Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Mule Skinner Blues|
Actors: Beanie Andrew, Don Arrup, Emily Brannon, Holly Cavanaugh, Raymond Dagley
Director: Stephen Earnhart
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Music Video & Concerts, Documentary
Beanie Andrew has been possessed with making his own B-grade horror film. He rallies his fellow trailer park friends to fulfill his bizarre vision: to "rise from beneath the murky swamps behind the local junkyard in a blue... more »
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Captures true essence of real people
kevin cain | pensacola | 12/13/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"WOW! What a great film that gives those without a clue a slice of reality and really entertains those of us who can relate. "Don't be a wish-a-woulda""
"MAKE PEACE WITH YOUR INNER GORILLA"
Karen Shaub | the inner reaches of the outer limits | 12/30/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If you are into documentaries and you enjoyed AMERICAN MOVIE I can practically guarantee that you're going to like MULE SKINNER BLUES since it almost begs to be compared to that earlier film by Chris Smith and Sarah Price. AMERICAN MOVIE is about a hard drinking guy from Wisconsin named Mark Borchardt who is consumed by his passion to make a movie in spite of all the obstacles placed in his path and all the nay sayers he encounters. In MULE SKINNER BLUES the film takes place in the upper right hand corner of my old stomping grounds, Florida, in a nowhere-land called Mayport located near Jacksonville on the Atlantic coast, and our primary mover and shaker is Beanie Andrew who looks to be at least 60 something, quite a bit older than the dreamer in AMERICAN MOVIE. Unlike Mark, Beanie has absolutely no training or film experience, just the life-long urge to jump out of the mud dressed as a gorilla and scare people. His big chance came when a young film maker named Stephen Earnhart came to town one day--and Beanie pounced.
Earnhart was in Florida scouting locations for a low budget horror film he hoped to do called DEVIL DEER (oh boy). Fortunately for us that deal fell through, but he did wind up producing a music video called "Book of Angels" for Jim White instead and they decided to film it in Mayport. Beanie Andrew and some of his friends were cast in the video. The die was cast too. After that there was no escaping Beanie who sent numerous unsolicited tapes to Earnhart trying to convince him that there was tons of local talent and endless amounts of wonderful locations around Mayport and Earnhart should really come back and make a film with them. Earnhart was charmed by the entire thing and amazed by the sheer energy and persistence of Andrew. He knew there was indeed a film there and that he was going to make it, but he had no idea how it was going to end.
What follows is more than just your usual parade of colorful and eccentric characters, although there is that of course. We get to know Beanie the best. He's a born salesman--half P.T. Barnum, half Elmer Gantry, he fervently believes everything he says and he does everything humanly possible to make this little horror movie come to fruition. He's a singing, dancing, dynamo who seems indestructable. Then there's the quiet, introverted Larry Parrot who co-writes the movie's script with Beanie. Larry is an aging fanboy with a mailorder wife. He was a member of Christopher Lee's fan club (his son is named Christopher) and he even won an autographed script from THE MUMMY in one of the club's contests. There's Miss Jeannie who likes to yodel and sings the film's title song with the help of copious amounts of schnappes to get her past her really bad smoker's cough. Earnhart also produced a music video of Miss Jeannie singing her "DUI Blues" which is included on this dvd. We can't forget Annabelle Lea-Usher (sound like a stage name to you?) who tried and failed in the Big Apple. She does the costumes and special effects for the film and has something special in her freezer. And last but not least the film's two muscians, Steve Walker and Ricky Lix. Ricky is probably the more talented musician, but at the end of the film the older Walker claims that true happiness is having enough money to buy beer, cigarettes, and take his lady to the Renaissance Fair, so he has achieved some degree of enlightenment.
MULE SKINNER BLUES is not a freak show. It doesn't hold these characters up to ridicule and say look at the redneck drunks, aren't they amusing. Director Earnhart treats his subjects with dignity and frankly identifies with them a great deal--they are novices at film making and so is he. And that attitude is part of what makes BLUES stand out from the average documentary. Yeah, they're flaky, and they're sometimes unintentionally funny, but I think that could probably be said about all of us if we were able to see ourselves exposed as they are here. You'll really get to know all of these people by the end of this film and you won't feel that the time you spent with them was wasted. You may even learn a little life lesson from Beanie who says "If you're gonna do something, DO it. If you fall in the mud, maybe you'll come out as a gorilla."
Clive Barker's Mule Skinner Blues..........
alan armijo | San Dimas, Ca. USA | 06/29/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Destine to become a cult classic for alcoholics everywhere,"Mule Skinner Blues" conveys a message of hope for every poor, down-and-out individual."
Slice of Southern Trailer Park Life
Tampa Quilter | Tampa, FL USA | 10/24/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This strange documentary takes place in the South near Jacksonville, Florida, and is about a group of the trailer park residents who decide to make a horror film. This is not a polished documentary; however, it works perfectly with the Southern characters in this film, all of whom seem to have come right out of the pages of novel by Flannery O'Conner, Erskine Caldwell or Tennessee Williams."