In 2020, I’m going to heat up my YouTube channel with new comedy content. It’ll still house funny commercials and oddball video classics. But new fun is afoot. Would appreciate it if you’d subscribe. Here’s me pacing around waiting for you to do. Thanks!
It’s 1899 and Dr. Devlin D’Abo (Walt Jaschek) believes he alone can lead the United State of America into the Twentieth Century. To help him take control of the federal government, D’Abo creates a weapon that will make his arm of desperadoes invisible. Only the Sons of the Saddle (Don Secrease, Rick Burchett, Bill Lux) stand between the mad doctor and his plan to unite western hemisphere under one supreme leader… D’Abo himself!
— From the DVD jacket for “Sons of the Saddle: The Invisible Rayders: Chapter 4: Doorway to Doom”
Writer/director Don Secrease (working under pseudonyms Sean Ryan and Manny Handz) was the creative force behind this amateur film and B-Western movie parody made by enthusiastic B-movie fans. As backstory, Don wrote the below…
This serial chapter of Sons of the Saddle’s “The Invisible Rayders” (chapter 4 “Doorway to Doom”) was made by a group of B-movie/serial fans for fun, to be shared by friends and family.
It was the summer of ’95, a few of us were discussing fan-made, straight-to-video movies, comparing good to bad, FX, etc., produced by Skeleton Creek Prod., W.A.V.E. Prod., B. Black’s Nightveil Media (its contemporary name.) These films were viewed, discussed, admired for their ingenuity and enthusiastic presentations.
Our ragtag team of B-movie aficionados decided to gather friends and family and create our own movie-making inadequacy.
We selected characters from our daily gag comic strip, “Sons of the Saddle,” wrote a 12-chapter serialized story, picked a random chapter, scripted it – then started rounding up the usual suspects – not to mention costuming, horses and tack.
All fell into place once we scouted our locations. Our major battles filming that summer: a Missouri heatwave, reliable video cameras and, finally, appropriate music. Since this was made for private amusement (or condemnation) and nor for sale, we picked background music from a few public-domain serials & B-westerns.
Ready for a new “Walt Talk?” Live on tape from his home-office in beautiful Ballwin, Missouri: a brief message from creative freelancer Walt J. about his upcoming guest-appearance at the “Be a Better Freelancer”® conference October 11th, 12th and 13th, 2019, at the Chase Park Plaza Hotel in St. Louis, Missouri, USA. Walt will be presenting to the assembled freelance writers and editors a topic suggested to him by the conference organizer. The topic: “You Oughta Be in Visuals: How to Make Your Social Sizzle to Be a Better Freelancer.” Walt says he looks forward to hearing exactly what he has to say about that topic… when he comes up with something… by October. Link to the conference: https://www.facebook.com/events/20043… Link to Ruth Thaler-Carter, the conference organizer: https://www.facebook.com/ruth.thalerc…
Walt is a writer (as Walt Jaschek) and a performer (as Walt Jay.) They’re both at work in this promo video, written by the former and presented on-screen by the later. 😉
Walt Jaschek gets killed by crazed miners in Colorado! Walt J the actor, that is. In one of his only film roles (so far,) Walt appeared as the doomed nebbish Harold Pilgrain in the 1984 indy action movie “Planet Gone Mad,” also known by its original title, “Spirits of Jupiter.” Filmed in and around Canon City, Colorado, the movie was directed by Russell S. Kern, with cinematography by Steve Flanigan. Hollywood stuntman Rex Cutter played the film’s hero, Big Jim Drill. Character actor Walt had a few scenes with Rex, his airplane, and the crazy miners who are compelled to kill. Walt did own stunts, including jumping out of that moving airplane, as you will see. Here are the full IMDB credits.
And now, that review.
“Jupiter Filled With Violence”
From the Colorado Springs Gazette Telegraph, Friday, March 2, 1984
By Linda D. Smith
GT Features Writer
CANON CITY – The residents of this city turned our Thursday night for the premiere of “Spirits of Jupiter,” a film starring many of their friends and neighbors.
Rocky Mountain Studios and Producers Group Ltd., a Colorado Springs production company, filmed the movie in Canon City and surrounding Fremont County last year, relying on the local residents for talent and local scenery for backdrops.
Written and directed by Russell S. Kern of Colorado Springs, “The Spirits of Jupiter” takes the predictions of 16th century philosopher Nostradamas and applies them to 1984. In particular, Kern has taken the idea if the planets Jupiter and Saturn were to align, the result would be a gravitational pull that would wreak havoc on the people of Earth.
The story line has given the film makers a great deal of latitude in creating a fill full of violence.
In one scene after another, viewers see a bloody headless corpse, a man’s eyeball ripped from the socket by a crazed dog, and friends turning against neighbors with guns, knives and meat cleavers.
The story follows mine owner Big Jim Drill, played by Rex Cutter, who is spared the ravages of the gravitational pull. His first interest is in keeping his mine open, until things get so out of hands, he becomes more concerned about the survival of his family. The movie is filled with some very colorful and talented characters, including a modern-day Nostradamas, played by Richard Luna, Drill’s airplane mechanic, portrayed by Cliff Willis, and the fidgety mine supervisor, played by Walter Jaschek.
The roles of Dril’s son and daughter and filled by two Colorado Springs residents. Handsome Chopper Burnet, a drama student at Colorado College, portrays Drill’s son Robert with a great deal of finesse. Carol Engel, a regular performer at the Iron Springs Chateau, plays Jennifer Drill.
And when it comes to villains, James Aerni’s portrayal of police chief Julius Switcher rivals any melodrama house in the area. In the movie, when Switcher first succumbs to the gravitational pull, he gets the most sinister gleam in his eye when he takes off his boot and begins playing a game of Russian roulette with his toes.
Steven R. Flanigan of Colorado Springs, who is the director photography, has made tremendous use of the Canon City area in filming “Spirits of Jupiter.” The action sequences are well done and use a variety of vehicles, from cars and motorcycles to airplanes and helicopters. But Flanigan is best in the aerial sequences, capturing the beautiful countryside on film. Thursday night’s audience at the Skyline Theatre in Canon City seemd to relish seeing themselves and their friends on the big screen.
Colorado Springs residents will get to see and critique the film at its only performance here, at 4:30 p.m. March 9 at the Cooper Theatre. Tickets are $4 in advance from Budget Tapes and Records, Independent Records, big Apple Tapes and Records, or at the door.
“SCENE!” So closes Level 1, my first-ever improv comedy class at the Improv Shop in St. Louis, an 8-week learning experience and personal stretch. Was it challenging to keep up with the keen, comic minds you see here? “Yes, and…”
(That’s me top row, center. And that’s instructor Ben Noble upper left. He’s amazing and this class is highly recommended.)
Public nudity? Office nudity? As in, a clothes-optional office? Imagine it! In the 1980s, Walt Jaschek was working as a creative director at The Flynn Group advertising agency in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Meanwhile, Rick Zahradnik, a writer and director in the same city, was concocting a video parodying the kind of mundane office-rental videos both Rick and Walt were creating. The result was “Offices in the Raw,” a Rick-directed comedy video, starring Walt as the curly-haired newcomer to a very nude office. It’s all PG-13, though. This is the version of the video that appeared on the syndicated “Video Challenge” TV show in the 80s. Oh, the 80s! We miss you!