Category Archives: screenings
December 4, 2010
BOB 10:14 AM
Is it 10:14? I don’t know. Really, it’s February of 2012, but nobody cares about that. Back in early December of 2010, I recall that I woke up at some stranger’s house in Baltimore and then I sashayed through the cold sunlight to find the car. Hey look, I just noticed that we have right here a video and photo that might explain in images and sound what I just wrote with words. I’m not even gonna watch it and see. So, find out for yourself, if you want.
After that adventure, I embarked on another and drove across the city to retrieve Chad from his #1 fan’s house. Fan/gal lived in the nether regions of Baltimore and when Chad finally emerged from her compound, he was beset with soon-to-be flotsam and jetsam in the form of various parting gifts and memorabilia with which Chad will surely put to good use fondly reminiscing of his luxurious one night stay in this fair city. Of this, I am certain.
Then we drove. At some point, we made the following videos:
Hey, Jim James called us. He’s sweet on us for sure.
BOB 6:66 PM
An old film pal of mine hooked us up with a screening locale in Philly. I met Doug Sackman when he worked for Troma several years back. He’s got a pilot for a show called Strip for Pain. Look it up if you don’t believe me.
I’m sure he makes great non-porn movies, so don’t act like I’m trying to pigeon hole the fucker. But I’m also not aiming to bury the lead. Doug makes movies with hard core fucking in them. Specifically, he makes these fucky movies with Joanna Angel and a wet, money-shot of gore. That’s right, he’s a purveyor of fine zombie porn, complete with tons of blood and guts and fucking and sucking. Hell, he even made an Exorcist homage porn with puking and pounding and puking on top of piles of fucking. Savor that flavor, America!
Anyway, he set up tonight’s screening.
We scored two great write-ups. We didn’t land a huge crowd, but the folks who did show up feigned interest real good.
Here’s a hunk of media hype courtesy of the Philadelphia Weekly:
Bob Ray’s Down & Dirty Austin Film Tour
Screenings of acclaimed documentary films are generally more exciting when both director and subject are on the run from the law. Drugs, competitive rodent breeding, bone-crushing violence and gross-out cartoons are standard during Bob Ray’s Down & Dirty Austin Film Tour. First there’s Total Badass, which follows Austin denizen Chad Holt as he deals with a felony probation, selling weed, family drama and the difficulties of raising guinea pigs with his girlfriend. Holt and director Bob Ray will be present for a Q&A. The second feature, Hell on Wheels, also directed by Ray, follows the rebirth of roller derby, the gentlest of sports. There’ll also be animated episodes of the filthy CrashToons between features. Hopefully the evening will end without the stars getting arrested. -Alli Katz
We also got some press from the Philly daily newspaper. It was good. It’s probably online somewhere.
CHAD 7:02 PM
I’ll go ahead and tell you the funniest thing to happen in Philadelphia right here and now. I have this buddy from out there who I know from when he lived here in Austin for several years, but now he’s back out in Philly. When I say “now” he’s back out in Philly, I mean he also lived there over a year ago when I was in town and supposed to be keeping this tour journal. I’m sure plenty of other wonderful things happened in Philadelphia when we were there, but this is the one I remember for sure. I’m going to go ahead and leave old boy nameless, since this isn’t the most flattering story about him, but here’s how it went down. He lives a little bit out of the city with a serious girlfriend, so the plan was that they were going to roll into town, pick up one of his drinking buddies, and head into Fishtown where we were right in time for the movie screening. We’d talked on the phone that day and everything was running smoothly. I got a phone call from him about an hour before the film, but it was a pocket dial. I listened along for a little bit, and could tell that he was in the car with his girl and the friend, driving around the city getting all fucked up before the show. I’d never met the girlfriend or the drinking buddy, mind you, these were just voices in the car, so I’m piecing this all together like some sort of high tech sleuth while I listen along. Eventually I got bored, hung up, and ate a bowl of chef-boyardee that I bought from a vending machine in the breakroom of the little artfag complex we were in there while a dog ate one of Bob’s toenails. (Wasn’t it here that the dog ate your toenail, Bob?) About 30 minutes later, I get another pocket dial from my buddy and I notice things are really starting to reach a fever pitch over on the other end. I could just tell from the sounds and the volume levels and speech patterns and shit, these people were really wasted, and I started to seriously doubt that they were going to make it by showtime. Sure enough, the movie is soon about halfway over with no sign of these folks, but I did get a few more phone calls. By about the fifth one, I pick up and all I hear is the woman screaming, “….dumb son of a bitch! You wrecked my fucking car!” I could tell by the Doppler Effect that everyone was outside the vehicle, running from the scene. The girlfriend was cussing out my buddy, who was all panicked and the friend was just goading him along, telling him to run. Next call I get, they’ve obviously reached shelter somewhere, and my friend is literally in tears, whimpering, taking about, “You never take my side. Why is it always my fault? I just want to go and see…” and homegirl just cuts him off, “I know, I know! You just want to go and see Chad Fucking Holt and his fucking movie because he’s SO fucking important!” I just want to say that, even though I’d never met this girl before, it pleased me to no end to know what a profound effect I had obviously had on her life and relationship with this man just by proxy. You want to know the best part? Obviously they never show up, and the next day I get a text from him, and all it says is, “Sorry man. Girlfriend got all drunk.”
CHAD 3:15 A.M
No, but really, Philadelphia was fun. Doug Sackman really put together a cool deal there for us and took care of us. I got to see my old Rank and Revue buddy Isaac Friese, but John Warner was conspicuously absent. Bob and I partied into the night with Sackman, Friese, this girl Sarah, and a guy named Hector from El Paso. Sarah had teats like a milk sow, this much I know for sure. We could have all nested at her bosom without a runt in the litter.
BOB 3:16 AM
What Chad said. Thanks, Doug. Thanks Sarah. Hector, you were there also.
NOTE: This journal entry was written about twelve months after shit happened. Would it have been better if we’d written this shit as shit went down? Maybe. But we didn’t, so quit beating yourself up about it. And really, your expectations are unrealistic. Nevertheless, enjoy as we fake like we wrote this shit way back when.
December 24, 2010
8:00 AM – BOB
I’m not proud of it, but I wake up to an 8AM phone call. I’m still drunk from the night before. My mouth tastes like toilet bowl cleaner. There’s fair chance of a good and/or other reason for that. The toilet is smack dab in the kitchen. I regressively sat/leaned/slouched up until 6 am drinking beer and whiskey, smoking weed and watching The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia.
Thankfully (?) the phone rings me awake at 8 in the A-fucking-M. I’ll be on the air in 10 minutes. On the air in Baltimore for a radio interview, that is. They’ll call back. We’re screening down in Charm City in about a dozen hours. Also, I gotta move the car or we’ll get towed. Currently, we’re parked on the street in Manhattan’s Lower East Side. This is also where I woke up. Always a good sign.
8:25 and no luck on a new parking spot. The radio station calls back and I’m still driving around trying to ditch the car. At some point during the circling, the interview happens. I’m not sure what I said, but I remember repeatedly proclaiming “Boston sucks” and then took that gem and proceeded to plead for a couch to crash on while in Baltimore tonight. I’m certain that I just charmed Baltimore’s pants off. We’ll see how that turns out.
11:17 AM – CHAD
We got up in New York and drove down to Baltimore for our show there. I don’t know what to tell you about the drive, except that Bob and I took a wrong turn at one point, and ended up at the Newark Airport. When I say we wound up at the Newark Airport, I mean we were literally stuck in a line with all the cars trying to pick-up and drop-off folks at the main terminal there for a little bit. I’d say we were way off course.
BOB 6:47 PM
We seem to be in Baltimore. I think we drove here. Either way, we get to The Patterson and it has a Marquee large enough to honor our presence. Flattered as I am, I fear this joint is a huge 1200 seat events center. I hate those. I’ll take tight and rowdy over big and swanky any day.
The pad was actually pretty cool. Here’s a tour of the art they done had put up for your intellectual and aesthetic enjoyment.
Chad tried his luck at the lottery. The problem was, he tried his luck.
Chad’s terrible luck didn’t jinx us. It turns out that the night was a big-ass party. We packed the house for both Total Badass and Hell on Wheels. We even enjoyed some sweet home-team support courtesy of the Charm City Rollergirls. And that radio station (WTMD 89.7, thanks!), on which I puked up something akin to an interview by drunkenly, relentlessly shit-talking Boston, they gave away some tickets and helped drag in a noteworthy chunk of the crowd. Baltimore is looking good!
We also got this cool write up:
Bob Ray’s Down and Dirty Austin Film Tour @ Creative Alliance Tonight
We’ve never been to Austin, TX.
We suspect we’d like it very much if we ever had been. We like Baltimore very much, after all. We like New Orleans and Richmond and Charleston, and even liked Galveston when we went there. So we have reason to believe that we’d get along just fine in Austin, and that when Austin filmmaker Bob Ray brings his Down and Dirty Film Tour to the Creative Alliance tonight he’ll feel right at home.
Total Badass screens at Creative Alliance tonight. 7:30.
The Chop can’t sell you on this. Much like Kesey and the Pranksters, you’re either on the bus, or off the bus. There’s no middle ground here. Just take one quick look at the movie posters and you’ll know right away that this is something in which you either have no interest at all, or something for which you absolutely need to clear your calendar and go see right now!
Hell on Wheels is the second half of tonight’s double feature. 9:30.
For those of you who are on the bus, here are the details. Doors and drink specials start at 6:30 (and show up on time, because the CA screening theater is of modest proportions) and Total Badass begins at 7:30, followed by a Q and A with Bob Ray and Chad Holt.
The Charm City Roller Girls will then host the second half of the double feature, Hell on Wheels with another Q and A after featuring Ray as well as some of the finest real life bruisers in Baltimore.
If your lame schedule and crappy life don’t permit you to see both films for a paltry $10, you can check out either one for $7 at the door. We say watch them both. You’ll be glad you did. Now get on the goddamn bus and hang on for dear life.
8:40 PM – CHAD
Just to put things in perspective, this was December 3rd, 2010 that we were in Baltimore. That was exactly a year ago today from when I am typing this. Here’s what I recall for sure: The Baltimore Ravens were about to play The Pittsburg Steelers for the second time that season. The Ravens had won earlier in the year in Pittsburg, and now the Steelers would be in Baltimore two days later, on Sunday. There was a certain fervor in the city of Baltimore you could feel with the game coming up, with a lot of Baltimore Ravens signage, flags and other memorabilia hanging everywhere. I saw a taxicab drive by the theatre right before Total Badass started, and a little Baltimore Ravens window flag fell off of it, into a puddle of water. The cab driver got out and ran and picked it up real quick. The damage was done; I already knew the Steelers were going to beat the Ravens when they played. I’d have bet everything I had on it. I didn’t have much…
I also remember that a couple named Chance and Sue were there. They had won tickets to the screening on a local radio show, and were very excited about it. I was probably more excited than them that anyone had even bothered giving away tickets to anything associated with me over a radio station in Baltimore, Maryland. The fact that the guy who won the tickets was named Chance was not lost on me.
