only thing that gave the lonely kid any happiness at
all. Tommy Hanson didn’t die because of the Human
Torch… he lived through him!

Real Fantastic Four historians know that a skin tone
change is nothing when it comes to adaptations of
the comic book. In the 1978 cartoon series Johnny
Storm was completely and totally erased, and replaced
by a robot named H.E.R.B.I.E! Yes, with the periods
and everything -- H.E.R.B.I.E was an acronym that
stood for Humanoid Experimental Robot, B-Type,
Integrated Electronics.

The reality was a little less exciting than all that. It turns
out that when the Fantastic Four cartoon was being put
together Marvel had been licensing off their character
rights willy-nilly. They had made a deal with Universal
that included The Hulk (from which came the famous
INCREDIBLE HULK TV show), Captain America and
Doctor Strange. Also sold: The Human Torch, separated
from the Fantastic Four. So when NBC wanted to make a
cartoon with the FF they just couldn’t use Johnny Storm.

If you were a comic fan who watched the cartoon show
you knew immediately why the Torch had been sidelined:
network executives were afraid that kids would watch
the show and light themselves on fire in imitation of
their favorite hero! This became a rampant urban legend,
one that was fed by the events of FANTASTIC FOUR
#285 in 1985. In that comic we meet Tommy Hanson, a

Stan Lee, ever full of ideas, jumped in. He created
H.E.R.B.I.E to replace the Torch, and he had artist
Dave Cockrum -- famous for his work with the X-Men
-- design him. But Cockrum had to quit the job, becuase
he just hated the crummy character too much! It was Jack
Kirby, co-creator of the Fantastic Four, to the rescue, and
H.E.R.B.I.E was born.



H.E.R.B.I.E eventually made his way into the Marvel
comics as well, and he wouldn’t be the last replacement
member of the Fantastic Four. Over time Spider-Man,
Ghost Rider, Wolverine, Black Panther, Ant-Man and
even a woman in a robotic Thing suit would all join the
team. Some characters, like She-Hulk and Medusa of the
Inhumans, would be involved for so long they almost feel
like regular members.
H.E.R.B.I.E wasn’t the only Fantastic Four cartoon
slip-up, by the way. From 1979 to 1980 ABC aired a
THING. Despite the title the characters from THE
FLINTSTONES never actually met The Thing, but even
if they did they wouldn’t have recognized him. This weird
comedy show featured a meek teen named Benjy Grimm
who had two magic rings. When he touched them


together and said the truly uninspired phrase “Thing
ring, do your thing!” he would be pelted with orange
rocks and become the familiar everlovin’ Thing -- with a
voice that sounded like Jimmy Durante.
That version of The Thing is notable because of how it
truly betrays the character as created by Stan Lee and Jack
Kirby. Comic fans understand something -- a superhero’s
costume and look and even powers can change over time,
but the core aspects of their personality must remain the
same. Johnny Storm is the younger brother of Sue Storm,
he’s a hot-head and he’s into cars, racing and excitement
-- whatever his skin color, as long as he retains those traits
he’ll always be the real Human Torch. 6
FANTASTIC FOUR hits theaters August 7. Check for listings.


Is A Masterpiece
Alamo Drafthouse and Drafthouse Films Founder and CEO

Being an independent distributor is a tough business. In
an industry dominated by JURASSIC WORLD news and
the anticipation of the next STAR WARS installments, it
is hard to make enough noise about documentaries and
foreign language films to be heard. The reason we do it at
Drafthouse Films, however, is movies like THE LOOK
OF SILENCE, auteurs like Joshua Oppenheimer. Finding
and sharing groundbreaking films and directors with as
many people as possible is the reason I wake up in the
morning, and frankly is the reason the overall Drafthouse
brand exists.
We had the extreme honor to work with Joshua
Oppenheimer to release his first film, THE ACT OF
KILLING. I first saw it at the Toronto Film Festival and
was absolutely thunderstruck. I was at once shaking with
anger about the story told, conflicted about the unflinching
insight into human nature and absolutely elated by the
visionary, revolutionary filmmaking talent on display. I
couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t think about anything else and the
rest of the festival was immediately rendered insignificant.
There was only one film we wanted to distribute. I wasn’t
alone in my awe. Twin titans of the documentary world,
Errol Morris and Werner Herzog, both saw a rough cut of
the film and immediately signed on as executive producers
and mentors to Joshua as he finished the film. They are also
onboard for THE LOOK OF SILENCE.
Flash forward to January 2014 in the thick of the
Oscar campaign for THE ACT OF KILLING. Joshua
nonchalantly dropped into conversation that not only had
he shot his next film, but he would soon be ready to show
us the final cut. THE ACT OF KILLING was nine years
in the making, and I had already prepared myself to wait
another decade for the next Oppenheimer masterpiece.
THE LOOK OF SILENCE was the film that Joshua
initially set out to make when he first went to Indonesia,
a film from the perspective of the victims of the genocide.
But as THE ACT OF KILLING showed us, those who
perpetrated the crimes are still in power, and the victims
and families of the victims are largely unwilling to speak
about it. While interviewing the killers featured in THE
ACT OF KILLING, however, Joshua finally encountered

the mild-mannered Adi, the quiet yet immeasurably brave
hero of THE LOOK OF SILENCE. After completing
THE ACT OF KILLING but before its world premiere,
Joshua covertly returned to Adi’s village for just a few weeks
to shoot THE LOOK OF SILENCE. He knew that once
THE ACT OF KILLING debuted, he would never be
able to return to Indonesia.
You may ask yourself, “I loved THE ACT OF KILLING,
but do I really need to see another film about the
Indonesia genocide?” The simple answer is yes, you
unquestionably do.
THE LOOK OF SILENCE is better than the
revolutionary THE ACT OF KILLING and firmly
cements Joshua Oppenheimer as one of the greatest
documentarians of all time.
You don’t have to take my word for it: THE NEW
YORK TIMES, BBC and NPR have all already hailed it
as a “masterpiece.”
I adore THE ACT OF KILLING. If you asked me
back in 2014 whether I thought it possible for another
documentary to affect me as much, I would have gone allin against the notion. Although the genocide is again at the
core of THE LOOK OF SILENCE, the two films could
not be more different. You certainly don’t have to have seen
SILENCE. They both stand alone, but also work together
as wonderful companion films.
THE LOOK OF SILENCE follows Adi, a small-town
optometrist as he travels door to door fitting his neighbors
and fellow villagers with eyeglasses. These particular
neighbors, however, were all complicit in some way in the
brutal murder of his brother back in 1965. During these
sessions, Adi unflinchingly and directly questions them
about their role in his brother’s death. He is seeking closure
and a simple apology for his family who has been living in
silence amongst the killers for 50 years.
THE ACT OF KILLING was over-the-top with surreal
imagery, staged violence and even musical numbers. The
emotional punch was strong and you left the cinema dazed


and a bit punch-drunk. Like Adi himself, THE LOOK
OF SILENCE is quite the opposite: steady, measured,
perfectly composed and quiet. Magically, there is every bit as
much emotional wallop, if not more, delivered from THE
LOOK OF SILENCE. After the US premiere of the film
at Telluride, I watched a young couple lingering in the exit
corridor. They were locked in an embrace, swaying and
comforting each other for minutes on end. They had just
seen something that shook them, that changed them forever.
When we released THE ACT OF KILLING in Indonesia,
we had to do it covertly -- we put it on YouTube for free
and made it available via BitTorrent. Secret community
screenings were held all across the country, but officially
the movie was all but banned and was discredited by the
Indonesian government. Now just two years later, THE
LOOK OF SILENCE has already been seen by millions
of Indonesians. Thousands of official screenings have taken
place all over the country. The movie even had billboards
and bus shelter ads! The Indonesian media is openly
discussing both the film and the genocide for the first time.

This dark Indonesian underbelly is being acknowledged
and there are visible chinks in the armor of the “anticommunist” propaganda machine.
If you love movies, if you crave once-in-a-lifetime
experiences, if you want to be moved and changed
forever, if you want to see one of the most important
documentaries ever made, I implore you to not
just see THE LOOK OF SILENCE, but bring
your friends and have an awesome conversation
afterwards. I guarantee* you will be glad you did. 6
To watch the trailer and to find out more about the
educational outreach of THE LOOK OF SILENCE and
what you can do to “End the Silence,” please visit our
*Note: Tim League will personally mail you a complete refund
of your ticket, a crisp $2 bill and a coupon for an order
of cheese sticks to anyone who watches and does not love


Director Joshua
Oppenheimer On
Associate Editor at Collider

In 2013, Joshua Oppenheimer's extraordinary
documentary THE ACT OF KILLING crashed onto
the film scene, garnering an Academy Award nomination
for Best Documentary and more than 72 awards
internationally. But it also did something much more
important. The film lifted the veil of a victor's history of
Indonesia's 1965 genocide -- a military coup, which led to
more than a million government-sanctioned murders in
less than a year, and forged a desperate injustice upheld to
this day by the military dictatorship's regime of fear.
Oppenheimer achieved this by inviting the most vicious
perpetrators of the 1965 genocide to reenact their crimes
on film in whatever fashion they liked. In the process, he
exposed the horrific bravado of men who were never forced
to account for their actions, and opened an unprecedented
line of communication for the Indonesian media and
public to openly discuss and investigate the genocide and
government corruption without fear. Following THE
ACT OF KILLING's Oscar nomination, the Indonesian

president's spokesman acknowledged the 1965 genocide as
a crime against humanity -- a stunning moment of aboutface for a government that consistently celebrated the
killings as honorable and glorious acts for half a century.
With his follow up documentary, THE LOOK OF
SILENCE, Oppenheimer returned to Indonesia to
reapproach the issue, this time from the point of view
of the victims, who spent the last fifty years in terrified
silence. In a much more intimate story, Oppenheimer
filmed his friend Adi Rukun -- born after the killings,
and thus, unafraid to speak out and demand answers
-- as he confronted the men who murdered his brother
in the genocide, intent that the killers would abandon
their rhetoric of heroism and glory, and apologize for
their attrocities.
Oppenheimer describes the films as companion pieces,
each telling one half of a greater story, "If one says, THE
LOOK OF SILENCE is a companion piece to THE ACT
OF KILLING, it feels secondary. I would say in some


ways, THE ACT OF KILLING is the companion piece
to THE LOOK OF SILENCE. The two films complete
one another and I hope form a single work, whose whole is
greater than the sum of the parts."
He first knew the subject demanded two documentaries
when he filmed a scene that features heavily throughout
THE LOOK OF SILENCE -- two former death squad
leaders, Amir Hasan and Inong, meet for the first time
and laughingly recall their memories of the massacre on
North Sumatra's Snake River, where they helped the army
kill more than 10,000 people in one spot. Oppenheimer
recalled, "I think what really disturbed me was the way
they were reading from a shared script. They had never met
one another before; they were from neighboring villages,
different death squads. Yet, they were talking about this as
though they had performed the killings together. I realized,
therefore, that the boasting was systemic. It was a symptom
of impunity and I had to let go of whatever hope I might
have still held that the perpetrators are crazy or monsters.
I felt if there's insanity here, it's collective. If there's
monstrosity here, it's political."
"That was the day where I first had the feeling that I'd
wandered into Germany forty years after the Holocaust,
only to find the Nazis still in power, if the rest of the world
had celebrated the Holocaust while it took place," said
Oppenheimer. "What if this kind of impunity is the story
of our times?"
Oppenheimer's documentaries are so effective and
devastating because neither is really about the past, merely
chronicling heinous acts long removed by time, but about
how that past is alive and well in the present. "Neither film
is about what happened in 1965. Both are about impunity
today," said Oppenheimer. "THE ACT OF KILLING
deals with the lies, the fantasies, the stories, even the
persona, that the perpetrators cling to and inhabit so they
can live with themselves and the terrible consequences of
those lies."
"In the second film, I wanted to take the viewer
and immerse the viewer in the haunted silences
that punctuate the director's cut of THE ACT OF
KILLING and make you feel what would it be like to
have to live as a survivor in this regime, in this silence, in
this fear, surrounded by the still powerful perpetrators,
the men who killed your loved ones."
So how did Adi's family come to be the heart of THE
LOOK OF SILENCE? Adi was Oppenheimer's friend
and confidant throughout THE ACT OF KILLING's
seven-year production period, watching and responding
to all the horrific footage throughout the entire process.
When Oppenheimer returned to Indonesia in 2012 to
make the second film, he knew that Adi would be his main
collaborator, but he did not yet know he would become
the main character.

That idea came from Adi himself, who was changed by
the footage Oppenheimer showed him and felt a need
to confront the men responsible for the violations that
shattered his family. However, Oppenheimer was initially
reluctant. "I said, 'Absolutely not. It's too dangerous.'
There's never been a documentary film or a nonfiction
film where survivors confront perpetrators while the
perpetrators are still in power."
But a small piece of footage Adi filmed himself eventually
changed Oppenheimer's mind. The clip, which provides
the final moments of THE LOOK OF SILENCE,
showed Adi's ancient father Rukun on the first day that
senility fully overtook his mind, leaving Rukun unable to
remember his family and his home, trapped with a sense
of fear that he could no longer explain or cope with. "I
realized in that moment that this would have to be a
film about memory and oblivion. Not just a film about
impunity, and powerful perpetrators, and frightened
survivors. This has to be about memory, because for Adi's
father -- this whole film should be made in memoriam for
Adi's father, for whom it's too late. Whatever comes as a
result of the film, nothing will make whole the lives broken
by fear. In a terrible way, until there is change, the genocide
continues because fear and trauma continue to wreck lives,"
said Oppenheimer.
Inspired by the devastating footage of Rukun, and hit with
the realization that no progress could ever fully repair what
had been broken, Oppenheimer decided he wanted to
"honor all that's destroyed by fifty years of silence, not just
what was destroyed by the genocide, but what's destroyed
by the silence, and which can never be redeemed, no
matter what justice there is in the future."
In THE LOOK OF SILENCE we see that justice
beginning to unfold. Some measure of healing has begun.
We see it in the dignity and courage of Adi himself, and
we see it in a haunting, touching moment that falls late
in the film, when the daughter of a former death squad
leader learns the true extent of her fathers' atrocities for the
first time, and rather than running from the truth as her
father and his cohorts have done for decades, she admits
to her horror. Oppenheimer recalled, "She becomes very
quiet. She goes very still. She goes into herself and she
does something remarkable that should be much more
common than it is. She listens to her own conscience and
she apologizes. That is remarkable." He continued, "I think
it's a crucial seed because it's showing Indonesians that of
the 300,000 Indonesians that we estimate have seen the
film so far -- and that number will jump into the millions
and tens of millions once we put the film online -- that has
shown Indonesians that even from perpetrators' families,
even if you're from a perpetrator's family, somehow truth
and reconciliation would be good for everybody." 6
Drafthouse Films releases THE LOOK OF SILENCE this
month. Check out for listings, and read
the full interview at


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Essential Documentaries
From Executive Producers
Errol Morris and
Werner Herzog
Brand Manager of Drafthouse Films


The documentary genre owes Morris a debt for THE
THIN BLUE LINE. The film shined a light on the case
of a man wrongfully accused, and sentenced to death, for
the death of a police officer. As a direct result of the film,
the sentence was overturned. A benchmark for the social
responsibility and effectiveness of cinema, and the de facto
parent of works such as SERIAL and THE JINX.

In the same year that Morgan Freeman became the
world's pre-eminent narrator in MARCH OF THE
PENGUINS, Herzog also stunned as an enchantingly
wry narrator in his own nature doc about obsessive
bear maniac Timothy Treadwell. Treadwell spent years
observing bears, living with them and "gaining their
trust" with a likely, and indeed inevitable, outcome.
Equal parts enlightening nature film and gut-wrenching
creature horror, GRIZZLY MAN is unmissable.


Leuchter is an affable enough subject, for an engineer who
develops humane devices for capital punishment. In a jawdropping twist, Morris observes as the humble Leuchter
damns himself with the same qualities that initially make
him so endearing: his simple, easy-going forthrightness,
passion for his trade and guileless willingness to talk.

Morris' first film established his enigmatic sense of
observation and storytelling. In documenting the goingson surrounding pet cemeteries, he offers a haunting
and elegiac examination of the human soul. One of
Roger Ebert's top films of all time, wholly unique and
unforgettable, and -- bonus -- the film that infamously
made Werner Herzog eat his shoe.

In one of the strangest, most superficially irreverent
documentaries ever made, Morris interviews four subjects
with outrageously disparate backgrounds and occupations,
juxtaposing them against each other and intercutting them
with stock footage. What could a lion tamer and a robotic
engineer possibly have in common? An examination of
what drives humanity, FC&OOC seems to leave vastly
differing effects on every person who sees it.



Herzog's first 3D film is a documentary about primitive,
2D cave paintings found in Chauvet Cave in France,
some as much as 32,000 years old. The cameras document
not just the image of the artwork, but the curvature and
texture of the cavern walls, the stalagmites in the distance,
the mist rising from the cave's moisture hitting the
powerful expedition lights. An astonishing glimpse into
humanity's far distant past, and possible glimpse into its
far flung future. Albino crocodiles and all.

Actor Klaus Kinski worked with Herzog on several of
cinema's unassailable masterpieces. In his memoirs, he
took to eloquently expressing his appreciation for the
director: "Huge red ants should piss into his lying eyes
and gobble up his balls and his guts!" MY BEST FIEND
tells the story of the enigmatic collaborators'... contentious
relationship from Herzog's perspective and spotlights one
of history's most brilliant and troubled artists. 6
Errol Morris and Werner Herzog produced Joshua
Oppenheimer’s THE LOOK OF SILENCE, brought to you
by Drafthouse Films. Check for listings.



An Archangel With An
Automatic Weapon:
Bill Lustig’s MANIAC COP 2
Vulcan Video / Cinapse News / Birth.Movies.Death. Contributor

MANIAC COP is one of the all-time great horror films.
Together, director Bill Lustig (MANIAC,
VIGILANTE) and screenwriter Larry Cohen (THE
subversive slice of genre cinema that collected a city’s
fear of law enforcement (in the wake of atrocities
committed against African-American NYC civilians
like Clifford Glover, Michael Stewart and Eleanor
Bumpurs) and turned the racial element of these
hate crimes on its head. MANIAC COP is the seedy
chronicle of once good patrolman, Matt Cordell
(cherubic-chinned Robert Z’Dar, may he rest in peace),
taking revenge on the blue (and white) society that
left him for dead, all while cementing himself as a

murder icon to be placed alongside the likes of Jason
Voorhees. Only in Lustig and Cohen’s slasher, we
root for this monster, and not just because of the sick
thrill component body count pictures usually play up.
Instead, our allegiance to this psycho lawman is gained
due to his punishing of an institution we once put our
trust in, but now fear. All cops are bastards, and Matt
Cordell is a disfigured avenging angel, laying waste to
their badges of silence.
MANIAC COP 2 isn’t terribly concerned with
replicating the social commentary of its predecessor.
Like the very best sequels, it takes elements of what
worked in the original and then cranks them to eleven,
slightly switching gears in terms of general genre. The


movie’s relentless violence is reminiscent of ALIENS
when compared to the first’s meager set pieces. An urban
gothic, EC Comics tone is still accounted for, but then
also mashed up with a white-knuckle nightmare. The
action director living inside of Bill Lustig (who poked his
head out during production on the underappreciated HIT
LIST) has possessed the filmmaker completely, allowing
him to unleash magnificent chaotic mayhem upon NYC.
It’s glorious; an anti-human juggernaut of a motion
picture, in which our NYPD archangel wields a machine
gun instead of a flaming sword.

quit after delivering less than an hour of usable footage)
COP 2 is the franchise’s SON. Rossi plays the perverted
murderer like Bela Lugosi’s Ygor, setting himself and his
destructive golem on a wrecking crew path to release Sing
Sing’s Death Row inmates. Z’Dar and Rossi are having
a ball in these moments, while cinematographer James
Lemmo (MS. 45, FEAR CITY) captures it all with an eye
of cartoonish mise-en-scène. It’s a rejection of realism that
feels organic and earned; a natural expansion upon the
first’s already heightened pulp horror sensibility.

Opening with a FRIDAY THE 13th style “previously
on” intro (recapping the first’s climactic pier showdown
with Bruce Campbell’s frame-job dupe), MANIAC
COP 2 finds Lustig more interested in integrating
ingredients of Hong Kong cinema (look for a scene that
directly lifts the “handcuffed to a moving vehicle” gag
from Jackie Chan’s POLICE STORY) than providing
any semblance of intelligible storyline. Cohen’s script is
essentially just a loose blueprint, providing connective
tissue between Lustig’s dangerous-looking (and sometimes
illegally staged) set pieces. Eventual FAST AND THE
FURIOUS stunt coordinator Spiro Razatos crashes
vehicles into one another and shoots stuntmen into space
with reckless abandon. However, Lustig’s mean-spirited
view of the city’s scummy peacekeepers remains, as the
movie peaks with a police station massacre that may best
Schwarzenegger’s iconic TERMINATOR bloodletting.
Cordell lumbers through glass doors like a demonic,
shell-dispensing take on Frankenstein’s monster, his blasts
resulting in the craziest wire work this side of a balletic
wuxia battle.

What probably accounts for the movie’s utter
breathlessness is the fact that Lustig cut the picture in
only three months utilizing a team of editors, just so
he could have a print ready for the 1990 Cannes Film
Festival. That’s right -- Bill Lustig wanted MANIAC COP
2 to premiere alongside Jean-Luc Godard’s NOUVELLE
VAUGE, Akira Kurosawa’s DREAMS and David Lynch’s
WILD AT HEART. Sadly, the film wasn’t accepted into
the prestigious fest, and the choppy, rushed construction
is felt, especially in the film’s final reels. Where the first
movie was allowed to pump the brakes from time to time
in order to establish more thoroughly realized characters,
MANIAC COP 2 doesn’t give a shit with whom the
audience emotionally identifies. Yet this complete
disregard for life is also what makes the movie sadistically
special. The satire may have been eschewed, but anger
and anti-authoritarianism are still the main fuel driving
MANIAC COP 2. This is a 42nd Street Hellscape, where
our “hero” hates you to your very core. Duck and cover,
creep; Matt Cordell’s coming to clean house. 6

Lustig continues his adoration of craggy character
actors (see: Spinell in MANIAC and Robert Forster in
VIGILANTE), as he casts DIE HARD alum Robert
Davi as Tom Atkins’ (unceremonious) replacement on
the Cordell case, Detective Sean McKinney. Davi looks
like he’s one roll of RKO black and white film stock
away from stepping out of a classic film noir -- a trench
coat-donning, cigarette-puffing man of action. With him
the entire way is Claudia Christian (THE HIDDEN), a
tough police psychiatrist unafraid to face down a relentless
strangler. It’s the perfect pairing to replace Jack Forrest
(Campbell) and Theresa Mallory (Laurene Landon), as
Cohen injects these civil servant avengers with just enough
hard ass braggadocio.
Lustig and Cohen’s horror cinephilia is most present
during the jokey, tonally juddering second act, during
which Matt Cordell takes on a sidekick in local serial
killer, Turkell (Leo Rossi), who has been choking his way
through New York’s stripper population. During the
numerous interviews given regarding the MANIAC COP
series, both the director and screenwriter have namedropped Universal Horror as a key inspiration behind the
sequels. Where the third film (which Lustig brusquely

MANIAC COP 2 is presented by Chiller and Mondo at
the Alamo Drafthouse this month. Check
for listings.


Your Guide To Drinking:
The French 75
Alamo Drafthouse Beverage Director

Here is the substantially more memorable of the two different drinks named after the French 75-mm field gun, model
of 1897 (and companion shell). This bit of heavy artillery was the mainstay weapon of World War I, and its recoil
system made for soft, smooth operation. It was really the first technical weaponry advance of the twentieth century,
and its use continued into World War II…The parallels between the field gun and the sparkling cocktail named for it
should be obvious…smooth, yet packs a wallop.

Battlefield stories are filled with the unlikely, the
apocryphal. They are colored by uncertainty built
around a base of moral ambiguity, centered on loyalty
fueled by proximity to the macabre, punctuated
by bouts of courage in dots of pure hell and held
against acres of boredom supported by fear. As Tim
O’Brien writes in his brilliant THE THINGS THEY
CARRIED, “In many cases a true war story cannot be
believed. If you believe it, be skeptical.”
When cocktails meet war, then, the combination
of the very real fog of war and the consumption
of alcohol begets confusion and seeds doubt about
ingredients, methods and serving style. The French
75, a cocktail with (in name at least) origins in the
battlefields of World War I, that over the last ten
years or so has become widely available in any bar of
reasonable quality, is a prime example. It is a drink
that is rarely made the same way, sometimes even in
the same bar, by any two bartenders. Fortunately, in
most of its permutations, the French 75 is, at worst,
a refreshing tipple that packs a punch, and at best
a sublime cocktail, suitable for both lightning bug
bedecked back porch BBQs and fine dining rooms
gilded with crystal and silver flatware.
The Canon
The Canon de 75 Modèle 1897, colloquially known
as the French 75 or the Soixante-Quinze, was the
main artillery weapon used by the French -- and some


American -- forces during World War I. It employed a
hydro-pneumatic recoil mechanism that kept the gun’s
base and wheels perfectly still while it was fired, unlike
earlier artillery weapons which had to be recalibrated
and aimed after each shot. This innovation allowed
a skilled crew to deliver between fifteen and thirty
rounds a minute on target, without re-aiming the
weapon, at a distance of up to five miles away.
Originally, it was used as devastatingly effective
antipersonnel weapon, raining destruction on
advancing enemy troops across the battlefield. In
the Battle of the Marne and at Verdun, the French
75 was seen as the weapon that tipped those battles
to the French forces. At Verdun in particular,
1,000 Soixante-Quinze batteries were in constant
operation, firing in excess of 16 million 75 mm shells
on German forces.
As trench warfare set in, the French 75, which lacked
the explosive capacity to penetrate fortified bunkers
and deep trench work, was used more to obliterate
enemy barbed wire fortifications before troops went
over the top, and later to deliver chemical weapons
shells, particularly mustard gas and phosgene.
In short, if it was on your side, it was the kind of
weapon that would be lionized in legend, and if
the opposition was manning it, it was a thing to be
feared. Greatly.


The Cocktail Canon
There are three main creation stories concerning the
French 75, all of them most likely false. Often, the
drink is credited to Raoul Lufbery, a fighter pilot
born to an American father and French mother who
flew sorties under both flags during World War I.
Lufbery was dashing, and aviation had captured
the world's imagination at the time, and the story
goes that Lufbery felt that Champagne lacked the
kick to truly get a pilot of his caliber flying, so he
punched it up with a stick of something stronger,
and found that it packed the punch of the famed
artillery weapon (which had, by the end of the first
World War, also been adapted into an anti-aircraft
weapon). This version also holds that French officers
knocked Lufbrey’s cocktail back before heading off to
battle. Points in favor of this story: it’s romantic. Point
against: “In many cases a true war story cannot be
believed. If you believe it, be skeptical.”
The second common theory is that the drink came to
be at Harry’s New York Bar in Paris from the hands
of Harry MacElhone. MacElhone, it is said, wanted
to offer something to his celebrity fighter pilot guests
just back from the front that packed the punch of
the weapons they were using in battle. Points in
favor of this theory: Harry’s New York Bar was a
favorite watering hole of the American Field Service
Ambulance Corps, and the drink rather quickly
thereafter appears in America. Point against: “In
many cases a true war story cannot be believed. If you
believe it, be skeptical.”
The third common creation myth is that Arnuad
Cazenave, original owner of the still operating
Arnuad’s, created the drink in New Orleans. Points
in favor of this theory: Arnuad’s has long been a
temple of the French 75 and Cazenave arrived in New
Orleans at about the same time that the drink came


to be known in America. Points against: The Arnuad’s
version is decidedly different than the canonical
French 75, and the whole thing smacks of the same
sort of cocktail hucksterism that allows certain New
Orleans based types to claim the Sazerac as the
original cocktail.
We can be fairly certain that the drink first appeared
in print, however, in a 1927 edition credited to one
Judge Jr., called HERE'S HOW! Judge Jr. was the
pen name of Norman Anthony, editor of JUDGE,
the preeminent humor magazine of the time (and
the place where Harold Ross got his fingers ink
stained prior to THE NEW YORKER). HERE’S
HOW! is filled with dodgy recipes that reflect the
ingredients available during prohibition, but in the
case of the French 75 (and several other cocktails),
Harry Craddock lifted the recipe for his SAVOY
COCKTAIL BOOK in 1930, where Craddock notes
that the cocktail, “Hits with remarkable precision.”
He is right.
In both the Judge Jr. and Craddock versions,
the French 75 is a gin based drink, fixed up with
lemon, sugar and champagne, and served in a tall
glass over ice.  But from there things get a shade
complicated. David Embry’s FINE ART OF
MIXING DRINKS, from 1948, insists that the
French 75 does not use gin at all, but rather should
be mixed with Cognac. This is the way the drink is
prepared at Arnaud’s French 75 Bar in New Orleans,
and the rationale is that no self-respecting French
officer or fighter pilot would have mixed fine French
Champagne with coarse English gin. Points in favor
of this theory: It has some logic behind it, and the
Cognac version has a certain heft that is quite nice.
Points against: the probable true story.


What the French 75 Really Is
Mix gin, lemon and sugar and you have a
sour. Lengthen that sour with soda water and you
have a Collins. Substitute Champagne for the soda
water and you get a French 75. Even Judge Jr. grabbed
hold of this basic theory in introducing the French
75, writing:
This drink is really what won the War for the Allies: 2
jiggers Gin; 1 part lemon juice; a spoonful of powdered
sugar; cracked ice. Fill up the rest of a tall glass with
champagne! (If you use club soda instead of champagne,
you have a Tom Collins.)
But there is more. Way back in 1867, a certain
Charles Dickens visited Boston, taking up residence
at the Parker House and serving his guests “Tom Gin
and Champagne cups.” A champagne cup is simply
a mixture of the good bubbly wine with citrus and
sugar. Toss in the gin and, voila, you have what we
know as a French 75. Moreover, a mixture of gin,
citrus and Champagne was reportedly a favorite of
Queen Victoria’s son -- the general idea has been
around for a while.
It is most probable that the drink known today as
a French 75 was consumed for quite a long while
before it was given a catchy moniker and took
flight. At some point between the time of Dickens
and the height of World War I, a barman, and it very
well could have been MacElhone, started pouring
a very old drink, but called it something else, and a
mixological star was born. Sometimes it really is about
the name. Because even the Cognac version, called
then a King’s Peg, was widely consumed in the more
Eastern parts of the British Empire by colonial types
getting their drink on.

grapes in New Mexico that is one of the world’s great
wine values.
You may not be able to afford Champagne for cocktail
use, but choose a sparkler that will get you close and
your French 75 will be tastier than if you simply reach
for the $7.99 sparkler on special at your local liquor
mart. At the end of the day, you want something dry,
with pinprick bubbles to carry the drink, particularly
if you are mixing it traditionally over ice, and a nice
depth of flavor to mingle with the citrus and gin.
A Note on Service
Order a French 75 at three different, but very good
bars, and you are likely to be served the drink in three
different vessels. At Bar Number One, your French
75 arrives in a tall glass over ice. In Bar Number Two,
it comes in a Champagne Flute and in Bar Number
Three; they serve it to you in a cocktail glass or coupe.
This is a place where great minds differ. The PDT
COCKTAIL BOOK calls for the drink to be served
sans ice in a coupe, Ted Haigh calls for it to be served
sans ice in a Collins, Zombie or, as a last resort,
in a Champagne Flute. The SAVOY COCKTAIL
BOOK of course says to serve the thing over cracked
ice in a Collins glass.
At the end of the day, this is really a decision you
should make based on the quality of your ice. If you
have large, cold, dry cubes that will melt slowly and
not quickly shut down the bubbling of your sparkling
wine, then the drink should be served tall, over ice. If
your ice is wet and soft, the kind that melts quickly,
the rapid additional dilution will make for a limp
cocktail indeed, so choose accordingly.

A Note on Ingredients: The Bubbly Stuff
Often a bar will pour French 75s using the relatively
cheap plonk that is their house sparkling wine
pour. These days, that pour is often Prosecco or Cava,
and while they make a serviceable drink, they are made
from different grapes than Champagne, and in the case
of Prosecco, from a different method of getting the
stuff bubbly. The use of real Champagne, particularly
a nice Blanc de Blanc with toasty brioche notes and
stone fruit flavors, makes an enormous difference.

A Very Quick Note on Proportions
Like everything else to do with this cocktail, various
sources use different quantities of gin, lemon
and sugar before we even get to the Champagne
component. Two ounces of gin is the general
standard, and recipes that knock this proportion
down to a lower number should be viewed with
some skepticism as this drink is supposed to pack a
wallop. That said, dialing back the gin can make for a
more forgiving drink if you are consuming more than
a couple or have a busy morning ahead.

That said, unless you are the kind of person who
lights her cigarettes with hundred dollar bills, a nice
bottle of Champagne is not usually the sort of thing
you open to knock off a few cocktails after work
on a Friday. You could reach for a nice Cremant de
Bourgogne, produced with at least 30% of the same
Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes as Champagne
or something like Gruet Brut, a traditional method
sparkler made with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay

The lemon and sugar are another matter, with there
being a lot more agreement on the general sugar level
than the general sour level. Earlier recipes often call
for a mere dash of lemon juice to offset a teaspoon
or so of sugar. This reflects an earlier generation’s
preference for sweeter drinks, and perhaps the need
to mask inferior gin with more sweetness. In general,
consider the preferred proportions for your sour and
go from there.


Some Recipes
French 75, Traditional
2 oz. London Dry Gin (or Cognac if you must)
1 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
1 tsp. superfine sugar or ½ oz. simple syrup
Champagne, well chilled
Fill a Collins glass 2/3 full of cracked ice cubes.
Combine your lemon juice and sweetener in a cocktail
shaker. If using sugar, stir to dissolve. Add the gin and
ice and shake until cold. Strain into your ice filled
Collins glass and top up with the Champagne. Serve
without garnish.
French 75, The PDT Cocktail Book
1 oz. Tanqueray Gin
½ oz. Lemon Juice
½ oz. Simple Syrup
Moet Imperial Champagne, well chilled
Combine gin, lemon juice and simple syrup in a
cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a
chilled coupe glass. Top with 1 oz Moet Imperial and
garnish with a lemon twist.
French 75, Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails,
Deluxe Edition
2 oz gin
1 oz lemon juice
2 tsp. sugar or 1 tsp. simple syrup
Champagne, well chilled

Combine lemon juice and sweetener in a cocktail
shaker. If using sugar, stir to dissolve. Add the gin
and ice and shake until cold. Strain into a tall glass
without ice and top with champagne, stirring gently
to combine. Garnish with a long, thin lemon spiral
and a cocktail cherry (ed. Note: No on the cherry.)
Brian Dressel, the general manager of Midnight
Cowboy, offers this variation, using an aged style
of Old Tom Gin, Amaretto for the sweetener, and a
mixture of white balsamic vinegar and lemon for the
sour component. The finished drink is reminiscent of
the dry, almost sour apple ciders produced in Spain.
The Orchard '77
1 oz. Ransom Old Tom Gin
1 oz. Amaretto
¼ oz. fresh lemon juice
¼ oz. white balsamic vinegar
Pinch of sea salt
¼ Of an apple cut into slices (Gala Apples work well)
Dry sparkling wine, well chilled
Muddle the Apple, vinegar, salt and lemon juice
in a shaker tin. Add the spirits and ice. Shake
vigorously for about 30 seconds. Fine strain into a
chilled champagne flute and top with sparkling wine.
Garnish with three additional thin apple slices, in a
fan pattern.
Enjoy. 6


Kevin Bacon On COP CAR
Badass Digest Managing Editor

In Jon Watts’ crime film bildungsroman COP
CAR, star Kevin Bacon gives a terse, dark cowboy
performance as dirty Sheriff Kretzer, who misplaces his
cruiser, laden with secrets in the trunk, and must track
it down after two young boys (James Freedson-Jackson
and Hays Wellford) stumble upon it and take it for a
joy ride.
I was lucky to chat with Bacon about the film, and
about the, at the time, very recent announcement that
COP CAR director Watts’ next project would be taking
on a certain web-slinger.
Q: This week, Jon Watts was announced as the next
director for Spider-Man. What do you think makes
him right for the gig, after working with him on
A: I have to say that, as exciting as that story is, it
really didn’t surprise me too much. Because, I just
think that he’s got a great eye, and a great sense of
storytelling, both with the way that he writes and
conceives story, and the way that he works with the
actors and the places he puts the camera, and how he
chooses to move it.
I look at his ability, after having done so little work,
and I’m just kind of like, ‘wow.’ I’m frankly jealous
of how good he is. I don’t know what the whole
inner workings were amongst Marvel, in terms of
their decision-making process, but it was not a shock
to me.

Q: What is it about COP CAR that you think is
connecting with audiences?
A: Well, I think that the story is a simple one, but at
the same time, he lets the audience be part of figuring
out what the heck’s going on. And rather than have
the characters or filmmakers say, ‘well, this is this and
this is this,’ we’re sort of pulled in. You know, who
are these kids? Where did they come from? Where
are they? Whose car is this? What’s going on? What’s
in the trunk? What’s the story with this sheriff?
What’s his history? And it’s really like, as an audience,
you’re pulled into it by the fact that you’re not told
everything. And that is a really smart way, I think, to
build tension. 
nd really what you need in a thriller -- and that’s
what I think of this movie as, a thriller -- you need
tension. You need tension that gets a little bit of
release, you let a touch of air out of the balloon and
maybe just blow it right back up. And that’s what
drives it all the way to the end of the film. 
And I think that on the flip side of that, it’s got so
much heart, that it’s almost hard to really categorize
it as a genre film. You know, I’m going to a horror
festival, and it’s funny because when you look at
the film, it’s about things like boyhood and loss
of innocence, and the hard realities of the world
pulling you out of your utopian, childlike existence.
There’s a lot of heart in there that I think is also kind
of unusual for what could be considered “genre.” I


mean, people talk about it kind of like a B-movie.
I’m not sure I quite understand that. I’m a big fan of
what sometimes are considered to be B-movies, so I
really don’t take it as an insult, but I’m not sure I quite
understand that thinking.
Q: Were there any specific movies that you watched as
a reference point in anticipation of making COP
CAR, or that Jon had the kids watch?
A: I don’t watch movies as reference points to play
characters. I think about who this guy is and who I’m
going to make him. To watch another performance,
or even to watch something that’s in the same world,
doesn’t have anything to do with what my particular
job is. If I was directing a film, and that’s all I was
doing, sure, I’d look at the great chase scenes, but as
an actor, I really don’t think it’s helpful. I think you
really just need to focus on your character and figure
out who he is. 
ut Jon said, very openly, that the Coen Brothers
and early Spielberg were influences, and I guess
maybe Stephen King, things like that. But I really
think that’s more of his role.
Q: What was it about your role as Sheriff Kretzer that
you found interesting or compelling?
A: Putting the pieces together that weren’t there on the
page and hoping that, even without putting them
on the page, that we would still see a well-rounded
character. Because this is one of those parts where

you’re really reading between the lines, right? He’s
not a character that expresses himself in an honest,
confessional way. You know, there are those characters
that do that: ‘Honey, I feel lost in my life right now
and I need to find something to give me purpose,’ a
speech like that. This guy, when he opens his mouth,
he’s usually bullshitting, right? Or he’s threatening or
manipulating, and he doesn’t say all that much. 
So to make him an interesting, well-rounded character
was really the challenge, and it was just a function of
trusting Jon, that Jon was going to be able to tell that
story, as I like to say, between the lines, and that we
were on the same page with some of the choices that I
was going to make about some of the backstory kind
of stuff.
Q: It’s this great coming-of-age story. Did you have
a moment in your childhood that you look back
on and say ‘that’s when I came of age. That’s when
I grew up.’ Or is that the kind of thing that only
happens in cinema?
A: I’m still waiting. [laughs] 
o, I really believe that coming of age is something that
-- well, let’s talk about specifically when a boy becomes
a man, which I believe is germane to this movie. I don’t
think it necessarily applies in the same way for women.
I think it’s a different process for women.
I t’s true that movies are often about that, but I do
think that it can happen in a lot of different points


in life. And it also isn’t necessarily always just a
one-shot; it’s kind of a process. So yeah, I have a
moment in my teens that things sort of felt that
way. But [laughs] probably better not to go into
that specifically.
Q: How was it dealing with [the boys in the film]
James and Hays?
A: James and Hays were fantastic. The first great job
that Jon did was finding those two kids. You know,
having worked with children and having directed
children, I’ve done a lot of work with kids, probably
more kids than animals. 
nd the problem is that, if you’re a child actor,
chances are, even if you’ve shown an interest in it,
your parents have probably supported this, and
unless you’ve never done anything and you’re just
discovered, you’re already off on a career. And
a lot of what that career’s going to be about is
commercials and modeling sessions. Because you’re
out there to get a gig, right? And those are two
things that are kind of counter-points to being a
good actor. So the challenge is to find kids who
haven’t been tainted by that kind of work, and are
actually able to get into a scene and look people in
the eyes and convey something emotionally, other
than ‘I love this cereal.’ 
nd it took a lot of time, and he saw a ton of kids,
and then he waited until the last minute to decide
who was going to play who. So they came out to
Colorado Springs, and we started to work with them,
and then they made the decision about which kid was

which. And when you look at the movie, you can’t
really imagine them swapping roles. It was so perfect,
everything about them, the look, everything.
And they were great. I loved working with them.
Q: Are there any roles of yours that you would love
to revisit, or future characters that you’d jump at a
chance to play?
A: The only character of mine that I’ve been interested
in revisiting is the character from TREMORS.
And it’s too bad because I’ve put the idea out there,
and sort of offered myself up there, and it doesn’t
seem to be anything that either Universal or the
filmmakers are really interested in pursuing. 
nd the reason is that, for me, at the time, the movie
is kind of a silly genre thing, underground worms
-- I mean, that’s kind of the definition of a B-movie,
in a way. But I just looked at it recently, and that’s
not something that I do, go back and look at my old
films, but because I was thinking about it, I did. And
it’s a really good film! It’s funny and it’s scary and it’s
cool, and it’s all done with non-CGI. 
ut I look at that guy, and I think, ‘well, I’m
interested to see who he would be in twenty years.’ I’d
like to see what happened to him. His whole thing is
that he wanted to get out. He was stuck, and he was
going to leave this town. So did that happen, or did it
not happen? And where is he if he did get out? 6
COP CAR arrives in theaters August 7.
Check for listings.



Drafthouse Recommends:
Birth.Movies.Death. Contributor

Boys will be boys, as they say. Only they don’t usually
say that in the context of two ten-year-olds stealing a
police vehicle belonging to a crooked cop who wants
to track them down before they discover the body in
the trunk. That right there is all you need to know
about the goings on of Jon Watts’ modern Westernthriller COP CAR. It’s a fun, hilarious, gripping and
audacious road trip across the badlands, told through
the eyes of two kids who ran away from home, as they
now find themselves running away from a drugged-up
Kevin Bacon and his sinister mustache. It’s also one of
the most interesting morality plays I’ve seen all year.
The film’s story hinges mostly on action and detail.
What little dialogue it does have belongs mostly to
its young leads. Travis (James Freedson-Jackson) is
the more adventurous of the two, the kid who‘s not
afraid to get into mischief, or get his friends into
trouble. Harrison (Hays Wellford), on the other
hand, is the cautious learner. He rations their supply
of Slim Jims, storing them in his overly large jacket,
as Travis and his popped collar and spiked hair lead
him further into the wilderness as the film begins.
Finally away from their families, the two boys are
able to swear openly, though Travis has to convince
Harrison that it’s okay, and they even grab sticks
and disturb snake-holes during their walk. They’re
kids who know right from wrong, but go ahead and
do the wrong thing anyway, knowing full well they
could get caught. They’re also the center of their own
universe, a universe in which their “crime” (running
away from home) is something the cops might arrest
them for -- which is why they’re so startled when
they find a cop car out in the middle of nowhere. It
fascinates them, and as a symbol of heroism as they
understand it, they can’t help but see themselves as
the people driving it.

Their world is black and white. They’ve been
raised on a retributive system, both at home and
while learning about the law, and they’re slowly
discovering the rush of partaking in what’s “wrong”
as long as the possibility of getting caught is at bay.
To them, even touching a cop car is a transgression
so out of line that they think they can get in
trouble for it, but they do it anyway. The lack of an
authority figure in sight, and thus the lack of any
potential consequence, leads to the escalation of
their activities. Touching a cop car. Throwing stones
at a cop car. Sitting in a cop car and pretending to
be heroes!
Stealing a cop car.
What they don’t know, however, what’s revealed to
the audience after they’ve sped off, is why the car was
there to begin with. Kevin Bacon’s Sheriff Kretzer
had parked it out in the middle of nowhere because
that’s where he had come to bury a pair of bodies.
After dragging the first one away to a familiar spot,
he comes back to finish the job, only to discover that
his car has disappeared without a trace. And that’s
where the fun begins.
The rest of the story involves the two boys having to
make increasingly complicated decisions depending
on the situation they’re in. As it turns out, the body
in the trunk isn’t quite so dead (merely bound), and
they have to wrestle with which of the two men in
the situation, the cop or the criminal, is the “good
guy” and which one is the “bad.” At one point,
Harrison manages to get a hold of a gun, and while
the man in the trunk uses the two boys as bait
after threatening their families, the boys take turns
pointing the gun at him from the back seat as he


waits outside. Do they have what it takes to kill a
man, even if it’s for self-preservation? And in doing
so, are they now aiding another man they believe to
be dangerous and out to get them?
The nature of consequence, as the two boys see
it, goes very quickly from something general and
universally understood (punishment) to something
far more personal and subjective (the guilt of taking
a life) and the abstract becomes tangible, as the
questions they’re asking become less about whether
or not they should do something “wrong” and more
about whether labels such as “right” and “wrong”
are applicable at all. While the boys’ only real crime
is having a bit of fun with a car, they’re thrust into
a situation where their innocence translates to
ignorance, as they stare down the barrels of guns
belonging to two different mad men. Their simplistic
view of the world and the people that inhabit it
keeps getting them into further trouble, and the first
person we see die on screen is a woman trying to do
the ostensibly noble thing herself by reporting them
to the police, but the film’s view on morality isn’t as
cynical as it might seem.


Ultimately, their collective survival hinges on one
of them working to save the other, not to give too
much away, and after having been put through the
kind of whirlwind that no ten-year-old should have
to experience, the decisions therein rely once again
on a binary understanding of right and wrong.
But, as if being chased by a murderous cop weren’t
unnerving enough, they’re now hesitant to make the
kind of decisions that would’ve once come easy to
them. Because of everything they’ve seen, they no
longer know for sure whether trusting the police,
the people they once thought of as good, is the best
course of action. But they do. In the end, even after
having learnt the stark reality of a world that’s more
complicated than the black and white we’re taught,
and having learnt it the hard way, the boys come
out of it alive and somewhat heroic, something
they wouldn’t have been able to do if they didn’t
believe in doing what’s “right” in the first place.
What the cop car turned out to be ended up paling
in comparison to what it once represented for two
little boys. 6
COP CAR is the Drafthouse Recommends title for
August. Check for listings.

Video Vortex: Actor
George Stover Revisits His
Alamo Drafthouse Art Director and Programmer

There's more to Baltimore than John Waters, heroin,
and crabs.
Don Dohler is Baltimore's hidden treasure. His
movies aren't as well known as DESPERATE
LIVING or PINK FLAMINGOS, but they're just
as important. For decades, the late filmmaker/
fanzine publisher expanded the possibilities of
homemade horror through his creativity, sincerity
and determination. Movies like THE ALIEN
FACTOR and NIGHTBEAST inspired a generation
of underground filmmakers to pick up a camera and
create their own stop-motion monsteroid epics.
And then BLOOD MASSACRE happened.
BLOOD MASSACRE is Don Dohler's preeminent
triumph, a miracle of D.I.Y. inventiveness that was
inspired by the gritty aesthetic of THE TEXAS
CHAIN SAW MASSACRE. This movie looks like an
expired Polaroid. It feels like a student film that was
made by John Carpenter after an H.G. Lewis binge.
It features a video store bloodbath, deranged synthpop and enough shocking twists 'n' turns to fill four
movies. BLOOD MASSACRE is a nightmarish limbo
where anything can happen, and often does, all in the
name of guts-chomping fun.
Actor/Producer George Stover was an integral part of
Don Dohler’s production team. An impossibly prolific
actor who still works regularly today, Stover gave a
career-defining performance in BLOOD MASSACRE
as a lunatic killer named Rizzo. Mr. Stover -- also
know as one of the nicest people on the planet -- was
kind enough to chat with us about working with
Don Dohler, the complicated production history of
BLOOD MASSACRE, and driving home after a long
day of work while soaked in blood.


Q: For the first decade of your career, you flip-flopped
between appearing in movies for John Waters and
Don Dohler. At the time, both were working with
similar budget and resource constraints. How did
working with John Waters compare with
Don Dohler?
A: Working with John and Don were similar
experiences in many ways. Both directors were
professional, courteous, respectful, resourceful,
and knew exactly what they wanted to capture
on film. The main difference was in the subject
matter. John only made comedies, while Don only
made sci-fi and horror. Also, Don shot mostly
on weekends when people with other jobs were
available. John usually shot on sequential days.
Q: Dohler’s movies typically focused on light-hearted
monster invasions. BLOOD MASSACRE had
a darker mood that was more in line with THE
ALIEN FACTOR. What brought about the shift?
A: Don began his feature-film career making a
science-fiction movie, THE ALIEN FACTOR.
Then he did a horror movie called FIEND,
followed by two science-fiction movies,
INVADER. He did not like including nudity,
extreme violence, and gore. But he reluctantly
acknowledged that audiences enjoyed seeing this
type of thing so he included a nude scene and a
very gory scene in NIGHTBEAST. But if Don
had been able to have his way, he would not have
had those kind of scenes in his films. Don got
some financing for BLOOD MASSACRE and I’m

sure his backer wanted lots of gore and violence.
Don was able to adapt and deliver the goods when
he had to, even though his personal preferences
were elsewhere.
Q: You play a bloodthirsty wildman named Rizzo in
BLOOD MASSACRE. This was a departure from
the lovable nice guys you typically played in Don
Dohler's movies. Was the role intended for you
from the beginning, and did you prepare in a
different way than usual?
A: The version of BLOOD MASSACRE that
everyone is familiar with was shot on 16mm film.
Before that, however, there was an uncompleted
video version shot on 3/4” videotape. In that
version, I played one of the gang members. A
financial backer saw the videotape and was so
impressed with it that he wanted to scrap the video
version and start all over again with a version shot
on motion picture film. The actor who played the
leader of the gang was not available for the filmed
version, so I was “promoted” to a larger role in his
absence. It was great fun playing Rizzo, a character
quite different than the meek types of characters
I was used to portraying in the past. There wasn’t
much time for preparation so I just winged it, and
did the best I could in playing a psycho.
Q: You have some pretty intense scenes in this movie
-- the perverted sex, your bloody death, and the
wielding of a homemade buzz saw weapon! Given
the tone of the movie, how was the atmosphere on
the set?
A: The atmosphere was surprisingly light, and a lot of
fun. I think everyone involved had a nice time.
The characters were kind of far out compared


to people we encountered in real life, so I think
everyone enjoyed playing characters who engaged
in extreme types of behavior.
Q: Sounds like BLOOD MASSACRE had a
challenging production history. Can you shed
some light on what led to the eventual straight-tovideo release in 1991 from 3 Star Releasing?
A: Well, after the 16mm film version was shot,
Don got word that he had to deliver the film to
the financier sooner than expected. As a result
Don never got to fine tune the editing, and the
result was not up to his expectations. To make a
long story short, the financier got out of the film
business and the movie was in limbo for about four
years before it was finally released on videotape, but
only in a version made from the work print because
the original negative was damaged.
Q: Any particularly fun memories from working on
A: One memory that I have from that movie was
not fun, but it was certainly memorable because
of how uncomfortable it was. That scene of me
hanging upside down at the end of the movie was
very uncomfortable, and my comfort level wasn’t
helped by being covered with so much fake blood.
Also, we shot all night until dawn the next day. I
was exhausted after we were done. There was no
place to wash up and get the blood off of me, so I
just drove home all bloodied up. I’m glad I wasn’t
stopped by a policeman, because I would have had
some explaining to do! 6
BLOOD MASSACRE plays at the Alamo Drafthouse
this month. Check for listings.

The Last Word With
Director Josh Trank
Badass Digest Editor in Chief

Q: What is your earliest movie memory?
A: My earliest memory in life is movies. Simply. In
a more literal way though, I have two memories.
One is EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, and the other
is THE COURT JESTER starring Danny Kaye.
I can’t remember which came first, and I think I
was three.
Q: What was the movie that made you understand
that movies can be art?
A: Well, that’s a bit of a story in itself. My parents
are both Los Angeles natives, and starting before
I was born, my Dad would record everything
that ever played on the Z Channel (which, for
those who don’t know their L.A. movie history,
was a pre-HBO, local movie channel, now long

gone, that basically played everything that the
Criterion Collection has in its catalogue today,
but way more). Due to my Dad’s passionate
movie fandom, we had a cabinet at home filled
with probably over a hundred diligently labeled
VHS cassettes, and each one contained between
3-4 movies (good old long-play). On the labels,
my Dad had written each movie title, followed
in parentheses by the year of the release and
the last name of the director. So growing up, I
had two main sources for home entertainment:
Blockbuster Video and the movie cabinet. I
frequented both, understanding that there were
major, major differences between them. The
movies from Blockbuster were easier to watch and
understand. They were “fun.” And the movies in
the cabinet were, usually, challenging and harder

to understand what they were “about.” They also
didn’t have cases with pictures and synopses to
help pique my interest. Blockbuster did. And
back then, there was no Wikipedia or IMDB to
consult with for problems like that. So generally
I had no idea what to expect from the cabinet,
unless my Dad was around to ask. 
ut regardless, the movies from the cabinet were
ultimately more appealing, because they were
free. And they were ours. That was a big, big
deal. Obviously this was decades before Netflix.
When I was really young, I would spend all of my
free time scanning the tapes and just picking out
whatever title sounded the most like something
from Blockbuster. If I saw names like Fellini or
De Sica or Truffaut or Kobayashi, I would avoid
those altogether because they sounded like they
were probably “really hard.” But by the time I was
thirteen, my curiosity about those oft skipped
titles and names hit a boiling point and I just
started watching them all. And I never turned
back after that. Those movies filled me with a
kind of happiness and raw stimulation no movie
from Blockbuster could ever match. Even though
many of those movies didn’t make immediate
sense to me at that age, the voices behind them
did, and I constantly re-watched them all, over
and over, throughout my coming of age, until I
understood what every movie in that cabinet was
“about.” Those movies became the biggest part of
my life and defined my feelings about the greater
world before I was old enough to experience it
on my own. Only “art” can have that kind of
profound and permanent effect on someone. So
to answer the question: There was never a single
movie that made me understand that movies
can be art. It was a cabinet full of movies. And
the line was defined by that old, undebatable
difference between this (Blockbuster) and that
(the cabinet). 
oday though, I believe all movies are art. Movies
from Blockbuster and from the cabinet. I don’t
differentiate the way I used to. I matured in my
understanding of movies as a deeper and not
so black-and-white form of expression. I stand
behind the idea that the most interesting kind of
“art” isn’t about the visible intent, it’s about the
invisible intent. And as a filmmaker myself, now,
I can say confidently that that’s something all
filmmakers are connected to. It’s an invisible art
Q: What is your guilty pleasure movie?
A: COMMANDO (Lester, 1985).


Q: What movie do you want to make before you die?
A: I have a list of ten. I’ve scratched off two, and
I’m about to scratch off a third: it takes place a
hundred years ago.
Q: What was your most magical cinema experience?
A: The one that comes the most immediately to
mind: the match cut in 2001 from the bone to
the space station.
Q: What is the movie you believe everyone should see?
A: Everybody should see every movie they can.
Especially any movie that sounds like it might be
boring. In my experience, reversal of expectation
in a movie can be equal to or more powerful than
a religious experience. You just need to be patient,
and give everything a try. Stop basing your
choices on reviews and synopses before choosing
what to watch, because a movie (especially a good
one) will have a more special impact on you if
you just watch for the first time before consulting
with the world for approval. Watch and then
read what other people think. It’s always more
fun and enriching that way. If your experience
of movie-watching only comes through predetermined universal consensus, you’ll never have
a personal relationship with movies. Ever. Just
watch a movie, and if you like something about
it, watch another movie by that director, or by
that cinematographer, or by that writer, producer,
composer, editor, and you’ll discover things
not just about movies, but about yourself and
the world. It can be an incredible journey that
belongs uniquely to you. 
And I believe everyone should see
Q: If you weren't born to direct, what else would
you be doing?
A: Waiting to be born again.
Q: Why do you make movies?
A: I think, honestly, I make movies because it’s the
closest thing to me that feels like religion. You
have a vision, it’s personal, pure and from your
heart, and you let that vision lead you through
every step into the unknown. The vision is
your captain, all of your faith and trust is tied
immutably to its ship, and whatever happens
along the way defines you, forever. 6
FANTASTIC FOUR arrives in theaters August 7.
Check for listings.