CINEMA HOLOCAUST ON THE FRENCH RIVIERA, PART 2: WHO NEEDS A GUN OR A BOMB WHEN YOU HAVE BURUNDANGA?
I wake up in my hotel room in a daze. I'm still jet lagged from the flight yesterday.
The bottle of wine I downed on my own last night isn't helping either. But I'm pleasantly surprised to find that I've pitched a tent pole under my bed sheets. I haven't had morning wood in months. I must have been dreaming about something good. If only I could remember what it was. There's not much that gets me off anymore. Everything has become so dull that it's hard to get excited.
God that was an awful pun.
I get myself to the bathroom and decide to enjoy the erection while I still have a chance. I think about my wife, Cheryl at the gangbang the night before my flight. At the time, I thought it was hot, but trying to picture it in my mind now does nothing for me.
I think about Laura Del Lasso. I met her at preferred bar while on the road somewhere outside of Pittsburgh three months ago. She's your average suburban runaway. Parents pushed her too hard, gave her too much love, tried their best to raise a good girl, and had it all backfire. She met some older man in a band at some point or another and he took her away to the big city. She got into drugs and now just cruises from job to job, couch to couch, looking for the next rock star that she can develop an imaginary relationship with.
I used her as an actress in three of my films. She looked great dying on video. She looked even better after I slit her throat once the camera stopped recording.
I finally find the release I was hoping for while picturing Laura's lifeless body lying in a Motel 8's bathtub.
A good wank is always the best way to start your day.
I draw the window curtains open and let the sunlight unspool into the room.
It's an overcast but pleasant enough day on The Promenade de la Croisette here on the French Riviera.
I look out at the bustling strip of high end restaurants, cafes, and boutiques beyond my window outside of my hotel. I watch all of the luxury European sports cars make their way along the coastal road; Ferrari, Porsche, Lamborghini. Pair this with the beautiful women in their string bikinis with their wet hair from a morning dip in the ocean, and the whole town looks like some poster in some fraternity brother's dorm room wall.
I can practically taste the opportunity this year's film festival has in store for me.
I'm here to sell my new film, Evil Dead Whore Asylum on the film market.
I admit, it's not my best.
In fact, it's a piece of shit. We had the entire film in the can after a two weekend shoot about six months ago on a budget of $2500. There's not much of a plot; a madman simply named The Pimp kidnaps a bunch of girls, drugs them, and then forces them into prostitution where he sells them out to psychotic homeless men living in an abandoned mental institution. The pimp is also conducting mutagenic experiments based on Nazi occult research in the hopes of breeding monster fetuses with his sex slaves.
Most of the film was shot in a North Philly warehouse. The footage was intercut with B-roll I took at the abandoned Byberry mental institution before it was demolished in 2005.
Evil Dead Whore Asylum is barely even watchable beyond the rape scenes, and even those are pretty lackluster.
But it was never my intention to come to Cannes to sell my masterpiece. These pig fuckers here aren't hardcore enough for my work so there's not much point in even trying. I just needed something to tout around. It doesn't matter what it is.
I've been bumping around in the horror convention circuit for the last 10 years selling my films one by one at ten bucks a pop out of my back pack.
Few of my films have had any legitimate release or festival run outside of the strip club that I bounce for.
Troma bought and released my first feature, Aborted Rape Baby Attack, but that hardly counts to me. I never saw a penny from it. Lloyd handed me a contract promising a 50/50 split on any revenue generated by the film's release and then he went and immediately uploaded the film to Troma's YouTube page for free.
It has 15 views. I hear that's successful for most of the Troma acquisitions from the last six years.
So why did I blow my rent check and a month's salary on coming out to Cannes?
One word, Burundanga, also known as Scopolamine, also known as Devil's Breath.
Harvested from the Borrachero tree in Colombia, Burundanga is a notorious drug that has achieved urban myth status as the scariest drug in the world.
A friend turned me onto a viral video about it that was produced by Vice a little over a year ago.
Burundanga is supposedly the ultimate roofie. Just a small amount is capable of rendering a person into bonafide zombie, a zombie that is seemingly coherent and entirely susceptible to suggestion.
Criminals in Colombia use the drug to rob, rape, and humiliate their targets. Blow a small amount of it at a stranger on the street, and they will gladly walk with you to an ATM and cash out their accounts for you. They'll walk you back to their home and help you unload all of their most precious belongings into your van. And they won't remember any of it the following day.
There are countries that use the drug as a truth serum in interrogations, in others; doctors use it as a sedative when they perform surgeries that require the patient to be conscious and responsive.
And then there are the stories of victims waking up in motel tubs filled with ice with their kidneys missing and what not.
The stuff has become legendary, and I've got a two full ounces of it with me here in my French Riviera Hotel.
I have no plans on robbing anyone or taking any kidneys. No, I plan on selling my shit film for top dollar to the biggest horror distributor around. I plan on pitching my ideas to major producers and getting the deals and contracts that will solidify me as the most important, respected, and influential master of horror in the film world today.
When I leave this country, people will know my name.
Michael Dugal, the most intense mother fucking horror director in the history of the genre.
I'm going to show all of those zombie loving pussies true fear.
But for now, it's time for breakfast.
I call for room service. When I order my crepe, I tell the receptionist on the other line to make it as Frenchy as possible. I usually don't eat this faggot shit, but I might as well broaden my horizons a little while I'm here. When in Rome and all that shit.
I smoke a cigarette in my room and treat myself to a few sampler bottles of some fancy European liquor from the mini bar fridge.
When my food arrives, I don't bother putting any pants on. I don't try to conceal that I've been smoking in my non smoking room either.
When the hotel attendant enters, he seems unfazed by my intentional disregard for manners or respect. Is it because he thinks I'm a pompous celebrity, or is he assuming that I'm just another asshole American?
I tip him an American dollar just to rub it in further and am glad to find that he's not wearing those fancy white gloves that I thought all French hotel people wear. I'm glad because I laced the dollar with a small amount of Burundanga powder.
This is my first experiment to see if it works. It's supposed to be instantaneous.
The Frenchman holds the dollar up to his face and examines it. He gives me a dirty look and remains in place. I can only guess that he's expecting me to tip him better and to tip him with francs or Euros.
That's good. That's what I want him to do.
I make an act of searching my luggage for any native currency I might have while I let the drug work its way through his system.
I kill an entire minute pretending to look for tip money in the bathroom while this asshole just stands there and continues to wait.
By the time I return to the main room, I can see that his pupils have already dilated. I see that that glassy, distant look that tells me he's definitely fucked up right now.
I ask him for his name.
Well, the fucker understands English, and holy shit, this Burundanga stuff really works. I've been told that people high on it will often admit to really embarrassing things, hence its use as a truth serum.
So I ask Jean more questions.
"Where can I get a good steak for dinner, Jean?"
"Don't trust Le Bistrot Gourmat or the Le Caveau Des Annees. They will spit in your food and charge you extra for being American."
Well, I'll be damned.
"So, when was the last time you masturbated, Jean?"
The tone of his voice is flat and steady as he speaks. He's off in another world as he consciously answers me.
"I once paid a 13 year old transsexual for sex when I was on vacation in Thailand. My girlfriend was at the hotel room. I told her that I was going out for a walk to explore the markets and buy her a present but I was really having sex with a child prostitute."
Holy shit. That might not have been a direct answer to my question, but I'm still ecstatic with the end result.
I can't explain how or why the idea comes to me, but I retrieve a hammer from my luggage.
I honestly can't think of any logical explanation for why I packed it to begin with. But here it is with me now and I offer it to Jean. He graciously accepts it.
"Do you have any cavities, Jean?"
He nods his head.
"How many, Jean?"
He holds four fingers up.
"How about you go downstairs and remove them in the lobby?"
Jean leaves the hotel room and I eat the crepe. I'm not sure what's in it, some type of fruit and goat cheese possibly. I like it. Actually, it's probably the single most delicious thing I've ever had. I think this trip is going to turn out all right.
When I finish breakfast, I shower, dress, and head out.
As I exit the hotel, I pass by a small crowd of people making quite the commotion. There must be five or six languages being spoken so I can't follow any of what they're saying. There are three paramedics carrying a man out on a stretcher. I can't make out who it is but I have my suspicions.
I notice a few puddles of blood on the extravagant marble floor of the hotel's lobby.
An English man in a jet black suit and Gucci sunglasses offers me an explanation of the scene around us.
"The guy just started pulling out his teeth with a hammer right here in front the concierge's desk in front of everyone. Some people tried to stop him but it was like he was possessed. He just kept jamming the back of his hammer into his mouth knocking out his own teeth. It was the damnedest thing I've ever seen, and I've seen some damned awful things."
I smile while thinking to myself, "Buddy, you haven't seen nothing yet. "
MIKE'S JOURNAL, MAY 15th: EVENING
It's turned into a pretty shitty night. Everyone is lined up for the big premiere of The Great Gatsby, a film that no one is actually interested in seeing.
But since it's the opening night film, everyone wants to be part of the opening night ceremony, and therefore, everyone suddenly wants to see this overproduced piece of shit.
I can't get nowhere near the red carpet, nowhere near the excited hub bub of flashing cameras, international superstars, and star struck star fuckers.
I'm a few blocks away at the back of the line. There are no major press outlets clamoring for exclusive coverage this far out, just a few celebrity gossip blog correspondents. There are a few women standing around who look like they haven't allowed themselves to actually shit out anything they've ate in two years. I can't tell if they're wearing a bike lock for a necklace or if that it's just their collar bones sticking out. They look like vacationed at a Concentration camp in their slinky negative decimal point sized dresses that still drop from their bodies like ponchos. They look like they willingly went out and got AIDS so that they would look better in their high priced hair extensions and painted on tans.
These women stand in front of portable green screens as they dish out celebrity gossip and all the hot buzz happening at the festival 3 blocks away. They slut shame actresses and their gaudy outfits, they talk about which super models were caught drunkenly making out with who at what party.
These celebrity gossip queens are feeding stupid people such mixed messages. They're telling the bored and disenfranchised that all of this is so cool. Don't you want to be here? Don't you want to party like a rock star? Don't you want to be hot? Don't you want to be desired and wanted? Don't you want to be famous? Don't you want to be us?
But then they double back on this and say don't be fat. But don't get plastic surgery because that makes you shallow and fake. Don't get caught fucking around because that makes you a whore. Don't get caught being drunk in public because that makes you a wino loser.
These gossip hounds, they're good at fucking up easily impressionable minds and I'm all for it. Without them, I wouldn't be able to find my actresses for my films, without them, I wouldn't have any victims to have fun with.
Myself, I'm standing in the rain in a black trench coat with white latex gloves and a surgical mask.
I look like a villain from a Resident Evil film and everyone around me thinks it's some sort of costume.
People are asking me what film I'm trying to promote.
My outfit isn't meant to be decorative, it's practical. I'm carrying a stack of business cards laced with Burundanga, also known as Scopolamine, also known as Devil's Breath.
I have a pill bottle with dissolve-able Burundanga tablets. I have sealed up pixie sticks filled with Devil's Breath.
It's rainy, it's windy, and I'm carrying half an ounce of the world's scariest drug. If the contents of my pockets were to get air borne, it could lead to mass hysteria. It could turn this entire film festival into a reenactment of M. Night Shymalan's The Happening, only with better acting of course.
I'm dressed like a comic book super villain and no one is thinking twice about it.
If I were a terrorist, I'd target a Film Festival like Cannes or something like Comic Con.
But then again, who needs bombs or guns when you have a batch of Devil's Breath.
I wander the scenic streets looking for my prey. I don't know who yet.
I see sickly looking African immigrants selling cheap umbrellas to hipsters hoping to score their way into the screening. Nigerian, maybe Kenyon, Haitian even. I don't fucking know.
I wonder where these men come from. What horrors lead them to selling umbrellas to twenty something year old twats in tuxedos and neon green Rayn-Bans in the rain on the French Riviera? And how did they come here? And how is it that they're able to stay?
Jaundiced eyes, acne scared skin, blackened teeth, and skeletal figures. These guys already look like ghosts and they're everywhere.
Like rats, or New York Taxi drivers, they scramble about, fighting each other to make the next sale.
The moment some 24 year old wannabe filmmaker with Justin Bieber hair in some Italian slim fit suit raises his hand to buy an umbrella, four of these hustlers race over, yelling at each other, arguing over who saw the kid first and who gets to make the transaction.
I want to make my next film about a Kenyon umbrella salesman murdering hipsters at the Cannes Film Festival.
I could buy an umbrella with Devil's Breath tainted Euros and then hand one of the many social climbers here my Devil's Breath coated business cards. I could bring them back to my hotel room, set up my video camera, and shoot that film for real tonight if I wanted.
find myself getting excited at the thought of this.
And then I see an old acquaintance buying an umbrella from one of the African men I was imagining as the film's star.
Mark Crescent, he's a regular on the horror convention circuit. He's Bruce Campbell's handler and a pervert. He's bought quite a few DVDs off of me through the years.
I walk over and say hi but he just stares at me for a while until I realize that I'm wearing the surgical mask.
I pull it down for a moment to reveal myself.
I nod my head.
He tries to give me hug, you know, that kind of bro hug that's become trendy; men showing
camaraderie with physical affection for other men with one hand around the others shoulder while you pat his back like burping a baby. I shrug him off. We're not friends, there's no reason for any embrace. He wanted to get off on naked women being disembowel so I sold him videos of naked women being disemboweled.
But I'm curious what his angle is here at the fest. I'm curious if he can be of use to me.
Mark tells me he's moved on from being Bruce Campbell's travel manager to being a sort all purpose assistant over at Ghost House pictures.
He's been hoping to branch out into writing, or producing, or even acquisitions. He wants to break out into anything beyond being a glorified assistant, beyond being someone's gofer, beyond being someone's bitch on a leash.
It's pretty easy to see how he was able to transition himself into Sam Raimi's production company and it must have sounded pretty catching at the time.
Mark here thought he had an opportunity to really break out into the business, to actually be a valuable cog in this crazy machine.
While he has an official and professional sounding title, he's still an assistant. He organizes Raimi's business travels, books his hotel rooms, and manages his schedule and appointments. Sometimes he gets to travel with him. This is one of those times.
But he doesn't have a badge that grants him access into any of the screenings, events, or parties. So he's stuck hanging around, trying to kill time by people watching, star gazing, drinking, and trying to bullshit his way into getting laid.
He asks me if I have any new films. I tell him about Evil Dead Whore Asylum. I tell him he should show it to his new boss. I tell him he should set up a lunch appointment for me with Sam Raimi.
He tells me that'll never happen. He tells me that he likes what I do, but what I do isn't what Ghost House does.
So I tell him that we should at least get lunch sometime, I tell him I'd like to give him a screener of Whore Asylum. I tell him I appreciate him as a fan.
He tells me lunch tomorrow sounds good. He tells me I should give him a call. He hands me his business card.
So I hand him mine.
He rubs his thumb and index finger on my card. He tells me it feels like there might be salt or sugar or something loose in my pocket.
10 minutes later, I have a lunch appointment set up tomorrow with him and Sam Raimi.
MIKE'S JOURNAL, MAY 18: NIGHT
It's been a busy day and an even busier night.
I've just started and already need a break from the action in my hotel room.
Even after spending over a half hour in a hot shower, my hands still smell like pain, fear, and raw meat.
I take a late night stroll along the beach.
I'm no longer wearing a trench coat, or a surgical mask, or latex gloves. I've already found plenty of use for my Devil's breath tonight and I just wish to enjoy the fresh air.
The rain has stopped and the wind has calmed down. It's turned into a pretty decent night.
I find a woman standing by the edge of the shore line, her feet in the water, her back facing me, looking out into the horizon while smoking a cigarette.
She's wearing a pastel blue dress with an exposed backline. I've never been one for cocktail dresses, but I find it attractive on her.
This woman has long flowing brown hair, an olive skin tone, broad shoulders, the ass of a Brazilian model, and the sexiest nape I've ever seen.
I've never bothered to notice a woman's nape before. I hear that the nape is the most festishized and erotic part of a woman's body in Japan. For the first time, I think I can understand why.
I haven't even seen this woman's face, and yet, I'm inexplicably drawn to her like a siren in Greek mythology.
I call out to her.
When she turns around and reveals herself to me, I feel my stomach churning over. I feel anxious but I don't know why. I don't get nervous around women. I don't get gun shy. I generally don't get excited anymore either.
But for the first time since middle school, I feel butterflies in stomach.
She's fucking beautiful so I continue to walk towards her.
She looks at me without interest or apprehension. I can't read her.
I ask if I can join her for a cigarette as I remove one from my pack.
She lights it for me. I've never had a broad light my cigarette before.
I ask "What's your name?"
Before answering me, she takes another prolonged drag, "Alexia."
"Where are you from?"
I find myself gasping for words. She's not being rude. She doesn't have the pissed off, fuck off attitude of a stripper and she's not trying to shoot me down. But she's not responsive to my advances either, and I find myself hesitating.
I'm a fucking wolf. I'm an apex predator. I don't fucking hesitate. Never.
I want to hold her and kiss her and I don't know why.
I ask her, "What brought you to Cannes? Are you an actress?"
She flicks her cigarette out into the sea.
"No. My producer forced me to come here. My documentary needs bridge funding to finish post production."
She doesn't elaborate. She doesn't go on like anyone else here would. She doesn't give a fuck. She exudes a confidence that I don't like. I'm not used to it.
I think about my initial impression of her as some siren and I regret not bringing any Devil's Breath with me.
She has a power over me that I'm not comfortable with and I want to take it back. I just need a sprinkle of my white powdered magic and she'll do whatever I say.
I ask, "Do you party?"
She asks, "What do you mean?"
I say, "You know what I mean."
She says, "Do I want to get high with you?"
She doesn't answer me. Her gaze is fixed on something behind me. I've lost her attention although I don't think I've ever had it.
I turn around and see a short, hairy, stocky, and very naked man slowly walking along the water. He's looking at the ground and slightly shaking his head, and I think he might be talking to himself. This guy is either having a really bad trip, or a really good one. You can never tell.
Alexia isn't just gawking at him as the train wreck that he is, she's staring at him knowingly. She whispers something to herself that I don't catch.
She doesn't even turn to face me as she says, "It was nice to meet you but I see an old friend who I haven't spoken with in years. "
She walks away and heads towards the wilder beast with his dick flapping in the wind.
It wasn't a full on rejection but my pride is still stinging. But I'm not thinking about hurting her as I usually would. I want to hurt the man who stole her attention from me.
And then I realize who it is.
This mother fucker is that same faggot film blogger from Philadelphia that I talked to on the plane the other day.
I don't want to kill him anymore. No. I just want to have some fun with him. I'm going to find him at some point when he's alone and I'm going to cut his tongue out and take his hands off so he'll never be able to share his stupid fucking opinion with anyone ever again.
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