Three O’Clock High – A 35th Anniversary Oral History

If John Hughes and Martin Scorsese had a baby, it would probably share a striking resemblance to Three O’Clock High.

Released in theaters thirty-five years ago this weekend, Three O’Clock High centers around an unforgettable day in the life of Jerry Mitchell (Casey Siemaszko). After being asked to interview new student Buddy Revell (Richard Tyson) for the school newspaper, Jerry makes the grave error of touching him on the shoulder, forcing the two into an after-school brawl. As the clock steadily ticks, Jerry desperately attempts to escape his impending doom, only to eventually find the courage to face Buddy at three o’clock. 

The plot may read like an average eighties teen flick, but the movie is far from it. With an offbeat script from Richard Christian Matheson and Tom Szollosi, and complex camera work from director Phil Joanou and cinematographer Barry Sonnenfeld, the movie has a vastly different feel than other films of the era. Rather than leaning on wish fulfillment, Three O’Clock High presented an unforgiving take on the high school experience, counterbalanced with a heap of surrealistic comedic sequences for good measure. 

Along with its unique tone, the film boasts an accredited ensemble cast — including players like Jeffrey Tambor, Philip Baker Hall, and Mitch Pileggi among others — backing the dynamite lead pairing of Siemaszko and Tyson.  

While the film initially underperformed at the box office, it has gone on to become a beloved cult classic. Numerous articles and think pieces have been penned in its honor. Entertainment figures such as Seth Green and Quentin Tarantino have expressed an affection for it. And all these years later, new generations of movie lovers have continued to discover the film and relate to the timeless struggle of Jerry Mitchell.

For Three O’Clock High’s thirty-fifth anniversary, Andrew spoke with a number of cast and crew to reminisce on their experiences making the film. Thankfully, nobody challenged him to a fight when he requested an interview. 

“It’s a good read. Fast, angry, sexual…”

I. The Screenplay

In the mid 1980s, writing team Richard Christian Matheson and Tom Szollosi were on a hot streak. Since getting their start on Three’s Company in 1978, the two had racked up a number of TV writing credits, including shows like The Incredible Hulk, Knight Rider, and The A-Team. One night, Matheson found himself feeling inspired by his adolescence as an idea crept up on him for a new screenplay. 

Matheson: Like many guys, I’d been in Jerry’s position as a kid and remembered the dread of waiting for a fight after school I knew I’d lose. That feeling never fully leaves you, and I got the idea for the film in a flash one night twenty-five years later… the plot, characters, structure, everything. Sometimes you get lucky like that. The six periods of Jerry’s high school day were the perfect way to explore his increasingly desperate options to avoid the fight; I jotted down each step for each period, each strategy… it all fit like a glove. I told Tom the whole thing and he was all in.

The pair began working on the script, originally titled After School. In contrast to recent lighthearted teen films, Matheson and Szollosi opted for a darker tone when crafting their screenplay. 

Matheson: [At the time,] we were the supervising producers, at Warner Brothers, on the TV version of the film Stir Crazy and our writing/producing duties ended around six, at which point we’d stay late in our office and work on the script. It came quickly since we’d written TV and Film together for years. We were on the same wave-length. We always had a fairly dark, ironic, quirky approach in our work. Sardonic but not punch-line driven… more about odd observations, strange twists, offbeat dialogue. Maybe even a bit of nihilism. That was our voice and the script reflected it.

When the two began pitching to studios and production companies, they were met with a soft reception at first. Their luck would soon change though, after getting in the good graces of a certain “King of Entertainment.”

Matheson: Before writing it, we pitched the idea, here and there, to producers and studios. People loved it, but no one made a move. So, we decided to write it on spec and our CAA agents sent it around — to no immediate bites. At the same time, we were also writing episodes of Amazing Stories and, to our cosmic fortune, Steven Spielberg loved our scripts and asked us to do a pass on the script for Harry and the Hendersons, which was about to go into production. 

He was crazy about our re-write and asked us what else we were working on. We mentioned After School, and told Steven that CAA has already submitted it to Amblin which passed. He wanted to hear more about it, and we told him the idea and he flipped on the spot, read it that night, and got back to us the next day. He wanted to make it and said he, too, had been tormented by a bully or two as a kid and greatly related to it.

Once word got out that Steven Spielberg was interested in After School, it suddenly became the most in-demand script in Hollywood. The writers found themselves being hit with a flurry of offers. Among the highest bidders was television tycoon Aaron Spelling, who had just recently started a film division.

Matheson: Every studio in town suddenly wanted it. So, giant offers were coming fast and furious. Aaron Spelling also wanted it for his film company and I remember standing at a bank of pay phones (this was before cell phones) with Aaron on one phone and Steven on another. They both wanted it and were touting why we should go with them. In a very cool move, they decided to join forces and do it together.

Around the same time, Spielberg was also championing a young director named Phil Joanou. A recent graduate of USC, Joanou caught Spielberg’s eye with his student film Last Chance Dance. After being given a shot at directing a couple episodes of Amazing Stories, Joanou was chosen to take the reins for After School. However, the director initially had reservations about coming on board.

Joanou: My student film Last Chance Dance was a high school movie and at the time, John Hughes movies were very popular and the high school film was a genre unto itself. I went to Steven and said, “You know, I like it, it’s funny, but I don’t know if I want to do a high school movie as my first film.” I was a punk kid. I had already made a high school short film — not that the world knew that, but I had the wisdom of a twenty-three year old at that point.

I went home that night and was thinking to myself, “So if two years ago, you said to me, ‘Steven Spielberg is going to give you a script to direct for Universal, but because it’s a high school film, you’re gonna say no,’ I’d be like, ‘YOU’VE LOST YOUR MIND!’” I panicked and was like, “Oh my god, I’ve screwed up.” First thing the next morning, I was out at like 8 AM waiting outside his office. He got in at 9 after I’m sitting there and he’s like, “Phil, what are you doing here?” I was like, “I thought about it, I made a big mistake!” I was afraid that someone else had already said yes that day.

While Matheson recalls minimal changes being made to the script going into production, Joanou has a slightly different recollection of how it evolved.

Matheson: The only change Steven requested, if we were open to it, was dropping Jerry’s voice-overs [which originally featured throughout the script]. We were fine with that. The shooting script was 98% exactly our original script. 

Joanou: The original script of After School was very broad and pretty much a straight ahead comedy about a kid and a bully. It was not a black comedy. It didn’t have the darker comedic aspects that the film ultimately did. Most of the characters and the structure were there, but the different kinds of layers of hell that he goes through were all things that I added. I added the whole thing of breaking into the student store, and him planting the switchblade. I added the Duke, who later became the Duker [played by Mitch Pileggi]. I was really influenced by Martin Scorsese’s After Hours… I loved his use of the ticking clock and how that was set in one night. Just like Griffin Dunne was trapped in SoHo, Jerry was trapped in high school.

II. Casting

Joanou and the film’s producers embarked on an extensive, nationwide search to fill the lead role of Jerry Mitchell. Having just come off a starring role in an episode of Amazing Stories, as well as small parts in films like Stand By Me and Back to the Future, Casey Siemaszko ended up catching the casting department’s eye.

Joanou: We had open casting calls in L.A., Chicago, and New York that were open to anybody. We had thousands of kids reading. Oh my god, the amount of videotape I had to go through… 

Valerie McCaffrey (casting assistant): We had almost every single young person come in and read, and from what I remember, Casey just really killed it in the audition. He was everything we were looking for in that role. He was taller in stature, he was more character-y. And he had comedic skills. I don’t remember anyone really being in competition with him. 

Joanou: Both Corey Feldman and Kirk Cameron were considered. I want to say there was some specific reason why it didn’t work out with Kirk, but I don’t remember what happened with Corey at all. But they were in the mix. 

One of the actors who came in to read for Buddy Revell was Richard Tyson. Having recently moved to L.A. from Mobile, Alabama, Tyson was a hungry actor willing to go to any lengths necessary to win the part.

Tyson (via Flickering Myth): I had fourteen callbacks. I was living in my truck. I had a couch in my pickup truck. It was an old truck. I also had a barbecue grill. I would take it to Malibu and put the tailgate down, and the couch would be level. I would cook chop steak or something, and that’s how I lived. 

McCaffrey: Richard came in quite a few times before we offered him the role. There was such a contrast; Richard was the taller, bigger, handsome guy. And then we had Casey, who was more vulnerable, right? It was about finding a balance between the two that was believable and that worked. Richard really went there in his audition to play the bully, and he made the perfect nemesis for Casey. 

Joanou: Right when he walked in, I was like, “This guy’s Buddy.”

The film also included a wide range of supporting characters, which entailed its own nationwide casting search. 

