A review at trakMARX.com
A Texas Tale Of Treason
This is a film about a movie that doesn’t exist. A documentary account of long filming in the hot, Texas sun, whose sum result was zilch, nada. At least, that’s the surface preposition of A Texas Tale Of Treason, in which a no-budget crew of enthusiasts attempt to make a film out of Alex Cox’s script for Waldo’s Hawaiian Holiday, a follow-up to cult classic Repo Man. It’s an account of a bunch of guerrilla filmmakers with day jobs who received not a dime in return for their efforts, only to see their demonstrable dedication to the project go up in smoke as Cox withdraws support, or rather never truly confirms it. Yet there’s much more to this archive of interviews with cast and crew than a feature-length howl at the fates.
It’s not for me to speculate on Cox’s reasons; there’s plenty of discussion on that by director Stuie Kincaid and his pals, who still seem as non-plussed by his attitude as they are pissed at it. Cox has remained tight-lipped on the subject, as far as I can see, and declined an invitation to take part in the documentary, apart from mentioning potential legal action. Stuie and his friends, in keeping with their punk roots, have filmed this partially as a cinematic ‘fuck you’ in response.
Ah, punk rock. Repo Man had one of the all-time great soundtracks, featuring Iggy’s title-track plus great first generation LA hardcore from Black Flag, the Circle Jerks, Fear, Suicidal Tendencies, etc. It was clearly intended that Waldo’s remain faithful to this, and there are cameos from original Texan punks the Rhythm Pigs and Nervebreakers (veterans of the Pistols’ infamous Dallas Longhorn Ballroom show), plus Greg Turner of the Angry Samoans and LA’s Skulls. It’s also interesting to note that, when things go awry, the participants measure their hurt via a punk rock yardstick. Cox’s actions, for example, are deemed ‘not punk rock’, as is any insistence on cosmetic issues surrounding production values. It’s heartening to see how well the punk rock ethos has travelled, and how intuitively its values are understood.
Over the course of a couple of years the effort and commitment to make Waldo’s work is manifest, and the eventual collapse of the project is actually quite heartbreaking. The small knot of contributors that developed around the film’s production candidly discuss its shortcomings and small victories. Some are clearly pissed off that all their time and effort, and in some cases personal money, disappeared down the glughole. Others manage to salvage something from the experience, even if it’s only gallows humour. The director does not flinch from praise or criticism from his partners, and there’s a couple of scenes which make for painful viewing. Like the day they spent filming at the height of summer in the hottest state in the union in suits, without the benefit of water. Or getting chased out of locations they had no right to be in by the fire service etc. There’s a nice mix of camaraderie and mild recrimination.
What’s most impressive though, is the sense of community. We have a disparate bunch of characters here; a have-a-go director who designs rockets by trade, a leading lady with a fetching line in Hollywood-esque affectations, a bunch of straight-up regular guys and a graphics designer who stints on his day job at the aerospace factory to get this done. But what defines them all is the sense of shared adventure and common purpose. If we take the old Pete Seeger maxim that ‘The question is not “is it good music”, but “what is the music for”’, A Texas Tale Of Treason is an unqualified success. What comes out of is far more life enhancing and admirable than a mere film – which is, after all, just another product on the pop culture conveyor belt. Instead what emerges is a deeply human portrait of people throwing everything they have into something, and coming out the other side with nothing to show for it apart from, one suspects, an experience unlike any other they are likely to encounter again in their four score years. Or want to.
The rumours, again addressed directly in the film, that the production values were ropey enough to see Cox fight shy of fully endorsing the rushes that were coming out of Texas, are both upheld and disparaged by the footage we do get to see. The visualisation of some of the scenes are excellent and the actors seem to hold their own, although those versed on mainstream studio values might crib at the sound levels and lighting. Also, there’s too much verbiage and too many talking heads at the start of the documentary. Some of the points the film tries to make could have been underscored by earlier insertion of filmed sequences or the excellent graphics work. But about a third of the way in you begin to identify with the participants, and you can bite on their emotive connection to the film and their belief in it. And that’s the real power of A Texas Tale Of Treason, which ostensibly serves as a tombstone for a doomed project, but ultimately exists as a remarkable if pained narrative in its own right.
