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Wednesday February 7, 2001

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'Wormwood' depicts evils of Hollywood

By Aaron Cowman

Arizona Daily Wildcat

Local filmmaker to show shocking movie at Screening Room

Although Hollywood is recognized by many as the idyllic center of the movie industry, a former member of the UA community has made his own movie highlighting Hollywood's evils.

Larry Foster, a former University of Arizona media arts professor, is unleashing his disgust of Tinseltown through his movie, "Wormwood."

The Screening Room, 127 E. Congress St., is showing Foster's film along with "Planet Krulik 2001," by D.C. director Jeff Krulik, all weekend long.

"It's a very disgusting film," Foster said. "I wanted it to be controversial."

"Wormwood" is the story of a girl who goes to Hollywood in search of her sister and witnesses the horrors of the film industry along the way, including rape, cannibalism and crucifixion.

Working for Paramount Pictures soured Foster to Hollywood and everything in it. He said this film allows him to release some of his pent-up feelings.

"I wanted to make the most viciously anti-Hollywood film I could make," Foster said. "I wanted people in Hollywood to want to kill me."

Filming entirely in Tucson allowed Foster to keep expenses to a minimum.

"It's extremely low budget," he said. "Ninety-five percent of it was filmed in my house."

Foster, whose wife is the lead actress of the film, said that his sole desire is to screen the film for people who can truly understand its message.

"My hope is to get it to Hollywood and show it right in the belly of darkness," Foster said. "I think that people in Hollywood could really identify with it."

"Planet Krulik 2001" will make its Arizona debut in conjunction with the "Wormwood" screening.

Mike Plante, publisher of Cinemad magazine, which highlights little known filmmakers and their films, said that Krulik gained notoriety from some of his earlier work.

"The guy got really well-known for 'Heavy Metal Parking Lot,'" Plante said. "It got to be this heavily traded bootleg video tape."

"Heavy Metal Parking Lot," shot in 1986 in a parking lot, is a documentary featuring conversations with Judas Priest fans. It is one of many in his "Parking Lot" series which most recently included "Harry Potter Parking Lot" in which Krulik speaks with children waiting to meet with the popular series' author.

"Krulik likes celebrity chasing and seeing roadside America," Plante said. "He spends a lot of attention looking at fans. He really respects the fans."

Plante said that this is not the first interaction he has had with Foster.

"It's kind of weird," Plante said. "He was one of our film teachers at the UA. He's a really nice guy who made this really crazy film."

The Tucson screening is made possible by a sponsorship from Casa Video, 2905 E. Speedway Blvd.

"(Casa Video is) paying for the rental of the projector and the space," Foster said.

He added that he is not sure how people will react to the first official showing of "Wormwood." He said that the graphic subject matter may offend some, but only time will tell.

"Some people will be appalled by it," Foster said. "Although nowadays, nothing seems to shock anybody. It'll be interesting."