McCaffrey: We ended up putting together quite an interesting cast. The ages were challenging at the time because when Casey Siemaszko ended up being cast, of course he was twenty-five or twenty-six years old. My first impression was, “How do we make this movie believable and how do we cast accordingly?” So we basically cast a lot of the roles younger than him and we had to balance the casting ages by their looks.

Stacey Glick (“Brei”): I was still a kid when I was in Three O’Clock High. I was fourteen, and had been acting for a few years doing some commercials and TV movies and things like that. I had come off a feature film called Brighton Beach Memoirs, and then Three O’Clock High came soon after that. 

Guy Massey (“Scott”): I graduated from college in ‘86 and came home to Chicago and auditioned that summer. I remember for the audition, I went in trying to dress like a high schooler. I got a stupid t-shirt with some joke written on it, some high-tops, and walked in chewing gum and wearing a backpack. It just went from there and I got cast. 

Annie Ryan (“Franny”): I was seventeen and I was going into my final year of high school. I had made a couple of films already and I was auditioning for whatever was coming through town. I had gone to Europe with my mother for the first time and we had just arrived in West Ireland in this little town called Clifden. In those days, there was just one hotel and two telephones in the entire village. We arrived, and we get this call from my mother’s cousins in Mayo saying, “They want her to come to L.A. tomorrow for a screen test for this film, Three O’Clock High.” And I thought, “Well Jesus, we just got here! I’m not really sure that’s a great idea.”

I ended up in the hotel bar later and I was talking with this local town boozer. He called himself a philosopher and said he was friends with Peter O’Toole, which didn’t phase me in the least. He said, “You know, if they really want you, they’ll wait.” I said, “Okay.” So, I went back and said, “If you really want me, you’ll wait.” And they did! So I did my little trip to Ireland for a week and then we went back to L.A.

Joanou: One actress that came in for Franny who did not get the part was a little-known woman named Winona Ryder. She did great, but she had just been in Lucas and I thought, “Oh, it’s too similar. It’d be like seeing her do the same thing twice in a row.”

Jonathan Wise (“Vincent”): I had been in L.A. for maybe a year and a half, and had done a fair amount of work [prior to Three O’Clock High]. I was fortunate not to be working in restaurants and things like that. What was really lucky for me was that it was the era of the geeky best friend. There was more work for “Geeky Best Friend” than there was for anything else at the time. 

III. On the Set

Three O’Clock High began shooting in Ogden, Utah in the fall of 1986. Supplied with a modest budget of $5 million and tight six week shooting schedule, Joanou dove into his first feature film full of ambition. At the age of twenty-four, he was younger than both of the film’s leads and a majority of the crew.

Ryan: It’s so funny, because I’m now thirty years older than Phil would have been when he was making the film. He was just so dynamic. He was so excited by the forum and just a total cinephile.

Glick: Phil was amazing. I think people really respected him and what he was trying to do and were kind of amazed at his ability to have landed the role of director at such a young age. I mean, when we started filming he was twenty-four and he wasn’t even able to rent a car. The age to rent a car was twenty-five, so we had to have somebody from the crew rent him a car.

Martha Elcan (assistant director): Phil was definitely intense, but who wouldn’t be? This was a huge break for him. I felt like he knew exactly what he wanted. He really plotted it out, but he also knew the time restrictions and the budget restrictions. He possibly rubbed some people the wrong way just because he was so tense and he knew what he wanted, but I really liked working with him because he knew what he wanted.

Joanou: Going into it, I was scared to death. Here I was, right out of film school, and I hadn’t in anyone’s mind earned the right to be directing my first movie at twenty-four. I think that people were like, “This is ridiculous. Who is this kid?” It was like winning the lottery and people in the industry were very, shall we say, suspicious of me and whether or not I had the right to be there. 

Glick: Anne and I were very close with Phil and I think maybe we had a different kind of relationship with him than some of the other cast members because we were younger. I almost think he was a little overwhelmed by everything that was going on and I think he felt more comfortable with us.

Joanou: Once I got over my initial nerves, I loved the cast and I got more and more confident as time went on. 

While Ogden may not have been the most luxurious shooting location, it allowed for the cast to develop a close camaraderie over the course of filming. 

Ryan: There was nothing to do in Ogden! There was no nightlife, there were no restaurants. The fact that we were in Utah and that it wasn’t in New York or in a big city made it feel much more like an independent film where you’re sleeping on each other’s sofas. It really felt like we were all kind of in it together.

Glick: We developed a pretty tight-knit connection living in that kind of environment. Richard definitely kept to himself a little more, but Casey was very fun and social. Anne and I were inseparable. We all spent a lot of time hanging out together both on the set and at the hotel where we were living at that time.

Massey: I didn’t work that many days, but my recollection is that once they got us there, they were afraid of storms and weather preventing people from getting in and out, so they just kept us all there for like two months. So for me, it was the adventure of a lifetime. We were bopping all over the place, taking drives to Park City and going to see beautiful nature and things like that.

Wise: I remember we listened to Paul Simon everyday. That album Graceland had just come out and that was all we listened to. I loved hanging out with Philip Baker Hall, who unfortunately just recently passed away.

Ryan: There were so many great people on that movie, like Barry Sonnenfeld and Jeffrey Tambor. Everybody was kind and decent, and it was very exciting to track people’s careers afterwards.

When reflecting on memorable scenes from the film, the cast recall some for their innovation, while others stand out more for being products of their time. 

Ryan: I remember Casey and I had this weird seance where I think I lit candles and we had to kiss. This was way back before intimacy coordination and I think we were sent off behind a bookcase to practice by ourselves. They were all very nice about it, it wasn’t creepy or weird or anything, but you know… off you go behind a bookcase! [laughs]

Massey: I liked the scene where my partner [Bruce, played by Scott Tiler] and I are trying to convince Casey to allow us to film him in the classroom, and there’s that film on the projector of the bug eating the other bug. It was fun because if my memory serves, we did the script, and then they just let us riff and go and work on him. That was also one of those scenes where seeing it afterwards with the edit was just a joy and it really worked.

Glick: One thing that was super cool was that Phil’s parents came to set when they did the scene in the library when all the bookshelves fall over. As you can imagine, to make that scene was just a remarkable achievement and they only had one shot to get it right. It was just an incredible scene and Phil’s parents were so proud and amazed about this huge thing he was responsible for.

Joanou: We were trying to get it in one take. As you see in the film, it’s one continuous shot with no cuts until it falls in front of the guys. The knight had a cable on it that was on a turntable. So when it hit, a guy hidden behind the bookshelves would pull the cable, so it would spin and fall over. The first set of bookshelves fell. It hit the armor, he spun. Then the guy pulled the cable and it broke, and the knight didn’t fall. We’re all standing there like, “Oh, no!” Everyone there — the entire crew, my parents, my sister — everyone put those books back and we did it again. 

Wise: What I find hilarious about the library scene is how many copies of that exact scene have now shown up in later films. I’ve seen it several times in other films and there’s a couple things I’ve seen in films since then that I’m pretty sure were not popular prior to Three O’Clock High

The scene that required the most time and effort was of course the epic schoolyard brawl between Jerry Mitchell and Buddy Revell.

Joanou: I want to say that out of a thirty day schedule, five days of it was the fight. So, a giant percentage was the fight. We did it at the end too. Everyone had been waiting, waiting, waiting for the fight. The school was waiting, the kids were waiting.

Elcan: The thing I remember most about the fight scene is that we started shooting it on the first day of hunting season in Utah, which apparently is a huge deal. I can’t remember what we did about it, but no males were signing up to be extras for that day because they already had their hunting plans. So we were going to have fifteen-hundred girls at a fight, which seemed really strange! I can’t remember what we did, but we must have just gone out to other schools in the area and started recruiting. It’s possible we changed the date, but I doubt it. 

Glick: That scene was pretty remarkable. It took days and days of filming and getting all the different angles right. I do remember my part in that scene was I had to find a way to give my brother the brass knuckles. Originally, the script called for me to kind of go over to him and act like I was crying, and I guess that wasn’t working so well. They didn’t think that was so effective, so Phil and I decided to just have me be a little bit more serious, which makes sense with how I was throughout the whole movie. I think “Cripple the dick” is kind of the most famous line from the movie. Or at least I’ve been told!

IV. Something to Remember Me By

After screening an initial cut of Three O’Clock High to test audiences, a few changes ended up being made to the film prior to its official release. 

Ryan: My character originally was a lot weirder. They screened the film in Pasadena, and the conventional audiences found me too weird to end up with the guy. No one could understand why it wasn’t gorgeous Liza [Morrow, “Karen”], which is fair enough. But basically, they reshot some of my scenes afterward to make me more conventional and they used a mixture in the final cut. 

Glick: I think people really loved [my character] and connected to her. In a group of whacky kids and adults, she was in some ways the most mature and reasonable. So I think there were no issues with Brei as a character, but I do recall that we went back and added the front section of the movie which wasn’t originally there. Maybe to give a little more context to the characters and the setup and what was going on.

Joanou: I don’t remember Franny specifically being an issue in the testing of the film. The issue was that people couldn’t track who our central characters were because there were so many in the beginning and they were so spread out in the way that they were introduced. The audience was unclear after seeing all those kids that it was really Jerry’s movie. So, we shot for a few days and added that whole opening sequence and basically set up that he was having a terrible day from the beginning.

One change that resulted from the new opening sequence was the addition of the soaring theme song “Something to Remember Me By.”

Joanou: Once we had this new opening sequence, we knew we wanted a song for it. The music department sent it out to different bands. Some people were throwing out ideas, but nothing really clicked. Jim Walker and I were friends in high school. 

Jim Walker (songwriter): Phil and I both grew up in the same town in La Canada, California, and my sister and his sister were friends. So, I kind of knew about Phil growing up because he was a kid in high school who was making movies and things like that. He was very ambitious and would get everybody involved in these projects, so everyone kind of knew who he was.

Joanou: I went to Jim and said, “Come look at the film.” I screened it for him secretly and said, “Take a look at it, and if you come up with something, let me know.”

Walker: I saw the opening scene, and I knew the premise of the movie was that he was about to get his ass kicked after school. For some reason, I thought about one of those old film noirs where someone goes, “Ah, I’ll give you something to remember me by, buddy!” So, that popped in my head. At the time, I didn’t have a real studio. There was a room behind the pool at my parents house and I had like a 4-track machine and a drum machine. It was really primitive.

Joanou: Sure enough, he goes home and within two days, he has the demo. As soon as I heard it, I was like, “Oh my god.” 

Walker: He thought it was great, but then he came back to me a couple weeks later and said, “I don’t think anything’s going to happen because the studio wants to put on all the big bands who are on the label.” I guess it was like Tom Petty, Big Country, and Thompson Twins or whoever was having hits at the time. I guess they played all of the songs for Spielberg after the film was done and he said, “I don’t like any of this stuff.” And Phil said, “Well, I have this other song.” 

Joanou: I sent it to David Vogel, the producer. He was like, “Where’d you get this!?” I told him. He’s like, “So he’s like an unknown? He isn’t on a label?” I said, “No! He’s just an up-and-coming guy.” Then we played it for Steven in the Amblin screening room and he loved it. It was like, “Done! That’s it.”

V. Release

Despite Steven Spielberg’s close involvement behind the scenes, he would end up going uncredited for his work on Three O’Clock High upon its release.

Joanou: Steven fully produced that movie. I only met Aaron Spelling once. He never came to set, I never saw him. I answered to Steven on everything- budget, schedule, casting, script, everything. But, he was never comfortable taking it from Aaron Spelling. He was kind of like, “I don’t wanna take this from him.”

When we first tested the film, it scored in the upper 70s. And then we put the new opening on and tested it again. That was a crazy screening. I had Spielberg on one side of me, Kathleen Kennedy and Brian De Palma on the other side, and we screened it. The crowd was roaring and it was really the best screening we ever had, but it still only scored in the 80s, and you want it to score in the 90s. They also couldn’t really figure out how to market it because it was a black comedy and not a straight ahead comedy.

Honestly, I think in the end, if Steven and the people at Amblin had all sensed that it was going to be a hit – which it clearly was not going to be a hit – they probably would have made it an Amblin/Spielberg thing. But why put your name on something that’s clearly just going to come and go? And so, he never did put his name on it. I mean, I wish that he had and I was bummed. I was hoping he would, but I understood why he didn’t because it’s kinda like I didn’t earn it frankly. The film didn’t earn it and I didn’t earn it. 

Three O’Clock High opened in 849 theaters on October 9th, 1987. Despite having a riveting premiere in L.A., the film failed to gain mainstream traction. It would rank 9th at the box office opening weekend, grossing just over $1.5 million and falling behind blockbusters like Fatal Attraction and Dirty Dancing.  

Wise: I remember my father flew in from Toronto for the premiere and before he landed, there was a pretty significant earthquake in L.A. I’m like, “This is perfect. My career is about to take off with this big film and all of Los Angeles is going to be completely destroyed.”

Matheson: I don’t remember the earthquake, but the premiere was a big thrill. It was at Universal, in a huge theater, and all our friends and family were our guests. I recall either Scorsese or Brian De Palma being there… all kinds of filmmakers and luminaries; the screening was a hot ticket. It was the first time we had seen the completed film and were blown away. My father—a guy who appreciated suspense and offbeat humor—was there and loved it.

Ryan: I don’t remember being in L.A. for the premiere. I was at NYU when it came out, and I remember it was there in cinemas for like a week and that was it. It didn’t really do anything. It didn’t get good reviews.

Joanou: When U2 hired me to go out on tour with them [to direct Rattle and Hum], they hadn’t even seen Three O’Clock High. I saw it with them in New York City on tour one of the two weekends that it was out, and it was just the five of us in an empty theater. No one was there. 

Glick: I’m a literary agent now and I represent books and authors, and I think in some ways, books and movies are similar in that it’s very unpredictable [whether or not they’ll be successful]. You don’t ever really know what’s going to hit or when or why or how.

Matheson: It’s impossible to know what will catch on or succeed. Many wonderful films tank, many lousy films are hits. It’s the casino we work in.

Elcan: I’m surprised it didn’t hit bigger at the time. When I went back and watched it recently, I was so impressed with how it was shot. Pretty much everything was moving, and there were some wonderful crane shots and steadicam shots. There’s so much movement and energy. 

Wise: You know what it was? It was all about timing in those days. There were some pretty big films that came out around the same time as us. I remember I was back in Toronto and we were watching the numbers and there was something that was doing extremely well. 

Ryan: It was almost like a little independent film before independent films. Like, if they had waited even two years, it probably would have caught the new independent wave thing that started with [Gus] Van Sant and all those other people.

VI. 35 Years Later

Despite Three O’Clock High’s lack of box office success, it’s gone on to find a dedicated cult fanbase through cable and home video. Those involved look back on the experience of making the film fondly, and have rejoiced in its sleeper success saga.

Matheson: I’m proud of it. Creatively, as I said, minus Jerry’s voice-overs, it’s the spec script we wrote, including the strange surreal tone and bizarre twists. When every studio and producer in town was bidding on the script, Spielberg promised us, if we did it with him, he wouldn’t change anything or allow rewrites Tom and I didn’t do or agree with. Again, other than some tiny suggestions we loved, it was exactly what we wrote and Steven was good for his word. I must also add that the cast and director nailed it.

Glick: I’m sure this is different from the other people you’ve spoken to, but the movie really helped to shape my childhood. This might be a little extreme, but it kind of made me the person that I am. It was a very intense working environment and I think for all of us, it was an incredible and unforgettable experience. The fact that the movie has continued to resonate with people all these years later is so incredible and I’m just so happy that I was a part of it.

Walker: It’s funny, because I literally forgot all about it. I just went on my merry way and did whatever I was doing for the next several years. And then when email started going in ‘94 or ‘95, I started getting emails from people that were like, “Are you the guy who did the song for that movie?”

Wise: Because I’m not in the industry anymore, it’s kind of a fun story that I can surprise people with at parties. What’s funny is two of my sons have a couple of teachers at school who are amazing fans, even before they knew my boys. One of them stopped class in the middle and said, “Is your father Jonathan Wise!?” I think he was more excited about it than my son was.

Marquee in Judd Apatow’s movie “Trainwreck”

Matheson: I do know Three O’Clock High has major fans everywhere. The amazing Judd Apatow is one (check-out the theater marquee in Apatow’s Trainwreck when Amy Schumer goes to the movies, Three O’Clock High is hard to miss). Wherever I go, even in other countries, people love the film and relate to it. It has become a cult phenomenon.

Joanou: I loved making it. The cast were fantastic. Being in Ogden was amazing, the school was so great. Steven was great. Creatively, I was happy with it, but the release was kind of a letdown. Given that the film came and went so quickly, I thought it was just dead and no one would ever know about it. And then, over time, this following developed. It blows my mind. I can’t believe it. It blows my mind that you and I are sitting here discussing it and that anyone cares. That, to me, is the most gratifying aspect.

Note: Despite our best efforts, Casey Siemaszko and Richard Tyson were unable to be reached for comment. 

Production stills were provided courtesy of Phil Joanou.

Check out Jim Walker’s music on Bandcamp and take a listen to Martha Elcan’s podcast, Just Jiggle the Handle!

One comment

  1. Great piece!!!
    Brought back so many great memories hearing from others…

    Makes me wish for a reunion of the cast and crew…

    Please share my personal email with the other cast members..,,would be incredible to reconnect,



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