This is a piece I wrote two years ago regarding my relationship with my long-time friend and partner in crime, Dave Brockie, who died yesterday. David Murray Brockie, 50, was found dead in his bed Sunday afternoon by his roommate. I don’t have further details at this time. The last time Dave was in Charlotte he hugged me around the neck and said, “Man, I’ve been keeping up with all your stuff. I’m so proud of you, man. I’m a fan. You really got your name out there.” That affirmation meant a lot to me. Dave and I go back twenty-five years. Indeed, this is a sad day in music and a terrible loss – Of all the many people I know in rock-n-roll, Dave was the brightest, quickest, most intelligent and creative person I had ever met. To read more, go here:http://m.styleweekly.com/richmond/gwar-frontman-dave-brockie-has-died/Content?oid=2048548 I will, more than likely, be at the funeral in Richmond.
MY SYMBIOTIC RELATIONSHIP WITH GWAR
“Like a growth on the Cuttlefish of Cthulhu’s testicle”: a horror comedy in several acts.
BY MICHAEL G. PLUMIDES, JR.
GWAR and I go all the way back to 1990 – but I knew of the band before then. We had a copy of Hell-o on file at WUSC-FM. A high school friend of mine, Emily, went to Virginia Commonwealth University, so she was primarily responsible for turning me on to the gory theatrical outfit circa December 1987. GWAR was among her favorite RVA punk acts alongside Death Piggy, Mudd Helmut, The X-Cops, and the Alter Natives. Little did I know? I promoted my first GWAR show at the 4808 Club’s second and most viable incarnation on 7th Street in Uptown Charlotte on March 3, 1990, drawing several hundred people to their parody of torment supporting the release of their punk-metal aural assault, Scumdogs of the Universe.
The 4808 was shut down a month later after a L.A. Guns show on Easter Sunday, due to fire code infractions. Subsequently, I was forced out of that building; a historic old textile warehouse that has now been leveled to put up another parking lot. But being the stubborn, idiotic, glutton for punishment that I was, I opened a new club on 5th Street three months later in another old warehouse, also now leveled. Paramount had just shot some scenes from Jerry Bruckheimer’s dog shit racing film, Days of Thunder starring Tom Cruise, at that location (who incidentally, I met at a college party in Wilmington in 1986 – as throngs of poodle-haired Eastern North Carolina females stood in cue to offer Cruise lip service while a stoned Emilio Estevez looked on). I couldn’t wait to destroy the leftover set and use the building material for the new and soon-to-be ill-fated, 4808. I hated that dumb fucking movie, anyway – it represented everything I despised about the “World Class” shit hole that was my locale.
I had spent somewhere around sixty-thousand dollars up-fitting the new 4808 Club due to code enforcement – they were really up my ass with a magnifying glass, Sherlock Holmes-style, making sure I was in compliance. When I finally got the doors open, I was flat broke, writing bad checks for beer and hiding my Jeep Cherokee in the weeds from the repo man. So when I wrestled GWAR away from a rival club owner, I felt like a bandy rooster – it was going to be the show that bailed me out, or at least that’s what I hoped.
The GWAR crew was dirty when they arrived on Tuesday, September 18, 1990. As they loaded in blood spattered amp crates, and costumes covered in end trails, it occurred to me that I was in for a long night. My sound crew painstakingly covered all of the equipment with plastic. The stench of the stage props was inescapable as filthy, Bohemian art school weirdos prepared their alchemy.
That night, the club was at capacity. I wanted a big crowd. Be careful what you wish for. On stage, GWAR looked and sounded like something conjured right out of an H.P. Lovecraft novel. Oderus Urungus, the lead singer, (aka David Brockie) had the most vivid costume, vile yet brilliant. With a demon’s face, spiked shoulder pads, body paint, monster feet and hands, netted stockings, and a big fish like penis hanging from his groin he called “The Cuttlefish of Cthulhu” with a three-testicle scrotum sac suspended between his legs, Oderus’ “Omni-sexual” character was festering and oozing with presence. The other members of GWAR consisted of: “Balsac, The Jaws of Death” with cloven hooves and a metal bear-trap face, on guitar; “Beefcake the Mighty” dressed as an oversize breast-plated Macedonia warrior, on bass; “Jizmak, the Gusher” a Neanderthal, on drums, and “Flattus Maximus,” a primitive Viking on guitar (the legendary ax-man character now memorialized and retired after the tragic death of long-time GWAR guitarist, Cory Smoot) and, of course, there’s the slaves who do the band’s dirty work during the performance.
By this time, I was over capacity and absolutely slammed. Between keeping up with crowd control, door money, and bar money, I missed a lot of the show. Sometime during the performance, Oderus had sodomized a Catholic priest, and then shoved a giant crucifix in his sphincter. That was a big mistake.
None of it was real, and was all part of GWAR’s twisted, yet comical and debauched spectacle. I didn’t see it. Had I witnessed the event, I probably would have had a stroke, like my dad. But the show was also chocked full of satire and social commentary, no matter how grotesque, not to be taken literally. Try selling that to bunch of redneck cops. At the end of GWAR’s performance, Oderus sprayed a milky load on the crowd with the Cuttlefish of Cthulhu. The Urban Dictionary describes the stage prop as “Oderus’ sexual reproductive organ” resembling “a huge slug” with lips, which “spurts when excited.” Spurt it did, sealing my fate. As I counted the door money in my office, the club was raided. I had spied a couple of out-of-place mustaches in the crowd, a little too eager with their Nikons. ***
Daniel Sellers, Chief Alcohol Law Enforcement Detective, raided my office while I counted door receipts. Upon Sellers’ request, while in handcuffs, I lead him back to the dressing room where the band had just finished their encore and were taking off their costumes. The dressing room was steamy, close, and uncomfortable. Sellers spoke with authority, “Which one of ya’ll is the lead singer? Brockie, still in costume from the waist down, said indignantly, as if answering to roll call, “I’m the lead slave!” Sellers responded, “Well son, you’re under arrest for an obscene performance under North Carolina law.” Brockie bent over to take off his monster feet and the Cuttlefish, aiming his blood-crusted bare butt cheeks toward Sellers where the Detective then commented, “I could have gone all night without seeing that.” “Confiscate that fish, or penis, or whatever the hell it is.” Brockie interjected, “It’s the Cuttlefish of…” Sellers spat, “Put a plug in it, boy.” The policeman then asked me, “You got somethin’ we could put this thang in?” The Cuttlefish of Cthulhu was covered in fake blood and still dripping. One of my bartenders offered an old rusted mop pail. The police confiscated the stage prop carting “The Cuttlefish” and us out with it.
The cops were all chuckling among themselves, as if they were a bunch of kids who had just peed the pool. Brockie wasn’t surprised. His brand of sarcastic, sadistic mayhem was bound and determined to eventually piss the wrong folks off somewhere in the South. It was only a matter of time before some “Bible-Belt” yokels caught wind of GWAR’s theatrics, and these cops were ready to kick both of our asses up around our shoulder blades, especially after the national attention on the 2 Live Crew Nasty as They Wanna Be record store arrest in Florida. When Brockie and I were led out onto the street in handcuffs, the crowd was in an uproar. The scene was chaotic outside the 4808 Club, awash in punk rockers soaked in sweat and fake blood, blue-clad constables brandishing their nightsticks, and of course, the media, ready to report the whole scene as inaccurately as possible. A column of police cars were lined up outside the club blocking Fifth Street. And to add insult to injury, a police helicopter was hovering overhead with a spotlight to arrest me, Brockie, and a rubber fish.
The crowd became riotous, chanting anti-fascist slogans, and pushing up against the squad cars, resulting in a few more arrests. Brockie and I were then muscled into a squad car. “What am I charged with?” Brockie was a Canadian National and nervous about possible deportation. Detective J.H. Hurd of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Vice Squad, pulled a small pad out of his back pocket, and read him the charges: “Violating North Carolina Felony Criminal Statutes, more specifically, you’ve been charged with ‘Disseminating Obscenity,’ by simulating ejaculation with a two-and-a-half- foot latex penis, simulating sodomy, and eating feces, along with other misdemeanors.” Brockie pondered the charges for a moment, and queried, “You mean you can’t do that in North Carolina?” It was a night filled with cruel jokes.
Needless to say, the club was shut down and Brockie and I went to jail for the night during the moral hysteria of the PMRC years. I didn’t really know Dave all that well, and the first time we ever had any conversation was in an 8 x 10 holding cell as I stared at the back of his shaved head noticing the boot scars. And what circumvented us from getting to know each other then was a grunting homeless man who had defecated down his pant legs sitting three feet away. The Sheriff’s office thought it funny to put us all in there together – a small cinder block room with a metal door and little ventilation. One officer was kind enough to come in and spray Lysol, holding a towel over his own face, giggling, while the excrement oozed down this vagrant’s shoe. It was a blatant human rights violation. Dave and I certainly were in “a world of shit” that night. No question about it. “Raunchy Singing Act hits Wrong Note with Police,” was the headline. Nice. Catchy. Thanks, Charlotte Observer. The incident made MTV Music News, Billboard, Rolling Stone (alongside Dee Dee Ramone’s pot bust) Detroit Alternative Press, and the Associated Press picked it up too.
The story was one of those weird, water cooler stories – I didn’t leave my house for weeks. But it was the end, beautiful friend. It was the end of the 4808 Club, and GWAR was banned from North Carolina for a year. So, I left Charlotte and its aftermath behind and went where all the criminals go: Myrtle Beach, SC – the town that Kenny Powers made famous.
The incident did, however, spark international stardom, to a degree, for GWAR. The Charlotte raid was the catalyst – the springboard Dave needed to get to his band to next level, later making appearances on Joan Rivers, and Jerry Springer, among other TV and talk shows, and would eventually become favorites of Mike Judge’s Beavis and Butthead and MTV’s Headbangers Ball also darlings of Lonn Friend’s RIP Magazine. Later GWAR would make the hour-long video based on the arrests, the confiscation, and the summary execution of said Cuttlefish; the Grammy-nominated Phallus in Wonderland – right down to a cartoon version of Judge Richard Boner, who coincidentally couldn’t stop laughing at the pictures of Dave in costume. The family of midgets in the courthouse pew didn’t help much either. Dave’s remark to The Charlotte Observer regarding the band’s ouster was, “Judge Boner handed down a pretty stiff decision today.”
In a recent interview with Fred Mills – who in 1990 was the music editor for Charlotte weekly Creative Loafing, which covered the GWAR bust in great detail – he was reminiscent: “Loafing expressed outrage and dismay at the actions of the ALE agents, especially because they arrested the 4808 Club owner, Michael Plumides, along with Brockie. We already knew that Plumides had rubbed the authorities the wrong way by booking all the ‘unsafe’-type acts that other clubs wouldn’t book [metal, rap, hardcore punk], so our feeling was that he had been in their crosshairs for some time and the GWAR bust was a thinly veiled form of legal harassment.”
“We were kind of asked by the club to tone things down before the show, but of course we ignored them,” Brockie recalls today. “We were trying to provoke the situation. Why would you create a band like GWAR if you’re not trying to provoke people?” Brockie went on to say, “The legacy of the incident has definitely endured over the years and it’s one of the strongest GWAR legends,” admitting that, “getting arrested for making art is pretty funny. The weirdest part about it to me is that somewhere in Charlotte, in some lockup facility, there is the Cuttlefish of Cthulhu – the offending member, if you will – sitting in an evidence box.”
I hadn’t spoken to Brockie in a long time – I think it was the horn section on This Toilet Earth that deterred me from the band. During that period I was listening to a lot of Kyuss, Catherine Wheel, Consolidated, and Meat Beat Manifesto. I always had a soft spot in my heart for America Must Be Destroyed, because it was personal to me. I’d occasionally go and see the band and Dave would always put me on the list but we would never have time to talk, or I would leave early. Let’s be honest, I don’t often stay for the bands that I really do like.
After a series of ill-advised relationships, and personal failures spanning almost a decade, I had lost my direction. Starting with my father’s death in 1995, and never living anywhere more than a year or two, I grew this nomadic sense of boredom, malaise, and self-deprecation infused with a debaucher’s lifestyle. And the Georgia Board of Bar Examiners held up my application for so long, due to the GWAR incident among other things, by the time they allowed me to sit, I had forgotten everything. So I left Atlanta, and made my homecoming back to the Queen City. After several months back, my Jack Russell Terrier, Tyberius, was hit by a car. I knew it was coming. That fucking dog had a death wish. He’d been attempting to get himself killed for eleven years. But, he was the last beautiful thing left in my life, and now he was gone. By then, I had almost lost all hope. I was riddled with guilt, and felt indefinitely consigned to the tree of woe. But they say, “A man has to lose everything before he is truly free to be anything.” That’s when an idea popped into my head. I thought to myself, “Wait a second. I was part of a glorious time in music: The stuff of legend. I wasn’t just some shoe-gazing moron.” It was then I decided I would write about the 4808 Club.
The tale needed to be told the best way I knew how to tell it: raw and real. The era was highly under-documented. So, I set a schedule for myself. It was the first time in my life I actually had a schedule. And I would dedicate my book to Tyberius. Tyberius was my best friend and saw me through the tough times – he was a good boy. I owed him that. When I started writing KILL THE MUSIC, I found Brockie’s email address and let him know I was writing a book and a screenplay. He was receptive. We chatted a little about a warehouse in Richmond that he wanted to buy, and he committed to a film if I could get one made. I had already written a few short stories about Megadeth, Jane’s Addiction, Danzig, and Soundgarden so I weaved those together and expanded them a little.
Once released, I began working on the KILL THE MUSIC screenplay; I was also attaching as many folks as I could to raise interest. Dave didn’t like it when I mentioned the prospect of John Rocker, the infamous Atlanta Braves baseball player, appearing in the film as a character based on Ric Flair. Brockie said of Rocker, “I don’t want anything to do with your film if that racist asshole is gonna be in it. That guy is a fucking pig.” My response was, “Rocker’s not that much of a racist. Rocker’s actually a pretty good guy once you get to know him. And besides, Dave, you’re in the most offensive rock band in the Universe, and write songs like ‘Hard for a Tard’ and ‘Chinese Don’t Eat Cheese’… ‘Rock- n-Roll Never Felt So Good’ is about having sex with a girl with no arms or legs! The lyrics say you’re gonna fuck “her asshole with a piece of frozen shit.’ I won’t even mention, GWAR’s ‘Black and Huge’ – so you need to lighten up.” Then Dave said, “I’ve read everything you’ve sent me and it all sucks! Maybe you should consider taking some writing courses at your local fucking community college.” He was in what I refer to as “Oderus-mode” when the unbridled caricature of Dave without his morning coffee comes out. Then we didn’t speak for a while, even after the book was released, and I was depending on him to be behind it – but Dave pulled a no show.
After reading KILL THE MUSIC, Greg Green, General Manager at the Masquerade in Atlanta, called me in the fall of 2009 and told me how much he enjoyed the book and asked if he could do anything. I suggested maybe he could host a book signing at his club. Greg replied, “I’ve got GWAR here in October. Consider it done.” So we had a guerilla book signing at Masquerade without telling the band, and Greg put Dave and me back together for a photo op. I gave Dave and the band copies of the first edition, (a rush job – rife with errors but we couldn’t have a release party earlier that year without books so our hands were forced to release it prematurely). Dave told me later how much the band loved KILL THE MUSIC, despite the errors, and they thought it was clever and hilarious. I had never penned a book before, and the band’s praise was positive – Dave said Jizmak liked it, especially, and he couldn’t stop talking about it. (The second edition is absolutely flawless… well, almost, available on Amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/Kill-Music-chronicle-idealists-censorship/dp/1439234477). The following year I covered GWAR at Bonnaroo in June of 2010 for Blurt. A note about Bonnaroo – that shit is for the young unless, of course, you have a hotel room close to the KOA back gate and a “Guest Parking Pass”. Write that down. So Dave and I got together again twenty years later in Manchester, Tennessee for the South’s biggest music festival. Anne and I got the last motel room at the Scottish Inn, owned by the Patel’s directly across from a Best Western with a bombed-out meth lab in it and police tape on the perimeter. We didn’t mind that there was a chalk line on the floor in our motel room. The air-conditioning blew cold and offered a well-needed respite to that one hundred degree heat.
Dave was enjoying some revitalized notoriety in the role as “Intergalactic Correspondent” on Greg Gutfield’s Red Eye program on FOX NEWS, which I always thought was ironic. The same right-wingers trying to put GWAR’s lights out decades ago, are now embracing them? Fancy that? I was fucking jealous that he was getting off light. I was also curious to see how long it would last. Dave said of the experience, “Greg’s great and it’s a ton of fun being on the show. I am part of the Red Eye family and it’s really cool. They love GWAR and I don’t give a shit that it’s on Fox News. Most people end up watching the clips on YouTube anyway. But I would say this is a good example of us being good businessmen for once. We took a one-shot deal and turned it into a recurring thing. I hope I am on Red Eye forever as long as I get my own show at some point.” A year later, Dave made his last appearance on Red Eye.
Rumor had it that the Red Eye staff was constantly hiding Dave from Bill O’Reilly – afraid that Oderus, sans pants, would impale “Mr. Fair and Balanced” with his monster of cock by accident as he turned the corner. Truth of the matter was, Vice-Presidential nominee, Sarah Palin caught wind of her likeness’ nightly decapitation and disembowelment on stage, while GWAR toured. The band was celebrating their 25th anniversary with the Lust in Space release on Metal Blade reuniting with the label after a twenty year hiatus.
The Alaskan Governor and Fox News political pundit had a little problem with Oderus playing politics with her corpse; so did a lot of people at Fox. It was almost like Gutfield’s time slot of 4 AM hid Greg’s pension for alternative programming from the red eye of Soron until the joke wore a little too thin among the early rising wing-tipped types and aged, angry veteran viewership begging for the Cold War era to return – you know, the ones who call Obama “That Muslim”. Meanwhile, the release of my memoir was “well-received” according to my fair-weather friends at The Charlotte Observer, to some decent reviews. Of course, there were a few jerk off reviewers who took offense to the sexual content. I believe that resentment stemmed from a fan boy mentality – guys who never lived in the era of “Sex, Drugs, and Rock-n-Roll” – so they had no point of reference because they were too preoccupied with Todd McFarlane’s Spawn while they listened to GWAR, to notice girls.
Devin Grant of the Charleston Post and Courier wrote, “…If you’re just looking for a good read about the weird, wild world of the music business, then KILL THE MUSIC is highly recommended.” John Gary Nettles, long-time Athens, GA fixture at The Flagpole wrote, “As a manifesto against censorship, KILL THE MUSIC, fails completely. As a chronicle of the ’80’s alternative scene it’s no PARTY OUT OF BOUNDS, but it serves. But as a memoir of someone who did something you and I will never be able to do, it works…” John B. Moore, writer at InnocentWords.com called it, “… possibly the best memoir written this year by a guy you’ve never heard of.” It was safe to say that KILL THE MUSIC was a punk rock underground hit and although self-publishing at the time was considered “vanity press”, I still got my name out there in the stream of commerce without Simon and Schuster. There were some rumors floating around that I hired a “Ghost Writer”. When I heard that, it made me want to write something original, and as there was no money in self-publishing, I turned to screenwriting. And I milked those photos of Dave and me to death on Facebook to support sales of KILL THE MUSIC – which, coincidentally did well on both Kindle and Amazon for a time in 2010 and early 2011, making a number of “Top 20” categories in “censorship”, “rock”, “punk” “metal” and “memoirs”. I always wanted to make a KILL THE MUSIC film (available here: http://www.amazon.com/Kill-Music-chronicle-idealists-censorship/dp/1439234477). I thought what better way to fund it than make a successful horror franchise.
By this time I was deep in the throes of developing GHOST TREK, a horror-comedy concept sprung forth from the head of Zeus after watching marathon episodes of paranormal reality shows. In late 2009, I absorbed myself in Ghost Adventures, Paranormal State and Ghost Hunters International. In one particular episode, a team was looking for the “Ghost of Robin Hood”- who is a fictional character for the most part – and I thought that was so stupid. Although the investigators use a number of electronic devices to detect these supposed entities, there’s no valid scientific approach. A lot of it is based on personal experiences like a ‘cold spot’ or an unintelligible ‘EVP’ (Electronic Voice Phenomena).
They basically created their own mythology regarding how the research is conducted, almost like in Ghostbusters, and viewers are fascinated by it. Some of the investigators even incorporate what I call “Guerrilla Ghost Hunting Tactics” to provoke the spirits into materializing when they lock themselves in old prisons or sanitariums for optimum effect. I think people want to believe in the paranormal so much, they throw reason out the window.
On Ghost Adventures, a muscled Zak Bagans, the lead investigator, flexed his arm in camera view and said, “Look at the goose bumps on my arm, dude.” I laughed to myself – it was really more about Zak’s muscle than it was about the paranormal. What Bagans was really saying was, “Check out the goose bumps on my guns, dude”. I wrote an entire feature script around that line, entitled Ghost Trek: Confederate Ghouls, a story about a ghost hunt at an old house adjacent to a Confederate cemetery in South Carolina where the restless spirits of Confederate soldiers are antagonized and rise from the grave to kill the investigators. How utterly hilarious would that be? The script was funny and the characters were all founded in paranormal reality TV. There’s a good-looking lead investigator (who’s an ex-chiropractor), his ex-girlfriend is the showrunner, there’s a security team called the “Goon Squad”, there’s a flamboyant psychic, a couple of stoner tech specialists, and a cute, bubbly, investigator-in-training. I felt it had to be character driven and familiar, but more like Clerks or Entourage meets Scooby Doo than Ghost Hunters. In case I couldn’t get the feature made, I wrote six television episodes to keep my options open, the first being loosely based on the JonBenet Ramsey case, entitled, Ghost Trek: The Kinsey Report, where the Paranormal Underworld Detective Society (PUDS) travel to Aspen, Colorado to investigate a supposedly ‘cursed’ house where a young pageant girl was strangled with a jump rope.
Another episode investigates the “Ghost of Ike Clanton” in Tombstone’s Not A Pizza, a third where a rapper is resurrected by a voodoo priestess after he is shot in a drive-by entitled, Zombie Straight Outta Compton, and one based on the bizarre New York mortuary case called The Goomba Body Snatchers. After all, the tagline is “paranormal research with an emphasis on bad taste”. We shot the pilot in December of 2010, with some additional footage in March of 2011, and completed the final edit by May, just in time to screen at the summer horror conventions. I hand-picked most of the cast from local indie film screenings. As there were certain budgetary constraints and I couldn’t afford to do a SAG/AFTRA film, we had little choice other than to use unknowns, reality stars and wrestlers. We had some preliminary casting calls in the summer of 2010 for the feature. I did pick one rising young starlight, Julia Bullock (recently featured on X-Factor singing “Pumped Up Kicks”) who was in high school at the time, for the role of our cute college newbie Jules Partridge. Robert Filion, my co-director and producer, had a guy he used occasionally, a full-time cop and part-time thespian, Michael Melendez, I hired for the lead role of ‘Dr. Zeke Wallace’.
Another great comedic actor, Brett Gentile (Seeking Justice, You Are Here) I hired as Guy Swisher, the psychic. Glenn Gilbertti, otherwise known as the wrestler Disco Inferno, was a friend of mine and he agreed to be in the pilot. After seeing a post on Glenn’s page, I was hit up on Facebook by Jonny Fairplay (Survivor) inquiring “What is Ghost Trek and can I be in it?” I hired Fairplay as one of the “stoner tech specialists” and he brought on his Survivor associate, Mike Bortone, wrestler Colt Cabana, and Gia Allemand (The Bachelor who died recently of a suicide) . I cast Zeke’s side love interest, model Cora Deitz (K-Swiss ads with Danny McBride) as Svetlana, actor Kevin Johnson as Weasel, the kleptomaniac cameraman, Christy Johnson (Tobe Hooper’s Mortuary) as the ‘Living-Dead Roller Girl’ case manager called Scary Carrie Carmichael and lastly, Addy Miller (the iconic “Little Zombie Girl” from The Walking Dead) as the ghostly pageant princess Tyler Rae Kinsey.
When I saw Addy in the opening scene of Dead, I knew we had to get her – I thought she would be the next Linda Blair. I was right. Addy now has her own Halloween “The Walking Dead Animatronic” for sale in all Spirit Halloween and Party City stores. Convinced horror-comedy was the untapped commodity that TV needed, I did tons of research so I knew everything there was to know: Who was doing it, where they lived, and what they ate. I’m tenacious like that.
I first heard that David Gordon Green (Pineapple Express) had acquired the rights to the 80’s art slasher film, Suspiria. Then I heard about Ghostbusters 3 stalling. Then I heard about this guy, Adam Green (Hatchet, Frozen), who was originally optioned by Comedy Central for a show called Holliston which was now at FEARnet, about a couple of cable access horror show guys played by Green with his partner, Joe Lynch. And guess who plays Green’s imaginary friend who lives in his closet? Dave Brockie – AKA Oderus Urungus. No shit. We’re both doing horror-comedy now. Well, Dave was always doing horror-comedy but it was normal to me because I’ve been an interested party for two decades.
Coincidentally, GWAR released their new album, Bloody Pit of Horror – their last album with the aforementioned Cory Smoot, AKA Flattus Maximus, who died on the band’s tour bus en route to Canada in 2011. The incident made national news and sent Dave into a tailspin. As I examined his photos on line I could see he was drastically losing weight. When I asked him about it, he said, “Dude, if you had the year I had, you’d be either skinny or dead.” No thanks. I felt sorry for him. Dave had already told me the Canadian authorities had a file on him and it was a pain in the ass to renew his passport.
Imagine showing up on the border with the corpse of your friend discovered by the patrol officers. I’m sure Dave had a lot of explaining to do. But the outcry of the fans in support of the band was overwhelming, and people came out to the shows en masse. I’m sure that was gratifying to an extent for Dave. There were also rumors of the bands ultimate demise – but I knew Dave. He wasn’t quitting. Dave would resiliently rebound as he’s done countless times before. (above: Oderus with author Plumides) I wrote, produced, and co-directed, GHOST TREK: THE KINSEY REPORT and won “Best Comedy” at Fright Night Film Fest – believe me, I wasn’t expecting it. The horror folks really embraced the concept. We also won a “2011 Silver Addy Award” for “Best Film Presentation Package”, a “Daily Deviant” from www.deviantart.com for a promotional photo designed by Associate Producer, Justin Kates, and lastly we won the “Viewer’s Choice Award” at Mad Monster Party 2012 and hosted a make-up exhibition with Conor McCullagh from SyFy’s Face Off, which was a huge success.
I put it all together from scratch and I promoted the shit out of it, grass roots, treating Ghost Trek like it was an indie band on the road, driving to horror conventions and stirring up fan interest. Fuck, if I could put on rock-n-roll shows nightly, for years, I figured I could make a movie, and promote it. Now we’re enjoying some notoriety on www.dreadcentral.com/ghost-trek, as our very popular webisode presentations have been airing for the month of October to rave reviews – with the fourth episode of the award-winning GHOST TREK: THE KINSEY REPORT having it’s finale’ on Monday, October 29th. Described by Fearnet.com as “Haunted hilarity…” and by FilmThreat.com as “Ridiculously entertaining…” we’ll also premiere GHOST TREK on October 29th in its entirety at Crownpoint Cinema in Charlotte, NC for the first time – in high definition, no less, along with the Canadian indie darling hit, A LITTLE BIT ZOMBIE for a “Double Creature Feature”. Holliston [Dave with Adam Green above] ran its first season to favorable reviews among the horror faithful, on Fearnet, and the series was optioned for a second season. My buddies at Dread Central call the show, “laugh out loud funny” as a “twisted mash up of situation comedy, horror fan hijinks, and heavy metal attitude.” The Holliston Complete First Season on Blu-Ray was just released, said to create, “…a new raucous band of humor that’s unlike anything seen before.” The sitcom comes equipped with 70’s style canned laughter, which is a little irritating at times but is entertaining, over all. Joe’s Lynch’s “adorably demented girlfriend” Laura (Laura Ortiz, The Hills Have Eyes) joins Adam’s ex – and greatest heartbreak of his life – Corri (Corri English, Unrest) in rounding out an ensemble cast of this hilariously original and offbeat re-imagining of the traditional American sitcom that has comedy and horror fans loving its hard hitting laughs, tremendous heart, and slapstick violence.
Co-starring Twisted Sister lead singer Dee Snider as the glam rock loving boss “Lance Rockett” and Dave Brockie, Holliston: The Complete First Season is filled with cool and crazy cameos and wickedly sly inside jokes – it’s a bloody good time!
In a recent chat with Dave Brockie on Legendary Rock Interviews, he was quick to say about his Holliston experience, “It was pretty amazing to be involved in. Adam Green is the director and creator of the series, along with Joe Lynch. I was a fan of “Hatchet” and knew of him through his body of work but also through Kelli Malella at Metal Blade Records. Adam, I feel so bad for him, he was so pathetic as a child. He used to set up all of his action figures like they were a fake audience and he would play air guitar for them and he’d always play the GWAR song, “The Road Behind”. They used the song in Holliston. I gotta give him credit for that. It was a ballad, but it’s a great song and he had a pathetic crush on a girl at the time. I met him through Kelli at our label and he came to see us when we’d play L.A. and he kept coming to see us and we kept having dinner before the shows and we ended up talking about this show he had.” Dave went on to say, “Oh, cool, Oderus in the closet, giving advice, he’s like the fucking Great Gazoo off The Flintstones, that’s fuckin great.” Then I kind of filed it away. Adam came back later with a guy named Peter Block who was the president of Fearnet and that was when I could really tell that something was definitely happening.” On Monday, October 22nd, GWAR [see live photos, above] played in Charlotte, NC with DevilDriver, and I was there, mostly to see Dave and for us to get one of our many photo ops – but also to pick his brain a little. Just fresh from Rock and Shock, where they shoved Danny Trejo, and Bill Moseley in a meat grinder for the horror fans, the band was on tour to also debut their Flattus replacement, “Pustulus Maximus” – the latest addition to the GWAR menagerie. In full costume Dave hugged me for a moment, and said, “Dude, what you’ve been doing is amazing – getting your name out there. I’ve been keeping up with all of your shit, with Ghost Trek and the magazine. I’m a fan, dude. I even answered one of your posts on Fearnet about Holliston. The stuff on Dread Central is awesome. I applaud all of your efforts. I read about everything you do. Please don’t leave, Mike. Hang out after the show. We really need to talk.” We got off a few photos and then the band started. During the set, I was actually surprised and even more excited to hear them play, “Rock-N-Roll Never Felt So Good“.
After the show, Dave invited me up to Richmond in January. He also invited me to produce on a project he has in mind, and he’s expressed interest in furthering my efforts with a Kill the Music film. In a weird way, Dave and I are like family, who don’t necessarily see each other that much, but pick right up where we left off – what Dave referred to as “Kindred Spirits”. When I asked Dave to help me get my book adaptation made, Dave replied, “When have I ever turned you down?” My response? “John Rocker.” Dave quipped, “Oh, we’ll that’s understandable.” But when I told Dave that John Rocker had lost much of his fortune recently and is now living with his African-American girlfriend, Dave’s gleefully responded, “Wow, that’s ironic.” It seems like GWAR has “…been in my life for so long, I don’t know anything else,” as Ellen Ripley once said of the Alien. I am tethered to GWAR, to the point I feel like a growth on the Cuttlefish of Cthulhu’s testicle… and that, in itself, is strangely validating. Michael G. Plumides, Jr. is the author of Kill the Music, creator and intellectual property holder of Ghost Trek and Psychic Brats, also a Creative Consultant on Clive Barker’s Nightbreed Television Series in development at Morgan Creek Productions. For further information, please visit www.michaelplumides.wordpress.com,https://www.facebook.com/michaelplumides, or http://michaelplumides.tumblr.com/