Monday, June 17, 2019

Music Video Monday: ZZ Top

Posted By on Mon, Jun 17, 2019 at 12:31 PM

click to enlarge tv_dinners1.png
Today, Music Video Monday takes you back to the beginning.

Last Thursday, at Flyer columnist Chris Davis' retirement party, we had a conversation about the first independent film from Memphis. The earliest one we could come up with was I Was A Zombie For The FBI. Made in 1982 by a group of Memphis State University students, led by director Marius Penczner, the film is a loving homage to monster B-movies of the 1950s. The ambitious film involved an extensive stop-motion animation sequence of an alien monster that fought the G-Men. In the '80s and '90s, it became something of a cult classic, and counted among its fans no less than Bob Dylan, who saw it during its long run on the late night cable TV music video show Night Flight. Here, in a segment produced for WKNO's screening of the film on Professor Ghoul's Horror School, some of the folks involved remember the production.

Across town, at the same time Penczner was making his opus, ZZ Top was at Ardent Studios recording their smash album Eliminator. The music videos that made them superstars, like "Legs" and "Sharp Dressed Man," were filmed in Los Angeles. But Penczner and his crew leveraged their work on I Was A Zombie For The FBI to land the contract for "TV Dinners." The video, which is one of, if not the, earliest one made in Memphis, features the stop-motion monster, video games, and a very, very bad meal. Check it out:

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