Well, I promised to blog more, and then I lose my internet connection for three days.  IRONIC!!

But I’m back now- and while I was out, I discovered a deliciously wonderful story that disproves F. Scott Fitzgerald’s contention that there are no second acts in American lives.

Follow me down a path of deviant reality, through the doors that bar the way to the future, and to the past.  Travel with me, my friends, around the canyons of B-Movie Hollywood, with our companions, the ghosts of Bela Lugosi,  Ed Wood and Criswell, and the far more recent corpse of Paul Marco.  Can you stand the secrets of history repeating itself from beyond the grave?  Is your fevered mind prepared for truth of…


Ed Wood in his "directin' clothes".

You’ve heard of Ed Wood Jr., the angora-wearing transvestite director of PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE (considered the worst movie ever released).   What makes Plan 9 interesting (besides the incoherent plot, dialog, and acting) is former Dracula star, BELA LUGOSI, in his final film performance.

This photo was taken while Bela Lugosi was still alive.

Director Ed Wood gamely insisted on basing Plan 9 around some unused footage of the late Lugosi (originally shot for a movie called “The Ghoul Goes West”), by creating a story about grave robbing, and the undead, and

The chiropractor body-double, looking exactly like Bela Lugosi would look if Bela was hiding his face.

having a different actor play the undead version of Lugosi.  It might have worked, if the actor Wood hired (his wife’s chiropractor) hadn’t been six inches taller than Bela, and looked nothing like him.   The fruity aliens, cheap special effects and awful editing are part of the Plan 9 experience, but it’s the astoundingly bad body double for the late Lugosi that made this film a legend.  Keep that in mind as we continue.

I was under the weather last week, and ended up watching a bunch of Ed Wood movies in a row to pass the moaning time—and I noticed a character named KELTON THE COP (played by Paul Marco) appears in most of these movies as a minor character.

Marco looked young enough back then to still be alive today, so I decided I’d see if I could track him down through google, or Wiki or IMDB, and see what ever became of Ed Wood’s stock company actor.

Paul Marco in the 50s

Paul Marco in the early 2000s.

Well, I was delighted to discover that Paul Marco was a guy who could MILK his fifteen minutes like a dairy farmer on crack…. Since the “rediscovery” of Wood’s films in the early 80s, this actor (that the Amazing Criswell once predicted would be “bigger than Brando”) continued playing KELTON THE COP to a dwindling audience of ironically sneering youth right up until he died at age 80, just a couple of years ago.

Robots cannot die, and neither can minor characters from astoundingly bad films

In the 80s, Marco put on the KELTON uniform and went to conventions to sign autographs.  He created the Paul Marco fan club in the 90s and served as president.   He went to midnight screenings of PLAN 9 as a celebrity host.  He put out a “KELTON THE COP” 45 rpm single in 1995 (long after the world had stopped buying vinyl).  He played Kelton the cop in a 2005 movie called “THE NAKED MONSTER”. He would host video store promotions, actor’s re-unions, mall openings, kid’s parties, ANYTHING to keep this character from the worst-movies-ever-made, alive.

The return of Kelton to the big screen.

And in 2006, when underground filmmakers CENTER PRODUCTIONS approached Marco to star in “KELTON’S DARK CORNER” – a 12 part series of four minute, micro-budget noir stories released exclusively through RUSSIAN MYSPACE– Marco agreed.  How could he not?

Unfortunately, he passed away after only recording four of them, and that’s where this feel-good story kicks into high gear with a double rainbow ending.

Kelton's Dark Corner episode 1

When they realized their star was dead, the producers of the Dark Corner  CONTINUED the series, with a solution that was inspired by the life and art of the great ED WOOD, himself.  To carry on, they decided Kelton’s character had to die, and be transformed into an undead female character named KELTONOVA!

AHHH! AHHH! The transexual undeadness of it all!

Sometimes the world is more gloriously perfect that anyone could imagine. Here’s a link to the final episode of “THE DARK CORNER” featuring the original Kelton.  I THINK it’s the worst film ever released on Russian Myspace, but I’ve only seen a few dozen of them, and can’t really judge.

I hope when I pass away, something distasteful can be done with me,  perhaps re-purposing all my work into hentai porn, or perhaps using my body as a weapon in a murder.   Of course, nothing will equal the sheer karmic glory of starting your career in Ed Wood movies, and posthumously becoming trangendered on low-budget Russian myspace films a half century later.

Perfect.  Just perfect.

Ty the Guy OUT!

Here now, your Comic Book moment of Zen

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  1. I don’t even want to guess at how you were able to kobble together this information for such a fun tale of reality.


    Steven G. Willis

  2. #1-I think Officer Kelton would enjoy being kept alive as a Russian zombie. It would so fit in with his appearance In Ed’s films.

    #2-Shouldn’t that comic say ‘Plan 10’?

  3. I’m pretty sure I remember Paul Marco at a Philcon back in the 80’s. He was nice, but I wasn’t as interested in him as I was in the girls in costume, I’m afraid.🙂

    • And why not? I’d be interested in the girls too! The thing that made Marco interesting, to me anyway, was the fact that he tried to parlay being a terrible actor in the worst movie of all time into a cottage industry! The sheer BALLS of that is amazing to me. And the icing on the cake of his story (to badly mix a metaphor) was being made a transsexual AFTER his death, which is SO Ed Wood in spirit.

  4. Thanks for the coverage of KELTON’S DARK CORNER. I was one of the actors in it and worked in a number of other capacities. By the way, KDC was voted Video of the month by the Russian MAXIM Magazine and the director, Vasily Shumov, was nominated for musican of the year by the Russian GQ Magazine in part for his work on the film. The film was popular enough over there that he has begun work on an Episode 4(Actually the film was done as a trilogy, but Myspace Russia edited it into a “superseries” as a promotion for the portal). Vasily has had a resurgence in his musical career in Russia with a hit CD, so plans for an American release on DVD have been delayed until he returns.

    It was a delicious irony that Shelley(“Keltonova”)Michelle has had the opportunity to “body double” for both Julia Roberts and Paul Marco in here career🙂

    By the way, Paul received fan mail from all over the world till the time of his death. He once critiqued one of my acting videos. I found him to be amazingly knowledgeable in terms of film acting. For various reasons he never had the career he might have had.

  5. Thanks for the reply Alan. I hope you understand that this post was entirely done with love and affection, and that any of the comments about Paul’s acting talent was there to tell the story (and to link him to Ed Wood and his famous career) , and not belittle him. Truth to tell, especially in Night of the Ghouls, Paul wasn’t that bad. He has some pretty good moments in the patrol car in that movie, and the scene where he quits has entertaining energy. I’m sorry Marco didn’t have the career he might have had, but, as I said, he had a few highlights in his fifteen minutes that most of us NEVER get.

    And now that you tell me those movies were so well received in Russia, I’ll give them a look. (I confess to only watching the one with the still images in the pan/zooms, which was a little static for me…the one I linked to.)

  6. Actually, I think you nailed it in terms of the intent and humor of the project in a way that no one has, at least that I’ve seen: “GRAVE ROBBERS FROM RUSSIAN MYSPACE.” If you would like a DVD to see it how it was meant to be seen, email me an address and I’ll send you one, my compliments(it also includes Paul’s last filmed interview!). A number of admirers of the trilogy(including myself) didn’t really get it until watching it about 3 or 4 times. But then, it was always geared more to the art house than the multiplex, so it’s a matter of taste.

  7. thank you for a wonderful article – amazing! what an amazing story and so well written. thank you so much. i love your website. much love to you🙂 xxx

  8. A commercial release for KDC is on the horizon, plus this:

  9. Kelton’s Dark Corner Event in Russia, article link and translation

    Translation of Russian article 1/22/15
    On Saturday, the art center “Vinyl” group leader “Center” Vasily Shumov will show a new series of his noir epic “Kelton’s Dark Corner . Film noir in Russia confidently classified as “not a movie for everyone,” nevertheless Vasily Shumov’s long and successful work in this genre, gradually acquiring a circle of associates, and recently even admirers.
    – Even as a part of your group “Center” you always strive for new and unexpected forms. How did you first come into contact with the film and had come to noir?
    – It happened in mid-1980 in Moscow. We are the “center” recorded the music for the film “Time of rest from Saturday to Monday” (“Mosfilm”, 1984) and the animated film “The Royal sandwich” (“Soyuzmultfilm”, 1985). In these projects, electronic music was no small part of the soundtrack.
    Later, I worked as a composer on the series “Playing detective”, in which the music was entirely electronic. With noir I met while studying at Masters Art Institute of California (CalArts) in Los Angeles in the mid-1990s – there was a course called “film noir”. I also studied video art, experimental and avant-garde cinema. It turned out that many American black-and-white crime drama and detectives 1940-1950-ies, which I liked, have their own category, referred to as “film noir”. I delved into this topic and gradually began to gather his collection of film noir. By the beginning of the zero I have accumulated several hundred movies in this genre. One day, looking at the plethora of VHS tapes and DVD, standing in three rows on the shelves in my apartment, I decided to make a song about his collection of “film noir”. This track is called “dark corner”, the title of one of the classic noir, and entered the album “Center”, “Young at Young” (2003).
    Composition caused a sudden interest from the audience. It turned out the type of guide and an educational program on the genre of film noir. In Russia, as it turned out, this genre was, to put it mildly, not too well known, but he was clearly the potential audience. I decided to make a video for this track. Casting held in Los Angeles, scored actors and shot clip in the style of noir.
    During the filming of one of the actors asked me, not do I need for the project actor cop who has a vintage costume cop 1950s. This actor-turned out to be a police officer Paul Marco, who starred in the role of a cowardly cop Kelton in three films directed by Ed Wood in the late 1950s and early 1960s: “Night of the Ghouls”, “Bride of the Monster,” “Plan 9 from Outer Space”. So I met with Paul Marco, and then got the idea to make a movie called “Kelton’s Dark Corner” with him in the lead role.
    – Ed Wood and his team, we are known for the eponymous film by Tim Burton. Paul Marco was probably specific to the job?
    – The first thing that had to be taken into account in working with Paul – his very limited mobility at the time of our acquaintance. He had just had surgery on his hip and could not walk. So I had to use the technique of animation art and photo shoot it on a green screen – hromokee. By the way, as a representative of amazing characters director Ed Wood, he would never take off, and his last role he played in the movie, too, Wood in the early 1960s. It had its own reasons, that I encountered later. For example, when I asked Marco to make a serious, even angry face, he began to smile radiantly. When I asked why he was smiling, and not follow the instructions of the director, I have heard in response: “And my fans like it when Kelton smiling!”. In Paul Marco was a fan, in which he was president.
    From time to time Marco left me at night long messages on the answering machine, where beyond the grave voice broadcasts on various topics, ranging from claims that I do not like this highlight in the frame, to ambitious plans to transform our film in the super series for the main channels of the United States.
    Aging actors in Hollywood say, “I feel that in me there is another movie.” Here at this angle and held our cooperation. It so happened that the “dark corner Kelton” was the last film for Paul Marco. He died one day when we were filming the second series of paintings.
    Edith Shain and sailor, the cover of Life magazine
    – In Los Angeles during the filming of “Kelton’s Dark Corner” you had to be crossed with a fair amount of amazing characters.
    – On this subject, you can write a separate book. Therefore, briefly. Paul Marko about it I talked a little bit. Conrad Brooks, one of the actors of the film Ed Wood “Plan 9 from Outer Space”, where he played a cop, mate Kelton. Shelley Michelle: The best body-double (solid understudy) in Hollywood. Her figure substitute Julia Roberts in the movie “Pretty Woman”, and Kim Basinger, Barbara Streisand, Madonna and many other stars. Edith Shain: nurses who pictured kissing a sailor during a victory parade in New York in 1945. This photo is one of the most famous magazine Life. Caught by chance on this photo, Edith did a great career. She wrote letters to the presidents of the United States and opened a huge monument in San Diego. Zope Roccaforte: Italian, who starred in the film Tinto Brass “Mail Tinto Brass.”
    – As members of your crew, and especially Paul Marco responded that for the shooting of this film takes Russian filmmaker?
    – There is no special relationship to the fact that I’m Russian, I did not feel. On the contrary, my Russian accent added color to the event. Ed Wood starring came from Sweden, Finland, Hungary and other countries.
    Shelley Michelle
    – By the way, if you try, albeit with certain reservations, try to find traces of the Soviet film noir, what movies are reasonable and remember what they nuarny?
    – There are, in my view, a number of Soviet films noir. For example: “It №306” (1956), “The Case of motley” (1958), “The Man without a passport” (1966). These films are created in the genre of detective, they have no goodies, except the police. Bleak, gloomy atmosphere. Many of the scenes filmed at night. No happy ending. By the way, among film critics and scholars of film noir is no exact definition of this style. Blurred boundaries of the genre, some movies related to noir those are not and vice versa.
    – Why the strange adventures of a mysterious police Kelton you considered worthy of attention? You understand that the majority of your audience perceives this as a very bright, self-contained, the original, but the banter. It did not hurt?
    – For me, this is more an art project than making a film for profit and glory. Therefore, the opinion of the general public is not so important. Especially this project is related to Ed Wood, the owner of the title of “worst director of all time.”
    – Three of the “Kelton’s Dark Corner” you shot in Los Angeles. Further work is already in Russia. Do important atmosphere of the city, the team is not difficult if you had to carry the process in Russia?
    – A new, fourth series is made entirely in Moscow. It also occupied my Moscow friends, members of the group “Center”. The very idea of this new series I had in Moscow, when I saw the photos taken by my friends for their project of wedding dresses. When I looked at these photos and landscapes of the village in the vicinity of Volokolamsk, I had the idea to make a new series of Kelton in the style of horror movies and zombies. Therefore, the new series is made in color and more common with vintage horror than Noir.
    – In the new series, you have removed your friends as zombies, and the concept has changed greatly – from black-and-white color you are in, there was a lot of narration and film noir as if you go in the trash estateku maybe in something and then close, but another. What all this is dictated?
    – I want some of the history and story. Just in recent years, significant progress and made available the latest photo, video and computer technology. The creation of a new series of 26-minute duration it took us almost 10 months. During this time, I have fully formed script that, unlike the previous series, was originally in Russian, and voice-overs I made myself. After that, we made an English version, and is now in the process of recording the voices of our American actors. Despite the fact that the new series has been fully established in Moscow and many nature shot of Volokolamsk, the action takes place in the eastern part of Kentucky, in the poorest and abandoned areas of contemporary America.
    – Could you for those who are not very essence of adventure is Kelton and has no way to see them, tell something like the summary of the previous series?
    – After a long break of 40 years, so the screen reappeared cop Kelton. Over the years he matured, pogrubel, he did not have any fear and whining. He is plagued by corruption, scams, due to crime. Its main motivators become greed, selfishness, self-seeking, the cult of money. Kelton age has changed a lot compared to what it was in the films of Ed Wood. He made a lot of enemies in the underworld of Los Angeles, and one day he was kidnapped for ransom. It turned out that no one was going to buy it, rather the opposite – people will want to pay the kidnappers, so that they finished off Kelton, who all already got. During clashes with the bandits, who were with Kelton old scores, Kelton was associated in the trunk of the car, where he spent several days. He almost died in the trunk, but not until the end. Instead of death, he turned into a zombie with paranormal abilities to turn into Keltonovu – police feminine. As a result, Kelton managed to escape from the bandits, but the hunt for him continues.
    – The process of creating a new series you build on the principle of collaboration with the audience – shows pre-assembled version, interested in the views and options for development. Do not suffer from it your own vision, because his view of what will create the characters of your films, each with its own?
    – Yes, we carry out the previews, which to me much clearer in terms of editing, voice, constructing the plot. Due to the fact that for me it is art or experimental film projections, before the release is necessary to understand how to accept unprepared audience. On this depends the future fate of the series in terms of where and how to show it: or at festivals and experimental art films or still it can be offered to a wider audience.
    – Despite the fact that “the movie is not for everyone” – a genre rather demanded, your movie can be seen only on rare club shows, which are advertised except through Facebook. You intend to abandon the promotion of the film, making a constant focus on the internet and new media. Were there any attempts to declare it to a wider display?
    – It is not yet there, but we are working in this direction. I think that if the viewer a bit to prepare, the audience of the film can be greatly enhanced.
    – What viewers will see the art center “Vinyl” and how do you build this time meeting?
    – Before the show, I talk a little about the history of the film, on the last series, about Paul Marco, an Ed Wood. Tell the audience that after watching I would be interested to hear their feedback, questions, comments, impressions. After a discussion of film usually takes 30-40 minutes, but if you have questions, we can talk at least until morning.
    Alex Pevchev

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