January 18, 2016

We're on the Case in 2016

Some guys at the Smithsonian Institute poke around in file cabinets.

Congratulations, and welcome to the 'soft launch' for Kearney Investigations, LLC. We hope you enjoy your time here. There are lots of surprises in store this coming—

—You know what? Fuck it. I'm sorry. I'm not a writer. I like pictures. Pictures and facts. If I hadn't been a detective, I would've been a documentary.

Pla-Boy Liquor on Yucca Street in Hollywood, California
I'm relatively new at detective work, but I've always had a knack for getting into people's business. I call it outreach; I do outreach with retired actors. But it's hard to get interviews sometimes. Look at it this way: if some broad gives up show business decades ago to have a more fulfilling life, or whatever—then you can't expect her to do handstands because some rando internet dude wants to talk about a horror movie she made 30 years ago. It's a tough gig; the people I'm wanna talk to are the people least likely to wanna talk to me. I feel like Greenpeace canvasser, but, hell—there's a liquor store downstairs.

I operate entirely on a diet of curiosity, coffee, and Aspergers, so characteristically my Top 20 Obsessions are a mixed bag of the intriguing and—for some, the utterly forgettable.

Kristen Riter from STUDENT BODIES (1981) screams her head off
The Beast in the Cellar (1970) • Blood Mania (1970) and Point of Terror (1971) • Fleshpot on 42nd Street (1972) • Psycho Sisters (1974) • House of Psychotic Women (1974) • Spasmo (1976) • The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane (1976) Tintorera (1977) • H.O.T.S. (1979) • Dr. Jekyll's Dungeon of Death (1979) • Hammer House of Horror (TV, 198o) • Dr. Butcher M.D. (1980) • See China and Die (TV, 1981) • Student Bodies (1981) • The Demon (1981) • Boardinghouse (1982) • Night Train to Terror (1985) (and the Philip Yordan/Utah experience) • The Midnight Hour (TV, 1985) • Radioactive Dreams (1985) • Andy Milligan (1965 - 1989).

It bugs me that three-legged puppies like these aren’t hard to find. In fact, these flawed flicks have been consistently “in print” since birth. From your fuzzy, VHS-hued memories of a gorgeous video store horror section, to your late-night TV nightmares, and all the way through DVD, Amazon, Hulu, Netflix, YouTube, and beyond. You can even get some of ’em in packs of 50 for $5 from Suncoast Movie Company.

So, why all the mystery? How can a something end up on four different VHS labels, 16 different DVD ones, a budget compilation, and perhaps ultimately some unwatchable, 4:3 rendering on Amazon Primeyet nobody knows who produced it, how it got made, or whatever happened to the lead actress?

In the next few months, I hope to some shed light on the life of actor Peter Carpenter, and figure his story out. I'm also crazy about this shot-on-video horror movie called Boardinghouse (1982) (don't ask why) that I hope to uncover some dirt on. An equally random fascination of mine is something called Dr. Jekyll's Dungeon of Death (1979), this ingeniously awful karate/horror oddity shot in the late 1970's San Francisco. I already reached out to some principals, but they didn't wanna talk. I can't imagine why.

Oh, and I hope to check off at least one name on my interview wish list. Either Kristen Riter (STUDENT BODIES), Merideth Haze (NIGHT TRAIN TO TERROR), or Paula E. Sheppard (ALICE SWEET ALICE, LIQUID SKY).

Paula E. Sheppard? I'd have better luck getting a selfie with Bigfoot. Luckily, I don't know when to quit, so I'll most likely get to bottom of something.

My other hobbies include: urban sociology, cultural anthropology, boxing, drinking, and quitting smoking.

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