The Ghastly Love Of Johnny X Featured On CBS News Sunday Morning
Written By: Ken Hulsey
Imagine my surprise this morning when I turned on CBS News Sunday Morning and I saw a little feature about a film I first wrote about five years ago called 'The Ghastly Love of Johnny X'. The piece featured the film and it's creator, film maker Paul Bunnell, illustrating the vast contrast in how big-budget films and independent films are promoted and released into theaters. Here is Bunnell standing outside a movie house in Kansas handing out fliers and asking passers by to come in to see his movie. How is the small time film maker able to compete with the likes of Warner Bros and Universal with their endless supply of cash and publicity outlets? Sadly they can't. Films like 'Johnny X' have to rely on independent film websites (like this one), film festivals, and word of mouth to get noticed by a public that is being constantly bombarded by ads for Hollywood mainstream productions.
How has 'Johnny X' fared so far against Hollywood? Well according to the box office receipts the film took in a puny $117, a number that is not even in the same universe as say 'The Avengers' $1.5 billion worldwide. Unfairly box office numbers don't reflect the money taken in by a film shown at film festivals, where ironically 'Johnny X' has done quite well. Even so, I believe it's safe to say that collectively a film like this didn't overtake 'Avengers' even if the festival dollars were added.
What is 'The Ghastly Love of Johnny X' about exactly? Ever wonder what "Grease" would have been like if Danny and Sandy were both aliens? Well that is the kind of thing you find yourself thinking about after viewing the trailer for Paul Bunnell's musical homage to 1950's sci fi entitled "The Ghastly Love of Johnny X." "Johnny X" features an all-star cast that includes Will Keenan, (Tromeo and Juliet, Terror Firmer and Good Machine's Love God) De Anna Joy Brooks, (The Strand, Neighborhood Watch and Studio House) B movie and Sci Fi icons Reggie Bannister (Phantasm, Bubba Ho-Tep) and Kevin McCarthy (Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Twilight Zone) plus the multi-talented, award winning, actor and composer Paul Williams (Phantom of the Paradise, Battle for the Planet of the Apes, and Smokey and the Bandit). With the type of cast and crew Bunnell has been able to assemble, this one will no doubt end up a hands-down fan favorite.
THE GHASTLY LOVE OF JOHNNY X is a mad concoction, blending 1950s juvenile delinquents, sci-fi melodrama, song-and-dance, and a touch of horror, everything in just the right combination to create an engaging big screen spectacle! Jonathan Xavier and his misfit gang have been exiled to earth from outer space, and his former girlfriend Bliss has stolen his Resurrection Suit, a cosmic, mind-bending uniform that gives the owner power over others. The film's cast includes sexy new stars Will Keenan, De Anna Joy Brooks, Les Williams, and Jed Rowen, as well as seasoned professionals Creed Bratton, Reggie Bannister, Kate Maberly, Paul Williams and the late Kevin McCarthy, in his final role. Along the way, there will be several highly stylized musical numbers, lots of genuinely humorous dialogue, and a wacky plot-twist or two, all expertly filmed in glorious black and white. A truly bizarre and entertaining motion picture!
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Here is the trailer for 'The Ghastly Love of Johnny X':