It’s available through Ebay, rather than Blockbusters, you will not be surprised to learn.
Salt Lake Underground (SLUG) mag-May ’07 Issue:
A Texas Tale of Treason
Matthew C. Walker
When Alex Cox allowed a group of aging punkers from Texas to make the sequel to his 1984 cult classic Repo Man, what did he really expect to get back? A Texas Tale of Treason follows the ups and downs of creating a film in a truly DIY fashion. Operating on a budget of only a few thousand dollars, the blue-collar punk rockers from Antstuie Productions put all they had into making Waldo’s Hawaiian Holiday, only to encounter every single problem they possibly could have. Director Stuart Kincaid sold off a rare BMW motorcycle and even transformed his house into a dive for the film, but his passion was no match for Alex Cox’s general uncooperation. The crew is hassled by the cops and the fire department and plagued by casting problems (the Vietnamese convenience store owner doesn’t speak a word of English), but their collective passion for the project allows them to soldier on until Cox rescinds the rights to his script. In the end, Antstuie isn’t allowed to make the movie, but it’s cool to see a group of people doing something they’re passionate about on their own terms, even after their hero turned out to be a douchebag. –Ricky Vigil
Salt Lake CITY WEEKLY July ’07
• A Texas Tale of Treason: Writer-director Matthew C. Walker’s “almost making of” the film Waldo’s Hawaian [sic] Holiday (which “is no more,” according to the Website, Antstuie.com/ttt) is the epitome of “punk filmmaking,” a wild and aggressive documentary about the experience of everyone involved in the not-making of a film that never quite got off the ground. The film’s trailer on YouTube is an excellent example of guerrilla marketing, the kind of viral word-of-mouth that will fuel the incipient online venue for indie filmmakers.
Most of the Following are from IMDB.COM :
great account of making a film, 29 December 2006
Author: Stephen “Jules” Rubin (julesotis13) from santa fe, new mexico
I am sligthly biased because I appear in this film but i loved it and I am only in about seven dispersed minutes and am not nearly the most interesting part of it. The film is an honest and intriguing account of a noble independent group of filmmakers trying to make a lovable movie. It is also an account of bloated expectations and fallen heros The interviews are well patched together in the editing. The different people are all interesting and there is never really too much of one person. Also, the interviews are shot in a pretty interesting fashion keeping the film visually satisfying. Definitely a worthwhile film. I hope it gets around.
or “Why You Should Never Work With Your Heroes”., 16 May 2007
Author: marshottentot from Atlanta, Gee-oh-ja
Like most of the posts here, I’m a bit biased as I’m involved in the soundtrack. BUT! I’ve never met Stuart, just some emails, so I feel like you can trust me! ToTT can be best summed up by my tag-line – “Why You Should Never Work With Your Heroes”. It’s clear that the Alex Cox that we all envision is not some kind of punk cinema touchstone of integrity, but a rather a jerk, just like the rest of us. Unfortunately, Stuart has his own set of issues and put together with Cox’s and it’s actually amazing the project got as far as it did.The film in question is “Waldo’s Hawaiian Holiday”, the sequel to Cox’s 1984 scifi / hardcore punk comedy masterpiece ‘RepoMan’. ‘A Tale of Texas Treason’ contains plenty of raw ‘Waldo’ footage, and makes the film sting even more: it looks fantastic and hilarious.
I give props to Stuart Kincaid for allowing as honest a representation of the situation to be seen. Even though Cox declined participation in ‘Treason’, you can get a feel for why he may have got indignant. Stuart has a temper. No, we’re not talking about a Hollywood life threatening temper, but one that can flare up out of nowhere and ruin your day for sure. For instance, the film tells it’s story with dense commentary with the actors, crew and friends. At one point, apparently disgusted with a complaint by actor Ted West during one of these interviews, Stuart breaks with the set narrative style to scold West, his angry voice coming from somewhere off camera. It’s one of my favorite scenes because it shows Stuarts warts: this is not a 100% ‘up with Stuie’ project. In fact, with the Katrina & Rita hurricanes being recent events at the time of the shooting, I was surprised by the overall view of the survivors by Stuart, like they’re just bums or something. But Stuart is a real American, roll up your sleeves, DIY punk rocker – I should expect no quarter from this guy, right?
The actors and crew range from playing characters (Ted West & Marci Dacus go for campy & condescending respectively), to hilarious (Antonio Brazil), to extremely in touch with the situation (Ed Ivey practically narrates the film). The amount of talent here not being able to finish a project that was basically 5 minutes away from being done is ultimately a teeth grinding shame.
I’m glad that at least they made this cautionary tale, it should be seen by any budding filmmaker, and especially ones that work with some one else’s material.
So, what did Alex Cox think of Kincaid’s ‘Waldo’? A bummer scene involving an oddly familiar comic book tells the tale. SHAME, Mr.Cox, SHAME!
Crash course in movie making 101, 31 January 2007
Author: mgadams422 from United States
*** This comment may contain spoilers ***All of the trials and tribulations of making a no budget movie right from the mouths of those involved. You feel all of the sweat, guts, determination and dedication Stuie put into this labor of love and the frustration of being left hanging after all his work. The clips of interviews with all involved provides a great flowing narrative and conveys the balls-out, hardcore punk, almost anarchic attitude it took to film “Waldo” and subsequently the documentary. Stuie and company deserve all the props in the world for not giving up when the going got tough and getting “A Texas Tale of Treason” out so we can see what it’s like for the budding filmmaker on the street!
A wonderful exploration of movie creation!, 14 January 2007
Author: scott-1735 from United States
*** This comment may contain spoilers ***There are a limited number of fans for movies in the world that would love a particular genre to go to the depths that this crew has done to bring to life something that the very writer of the original film had, up to this point, never achieved. This is a wonderful exploration of the real dedication and love it takes to reach towards a potentially very successful cult film.
Originally, with the blessings from Alex Cox, this crew began producing the sequel of one of his movies in absolute true punk fashion. Their goal simply being to fully capture the atmosphere as it should be for a complete tribute to the original “Repo Man” film.
This is a great tale of dedication and the treachery that can occur along the path to wonderful movie making. A truly entertaining tale and a guaranteed learning experience for the viewer.
Result!!, 2 January 2007
Author: Paul Mattlock from United Kingdom
Nice doco Stuie!Even though it didn’t work out how you wanted with the original film you have a fantastic piece of work and great viewing.
It is self evident how much you put into it.
That goes for everyone else too. It’s great to see the warts and all account of the process without being ‘too nice’.
Loved it! Well worth a view.
Que pena, the writer of ‘the original’ film couldn’t appreciate what you have achieved.
Love the attitude too. Great piece. Looking forward to seeing the next work.
Keep going bro! Paully
Enjoyable well made film!, 2 January 2007
Author: don-foote from Dallas, TX
I found this to be an entertaining account of the challenges an independent film maker might encounter (something I never even thought about). The film managed to keep my interest the entire time and I actually laughed out loud more than once! I’m not a film maker so I know nothing about the technology but I though it was well edited and flowed smoothly telling the story. As a disclaimer, I contributed to this effort after the fact providing music for the soundtrack but I was not involved in the creation of this film and I could not tell you a thing about Repo Man except that I remembered seeing it way back when (I’m not really a sci-fi fiend). I enjoyed the comparisons the film made of punk rock file making to punk rock music. My wife went with me to see the film and she did not know a thing about it before hand and we had a great time.
