I always get strange looks when I tell people I had a very "small part" in a movie about John Holmes. But in the late 1980s a co-worker of mine at Joe's Record Paradise, Jeff Mentges, actually pulled off the feat of shooting a feature-length movie - on film! - a biopic based on the life of porn star John Holmes aka "Johnny Wadd". The mostly black & white feature had a brief run at The Biograph theater in Georgetown, Washington, DC and at the old American Film Institute (AFI) at the Kennedy center in DC. This Friday Of Flesh and Blood will once again rear it's gigantic, throbbing head at the AFI in Silver Spring, Maryland for a 20th Anniversary screening. Most of the cast is expected to show up. Of Flesh and Blood beat Boogie Nights by several years and Wonderland by several decades. Although shot on a minuscule (by comparison) budget with all the roles portrayed by non-actors (guilty as charged!) OFAB has some surprisingly effective moments. The murder scenes, for instance, are particularly disturbing and have much more of an impact to me than those in the big-budget Wonderland. Breon as "Johnny Wade" (the characters' names have been slightly changed to protect the innocent - from getting their arses sued!) is suitably trashy and Joe Lee's performance as club tycoon / alleged crimelord Eddie Nush (sic) is excellent. His portrayal of Nush / Nash comes across as much more believable than the ones in the other 2 aforementioned flicks. The original jazz/noise score by Jeff's post-punk band No Trend is also truly effective. I myself am only in the movie for about 5 minutes total, however my gorilla suit somehow has gotten more screentime than I did.
Local film documentarian Jeff Krulik, whos Heavy Metal Picnic played at AFI last Friday, sent out this press release email below:
In the late '80s, Jeff Mentges turned his attention from fronting infamous DC band No Trend to attending film school. Not content to graduate with a short film like the rest of his classmates, he decided to produce and direct a 16mm narrative feature film. The result: Of Flesh and Blood, a black-and-white noir retelling of porn star John Holmes' sordid descent into drugs, mayhem and murder. Shot for just $15K and featuring his former co-workers and denizens from Joe's Record Paradise, as well as beloved school janitor Al Breon in the starring role, the film had its grand premiere on August 15, 1990, at the Biograph Theater in Washington, DC. This special anniversary screening is as much a celebration of low-budget 16mm independent filmmaking before digital video took over as it is a 20-year reunion for everyone who was involved in making it happen.
Plus, for those No Trend fans out there, now's your chance to meet Jeff Mentges, in a rare local appearance. Also invited is the entire cast and crew, including Dr. Joe Sasfy, Dick Bangham, Steve Lorber, Cha Cha Lemeaux and Brian Horrorwitz of The Ubangis.
Below is a brief clip. As it states at the beginning this video was shot directly off of the editing machine screen and the actual film looks MUCH better than this which I can attest to. Also the intro music before the clip is not actually from the film itself.
A Scene From "Of Flesh and Blood" uploaded from Dave Nuttycombe on Vimeo.
Of Flesh and Blood screens this Friday, August 23rd, at the American Film Institute at 9:30pm, Rated R (although in this film there is no nudity nor sex per se it is still quite raw in the language dept. ie- they say "fuck" about a gazillion times.)
LINK: Of Flesh and Blood screening information at the American Film Institute can be found on their website at http://www.afi.com/silver/new/nowplaying/2010/v7i3/mars.aspx#offle