Sunday, March 31, 2013

A Night at the Magic Castle

Okay, The Blog lied last night. You're getting a post tonight, whether you want one or not.

Because, this evening, The PC accidentally got hit in the face with a great big 2x4 of nostalgia. And, he has to share it with you.

Way back in 1987, when The Blog Jr. was only a year old, your old Uncle PC did his very first feature film as "Make-up Department Head."

Department head? Hell! I was the only make-up artist on the film.

It was called "A Night at the Magic Castle."

Artie Johnson (Laugh-In) starred as the ghost of Harry Houdini, Blackie Dammit (Lethal Weapon and a slew of 1980s movie villains,) as the bad guy Blackstar, and "Children of the Corn's" Jonathan Franklin as his sidekick.

And that cute kid in the lead, Matt Shackman? By the time this movie was made, he had earned enough money to go to any university he chose, costarring as Wilfred Brimley's grandson in a bunch of Quaker Oats commercials.

Today, Matt is a prolific television director. Just this week, his work was seen as director of the 100th episode of "Psych."

It's not a great movie.

Who am I kidding?

It's not even a good movie.

But, it is far from the worst that I have ever worked on!

In fact, if it feels like this is an '80s porn movie without any porn, you are very astute.

The film's producer/director was Icak "Jerry" Tennenbaum an '80s porn producer/director who second mortgaged his home to do something for his kids.

It's a blatant rip-off  homage to "Peter Pan."

In case you don't catch on...

Houdini = Peter Pan

Max = Wendy

Blackstar = Capt. Hook

Twit = Smee

The Cellar Beast = The Crocodile

For all of it's not very goodness, it is a bit historic.

Before this movie was made, no film crew had ever been allowed inside the walls of "The Castle."

Back in the late 1970s, Bill Bixby starred in "The Magician." A magician/detective who lived above "The Magic Castle." The young PC loved that show. But, truth be told, aside from some exterior, establishing shots, the show never entered the castle, itself.

Over the last couple of posts, I have mentioned, in passing, the fact that I have, in my younger days, been a magician.

So, you can imagine the nerdgasm I got having the run of the castle after hours.

Tonight, while I was catching up on Matt Shakman's resumé, I discovered that the movie, in it's entirety, has been posted to YouTube.

I am watching it as I write this.

And, here's the thing...

I have NEVER seen this movie in it's completed form.

Until tonight.

So, The PC is feeling a little bit emotional, right now. But, I've just got something in my eye.

Not a good movie.

But, a sweet movie.

Produced with the best intentions.

The Blog doesn't know what became of Icak Tennenbaum.

He has heard rumor that this movie bankrupted him.

And, that's sad.

But, I am pretty of proud of Matt's success!

If you have just short of two hours to kill, you can watch "A Night at the Magic Castle" here.

And a message to "Invisible Irma" and "The Cellar Beast..."

It's been a while old friends!

Hopefully, I will snag some passes, soon, and come by to say "Hi!"

A postscript...

The video quality isn't great on this. The rather gnarly X shaped scare on Blackstar's cheek is virtually invisible here. I had originally pitched a more gruesome scar in pre-production, but was asked to dial it back. So, fine.

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