Team of innovative young Texans make movie in spite of obstacles, 1 January 2007
Author: elvaroy from United States
Fascinating look behind the scenes about how a really good movie CAN get made if the producers, director, & cast simply “refuse to quit.” These guys encountered serious obstacles throughout the two years of the project (miniscule budget, trouble with the script and with the script writer) so the finished product wasn’t what was first envisioned, but probably turned out to be more interesting than the movie they set out to make, which goes to show that the punk mentality of “just do it” …with or without any backing, money, or help…figure it out on the fly and do what you want to do. I really liked this documentary movie and know that viewers will see and learn things they didn’t know before. This movie is truly “one of a kind…it’s hard to classify because it has pieces of “sci fi” and “suspense” and also “how to make a movie.” It tells the truth about how films get made, what can go wrong, and how to overcome. I especially liked the music written by Ed Ivey. These guys know how to produce a good movie on a shoe string because they’re creative and know how to build props, dollys, staging, lighting with what they can scavenge up…pretty amazing stuff.
If You’re Not Careful…, 30 December 2006
Author: systemyouradio from Eugene, Oregon
So, the plug was pulled on “Waldo’s Hawaiian Holiday” due to lack of support and conflict with The Writer. Right? It’s over. Two years of work down the drain. Right? Nope. Not the way punks do it! Make something rise from the ashes…that’s what you do, and that’s what Stuart Kinkaid and the crew down in Texas went about doing.I have just finished up the “A Texas Tale Of Treason” for the 2nd time. I’m impressed. I am energized by the spirit of the cast and crew. I am happy to know the whole story behind what was to be the sequel to “Repo Man”. There is a story here. The story is well told and flows just the same. It’s all there for everyone to see and hear.
While viewing this film, pay close attention to the Rhythm Pigs front man Ed Ivey. Ed has a profound roll in the this film. Words of wisdom are given by Ivey….see if you can catch those words and takem’ to heart! Witness the pure drive these people have to get things going and stick to it. In my mind, the crew doing this film have much in common with such legendary record labels like SST or Dischord, and hard touring acts from the old days like Black Flag, Rhythm Pigs, Minutemen..on and on…….This film is a result of that old punk attitude at work in these days of apathetic America.
Also…the film sports some great music from many independent artists. The music played throughout the film make up one helluva soundtrack that would fit right into my collection!
AGAIN… this film gives folks a glimpse of the old timey punk rock drive and attitude that you don’t see so much anymore, but people like Stuart Kinkaid and his crew are willing to share it with you! Support the effort these people put out and check out the film for yourself. As Cosby tends to say, “If you’re not careful, you just might learn something”….or something like that!
Real Punk!, 29 December 2006
Author: HayAnne from United States
I viewed this movie at the Magnolia Theater in Dallas a couple of days ago. Punk! Everyone and everything involved in the movie added to the punkiness of it. The music, well of course. But the movie itself captured the whole punk genre. Even a grandmother and school teacher (me) can appreciate artists who are able to turn their ideas into reality (well, reality, film-wise). This movie takes a handful of ticked-off young film makers and clearly and cleverly shows the “why” of their angst over not being given the green light on finishing the Waldo film. The (relatively) happy girl gave good comic relief, a nice respite from the continual (but understandable) ragging on the dude who left them in a lurch. Gotta love Stu, though. And be sure to watch/read the credits – they’re the icing on the cake!
Showbiz 101 the hard way, 29 December 2006
Author: Elchappo from United States
Everyone who has ever wondered how to make a film on no budget should see this documentary. The determination of everybody portrayed in this project was very moving to me, and should connect to those of us who have ever ventured into any part of show business, be it film, music, or writing. I think the film makers could have done a better job with foreshadowing the events that led up to this film becoming a documentary, perhaps by use of a narrator; other than that, the film comes off as a real example of how show business isn’t about “the show”, but rather “the business”.I hope that the actual intended project, “Repo Man II”, gets to see the light of day. I think the film makers did a fine job on it with what little they had to work with, and all that they had to overcome to complete it.
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Pretty cool punk rock doc, 29 December 2006
Author: billyatwell from United States
I too must apologize for a somewhat biased opinion of this endeavor as I contributed to the soundtrack. Still I received my copy, sat back and enjoyed the rolling cast of characters who were perhaps more colorful than the characters they were creating in this tale of a film sequel shanghai. For those who feel George Bush is a “credible Texan”, one need look no further than this film to shatter the image that Texas is full of truck driving, one-dimensional rednecks. The cast contains some of the most intelligent, peculiar and humorous folks you’ll find anywhere as they spin their tales of agony, bliss and disappointment in going for a great film sequel, no budget, guerilla style (i.e. “punk rock style” as each person helps define).
This is a great documentary made with passion and guts and all the venom you’ll need to break through to the other side of whatever industry b.s. and doublespeak you’re dealing with (take note authors, painters, musicians and fellow filmmakers). It hearkens back to the credibility of the first wave of American hardcore music when the term “D.I.Y.” was the standard, a period where courage, passion and commitment mattered way more than technique, style or precious calculations. Not that there isn’t plenty of technique or style to this…the tone of the documentary is quite refreshing. The editing cuts provide as much drama as the dialog therein.
The idea of creating a documentary out of the sad demise of the cast, crew and director’s initial intent is brilliant, totally Texas and absolutely punk rock. In the truest sense of the term.
I like biscuits, 29 December 2006
Author: robbrebb from United States
After seeing A Texas Tale of Treason, the measly correspondence efforts by Cox could not even afford the massive collusion Stu directed with no budget. It tells a story about dedication, sweat, whiz, fire and punk rock. I love it! My favorite parts are the interviews with Marci (she’s such a hot baby babe and she digs me but she just doesn’t know it yet). The Japanese clerk muffing his lines, that cracked me up. The sex scene was really cool. I am going to see if Stu will come over sometime and do the box light wave thing when i’m doing it with my woman. The intro and of course my 5 seconds during closing credits. I know thats going to get me some chicks. I hope to see more from Antstuie because I know I can expect the unexpected.
documentary film on a failed sequel to “Repoman”, 29 December 2006
Author: srallison from United States
watch this movie. it’s truly a good ride through the difficulties of making a indie movie, and what happens when it blows up in the film maker’s face. there’s a lot of stuff about punk rock, and the philosophy behind that movement and it’s relationship to this project. so if you’re into old punk, American punk, you’ll dig it…. but, beware, there’s a ton of bad acting bits from the failed project that are incorporated… yet they do come off funny at times. and, actually, some of the best parts are listening to people who have never been involved in movie making pontificate and what they went through in the three year period that it took to put this together. so anyone out there that’s about to make a film, especially if you haven’t been to film school or worked in the field, you should watch this and learn from the film maker’s mistakes.
it rocks, 29 December 2006
Author: yvonnalynn-1 from United States
This film would be particularly fun for anyone who has been in the film industry, especially in any indie capacity… those whose inheritance includes a film introduction may not appreciate it quite as much. I am hard to please in the documentary category. This doc is different though- its pleasure comes from an earthy realism of indie filmmaker punks who are a hoot to be around and watch. Whether you’ve ever wondered what it is like to be in films, in front of or behind the camera, or whether you have worked your way through the sometimes painful and hard but rewarding indie world, you’ll certainly get a kick out of this film.
A Tale of Texas Treason, a documentary stands out., 29 December 2006
Author: randyrhodes from United States
*** This comment may contain spoilers ***After watching “A Texas Tale of Treason” you feel a renewed disgust for the nature of the Hollywood beast. Inside the interviews and conversations of all involved with the project there is a common sense of comradery and rebelliousness that spans backgrounds, social classifications, and even geography. This can be attributed to hard work on the entire production’s undying commitment to the project and the love the of the story from the original film, and the complete creation of vacuum that is it’s creator. The scale of people involved in “Waldo’s Hawaiian Holiday” was amazing to me, at a no budget, no glory production. There were no trailers or craft services, no amenities at all, and yet everyone involved stuck right there with it. If nothing ever comes of this project, Antstuie Productions have laid their foundation for being a serious, honest company that’s never going to lay down and take it or sell out and make a movie just for the money. I’d like to see any L.A. director go through the guerrilla process to get a shot. More realistic true to life cinema is lacking in this time of CG and green screens. The masses may enjoy their entertainment spoon fed to them in nice bite sized censored calm bits, but there is a large group of people out here in the world that share the opinions and insights of the filmmakers that still make films for the love of the material or love of storytelling, not DVD sales or box office. I loved this documentary, and I hope that IFC has the cahones to pick it up and air it so that maybe, just maybe, one more person will decide to pick up a camera and film some real life so we the viewer can have even a temporary understanding that everyone everywhere is the same, and anyone anywhere can be a true storyteller.
You don’t have to be rich to make a movie!, 29 December 2006
Author: torres_gene from United States
This film proves you don’t need a Hollywood budget to make something fun to watch. What stuck with me is how the crew from different locations was able to pull together with no promises of riches to make something just because they believed in it. I think anybody who makes low budget movies can relate to certain scenes such as actors who just can’t get that one line, being bothered by the police, and having most of the crew disappear after the first week. Nobody got paid for this which says a lot for the people who had to travel cross country and for the long hours spent editing. After watching Stuie sell his personal property, use his own money, and trash his house to make the movie I am a bit curious how close his wife may have come to leaving. Good job to all.
A film about independent film makers, their struggles and eventual triumph., 29 December 2006
Author: rhayden-3 from Spring, TX
This is a very funny movie. There is a self deprecating, iconoclastic tone to the movie that is very appealing. The characters are interesting. The movie flows very well and holds your interest throughout the 1 hour, 50 minutes duration of the film. The film quality is not of the highest Hollywood standards; however the original film was supposed to be made in the genre of a gritty punk-rock style. The documentary about the attempt to make the film and the subsequent betrayal of the film makers is very well detailed and easy to follow. The original film makers themselves become the main characters in the documentary version of the movie. The interviews of the film makers and the actors has been assembled in a highly entertaining story that illustrates the struggles involved in making the original film, the eventual failure of the original project and the phoenix-like rising from the ashes that evolved into this documentary film. In my mind the documentary (A Texas Tale of Treason) is a much more interesting and entertaining film than the original film (Waldos Hawiian Vacation) would have ever been. Two thumbs up for a job well done.Was the above comment useful to you?
Mini Texas Tale Reviews… more to come!
As a professional stagehand, I have to commend you on your heart–the scene of you tearing off the contact paper in your kitchen brought tears to my eyes. You’ve got the disease, my friend, and I hope you can embrace it and be proud–it might not be the most practical thing financially, but you can look back at it and see an accomplishment…
I think its great. Tells a good story and I think it will do real good.
i got the dvd in the mail yesterday but i waited until today to check it out… it wasn’t easy to watch because the dvd rolled around in the case during shipping and got scratched. it sort of locked up a few times. but what i saw looked good.
please don’t take this the wrong way, but i think this is better than the original would have been.
I recieved the DVD day before yesterday and I watched it last night. Congragulations! I loved it. I’m not going to get into any technical critique because one of the main points of the show was you were all putting your passion into this and an interesting story told by people who believe in what they are doing far outweighs any technical details. I really appreciated seeing the faces I had heard talked about for so long. My only concern would be using clips of those movies, but I’m assuming you know what the rules are and made the decision accordingly. Anyway, I would say about the documentary is that even though it’s told from a punk perspective you don’t have to be a punk to appreciate the moral of follow your dream no matter what or who tries to hold you back. It flowed well, and told a very entertaining story. I guess the next step would be promotion. Get some rest now!
well edited…fun to watch…gets the point across… cox seem dubious….good tale of punk rock guerilla filmmaking….good mix of people talking.
great job. i hope this gains some momentum and attention.