The Unkindest Cut: How a Hatchet-Man Critic Made His Own $7,000 Movie and Put It All on His Credit Card

Joe Queenan, Author, Joseph Queenan, Author Hyperion Books $22.45 (0p) ISBN 978-0-7868-6090-6
When Queenan saw Robert Rodriguez's award-winning film El Mariachi, which was reputedly made for only $7000, he thought he'd like to duplicate the feat. Because of his extreme dislike of 12-step recovery programs, he decided to make a movie-12 Steps to Death-about an ex-LAPD cop whose life was ruined when a ""schizoid anorexic recovering alcoholic with Attention Deficit Disorder slammed into the car, kill[ing] his wife and kids."" Queenan plugged the film on the nationally syndicated Imus-in-the-Morning radio program and dreamed of the glories that lay ahead. But fantasy quickly turned to dreaded reality as he strived to write a screenplay, recruit neighbors as actors and lay out the filming over a 10-day period in Tarrytown, N.Y., where he lived. We see Queenan as he takes the $279 Hollywood Film Institute course; learns the astronomical cost of everything from camera rental to buying film stock. In the end Queenan is left with a bill for more than $67,000. Fans of Queenan (If You're Talking to Me, Your Career Must Be in Trouble) will find this memoir funny in parts but often tedious and repetitious, and student filmmakers may find it interesting for its nuts-and-bolts information. Major ad/promo; author tour. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/29/1996
Release date: 02/01/1996
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-0-7868-8198-7
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