By sheer dumb luck, I just happened to hear about a low-budget comedy in the early stages of shooting called Come Again. As you might guess from the title, most of the movie’s humor is unprintable (all the better for us, because we’re not in print!), and when the movie’s plot was described to me, I knew I had to get first-time director Terry Bledsoe on the phone and get the info straight from the source. He turned out to be pretty enthusiastic about the project, and why wouldn’t he be? His film is full of adult movie spoofs, big ’80s hair, pornstar cameos, and if that’s not enough to grab you, how about a special appearance by Wayne Newton?
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What’s your role on the film? Are you the director, or the writer, or the producer?
All of the above?
Pretty much. And also the lead actor. I’ve written most of it, I’ve gotten help on the writing with three other individuals. And I’m calling myself producer because I’m the one out looking for money, so I guess I’m the producer! I’m setting up a meeting here with MGM/UA in a couple of weeks, hopefully, and we’ll see if they’re digging on it. If not, I’ll find a way to do it as an indie film.
What’s the budget on this movie?
10, 20 grand. It’s the Spinal Tap, Best in Show kind of thing. We’re doing a mockumentary, so I don’t have to worry too much about spending a lot of money on photography or anything like that. The budget is basically for travel and paying my actors and building a couple of cheap sets. That’s all I need to pay for, because once I get it done, I’ll be able to go out and shop the thing. I mean, obviously if someone would pick it up ahead of time that’d be great, but if not, in a couple or three months I’ll have everything in the bag. And then we’ll just start flying around, going to Sundance, Los Angeles Film Festival, or a few studios and say, hey, you want to distribute this thing?
What’s the movie about?
The premise is there was this porn star in the ’80s and ’90s named Dean Dong, and he was huge, in more ways than one, like John Holmes. A producer gets the idea to do the world’s greatest money shot, so Dean goes into training for three weeks with a bunch of fluffers and all that, who keep him right on the edge there. And then when it’s finally time to film the big scene, he drowns the poor girl!
So he sinks into a depression for about ten years, and he basically has a big fan who does kind of a movie within a movie, a "where are they now" piece on him, and in the course of the piece, he gets his confidence back and decides to make a comeback. The first part of the movie is the past, all shot in flashback, with current interviews with people. And then the "incident" occurs, and the last two-thirds are how he pulls his way out of it.
I’ve actually got some adult film stars from back in that era to make appearances. One is Nina Hartley, who said she would love to do a cameo, a little interview, so we’ll probably head down to L.A. to do that. And Ron Jeremy agreed to do a cameo as my director!
But I’m assuming your movie won’t actually be a porn.
I’m wanting an R rating. It might be pushing NC-17 because of the subject matter, but I’m trying real hard to keep it at an R.
Being a mockumentary, is a lot of the movie improvised?
Most of the dialogue is written out, because I’ve got some real funny stuff that I wanted to get in. But some of this stuff is like, here’s the gist, and here’s the joke I want to get across, and we’ll run through it and practice it, and while it’s good and fresh, shoot it.
What kind of sets did you have to build?
It’s like cheap porn sets from the ’90s. Basically, you’ve got some plywood there, and you hang a picture. Because one of the series of movies that really made Dean Dong into a star was Salami Vices, kind of like a take-off on Miami Vice. That’s actually where I got Mimi Miyagi involved. We’re gonna do some car chases with her, shoot guns, and have really bad fight scenes. Over the top acting and all that stuff. We were really trying hard with Mimi, I was like, I gotta find the right way to get you naked, I just can’t find a spot where it’d be funny! But I will find a way!
Have you worked on any movies prior to this?
Yeah, I did some stuff on Vegas Vacation, I did some sound work on that. But this is my first real film job. I’m head of sound for the MGM Grand, that’s my real job. Basically, we do everything from concerts to blackjack tournaments, and a lot of convention work. Oracle and IBM come in, and we do all their sound and lights and video, teleconferencing, all that stuff.
Is that where you met all of these adult film stars?
No, actually, we’ve been going to AVN [the adult video convention] for the past couple of years, just for, you know, a bunch of guys getting together. And this year, we were getting ready to go, and we’re like, hey, what’s our line gonna be this year? And I just kind of came up with this plot, and everyone looks around like… Man, that’s really funny! So I said, let’s start writing down a script and see what these guys think of it, and it just kind of all fell into place. Like I’d met Gauge at AVN a couple of years ago, and she helped me out. She’s the one who gave me Ron Jeremy’s number, actually. A little networking here, a little networking there—Hey, it got some people into Studio 54 way back when! Really, it started out as a joke, and now all of a sudden I’ve got a really funny film, and we’re moving forward.
So how is Wayne Newton involved?
I’m hoping he’ll play my producer. He just loves playing sleazeball characters, so I think I’ve got him in the bag. If he can get out from his contract with E!, then it’s a go. If not, I’ll have to re-cast. I used to be his sound man for like four or five years, and whenever he gets into town he usually gives me a call. We’ve kind of maintained a friendship over the years.
Did you tell him about the plot?
He thought it was hilarious. He was like, me, I get to play a sleazeball porn dude? Cool! Nobody ever wants me in a role like that! Actors love to act, and he’s like, look at me, I do shows for the USO and stuff like that, so the only time I really get to cut loose is when I play a bad guy.
Did you cast yourself as the lead to cut down on costs?
Pretty much. Well, there’s that, and also I was a real hairball back in the ’90s. I had big hair, I was a guitar player for years before I got into the sound business. I played all over the country, and so I’ve got these horrible pictures from way back when, you know, looking like David Lee Roth. So it was easy to incorporate the past, because I was like, well, there are all the flashback pictures!
So is this going to be a union production?
It’s a non-union shop. I’m trying to pay everybody SAG scale just to be cool, but really Wayne Newton and Ron Jeremy are my only SAG actors. You know, we’re all either ex-musicians, or we were in theater back in college. But I’ve got some incredibly funny people that I work with, and basically, nobody really has to act. We’re just kind of doing our thing. That’s why this is probably gonna be my one and only acting job, because I pretty much play myself!
How did you go about hiring a crew and getting all your equipment?
The whole sound crew and video crew from the MGM Grand are in on it. They just want to work on a film so they can get a little credit under their belts. They’re all working for free, and we own all of our own gear. We’ve got all of our own mikes, we’ve got all of our own mixers, cameras. We’ve got a buddy who’s got all the lights, because he shoots commercials, that’s his job. So it’s working out pretty good on that end.
Are you planning to shoot on film or video?
We’re shooting it on video. I’m going to doctor it up in Final Cut once I get through, to make it all look more like film. We’re gonna shoot it at 24 fps, and I’ve got Magic Bullet, so I can put some filters on it and get a little bit of that grain back on it. And of course the flashback scenes need to look like video anyway, so that’ll just be a straight shot.
Have you scouted out any locations yet?
Most of the stuff we can shoot in a living room, and offices. A doctor’s office, for sure, and we’ve got a doctor friend who said we can shoot in his place after closing time. So we’ve got the offices taken care of. And like I said, everything else is gonna be a lot of interviews, a person in a chair with a backdrop, telling a story or setting up a flashback. But when we do Mimi’s stuff we really need to jump out of cars, and get in fights and stuff like that. I could invite you for that one!
Oh, definitely you should. That would be very entertaining, to say the least!
We’re gonna get some local press, too. A couple of local news channels are probably gonna come out, because, uh… You know about her running for mayor thing?
Mimi is doing it as a publicity stunt. She’s going to run for mayor of Las Vegas this year! They may even follow her around for one of those reality shows. It’s a little mutual back scratching too, you know, she can get a little publicity while doing this film, and I can get a little publicity for the film at the same time.
And the Maloof brothers, the guys who own the Palms here, might let us stage a fake wrap party there. And we might even get a premiere out of it, because they’re all backing her for the mayor thing, trying to get some publicity, too. You know, this is just an everybody’s scratching everybody’s back kind of thing. Who knows, we might even get a real live premiere out of this thing, and not even have a distribution! If that happens, I’ll just sit back and giggle to myself.
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There’s lots more to come with Terry and the rest of the cast and crew of Come Again! I spoke with them at length a short time ago, and they told me all about the progress of the shoot. Watch for more updates about the film in the very near future!