The Underground Multiplex Reaches Its Goal!

by Legendary Lew

It’s tough to know what to write here. On Thursday, I had just finished uploading and distributing a video about how we fell short of our goal of $820 and along come a couple of fantastic souls (one, a great pal Paskal and the other, an anonymous donor) to put us over the top.

Now, as of this writing, we’re at $1020, two hundred dollars over the top!

When we reached the goal, I was utterly speechless.

I believed for years that each person needs to find where he or she “fits.” I moved to the Chicago area 15 years ago believing this area was the place for me. Tonight, I’ve been proven correct. I have fantastic friends from across the country and even overseas. I do have to say, though, that people here in Chicago and the surrounding area have been really true to my heart. They came through for me in volunteering and being there for me.  I give a special thanks too for the folks back in my home state area who remember me.  All of you are truly a joy in my life!

And now, the task of building a show is on! In the next two months, we’ll be acquiring the equipment stated in the GoFundMe campaign, plus continuing production of Vital Media, Mediatrocities and (fingers crossed) upcoming book set for Dec 2017.

THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR LOVE AND SUPPORT! PEACE AND LOVE TO YOU ALL!

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The Thrillo Pad to Open Doors to Weekly Board Game Nights

by Legendary Lew

I’ve long been a fan of board games. Since I was a kid, I was crazy about them, and during the 1970’s, board game ads exploded on TV.

Board games are apparently making a comeback, as people feel the effects of social media/internet isolation and of working multiple jobs.  I also believe that in times like these, where there are definitely factors out there trying to divide people, getting together for weekly fun is therapeutic. We need gatherings like this.

In this spirit, I’m proud to announce that The Thrillo Pad is experimenting with the idea of a weekly board game night. I have been recently acquiring more board games with a few aspects in mind:

  1. They are not roleplaying games. I was never a fan of roleplaying games, as I personally feel they isolate newbies and those who have no interest in investing time and psychic energy into delving deeply into characters and their stats.
  2. They are relatively easy to understand and play.  A lot of guests (along with me) have limited time, so making sure that play goes smoothly will be important.
  3. They are out of print. I’ve recently found some treasures that blew my mind. I found them cheaply and intact (there was one notable exception, but it was an amazing discovery for $1). I love the idea of sharing a game that’s exclusive to my friends.
  4. They promise to be fun. Goes without saying.

I’ll be posting pictures here of new acquisitions. Here’s one for a game night coming up in the future. It’s long out of print, so you may have a very exclusive chance at playing. If you want to be a part of the fun, stay tuned with us at The Underground Multiplex. We’ll have updates of our game nights.

High-Bid, the fast-paced auction game

High-Bid, the fast-paced auction game

One of my recent acquisitions is the game High-Bid, an auction game from 3M, published in 1965.

More on this particular game, plus other out-of-print games in upcoming posts.

 

 

lew-win_20160713_205425Legendary Lew is the co-founder of The Underground Multiplex. His work includes heading award-winning midnight movie screenings and promotions covered in Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Associated Press and other media outlets. He’s the host of the podcast “Mediatrocites” here at TUGM.

 

 

Chicago Cubs End the Punchlines and Change Comedy

cubsby Legendary Lew

The curse was broken last night. The Chicago Cubs won its first World Series since 1908.

What the ’16 Cubs did also is forever break the age old tradition of portraying the team as perennial losers. To me, this was the most notable effect of the win. Comedy writers can no longer lazily rely on a Cubs joke to portray losers nor to portray a Cubs World Series win as an Earth-shattering future event.

Indiewire reminds us of the numerous Cubs references in TV and film.

However, I give my salute to the Cubs by showing what could arguably be their lowest point. 1983 Cubs manager Lee Elia went on a profane tear after a brutal loss to the Dodgers in a game. AP reporter Les Grobstein was the only reporter with a recorder on when Elia went off.

The infamous rant became one of the most noted in sports history, inspiring a producer (rumored to be Mike Bisbee) to come up with a great Cubs promo parody (NSFW):

Elia’s rant was the first thing I thought about when the Cubs won last night. Here was a guy defending a team at the lowest point, when he felt the city was not even supporting them. He even noted that two of his players were being harassed after the loss. Sure, he did insult fans, but under the pressure, could you blame him?

He was later fired, but I salute the guy who stood by his team even when they were the perennial losers, the joke of the sports world.

I hope Lee Elia’s enjoying the win and that he gets the credit he deserves for standing by his team.

Legendary Lew is the co-founder of The Underground Multiplex and host of the podcast “Mediatrocities.” You can support the current Go Fund Me campaign for updated equipment at: www.gofundme.com/HelpTUGM

Help The Underground Multiplex Create New Programming!

img_1607

This is the current production equipment for The Underground Multiplex

by Legendary Lew

The Underground Multiplex is currently running a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds for future programming.

We have a major need for a new laptop/PC; a 4T external hard drive (for achiving our videos and podcasts); and professional grade headphones for “Mediatrocities” podcasts.

All totaled, we came up with the modest sum of $820.00, an amount we hope to be able to receive by December 1st. The sooner we reach the goal, the sooner we can buy the equipment needed to continue our programming smoothly.

The picture you see above is my production equipment for The Underground Multiplex. No joke. I’ve been using a tablet with a broken interface for over a year now.

Any posts, podcasts, memes, etc. from The Underground Multiplex have come from this. In case you’re wondering, yes, I do use a magnifying glass to read my writing.

Over the last 6 years, we’ve been able to accomplish a great deal and to get some much needed attention for vital independent artists and venues. Here’s just a short list:

Plus, we’ve recorded numerous episodes of “Mediatrocities,” our own podcast covering directors and other prominent figures in the independent movie scene.

We’ve had award-winning short films and features, such as Scumbabies and Sci Fi Sol shown in multiple cities and festivals such as CIMMFest.

We believe we have great ideas for indie programming in the future, plus I have every intention of continuing “Mediatrocities,” as I am committed to having indie film artists share their works and get a voice heard. In the ocean of the Hollywood’s publicity efforts, our indie voices are vitally important.

AS A SPECIAL THANK YOU TO THOSE WHO DONATE, TUGM WILL PRODUCE A SPECIAL EDITION OF “VITAL MEDIA” AFTER THE CAMPAIGN, AVAILABLE IN PASSWORD-PROTECTED FORM . ONLY THOSE CONTRIBUTING TO THE CAMPAIGN WILL BE ABLE TO VIEW THIS SPECIAL THANK YOU EPISODE.

Thank you for your support! And keep tuning in!
GoFundMe link: click here.

 

 

Remembering the Unknown TV Pioneer, Angel Casey

angelcaseyby Legendary Lew

Mitchell Hadley’s blog, “It’s About TV,” currently features a guest entry by Crystal Eidson, one of the people instrumental in getting Tristan Meinecke’s art work rediscovered in Chicago and the world.

Meinecke’s wife, Angel Casey, is even less known than her husband. However, she had an influence in television that still reverberates to this day. Anyone who’s interested in this trailblazer would do well to learn all about her in Eidson’s piece.

After reading it, check out angelcasey.com and tmeinecke.com. The Underground Multiplex also has loads of stuff on The Meinecke Project located here.

lew-win_20160713_205425Legendary Lew is the co-founder of The Underground Multiplex and former personal video consultant of almost 20 years. He’s a writer, producer and host of the podcast “Mediatrocities” and the upcoming “Vital Media” series.

 

Remembering a True Indie Giant: Herschell Gordon Lewis

Herschell Gordon Lewis (Courtesy: MUBI)

Herschell Gordon Lewis (Courtesy: MUBI)

by Legendary Lew

Herschell Gordon Lewis, the famed exploitation filmmaker dubbed “The Godfather of Gore” passed away on Monday. Varying reports have him aged at 87 and 90.

Lewis practically invented a movie sub-genre that still exists today: the gore film. With his early grindhouse box office success of  The Adventures of Lucky Pierre, a nudie film, Lewis wanted to move on to a style of movie that Hollywood wouldn’t or couldn’t touch. He came up with the idea of the gore film with the infamous Blood Feast.

The low-budget horror film tells the story of an Egyptian immigrant who runs a catering business and plots a feast of dismemberment and brutality. But many people who have seen the movie won’t remember the story line nor even care. That’s because Lewis inadvertently, but ingeniously, brought forth the cult party film–the type of wallpaper movie you can screen while chatting with a bunch of your friends until someone hushes the crowd saying, “Wait! Wait! You gotta check this out!”

Blood Feast was not the drive-in movie you would think to take your date to in bloodfeastthe 1960’s. It was the movie you would drive miles on a dare with partying buddies packed in your car. Reports surfaced of theater lines stretching for miles to see the movie.

Lewis tapped into young peoples’ thirst for the outrageous and scored big with that film, plus Two Thousand Maniacs!, probably his best.

He was a marketer of film in truly the greatest sense. Yes, he went for the bucks and admitted to doing so. But with films like Color Me Blood Red, The Gruesome Twosome and The Wizard of Gore, Lewis knew how to entertain the audience with his audacious gimmickry. There was no pretense to his films. They were poorly acted, dimly lit, sometimes set in high schools with sets that matched. That last point was especially true with his kids’ films (The Magic Land of Mother Goose and Jimmy, the Boy Wonder). Lewis also sporadically returned to sexploitation as well with a few of his lost films recently released on DVD and Blu-Ray.

two_thousand_maniacs-1964-mss-poster-06But his independent spirit in these movies was true. Ironically, Hollywood eventually became quite influenced by Lewis’s gore films, banking on sub-genres like the 80’s splatter films (the Friday the 13th series) and the more recent torture porn films (Saw, Hostel). These latter films intensified the depravity, but also removed the true sense of fun by moralizing slut shaming (promiscuous women in slasher films tend to have the most torturous, drawn-out deaths). Hyper-realism in torture porn films, with hanging slaughterhouse hooks and blood-stained walls, intended to shock. However, the gimmicks never scared me. The spooky touches simply became annoyances, especially when added with bad actors screaming like the “emoting” exercises of a community college’s Acting 101 class.

Lewis went his own way and knew when to stop making films, concentrating on other pursuits. He may have gone about making movies as a purely capitalist enterprise, but his movies show a sense of cheesy pleasure. Watching those works of creative joy, I never felt as though he was giving me the business.

lew-win_20160713_205425Legendary Lew is the co-founder of The Underground Multiplex and former personal video consultant of almost 20 years. He’s a writer, producer and host of the podcast “Mediatrocities” and the upcoming “Vital Media” series.

 

 

My Shameless Plug For a New Movie I Appear In

nursejillby Legendary Lew

Years ago, I made an appearance in a horror film, made on 16mm, called Nurse Jill. It’s been so long that I’ve forgotten my role, but I think I play some sort of psychologist.

Anyway, Chicago, you have a chance to see Peter Lambert’s horror film finally projected on the big screen at Showboat Gallery in Pilsen (2058 W. 21st St) tonight starting at 9pm. I’ve not seen the film, so this will be a first for me, too. Massacre Video is releasing the Blu-Ray version of the film soon.

Watch the trailer here: