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Film selections at the 6th Annual Clarksdale Film Fest impress…

Posted on February 5th, 2016
Film selections at the 6th Annual Clarksdale Film Fest impress…

by Coop Cooper

The 6th Annual Clarksdale Film Fest is over and a good time was had by all. Here is a bit of what was screened at the fest and some of the fest’s more interesting (and Clarksdale-centric) offerings…

The festival kicked off Thursday night with the documentary “The Rolling Stones: Crossfire Hurricane” which included dozens of performances and candid footage from the Stones’ early years on up into the present. Interviews of the band members are used as voice overs to accompany and sometimes narrate the past footage, giving a rare insight into the history of the band, their blues influences and how they persevered and cheated death to become the icons they are today…

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RAIDERS!: THE STORY OF THE GREATEST FAN FILM EVER MADE… a must see for a film fan

Posted on November 13th, 2015
RAIDERS!: THE STORY OF THE GREATEST FAN FILM EVER MADE…  a must see for a film fan

by Coop Cooper

A few years ago at the Clarksdale Film Festival, attendees were treated to a very special screening of a Mississippi film project that had been in the works since 1981. Ocean Springs natives Eric Zala and Chris Strompolos were in attendance to show “Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation”, a shot-for-shot remake of “Raiders” done by Zala, Strompolos and their friends, filmed over seven years during the summers of their childhood. The film sat on the shelf until some well-known filmmakers viewed a bootleg copy and tracked down Zala and Strompolos, suddenly thrusting the two (now) adults into limelight. With their exceptionally creative adaptation screening at film festivals all over the world, the old collaborators found themselves haunted by the one scene in “Raiders” they were never able to shoot. Last year, they raised enough money to finally complete the scene back in their home town of Ocean Springs… and all did not go exactly according to plan…

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THE BATTERED BASTARDS OF BASEBALL… an oustanding Netflix-only documentary

Posted on September 8th, 2014
THE BATTERED BASTARDS OF BASEBALL… an oustanding Netflix-only documentary

By Coop Cooper

Netflix continues their domination of TV and film. It seems they have now exclusively distributed the best sports documentary since ESPN released the “30 for 30” series. That documentary is “The Battered Bastards of Baseball” and as of now it can only be watched on Netflix Instant.

Character actor Bing Russell (father of actor Kurt Russell) grew up obsessed with baseball, becoming a friend to some of the most famous Yankees of the day, eventually becoming a pro player himself. After an injury ended his pro baseball career, he returned to Hollywood, making some in-depth instructional baseball films starring his son Kurt. Although he loved both film and baseball, he felt compelled to leave Hollywood and become more involved in the sport. In 1973, upon seeing an opportunity to buy a AAA minor league team in Oregon, he took it and turned it into the only independent minor league Baseball team in the nation. Now the single-A Portland Mavericks, Bing announced tryouts would be open to the general public, drawing a huge crowd of misfits and former MLB rejects…

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I DIDN’T DO IT: upcoming documentary about a Mississippi man framed for sending ricin-laced letters to Obama…

Posted on March 24th, 2014
I DIDN’T DO IT: upcoming documentary about a Mississippi man framed for sending ricin-laced letters to Obama…

by Coop Cooper

Directly after the Boston Marathon bombing in April of 2013, Federal authorities intercepted deadly ricin-laced letters addressed to President Obama, Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) and a Tupelo Judge Sadie Holland. The Feds traced the letters back to Elvis/celebrity impersonator Paul Kevin Curtis in Corinth, MS where they raided his home, arrested him and charged him with federal crimes that could have potentially put him away for life. In a bizarre twist, the charges against Curtis were suddenly dropped when evidence was uncovered that he was framed by Tupelo karate instructor Everett Dutschke who apparently had a long-standing feud with Curtis. Although Curtis was cleared of charges, he was released from jail with his home destroyed by the raid, his reputation ruined and his life in shambles.

Award-winning Oxford filmmakers Melanie Lynn Addington and Daniel Lee Perea obtained the rights to film a documentary on Curtis and the stranger-than-fiction story surrounding his arrest…

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RESSURRECT DEAD: THE MYSTERY OF THE TOYNBEE TILES documentary review

Posted on November 6th, 2012
RESSURRECT DEAD: THE MYSTERY OF THE TOYNBEE TILES documentary review

Feature documentaries usually fall under three categories: Biography, historical, nature and politics. For me, all four have limited appeal. I will watch them occasionally except for the ones with obvious/shrill political agendas. There is a fifth genre of documentary that is more rare but when done right, can be the most enjoyable to watch… the solvable mystery documentary.

In order to truly satisfy, these docs must satisfy a few criteria: 1. It must be based in reality and potentially solvable (no convoluted conspiracy theories, no Nostradamus/Ancient Aztec predictions and no phonies trying to fake a bigfoot/ghost/alien sighting) 2. It must not have been solved by police before the documentary was made and spoiled by the national news (no “Dateline: NBC” murder mysteries) 3. It must be a original mystery with the filmmakers actively working to solve it.

Not many – if any – of these types of films immediately spring to mind. A few fake documentaries or “mockumentaries” would certainly fit the bill if they were actually real.

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10 reasons to attend the 2nd annual Clarksdale Film Fest

Posted on January 24th, 2012
10 reasons to attend the 2nd annual Clarksdale Film Fest

Why should you check out the 2nd Annual Clarksdale Film Festival? I can think of a few reasons…

1. Memphis wrestling idols “Superstar” Bill Dundee and Buddy Wayne will be on hand Thursday night for a Q&A following the documentary “Memphis Heat: The True Story of Memphis Wrasslin’.” Anyone who grew up in the area remembers seeing these guys performing on live TV or at the Clarksdale Civic Auditorium. If you missed this event by the time you read this article, pay close attention. There is much more to look forward to the rest of the weekend…

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The 8th Annual Oxford Film Fest Reviewed by COOP…

Posted on February 15th, 2011
The 8th Annual Oxford Film Fest Reviewed by COOP…

Once again the fine staff of the Oxford Film Fest have topped themselves to produce the biggest turnout yet. My congratulations to all involved and I already can’t wait to see what is on the menu for 2012.

Films I saw (in no particular order):

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MICRO REVIEWS (via Twitter!): The best of the FEEL GOOD FILM FESTIVAL by COOP

Posted on August 18th, 2010
MICRO REVIEWS (via Twitter!):  The best of the FEEL GOOD FILM FESTIVAL by COOP

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Coop’s most recent MICRO REVIEWS (via Twitter):

I got to conduct some great Q & A’s for some terrific films at the FEEL GOOD FILM FESTIVAL this past weekend. I met some truly gifted filmmakers and inspirational people.

I’d like to thank these special guests for affecting me the most: Cheryl Hines for her big intro, Shirley Jones for classing up the joint with her presence, Marty Ingles for reminding us what this festival is really about, Leeza Gibbons for singling me out with a nice compliment, writer/director Lexi Alexander for the lively discussion, producer/actor Googy Gress for his sincere enthusiasm, the League of S.T.E.A.M. for entertaining us all weekend and motivational speaker/actor Nick Vujicic for the sheer inspiration he gave to us all with his fantastic short film The Butterfly Circus (watch here!).

I’d also like to give big high-fives to all of the coordinators and volunteers for making the festival such a fun and engaging experience. I had a great time bonding with you all.

Finally a big congratulations to producer/actor Joe Russell and writer/actress Casey Strand from the short film “Strawberries” whose engagement I helped orchestrate during one of the more memorable Q & A’s.

I wish I had seen them all but of the ones I did see, here are the films that I felt were the best (in no particular order)…

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COOP is introducing movies and conducting Q & A’s at the FEEL GOOD FILM FESTIVAL Aug. 13-15!

Posted on August 2nd, 2010
COOP is introducing movies and conducting Q & A’s at the FEEL GOOD FILM FESTIVAL Aug. 13-15!

Hey folks. Dropping the word that I’ll be in Los Angeles the weekend of Aug. 13 for the Feel Good Film Festival. I’ve been asked to introduce some of the features/short films and run the questions & answers session after each. This will be my first year to attend the festival, so I’m excited to get out there and meet the filmmakers, press and organizers involved with the event which will take place at the American Cinematheque’s Egyptian Theater in downtown Hollywood. The festival, which apparently has grown significantly since its beginnings, has quite an impressive indie film line up.

Come by, check it out and find me on the red carpet!…

Here’s the official Press release with details on each film being screened…

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MICRO REVIEWS (via Twitter!): GET HIM TO THE GREEK, BITCH SLAP, THE CALAMARI WRESTLER, TALES FROM THE SCRIPT, Uwe Boll’s RAMPAGE…

Posted on June 21st, 2010
MICRO REVIEWS (via Twitter!):  GET HIM TO THE GREEK, BITCH SLAP, THE CALAMARI WRESTLER, TALES FROM THE SCRIPT, Uwe Boll’s RAMPAGE…

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Coop’s most recent MICRO REVIEWS (via Twitter):

Got some high-rated exploitation (and one documentary) this time around! All of these movies are terrific, especially Uwe Boll’s surprisingly powerful RAMPAGE (who would have expected that one?)…

RAMPAGE: Uwe Boll knocks one out of the park. Hyperviolent domestic terrorist shocker delivers. Hell freezes over. 4 out of 5

BITCH SLAP: Fun, hyper violent, tongue-in-cheek exploitation about 3 sex bombs killing each other over loot. 3&1/2 out of 5

THE CALAMARI WRESTLER: Japanese wrestler dies and reincarnates in a mansized rubber squid suit. New camp classic. 4 out of 5

TALES FROM THE SCRIPT: A little bitter, but a must-see doc for anyone even remotely interested in screenwriting. 4 out of 5

GET HIM TO THE GREEK: Russell Brand = comedic genius. Best drug freak out scene of all time. Can’t stop giggling. 4 out of 5

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BOONDOCK SAINTS II: ALL SAINTS DAY finally has a trailer! I still can’t believe it actually got made. by COOP

Posted on September 5th, 2009
BOONDOCK SAINTS II: ALL SAINTS DAY finally has a trailer! I still can’t believe it actually got made. by COOP

(NOTE: I’m delaying the next installment of HAIR METAL MOVIE MADNESS #11 for another week. Partially due to this week’s technical difficulties but also so I can save up some of the good horror ones for the month of October. Plus, this news was too juicy and I had to jump on it ASAP…)

My love for Boondock Saints (5 out of 5 stars!) has no bounds. Which is why with a heavy heart I still feel that a sequel should’ve never been made. Why? Because writer/director Troy Duffy didn’t deserve one. For those of you unfamiliar with the story, Saints involve a pair of illegal immigrant Irish twins, the McManus brothers (Sean Patrick Flannery and Norman Reedus) who get in a scrap with some local Russian mobsters in a Boston slum. After killing the mobsters in self defense, the brothers simultaneously get a divine vision instructing them to…

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Is fear of the MPAA the reason why most American horror films (like THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT remake) wimp out? by DARK SIDE

Posted on August 20th, 2009
Is fear of the MPAA the reason why most American horror films (like THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT remake) wimp out? by DARK SIDE

Just saw the documentary This Film is Not Yet Rated (3 out of 5 stars) about how how the Motion Picture Association of America has one of the most powerful, secretive and arbitrarily unchecked bureaucratic systems in the U.S. When you can hand down a rating for a movie (G, PG, PG-13, R, NC-17) and not have to give a reason, nor reveal who made the decision, you’ve got an abuse of power there, sir! While I usually don’t have too many qualms with their system – because frankly…

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David Lynch is back and badder than ever! Well, not “badder” actually. Not sure what I mean by that. by COOP

Posted on May 5th, 2009
David Lynch is back and badder than ever!  Well, not “badder” actually.  Not sure what I mean by that.  by COOP

Finally we get to see what David Lynch has been up to since the bafflingly boring “Inland Empire.” Despite the failure of “Empire” (I’m gonna play naïve and blame it all on his going ape with a digital camera that he wasn’t used to working with), most of his films are considered…

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LOVE THE BEAST… Eric Bana’s love letter to his car! by Coop

Posted on April 28th, 2009
LOVE THE BEAST…  Eric Bana’s love letter to his car! by Coop

I’m notoriously down on documentaries. They’re usually preachy, partisan and have an agenda that rubs me the wrong way. Then there’s “Love the Beast.” I had no idea Eric Bana was obsessed with cars to a point where he had kept his 25 year-old Ford GT Falcon Coupe in pristine working condition since the day he bought it new. If you’re never heard of this car then you must be an American. They never released the Falcon over in the states. However, it is the car used in the first two “Mad Max” films and…

