Title: Popatopolis

Also known as:

Year: 2010

Genre: Documentary

Language: English

Runtime: 75 min

Director: Clay Westervelt

Writer: Clay Westervelt

IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1453253/

Jim Wynorski is getting ready to make is latest softcore venture with "The Witches of Breastwick" but he's looking to make an experiment out of the production. He wants to shoot the movie in three days, with only a sound guy and a camera man, one light and all actors and actresses have to provide their own food, hair and makeup. "Popatopolis" follows Jim on his experiment while also examining the career of one of the more prolific b-movie directors.

Our thoughts:
I think everyone likes Jim Wynorski or at least one of his movies, whether they know it or not since it seems like his movies are more well known than his name is. His career that begin in 1985 with the schlocky b-fest and cleavage fest "The Lost Empire"; he's directed around ninety movies all of varying quality and budget size. He's made the cult classic "Chopping Mall" and the unwatchable "Bare Wench Project" series. While all behind the scenes footage have shown Mr. Wynorski to be a real asshole - he manages to maintain a large fan base, including myself, and a loyal following of actresses. Even though he makes no apologies in regards to thinking the most important thing about an actress is her bust size. That's who he is and he has made some fun movies during his time.

"Popatopolis" is a documentary that follows Jim Wynorski on his latest endeavor (latest for the time that it was made) "The Witches of Breastwick". While also shoot a skin flick an experiment is being conducted by Wynorski. The experiment: to see if you can shoot a feature length movie in three days with a handful of cast members, a sound guy, a cameraman and a single production-assistant. All actors/actresses provide their own wardrobe, make-up and craft services while Jim and his three crew members do all the other jobs of an entire crew.

So more or less "Popatopolis" is a feature length making-of featurette for "The Witches of Breastwick" while interjecting interviews from actresses who've worked with Jim in the past, like Julie Strain, as well as Jim's own mother. The movie also takes a look at some of his past movies and his entire career in general. Because the crew spends a majority of the time filming Jim while he makes his movie, it doesn't really cast him in the best of light. Between him calling all of his actors stupid and screaming at them for not getting something right the first time and referring to one of the female characters in the script simply as "cow". You'll find it hard not to hate him and wonder why in the hell anyone puts up with him. That's when the interesting thing comes in as everyone who has worked with him, whether it's the actors, crew members or even Roger Corman himself, all speak quite highly of Jim. I've seen more cast and crew members have negative things to say about Lloyd Kaufman, and he doesn't seem to be any where near as bad as Jim (though he comes close at times).

I consider myself to be a pretty big fan of Wynorski's movies since he made the movies that I enjoy watching when I just want to be brain dead for awhile and be entertained. They're campy and schlocky as hell but they're never not fun. Well, not counting his family and softcore movies. Because I'm a fan, I found "Popatopolis" to be an interesting watch - hearing the stories from the past and watching his process. For the non-fan or the person that is indifferent then this documentary may end up coming off as a little dull. Only because most of the runtime shows Jim being flustered and being grumpy while he tries to shoot a movie in three days.

Still it could be interesting if you want a retrospective on one of the more prolific b-movie directors from the 80's and 90's. Plus, I thought, Julie K. Smith and Julie Strain gave great interviews and had some interesting thoughts on Wynorski himself and b-movies, so there is that as well. "Popatopolis" is both recommended and not recommended. Most of the focus is on him making "The Witches of Breastwick" so I'd say watch it for entertainment purposes only. Don't watch it looking for an exposé on b-movies or technical aspects of making a movie.

Positive things:
- An interesting look at the Jim Wynorski's process.
- Some of the interviews were really good, especially with Julie K. Smith and Julie Strain.
Negative things:
- Essentially more of a "making-of" featurette for "The Witches of Breastwick".
- Unless you're a fan of Jim Wynorski, this documentary isn't likely to hold your attention very well.

Gore: 0/5
Nudity: 2/5
Story: 0/5
Effects: 0/5
Comedy: 0/5

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