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Rolling Roadshow & Harry run into a REPO MAN reunion in Downtown L.A.! It was Intense!

East 3rd Street… Los Angeles, California. Pretty sure the last time I saw this area was in the film NIGHT AT THE GOLDEN EAGLE, a film not nearly enough people saw, but because I saw it… I’m now convinced there’s a refrigerator around here with a dead body in it and a dead whore under a mattress within a block of us.

The instant sensation you have being in this area of Los Angeles is… Utopian bliss. Seriously – this is a rotten core of one of the cities in the United States in the most need of help. A major downtown restoration project is in desperate need here. Just restoring the old theaters and businesses isn’t enough. This place really is looking seedy as hell… which atmospherically lends itself greatly to a REPO MAN screening.

I’d also appreciate it if someone connected West 3rd to East 3rd. That only took 30 minutes to figure out! The screening took place in an enormous vacant dirt lot in the middle of downtown Los Angeles. On the way there, we had extras from OMEGA MAN rubbing themselves against our car – and my nephew was heard to say, “I’m scared!” Ahem, nothing to worry about kid, they’re slow moving zombies! Once we got to the lot – the police helicopters and Film helicopters (allegedly shooting for MI:3) were buzzing the area. The nephew was nervous about the area, I sent Father Geek on a photo essay mission to capture what was cool in the area – meanwhile, I’d hold down the fort and watch the munchkin, visit with L.A. friends and take the event all in.

It’s a hot sweaty Los Angeles day and there’s no shade anywhere right now. The various Road Rally teams are beginning to come in. The Generic Team is headed by BNATers and Long Time AICNers – and they came in third. The winner of the Road Rally – which was made up of 40 some odd entrants that had to follow and solve clues all over Los Angeles – won the classic 1964 Chevy Malibu! Now, I wouldn’t open the truck, and while I sat slightly behind the prize car the whole film, I never did see it glow or fly. Dang it!

As we left the car and sat around the area of the car, my nephew decided it was necessary to build dirt castles and rock out to the punk tunes belting out of the Rolling Roadshow’s sound system. Music was definitely not soothing this savage beast, but energizing him as he carved the dirt and any unlucky piece of shit that crossed his shiv’s path!

Meanwhile various Los Angeles geeks are coming over. This one real cool guy was one of the winners of the SHAUN OF THE DEAD contest and got all made up by KNB zombie style for the screening! The editing team behind THE SHIELD came over. Nicky Katt and the always charming Don Murphy. Some super-geniuses from JPL Labs responsible for various mission assignments for everything from the exploration of Jupiter and Titan to Mars and Beyond! Then there was Paul Boyington – who put together that brilliant opening title stop motion sequence to Tim Burton’s ED WOOD! Very cool! Then there was the director of INSIDE and one of the writers of SCRUBS! They were surprisingly cool and dressed like they belonged in a revival of STARLIGHT EXPRESS. Very smooth!

Oh, and then there was the cast and crew to REPO MAN. I’d met Alex Cox in Monument Valley when we happened to be eating at adjoining tables, then again that night as he helped raise the screen with the Rolling Roadshow crew. He’s that cool. He came over to tell me how much he enjoyed my piece on ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST. But also Del Zamora came over and we just shot the shit for a good long time. We chatted about how criminal it was that Alex Cox wasn’t working more often – and then about his time working on ROBOCOP with Paul Verhoeven. Del is one cool as hell fella. Really nice guy! Actually a ton of the REPO MAN folks came up and we got them to sign our groovy as hell glow in the dark REPO MAN poster! Too Cool!

Then came the trailers – I wasn’t taking notes during this screening, but the trailer that caused double loads in every pair of pants… and that magical bit of celluloid is the famous trailer for STUNT ROCK! The greatest trailer forged by God! One day clouds will part and a 35mm print of this film will be set in front of Tim League and I’ll get to see this film as the denizens of Hell and Heaven meant for it to be seen. I hope this doesn’t cockblock the rest of the evening.

Now, I know what you’re thinking… This was yet another friggin fantastic screening that transcended film and became a life-altering event that makes all your lives petty and insignificant by compare.

Ya know, you’d almost be right. I won’t forget this screening for sometime, but mainly for the jackass that parked back and to the right of where I was sitting. This piece of shit talked loudly throughout the film, preferring the booming sound of his own obnoxious voice. He also thought he was hilarious screaming out crap like, “DON’T OPEN THE TRUNK!!!” cuz we all can’t think that for ourselves… right? But this isn’t just about an obnoxious piece of shit motor mouth jackass… No, this waste of skin brought a dog that he’d taken from a shelter just a couple of weeks prior. One of those “unadoptable dogs” that was mean and had a never-ending penchant for BARKING AT THE SLIGHTEST GODDAMN REASON – and the prick brought it to this event!

Now, I get it, this is an outdoor event. Perfect sort of outing to do with one’s “best friend,” but make sure that furred rat can be a peaceful happy silent dog…. But NoooOOoOOooOOoooOOOo!

This guy drove Nicky Katt and I absolutely crazy. Father Geek stayed in the Argo – with the radio tuned into the Alamo’s broadcast and thus had a perfect experience, but I like to see this stuff with nothing between me and the stars above but a couple of police helicopters and a blanket of smog, dammit!

Then after the film itself played, during the Q&A – I didn’t get to hear any of it, due to a group of folks that wanted to come up and chat with me. I met some cool folks, but dang it… I was there to hear the Q&A… That was Tracey Walter up there answering questions dammit, I want to hear what he said!

What do I think of REPO MAN? I love it. It’s one of those films that somehow makes Emilio Estevez super-cool. The look and feel of the film is just dead on perfect. It’s one of those bizarre cheapie films that never fails to entertain. Just the performances of Harry Dean Stanton, Tracey Walter, Sy Richardson, Del Zamora and Dick Rude… well they have me laughing no matter how many times I see this flick.

Then there’s all the layers of just pure geekness… whether it be just the similar looks of characters to real life counterparts, or the funny takes on titles of books like Dianetics – or the goofy UFO and Alien humor. Then there’s just the idea that they make Repo Men seem cool! And that’s just.. unbelievable. And fun. Then there’s Iggy Pop’s theme song which just owns. Not to mention just the very fun soundtrack that is laid in on top of this thing.

REPO MAN is just one of THOSE cult films that continues to get more and more fun. Ultimately – even though there were so many personal distractions – this was a very fun screening… and as long as you weren’t sitting in direct earshot of the jackass and his mutt – you probably had a great great time.

I wish I could fill you in on the Q&A, but like I said – I was completely inundated with folks when this went on. So – if you were at the event and caught the Q&A – share some bits in the talkback below. I’m sure it was absolutely killer.

Right now, I’m in Medford, Oregon – slowly making our way towards Astoria, OR for tonight’s screening of GOONIES with Corey Feldman! Hope to see some of my Seattle friends there tonight. After all it is going to fucking own. And soon, I’ll have the update on how the Amazing screening of BULLITT went in San Francisco! As for me, I’m ready for the Truffle Shuffle and my Baby Ruth bar! Meanwhile – Enjoy Father Geek’s Photo Essay on the 5 block area surrounding our screening of REPO MAN. Pretty damn awesome!

Readers Talkback
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  • Sept. 1, 2005, 3:34 a.m. CST

    "Look at 'em, ordinary flippin people, I hate 'em."

    by crazyeyezkillah

  • Sept. 1, 2005, 3:36 a.m. CST

    Put it on a plate

    by BannedOnTheRun

    It'll taste better.

  • Sept. 1, 2005, 3:50 a.m. CST

    People who talk at the flicks...

    by Rumpledink

    People who talk, chat on phone, eat popcorn or take a baby to the cinema should to be dragged outside and shot! A cinema facist I may be, but at least I'll be able to enjoy the fucking film! If you are one of the above then I hate you!

  • Sept. 1, 2005, 4:09 a.m. CST

    Eat popcorn?

    by crazyeyezkillah

    I don't even like popcorn, but people eating it doesn't bother me. You must be some kind of asshole.

  • Sept. 1, 2005, 4:19 a.m. CST

    but what about the little baby?

    by Rumpledink

    of course I am an asshole! I do admire how you want to save the popcorn guy but not the woman and child from a gun shot.

  • Sept. 1, 2005, 5:32 a.m. CST

    Damn it Harry, words cannot describe how jealous I am

    by ThisIsTheGirl

    ...After hearing this mentioned on AICN recently, I thought I'd get the dvd. WOW - what a film Repo Man is!! I was disappointed at the lack of extras on the DVD, and I'm sure a few scenes had been removed or altered, although I hadn't seen the movie in a long time. Anyway - I think this movie rocks, and it's clearly been one of Tarantino's many influences - the character of Lite was straight out of Pulp Fiction!! By the way - has there been a competitio to win that poster? Because I want it, and I want it bad.....