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THE CROSS… the coolest Christian documentary ever? Trailer included! by COOP

Posted on April 18th, 2009
THE CROSS…  the coolest Christian documentary ever?  Trailer included!  by COOP

Most pro-Christian films usually only get an audience of the most devout within the religion. Even with celebrities like Kirk Cameron championing the cause, very few quality Christian productions make it to the mass audiences. I remember as a kid being encouraged by the faculty at our (churched-based) elementary school to go see a film titled “Joni” (1980) in the theaters. It was a Christian inspirational story about a real-life woman (Joni Eareckson) who learned to paint with her mouth after becoming a parapalegic. I remember seeing it a couple of times, but it didn’t distract me much from my “Star Wars” and “Indiana Jones” kick. Flash forward to 2009: A Christian film has finally caught my attention with a terrific trailer. “The Cross” is a documentary about…

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Dex Romweber and the TWO HEADED COW… definitely the most bizarre documentary screening/concert I’ve ever seen! by COOP

Posted on March 18th, 2009
Dex Romweber and the TWO HEADED COW… definitely the most bizarre documentary screening/concert I’ve ever seen! by COOP

I came for a rock show… I ended up reviewing a movie. The local Clarksdale, Mississippi newspaper said some guy named Dex Romweber, a 80’s rockabilly and alternative icon was going to play on St. Patrick’s Day evening at 7:30 at the old, Delta/Tyson single-screen movie theater downtown. “Say wha?” I said. The seats in […]

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ANVIL! THE STORY OF ANVIL (2008) ****1/2… finally gets a release date! by COOP

Posted on February 27th, 2009
ANVIL! THE STORY OF ANVIL (2008) ****1/2… finally gets a release date! by COOP

I’m very happy to hear this. I saw “Anvil!” back in June 2008 and thus ensued one of the most fun movie-going experiences I’ve ever had (go here to read my ANVIL! review). Like a documentary/mini-concert hybrid, the film tells the story of a band who influenced 99% of the heavy metal and thrash bands […]

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ANVIL! THE STORY OF ANVIL (2008) ****1/2 event review by COOP

Posted on June 27th, 2008
ANVIL! THE STORY OF ANVIL (2008) ****1/2 event review by COOP

I hate documentaries. They have an agenda, they’re preachy and too damn… based in reality. Can’t a man go to the cinema anymore and watch aliens blast the hell out of New York only to have Snake Plissken kick their butts and send them cryin’ back home to mama? (Damn, somebody make that movie and […]

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Coop’s latest! The teaser for the upcoming short GOD MAKER…


Northern Mississippi 1932:
In a cabin in the woods, a blind blues guitarist will discover his destiny from a lovesick goddess who seeks to corrupt his soul.

GOD MAKER is Coop's latest, most ambitious short film and will be ready for a late 2013 festival season.

Coop’s award-winning 48 hour short film trailer for REGRESS…


Told in reverse, this experimental made-in-48-hours film begins with a shocking murder then backtracks (like a viewer rewinding a VHS tape) to reveal the chilling origins of this tragedy.

WINNER: BEST SHORT FILM at the 2013 Clarksdale Film Festival...
NOMINATED: BEST DIRECTING by the 2012 48hr. Guerrilla Film Challenge (international contest)...
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2013 Crossroads Film Festival

Watch Coop’s award-winning short film THE BEST DAY…


WINNER: 2012 MAGNOLIA FILM FESTIVAL "Best Homegrown Film"
WINNER: 2012 SEATTLE TRUE INDEPENDENT FILM FESTIVAL "Best Scream"

OFFICIAL SELECTION:
2012 OXFORD FILM FESTIVAL
2012 CLARKSDALE FILM FESTIVAL
2012 CROSSROADS FILM FESTIVAL
2012 NORTHEAST MISSISSIPPI FILM FESTIVAL
2012 ATLANTA INDIE HORROR FILM FESTIVAL
2012 OTHERFEST
2012 MISSISSIPPI INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
2012 SUN AND SAND FILM FESTIVAL

Morgan Freeman asks Coop a question at THE BEST DAY premiere! Video below…


My short film THE BEST DAY premiered in October 2011 at the Delta Cinema in Clarksdale, Mississippi.

Little did I know I had a special guest in the audience who was about to ask me a question during the Q&A. Yep, I got a little flustered when I saw who it was.

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