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I Was a Teenage Beatnik and/or Monster

USA 2002
produced by
Andre Perkowski for Terminal Pictures
directed by Andre Perkowski
starring Dan Smith, Chris Kunkel, Jeff Capodanno, Joe Linnett, Jason Degruttola, Marisa Montemoreno, Mike Wexler, Christopher Roy, Joe Zerilli, Patrick Tordik, Dick Contino, Cash Flagg (= Ray Dennis Steckler), Ted V. Mikels, Schwump, Neil Innes
written by Andre Perkowski, music by Farmingdale Sound Machine

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Teenage Pete Perkowitz and friends have formed a band, the Farmingdale Sound Machine, a band that plays underground/noise sort of music - and somehow they attract the attention of music promoter Carlton J. Lepus, who promises them a big career, but ultimately wants to change them, mold them according to his own vision. Soon, conflicts within the band break out, conflicts that lead to fights and even murder ...

Pete Perkowitz though, who has been raised by his alcoholic dad, is also a problem child, and ultimately he is sent to Doctor Yamanouchi for treatment - who is more interested though in hypnotizing the teen into repeatedly temporarily changing into a homicidal monster more than anything else - and thus, dead bodies are soon piling up ...

Ultimately though, Perkowit gets so frustrated by his life that he decides to kill himself - also to bring this film to an end (his own words) - but not before writing a 14-page suicide note/confession/life story that could have changed everything ... would it not have landed in the hands of Carlton J. Lepus, who decides to burn it to not collide with his future plans for the Farmingdale Sound Machine.

 

What a weird, almost triplike film: Made up from colour as well as black and white footage, stock footage of every kind, animation sequences, and even sequences featuring hand puppets, this movie walks the thin (non-existing) line between fake documentary and trash/monster movie, videoclip compilation and comedy, satire and coming-of-age film - and somehow this weird blend does actually work. Being stylistically placed somewhere between 1950's Roger Corman, Ed Wood and Ray Dennis Steckler on one hand and early Andy Warhol, Jean Luc Godard and Jan Svankmajer on the other, I was a Teenage Beatnik and/or Monster in its intentionally meandering narrative style and intentional visual incoherence actually follows the logic of a weird dream rather than any sort of genre convention and eventually develops into a very unique cinematic experience that seems to build a parallel world entirely of its own - but without ever losing the audience's attention in the process.

Quite fascinating, actually.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD