and then along comes a film that changes your life. For some people it was
"The Exorcist", for others it was "The Shawshank Redemption". For me
however, it was a little known film entitled "My Ass Is Bleeding". At a
whopping 4 minutes, "My Ass Is Bleeding" takes us on a rollercoaster ride
of emotion, suspense, drama, and... one hell of a bleeding ass. So let's
crack into that ass and see what's behind it all.
So we start
off inside some old guy's house (Conrad Brooks) where he starts reading a
book entitled "The Last 2 Million Years". It's surprisingly thin for a
book that covers so much time though, so I suspect that he just bought the
Cliff Notes version. "...and in the annals of time, one thing is certain:
Ape has never killed Ape." Not that I doubted what he was reading, but I
still had to do some research on apes to find out if this was true.
It must be
some unspoken rule amongst apes that they cannot kill each other. What
this has to do with "My Ass Is Bleeding", well, I'll leave that up to you
to uncover. For as soon as he finishes reading that little snippet, the
camera zooms right up on some poor bastard running through the streets
with blood pouring down his pants. But just where is that blood coming
from we wonder.
WELL THAT ANSWERS THAT!
poor fella is indeed suffering from "sanguinary anus" also known as
"bleeding ass". He's running down the road and blood is literally
pouring from his ass. Actually, I think it looks more like Kool-Aid.
If I was a betting man, I'd say it was "Tropical Punch" flavor to be
on, you know it's true.
hero, er... I mean, the guy with the bleeding ass gets hit by a car. Well,
he at least tried to make it look like that, but I imagine a film with a
budget of $50.00 (all of which was probably spent on Kool-Aid) didn't have
enough cash to hire a real stunt man to pull off the scene any better.
Perhaps that explains the perplexed look on the face of the old guy. He's
either thinking "why did that guy just jump into that car?" or "why is
that guy's ass bleeding kool-aid?" Really, would YOU be thinking anything
else if you just saw something like that happen?
people are wondering what's up with his ass though. As the ass bleeder
continues frantically running around the neighborhood, he passes some guy
who is raking the lawn in a Reservoir Dogs t-shirt. The guy doesn't even
seem to be phased by the fact that a man with a bleeding ass just ran by
him. He just keeps on raking away. See no evil?
people, however, hold nothing back when displaying their shock, horror,
and disgust for the bleeding sicko who just ran by them.
HIS ASS! IT WAS BLEEDING!
as her 5 second performance was, it just can't beat this guy's expression:
Just look at
the expression on his face. Can you even imagine a more perfect expression
for a person who just came in contact with a guy whose ass was bleeding
like Niagara Falls? This guy is a star. He's a fucking star. And you know
why? Because, when you're a supporting actor in a film where the lead
actor has a bleeding ass and your performance still manages to
stand-out, you know you've got something special.
onward and assward, our ass guy's pain seems to be increasing as he is now
actually grabbing his own ass while he runs down the street. Finally, he
can bear the agony no longer and so he starts banging on a nearby door.
His hand actually bleeds while he bands on the door. I know it's supposed
to be blood from his ass, but it really shouldn't be spurting out of his
hand. A glaring mistake like that could confuse the audience and make them
think, "Wait! Now his ass AND his hands are bleeding?" When you're
creating a film with a plot that's so intricate, it's best to stay on
more like it. Make the audience forget about the hand blooper by giving us
a nice juicy close-up of the guy gripping his bleeding ass in pain.
Bleeding hand? What bleeding hand! I should also note that not only have
his pants been stained by the Kool-Aid... er... blood, but you can now see
his bright pink tighty whities through his stained pants as well. Details
like this can make or break a film folks, trust me.
As the blood
pours down his legs and onto the walkway, he bands on the door with all
his might. And wouldn't you know it, just when he thinks all hope is lost,
the door opens to unveil...
AN INNOCENT LITTLE GIRL!
isn't a look at someone who's going to be in therapy for a long time, I
don't know what is. No words are really exchanged between Mr. Bleeding Ass
and the little girl, but it's obvious that he wants to come inside and
call for help, or at least use her bathroom or something. So she thinks it
over for a bit...
SMARTEST. KID. EVER.
classic moment, she puts her finger up to her mouth and really gives it
some thought. She knows this is one of those really big decisions. It's
not like her usual worries about Rainbow Brite, no siree! This is a
decision that could change her life. So what does she do? She slams the
door on his (bleeding) ass. I don't know who she is, but this kid RULES.
Mom and dad can tell you to not talk to strangers, but very rarely do they
cover the "what to do when a crazed looking fellow with a bleeding ass
shows up at your doorstep" life lesson. This girl acted on instinct, and
she chose wisely. Rock on little girl... ROCK ON.
bloop... bloop... bloop...
to go and no energy left in his body, bleeding ass man collapses to the
ground. He twitches unconsciously as the blood continues to flow like a
river underneath his ass. I suppose it's poetic in some subliminal way,
but there's also a lesson to be learned from all of this: If you have a
bleeding ass, you're basically fucked because nobody will want to help
you. And knowing is half the battle.
YOU THOUGHT THAT WAS ALL DID YOU? NOT SO FAST, McFLY!
THERE'S STILL MORE TALK ABOUT BLEEDING ASSES! BEHOLD!
INTERVIEW WITH JIM STRAMEL!
(the creator of "My Ass Is Bleeding")
myself lucky to have discovered the brilliant work of a guy like Jim
Stramel so early on in his career. Surely had James Lipton seen this film,
he would have stood Jim Stramel up in front of all his students and proclaimed
"this is the greatest director, EVAR!" Well too bad Mr. Lipton, I got the
first crack into the mind of Jim Stramel...
So how exactly did you come up with the idea for your 1994 film, "My Ass Is Bleeding"? Did
it come from a personal experience or were you just pissed that there
weren't any films out there that truly depicted a man with a bleeding ass
Jim: I was taking a shower one
morning, lathering, rinsing, repeating, and as my mind was wandering the
thought came to me "what would happen if blood just started pouring out of
my ass?". When talking to pretentious art film jerks I like to tell them
that it's my cry against the deforestation of the Bolivian rain forest or
my reaction to strife caused by American intervention in Central America.
RoG: What is the blood in the film made of anyway? I swear it looks
like Tropical Punch flavored Kool-Aid.
Jim: Most of it is kool-aid but I
experimented with a lot of different concoctions trying to get the
consistency and color right, tomato juice with food coloring, milk with
food coloring or kool-aid dust, etc. We ended up going through gallons and
gallons of blood and using all of the various experiments anyway, hence
the blood continuity issues. For the close ups we had kayro syrup with
RoG: Since you did use Kool-Aid (I knew it!) did you serve any of
the leftover portions to the cast and crew? If so, how did they feel about
drinking something that was supposed to be pouring out of some poor
Jim: No left overs, we filmed until
that street was a sticky red mess. Then went home.
RoG: So when you were casting for the lead role in this film, what
qualities were you looking for in the actor? Was it just somebody who
could bleed the hell out of their ass, or was there something deeper you
were looking for?
Jim: Casting for such a role is a
complex problem, you need someone who has the charisma to pull the
audience down the blood stained road with them yet someone who is also
disgusting enough to let the audience believe that they could indeed be
bleeding gallons of blood from their anus. Paul Bearer was perfect.
RoG: What was Paul Bearer's reaction when he found out he scored
the leading role? Did he shit blood with excitement?
Jim: No, Paul was very matter of fact,
like "who else could possibly do it", and he was right. When you need
Mitchum you need Mitchum, when you need Rodan you need Rodan, when you
need Paul Bearer....
RoG: What kind of permits does one need to get in order to be
allowed to film somebody running around in public with a bleeding ass?
Jim: Luckily Virginia is a non union
state so I didn't have to deal with strangling requirements of THE SCREEN
BLEEDERS GUILD. As far as other permission and permits - I always feel
it's better not to ask.
RoG: The film is only 4 minutes. Do you really feel that this was
ample time to capture the beauty of a bleeding ass? Some people would
expect a film with the title "My Ass Is Bleeding" to rival the length of
"Schindler's List". Furthermore, can fans of "My Ass Is Bleeding" ever
expect to see a sequel? "My Ass Is Bleeding: Reloaded" perhaps?
Jim: Funny you should bring that up as
I am currently contemplating two options, the first to release a restored
Director's Cut DVD that would contain lost and deleted footage and bring
the running time up to a hearty four minutes and thirty-four seconds. My
other thought is to follow the lead of Sam Raimi and his EVIL DEAD 2 and
make not so much a sequel but a remake with a much larger budget and
production values. MY ASS IS BLEEDING 2 - BLED BY DAWN.
RoG: So did anything unusual happen on the set of "My Ass Is
Bleeding"? Any problems during the filming?
Jim: Paul running with gouts of blood
pouring out of his ass was the most unusual thing on that street that day,
all the neighbors stayed inside the entire time. I've never seen such a
RoG: Where did the ambient music in the film come from, and why
didn't you go with something more appropriate such as John Tesh's "A
Jim: That's actually original music
written for the movie by a friend mine Dan-O, it's a guitar running
through some crazy effects thing set to 'THE ABYSS' and beating on a five
gallon plastic bucket with a drumstick and a wooden spoon. Please never
say John Tesh to me again.
RoG: How was "My Ass Is Bleeding" received by the general public?
Was it welcomed with open arms? How did it fare in film festivals?
Jim: The film played at MICROCINEFEST
in Baltimore, Skizz and all of those guys putting on that festival are
great. All other festivals are stupid. The public reaction has been great,
except for my in-laws.
RoG: Shockingly enough, Blockbuster Video does not carry your
4-minute masterpiece. So where can people rent and/or purchase copies of
My Ass Is Bleeding?
Jim: Tower Video here in Richmond used
to have a copy for rent, it looked great up on the shelf beside MY BEST
FRIEND'S WEDDING but they stopped renting videos and I don't know whatever
happened to that copy. I've been meaning to take one to VIDEO FAN for nine
years but keep forgetting. I don't have any for sale so if you find one
bootleg it, or hell send me a tape and I'll bootleg it for you, what am I
going to do, sue myself?
RoG: I actually heard about the video at Tower Records, it was
appropriately in a bright red case. Now it's just a part of Richmond lore.
So since your lazy ass has yet to bring it to video stores nationwide,
where can people email you a video tape (along with a donation, you cheap
bastards) so they too can enjoy a copy "My Ass Is Bleeding"?
Jim: My mom said she still has her
special edition red case copy, still in shrink wrap no less. Send me a
tape and three bucks to mail it back to you ( or four bucks and I'll go
buy a tape) to:
2206 Boxwood Rd.
Richmond, Va. 23228
RoG: So what other films have you worked on and what other projects
are you involved in at the moment?
Jim: Since MY ASS IS BLEEDING we have
made another short film PITIFUL REFLECTIONS, a video for local band ROCKET
69 our first feature THE THRILLBILLYS and a trailer for a proposed project
6 BULLETS FOR JESUS. I just finished my new feature length script ZOMBI
HOLLER and plan to film a couple of more short films and another video
this summer while waiting for buckets of money to arrive to shoot the
RoG: "Pitiful Reflections" sounds like a good follow-up to
something called "My Ass Is Bleeding". Hell, it almost sounds like a
sequel. Give us some more details about it.
Jim: Pitiful Reflections was an
article that ran in a rag that was around at the time called POOR
RICHMOND'S ALMANAC. It was a series of true and tragic stories written by
a guy named Ward Fordham about growing up and they were all funny as hell
(since they didn't happen me), anyway, I filmed Ward in a couple of
different places telling four of his stories. I guess in retrospect it was
kind of a documentary but at the time I just thought it was funny. Some
sociologist from the Library of Congress will probably dig it up after
Ward and I are long dead. If you want it on your tape let me know.
RoG: Can you give us some more details about your Zombie film? Will
it put George Romero to shame or what?
Jim: I come not to bury Romero but to
praise him! Actually I'm a really big fan of those worm dripping Italian
zombies. As to my script ZOMBI HOLLER itself, I'm still amazed how damn
gory the thing turned out, not really a conscious decision but when you
get a bunch of zombies together and let nature take it's course shit's
going to happen. My goal is to have the first movie rated RRR.
RoG: How much do you need to raise for your zombie film and how do
you plan on getting the money? Prostitution?
Jim: I have literally just finished
the script and haven't attempted a budget breakdown yet, besides - that's
for the squares - we're exploitation movie makers, we'll make it for
anything. As to prostitution, that would be great but I don't think it's
going to be that easy.
RoG: And parting words you'd like to share with the viewers of
Jim: Please send buckets of money to
shoot the zombie movie. Also, to anyone who saw the movie ARLINGTON ROAD
that starts with feet running down a street with blood flowing over 'em -
DID THEY RIP THAT OFF OF MY ASS IS BLEEDING OR WHAT?! There, I said it.
have it folks. The Man. The Myth. The Bleeding Ass.
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