Illustration by Wesley Allbrook
Growing up, I had a crush on Freddy Krueger. While my friends had posters of NKOTB, Debbie Gibson, and Lita Ford plastered across their bedroom walls, I had a razor-clawed nightmare killer smiling down upon my bedspread. Whenever I see red and green, I think not of the holidays, but of Robert Englund terrorizing the horny dreamers of Elm Street in that sweater.
Ten years ago, I was beyond delighted to be cast in my first movie, a horror film called The Field Trip, playing Beaumont, a dim-witted bus driver who takes a group of schoolgirls on a road trip of death and destruction.
I was to have a sex scene with the shy nerdy girl and get murdered -- twice! Once with a forklift up the ass and again with a pitchfork in the chest. Delicious! We were going to shoot in Rancho Mirage (near Palm Springs, Calif.) for 11 days, very little pay, and almost all night shoots. I could not have been happier.
Three days before we started shooting, I was hit by a car in West Hollywood, shattering two bones in my left foot, so I would be on crutches for six weeks. I was devastated, only because I thought my dream of horror movie stardom was forever dashed. I called the directors (Dave Rock and Jon Hoffman, two awesome guys), who said, "Hey, if you still wanna do it, we'll work your crutches into the movie." BANG! The kid stays in the picture!
For pain and pleasure, I was taking drugs. So, in my haze, when the van came to pick me up early that Monday morning, I failed to bring an overnight bag. I hopped into the vehicle (which doubled as the "bus" that I would be driving) with nothing but my script, my crutches, and my pills. I met the gorgeous cast. We instantly became best friends--the family that we all never had, a warm circle of love and acceptance that only a two-hour ride in a non-air conditioned Winnebago could provide.
One of the actresses was reading a dog-eared copy of Uta Hagen's Respect for Acting and speaking about her character in an active voice. "My character fights; my character wins," she mused to herself. Another actor talked about the joys of having a trust fund and how she'd never accept any job that wasn't related to her craft. I popped a pill and dreamed of Freddy, slicing his way through this boatload of dick-holes.
I awoke inside a humid and experienced motel room -- without a toothbrush or pomade -- and I had to be on camera by 8 p.m. One of the generous production assistants drove my dumb, stoned ass into town so I could buy toiletries and a pack of white T-shirts to survive the shoot.
At dinner, I met another costar, a lovely and brilliant woman named Tara Thomson, who was playing the teacher, naturally named Miss Beaver. I was crippled and tired and confused by Darvocet and bus fumes, and Tara fixed my plate while telling me filthy jokes. Now, that's an instant friend.
Soon enough, I was screaming, covered in sticky crimson offal and hobbling on my crutches through a sinister junkyard. I was home.
A few days later, I had to film the scene -- the one in which I donkey-porked the nerd girl on the hood of a Chrysler, just before getting a forklift driven into my rosebud.
We kept all of our clothes on. It had something to do with foreign markets, nudity laws, and the fact that no one wanted me to be naked. I made horrible "aroused" faces and thrust my dead hips into the ingenue, trying not to scrape her with my cast or dirty crutch.
There were screaming fights between cast members and crew, all of us non-union and huddled around one kerosene heater in between takes. My foot was healing terribly in the desert cold, while working 14-hour nights, running from killers, and fucking girls.
For those 11 days in Rancho Mirage -- broken, drugged, and exhausted -- I was a star. FYI, the film is available on DVD and is now titled Scream Bloody Murder. You've been warned.