January 2, 1996
Enter the word Hollywood, or a random movie title, in your favorite World Wide Web search engine and a screen full of page links will appear.
Depending on how you structure your search parameters, all kinds of options can pop up--y own request for 'white man's burden' kept calling up the 1992 Democratic Party Platform and a right-wing patriot network called BeastNet.
But with a little practice you can zero in on a host of movie-related sites
Between that and the Toy Story world are quirky indie pages like Ronnie Cramer's Cult Film Page. A low-budget director whose big claim to fame is his film Even Hitler Had a Girlfriend.
Best of Denver
Best Local Online catalogue:
Ronnie Cramer's Cult Film Page, http://sepnet.com/rcramer/
June 29, 1996
The Roanoke Times
It Came From the Video Store by Mike Mayo
Scorched Earth Productions (http://sepnet.com/rcramer/) is geared toward low-budget pictures - crime movies, exploitation, biker flicks and the like. The site carries an impressive catalog of titles for sale, and can also be reached by mail at P.O. Box 101083; Denver, CO 80250
I was drawn to Scorched Earth by Even Hitler Had a Girlfriend, a film that was directed by the page's proprietor Ronnie Cramer. The 1991 independent production has achieved a rarified cult status on video. It's one of those inspired efforts that clearly comes from the heart and makes a virtue of its low budget. The reason: protagonist Marcus Templeton (Andren Scott).
Think Travis Bickle from 'Taxi Driver' without the weapons and the attitude.
Marcus is an overweight, sexually frustrated Omaha security guard. He sits around his crackerbox apartment watching the x-rated cable channel, wishing he had some female companionship and reading the angry religious tracts that are slipped under his door. When it all gets to be too much, Marcus peels the plastic wrapper off another Slim Jim, chows down and feels sorry for himself.
Then he discovers out-call escort services and everything changes...but nothing changes.
The box copy proclaims '99 percent true,' and that's easy to believe. Beyond the leering (and self-aware) exploitation angle, David Manning's script is a perceptive examination of loneliness - and one of the most moving and funny you'll ever see. Director Cramer gives the film the rough-edged irreverence and unpredictability of a '70s drive-in flick. And that's exactly the way the story ought to be told. The movie can be found in enlightened video stores. It's also available directly from Scorched Earth.
Psychotronic Video Guide
The Hitler Tapes
The late Andren Scott had his second and last leading role in this sequel to Ronnie Cramer's Even Hitler Had a Girlfriend (1991). Marcus Templeton (Scott) is a hopeless voyeur who can't get it up anymore but uses phone-sex lines. He also videotapes women, then sends the tapes to the current object of his obsessions (Karen Kaczkowski). She watches them with a mixture of disgust and fascination before she finally throws them away. There are two shower scenes and a woman with huge breasts and guns. The Alarming Trends provide the music and are shown playing outdoors. It features Sheila Ivy Traister and was made in Omaha. - Michael Weldon
Sick, Twisted, and Happy
There's something for every sick videologist at Ronnie Cramer's cult film page, an online cornucopia of classic gore, biker films, drug exploitation, and bizarre nudie flicks. Everything's for sale, but it's all by snail mail. The self-promotion here is laid on a bit thick, as Ronnie's own flicks - especially Even Hitler Had a Girlfriend (and comics based on the flick) - get plenty of space. Beyond the DIY nudies, there's a great selection of biker vids (going back to the '30s), as well as classic TV (M Squad with Lee Marvin, and One Step Beyond) and silent movies (gobs of Fritz Lang and Lon Chaney).
Over in the exploitation section, you can find more than the infamous Reefer Madness (made in 1937); there's the Weird World of LSD (the 1967 film that glamorized the drug more than stigmatizing it) and 1937's overwrought Assassin of Youth ("weird orgies, wild parties, unreleased passions!"). Collectors will be drooling over the posters, lobby cards, and pressbooks available - including a poster from Abel Ferrara's Driller Killer. The latter is a violent 1979 exploitation flick that was banned in the United Kingdom. Most of the videos here are priced reasonably at $14.95, plus about a buck for shipping. Great when you're looking for a break from Blockbuster fare - let's just hope Jesse Helms doesn't take a peek. - M. C. Glaze
Even Hitler Had a Girlfriend
(Ronnie Cramer, 1991)
Indie filmmaker Ronnie Cramer's zero-budget comedy is bolstered by Andren Scott's funny turn as a loser security guard who spends his off-hours sitting on a couch in his underwear watching trashy cable shows and calling 976 numbers. Scott is a completely unselfconscious actor, which makes his performance ring true and gives this otherwise tatty film its spark. he supporting cast of assorted hookers and former dates are okay, but the film lives and dies with Scott's silly rambling monologues about his pathetic existence. It starts to wear this after about an hour, when Scott's secret videotapes and resemblance to a serial killer being sought by police compound his woes, but it's still a real hoot. Followed by an inferior sequel, The Hitler Tapes. - Robert Firsching