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My Ass Is Bleeding!
by: -RoG-

Every now 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.

WTF, it's shorter than War & Peace!

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.

APE NO KILL APE!
IT IS!

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.

Damn, and I thought it was his ankle all along. :(
WELL THAT ANSWERS THAT!

HELP! ASS! BLEEDING!

Yes, this 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 exact.

"OH YEAH!"

Come on, you know it's true.

WHAT THE HELL IS THAT THAR BOY DOIN?

Soon our 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?

Ignore the bleeding ass. Just rake the leaves and it will go away.

Not all 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?

DID YOU SEE THAT GUY? HIS ASS WAS BLEEDING!
OMG!

Other people, however, hold nothing back when displaying their shock, horror, and disgust for the bleeding sicko who just ran by them.

AIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!
HIS ASS! IT WAS BLEEDING!

As wonderful as her 5 second performance was, it just can't beat this guy's expression:

ASS BLOOD!!!!!!!!!!
CLASSIC.

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.

The horror. THE HORROR!

Moving 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 track.

Shake Ya' Ass!
Yeeeee Haw!

Ahhh, that's 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.

LITTLE PIG, LITTLE PIG...a

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...

LET ME IN!
AN INNOCENT LITTLE GIRL!

If this 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...

NOT BY THE HAIR ON MY CHINNY CHIN CHIN!
SMARTEST. KID. EVER.

Another 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.

Somebody call a plumber :(
bloop... bloop... bloop...

With nowhere 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.

OH BUT YOU THOUGHT THAT WAS ALL DID YOU? NOT SO FAST, McFLY!
THERE'S STILL MORE TALK ABOUT BLEEDING ASSES! BEHOLD!

BONUS INTERVIEW WITH JIM STRAMEL!
(the creator of "My Ass Is Bleeding")

I consider 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...

RoG: 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 properly?

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 food coloring.

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 bastard's ass?

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 quiet street.

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 Deeper Faith"?

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:

JIM STRAMEL
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 zombie movie.

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 I-Mockery?

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.

There you have it folks. The Man. The Myth. The Bleeding Ass.

the end.

-RoG-


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