RED DESERT PENITENTIARY
Dan McMann & Myrna Greenbaum
RED DESERT PENITENTIARY - 1984
This parody of B-films turns around on itself more than once to come up with twists that out-twist B-film plots. Kearnheim, a producer (George Sluizer, also the director) hikes his cast and crew out to a remote desert location to start filming a saga called Red Desert Penitentiary -- supposedly based on an autobiography by a certain James Gagan (Will Rose). The story tells of Gagan's 20-year imprisonment in a one-room shack in the desert. No guards, no locked doors. And then reality takes another jump off the high-dive board and the star of the film, Dan McMan (played by country and western singer James Michael Taylor) is confused for the character (Gagan) he is playing and is sentenced to twenty years for a crime he did not commit.
very strange film, the back story of which must truly be fascinating. Apparently
produced with the co-operation of a small local theatre in some backwoods
burg, Red Desert Penitentiary tells the story of an up-and-coming screenwriter
traveling to the location of his first feature film shoot. He hitches a ride
with his lead actor ( Taylor, who also supplied the score) and the two engage
in a series of misadventures and recreations of old film scenes. Written and
directed by Dutch anti-auteur George Sluizer, whose next film would be the
huge art-house hit Spoorloos (The Vanishing), this film feels like a product
of the 1970s: there are echoes of The Last Movie and Two-Lane Blacktop, amongst
others. The acting is uniformly amateurish, but the result is oddly satisfactory.
A true example of the lost art of independent film-making, Red Desert Penitentiary
is no lost classic, but it will hold your attention. -John Seal from Oakland
My gal and my stunt man...
Jeff's Shooting Teacher - The Fastest Shooter on Earth
JMT with Billy D. Williams on TIME BOMB - 1984 - Morgan Fairchild