Monday, October 11, 2010


Mansion of Madness (still available on DVD under a variety of titles) is something of a cult film on the basis of being truly awful. An Edgar Allen Poe tale about the insane taking over the asylum, it could have had merit in the hands of another director. Juan Lopez Moctezuma, a good friend, was nevertheless the Ed Wood of Mexico.
An example: Toward the end of the film a mad woman shoots the villain, who is about to run me through -- four times, non-stop, with an eighteenth century flintlock pistol.
  "Juan," I pointed out, "that's a muzzle-loader. You have to put in the gunpowder and ball, then tamp it down with a rod and seal it before you can fire."
   "So? "
   "What I mean is she can't it shoot it four times like that.Unless you want to spend about five minutes watching her re-load after every shot while Claudio (the villain) stands there waiting."
    He shook his head. "One shot isn't dramatic enough. We cut after each shot and re-load off camera. Haven't you ever heard of artistic license?"
     I had a bright idea. "We could turn this into a hell of a comedy." I was serious.
     Juan stalked off and didn't speak to me for the rest of the day.
From FLASHBACKS, Art Hansl's autobiography. Available thru Barnes&Noble, Amazon and soon e-readers Kindle, I-Pad, Kobo, Sony. Check web site at

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