  • Sept. 1, 2005, 9:37 a.m. CST

    bad ass

    by BurlIvesLeftNut

    those pictures make LA look like a haunted house.

  • Sept. 1, 2005, 9:48 a.m. CST


    by Banky the Hack

    Sure that's not a niece? Dude, get that kid a haircut...seems like a cool kid other than the flowing Fabio mane.

  • Sept. 1, 2005, 9:51 a.m. CST

    This Rolling Roadshow stuff is fantastic...

    by JAGUART

    Harry, this is some of your best stuff ever..

  • Sept. 1, 2005, 10:04 a.m. CST

    The more you drive, the less intelligent you are...

    by JackBurton

    What the Hell has happened to Tracey Walter anyhow? That man used to show up in almost everything cool for years, and now I haven't hardly seen him in anything (much less anything good) for a few years now. Massively under rated and under used actor. And double that for Harry Dean Stanton. ************************************************************************** A lotta people don't realize what's really going on, they view life as a buncha unconnected incidents 'n things. They don't realize that there's this, like, lattice 'a coincidence that lays on toppa everything. Give you an example, show you what I mean...suppose you're thinkin about a plate 'a shrimp. Suddenly someone'll say, like, "plate", or "shrimp", or "plate 'a shrimp" out of the blue, no explanation. No point in lookin for one, either. It's all part of a cosmic unconciousness...and John Wayne was a fag.

  • Sept. 1, 2005, 10:23 a.m. CST

    When are they going to release a decent DVD of this?

    by rev_skarekroe

    All I really want is the "Lorna Dunes" scene from the TV version. Is that too much to ask?

  • Sept. 1, 2005, 10:43 a.m. CST

    I can't believe i missed it.

    by AshesOfDonnie

    i'm a native Angelino and i realized I should've gone to the repo man screening. fuck!

  • Sept. 1, 2005, 10:46 a.m. CST

    "I don't want no Communists in my car! Or Christians!"

    by DocPazuzu

    Most quotable movie ever? Could be...

  • Sept. 1, 2005, 10:51 a.m. CST

    "Pernicious Nonsense!"

    by JAGUART

    I was inspired to reserve a copy from my local library. I probably haven't seen the film since the mid-80's.

  • Sept. 1, 2005, 11:13 a.m. CST

    Well, shit dude...

    by CerebralAssassin

    If you bring a 4 year old to fucking SKID ROW, of course they're going to be scared.

  • Sept. 1, 2005, 11:38 a.m. CST

    That pic of Harry's nephew...

    by Lou Stools

    I wonder for how many people that will be the last thing they see before being hacked to death. That kid is on a collision course with a Hannibal Lecter-like jail cell. He should be sent to New Orleans with the rest of the zombie hoards...cause Dawn of the Dead is happening for real down there. Christ!

  • Sept. 1, 2005, 11:38 a.m. CST

    Sorry to top you RighteousBrother but I once spent a night getti

    by workshed

    ...when my band was support for Strummer on the 'Rock Against the Rich' Tour back in 1988. As a matter of fact it was over two days in Doncaster and Sheffield. Alex joined us in Sheff and we just talked about films/Pogues/Clash all night. Zander was the guitarist in Joe's band after the Circle Jerks split but I'm sure you know him better as 'Kevin' in Repo Man. If there is a heaven I can't wait to see Joe again.

  • Sept. 1, 2005, 12:16 p.m. CST

    Aaaah yeah REPO MAN is always intense

    by Psycho_Kenshin

    Repo Man is one of the coolest movies ever. In my top 10 with the good shit. Emelio!!

  • Sept. 1, 2005, 1:46 p.m. CST

    Great fucking movie.

    by fiester

    "There's room to move as a fry cook, Otto."

  • Sept. 1, 2005, 2:57 p.m. CST


    by Right Bastard

    Damn! I had to get up for work, so I couldn't make it up from San Diego. I've seen Repo Man about 500 times, and would have loved to have been there. Sounded like fun!

  • Sept. 1, 2005, 4:32 p.m. CST

    Seriously? Repo Man?

    by quadrupletree

    Somehow that movie just doesn't seem to be in the same league as the other movies on this trip. We're talking that 80s movie with Emilio Estavez? No way you can group that in with North by Northwest, or even Goonies for that matter! That's a really cool picture of the ankle biter though.

  • Sept. 1, 2005, 6:42 p.m. CST

    I've brought up Straight To Hell, Sy Richardson's Norwoo

    by JackBurton

    Nobody listened though. In fact, as usual, most everyone had no idea what the fuck I was even talking about. Ah the fun of living surrounded by nothing but the culturally bankrupt cookie cutter popcorn zombie crowd...

  • Sept. 1, 2005, 9:42 p.m. CST

    Nice choice of words jackass

    by Jack Burton


  • Sept. 2, 2005, 7:55 a.m. CST

    Ha! I still have my TV version on video

    by evergreen

    And it is indeed the best version. "I think you killed him, Lite!!"........... "What if I did? " Frickin superb movie!! Definitely the most quotable movie ever, as DocPazuzu points out. Here's some more gold: "Tense situations, kid. You get into five or six of 'em a day, it don't mean shit anymore. I mean, I've seen men stabbed, didn't mean shit to me. I've seen guns, guns too, they don't mean shit. But that's when you gotta watch yourself." ...... "A lot o' people don't realize what's really going on. They view life as a bunch o' unconnected incidents 'n things. They don't realize that there's this, like, lattice o' coincidence that lays on top o' everything. Give you an example; show you what I mean: suppose you're thinkin' about a plate o' shrimp. Suddenly someone'll say, like, plate, or shrimp, or plate o' shrimp out of the blue, no explanation. No point in lookin' for one, either. It's all part of a cosmic unconciousness." Otto responds "You do a lot of acid, Miller, back in the hippie days?" .......... Bud: "Credit is a sacred trust, it's what our free society is founded on. Do you think they give a damn about their bills in Russia? I said, do you think they give a damn about their bills in Russia?" Otto: "They don't pay bills in Russia, it's all free." ........ "It happens sometimes. People just explode. Natural causes"

  • Sept. 2, 2005, 7:57 a.m. CST

    PS - that guy who spoke through the movie should have been shot.

    by evergreen

    'nuff said

  • Sept. 2, 2005, 12:41 p.m. CST


    by duanejones

    no question, an essential american film, even if it was made by some know-it-all brit. he thinks i'll kill him. and i would, too -- i'll kill any, well, it has been a few years since i saw it last. and what of cox' subsequent work, other than _s&n_? i sure did not dig on _highway patrolman_ but i must say, i consider _the winner_ extremely underrated. co-produced and featuring the luscious ms. de mornay, the self-absorbed v. d'onofrio and the ALWAYS underrated delroy lindo, it isn't perfect but i enjoyed it far more than any critic gave me any reason to suspect i would. what, you, too??

  • Sept. 2, 2005, 12:56 p.m. CST

    Talking during movies...

    by Spike Fett

    To be fair, REPO MAN is one of those films that had a lengthy run of midnight screenings, much like ROCKY HORROR and ROCK AND ROLL HIGH SCHOOL. Talking at the screen was not only tolerated but encouraged at these things. That's not to say this guy wasn't an annoying prick, but this film, moreso than the others, contributed to this behavior.

  • Sept. 2, 2005, 1:05 p.m. CST

    CBCCPZC in Concert

    by REDD

    "the culturally bankrupt cookie cutter popcorn zombie crowd" name for a band.

  • Sept. 2, 2005, 10:29 p.m. CST

    Audience Partici... pation!

    by Hokeybutt

    I'm one of those rare people who actually LOVES "Rocky Horror Picture Show" for itself... and not necessarily for the "live theatre" aspect of its midnight showings. I enjoy the movie very much when I see it in the privacy of my own home... on DVD... a lot of times during a midnight screening I wind up wishing people would shut the hell up during my favourite parts...

  • Sept. 3, 2005, 12:42 a.m. CST

    Sorry, but that shit is just incoherent

    by Olsen Twins_Fan

    Seriously, like 3 sentences in & I have no idea what the fuck you are talking about. Maybe it's the whiskey, but I doubt it.

  • Sept. 4, 2005, 4:13 p.m. CST

    It's quite telling that...

    by Hamish

    ... your nephew wasn't scared in the middle of nowhere where anything could be out there, but is scared in the middle of a large city. Says something about where we're headed.

  • Sept. 9, 2005, 11:19 a.m. CST

    Sy and Tracey Photos