At long last, rough cuts have been released of the previously blogged homegrown horror movie, Blood Kin, in which I star appear briefly with a bag over my head and dominate attempt to not ruin the scene. If you’d like to witness my fleeting tussle with the protagonists simply jump to 6:30 in the 2nd cut, then sit back and prepare yourself for some first class projectile vomiting (just before my character is ultimately vanquished by a shovel—I mean hey, it was 2 on 1…Poor odds for anyone, zombies included).
As I said the first time I blogged about this, Blood Kin was written and directed by my friend Matt, who also costarred with friend and producer Anna K. Jonsson. The editing has largely been a solo endeavor by Matt these past few months and I’m sure he would appreciate any constructive feedback on these initial rough cuts, so feel free to stop by his blog and let him know what you think.
I antagonize with the best of ’em 🙂
To kick things back off, and in the spirit of Halloween, I thought I might post a photo. It was actually taken during the summer, but that should not detract from its very ghoulish theme, which, as it so happens, is… well, ghouls…
You see, one day, Matthew Gelzer woke up and thought, “Gee, I think I’d like to make a gory horror movie… Wouldn’t that be neat?” Other, equally jovial voices in Matt’s head agreed, as did starlet and producer, U-M film school grad Anna K. Jonsson. What happened next is called Blood Kin: Terror is Thicker than Water, which was written and directed by Gelzer, who also starred and is currently laboring away in post production. At some point I got a call asking if I could come out to the set for an evening and play one of the ghostly ghoul type things that serve –shockingly enough– as the undead antagonists. Despite a whopping hangover, I said I would be delighted. Little did I know that playing the part of a gurgling, grunting, violent zombo-ghoul would involve wearing a burlap sack over my head, being doused in a gallon of fake blood (principle constituents include corn syrup and non-dairy creamer…) and having dirt ground into my slimy red skin while I stumble around shambled and barefoot in the woods outside Hillsdale…
To be sure, clean up was hell, but filming was actually a blast. Mine was a fight scene. I got to hit people, make supernaturally yucky noises, and projectile-vomit ectoplasm all while choking the shit out of the director. Below is the photo, post-burlap headgear and well after my glistening dermis had begun to set and congeal into a dull and outrageously sticky mess.
Another still from the set:
For anyone not in the loop, there is a place called “Up North” in Michigan. There is probably a place called Up North in other states as well, but I have a difficult time imagining that it has earned quite the Proper Noun Status as Up North, Michigan. It’s something of an institution in the nomenclature here. That being said, if you’d like to know exactly where Up North is, don’t ask, because nobody knows. Or rather, everyone knows but no one agrees. Like pornography, they know it when they see it. Everyone would agree that Traverse City is Up North. Well, everyone from the lower peninsula anyway. But ask a fellow if Ludington falls within the fabled confines and you’ll draw mixed remarks.
If you go far enough back in history there was a time when anything north of Detroit was considered Up North, with US-12 the acting boundary between civilization and wild frontier (Bear in mind, there is an average of only about 25 miles of real estate between US-12 and the Ohio/Indiana border). Nowadays, I’d say a safer analog would be M-10, but I still might prefer an even more selective designation (I used to say, “Wherever the black bears aren’t,” but apparently that is far less discriminatory than I was able to appreciate). All of this is, of course, just a very roundabout way of telling you that I went Up North last week (Frankfort, if you are interested) and that I saw an opportunity for a mini rant regarding perhaps the most general of Michigan’s many mythic regionalities.
As is fitting of a late evening journey Up North –mysterious place as it has been above described– my compatriot and I encountered some curious –if not epic– doom-type meteorological events at the outset of our trip, not far north of Ann Arbor. It was documented on an iphone and later cut and assembled into the video embedded below. This was all accomplished by my friend, Anna K Jonsson (one-time Up North native), whose brilliant choice in listenables may have taken some of the DOOM out of the experience, but none of the beauty. I just wish an iphone had the same color capture capabilities as a peice of professional HD hardware, because damn, there were colors. In any case, I’m quite taken with the vid, and not just because I’m in it. 🙂