Thursday, March 22, 2012
Psycho From ... Arkansas?
Those of you who've seen Psycho From Texas may have often wondered: who the heck made this gonzo flick? Now the story can be told -- director Jim Feazell has written an autobiography.
Psycho From Texas is a video oddity that has appeared under a number of different titles. Anticipating Fargo by several years, it concerns the botched kidnapping of an oilman by his daughter's scheming boyfriend. It not only features what may be one of the longest foot chases in cinema history, but also includes an early appearance by scream queen Linnea Quigley, and a psychotic killer (John King III) who obviously served as the inspiration for Javier Bardem's hairstyle in No Country for Old Men.
Unlike many one-shot regional film producers of the era, Feazell was already a showbiz vet by the time he made his signature fright flick, and his new autobiography Feathers lays out his fascinating life story -- from his childhood in Arkansas, to his work as a singer, stuntman, actor, director, producer, and author. Now in his 80s, Feazell may also be the most badass Wal-Mart greeter West of the Mississippi.
But back to Psycho From Texas. Thankfully, Feazell lays out the movie's confusing production history over several chapters late in the book, explaining its evolution from the crime film Wheeler (which Feazell four-walled in Arkansas) to its retitling as The Hurting. New footage was shot several years later to turn it into an R-rated thriller (this is where the footage of young Linnea Quigley having beer poured over head came from). The re-edited version was sold to distributor C.L. McLaughlin of Showcase Entertainment. He then re-edited the film again (mucking up the continuity), and came up with the Psycho title.
Feazell also includes several images of the original Wheeler and Hurting posters.
Feazell has his own website, where you can learn more about the whopping nine books he's self published over the last few years.