Tuesday, May 22, 2012

In Search Of…Worthless Stuff: "Dead End" (1985)

Every now and then, I learn about a rare film or item that piques my interest and simply must have. Usually I can satisfy my obsession by tracking them down on eBay, but sometimes there is little to no information on how to obtain them and makes me wonder whether they actually exist. I go the extra mile to find my rare warez, like Indiana Jones. Except he is better looking and searches for important relics, while I track down useless crap instead. Call me Indiana Jonesing instead. This new “In Search Of…Worthless Stuff” feature will list items on my most wanted list that are as hard to find as the Predator using that cloaking device of his. What better way to kickoff this new venture then going "in search of" a film entitled...

Dead End aka Zombietown

Tracking this flick down has been nothing more than a wild goose chase since I first learned about it a few years ago. The only information that exists about it is an IMDB listing (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0131260/). Dead End is a mid-80’s low budget flick about a documentary film crew who investigates a satellite that crashed in a local town which they believe is a UFO. What they do find is that the downed foreign object has turned the entire town into bloodthirsty zombies. Even though the crew’s lives are at high risk, the director is determined to record as much footage of the grisly event as he possibly can and does not care who he throws in harm’s way to do so. 

Shot years before The Blair Witch Project and after Cannibal Holocaust, this is one of the first found footage horror flicks to have been produced, albeit with a low budget filmmaker’s shoestring budget. It is filmed documentary/first-person style using the real life director and many low budget actors. The gore, which folklore states is actually real blood and guts used for the production, is supposed to be ridiculously over the top. As disgusting as it sounds, it is a novelty that warrants having to check out at least once.

There are some sites whose reviewers have claimed to have screened it and provide nothing but stellar critiques. Yet they have not gotten back to me when I have inquired about how they have seen the film or maybe could throw me a bone via some trade or what have you, in order to finally see it for myself. But those scant reviews are all I have going for me. Do a Google search for yourself and you will not find one lousy screen still, clip, trailer, or anything like that.

After some time, I started to think that this was just some practical joke or urban legend just used to get people riled up. That is until I discovered quotes from the director, Emerson Bixby, who detailed what happened to his “lost” film. Bixby claims that he sent his film to several distributors (remember those ads in the back of old Fangoria mags where you could send in your films in hopes of being picked up? What do you mean “no, you don’t”?!), but never heard anything back from them for a release. He had a few VHS copies that he kept for himself and gave out to a few crew members. Since then, all copies have vanished into nowhere. According to Bixby, it is the film he is most proud of that he has done and even is offering $10K to anyone who can provide him with a legit copy. 

So if you are reading this and do have a copy of his film, I would go make yourself $10K richer by sending Bixby one immediately…but if you want some great karma or maybe want to work out some kind of trade, please contact me shortly afterward with a copy. Help me cure this curious obsession and become awarded Man-Caver of the Year…with an instant “It Award” dedicated to you in the upcoming “2012 Man-Cave It & S*** Awards”!

Do you own a copy? Have you seen it? Have you heard about it? I WANT TO HEAR YOUR ACCOUNTS IN THE COMMENTS BELOW!

Remember that this is Dead End or Zombietown from 1985 and not the other films that go by the same titles produced in the 90’s and 2000’s.


Chuck said...

Sounds like a snipe hunt but I wish you luck and fortune in finding this...then make me a copy!

Korsgaard said...

I've never even heard of this, but it sounds utterly awesome! If you ever find a copy, let me know I may have to see this myself!

Captain Obscurity said...

Hey, just found your blog. Awesome! :)

You may be interested in a blog article I posted on this a couple of weeks ago. I came up against a lot of the same dead e-- ...a lot of the same brick walls as you did, and it includes a lot of the same information, but I did find some very suspicious things to do with its IMDB page, and other stuff that makes me wonder quite seriously if it could still be a hoax, in spite of the director's comments.


The Man-Cave said...

Chuck - I have already accepted that I will probably never see this, but thank you for the support.

Kors - dude if I find this film and see it, I am holding a mad pajama jammy-jam (#houseparty2reference) in The Man-Cave...and you are invited!

Cap - Thank you sir. I did read your excellent take on it as well and I am starting to think that this has to be a hoax. Nothing this awesome and creative would not be in the3 hands of someone, especially in today's day and age with the internet and social networking. All of this greatness...yet it was shot on video? And the director doesn't have one copy? I am no hoarder by any means, but I at least have copies of my old student projects...and they suck compared to this film's synopsis. All these reviewers are not responding to anyone who tries to contact them? Seeing is believing and right now, I feel had. Oh well, but glad we met (kinda) through investigating this oddity.

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