How The Sore Losers changed my life

There were two reasons why I became interested in independent film and video in the mid 90’s
The first was a Dallas Tx cable access show produced by Joe Riley called “The Hypnotic Eye” in which he showed clips from all kinds of weird and obscure sources
He did a feature on a video store called “Forbidden Books” run by Jason Cohen
Go to the 48:00 mark to see the Forbidden Books segment
It was one of his main sources of material so I went down to Expo Park and checked it out
This second discovery opened up a new world of films that I would never have been exposed to in the pre-youtube world of the mid 90’s
Of all the films The Hypnotic Eye featured, one caught my attention in particular
It was a film that Joe had personally worked on as effects supervisor called “The Sore Losers”
This trailer was my first exposure to the film and is lifted directly from that episode


garage rock……violence….tattooed rocker chicks…..boobs……more violence….
Who’s the REDHEAD!!!!?????
I immediately went to Forbidden and rented this film
I popped it into the VCR and my mind was completely blown

This film was like no other I had ever seen
I had tried watching just about every type of independent, low budget exploitation film  and most of it just didn’t appeal to me
Richard Kern was too raw and John Waters was too gross
I had reached a saturation point with  horror/gore films and I had virtually ignored the grind house genre, so my vocabulary on the subject was limited
I guess that’s why I wasn’t jaded on the genre and saw something completely new to me
Everyone in this film seemed to be very much like the people in my own life
Not just my current life but my origins as well
This movie was shot in The South and JMM showed me the same scenes I saw as a little kid
I was born in Atlanta but my family moved to Dallas when I was very young
We made frequent road trips to Atlanta and La Grange Georgia and the road would often travel through miles of abandoned and decaying  houses with yards filled with rusting cars on blocks
A good deal of the men who populated that route were old rednecks wearing overalls (and nothing else) that someone at one point has called “Paw Paw” (including my own Granfather)
Flash forward to the early 90’s Deep Ellum scene and this film could have been shot featuring the clientele  The Orbit Room
I even realized that I knew Dlana from the Orbit room
Both worlds had  the same Rockabilly Dudes, Alterna Chicks, Hippies and even the scary/beautiful/intimidating Red Head who made me feel 2 inches tall during my feeble attempts to chat her up

The next thing I am going to say is a statement usually included in the confession of some crazed film fan/stalker

This film spoke directly to ME

I promptly dubbed it off to a tape, returned the original to Forbidden and proceeded to wear my copy out
There is no way to count how many times I have watched this film but you can see the influence on my video editing
You can credit JMM for getting me hooked on the Hypnotic Swirl used in “The Young American Mystic Cult Of Horrors”


You can also credit JMM for introducing me to another obsession which is image and persona of Kerine Elkins
She’s the scary/beautiful/intimidating red head and the personification of the type of woman that I went for

I contacted John Michael McCarthy, expressing my admiration for his work as well as my fascination with Kerine
He confirmed that there was a lot of her own personality in her onscreen persona and I started to realize that one of his biggest talents was finding people who already fit the character mold, so that it wasn’t much of a stretch for them to act like an amplified version of themselves
I wanted to ask him if I could contact her but I decided that would probably end up with a an outcome similar to the one  I experienced with the Dallas scary/beautiful/intimidating Red Head

The new millennium brought me to Minneapolis where I started my own Hypnotic Eye ripoff cable access show called “Countrockula’s Theater for the Insane!”
My first episode featured my favorite scene form The Sore Losers
I saw Super Starlet A.D. at Bryant Lake Bowl in Minneapolis on Halloween night and then contacted JMM with an offer
I asked him how much for a VHS of everything he had and saved up for it
I received The Sore Losers, SSAD, Damselvis, Teenage Tupelo and Shine On Sweet Starlet, a compilation of drive in trailers as well as a compilation of clips that would later become the extras on the SSAD DVD
He even thew in a soft core nudie video that Kerine had shot

Over the years, my VHS collection swelled to monstrous proportions, only to be whittled down to a few boxes and transferred to  hard drives but I will never part with my original Big Broad Geurillamonster merch
Those films have been played on video screens all over Minneapolis Mn, Dallas Tx and the various cities where I toured as a Video/DJ and those bare images work amazingly well when taken out of context and with no sound
No matter what kind of bar or venue I play, from goth-industrial, punk, metal, everyone likes the films
Super Starlet A.D. goes over especially well at Lezbeen bars

I owe a tremendous debt of artistic gratitude to John Michael McCarthy and feel  proud to have done my part in keeping these films in the public consciousness
I can’t help but think that he is partially responsible for the proliferation of burlesque culture

If you asked me the one reason why I think his films are so great is that he didn’t attempt to bring the film to me
He succeeded in including me in the film
Even if he never knew me before
He knows of me and the people like me



One thought on “How The Sore Losers changed my life”

  1. To poppadok57- I can’t figure why I cannot respond to your question directly but to answer your question, I am in contact with JMM as we speak

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