Tag Archives: Joe

Mediatrocities Podcast #6.1: Remembering Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert 1942-2013

Roger Ebert 1942-2013

Lew Ojeda and Tyler Pistorius remember the influence Roger Ebert had on their lives and discuss the future of film after his passing. Included are a few choice clips of classic Ebert from his long-running classic TV series.

Mediatrocities #6: Brian Chankin of Odd Obsession Movies; Tarté’s Partay; Special Musical Guest: Nonpronto

Mediatrocities ETWelcome to Mediatrocities #6! This month’s podcast features Chicago’s own Brian Chankin, owner of Odd Obsession Movies, who talks with Legendary Lew about his store, the state of movie rentals, and why Netflix has it wrong.

Then, film auteurd Ernie Tarté makes his way to a Hollywood party held in honor of Steven Spielberg at the Dolly Dentura mansion. Tarté has recently begun a feud with the Oscar-winning director over the disputed ownership of the latest production of “Napoleon,” the famed project abandoned by Stanley Kubrick.

The featured musical guest this month is the fantastic jazz trio Nonpronto, comprised of Josh Murtha (bass), Luke Angle (drums) and Dan Collins (piano/vocals).  The opening/closing tune is “Skeletons” and the featured number is “Sweet Times Run.”

This month’s podcast written by:
Joseph R. Lewis
Lew Ojeda
Tyler Pistorius

Performed by:
Barry Brennessel (neglected to credit you on the podcast. My apologies, Barry)
Joseph R. Lewis
Lew Ojeda
Tyler Pistorius

Edited, produced and directed by Lew Ojeda






Ernie Tarte XOX

Ernie Tarte is an acclaimed filmmaker and former expatriate.

After the tumultuous reception of his film “SELF”,  Tarte went into seclusion in South America where he lived as a God amongst a tribe of Peruvian natives that had never seen shampoo before.

Since his return he has become a frequent contributor to Mediatrocities, the Multiplex’s media podcast hosted by Legendary Lew.

He offers the following introduction:

“Film cannot be taught, nor can DESIRE.  I provide the following advice ironically, as a joke for myself at the expense of the reader.  However, I am also sincere…not in my motivations, but in my genius.”   -TARTE


1. Every word you utter can be a movie.   For example, every word I just used can be a great movie. Exclamation point.

2. As Kubrick once meant to say, “I can write it and think it, so film me.”

3. Wake up every morning and say, “I am the Self”  in at least fifteen different languages.

4. Always remember- when they say, “Go F#k yourself”…it’s a compliment.

5.  Raw film is like raw food.  And a theatre is like a restaurant…What no tip?  Question Mark.

6.  There are only 3 great filmmakers you need to know.  And Tarte is all of them.

7.  Circles or squares.  Choose wisely.


Post Script:  I attach my favorite short film for your betterment.  You will NOT understand it…

Click HERE to Listen to Ernie Tarte and Legendary Lew rundown some of 2012’s WORST movies as part of our RAZZIE’S ROUND-UP on Mediatrocities.

TUGM’s Joseph R. Lewis LIVE Tonight for Q&A of Tyler B. Nice

Joe Lewis will be available for a LIVE Q&A tonight answering questions about his second feature film Tyler B. Nice, which is available online for free. Tonight at 9:30pm via UStream.tv. Just search for The Underground Multiplex.

“Tyler B Nice”, Second Feature by Director Joe Lewis, Available as a Free Download

We at The Underground Multiplex would like to remind you of the FREE movies you can download from our site. All of our work, from the feature-length films of Joseph R. Lewis to podcasts by Lew Ojeda, we provide to the public free of charge to download and enjoy. As you can see from the link on the left, we do enjoy receiving donations as well to continue providing the best in Chicago-based filmed and live entertainment.

From the description: “TYLER B. NICE is a montage of found video from a night of blurry memories OR a chronicling of the ugly but colorful lives of a small group of deviants and lovers in Boston, circa 2005 OR why i hate parties. Written over the course of a two month rehearsal period with a company of over 15 performers.”

“Gorgeous for sure and the performances are all remarkable.” — Andrew Bujalski

Enjoy! and share!

TUGM Presents Facets 2012 Summer Night School Schedule of Lectures and Presentations!

The long, hot summer is about to get hotter: karate-choppin’ babes in the Philippines, warped fetishistic twisted minds, sexy trans starlets, rubbery communist Godzilla ripoffs, futuristic warriors in loincloths, hypnotized frigid wives, wigged out anti-drug films and freaky Halloween parties! They’re all coming to Facets Multimedia for its famed Night School Series produced by The Underground Multiplex, Chicago’s own premiere promoters of live post-modern roadshow entertainment.

This exciting series, which The Underground Multiplex dubs “Sh!thouse CineCircus,” will be chock full of live music acts, comedy films, live radio show presentations, hypno-craziness and more! Each will be presented by witty and knowledgeable lecturers, who will school you in all manners of such topics as Filipino action film craziness, roadshow hucksterism, communist movie thievery, re-evaluating trash movies and much more!

June 23, 2012

Wonder Women and One-Armed Executioners: Filipino Action Exploitation Films of the 1970’s

Lew Ojeda presents Wonder Women
Directed by Robert Vincent O’Neill, 1973

“Dr. Tsu is a hundred years ahead of her time and it is characteristic of human beings to resist progress.” – Sid Haig, Wonder Women

Get ready for an explosive ride into the “Wild East” with this action-packed, karate-chopping pseudo-feminist blaster presented on a RARE 35MM PRINT! It’s grind house mania galore as Nancy Kwan (“Flower Drum Song”) plays Dr. Tsu, an evil genius intent on stealing organs from healthy athletic male bods and transplanting them into old, rich shriveling ones. Ross Hagen is the heat-packin’, hard-punchin’ ladies man out to stop her fiendish plans. Lew Ojeda hacks through the jungle of jaw-dropping cinema exported from The Philippines in the 1970’s and tells how filmmakers, actors and crew members literally risked life, limb and arrest for their art. PLUS–as an added bonus, Ojeda’s lecture will be presented as part of a live podcast taping of “Cinematrocities” recorded in radio show format before the audience!

Lew Ojeda is the co-founder of The Underground Multiplex, host of “Cinematrocities” and a personal video consultant, copy writer and lecturer at Facets Multimedia. His film reviews and interviews have appeared in Shock Cinema, The Onion, The Empty Closet and Chicago Tribune. He’s jumped out of cakes, portrayed Mother Terminator and wielded an AK-47 during lectures for Eat the Rich, Lady Terminator, Fuego, The Boneyard and Sisters of No Mercy 3D among others.

June 30, 2012

Normal Love from Hell: The Innocence of Bettie Page and Alucarda

Bruce Neal presents a live musical mash-up of Normal Love and Bettie Page shorts and screens the full-length feature Alucarda aka Innocents from Hell.

Directed by Juan Lopez Moctezuma, 1977; Jack Smith, 1963; and Irving Klaw, 1955
Remix by Bruce Neal and Joseph R. Lewis

“I was never the girl next door.” – Bettie Page

Ever wonder what exploding nuns, Jack Smith and Bettie Page had in common?  Find out with Bruce Neal and company as they take you on a head-tripping, mind-bending tour of visions from Normal Love (Jack Smith, 1963) and Bettie Page exploitation shorts (Irving Klaw, 1955). Bruce  Neal will touch on the importance of these films to your subconscious and psyche. Then, take the trip through the recesses of your mind with the insane nunsploitation film Alucarda (Juan Lopez Moctezuma, 1977). Can you make it through to the other side? Free Alucarda, Jack Smith and Bettie Page trading cards for all attendees!

Bruce Neal is a projectionist at Facets and has worked in film, music, underground theater, performance art and stand-up comedy. He was creative and story consultant on Dream Havana, which won Best Documentary at the Chicago, Orlando and Lyon Latino Film Festivals.  His previous Night School classes covered such films as Street Trash and God Told Me To. Bruce also co-created original soundtracks to A Page of Madness, Haxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages and The Fall of the House of Usher as a member of The Cursed Bird Ensemble (among many other aliases). Currently, he’s performing in the Death-Folk band Crippled Masters with fellow soundtrack alum Matt Silcock.

July 21, 2012

Myra Breckenridge and the Delirious, Gender-Bending Sexual Revolution of 1970 (Well, Kind Of)

Dominick Mayer presents Myra Breckinridge
Directed by Michael Sarne, 1970

“My purpose in coming to Hollywood is the destruction of the American male in all its particulars.” – Raquel Welch, Myra Breckinridge

By the late ’60s, 20th Century Fox was verging on bankruptcy and flinging anything they could at the wall just to see what’d stick. Some of these films, whether classic (M*A*S*H) or classic for the wrong reasons (Beyond the Valley of the Dolls), live on in the cinematic lexicon as genuine legends. Forgotten, however, except in the most appreciative camp circles, is Myra Breckinridge, Michael Sarne’s 1970 disasterpiece about a trans woman (Raquel Welch) who’s followed around at all times by her invisible former male self (Rex Reed) as she invades a Hollywood acting school to spread the sexual revolution to its students. From the utter lunacy of the script to its infamous use of classic cinematic moments as trashy punchlines, and right through Mae West’s inexplicable, ghastly turn as a past-her-prime sexpot, Myra Breckinridge is camp of the dirtiest, most delicious kind. Facets Night School regular Dominick Mayer will talk about the sordid history of the film, and exactly how Gore Vidal’s beloved novel could yield a film so colossally misguided, and yet wildly hilarious and right in its shambling failures.

Dominick Mayer is a graduate student in Cinema Studies at DePaul University, the features editor and head film critic for HEAVEmedia and a contributing writer at In Our Words: A Salon for Queers & Co. He has previously lectured on The King of Kong: A Fistful of QuartersBlack Dynamite and Beyond the Valley of the Dolls for Facets Night School. He thinks Myra Breckinridge is quite spectacular, and says that with a mixture of well-warranted irony and genuine sincerity.

July 28, 2012

Of Lasers and Loincloths: Genre Hybridization in Yor, The Hunter from the Future

Jef Burnham presents Yor, The Hunter from the Future
Directed by Antonio Margheriti, 1983

“We will need a lot more hemp before we’re through.” – Luciano Pigozzi, Yor, The Hunter from the Future

In 1983, Antonio Margheriti, maestro of the Italian genre film and Andy Warhol collaborator, wrote and directed the Italian-Turkish co-production, Yor, The Hunter from the FutureYor stands as one of the single most bizarre and ambitious exercises in genre-blending in the history of cinema, a curious mash-up of science fiction and peplum sprinkled throughout with dinosaurs, mummies, and robots. The film stars cult action icon Reb Brown (of Space Mutiny and the 1979 Captain America TV movies) as the titular barbarian, a beefy, blonde, cave-ladies’ man prone to gleefully commit genocide at the drop of a hat. Follow Jef Burnham on a journey through the prehistoric future world of Yor as he explores the sole collaboration of cult legends Margheriti and Brown, and attempts to unravel the film’s myriad generic strands.

Jef Burnham is the Editor-in-Chief of FilmMonthly.com. He recently joined the part-time faculty of Columbia College Chicago’s Film & Video Department, and he currently studies media and cinema at DePaul University. His current media obsessions include Blaxploitation cinema and that rarest of televisual delicacies, the made-for-TV comic book movie.

 August 11, 2012

It’s Exploitable!: The Ron Ormond Experience

Katie Rife presents Please Don’t Touch Me!
Directed by Ron Ormond, 1963

“Due to the unusual subject of this motion picture, words cannot describe the contents.”  “Who would be her mate…MAN OR BEAST?” – ad lines from Please Don’t Touch Me!

Though he’s not as famous as his contemporaries Herschell Gordon Lewis and Russ Meyer, Nashville B-movie king Ron Ormond belongs beside them in the pantheon of exploitation greats, and he’s finally getting his due at Facets Night School. Ormond, along with his brother Tim and wife June, ruled the Southern roadshow circuit in the late 1950s, peddling films like Untamed Mistress (1957) and Please Don’t Touch Me! (1959) to ragtag crowds at local carnivals and drive-ins. Katie Rife presents an appreciation of this sleaze icon, whose life and career reflect a surreal and uniquely Southern blend of Saturday night and Sunday morning.

Every Ormond picture has a hook, and Night School will screen the feverish, forgotten Ormond classic Please Don’t Touch Me!, a “Freudian study in sexual repression,” in its original roadshow format.  Anti-frigidity expert and super speedy hypnotist Dr. E. Wrekshen will address the audience with a nurse on standby for those with weak constitutions.

Katie Rife is a Chicago-based writer and filmmaker who has written for outlets as diverse as the Palm Springs International Film Festival and MrSkin.com. She is a founding member of the found footage video collective Everything is Terrible! and has presented four midnight movies for Facets Night School. Her first book, the film guide If You Like Quentin Tarantino…, is due in the winter of 2012/2013 from Backbeat Books.

August 18, 2012

Oh, No, There Goes North Korea: Go go, Pulgasari and North Korean Cinema

Chris Damen presents Pulgasari (AKA: Zombi 34, The Communist Bull Monster)
Directed by Sang-ok Shin, 1985

“Everyone, as long as Pulgasari is with us, our victory is assured!” – from Pulgasari

A special message delivered posthumously from Kim Jong Il:
Greetings, dear comrades in Bang Bang City! This is your supreme leader speaking to you from glorious gold-plated tomb. You are invited to my movie masterpiece Pulgasari and inspiring people’s lecture by my best friend Christopher Damen. Pulgasari is REAL Godzilla! Like Hollywood real. Japanese Godzilla not real! Japanese Godzilla is brainwashing lie from evil bank swine! Cabinet of Democracy has informed me that lies are spreading about me kidnapping capitalist pig director and forcing him to make movie. Lies! Your loving daddy leader will prove this with happy guards present during movie. You will watch and enjoy! You see! Other best friend, Minister of Foreign Entertainment, will beam smiling happy message to you, my friends in Bang Bang City. Magnificent film presented in royal mother tongue with little American words written on bottom. You read! You like!

Chris Damen is a struggling local stand-up comic who loves to travel. He’s been to 14 countries and plans a visit to other distant lands to do comedy. Besides stand-up, Chris is a huge film nerd, which comes in handy in Facets Rentals, where Chris is the comanager of the department. Chris has presented five times before at Night School, including presentations for the films Pusher, Barfly, Nekromantik and Team America: World Police.

August 25, 2012

Midnight Overdose: The Scumbabies File Release Party!
A Special Presentation from Joseph R. Lewis and The Underground Multiplex

Joseph R. Lewis presents Scumbabies
Directed by Joseph R. Lewis, 2010
WINNER– Best Film, Harrisburg Artsfest 2010

 A Chicago Theatrical Premiere and Party!

“…it’s what would happen if John Waters and David Lynch dropped acid and ran away to join the circus together. It’s a vivid, beautiful nightmare, inhabiting a world of absolute freedom Lewis wants to live in and attempts to create every day with his work. “– Alex Baumgardner on Scumbabies

The Underground Multiplex presents a prescription of craziness, fun and follies. First, tickle your brain with an antique anti-drug propaganda mash-up and accompanying lecture by esteemed Dr. Henry Famous of ASU (Altered States University). Behold a gallery of rare magical movie artifacts that can be yours…for a price!  Then, Facets Night School is proud to present the Chicago theatrical premiere of the award-winning, psychedelic horror movie musical Scumbabies! Tru Hollywood plans a Halloween party, but strange people and events lead to head-tripping scenarios in this mix of avant-garde and exploitation films. The happiest horror picture ever!



