Monday, November 11, 2019


Sabrina Sharp as the Dark Lady in THROAT SPROCKETS. It's about time!

I'm not sure where the time went, but it was almost exactly nine years ago this month that I was invited to come up to the film factory at the Douglas Education Center in Monessen, PA to write and direct a short film based on my 1994 novel THROAT SPROCKETS. It was decided by my friend and executive producer Robert Tinnell in advance that I would actually direct two films - one that would serve as a trailer for my book or a possible feature film adaptation, and then a short sustained scene of my choosing. I was strongly petitioned to arrive with storyboards for the latter, and though I had not actually drawn anything in many years, I postponed the task until the night before my departure and somehow managed to produce more than 100 drawings on index cards. They definitely proved useful.

Hotel Scene original storyboards by Tim Lucas.
Both films managed to be completed ahead of schedule over a weekend shoot, with Douglas film students volunteering their time. They were superb. My producers Joseph Russio and Matt Deering were masterful in providing me with locations and vehicles I had no idea of how to go about acquiring. I didn't have too much control over casting, but I lucked out with the suave Christopher Scott Grimaldi playing the Ad Man, Brandy Loveless as the tattooed temptress Nancy Reagan, and a supporting cast that included Sabrina Sharp as the Dark Lady, Allie Lewis, Adrienne Fischer, and others too numerous to mention. The films were shot by Jarrod Yerkes and cut by Stephanie Fenrisson (now Akers) and R.J. Taylor, all of whom did brilliant jobs. Stephanie, Keith Holt and Jason Baker were all indispensable comrades in arms and art. When it was all done, I showed the work to Steven Severin of Siouxsie and the Banshees and he kindly allowed me to use the Banshees' song "Umbrella" in the trailer, and provided a solo cue recorded with his wife Arban Severin for the hotel scene. He seemed favorably impressed when I showed him the final result, and I'm honored to have the music on the films.

C.S. Grimaldi and Brandy Loveless in the Hotel Scene.
Aside from a single public screening of the Hotel Scene at the 2011 Fantafestival in Montreal, few people have seen this work since it was done. Why? 

Well, for two reasons primarily: 1) I always hoped we might be able to work a bit more on the final sound mix of the hotel scene, where some dialogue is under-miked or spoken too briskly. Minimal looping would work wonders. Also, the idea was to use this material to pursue offers to complete the film, and with our respective workloads, neither Bob nor I had the time or means to do this. So the idea gradually became to hold back the material until it could promote the release of a new edition of THROAT SPROCKETS, which has been out of print now for more than 20 years. It may well come back into print in the next couple of years, but that's not now.

I revisited this footage earlier today, made curious by an interviewer who asked to see it. It brought back such wonderful memories of the time I spent with all those gifted obsessives, many of whom had read my book - and I have to assume that some of them never saw this footage - so I asked Bob Tinnell (who is currently occupied with opening his new feature, FEAST OF THE SEVEN FISHES) if he would mind if I set loose the Kraken.

He shot back, "DO IT!"

And so I am - and if I need a reason after all this time, here's a good one. It's 2019 - the 25th Anniversary of my first published novel.

And so... ladies and gentlemen, step right up.

Here is your ticket to the THROAT SPROCKETS trailer.
The password is "eros."

And here is your ticket to the THROAT SPROCKETS Hotel Scene.
Again, the password is "eros."

The unclear dialogue at the outset of the Hotel Scene is as follows... 

NANCY: That campaign's everywhere nowadays. Is it one of yours?
AD MAN: Why do you say that?
NANCY: Because it looks like the poster for the...
AD MAN (shushes her): 'Subliminal' means you're not supposed to notice!

The poster she's referring to is this one:

Original poster art by Dorian Cleavenger and Radomir Perica.

(c) 2019 by Tim Lucas. All rights reserved.