A Discussion About Kelton’s Dark Corner
DIGITAL NOIR: Actor ALAN DOSHNA discusses
PAUL MARCO And KELTON’S DARK CORNER
Film Noir: “A film marked by a mood of pessimism, fatalism, and menace.”
Kelton’s Dark Corner is a series of four short films starring the late Paul Marco in his signature role of Kelton the Cop whom he portrayed in three of cult movie director Edward D. Wood, Jr.’s films including Plan 9 From Outer Space. It is an authorized series produced and directed by prominent Russian Rock musician and video artist Vasily Shumov.to this point they have been shown in a number of Russian venues, such as MySpace Russia, and at a number of concert and media presentations produced by Shumov. Actor Alan Doshna, who appears in the series and who had a hand in polishing the narration, talks about his involvement with the films.
Q: First off: Who are you?
Alan Doshna: I am an actor/writer/producer. I grew up in the Syracuse NY area, but moved to Southern California where I became involved with a number of media projects. I relocated to Syracuse a number of years back and have been involved with the local film community. Recently I appeared as an actor in Matt Peters’ Slade Collins: In and Out of Time (2016).
I also worked on a couple of films with Ron Bonk. Ron has had good success recently with his films She Kills and Empire State of the Dead (Both 2016). I appear in the latter film as a zombie (actually three of them) and have a role in his upcoming Jaws spoof, House Shark (2016).
Q: How did you “end up” on Kelton’s Dark Corner?
Doshna: Along the way of pursuing my acting career in Los Angeles, I became the assistant to the late Crawford John Thomas, who produced Ed Wood’s (unreleased to that time) first film Crossroads of Lorado (1946). A double feature was eventually produced by Thomas, which included a restoration of Crossroads and the theatrical documentary The Haunted World of Edward D. Wood, Jr. The documentary is the most prestigious of the Wood documentaries and has since been released alongside the “canon” of Wood’s best known films. I became friends with some of Wood’s associates whom we interviewed for the film, one of whom was Paul Marco. I visited Paul from time to time over the years, particularly towards the end of his life when he had been experiencing poor health. Even with that, he had expressed to me a desire to do more film work.
Somewhere around that time I was cast by Vasily Shumov in one of his music videos. I stayed in touch with him and later auditioned for another video he was doing which he entitled The Dark Corner, as an homage to Film Noir, which he is a big fan of. We had noticed that although he had cast an abundance of lowlife-type characters, no police presence had been established. I put Vasily in touch with Paul who became interested in the project as so The Dark Corner transitioned to Kelton’s Dark Corner.
Q: What was it like knowing Paul Marco?
Doshna: Paul was an eccentric, rambunctious kind of character which unfortunately overshadowed the fact that he was a very knowledgeable person. He did very well for himself as a propmaster at Paramount studios for many years. Had Night of the Ghouls (1959) actually been released at the time rather than being seized by the lab, he may have gotten more acting work as preview audiences were very favorable. He improvised the narration for the first installment of Kelton’s Dark Corner, which is the only one he lived to see. I think his talent was displayed there in a way that it never had anywhere else. He was actually planning for future episodes of the series at the time of his passing.
Q: What, if any, release have the films had?
Doshna: To this point Vasily has promoted the project in Russia where he has since relocated, mainly as part of his musical performances and at museum exhibitions, to see where it will go. Although I very much wanted to see a U.S. DVD release, as time went I began to see that the beauty of the project was that it seemed to develop a life of its own, and for us to have rushed it into distribution would have diminished what made it unique. All of us involved went on to other things while checking back in on it periodically to see what was doing with it.
Q: Besides Paul Marco, who else is in the film?
Doshna: Two of the later episodes were narrated by Conrad Brooks, who appeared alongside Paul in his three Ed Wood films. Other cast members include Cinzia Roccaforte who is probably best known for her starring role in Italian director Tinto Brass (Caligula)s’ P.O. Box Tinto Brass (1995) as well as other films in her native Italy. The late Edith Shain, the nurse in the iconic Alfred
Eisenstaedt/V-J Day/ Life Magazine cover also appears, and, in a twist. Shelley Michelle, who was Julia Roberts’ body double in Pretty Woman (1990) fills in for some of Paul’s absences as Kelton’s alter ego “Keltonova.” So I think we have a fine cast here in the tradition of the “Ed Wood Stock Company.”
Q: The series is the subject of an upcoming magazine article.
Doshna: An interview with Vasily Shumov about KDC will appear in Filmfax Magazine which will go on sale in late May, 2017.This is the first English language print coverage of the series in a magazine with a worldwide readership. Although we have had varying degrees of interest in a commercial release of the films, nothing has been committed to yet, but we hope at some point to have a general release through a venue which has an appropriate appreciation for the quality of the series and of its potential.
Q: What interest do you feel the series holds for potential U.S. and non-Russian audiences?
Doshna: Vasily is a technical wizard who was able to enhance a retro film style with modern technology. KDC was voted “Video of the Month” in Sept. ’09 by Russian MAXIM magazine and Vasily was nominated for “Musician of the Year” by Russian GQ Magazine for that year in part for his work on the series. Although in some ways the complete opposite of the CGI/pyrotechnic/roller coaster rides that describes many films today, it also has “substance,” a term that an audience member used to describe it when it was screened at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood. With the extras included on a DVD/BluRay, including Paul’s last onscreen interview, I believe it will be a must have for not only Ed Wood and Film Noir fans, but also anyone with an interest in the creative possibilities of cinema.