Legend of the Lazy Fighters


(Pictured above, top row: Matt Hawn, Steve Martin, Harry Pottash.
Second row: Jamie Odum, John McCulloch, Art Balteria, Cori Haisler.)

i was driving down the freeway in the fast lane with a rabid wolverine in my underwear when suddenly a guy behind me in the back seat popped right up and stuck his hands across my eyes
I guessed "Is it uncle Frank? Or cousin Louie? Is it Bob or Joe of Walter? Could it be Bill or Jim or Ed or Bernie or Steve?" I probably woulda kept on guessing but about that time we crashed into the truck
And as I'm laying bleeding there on the asphalt finally I recognized the face of my hibachi dealer
who takes off his prosthetic lips and tells me:

everything you know is wrong
black is white, up is down and short is long
and everything you thought was just so important doesn't matter
everything you know is wrong
just forget the words and sing along
all you need to understand is everything you know is wrong

- weird al yankovic, "everything you know is wrong"

Starring Harry Pottash as "Frizz"
John McCulloch as "John Smith"
Jamie Odum as "Jane Doe"
Alt Balteria as "Twig"
Cori Haisler as "Crystalline"
Steve Martin as "Boxer"
Matt Hawn as "Roddy"

10 min., 2001. Conceived, directed and edited by Garrett Gilchrist.
Fight choreography by John McCulloch.
(Pictured above, top row: Matt Hawn, Steve Martin, Harry Pottash. Second row: Jamie Odum, John McCulloch, Art Balteria, Cori Haisler.)

For his second student film, Garrett was allowed to edit digitally on the Avid system, but he wasn't allowed to use dialogue. He was really struggling with this, as dialogue had been his main specialty in his previous films. "Lazy Fighters" shows him still in Dr. Fred mode ...

He could tell that Harry Pottash and his friends really wanted to make an action movie (even though apart from John McCulloch, many of them had no or little fight training). So, Garrett whipped up a short, silly action scenario he referred to as "The Hostage." As in, "You wanna help me shoot 'The Hostage' this weekend?" Bad joke, that.

During shooting, the idea evolved into something even stranger, as the crew attempted to create an action hero team in which every member had a unique look, quirk and style. It was decided that these guys weren't superheroes -- they were regular teenagers who tended to hang around the house all day until there were bad guys to fight. John McCulloch devised the fight sequences. Then Garrett took it and added rapid-fire editing [to everything but the fight sequences, some say]. The final product confused the class but was enjoyed by its stars (prompting future action spinoffs like Sean Carr's class project "Red Bull" commercial starring Harry, John and Jamie, with Art, Matt and Jonathan Block). The 10-minute film was, if nothing else, a step in the right direction.

Fun Facts:
Art Balteria wears a lucky Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy t-shirt owned by Garrett.

The idea behind Matt Hawn's character is that he gets beaten and beat up constantly, but will never admit he's lost. He plays roughly the same guy in Garrett's next two student films, and at one point Harry was trying to get Garrett to make a spinoff documentary about the guy who gets beat up a lot ...

A clip from Garrett's first movie, "Dr. Fred's Amazing Exploding Cow Show," plays during the opening credits, as well as clips from "Beavis and Butthead," "Manos: The Hands of Fate," Terry Gilliam's "The Adventures of Baron Munchausen," MTV's "The Maxx," The Jerk, and an episode of "Mystery Science Theater 3000."

The shot where the villain snaps open his knife and the focus changes is reprised in animated form in "Mort." Sort of. Both shots feature characters played by John McCulloch and Cori Haisler.

Garrett sometimes wishes he'd named Cori Haisler's Crystalline character "Claire Voyant." Which would be a bad joke.

Art Balteria plays "Twig," who fights with a staff. Steve Martin plays "Boxer," who fights boxer-style. Harry Pottash plays "Frizz," who has frizzy hair.

There are two Steve Martins in this movie, if you count the famous one (seen in a clip from "The Jerk.") Our Steve Martin isn't famous, but we like him anyway.

If a sequel had been made, the former bad guys "John Smith" and "Jane Doe" would have been part of the good guys, the Lazy Fighter team.

The Lazy Fighters later appeared in a video game, "Orange Kowbat."

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