Join our SUPERHERO DANCE PARTY from 7pm-11pm at Star Labs, 1400 N Bosworth. $5 cover includes admission to the midnight movie at Facets.

Craft Beer selection curated by Six Pack Roulette. Pre-order tix now at sixpackroulette.com and get: a mystery 6-pack of assorted craft beer, entry to party, AND entry to midnite movie! There will be individual craft beers for cheap and the option to get a six pack if you don’t pre-order, but quantities are limited.

Featuring a rare live performance by Captain Famous and the Dead Celebz at 10pm.

R. Lewis is the co-founder of The Underground Multiplex, a Chicago-based arts collective producing live theatrical events, Internet films and upcoming podcasts. Lewis has completed several features, including the award-winning ScumbabiesTyler B Nice, and Sci-Fi SOL. Previous Facets Night School presentations include Killer Klowns from Outer Space and the debut of Sisters of No Mercy 3D.

Please note: there are no midnight screenings for July 7, July 14, & Aug 4. Yes, that means you can still go enjoy Pitchfork and Lollapalooza and still come to Facets and join the fun!

For more info, head on over to Facets Multimedia.

Many Thanks to CIMMFest and the Fans of Sci Fi Sol!

A dream finally came true for The Underground Multiplex after more than a year of planning. Sci Fi Sol got a release through a festival, and how lucky we were to have it shown as part of the Chicago International Movies & Music Festival. Ours was one of the final screenings in the large viewing space of The Wicker Park Arts Center before that building is acquired by new owners. The projection and sound were terrific and Dave Asher (singing along live in performance with three videos and the feature) was in excellent form.

Our deepest gratitude to all those who braved the elements to check out the film.  Special thanks to Drew and Josh for taking pictures (coming soon);  the CIMMFest volunteers and crew for the smooth program transitions, technical know-how and help in a hurried environment. Big, big thank you to Michael Phillips, Jr. for giving us the chance to shine and allowing me to write a blog entry touring the newly renovated Logan Theatre. And, of course, to Joseph R. Lewis and Dave Asher–Good God, you guys are geniuses!


TUGM’s Joseph R. Lewis Presents Facets’ Night School’s Lecture/Screening on “The Beaver Trilogy”

Joseph R. Lewis, director of Scumbabies and co-director of SCI FI SOL, will be on hand tonight to host Facets’ latest descent into cinema dementia, The Beaver Trilogy directed by Trent Harris.  The first of the trilogy is the life-changing meet with aspiring entertainer Richard Lavon Griffiths (aka “Groovin’ Gary) in a parking lot in Beaver, Utah. The subsequent two shorts are dramatizations starring then unknowns Sean Penn and Crispin Glover as Groovin’ Gary performing as Olivia Newton John.

Harris’ trilogy has been a cult favorite and popular bootleg trade ever since its creation in the mid-1980’s. Come on over tonight at midnight to Facets (1517 W. Fullerton) and check it out. I’m told there’s going to be a surprise, so if you miss it–weep, weep the mighty river.

AND…don’t forget! Next Saturday, the world premiere of SCI FI SOL at CIMMFest!

TUGM’s Joseph R. Lewis Interviewed at The Monthly Visit with Kevin O’Donnell

Joe with Kevin O’Donnell at The Monthly Visit with Kevin O’Donnell presented at High Concept Laboratories.


TUGM’s Joseph R. Lewis Appearing on The Monthly Visit with Kevin O’Donnell

Filmmaker Joe Lewis will be interviewed about his film work and the philosophy behind The Underground Multiplex this coming Monday 8pm at High Concept Laboratories. This will be part of The Monthly Visit with Kevin O’Donnell, who will also have Beer Geek Steve Howard, mime Dean Evans and music from Josh Bell & The Visitors. RSVP to RSVP@highconceptlaboratories.org to attend.