Thursday, May 29, 2008

Good Karma and the Joys of Moose Jaw

Last month I was up in Canada where a movie I was producing (GRACE) was shooting. When I first got word that we would be shooting in Canada I was really excited as my stops for HATCHET in Montreal and Toronto were some of my best memories of my "Blood and Belt Sanders World Tour '07". But then they told me that we would be shooting in Regina (pronounced like "vagina"). Though my first reaction was to correct the person telling me this ("don't you mean...Regeena?") unfortunately for me and the few thousand people who live is in fact pronounced like "vagina". So after numerous jokes with my friends about me shooting in 'Regina' I was on my way. I woke up early, got my bags all packed and even fully shaved my face for the first time in years. (I figured I'd try the clean shaven look, not to mention the fact that I was hoping with a fresh start- I would be able to make the whole shoot without having to shave once.) So with my face full of open cuts and painful slices... I kissed Rileah goodbye, gave the cats a solid patting, and left.

Now, I can't leave the house without bad shit happening to me. As many of you may remember reading in my various blogs about flying... it never goes like it should. Whether it's a little girl smacking me in the face repeatedly with her doll, a Hassidic Jewish boy vomiting profusely into clear ziplock freezer bags in the seat next to me, or hearing groans and having hand lotion shot all over my arm from the seat in front of me... me and flying just don't mix. But this time- the bad badness found me before I even got on the fucking plane. In fact- I wasn't even fully off of my front step.

It's important to note that I live in a nice section of Hollywood in a residential area by the entrance to a popular canyon/dog park. In almost 8 years of living in this area I have never once been hassled by a homeless person or been made to feel nervous by anything happening in the local vicinity. So you can only imagine the horror on my face when a man who looked like a cross between a USA For Africa commercial and Zelda from PET SEMETERY came charging up to me at full speed screaming "HELP ME, GOD!"

At this point in the story I would like to take the time to acknowledge my brave limo driver who not only dropped my luggage but actually did his Ben Johnson 40 yard dash back into the limo to hide and lock the doors. Thanks, man. I had it covered.

I look at this poor distraught man and thought "what the fuck do I do?" I assumed that by the way he was running and screaming that there must be something far worse coming behind him. Perhaps a robber? A serial killer? A team of rabid Nazi squirrels? No... it was way worse.

"Hello, Sir." He said through panted breathes. "My name is ______ and I am a homosexual man living with full blown AIDS." Instantly my heart went from fear to absolute agony for this poor man. He looked like a skeleton, he was sweating profusely, and his eyes were wide with terror. I asked him what he was running from and what was wrong. "As you can see..." and he turned around ... "I am bleeding profusely from the rectum and I need to get a prescription filled at Rite Aid immediately." Down the back of his pants- fresh blood had collected.


"Please, Sir- I need help! I'm going to die!"

So I asked him- "What do you need?" He held out a doctor's prescription for some pretty pricey medical suppositories. "I need enough money to cover this prescription. I live with my grandmother and she has left town and didn't leave me any money. I can't even get into the house."

Thankfully when I travel, I keep a lot of cash on me. So I took out my wallet and handed him what he needed. His desperation turned to relief and in his joy, he then grabbed me in a bear hug, jumped up and down, and yelled "thank you, oh God, thank you!" He pressed his face against mine, tears in his eyes.

Now, before I completely ruin this touching moment, let me just cut back in time about 25 minutes and remind you of the open cuts ALL OVER MY FACE AND NECK. Now I know the chances of getting any sort of disease through sweat/cuts/contact are pretty much slim to none... but that doesn't mean that I want to risk it. To be completely honest, I'm a fairly stand-off guy when it comes to physical affection from strangers. I don't like people I don't know touching me, hugging me, or kissing me. It's one thing when a female fan wants to hug me at an appearance, kiss me on the cheek, or pose for a picture with their arms around me... not a problem. But I'm not a huge fan of sweaty dudes dry humping me, whether it be at a horror convention or on the street in front of my house... let alone distraught, sweaty AIDS victims with blood all over themselves. For those that have met me at appearances or conventions, you'll notice that I even leave the bottle of anti-bacterial lotion right out there on the signing table. It's not because I think you're dirty... it's because if I have to shake a few hundred hands a day, fly on planes for long stretches, and stay in random hotels every night. I just don't want to get sick or pass it on to every fan who comes up for an autograph. It's just the sanitary thing to do.

So yeah... I sorta freaked out and politely pushed the man away. And of course... he took great offense.

"Sir, it's not like you can get AIDS from me hugging you!"

"No, that's not it!" I explained. "It's just that I'm not a big fan of strangers touching me- I'm weird like that. Just not a real affectionate guy. I didn't mean any offense!" But in my head I'm thinking: YOUR SWEAT IS NOW ALL OVER MY FACE, ARMS, AND NECK! DON'T YOU SEE THE HALF DOZEN OPEN WOUNDS ON MY SKIN YOU ASSHOLE!?

I apologized up and down and told him he didn't need to thank me. Just to take the money and go take care of himself and that I wished him luck.

He ran off down the street, holding the back of his pants, yelling: "You're a good man, Sir! Good karma is going to come to you!"

I got in the limo.

"Everything alright out there?" Said my brave driver.

"Thanks for fucking nothing, douchebag." I said.

He saw the vast amounts of sweat all over me. "Would you like... a towel?"


And I was off on my way to the airport.



So I fly into Calgary where I am supposed to transfer to another flight into Regina. I wait through a 2 hour layover- desperately just wanting to get to my destination and shower/change my clothes. But when I finally go to board the plane, I am stopped by the attendant.

"Sorry sir, this flight is actually overbooked now and you won't have a seat on it. We'll get you out tomorrow morning at 7am, if that's OK with you."


I politely asked: "But... I really need to get there tonight. Why don't I have a seat?"

She responded: "Well this is just how we operate on Air Canada. Most flights are overbooked."


I hung my head. I mean, what was I to expect? An easy, relaxing travel experience? Of course not. I got ready to find a hotel or to just suck it up and sit in the airport all night long.

But then...

"Sir... you can take my seat. I don't need to fly out tonight. I can wait until tomorrow." An old man stepped forward and INSISTED that I take his seat on the plane!

Karma had come to find me!!!!

I arrived in Regina where I was met by one of the local Producers. I was excited beyond belief to get to the hotel and take a shower. But apparently, I had forgotten that they didn't put me in a hotel for this show... they had rented me my own house. Sure, that sounds awesome- but only until the Producer said goodnight and left me there... alone.

That's when I discovered that this house had a basement. Now, I have very few rules in life, but one of them is FUCK BASEMENTS. Nothing "good" has ever happened in a basement. In fact, more often than not, basements are a breeding ground for evil and sin. I don't like them. Some people can appreciate a good basement- I am not one of them.

So I showered and went right to bed. Everything was going great until about 15 minutes later when I could hear the floor boards creaking throughout the house. I wrote about this in a previous blog- but I was pretty much convinced that the souls of dead children were climbing out of the evil basement and looking for me. After all- the only houses that get RENTED are houses that no one wants to live in because of "what happened" there... in the BASEMENT! I know some of you are thinking "but don't you make horror movies? " YES. And that's precisely why I am so good at scaring the living shit out of myself when left alone. Some day I'll tell you about the deformed old man who stands over my bed at night- or the time that my dead eight-year-old self jumped on me in the middle of the night... but this blog is already obscenely long and we still have to cover Moose Jaw.

The next morning I got up, having slept a total of 15 minutes and having lost my voice from screaming out "DAMN YOU TO HELL DEAD KIDS, YOU'LL NEVER GET ME!" all night long. I showed up for the production tech scout with black circles under my eyes and AIDS all over my face.

From that point on, the shoot was pretty much status quo. But then the production rolled into Moose Jaw.

Moose Jaw is sort of like a college town... with no college in it. The local crew that we worked with and the folks that we interacted with on a professional level were all great people. But on one of the nights off, we made the mistake of going out to celebrate some of the crew member's birthdays.

The first bar we went to was a kareoke bar. We sat down, ordered a few Canadian beers and sat back to enjoy the show. It was only then that we realized that the cast of singers all had some sort of disability. In fact, it was as if a special needs field trip had gotten lost and taken these people to a kareoke bar for the night. Singer after singer got up there with some sort of serious legitimate mental handicap or other personal issue. It was just... odd. Awesome for these singers that they were out and living it up- but just not what you typically see in a bar setting.

"Hey you!" I heard an old man speaking loudly. I assumed he couldn't be talking to me, I mean, I don't even know any old men in Moose Jaw.

"You there. In the Metallica shirt." Yep. He was definitely talking to me.

"You want to step outside and fight?" I looked back at him. he was 70.

I smiled, looked at my watched, and smiled again. "Nah. That's OK, thank you."

He looked at the rest of the crew sitting around me. "What about them? Anybody here want to fight?"

"Nah, man. They're good. But thank you." I said.

And he left. He wondered over to another table. And eventually... yes. He found another guy who obliged him outside in a fight. It was sorta sweet... in that Moose Jaw sorta way.

Before I could get invited to any more fights or watch any more of my favorite Celine Dion songs get raped on stage... my group and I left and went to a different bar.

This one was way classier and had much more happening. Like the knife fight on the street in front of the entrance. We made our way past that unscathed, but inside it was all of the worst nights of college drinking rolled into one bar. There was not a person in there that wasn't HAMMERED beyond HAMMERED. And I'm not talking about loud, obnoxious drunks or crying girls saying "am I fat?!" over and over again. I mean- fall down, piss drunk, 'where the fuck did my teeth go' sort of wasted. As we'd say in Boston: "These dudes were fahkin' COCKED, kid!" Within the next 20 minutes we saw FOUR other fights break out.

One of them was between a dude and himself.

He lost.

Cory (one of my producing partners at ArieScope) decided that he was going to stay behind and crash with one of the camera crew guys as (being from Montana) I think he actually felt a touch of home in that bar. He handed me the keys and told me to just drive back to Regina without him.

I said my goodbyes and got me the fuck out of there. I'd like to say that the night's weirdness was over- but it wasn't. I had to drive an hour back to Regina with two Serbian girls that our DP had picked up at church (??!?). Lovely women and quite funny- but once they learned that I had been with my girlfriend for several years they were outraged that I hadn't asked her to marry me yet. So I got chastised the whole way home and schooled on Serbian ways.


I dropped off Team Serbia and finally found my creepy house with the evil basement. I had to piss so bad I could taste it, so I ran up the steps to the door.

Only then did I realize that Cory had only given me the car keys. There were no HOUSE KEYS on the key ring anymore. So I called him. And called him. And called him. It was 4am and he wasn't answering. So I pissed on the front lawn (take that Dead Kids!) and I went to find a hotel. I would have slept in the car- but it was -7 out and that just wasn't going to work.

$150 later, I was in a bed in a hotel room, shutting off the light and going to sleep. (How the fuck any hotel in Regina gets off charging a dude $150 for a room in a Comfort Inn at 5am on a Sunday morning- I don't know. But this guy did.) It was only then that I noticed the text from Cory. "DUDE. HOUSE KEYS ARE IN THE DOOR POCKET."

Fuck you, Cory.

I leave you all now with a collection of set web greetings that we did for a few of the horror websites while we were shooting. Enjoy and I hope that everyone's summers are off to a great start. Lots of news is coming soon but for now, I'm off to write a new movie for D.C. Comics/Warner Brothers about a certain Super Hero that lives in the sea. More on that in a few...

Scream bloody gore-