The movie played at a place called The Patterson in association with The Creative Alliance. This was in a really nice part of town. I remember this, because every time Bob or I would comment on how nice things were in that neighborhood, a local would be like, Yes, Baltimore is very nice in this little five block radius, but PLEASE GOD, whatever you do, don’t go anywhere else in this city. I’m not exaggerating when I say we heard that upwards of ten times.
Here’s the intro to Total Badass in Baltimore:
11:15 PM – CHAD
Ok, so as soon as the movie was done, we did the question and answer as usual, and I could just tell by the back and forth with the audience that one lady in particular had taken an interest in us. When we were done with the Q&A, she walked right up to me, and was like; You know what question I really wanted to ask? So, I said what and she goes, Whip out that fucking cock!! And I remember thinking that was more of a command than a question, but I knew where she was coming from, all the same. The thing was, she pronounced cock like there was an “a” in it… “cack”. Whip out that fucking cack! That’s all I could think about the rest of the night… I had cack on the brain.
It reminds me of this one girl I met here in Austin over the internet. She had a boyfriend or a husband or something, but somehow we ended up talking back and forth over facebook and deciding to meet up over at Barfly’s and have sex in my car. Maybe it was her car, but still, I remember us hanging out inside Barfly’s for a drink or two, acting like we were there to do anything other than go out and fuck on the street. We got out to whose ever car it was, and she unbuttons my pants and goes “Wow, you’ve got a fucking stuntcock!” She said “stuntcock” like fifty times while we were fucking, and I’ve got to tell you, it kind of grew on me. So much so, that to this day, I think of her as “Stuntcock” whenever I see her. I’ll be at a bar and see her there with her boyfriend and think to myself, “There’s ol’ Stuntcock… Should I go say hi?”
Anyway, homegirl in Baltimore was named Birdy. Me, Bob, Birdy, Chance, Sue and a host of forgotten others went to a couple of different bars and Birdy wouldn’t stop talking about my cack. It was like brainwashing. Everything was a mixture of my cack and the fact that I was staying with her and we needed to leave soon. I finally gave in and left with her. I mean, I intended to leave with her all along, but I kind of wanted to stay out late and shit because that might have been the only time I’ll ever be in Baltimore. Nonetheless, I told Bob I was splitting for the night and let her drag me out of there a couple hours early. We walked out the door of the bar and the second, I mean the second my foot hit the sidewalk outside, she goes “We’re not doing anything, by the way. I’m not touching you.” And I was just like…. But what about my cack? You’ve been talking about my cack all fucking night, don’t you at least want to see it, or let me get it off for you or something? I kind of wanted to walk right back inside the bar, to be completely honest. It wasn’t the fact that homegirl didn’t want to mess around, it was just the way she had led things on so strongly and insisted that I go with her right then, and shit. If I hadn’t been accused of rape just a day earlier, I would have walked right back in the fucking bar, I assure you. As it was, I decided to try and better myself. I went with her and she had a very nice place and cooked me a couple of good meals. No cack, though…
BOB 3:33 AM
Somehow, I managed to turn two badass screenings into me hanging out at a bar long enough that, out of pity and maybe the kindness of his heart, the bartender let me sleep on his couch. Well played, me. No cack, neither.
Not really a Tour Journal, per se, but hopefully, we’ll finish the tour journal at some point (waiting for Chad, duh)… but in the mean time, here’s a recap of the Total Badass screening at Chicago Underground Film Festival:
The Chicago Underground Film Festival hosted the Midwest premiere for Total Badass and it was killer. http://www.cuff.org
Chicago Underground Film Festival – Day 1 (Thursday, June 2, 2011) – BOB:
I had such a good fucking time in Chicago. You might not like to hear this, but I’m personally not sorry to report that I spent a lot of time doing stuff I can’t write about. But I will say that doing the stuff I can’t write about, was sooooooo fun and badass and thrilling, that it’s a shame I can’t share the joy with you. I didn’t really get started doing the stuff I can’t write about until later in this night, but I continued to do the stuff I can’t write about as much as possible, once I started doing it. And if I had my way, I’d still be doing and would continue to do lots more of the stuff I can’t write about. But first things first:
When I got to Chicago, I met up with Amy Boyd, the hospitality coordinator. She’s so amazing and hospitable, that she was hosting me at her house for several nights of my stay. Did I mention that she’s a badass and super-nice, to boot? On this night, however, I would end up staying with another festival staffer, Emily Oscarson. Emily is a crafty and fun filmmaker who’s just a hoot to be around. Hell, I spent most of my time hanging out with Amy and Emily, as they are totally badass. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Before the partying fun began, I caught the freaky, fun and oddly engaging opening night film, Some Girls Never Learn. Then I hit the after-party. Fun! I re-met up with Amy and then met the other fellow who’d be staying at her house, Scott Braid. Scott’s an old pal of Amy’s from back in her Baltimore days. He’s a programmer for the Maryland Film Festival, and as it turns out, Scott is a hell of a lot of fun to hang out with. Amy, Emily, Scott and I would end up hanging out a lot. We’d see the sun at night more than once and we’d soon be having one hell of a time.
Back to the after-party. We partied at the Bottom Lounge: booze and such. I redact the story at this point, because that’s when I got my first taste of the stuff I can’t write about. The following day, I would taste and re-taste the stuff I can’t write about. But I can confirm that it was fucking awesome! If I had my druthers, I’d do the stuff I can’t write about all day long. And obviously, all night long as well.
