Saturday, September 02, 2006

the diabolikal judson fountain

my renewed judson fountain obsession began with danger: diabolik, the campy italian movie we saw last night. the film was fun to watch, assuming you're in the mood for a simplistic caper film seemingly written by 12 year old boy: it has chase scenes, a villain who dresses in a costume out of a comic book, scantily clad over-sexed women, a cheesy soundtrack, weirdly implausible plot twists and some confusion over where exactly the action was supposedly taking place (most of the clues pointed to the u.s., but then there were all those officials with english accents, and the reference to parliament).

anyway, midway through the movie i remembered "the old woman of haunted house." "the old woman" was a radio drama that dr. pretentious had in college (i.e. before she was a doctor). a friend of hers would send her tapes of music and other weird thing recordings. one of those tapes included a recording of "the old woman of haunted house." at some point i recorded it and took it with me to law school.

"the old woman of haunted house" was by judson fountain, the ed wood of radio drama. it was completely ridiculous, featuring: a plot that made no sense, stupid dialogue, blown lines, and a bunch of lame sound effects. one of the characters, a mobster named "pop serriano" was incapable of uttering a line that didn't contain his own name ("you tell molly that pop serriano says she blew the whistle. this is pop serriano speaking. i'm pop serriano.").

by the end of the grating 16 minutes, it's not even clear what exactly is going on. and i loved it. every halloween night i would try to gather some friends, turn out the lights, and subject them to "the old woman of haunted house."

anyway, the halloween tradition kind of fell by the wayside since i moved here from chicago. i'm not even sure where "the old woman" cassette tape is anymore. but last night, during diabolik i started babbling excitedly about judson fountain's genius. this morning i googled him. not surprisingly he has a following on the internet. more surprisingly, "the old woman" and a bunch of his other radio dramas were released on a CD a couple of years ago.

matthew is getting me a copy as i write this. thanks matthew! i'm so excited

you can listen to three of judson's tracks (but not "the old woman of haunted house") here.