I AM TRYING TO CONTACT SOME OF THE FILMMAKERS FROM MY CLASS. IF YOU WENT TO OTISVILLE OR KNOW SOMEONE WHO DID IN THE YEARS 1968-1973 PLEASE EMAIL ME AT email@example.com WITH YOUR PHONE NUMBER AND EMAIL ADDRESS.
From 1969 until 1973 there was a 16mm film program at Otisville School for Boys, an institution run by the NY State Division for Youth. Boys from the age of 14-17 were remanded there for periods up to 18 months. Many were just PINS (Persons in Need of Supervision is the states category) who had had fights with their parents or been truants from school. Other were there for drugs, robbery and even homicide.
Monday, December 22, 2014
Monday, October 6, 2014
The Bloody Crime Crusher, starring Abe, Milton (Lefty) and others. This was an epic that took months to shoot and even includes a scene at a nearby airport. The "super hero" in this case is a vampire who sucks the blood from his criminal victims. It occurred to me that this was pretty much a metaphor for these kids' lives. They provided the nutrients for the upstate economy that built the youth prisons such as Otisville. As the boys' inter-title asks "What happens when Crime Crusher runs out of criminals?"
|In this film the "Crime Crusher" is a vampire that sucks the blood of criminals. This perceptive script asks the|
question-- how to keep the monstrous prison industry alive? You are next!
This one is called "Escapism". Many of the films are about escaping the confines of Otisville. They especially connected with the popular song by the Temptations, Runaway Child. This film was by Darrell and Lovell.
This film is another escape fantasy. The Breezer. The boy looks at a picture of his girlfriend and decides to run. He is chased through the snowy woods by the other students. The landscape of the Catskills was intimidating to these city youth.
This film is about a bad trip. Milton conflates heroin and LSD into a drug experience in which the user dies, attacked by a "Doctor" in a white coat. Milton was a terrific actor, who played a safe cracking burglar in The Bloody Crime Crusher. After Otisville he lived for a while with my family.