Chicago Underground Film Festival – Day 2 (Friday, June 2, 2011) – BOB:
Doing the stuff I can’t write about is the best way to start any day. Period. No question about it. And I know this to be true because I started this day doing the stuff I can’t write about. The rest of the day pales in comparison. So lets get on with it.
I met up with my trusted triad plus the festival director, Bryan Wendorf, for brunch and booze. Not much to report here, mainly brunch and booze.
Chad got into town this evening. He made his way down to the Gene Siskel Film Center for a brief chunk of time.
I saw The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye, a doc about the loving relationship between Throbbing Gristle’s Genesis Breyer P-Orridge and his muse/lover, Lady Jayne. The film gets weird, but this is an underground film fest, so it should. At one point, the couple underwent plastic surgery in an effort to transform their bodies to look more like each other.
I wanted to see the movie that followed this, the Muslim sex-worker flick Profane, but had to eat. So I ducked out and ate Mexican food and slurped giant margaritas before hitting the after-party at Quenchers Saloon. I met up with the film fest folk as well as Chad and his pals and we drank the requisite booze and smoked all the weed you’d expect us to smoke. Then we hit the late night bar and boozed it up some more, took some pics and danced like gaylords.
Chicago Underground Film Festival – Day 3 (Saturday, June 4, 2011) – BOB:
I think I kinda took it easy and then ate some pizza w/ Amy on Sat. That sounds right. I don’t recall seeing any films during the daytime, so I’m gonna just go with that.
A bit later in the day, I met up with my buddy Michael Galinsky and his brother Adam. We had some drinks. What the hell did you expect happened?
I saw Galinsky’s doc Battle for Brooklyn. The flick is a fine piece of well-crafted and engaging filmmaking. It’s also an important film about the abuses of eminent domain laws and land grabs by wealthy and powerful corporations. It not only entertains and enlightens, but it’ll kind of piss you off as well.
Then back to the Bottom Lounge for the after-party, karaoke-style. Guess what. Both Emily and Amy can belt out some tunes. I have pics. Dig them:
Yes, I realize that these pics are not evidence of their singing ability, but witness how great they look singing and don’t question me on their chops, you bastard.
Speaking of pics, C.U.F.F set up a photo booth. There were props, including a cool banner that Emily and Amy had made. More pics:
My new buddy Scott was also at the party. As was Jeff Krulic, the filmmaker behind the cult-classic Heavy Metal Parking Lot. We all had some of the free booze and partied until last call.
Scott, Amy, Emily and I all partied well into the night. We closed down the bars and headed back to Amy’s pad for more fun. When we saw the sun coming up, we all bolted for bed like cockroaches in the light.
Chicago Underground Film Festival – Day 4 (Sunday, June 5, 2011) – BOB:
The first 12 hours of this day were so packed with doing the stuff I can’t write about, that it was this half-a-day that was undoubtedly the pinnacle of my time in Chicago. It was unbelievably spectacular. Sadly, at the end of this 12 hour period, I’d do, for the last time, the stuff I can’t write about. But talk about saving the best for last. Hot damn!
Oh yeah, my movie screened in the middle of this 12-hour chunk. So, there’s that. Also, I nearly missed my own film and Q&A because I got so caught up with doing the stuff I can’t write about. I have no regrets about this.
I’m not sure how the screening itself went, as I was late as fuck, but I did make it in time for the Q&A. Chad made it also. It maybe wasn’t our liveliest of Q&As, but it was pretty decent. We got some laughs and had some fun. There was some tech problem and the film that was to screen before Total Badass ended up screening after it instead. This turned out to be a stroke of luck for me because I did get to catch the short. It’s a weird narrative called The Forest about a woman who fucks a deer and has some sort of man-deer husband and a boy-deer son or something like that. To be honest, I’m not exactly sure what it’s about. But I liked it.
I snuck out and smoked some weed with Chad and hung out with our ex-Austinite pal Chris Young. It turns out that blazing a bowl in front of a TV station with a cop parked about 50 feet away is indeed the safest place to get stoned.
Once high, I ventured back into the cinema to catch some short films. I really wanted to see Tyrpps #7 (Badlands) as I’d hear it was an incredible mindfuck and best seen when stoned out of your mind. Unfortunately, I was getting stoned and missed it. I did catch The Observers, a Frederic Wiseman-ish doc about a weather station in the super-windy and cold-as-tits outpost of Mt. Washington, New Hampshire, where the wind gusts hit upwards of 231 mph.
The climax of my adventures of doing the stuff I can’t write about was after this screening, and if I could write about it, I’d go off for several pages here. I ain’t gonna do that. But talk about ending with a bang! The best was saved for last, for sure. No doubt about it.
After the awesomeness, I hauled ass back down to the cinema and caught Heavy Metal Parking Lot on the big screen. That was a real treat (not nearly the treat that was doing the mind-blowing stuff I can’t write about, but not too shabby). Alongside HMPL were a couple other flicks: the weird and fun drum solo flick, Moby Dick and Jeff Krulic’s newer doc in the metal genre, Heavy Metal Picnic. But for me, re-watching HMPL (and getting to see it on the big-screen) was the high point of the eve (I mean, other that all the doing the awesome stuff I can’t write about, which blew any movie out of the water, duh).
I hit the after-party and awards ceremony at Delilah’s to cap off the night. There’s one movie I regret not seeing. I probably got caught up doing the super-fun stuff I can’t write about and missed it. The flick is called Snow on tha Bluff and it looks crazy-fun. However, I did get to meet Damon Russell, the filmmaker behind the film, and he’s promised to send me a screener. That was cool. As it turns out, Snow on tha Bluff won the narrative film award at the awards ceremony I’m currently writing about. So Damon had better send me a copy.
It was at the after party that I was really starting to become aware of the fact that I had spent the day blissfully doing so much of the fantastic stuff I can’t write about that I had not yet eaten. So I snuck off for a bite. I snaked back in and met up with Michael Galinsky, Scott, Amy, Emily, Bryan Wendorf, Lori Felker (fest coordinator & asst programmer), Chad and several other old and new friends (including Damon and the filmmaker behind The Forest, Steven Summers) and we slurped up the last of the free booze.
What with no late-night after-parties and no more doing the terrific stuff I can’t write about (damn it all!), this eve was a tad anticlimactic. However, the fest did get a hotel for Chad and me on this night. I must admit that I miss partying until the sun comes up with Scott, Amy and Emily (and certainly would love to do more of the fantastic stuff I can’t write about), but sleeping in an insanely fancy hotel was kinda nice. I mean, as a third option.
Chicago Underground Film Festival – Day 5 (Monday, June 5, 2011) – BOB:
Unfortunately, on this day, I was no longer doing the super-amazing-fun stuff I can’t write about. But the last time I did do the mind-blowing stuff I can’t write about, it was so fucking awesome, that it would have been hard to top. I would have loved to try. Fuck it, I would have topped it. And damn fate for not allowing it to be done! And, aside from not doing lots and lots more of the wonderfully marvelous stuff I can’t write about, I have no complaints. In fact, I have nothing but terrific memories of this trip to Chi-town. That, and a ton of new friends. Double-score!
Friday June 3, 2011 – CHAD:
I took a cab to the airport here in Austin, and the cab driver was this old guy who was very engaging. He was playing a CD of The Buena Vista Social Club, and very much wanted me to hear and appreciate them. My house is only about a ten minute ride from the airport, but he played me the better part of at least three songs, intermingled with his translations of the lyrics and stories about the songs or the band as a whole. As we rolled into Bergstrom, he was narrating a song about a woman who had gone to sleep with a candle still lit and burned down her house, but it was actually a metaphor for old men not getting laid. I remember being both relieved and a little let down that he didn’t elaborate.
The plane was an express jet, and it was the first time I had been on one. I get a little bit nervous from flying. I mean, I’m able to sit there and do the crosswords or watch the little television… even engage in some small talk, but deep down inside I’m usually convinced that everyone is going to die, and my innermost efforts are devoted to coming to grips with that. The express jets get whipped around by the wind a little more than the big airliners, so that’s particularly hard on me, because my perceptions of sensory data are irrationally heightened when I’m on a plane. I’ll detect the slightest change in the hum of the engine, like if the pilot speeds up or something, and even though I never say it out loud, all I can think is, “Do y’all hear that shit? We’re going down!” Whenever I think about air travel in science fiction terms, I imagine a world in the not too distant future, after the advent of whatever technology comes along and keeps planes from falling out of the sky, and I think about a little kid going on a flight with their grandpa. The grandpa is telling stories that he heard from his own grandparents about flying on “airplanes” back before they had boosters or anti-gravity or whatever little adaptation has come along, and the kid asks, “What did they do in the old days, Grandpa, before the repulsion-chute, whenever the plane broke down in mid-air?” Then grandpa would have to explain that they all just fell to the ground and died in a crash, as ridiculous as that may seem. In retrospect, we will look like some of the bravest, craziest people to ever exist on the planet. The modern day businessman-on-the-run will seem like an apache warrior or a kamikaze or some shit.
I landed in Chicago at O’Hare airport and took the train into the city. I loved the ride in because it was out in the open and you could see all the buildings and porches and shit as you rode by the city. At one point I imagined myself as a destitute old pervert who rode the train all day, hoping to see naked people through their windows. I met up with Austin expatriate and Whoopsy! Magazine sportswriter, Trey Elling. I stayed with Trey most of the time I was in town. First place he took me was his favorite Latin American food place, I forget the name and the country of origin, but they put this cabbage in all their food that made everything taste like bilge water. Seriously, I took a bite and before I realized it was the cabbage, I was like, Holy Shit somebody mopped the fucking floor and then made my tacos in the same water. After that, we met up with my friend Abby Wallig, who some of you from Austin might remember from her stint there. We got some weed somewhere along the way, and I guess just went out to a series of bars before eventually winding up at Quenchers for a party that was a part of the Chicago Underground Film Festival (heretofore known as CUFF). Since there’s no such thing as bad publicity, I’d like to mention that everyone I talked to that night or that weekend, whenever I would mention Quenchers on the itinerary, they’d go, “Quenchers? What the fuck were you doing at Quenchers?” Nonetheless, I’m pretty sure Quenchers was the end of the line that night.
Saturday June 4 2011 – CHAD:
We had a huge day in Chicago. Trey and I got up and walked around the city, ending up over at the “beach” on Lake Michigan, watching Justine Hayes and some of her friends play volleyball. Trey and I played a game against some guys, and I totally sucked. I would have liked to have played a few more games to get the hang of it. After that we went swimming back at his place, or they did at least and then I even squeezed in a forty-five minute nap when a thunderstorm rolled in. After that, we went to Maifest, which was basically just a German street festival with all the stereotypes you’d see at Wurstfest in New Braunfels; lederhosen, polka bands, big ass mugs of beer… everything but the swastikas. While I was there, I decided in my head that it is time for Germans to maybe not necessarily embrace the swastika, but at least start rolling out their WWI and WWII flags and memorabilia at events such as this, and just be like “We fought in the World Wars. Who cares whose fault it was, we fought and died like everybody else.” In the interest of disclosure, I am one quarter German, but my ascendants moved out of Germany before the rise of Hitler, thus clearing my conscience of any holocaust guilt. Conveniently, they also arrived in America after slavery, so I’m covered there, too. Anyway, Maifest was a fucking blast, as was Division Fest, a more conventional street festival that we went to later.
I almost got arrested at Division Fest. As much as a boon as it would have been to Total Badass’ overall street credit if one of us had been arrested on yet another movie trip, I’m glad that I wasn’t. It was all a matter of finances, really. In theory, there was no fucking way I could have afforded to go to Chicago for even a second, much less an entire weekend, what with the quitting of selling of weed back in November, and all. However, once the plane ticket was taken care of in what was a combination of hospitality, luck and the borrowing of money from friends, I realized that it costs just as much to be broke in Chicago as it does in Austin. Living like this, one of the things I do is, I’ll hang out at the bars all fucking night, but most of the beer I drink is bought in convenience stores and guzzled down in the streets of surrounding neighborhoods. So, I’m walking around in this neighborhood and go into the store and buy a big-ass miller light and start to crack it open right as I’m walking out the door. I walk right into this lady cop who looks exactly like Meg Ryan… so much so that I want to say Meg Ryan actually did play a uniformed officer in a movie once, but I might be imagining that because this lady looked so much like her. She told me I was lucky I hadn’t opened the beer all the way, or I would be going to jail, but the beer was literally foaming over with a frothy head and shit, so I don’t know if she was serious. It took everything I had not to hit on her, or tell her she looked like Meg Ryan, or some seductive combination of both.
We had been hanging out a lot with this buddy of Trey’s named Peter Rowell. We were over at his place later that night, and this big group of Indians (as in India, not Illini) came walking up to the place next door. They were his neighbors, and invited us up to a party. They had this food set out, a chicken dish for sure and then I don’t know what else, but it was fucking delicious. Later we were at a completely different party that was a lot like that one and I was rolling a joint at the kitchen table…. Several of us were. The owner of the place comes up, and was like… “Ah, you are doing marijuana. That’s ok, just don’t start stealing my shit.” I thought that was weird, but whatever. Later on we were out on the porch getting stoned with the womenfolk, and they were like, you know so and so’s husband is a cop… talking about homeboy. Eventually, we ended up at a club which I currently forget the name of for another CUFF party. This one had an audio visual deal set up where a guy would take your pictures in front of a white screen and then project them to the whole party. Here are some of said pictures:
Sunday June 5, 2011 – CHAD:
We got up Sunday and went and ate breakfast in the middle of a book festival. It was festival week in Chicago, apparently. From there Trey and Justine dropped me off at the Gene Siskel Film Center for the screening. I didn’t even think to film the Q and A, or anything else all weekend, for that matter. Whoopsy! The crowd at the film was decent, and we fell into a bit of good fortune. They played a short film called The Forest by Steven Summers. He was at the screening as well, and told Bob he was a high school teacher. Well, some of his kids and their parents had come to see his movie which was supposed to play before Total Badass, but due to technical difficulties played right after it, so they sat through all of Total Badass, as well. Some of the high school boys though my daughter, Jessica was fine, so I’ve got that going for me.
One of my old friends, Chris Young came out to the screening, and I ended up hanging out with him for the rest of the day as we returned to Division Fest and watched A Place to Bury Strangers (A Reason to Bury Faggots) and, more importantly, Big Freedia, the transgender rapper from New Orleans. Big Freedia is a part of the social phenomenon of extreme ass-shaking which has apparently arisen from the New Orleans transgender rapper scene, and will almost certainly prove to be one of black peoples’ most significant cultural accomplishments since wearing hats sideways, or perhaps the “crip walk”. Seriously though, if you haven’t seen Big Freedia shake his ass in person, you need to go ahead and put it on your bucket list… it’s awesome. Me personally, I have no problem with a bunch of people up on stage fucking the air with their ass out while some big nigger dressed up like a woman yells “Ass everywhere! Ass everywhere!”, but I found it odd that the citizenry of Chicago would see this as fit to fly into town and have at one of their public festivals with families and shit. Then again, someone spent $450 bucks to fly me out there to show a movie about me dealing drugs and getting blowjobs, so maybe this shit is considered fine art up there, hell I don’t know.
Later that night, I made my way across town to the CUFF final party at Delilah’s, which is apparently a sister bar of Austin’s Casino El Camino, as the owners are friends. By the time I got there, I was completely exhausted from the weekend, and just sat there watching television and listening to the metal they were playing on the jukebox. Good stuff… Iron Maiden, Danzig, Rainbow, all kinds of shit. I hope nobody thought I was being lame or anti-social there, but I really was on my last leg. The funny thing is, when I first landed back on Friday, I had immediately texted Bob, “Just landed. Where’s the drug-fueled pussy party?” He’d keep texting me shit that was going on, but I kept making it clear that whatever he was talking about didn’t sound like the drug-fueled pussy party that I had been promised. I went so far as to finally decree that I wasn’t going to be satisfied unless I walked into a party, and they had this laboratory-type set up which included a disembodied human pussy in a jar being fed drugs through various tubes and whatnot. I talked a big talk, but in reality I haven’t been preoccupied with pussy at all lately, especially with having a girlfriend who lives far away and being accused of rape on that last movie tour we went on. All that has combined to dull down my mojo a bit. Don’t get me wrong though, there was pelt all over Chicago, especially in the film festival crowd.
The film festival put me and Bob up in this really nice hotel our last night in town. I forget the name of it, but it was easily one of the best I’ve stayed in. I left Delilah’s really early and checked in and went straight to sleep.
Monday June 6, 2011- CHAD:
Bob and I flew home out of Chicago O’Hare. We were sent to the wrong gate by the airport, and had gotten there so early that we both just kind of drifted off fucking around on our computers and ended up realizing at the last minute that something was wrong. We made the flight by less than a minute. Other than smoking a joint at the airport, right outside the terminal, that is about the only exciting thing to report from the journey back to Austin. I really had a good time in Chicago though, and loved the city.
November 20, 2010
10:43AM – CHAD
So, we have a screening today at noon back at reRun, but Bob just got a text from Aaron Hillis, who booked the screenings, explaining that he wasn’t going to be able to make it down to the movie this afternoon. Now, that really shouldn’t be a big deal, but apparently I’m not allowed over at reRun anymore without Aaron there to take personal responsibility for me. We were specifically texted not to go down there without him, so I guess he’s my official “handler” for the week. This gives me the day off to watch college football.
11:11 AM – BOB
Regarding last night, my filmmaker friend Michael Galinsky wrote this:
About 8 months ago my good friend Bob Raysent me a cut of his documentary “Total Badass”. The cut was a bit of a mess but it was clear that there was a pretty amazing tale unfolding. Tonight i saw the final cut at a screening in Brooklyn and I was shocked at how much he had been able to do without changing it significantly.
The film follows his friend Chad Holt, who is a total badass. I’ll leave the explaining and the reviews to the reviewers http://movies.nytimes.com/2010/11/19/movies/19haleroundup.html but i did want to relate a post show screening story from tonight. Early in the film we learn of Chad’s exploits in his band, Front Butt. In the band he would wear a butt in the front of his pants and he would leap from the stage into a trash can. It was clear from the footage that the performance transcended schtick. The danger and the pain were real and palpable, painful to watch. The band, like all other aspects of his life was designed to transcend expectation and push the envelope in all directions. It would be quite easy at first glance to kind of dismiss the front butt, and the stage diving, and the music as a gimmick. However, it was clear that while for some people the experience was like a freak show, for others there was something transformative about how Chad pushed way beyond the boundaries to an area of danger almost as a gift to the audience. In pushing himself so far he made room on the other side for those too scared to push themselves.
In order to drum up press and enthusiasm for the screening, the booker had promised live stunts. He bought a trash can and Chad was urged to use it. While in some ways the film is a chronicle of Chad’s exploits, it is also a tale of redemption. Over the course of the film, Chad pulls his life together and is able to start taking care of his son and daughter full time. At the screening Chad said, “I don’t want to do this because I’m at a different place in my life. I’ll do this, but it won’t be authentic and it will be kind of sad. But ya’ll take a vote and if you vote on it I’ll do it.” I voted no. It was a tie. I had a bad feeling about it for two reasons. Number 1, I just thought it would be a lame gesture. Number 2, Chad mentioned that he didn’t have health insurance and I just thought it would be awful if their film tour was messed up because of this silly gesture.
After some awkward back and forth Chad brushed past me and headed towards the front of the venue holding the trash can. The filmmaker had given me his flip camera to capture the q and a so I followed behind him. When we got to the front he started to take his wallet and phone and lighters out of his pocket and dumped them on the hostess platform. A few people had streamed out of the venue to witness, but he didn’t wait around. He dove into the trash can and headed down the stairs. I felt the same hot jet of adrenalin that I get when my kids fall. He flopped painfully down a couple of steps and I knew that something was wrong. He hit the middle platform with a thud and then rolled down the next section. He hit the bottom explosively and flopped to a halt. Staring at both him and the little flip camera screen had given the whole thing an edge of surrealism.
The filmmaker, Bob has his little photo camera trained on Chad. He filmed the stillness because Chad wasn’t moving. I headed down the steps and it was clear that he was breathing but my sense of dread began to turn towards real fear. With his feet splayed at an awkward angle it seemed that he might be hurt. I also thought that he might be faking it to let those who had voted for his degradation feel some guilt. There was a lot of confusion and the stress level started to ratchet up the longer he laid like that. I searched Bob’s expression for any sense of fear or doubt, but found none, which was comforting – at first. My jacket was locked in the theater so I got the promoter to let me in. He seemed a little nervous, but excited by the tension. We were all kind of joking about it, but after 20 minutes i was starting to get nervous. The danger of it started to get to me. Sure, there was a 90% chance he was fine, but if he was hurt, or had a spine injury he needed help immediately.
We went back to the front and I checked his feet. They hadn’t moved at all. I started to get freaked out, so freaked out in fact that I felt the need to leave. Bob moved forward and peered inside the trash can with a lighter to check his eyes. He was calm but appeared nervous. He couldn’t seem to get any kind of response from Chad. Finally a guy standing near by said, “This is ludicrous, i’m calling an ambulance”
I left. I still thought it might be a performance but I was cooked. i couldn’t take the pressure and i didn’t want to get caught up in the drama. I bid Bob goodnight and took off in a foul mood. I thought about Chad’s kids. I pictured him in a wheel chair. I felt like shit and my thoughts were flying around like bats in a small room.
About three blocks from the venue I heard the ambulance on its way and i was glad to be out of there. When I got home I saw that I had a voice mail. My friend Adam had called to tell me that moments after I left Chad popped up. It had been all performance. In total badass form he talked his way out of trouble with the ambulance.
That was high art.
2:02PM – CHAD
Ok, so there’s this bar in Manhattan called Stout, and it’s like Texas Longhorns headquarters if you are in New York City. During a good year, the entire club is packed with Longhorn fans during the football games. This year, 2010, has been so shitty for the Longhorns that the fair-weathered fan base has dried up and the bar only shows the games in a dingy back room, hidden away from public view. Bob and I went to said dingy back room and ate a pizza while Texas beat the shit out of Florida Atlantic to vent out some of their frustrations over the year’s other losses. You know how a guy will get his ass kicked in a bar fight, so he goes home and beats the shit out of his wife and kids? That’s kind of what Texas did to Florida Atlantic.
10:51 PM – BOB
I’m sitting in a house in Long Island. I know it says that it’s Day 11, but I’m really writing this from the future. If you’ve been reading the tour journal, you already know that all my entries are time-traveling lies. So really, it’s Day 16 (Thanksgiving eve) and I’m acting like it’s Day 12. I know this is confusing, but time-travel always is. Anyway, my point is that I don’t remember what happened on Day 11. I know it was only five days ago, but for the life of me, I can’t remember what happened. In fact, five days ago seem like it was about 27 months ago… maybe it’ll come back to me. I’ll let you know, if so.
Perhaps the distraction of a possible NYC fire will liven things up:
11:45PM – CHAD
We went to visit our old friend, Patrick Holmes, at The Living Room where he tends bar. Patrick is a friend from way back when Bob and I lived next door to each other over on West Campus in the early 90’s. He’s been living in New York now for well over a decade and I look him up anytime I go up there. Shit, he came out and saw Rock Opera out there when we took it up for the New York Underground Film Festival way back in 2000. I guess that excuses him for not coming to any of the Total Badass screenings this time around. Plus, he did get us so fucked up at the bar that I really can’t tell you anything about the night, other than Patrick was there.
12:01 AM – BOB
Chad and I walked back to the crash-pad near the World Trade Center. We found a hard-copy of the Village Voice. The page with the review has a huge pic of Chad. It’s the pic on the DVD cover (thanks, Jerry Milton!) where Chad is in a tumped-over trashcan, apparently naked but with shoes on and knees bleeding. A striking pic, to be sure. And the Voice knew this, giving it nearly half the page.
Official Tour Page: www.badassfilmtour.com
November 13, 2010
10:35 PM – CHAD:
When I woke up this morning, it occurred to me that Bodger, the dog, is a living example of what I’ve been doing with my life for the last 20 years. I opted not to hang myself in light of this. Or him, for that matter…
Also, here is a look at the ghost house…
Additionally, here is a peek at some of the wildlife native to the region:
Drive to Mobile
6:33 PM – CHAD:
So, we split from New Orleans and are now in Mobile, Alabama where we began the evening with a rollergirl pre-party at Veet’s, which struck me as a nice place to watch football games if you’re ever in Mobile, and then all of the girls skated down to the Crescent Theatre for Hell on Wheels. The procession can be seen here:
10:45 PM – CHAD:
We really had a great time with Max, the theatre owner and Will, the projectionist. Here they are early on in the night giving us the lowdown on The Crescent Theatre. Things got so much worse as the night went on, I assure you:
Thanks, Max and Will for Keeping Indie Film Alive in Mobile, AL!
11:30 PM – CHAD:
Well, I told you things got much worse, right? First, we left the theatre in the back of a truck with Max, the theatre owner and Will, the projectionist so as to go to their houses to look at art and presumably get all fucked up if they were, indeed, the getting fucked up type. Here’s some footage of Mobile from the back of a pickup for those of you who’ve never seen it that way. Like there’s any other way to see it… (I also threw in a clip of Max’s place.)
Mobile Truck Ride
Max – Art:
12:08 AM – CHAD:
I’m not sure what went wrong, but Bob and I seem to have missed the Q and A for Hell on Wheels in Mobile, Alabama. Actually, I’m understating just how bad things went. The movie just flat out quit playing with about 25 minutes left in it. That probably would have been easy to fix but Max, the theatre owner and Will, the projectionist, were with us at some bar on the other side of town all fucked up on weed and pills, so there was nobody there to handle the problem. Max got a phone call from the ticket agent and we all had to hop in the truck in a mad dash to go back and try to fix things. Is said mad dash on film? You bet it is. Highlights include: Dragging along a girl from the bar we were at, black people telling me not to film them because they feared it would capture their souls, Will the projectionist bailing in a traffic jam to run the rest of the way to the theatre, this old-ass fucked up rugby player (there was a rugby tournament in Mobile that weekend) named Gene hopping in the back of the truck and partying with us for the rest of the night, Max the theatre owner just getting out of the truck in the middle of an intersection like it’s the normal way to do shit (he was driving) and pissed off rollerderby girls filing out of the theatre upon our arrival…
The second video listed above shows Bob on damage control trying to soothe the masses after his movie went to shit, and then closes with a wonderful example of how we do shit on the road, as far as finding places to stay is concerned.
12:09 AM* – BOB:
*(but really, I’m writing this from the distant future (Day 15), but faking like it’s still Day 4)
Yeah, that sounds right. That sounds about right.
Mobile – TBC’d