Some of you may have noticed that I am involved in something called The Doreen Brownstone Film Spectacular. Some of you may have asked “What is The Doreen Brownstone Film Spectacular?”
Put simply, it is a feature film project in development.
“A feature film? What will it be about?”
Good question. Our log line says: “Legendary B-movie star Doreen Brownstone investigates the mysterious goings on in her apartment building while trying to revitalize her fading career.”
The Indiegogo page says: “Equal parts Curb Your Enthusiasm-style ‘reality’ zaniness, and an affectionate homage to B genre movies of the past and present.”
What do I say? Hmmm…
In The Doreen Brownstone Film Spectacular, Doreen Brownstone will play herself (albeit a fictionalized version of herself); a star of stage and screen. It will feature several movies within the movie; clips from films that the fictional Doreen made over the course of her career. Particular emphasis will be given to the more recent low budget B-movies in which Doreen has found herself stuck. Much like the real Doreen, the fictional Doreen is still working at age 90 (or 91 as the case might be). But instead of starring in a powerful play about the Holocaust (Such Creatures by Judith Thompson, opening January 2, 2014), the fictional Doreen is making a really bad, really low budget horror film – and we will get to see her chewing up the scenery like Bela Lugosi in an Ed Wood masterpiece.
The real Doreen Brownstone has had the pleasure of appearing in such genre fare as Heads, Silent Night, and Todd and The Book Of Pure Evil, but has more often been stuck in big budget, classy theatrical productions like Fiddler On The Roof, My Fair Lady and Driving Miss Daisy. Through the fictional Doreen, the real Doreen will get to play all kinds of colourful characters in all kinds of different genres – and it’s impossible to say who will have the most fun on this project: Doreen; those of us lucky enough to be working with her; or the audiences, who will be delighted by her uncanny ability to shine in any role that she takes on.
As for me, I have always been a big fan of B-movies, horror films, and other low budget atrocities. My most successful plays were direct homages to B-movie genres, such as Bad Girls Jailhouse (an affectionate parody of women in prison films) and Sorority Girls Slumber Party Massacre: The Musical (a loving satire of golden age slasher films). Other genres I have dabbled in include zombies (The Inner City Dead, I Was A Teenage Zombie: The Musical), hard-boiled detectives (Samantha Panther P.I. – Tough Girls Don’t Sing), film noir (The Big Kiss Off), time travel/science fiction (Play: The Big Band Theory), Ancient Roman epics (Quo Vadis), and, most recently, westerns (Fort Whoop Up). For this reason, as well as my reputation for ultra low budgets – and the fact that none of my shows ever lost a penny – I was referred to by some as “The Roger Corman of Manitoba.” I consider this to be the greatest compliment a person could receive.
Who’s Roger Corman? Only one of the most successful producers in Hollywood history (and still working today at 87). The fictional Doreen Brownstone claims to have dated him once. But being four years younger than her, he may have been a little older than she preferred…