Ma Bell's Thugs Tour Oakland In a '79 Ford Granada: The Phone Police

Illustration for article titled Ma Bells Thugs Tour Oakland In a 79 Ford Granada: emThe Phone Police/em

We saw a few outtakes from my deservedly brief stint as a filmmaker last week, and now I've dug up a 25-year-old VHS tape of the crypto-car-centric 1984 epic The Phone Police.

Armed with a Super 8 silent movie camera, a motor pool including a '79 Ford Granada, a '68 Mercury Cyclone, and a '56 Chevrolet Bel Air, and a bunch of my long-haired metalhead buddies, I set out to make a film that paid homage to the primary artistic influences in my life, circa 1984: Alex Cox's Repo Man and Frank Zappa's Joe's Garage. Filmed entirely in Oakland (sharp-eyed East Bay residents might recognize the Aloha Club on Fruitvale, the now-defunct U-Pull Auto Wrecking on 85th Avenue, and the marshlands by the Oakland Airport) and with Casio soundtrack provided by future Murilee Arraiac keyboardist Jeff Roberts, The Phone Police tells the story of a man who escapes a Bell System re-education facility and is subsequently pursued by the Granada-driving Bureau Of Central Scrutiny rent-a-cops who wish to recruit him. OK, fine, I freely admit that this film stinks, but it features some cool cars. Enjoy.

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DISCUSSION

Murilee, please don't take this the wrong way. You are by far my favorite writer on the J.

But (and you knew there was going to be a But) what the hell was that 6 minute piece of video I just saw? I mean come on, you have to be trippin' on some good shit to make any sense of that film.

Oh crap, I get it now, I'm wasn't on any drugs or alcohol before I viewed it. I guess I'll just get Fu__ed up now, so I can really enjoy it.