Happy Birthday: Stephen Rea

WILDsound Festival

stephenrea.jpgStephen Rea

Born: October 31, 1946 in Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK

[When asked why he would have a “special thanks” credit on the Ozzy Osbourne album “Diary of a Madman”] It isn’t me, man. There’s a travel agent in Belfast named “Stephen Rea”, and I found that out because people kept asking me that question over and over. There’s also a set designer named “Stephen Rea”, but that’s not me either!

Interview with the Vampire
1994
dir. Neil Jordan
Starring
Brad Pitt
Tom Cruise

UNDERWORLD AWAKENING
2012
dir. Måns Mårlind
Björn Stein

V FOR VENDETTAV for Vendetta
2005
dir. James McTeigue
starring
Natalie Portman
Hugo Weaving
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WILDsound Announces its October 2016 Winning Screenplays (26)

WILDsound Festival

Watch all of the winning screenplay readings performed by professional actors. 26 winners for the month of October 2016.

Watch them all here: http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/october_2016_winning_screenplays.html

1 – Feature Screenplay Winner

CHARLOTTE SOMETIMES by Cate Carson

4 – TV Screenplay Winners

WILLOWWOOD by Christopher Locke

EMMETT IN PEOPLELAND by Larry Hankin

THE VISA by Conrad Haynes

UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT Spec by Mike Miller

2 – 1st Scene Screenplay Winners

NIGHT WIND TO BAHIA by Thomas Thorpe

CRIME CYCLE by Donald R. Brown

4 – Best Scene Screenplay Winners

PORT SUDAN by Jack Sherry

PARADISE AT MAIN AND ELM by Barry Brennessel

LOVE IS NOT LOVE by Stephen Keep Mills

THE ACCIDENTAL ANGEL by Oren Weitz

5 – Long Short Screenplays (over 15 pages)

THE SON, THE FATHER by Lukas Hass

NOTE TO SELF by Humayun Mirza

TOGETHER by Jade Syed-Bokhari

CUCKOLD PICASSO by James R. Adams II and Lance Larson

THE MIGHTY…

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November 2016 – Read the best of Feature Film Pitches

WILDsound Festival

Read the best of FEATURE Movie Pitches. CLICK the link and read the loglines:

MAN IN THE MIRROR, by Juanita Brown
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/man_in_the_mirror_by_juanita_brown.html

GESTATION, , by Ntwsaki Rampine
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/gestation_by_ntswaki_rampine.html

DEATH EXPERIMENTAL, by Sean Williams
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/death_experimental_by_sean_williams.html

ANIMATED BACKSTREET BOYS, by Felipe Herrera
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/animated_backstreet_boys_by_felipe_herrera.html

CRAZY FRYING PAN, by Mykola Prut
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/crazy_frying_pan_by_mykola_prut.html

WWII DIARY, by Mack Williams
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/wwii_diary_by_mack_williams.html

KELSEY’S QUAIL, by Kendalynn Newborn Bolton
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/kelseys_quail_by_kendalynn_newborn_bolton.html

ESCAPE TO PLANET B346, by Thomas Thorpe
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/escape_to_planet_b346_by_thomas_thorpe.html

LEAVES OF WRATH, by Hilde Susan Jaegtnes
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/leaves_of_wrath_by_hilde_susan_jaegtnes.html

NOW THEN AND FOREVER, by Jerry Kokich
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/now_then_and_forever_by_jerry_kokich.html

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November 2016 – Read the best of TV SHOW Pitches

WILDsound Festival

Read the best of TV SHOW Pitches. CLICK the link and read the loglines:

IT’S A CULT, by Juniper Woodbury
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/its_a_cult_by_juniper_woodbury.html

LETTER, by Lokman Abdo
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/letter_by_lokman_abdo.html

SCHRODINGERS CAT, by B.R.S.
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/schrodingers_cat_by_brs.html

EVERLASTING, by Canaan Richardson
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/everlasting_by_canaan_richardson.html

COP HOUSE, by James Campbell
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/cop_house_by_james_campbell.html

TV CONTESTSUBMIT your TV PILOT or TV SPEC Script
Voted #1 TV Contest in North America.
FILM CONTESTSUBMIT your SHORT Film
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writing CONTEST1st CHAPTER or FULL NOVEL CONTEST
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SCREENPLAY CONTESTSUBMIT your FEATURE Script
FULL FEEDBACK on all entries. Get your script performed

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November 2016 – Read the best of NOVEL Loglines

WILDsound Festival

Read the best of NOVEL Pitches. CLICK the link and read the loglines:

THUNDERCLOUD, by Ronald Joseph Kule
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/thundercloud_by_ronald_joseph_kule.html

MURDER-GO-ROUND, by Phillip E. Hardy
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/murder-go-round_by_phillip_e_hardy.html

KILLING IS A SIN, by Christopher J. Harvie
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/killing_is_a_sin_by_christopher_j_harvie.html

ZOMBIE TURKEYS, by Andy Zach
https://wildsoundfestivalreview.com/2016/10/29/novel-logline-zombie-turkeys-by-andy-zach/

SUBMIT your TV PILOT or TV SPEC Script
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WILDsound Announces its October 2016 Winning Stories and Novels (10)

WILDsound Festival

Watch all of the winning stories performed by professional actors. 10 winners for the month of October 2016.

Watch them all here: http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/october_2016_winning_stories.html

1 – Winning Novel

THE PESSARY by Juliet M. Nevins MD

9 – Winning Short Stories

TRUE NORTH, by Hal Ackerman
ASTRONAUTS SWEAR THE VIEW IS NEVER DULL, by James Hartley
WATERMELON EATING CONTEST, by Teri B. Clark
IN THE CLEARING, by Steve Bensinger
GOBLIN, by J.F. Capps
DIRE CIRCUMSTANCES, by Alisha M Risen Kent
A TOXIC GAME, by Marianne Hagadorn
DEAD END JOB, by Alice Lacey
TOUCHING MY SPINE, by Monique Amado

TV CONTESTSUBMIT your TV PILOT or TV SPEC Script
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FULL FEEDBACK on all entries. Get your script performed

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Movie Review: GUNG HO, 1986

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GUNG HO MOVIE POSTER
GUNG HO, 1986
Movie Reviews

Directed by Ron Howard
Starring: Michael Keaton, Mimi Rogers, Gedde Watanabe, George Wendt, John Turturro, Sô Yamamura
Review by Brent Randall

SYNOPSIS:

Gung Ho explores the similarities and differences between the American and Japanese cultures when a Japanese car manufacturer comes to America to revive a car plant in Pennsylvania.

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REVIEW:

Starring Michael Keaton as Hunt Stevenson, the movie opens with showing the doldrums of the town of Hadleyville, Pennsylvania. Hunt is the former foreman of the currently closed Hassan Motor’s plant that was the economic hub of Hadleyville. Hunt’s girlfriend, Audrey (Mimi Rogers) is picking him up to drive him to the airport, where he is on his way to Japan. Hunt’s mission is to persuade the Japanese executives at Hassan Motors to come to Hadleyville and reopen the Hassan plant there. His nervousness is quickly seen when Hunt puts his suitcases in Audrey’s trunk, and then proceeds to put his garbage too. This kind of humor, which Keaton pulls off so well, is seen throughout this movie (and many other Michael Keaton films as well), and it is this kind of humor that gives the viewer a much needed break from the difficulties facing Hadleyville. As the car progresses towards the airport, we quickly see through the various closed businesses that Hadleyville is struggling, and we see how important the Hassan Motors plant is to the success of other surrounding businesses. Hunt is fully aware of the importance of his mission, and knows that without the plant reopening, the town is likely to evaporate.

Hunt arrives in Japan and his struggles are illustrated through a variety of hilarious scenes showing Hunt trying to get acclimated with the Japanese culture. He finally arrives at Hassan motors and enters the executive board room. Upon giving his presentation to these executives, the owner and other members of the board seem completely uninterested in the jokes and humor Hunt uses to lighten the mood of the room. They also seem completely anything but impressed with Hadleyville, Hunt, or the prospect of coming to America to open the plant. After what seems like an unsuccessful attempt to woo the Hassan executives, Hunt returns to America. Audrey picks him up from the airport and asks him how the meeting went. Hunt reminds Audrey of the time when he first met her father, and how her father came after him with a power sander. Audrey says she remembers, and Hunt tells her that the meeting did not go quite that well. Once again, the quick witted humor Keaton employs helps illustrate beautifully the details of the meeting with the Japanese.

Hunt assumes the meeting was a failure and begins searching for other jobs all across the country. However, much to his surprise, he is informed from a friend that the Japanese will be coming to reopen the plant. Hunt and his fellow employees are estatic about the opportunity. The Japanese executives arrive in Hadleyville, and Hunt meets with them at the Hassan Motors plant. From this initial meeting, Hunt is given the job of leading the American workers and a raise in pay. Hunt is excited about the opportunity, but we also can already that the Japanese view of how the plant should run is quite different than that of Hunt’s view. For example, Hunt assumes the plant will actually open once all the structures are back in place, but the Japanese remain skeptical. We know by this pivotal meeting, the differences in work ethic, culture, and general ideas regarding business will play heavily in the success or failure of the plant.

Fortunately, for everyone involved, the plant does open, and the American workers are able to go back to work. It seems as if Hadleyville has been saved, but these successes may be short lived. From day one, the Japanese and American workers begin butting heads. In a pivotal scene, we as viewers see how their differences are vast by their approach to work. The Japanese workers believe in starting each day with morning exercises and taking a team approach to running the company, regardless of individual gains, and the Americans are much more individualistic, and are reluctant to even perform the exercises, much less take a team approach. As the days and weeks progress, these difference begin causing significant friction between the two cultures and threatens the future of the plant, and the way these two groups of people work through these differences will determine whether or not this plant, and more importantly, this town, will survive.

Gung Ho does a wonderful job illustrating the differences between cultures and how one must embrace differences and use these differences in order to achieve success. When I taught school, I used this movie to illustrate the differences of collectivism (a teamwork approach) to individualism (individualistic approach) in the workplace, and how these varying viewpoints can truly alter the way one views a working enviroment. These two schools of theory constantly show up in various aspects of this film and drive the way the Japanese and Americans think. This point is seen best when the Americans play the Japanese in a softball game. The Japanese show up in uniforms, warm up as a team, and play team ball by bunting and moving runners over, etc. The Americans, on the other hand, all are wearing different uniforms and trying to hit the ball as far as they possibly can. Niether way is right or wrong, it simply is a different philosophy, and it will take both sides working towards a common goal as opposed to working against each other to achieve success. Yes, Gung Ho is a hilarious movie if you like quick wit humor, and yes, Michael Keaton is fabulous, but it also dives deeper into how cultural differences can truly cause rifts between people. These differences, if we allow them to, can create gaps so large, that even the Grand Canyon would fail in comparison. We learn that different is not either right or wrong, it is simply different. Learning to embrace these differences can be difficult, but it can be accomplished. By embracing differences instead of critiquing them, great success can be achieved. Gung Ho shows us how we can do just that, and by doing so, how much more successful we can be when we choose to accept different viewpoints as opposed to simply rejecting them without just cause.

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Movie Review: NIGHT SHIFT, 1982

NIGHT SHIFT MOVIE POSTER
NIGHT SHIFT, 1982
Movie Reviews

Directed by Ron Howard
Starring: Henry Winkler, Shelley Long, Michael Keaton
Review by Drew Greco

SYNOPSIS:

A nebbish of a morgue attendant gets shunted back to the night shift where he is shackled with an obnoxious neophyte partner who dreams of the “one great idea” for success. His life takes a bizarre turn when a prostitute neighbour complains about the loss of her pimp. His partner, upon hearing the situation, suggests that they fill that opening themselves using the morgue at night as their brothel. Against his better judgement, he gets talked into the idea, only to find that it’s more than his boss that has objections to this bit of entrepreneurship.

REVIEW:

When most people think of Ron Howard as a director, they think of such dramas as The Da Vinci Code, Frost/Nixon and A Beautiful Mind. When I think of Ron Howard, however, my first thoughts are of pimps and prostitutes. Allow me to explain.

Before Howard struck gold with the literal fish out of water comedy, Splash, he directed Night Shift, an overlooked and underrated classic about two aimless men running a prostitution ring out of the city morgue. While this might not sound like the basis for a comedy, Night Shift manages to make light of the illicit subject matter by focusing less on the bedroom and more on the unlikely friendships that develop between the three main characters.

Henry Winkler plays Chuck Lumley, recently demoted city morgue employee. You might think that having the coolest guy on television playing a pimp is a stroke of genius. And it is. But Winkler’s Chuck Lumley is the polar opposite of his Arthur Fonzarelli. Chuck is the type of guy who is content to watch life pass by as long as he doesn’t have to get involved. All he wants is to be left alone.

Enter Bill Blazejowski, a.k.a. Billy Blaze (Michael Keaton in a star-making performance). Chuck’s new partner can’t keep his mouth shut for more than a few seconds. He even carries a tape recorder with him at all times to catch such innovative ideas as edible paper and feeding mayonnaise to live tuna fish. It’s hard to believe that this is Keaton’s first feature film. His manic “idea man” walks away with every one of his scenes.

Shelly Long is Belinda Keaton, the hooker with the heart of gold. Her life is in disarray because her pimp has just been murdered and now there is no one to protect her and her friends. She has also recently moved next door to Chuck, who finds her slumped in the elevator after being attacked by a customer.

Feeling guilty about telling Bill to shut up and leave him alone, Chuck decides to open up and share some details about his life. He makes the mistake of telling Bill about Belinda’s plight. The idea man immediately jumps on the opportunity. He reminds Chuck how they have no supervision on the night shift, and utters two words that change their lives forever: Love Brokers.

Normally, Chuck would just ignore Bill’s latest scheme. But Bill has a new mission in life, to make Chuck a man. And Chuck is finally ready to stop being afraid of joining the rest of the human race. He also can’t stop thinking about his alluring next door neighbor.

Chuck and Bill become agents to Belinda and her friends. The ladies appreciate their new professional organization, which includes health, dental, and part ownership in a fast food restaurant. Business is booming until the men who murdered Belinda’s pimp go looking for the new guys who took over the business.

No, Night Shift is not the typical romantic comedy, and that’s exactly what makes it work. Most of us would never decide to get in over our heads and become pimps. But somehow, it seems like a good idea for our two morgue attendant heroes. As Billy Blaze puts it, “Well, we couldn’t be doctors.” It’s hard to argue with logic like that.

 

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Movie Review: GRAND THEFT AUTO, 1977

 

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GRAND THEFT AUTO MOVIE POSTER
GRAND THEFT AUTO, 1977
Movie Reviews

Directed by Ron Howard
Starring: Ron Howard, Nancy Morgan, Elizabeth Rogers, Marion Ross, Clint Howard
Review by James Aston


Teenage lovers Sam Freeman (Ron Howard) and Paula Powers (Nancy Morgan) want to get married in Las Vegas. When Paula introduces Sam to her wealthy parents they take a disliking to him, believing that Sam wants to marry Paula for money. Paula’s parents think their daughter would be better suited to local rich kid and busybody Collins Hedgeworth (Paul Linke). They throw Sam out of their house and send Paula to her room but Paula escapes and steals her parents priceless Rolls Royce before picking up Sam and hitting the road. Paula’s father, Bigby (Barry Cahill), deploys his helicopter to chase the couple as they race towards Vegas, Collins Hedgeworth joins the chase shortly after, stealing a car as he goes. Collins calls a local radio station and offers listeners a reward of $25,000 for anyone that can stop the fleeing couple. What ensues is an ever-growing chase full of crashes and explosions as everyone tries to claim the reward. As media coverage of the chase escalates Bigby makes a plea to his daughter over the telephone, but she refuses to listen. Sam wonders whether Paula’s motivation is love for him or a desire to spite her father, but Paula persuades Sam that she loves him. An epic pile-up occurs and the priceless Rolls Royce is destroyed. Sam and Paula manage to escape, eventually getting married in Las Vegas.

REVIEW:

They say the simplest stories are told the best, and Grand Theft Auto succeeds where many exploitation movies failed. Few exploitation flicks made for particularly challenging viewing, but often the plot was so badly paced or paper-thin that it was in no way compelling or believable. Frequently the story was only a background device on which the supposed shocks, thrills and spills were hung. Considering the fact that exploitation movies were made in a matter of weeks to save money there was little time for writers to work on a script anyway. Not that the script mattered to the studios. Their motive was to attract an audience by making big promises about ‘dangerous’ subject matter in order to exploit the curiosity of the paying public. Quite often it turned out that the studio was over-hyping or downright lying about the content of those movies. Yet Grand Theft Auto manages to adhere to its promotional promise of seeing “the greatest cars in the world DESTROYED!” while telling a simple but well paced story that grows from a private affair between a teenage couple and the girls family into an all-out battle that involves the entire town. This is a breathless little comedy chase movie, although in 2009 you’ll probably laughing at delivery of the comedy rather than the jokes themselves. Grand Theft Auto delivers entertainment between the crashes and explosions thanks to a well paced story that is simple and nicely paced. However Grand Theft Auto is not a great movie by any means.

It might come as a surprise that Grand Theft Auto was directed by Academy Award-winner Ron Howard. Anyone that has seen Howard’s newly-released abomination Angels and Demons (2009) will tell you that the film is ridiculously convoluted and makes no sense whatsoever, and yet it is very well directed. Young Ron was never going to win an Academy Award for his direction on Grand Theft Auto, it’s clear that he was just finding his feet here. Admittedly Howard’s direction is on par with most other B-Movie directors of the time, excluding the occasionally brilliant Roger Corman, in that their mantra seemed to be “point, shoot and never retake a scene.” That’s understandable really considering the studios demanded a quick production. The fast turnaround of these movies meant that directors had no choice but to work quickly if they wanted to get paid, so it’s not entirely Howard’s fault that he doesn’t excel as director here. Perhaps it was also the added pressure of taking a starring role in the movie that stunted Howard’s work in both areas because Nancy Morgan shines the brightest out of the two leads. As those well versed in this genre might expect the dialogue is frequently corny and the acting is only a notch above diabolical across the board, but it really doesn’t matter. Every character is played for laughs apart from the lead characters, which makes Howard and Morgan stand out as ‘wooden’. Howard and Morgan are good choices as leads though with his youthful good looks, and while the chemistry between Sam and Paula doesn’t exactly crackle, they are well matched in terms of looks which is what is most important in a movie like this.

Teenagers in the late 1950’s were not visiting movie theaters because there absolutely nothing being produced by the main studios that appealed to them. Small exploitation studios such as New World Pictures made movies cheaply, quickly and frequently with the sole intention of getting those teenagers to spend their disposable income at the theater or drive-in every week, and in doing so made huge profits for decades until the major studios caught up. With Grand Theft Auto New World Pictures skilfully did everything they could to achieve that goal. The fact that this love story is based around a cars is a stroke of genius because of the huge audience that would go with their lover to the drive-in every Saturday. The teenage audience loved the extremely rebellious storyline because their own parents would disapprove, and they loved the promise of illegal activity from the title alone. They were thrilled by the coarse language and the destruction. NWP pitched the movie perfectly for their audience and it shows. NWP spent $602,000 making Grand Theft Auto and grossed a spectacular $15 million. They did have twenty years of refining the formula though, take a look at Teenage Caveman (1958) for a laughably bad early attempt at attracting this audience.

The acting is bad. The direction is sub-par. This could be repeated for many of the mass produced exploitation films that were released during the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. Grand Theft Auto is by no means a five star movie but when viewed alongside its peers it stands out. Other movies from this genre often gave a whole lot of sizzle without any smoke. They didn’t deliver the incredible, shocking or lurid content that they promised in their trailers and on their posters and those were the things the audience came to see. In fact they were utterly shameless when it came to exploiting their audience, and to add pain to injury these movies didn’t even provide much entertainment as part of the deal, because nobody took the time to pace the story correctly. Grand Theft Auto scores against its rivals by not insulting its audience. Watch this movie for what it is: a 1970’s exploitation movie that for once actually tries hard to deliver what it promises.

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Film Review: THE DAVID DANCE

Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival: http://www.wildsound.ca

the_david_dance.jpgTHE DAVID DANCE

Director: Aprill Winney
Writer: Don Scime
Stars: Don Scime, Guy Adkins, Antoinette LaVecchia

Review by Gilbert Seah

THE DAVID DANCE follows the adventures of a local gay radio DJ, David (Don Scime) in Buffalo, New York.

The film tackles quite a few issues. At the film start, David listens and calls a rival radio show in which an Anita Byrant type woman, June Hendley (Jordan Baker) makes her stance against homosexuals. She is against gay marriage, gay sex and almost everything gay just like the original Byrant. An easy target no doubt, David through his show gets the better of her. David then meets his new technician Chris (Guy Adkins) who pines for him. The two have met before at one of the weddings of David’s sister, Kate (Antoinette LaVecchia). The film goes into a subplot of a sibling relationship before revealing that dear old sis has plans of adopting a Brazilian girl. She needs support that he reluctantly gives. David visits a nursery, sees a baby that smiles at him and gets all baby happy. He discusses children with Chris. David and Chris fall in love.

The film flows smoothly from one topic to another. Gay films these days have the problem of originality. In the 70’s when gay films were the rage in the business, topics like coming-out, children adoption, same-sex romance, gay marriage, rent boys were all hot topics never covered before. Now 40 years later, every gay issue has been covered and films are in need for a fresh look at used topics. Unfortunately, THE DAVID DANCE touches on too many of these topics without any fresh take. The romance between two older middle-age guys is something seldom covered, but the romance is mired in melodrama and sentimentality.

One must admire director Winney for trying hard in a small budget movie. But trying is not good enough. The film plods along just like the the film’s protagonist – without much aim and just letting things come and go. And like the protagonist, the film needs more firm direction.
The film becomes extremely self-defeating towards the half way mark. Just when things begin going great for David, such as his positivity towards his sister’s adoption, his new love and his newly found boldness, he sinks back into self pity. He tells Chris that he is not ready when asked to move in with him, starts retreating from he adoption idea and turns negative on TV. During one TV spot, he goes on and on , saying: “Why don’t people just ask gays to shut up?” Maybe the filmmakers should heed the advice, shut up about the complaining.

The film has been described by a few critics as a charming little film. But the film is riddled with cliches with the tough spots that David keep running into tiresomely put in by the manipulative script. It would have worked if they made the David character a more charismatic gay man. But the actor who plays David also wrote the script, which means he likely convinced the filmmakers to cast him in the lead role.

Director Winney takes her film outdoors as much as she can, whether in a car or on the road with some well shot scenes like the hillside cemetery that David visits.

At another point in the radio show, he condemns gays as lonely people, being out of place even among themselves. He complains that he is too unattractive to dress up or go dance and have a good time. This statement makes one wonder who the film’s target audience would be. If the filmmakers are aiming at the quiet, shy and less outlandish gays to see their film, They should realize that these are the very same people that would not dish out money to go out see a movie.

The film is lovingly dedicated to the late Guy Adkins who has passed away in 2010 from cancer.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R5SZz20YoSk

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