Tag Archives: Wisconsin Exorsisters

TUGM Proudly Presents the World Premiere Online Release of “Sisters of No Mercy”!

It’s finally here! After nearly three years and two hundred dollars, The Underground Multiplex presents the wild, avant-garde nunsploitation comedy Sisters of No Mercy: The Real 3D Midnight Movie Xperience. Combining exploitation, comedy, classic roadshow reels, politics, music and live performance, SONM is the completion of the first collaboration between Joseph R. Lewis and me.

This came about first as a 4-minute parody trailer for a then fake nunsploitation feature. With the help of some great talented friends, we408 were able to pull off this bit in three weeks, just before I was to give a lecture on nunsploitation at Facets Night School.

The trailer debuted on YouTube in October 2010 and gained an unexpected positive response in February 2011 from the French version of  Slate Magazine, which hyperlinked the short and called it a successful parody (if the Google translation is correct). Emboldened by the responses, I casually mentioned to Joe that perhaps the nuns should go to Madison, WI during the height of protests against Governor Scott Walker and exorcise the Koch-funded “demon” from the state capitol.

The resulting short film was The Wisconsin Exorsisters, which brought back Sisters Amy and Angela, Mother Superior and the evil Father Neal from first trailer. That short went public in March 2011.

409When June rolled around, we had decided to extended Sisters of No Mercy into a feature. To accomplish this, the film needed extra footage, which was provided by recording the third portion of the film live before a midnight movie audience attending each screening of Session 8 of Facets Night School. Each chapter was filmed in 5 minute pieces before that evening’s lecture and screening. The resulting portions were then uploaded weekly online.

On September 30, 2011, TUGM debuted Sisters of No Mercy 3D at Facets Night School in an edited version that included a live interactive experience with the audience. They were treated to live music, a theatrical performance, juggling and dancing for a unique approach in film entertainment. This version has not been duplicated since.

Which brings us finally to today– almost three years since the inception of the nunsploitation parody. The final product we hope you’ll find funny, informative and entertaining. It could not be done without the help of the following wonderful people:

Amy J. Boyd, Angela Yonke, Adrianna Montiel, Kenzie Kl, Bruce Neal, Joe Rubin, Jason Coffman, Jason Loeffler, Jonathan Leaf, Douglas Grew, Brian Kirst, Lielie Kaehn-Jarvis, Brian Jarvis, Chris Brake, Christa Koch, Nathan Boecker, Susan Doll, Phil Morehart, all the presenters of Facets Night School and, of course, the twisted genius of Joe Lewis.

Legendary Lew Ojeda

TUGM’s New “Sh#!house Cinema Circus” Trailer for Facets Summer Night School

Trailer created by our very own Joe Lewis, director of the upcoming Scumbabies!

For more details on the entire program, click here. To become a member of Facets, click here.

How to Make a Feature-Length Interactive Film for Less Than $200

The Underground Multiplex last year released its debut film Sisters of No Mercy 3D during a special screening at Facets Multimedia in Chicago. Clocking in at 100 minutes, many were surprised that we actually spent so little making the movie. But not only was the film no-budget, it was also interactive, meaning that during many portions of the film, actors would appear in person before the screen, interacting with characters in the film. In this manner, Sisters of No Mercy was a true 3D experience, all with a budget whose major expenses were a few costumes, props and gas money to and from Madison, WI for a film shoot. I’m certain there are many ways to make movies on the extremely cheap, but here are the major factors that helped this particular feature:

Hire your friends and family

This almost goes without saying since these folks will probably be in your film for nothing (except film credit), but there’s an additional point to be added.  I deliberately left out anyone who I would consider a prima donna, an irresponsible person, or in general anyone who I thought might be a bring-down. Also, if you are the producer and/or director overseeing the project, don’t be a jerk. Making sure that everyone is having a good time not only made things pleasant, but also guaranteed much shorter shooting times for a cast and crew who have very busy schedules.  Worried about acting abilities? Unless you are trying to make something monumental, profound and incredibly intense–all of which would probably require a higher budget anyway–the actors’ experience won’t be as important as your script. If you have a good script and ideas, people will take notice. If you have a bad script and bad idea, people will take flight.

Feed Your Friends Well

I could not imagine asking friends to give up some 7am Sunday mornings without feeding them. Get those carbs in them, as they’ll be busying burning them up with coffee and tea to wash them down. We didn’t have to get elaborate. A discount place like Aldi’s can be your best friend for your shoots.  If you shoot at your house and create your own meals for your cast/crew, all the better. (Exnay on the alcohol, though). They’ll be impressed!

