“I asked him to leave but he wouldn’t,” Grant further explained. “I called the police but the team they sent looked more like a military unit. They had body armor, and all kinds of weapons, and they just started pounding him. It was awful. It was amazing.”
Regional cinemas had been on high alert since Ungolf posted a message on Facebook explaining how he had been "inspired and empowered" by the “rich white people” in a new series of online advertisements for the Motorola Droid Ultra. He said he applauded the telecommunications company for encouraging “sexy rich people” to flirt electronically at “shitty fat people operas.”
“Once these deviant phone behaviors were ascribed only to the poor and powerless — to the gang bangers, and the Norwegians like me,” Ungolf wrote. “Now that we see that hot wealthy American white people in tuxedos are also enjoying these same wicked pleasures there is no turning back.”
In various interviews Ungolf has claimed that the people of Norway didn't appreciate his art either and that he moved to Tennessee after the opening of a 22 screen Muvico megaplex in Downtown Memphis. He has been annoying the shit out of regional cinema and live theater fans since. In fact, he has often been blamed for the now-shuttered Muvico’s ultimate demise.
“People always fear the new,” Ungolf was quoted as saying in August, 2007 after being dragged from the Muvico-22 by the MPD’s Gang Unit.
“If only these stupid cow-faced audiences would listen they would know I am not talking to friends. I am not hooking up to say ‘Yo-yo man, whazzup’ like you see on TV. I am responding in the moment to what is actually happening on the screen. If it is an asshole up there I may say, ‘Look at that asshole up there, who does he think he is?’ And sometimes I am then responding to people who are responding to me. And it is beautiful.”
According to police reports Ungolf was removed from the theater when two Muvico customers who were trying to watch Transformers complained that there was a man behind them who was even louder than a Michael Bay movie, taking selfies and making frequent attempts to contact his drug dealer to obtain marijuana.
Eyewitnesses to Ungolf’s recent arrest say the crowd that assembled at Playhouse on the Square to watch police officers mercilessly brutalize the artist was both large and enthusiastic.
“They were all chanting, ‘Kill him, kill him,” Grant remembered. “I can’t remember who started it,” she added, conspicuously crossing her fingers.
“Best show I’ve seen all year,” community actor Giles Hamm said, after expressing some concerns about the use of excessive force. “That guy who talks through movies was just screaming and asking, ‘where is your freedom of speech now fat opera people? Where is it now?’ And that’s when somebody would hit him in the face again or shoot him with a TASER. You can’t script this stuff.
“I’ve got to admit, I have been concerned about what looks like an epidemic of police brutality in America,” Hamm added. “But this time they were going after somebody who deserved it. They were just kicking the absolute crap out of somebody who I personally hate, and who everybody hates. That kind of thing always brings people together."
Every Part I deserves a Part II.
The Memphis Improv Cage Match is exactly like that only it's six or eight or a dozen or more beefy area comics who climb in the cage and hit each other with folding chairs. Only, in this case the cage in imaginary, and instead chairs it's zingers and whatnot. And it all goes down Saturday, Nov. 2
These occasional matches are an extended family reunion for Memphis’ Improv community and gives groups like FreakEngine, Running Gag, and The Wiseguys an opportunity to square off in what is being billed as, "a hilarious battle royale."
So this promotion isn't all a shameless selfie, but as I like to mention as often as I can, I get lots of help from the Memphis comedy community, and I couldn't do this blog without assistance from The Wiseguys and contributors like Joey Hack, Memphis ex-patriot Robert Callahan, and all the rest.
You can get all of the details here.
With its angular painted sets and affected performance style, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is a tricky little horror film, and a visual treat. And now, thanks to a new soundtrack created by Memphis' Chatterbox Audio Theatre, this silent classic has something it's never had before: voices.
Just the thing for a wet and rainy Halloween.
I have some fantastic contributors here at Fly on the Wall and when any of them do something noteworthy I like to engage in a little shameless self-promotion. Edward Valibus, the esteemed author of "Local Man Driven to the Brink of Insanity Trying to Impress Out-of-Town Parents with Local BBQ," and the all time classic "Local Means Local," Local Locavores Say," has made a zombie movie: Songs in the Key of Death. Here's a teaser.
And—full disclosure— yes, that is me, your pesky host, playing a TV journalist modeled after the late, great Charles Kuralt.
Songs in the Key of Death has been paired with the world's greatest terrible movie The Room for a Friday night showcase at Malco's Studio on the Square.
When it was announced that my colleague Chris Herrington was leaving his post as the Flyer's film/music/Grizzlies guy to become the Commercial Appeal's entertainment editor I'll admit to having some mixed emotions. I was proud of Chris, obviously, but also concerned for my own job since Herrington's renowned competence might result in fewer opportunities to take pot shots at the daily.
After reading this inarguable but no less cringe-inducing headline I'm almost sad that CA didn't poach a couple of our copy editors while they were at it.
Yeah, I know, I know. This headline sounds like it came from The Onion. But it's actually inspired by a piece at The Onion’s informative music and entertainment website, the A.V. Club.
An A.V. Club writer has fact checked singer/songwriter Marc Cohn, most famous for the song “Walking in Memphis.” Here's what we learn:
"[Cohn] made the trek [to Memphis] in 1986 and did, in fact, go to Graceland, heard Al Green preach the gospel, and saw W.C. Handy’s statue. He even watched a little old lady named Muriel Wilkins play the piano, and then had a long chat with her after about life, love, and religion.
What he didn’t do, though, was see Elvis Presley’s ghost.”
Well, that settles that.
According to a criminal complaint posted at The Smoking Gun, Memphian Danny Smith called 9-1-1 repeatedly because a clerk at the Night and Day Food Market on Chelsea Ave. overcharged him by one penny for a 16-ounce can of Heineken. 9-1-1 operators explained to Smith that the one-cent discrepancy was a civil matter and not a life-threatening emergency so he called a non-emergency precinct number instead. Smith was arrested by police who arrived at the Night and Day after the angry beer drinker's second call to 9-1-1.
The bond amount? 25,000 pennies.
FOTW Editor's Note: Fly on the Wall has asked for readers to submit Memphis Murder Owl (AKA High Point Owl) fan fiction. If you would like to participate please send your story to firstname.lastname@example.org and type "owl fiction" in the subject field. I'll republish the best of the best on Halloween and give away some MALCO movie passes. To borrow a line from The Shining, "Come play with us!"
Meanwhile, please enjoy Midnight and I'm Not Famous Yet by Mississippi-based mystery author and frequent Flyer commenter Jeff Crook.
Warren Grantham is a Wiseguy and contributor to Fly on the Wall
Yesterday Fly on the Wall asked readers to submit High Point Owl fan fiction. While we would still love to post the best of your owly fanfic, the first piece I'm sharing is a true account told to me by a reader who asked to be identified as Mimosa Ave:
"I left my house located right in the Highpoint neighborhood around 9 PM for a jog. I had my headphones in, jamming to the latest R&B techno remix on pandora and not 10 steps into my run I felt a smack on the right side of my head—- along with something sharp. I screamed bloody murder, and I mean, I screamed, because for about 3 long seconds I thought I was getting mugged. The thought 'this is what you get for repeatedly running at night in the dark against your better judgement' even went through my head. I looked up and all around and I didn't see anything. No scurry, no flash of movement, nada. I reached up to my head and felt and immediately could tell I was bleeding. I ran back inside my house and looked in the mirror- took the aforementioned picture, and immediately looked up the date of my last tetanus and pondered the thought that the SOB could have been a bat- and contemplated the possibility of rabies.
As might be apparent, I am well acquainted with healthcare- which, in many ways, can help and hurt you. Ignorance can be bliss. I called my friend working her shift in the ER tonight to ask if I needed to boost my tetanus etc. She ran it by some attendings through a lot of laughter (naturally, this story is absurd, you have to laugh). They and other people working in ER tonight immediately asked what neighborhood I lived in—— when my friend disclosed Highpoint they immediately referenced this infamous owl. Hence, my journey to you and submitting this ridiculous story."
email your High Point Owl Halloween fan fiction (or non-fiction) to email@example.com. Write "Owl Fiction" in the subject field. I'll publish the good ones and award some MALCO movie tickets to my completely subjective favorites.
Editors Note: Gentle readers. As most of you know from last week's reporting, an uncommonly large owl has been spotted stealing caps and headphones in Memphis' High Point Neighborhood. With Halloween so close at hand we here at Fly on the Wall think this 20 lb monster bird, currently tweeting under the handle @HighPointOwl, deserves a little fan fiction.
So please, send your owl stories to firstname.lastname@example.org and type Owl Fiction in the subject field. We'll publish our favorite here at FOTW between now and Halloween. Who knows, maybe I can even finagle some prizes for the best of the best.
And now, without further ado... The Great Owl Hunt.
The Following are excerpts from a journal found near the Highpoint area. In it, the author only refers to himself as...The Night Pedestrian.
Entry 1: I've decided to document this case for I fear it may be my last. This morning, while I was checking my hotmail account on the free computer in the back corner of Otherlands, I came across the most curious tweet, nay! A cry for help. In it's 140 character contents was held the face of pure evil...
Reports have flooded the social media pages of memphis describing acts of horror and pure terror. This city is crying for help...or rather, updating it's status for help. And who will answer it's call? Who will fight for its citizens? Who I ask you? WHO?!?!? The Night Pedestrian that's who!!!
Entry 2: My fight begins not with the punching of justice fists, but with the pursuit of knowledge. But my enemy may have a head start on me. According to my initial research most owls appear to be highly educated, and based on their clothing choice, they are not very modest about it either.
Entry 3: Wardrobe aside, I think I may have stumbled on the most disturbing piece of evidence yet. Actually documented evidence of an Owl doing one of the most stereotypically evil things a sentient being could do...
...stealing candy from a CHILD! Does depravity these creatures possess know no bounds?!!?!?!
Entry 4: My research on the beast is done. My mind and body are focused on the task at hand. It's time for me to confront this evil tyrant of casual joggers and friendly pedestrians. The hunt begins tonight. Tonight, I face evil's sharp beak without flinching. I stand up to techories wingspan of hate without wavering. Tonight I fight for every innocent man, woman, and child hiding in their homes in fear, unable to walk the streets safe at night! TONIGHT I FACE DESTINY!!!
Entry 5: The Owl scratched the shit out of my face and stole my iphone.
End of entries.
MIke McCarthy is a Wiseguy and a regular contributor to Fly on the Wall.
And now for something completely awesome. The Memphis Brooks Museum of Art is inviting musicians and composers to create an instrumental soundtrack for video artist Nam June Paik’s Vide-O-belisk, the huge multimedia sculpture that lives in, and pretty much dominates, the Brooks' rotunda.
Check out all the details here.
This is the second installment of "The Paik Sessions." Last time around I interviewed organizer Luís van Seixas for WKNO. He's got an interesting story to tell so I'm attaching the interview below for folks who may have missed it the first time around.
In light of reports of a giant hat stealing owl in the High Point neighborhood, Dr. Berry is concerned that more terror awaits the Memphis citizenry.
"If it were just the owl, I would be concerned. But not THIS concerned," Dr. Berry said while nervously mixing test tubes filled with colored liquid with dry ice to generate an atmospheric fog. "But you combine this hellish bird with the verified existence of the Midtown Coyote, and it's clear that MONSTERS ARE INVADING THE CITY!!!" Dr. Berry then laughed maniacally and shook his fists towards the Heavens.
According to Dr. Berry, other monsters have been reported in Memphis, but the media has "kept the news buried deep, much like a ghoul. But as we all know, eventually ghouls will emerge!"
Dr. Berry claims that the unreported monster list is extensive. Shuffling through yellowed papers with glyphs and unreadable script, Dr. Berry noted alleged sightings of the Binghampton Buzzard of Monstrous Size, the Collierville Chupacabra, the Whitehaven Dune Worm, the North Memphis Yeti, the Raleigh Tyrannosaurus, the Wolfchase Elder Thing, and the Ghastly Giant Firebreathing Moth of Millington.
"Worst case scenario, these monsters are gathering to destroy every man, woman, child and structure in the city during a monstrous battle royale that will rage on for weeks. Best case scenario? The very same," Dr. Berry stated with unusual gravitas.
Dr. Berry believes this struggle will be triggered when Great Cthulhu arises from his water tomb in the Wolf River Harbor and emits a battle cry to the other beasts. He anticipates this will happen next Thursday. At about 3:30 p.m.
Joey Hack is a Wiseguy and a regular contributor to Fly on the Wall.