"Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1">
Attack of the Jehovah's Witnesses
A short film by Mike Brady and John Topping
This was Mike's and John's epic movie trailer and it runs 18 minutes. They were still students at California College of the Arts, Oakland, and had a lot of resources, including cast, crew and equipment. There were dance sequences on lush lawns, mob scenes, complete with flaming torches, and a myriad of faces for close ups. Here are pictures of some of my scenes, which don't particularly reflect the film as a whole, but it's my web site. I was slated to play the lead, but I got an attack of mold. At the time, I lived on the top floor of my building (penthouses are vastly overrated). During the rainy season, the roof leaked and white mold overtook the walls and my lungs. It was a long, slow recovery, and though I couldn't do the lead, John and Michael were gracious enough to give me a lot of small parts.
That's Mike Brady in the center of the upper shot. I'm the bushy headed woman to your right.
Because it was a trailer, it didn't really have to make too much sense; just clips of a movie that was never made. Loosely, it's about a town driven mad by the incessant harassment of the Jehovah's Witnesses. They knock at doors, sneak through unlocked windows, and accost strangers on the street of this sleepy, suburban community. Even your daughters aren't safe from the proselytizing Aryan types who carry the Watchtower and espouse the vengeance of the Lord.
I was not only in numerous scenes, but I played different characters, with only the change of a hat. I felt very much like John Barrymore who used only lights and the contortions of his face muscles to go from Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde. There is a moment when we cut between two different scenes of different people in different places at the same time. I am prominent in both of them. In this scene, I am a woman gone mad by the intrusion of the Bible thumping Witness and I pummel him with a bag of Wonder Bread. It's the haze in the lower left corner of the picture. I found the scene very cathartic.
John Topping is my adversary in this shot.
|Here, I agonize about my plight; I have lost all privacy and my cool - having already attacked a nice young man who infiltrated my kitchen. I'm at the very edge contemplating the abyss.|
Here, a band of housewives(me far left), beautifully clad in 50's attire, plan to take action. But what can we do? Who can we call? Is there no hope?
Unfortunately, Mike Brady died before this film was completed. Shot over one summer in and around Oakland, Mike and John took several years, with stop-and-go editing depending on their finances, till all the titles and credits closed the book on Attack of the Jehovah's Witnesses. Copies can be bought at John's web site. We all miss you, Mike.