Let Your Friends Loose to Do Their Things

Joe Lewis is the most brilliant filmmaker I’ve ever met. He and I have been able to craft a feature length film utilizing the talents of cast members by making the script malleable enough to include them. For instance, I know a guy who is a great dancer and whose lifelong dream is to be a choreographer. Sisters of No Mercy 3D was not originally scripted to include dancing, but he and a few others with some dance experience were gung-ho for it. We simply provided a music piece he could use and stood back to let him do his magic.  Creating scenes in this manner, I found, not only makes you double up on your imagination, it gives those in the film a true sense of investment in it.

Use the Proper Equipment with a Steady Hand

A seasoned filmmaker can use equipment like a Canon Vixia HD cam for shots and do so pretty incognito, which helps in filming at great locations all around Chicago. But if you want to have something that doesn’t look like unintentional earthquake, you’ve got to be able to do so quickly and with a steady hand.  This became important for our guerrilla filmmaking, since there were situations where time was short and using as little equipment as possible was necessary.

The Internet is Your Friend

If you haven’t begun figuring out how to incorporate some of the great stuff on youtube or sites like archive.org into your works yet, I suggest you start, especially if you want to save cash.  You can make your work an interesting mosaic of sounds and images with those sites, plus save lots of money by  properly administering the Fair Use law when editing.

So get to it! Sisters of No Mercy 3D was created while one of us was unemployed and the other had a minimum-wage job. It can be done.

Tonight’s the Night! Sisters of No Mercy Opens Facets Fright School!

Be there or be damned! Reception begins at 11pm.


TUGM on The Curious Sophisticate Sunday 12:30pm on Radio DePaul

Joe Lewis and I will be interviewed by Dominick Mayer on Radio DePaul’s “The Curious Sophisticate” program shortly after 12:30pm tomorrow (9/25). We’ll be talking about the upcoming “Sisters of No Mercy Premiere Party in Purgatory” , other programs/features from The Underground Multiplex and our communal arts philosophy.

Tune in by heading to radio.depaul.edu for live streaming. Also, check out this promo for the award-winning station.


Satan’s in a Giving Mood Sept. 30th Midnight at Facets Fright School

Come to this if you want to see more insanity. The entire schedule with the great trailer here.

World Premiere Debut of the Feature “Sisters of No Mercy” in Chicago Sept. 30th!

The Underground Multiplex is proud to present the debut of the interactive feature Sisters of No Mercy as it kicks off Facets Fright School, a month-long delve into spine-tingling spookiness!

This is a one-time, one-of-a-kind interactive cinematic event featuring live actors, performers, musicians, nuns, evil priests, zombie prostitutes, zombie pimps and YOU! But don’t worry, casual viewers are welcome also 🙂 If you have trouble grasping the concept, think nunsploitation meeting Rocky Horror Picture Show at your last audition, only better.

All three SONM shorts (“Sisters of No Mercy,” “The Wisconsin ExorSisters” and “Sisters of No Mercy 3D”) will be shown in their entirety as part of a new narrative. Satan will be holding an audition for a Commander of Hell to lead an army of zombies back to Earth for the big takeover. Who will be chosen? Come to the party in Purgatory and find out!

Before the live interactive screening/performance, Lew Ojeda and Joseph R. Lewis of The Underground Multiplex will lecture about some of these choices for the final feature film and how films from the underground eventually make the mainstream via sampling.

Among the clips sampled to create this crazy cornucopia are selections from “Perversion for Profit,” “Alucarda,” “Satanico Pandemonium,” “The Devils,” “Love Letters from a Portuguese Nun,” “Mommie Dearest,” “Carrie,” “Female Trouble,”  “Doorway to Heaven,” “Deadline for Action,” Drive-In intermission reels and a video of a large guy in a yellow sweater. !

There will be a premiere pre-show party at 11pm in the lobby of the theater, so stop on by and enjoy some treats before the show. Raffles! Prizes! Loads of fun that you won’t get by staying home and streaming. It’s Chicago’s must-see event of the fall!

Friday night Sept. 30th

Pre-screening reception by Jenny Grist in the lobby at 11pm! Free eats and drinks!

Lecture and screening begins at midnight with discussion of what you had experienced and why after the shenanigans.

Only at Facets Multimedia, 1517 W Fullerton Ave, Chicago, IL.

Admission: only $5! FREE for Facets members and live performers for this show only.

Join us for the fun! Let us know you are coming via Facebook at our event listed.

For just a little taste of the craziness, here’s one of the clips that will be part of the fun that night: