This article is about the 2001 film. For the series, see The Twisted Mile (Series).

The Twisted Mile was Ted Phillips' first popular success in the new millennium. It was recorded on VHS-C format media on the old camera on January 13-14, 2001, but it was not edited or released to the public until December 31, 2009.



Synopsis

Benedict Hass and Michael Pitch murder a friend from school named Tommy Famn. They are swiftly placed under citizen's arrest by Famn's cousin, David Rap. David Rap, with the help of Vincent Puck and Fr. Juarez Bell, holds a closed trial and sentences Hass and Pitch to death.

Rap hooks Hass to a running Nintendo 64 system to carry out the death sentence by electrocution. However, Hass is unaffected by the current and attempts a prison break. When this fails, Fr. Bell releases Hass and Pitch from the prison by opening fire on everyone present. Bell is sentenced to death by electrocution for their presumed deaths.

History

Beginning in 1997, Ted and Nick Phillips used a computer program called Steven Spielberg's Director's Chair, most frequently during summer 1999. During September 1999, Nick wrote and produced a screenplay called The Prisoners, which was a parody of Director's Chair, for his friend Danny Hostomsky to direct, as one of their projects as Dannick Studios.

One day later that month, when they were attempting to recruit actors in the "D" Parking Lot, Danny expressed to Nick that he wished to leave the project because he thought it to lack comedic value. This opinion was probably influenced by Danny's cousins, such as Kilean, who were in vicinity at the time. Nick then presented the script to Ted Phillips, who agreed to direct the film with T.J.'s Cracked Egg Studios, under the working title The Twisted Mile. Ted made some changes to the script, adding violence and cultural references.

During summer 2000, Nick wrote an electronic version of the script in a Notepad file that expanded upon the original. For example, it added a monologue in which Benny Hass lists off reasons why he should not be electrocuted. This version of the script is no longer extant.

Principle Photography

The production design had already taken into account the fact that the old camera could not leave 35-D Edgewater Park. However, the old camera was not available until its rediscovery in November 2000. In January 2001, Ted Phillips decided to finally film The Twisted Mile. Production values were extremely low. Each actor played multiple characters, most notably Joseph Justus at four. The script had been lost, so Nick would recite it from memory; because of this, there was much improvisation and addition of prompter lines.

Since the old camera's internal microphone was no longer functional, an external mini-cassette recorder was patched in as a microphone; due to the extra latency of using a cassette recorder with moving parts rather than a dedicated microphone, this led to audio synchronization issues in the source footage, which are evident in the final edit.

The shoot spanned two days, during which the rear room of the studio was under construction. The construction forced the additional courtroom scenes to be relocated on the second day, causing spatial discontinuity between many scenes.

Post-production

The footage remained unedited for years, and its uncut form became very popular with cult audiences. Nick Phillips also transcribed it as a serial for the Pokémon Trainers Club Newsletter in fall 2001.

In August 2006, Ted Phillips remade The Twisted Mile. Several weeks later, he began developing The Twisted Mile as a series.

Cultural References

  • The door in the first scene displays a poster<span class="special_footnote">[vague]</span> depicting the two second-generation Pokémon Lugia and Ho-oh.
  • Michael Pitch wears a The Lost World: Jurassic Park T-shirt.
  • Benny Hass wields a Nintendo Super Scope as the murder weapon.
  • David Rap's relation to Tommy Famn reflects a recurring theme from Nick Phillips's screenplays. In The Dream, a man confronts his brother's assailant after having witnessed the crime.
  • David Rap says, "You're coming with me, buddy," quoting the male cop in the first episode of Bongomon, "I Choose You!"
  • Michael Pitch says, "What? Just 'cause we did a crime we have to be in the grime?!" putting a spin on the American proverb, "Don't do the crime if you can't do the time."
  • David Rap says "Have fun, ladies," in a similar fashion as Kurt says, "Don't care, ladies!" in the 1997 film Good Burger when Dexter and Ed infiltrate Mondo Burger dressed as women and discover the triampathol.
  • "Case septdecillion forty-six" refers to the number "kazillion forty-six" that is repeatedly mentioned in an episode of Franklin.
  • When Rap introduces Fr. Juarez Bell, he quotes a scene from the 1993 film Last Action Hero.
  • Fr. Juarez Bell is based on the character Fr. Juarez from Steven Spielberg's Director's Chair.
  • When Benny shows Mike the calico rat, Mike bursts out, "I've had it!" imitating Teddy from The Angree Gun IV when he complains about being "bitten up from snakes."
  • When Benny and Mike refuse to leave their cell, this mimics the scene from Steven Spielberg's Director's Chair in which Jack Cavello climbs up the bars and acts like a child.
  • Fr. Juarez's speech here is taken from Fr. Juarez's Director's Chair speech in Jack's cell.
  • Benny's monologue on the way to the execution chamber is a parody of Jack Cavello's monologue in Director's Chair, where he lists off the reasons why he should not be electrocuted.
  • In his monologue, Benny mentions the New York baseball team, the Yankees.
  • Vincent Puck and Rap use Nintendo 64 controllers to strap Benny into the electric chair.
  • Benny's line "I'm gonna kill you in Bell" is a reference to the line from the 1973 film The Exorcist, in which the little girl says, "Your mother sucks cocks in Hell."
  • While Benny is electrocuted, the television shows clips from the Nintendo 64 game The World Is Not Enough.
  • When Benny and Mike escape, Rap shouts after them, "Hey, get back here! You—You need to die!" This is very similar to the 1996 episode of The Simpsons "You Only Move Twice" in which Hank Scorpio, upon realizing that James Bunt is escaping, orders, "Stop him! He's supposed to die!"
  • Benny's somniloquy is taken wholesale from Jack's somniloquy in Director's Chair, except that Benny's reaction is not a scream but a sigh of enjoyment.
  • When Fr. Juarez shoots up the courtroom, his maniacal laughter is similar to that of Hank Scorpio using a flamethrower in "You Only Move Twice."
  • Fr. Juarez's "last words" are "God help me," just like Jack's in Director's Chair.
  • When Laurie calls Rap during Fr. Juarez's electrocution, this is similar to the conversation between the warden and the governor in Director's Chair.
  • Benny and Mike's lines "Now we can commit all the crimes we want to" and "and bother people all over the world" approximately quote Milkman from the Superdude sketch on a season one episode of All That.
  • "See ya later, boys! Thanks for the pizza, guys!" is from the Nintendo Power Star Fox 64 promo video.[1]
  • When Fr. Juarez shoots the camera, the blood flowing down the screen is a clip from the Nintendo 64 game The World Is Not Enough whenever James Bond dies during play.

Trivia

  • After Vincent Puck says, "Case septdecillion, forty-six, your dishonor," he says that he is "Just dusting off the place." When the scene was filmed, his line was written on a blackboard using an egg-shaped piece of chalk lest he forget. The staff agreed to this if Joseph Justus would immediately erase the line with a paintbrush after saying it. Nick Phillips suggested the line "Just dusting off the place" to fit this action more smoothly into the scene. However, the staff admitted in retrospect that the erasure and added line were unnecessary because the blackboard was offscreen anyway.
  • When applying to film school, Ted Phillips described The Twisted Mile in his portfolio:
    Ted Phillips said:
    Benny Hass and Mike Pitch commit homicide, are arrested, convicted, and sentenced to death by electric chair. They attempt a jailbreak during their execution, and the criminal aspects of the entire cast soon come to light.

References

  1. ^Star Fox 64 (NTSC) [VHS cassette]. Nintendo Power. Retrieved on May 17, 2009.
Categories: Old Camera 2001

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