March 9, 2006
A news release from the Governor’s Office on Wednesday promised “a plague of zombies,” “ferocious monsters”, murder, mayhem, “creepy events” and “Living Hell.”
No, Gov. Bill Richardson wasn’t announcing a special session of the Legislature.
This was an announcement of four low-budget horror/suspense films to be shot in New Mexico this spring and summer.
The movies are part of a package by a Hollywood company called Odd Lot Entertainment — actually, according to Variety, a subsidiary of Odd Lot called Dark Lot will produce these films.
Each one has a budget of about $3.5 million, according to Richardson’s film-industry point man, Eric Witt. The productions, he said, will employ about 400 New Mexicans.
The state Investment Council already has agreed to give interest-free loans for two of these films. Each will get $3.4 million from the state.
The four cinematic jewels announced Wednesday are:
* Wanted: Undead or Alive: This is a good old cowboys ‘n’ zombies flick. In the synopsis provided by the Fourth Floor, “When Wild West misfits Elmer Winslow and Luke Budd rob the corrupt sheriff of a dusty Western town, they have no idea a plague of zombies is sweeping the country. In a bizarre turn of events, Geronimo’s sultry niece may hold the key to their survival.” According to the horror-movie Web site Bloody-Disgusting.com, this will be a comedy. The dusty Western town will be played by Bonanza Creek Ranch south of Santa Fe.
* Living Hell: “Mild-mannered schoolteacher Frank Sears is mystified by the bizarre tattoo his mother gave him as a child — right before she committed suicide. Desperate to unlock its meaning, Frank’s quest leads him to a top secret Cold War military project where he unwittingly unleashes an unstoppable organism.” (Boy, I misread that word the first time!) This will be shot at Santa Fe’s old main-prison facility and in and around Belen.
* Zero Dark Thirty: “When Andy, a U.S. Army soldier, returns from active duty in the Middle East, his once-tranquil hometown is racked by a string of strange and violent events.” This will be filmed at the old prison and in Santa Fe and Albuquerque.
* Buried Alive: “A gang of sorority buddies play a prank by leaving fellow college students in an abandoned hunting cabin. Creepy events unfold and the local groundskeeper winds up dead.” The filming location hasn’t been determined, Witt said.
Asked whether the “sorority buddies” reference was a mistake, Witt had a two-word reply: “Brokeback Zombies.”
Pork for Peace: There will be zombies in the summer and peaceniks in the fall.
Richardson on Wednesday announced that he’d vetoed nearly $270 million in spending. But one thing that apparently did survive was $300,000 earmarked in the capital-outlay bill for a world-peace conference in Santa Fe next September.
The conference money was sponsored by Sen. Shannon Robinson, the “Bull Moose” Democrat from Albuquerque, who last year secured another $120,000 for the conference.
Clarissa Duran, director of volunteers for the September conference, said Wednesday that there will be a meeting next week for those wanting to volunteer. That will begin at 2 p.m. Wednesday at the State Archives and Records Building on Camino Carlos Rey. Duran’s number is 929-3825.
Wings of Justice: Richardson is the latest recipient of the “Wings of Justice” award from Buzzflash.com, a liberal Web site. Richardson’s support and signing of the “paper-ballots” bill — which will require paper-ballot voting machines to be used in every county in the state — won him the weekly award.
The centrist governor joins other recent winners, which include many left-wing icons like the late Rosa Parks, newspaper columnist Molly Ivins, peace activist Daniel Ellsberg, Democracy Now host Amy Goodman and David Letterman.
The late-night talk-show host won his wings by telling Fox News pundit Bill O’Reilly, “to his face, that 60 percent of what he says is crap.”
Name that anonymous source: The irreverent political blog Wonkette on Tuesday invited its readers to name the anonymous Democratic governor who was quoted in The Washington Post criticizing national Democratic Party strategy.
The Post quote:
“They want to coordinate. They want to collaborate. That’s all good,” said one Democratic governor who declined to be identified in order to talk candidly about a closed-door meeting. “The question is: Coordinate or collaborate on what? People need to know not just what we’re against but what we’re for. That’s the kind of message the governors are interested in developing at the national level.”The blogster concluded, “to the extent that there’s ever a correct response, it sounds like the answer to today’s quiz was ‘Bill Richardson.’ ”
Richardson, who has made similar on-the-record statements in the past, on Wednesday denied he was the unnamed source.
One Wonkette reader described Richardson as “a gabby ex-Clinton Administration cabinet member who’s still probably on the Rolodex of a lot of reporters in this town. ...
Until a few months back, Richardson was making the rounds in D.C., trying to build up support for a 2008 White House bid but revelations that he really, really exaggerated the bit in his bio about being a baseball player appear to have sunk that.”
Tell that to the citizens of New Hampshire celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with the governor of New Mexico next week.
Another reader said, “I’m thinking it’s Bill Richardson, strictly based on my gut reaction that the person in question sounds completely exasperated, which is Bill’s default setting. Also, I can totally hear him saying ‘that’s all good.’ He probably tries to impress the youngsters on his staff by using ‘hip’ lingo, like ‘it’s all good’ and ‘I’m down with that.’ And more practically, he’s going to try and run in 2008 as an outsider, against the Democratic party. Yeah, good luck with that.”