#26 – The Astrologer
DIRECTOR: Craig Denny
CAST: Craig Denney, Darrien Earle and Arthyr Chadbourne
RUNTIME: 96 min
LASER BLAST FILM SOCIETY SCREENING:
DATE: May 25th, 2016
VENUE: The Royal Cinema
FORMAT: 2K DCP Courtesy of Private Collector
ORIGINAL POSTER ART BY: Alison S.M. Kobayashi
In 1975, a California con-man named Craig Denney made a movie. Titled THE ASTROLOGER, it was the story of another “Craig”; this one a phoney psychic (portrayed by Denney) who suddenly discovers that his purported powers are the genuine article and uses them to ascend into fame and fortune.
Allegedly shot without a script, but instead with horoscopes as a guide for each day of production, Craig Denney's Wellesian opus was released with the marketing tagline of “DIFFERENT!” and despite delivering on that promise, the film was met with derision and universal bafflement.
Embarrassed, Denney attempted to destroy every copy of the film, and he was almost successful... almost. Discovered in the bowels of a porno print collection inherited by a film archive (and not to be confused with the Glickenhaus film), The Astrologer may seem reminiscent of great works in the pantheon of eccentric cinema, such as Tommy Wiseau's The Room or Neil Breen's Fateful Findings, but it really belongs in an echelon of accidental brilliance all its own.
Scored by The Moody Blues (without their knowledge), and featuring an outrageous cast of amateurs, many of whom paid to be in the film, including Craig Denney's own cousin Darrien Earle who stars as Craig's love interest (!), this epic feat of vanity and singular vision is guaranteed to confound and beguile you with each passing frame when you're not dislocating your jaw with incredulous guffaws.