PSYCHOTRONIC VIDEO #6 1990

Interview and Article by Mike Murphy, Johnny Legend and Michael J.Weldon

(Introduction)

TIMOTHY AGOGLIA CAREY isn’t  just another character actor.  He’s a living cult figure!

As you’ll find out in this issue, one of Hollywood’s most unique personalities.  This month (July), he’s presenting a play in Hollywood about a killer fart (see page 35).  (His hero, Salvador Dali inspired it.)  If you can manage to be there – GO!!  It will be worth it!  Carey has acted with James Dean (EAST OF EDEN) and Marlon Brando (THE WILD ONE) and had stand-out roles in two of Kubrick’s best features (THE KILLERS and PATHS OF GLORY).  He acted with Elvis and The Monkees and stole scenes in two notorious exploitation movies, POOR WHITE TRASH and MERMAIDS OF TIBURON.  He also discovered Frank Zappa and ray Dennis Steckler, and directed himself in THE WORLD’S GREATEST SINNER, an amazing way- ahead-of-it’s-time early 60s feature dealing with the deadly mixture of religion, politics and rock and roll.  Michael Murphy and Johnny Legend (BRIDE OF THE REANIMATOR), two guys from California who know, somehow managed to videotape Carey talking about his fascinating career and the results are here in print!  

TIMOTHY CAREY
Interview by Mike Murphy and Johnny Legend (Research…MJW)

 Well he’s the World’s Greatest Sinner.  I said the World’s Greatest Sinner.  As a sinner he’s a winner.  Honey, he’s no beginner.  He’s rotten to the core.  Daddy, you can’t say no more. He’s the World’s Greatest Sinner.  If you see him walking around the floor.  He’s the meanest creature that you’ve ever saw.  (repeat)

(1963 – Frank Zappa)  (All through this song, the bass voice goes “Hey Papa, Doodly papa, hey Papa, Doodly Papa…”) 

Timothy Agoglia Carey is directing a play in Hollywood this month about death by farting.  He’s been acting in films since 1951, was in classics with Brando and Dean, worked several times each for Kubrick and Cassavetes, was in the exploitation classic POOR WHITE TRASH and made a movie that would be a cult classic if only people could see it – THE WORLD’S GREATEST SINNER.  In various books, the 6’4”, now 65 year old Carey has been called “a heavy eyed character actor, often a loathsome villain”, “totally without attractive characteristics, repulsive looking”, and “the least lovable actor since Rondo Hatton”.  He’s also considered a great actor and his fans in the business include Jack Nicholson, Peter Falk and Brando. Here, often in his own words, is the Timothy Carey story: 

“The first time I worked was in a Clark Gable film in Colorado…

And I was sent one time in New York by an agent who used to handle Clarke Gable by the name of Chamberlain Brown.  I was just an extra in ACROSS THE WIDE MISSOURI (MGM, 1951).  Gable had a home up there they rented for him.  I went up there and said I was working on the picture.  They invited me in and gave e tea and crumpets and were very hospitable to me. I started working on the show three days later and he was a little embarrassed that he wined and dined an atmosphere player at his home.  I worked on the show, I played a dead man in it; it was a great part!  You could only see my back, I was lying in the water.  I’ll never forget the director (William Wellman,) he was a great director, a tough director.  I had two arrows in my back lying in the water.  I couldn’t hold still, it was so cold and my teeth were chattering.  The director said, ‘Keep that jerk still, he’s supposed to be dead.’  I had just come from dramatic school in New York.  I thought I was a great actor; I’m the only one who did. 

They were shooting a film called ACE IN THE HOLE (a.k.a. THE BIG CARNIVAL) with Kirk Douglas, directed by Bill Wilder.  I went over and said, ’Here I am Mr. Wilder.  I’m just fresh out of acting school and would love to be in the show.’  He said go ahead and put your name in to be an extra and the production office said there were no parts. So I just left, but came back the next morning and knocked on Mr. Wilder’s door.  He came out and his cheek was bleeding, he cut himself shaving, and I told him they told me there were no parts.  He said, ‘If you bother me again I’m going to let you have it!’  So I went back to the production office and said, ‘You got me in trouble with Billy Wilder; he cut himself shaving!’  So they said, ‘O.K., you want to be an extra?…Get in the car’.  And that started me off on my movie career.”    (The Paramount release about exploiting a mining disaster is now considered a classic).  “So now I was hitchhiking in Hollywood and this fellow picked me and I told him I was trying to get an agent.  He told me about this guy to see, Walter Conan, but he wouldn’t do anything until he saw a scene I did at Hollywood.  It was a farmer scene where I prayed for rain, but there was a little twist to it.  At one point, I stopped and said, ‘All right, I know you people are just laughing at me, but I came to do a scene.  You’re going to see me in a scene that’s gonna put me on a pink cloud.  So this guy, my friend, yells on cue, ‘Oh oh, watch it, he’s got a gun!’  So I shot him with a blank and then I shot myself. Everybody was down below their seats and I got up and said, ‘That’s my scene.’ 

Timothy Carey continued to play character roles, usually as villains.  HELLGATE was a Lippert remake of PRISONER OF SHARK ISLAND (36), starring Sterling Hayden.  BLOODHOUNDS OF BROADWAY (20th Century Fox) was a musical comedy starring Mitzi Gaynor as a singing hillbilly and Scott Brady as a Manhattan bookie.  Carey and Charles Buchinski (Bronson) played hoods.  Carey was also on the popular but short-lived, GANGBUSTERS TV show in 1952.  WHITE WITCH DOCTOR (20th ) was a Technicolor adventure set in the Belgian Congo staring Robert Mitchum and Susan Hayward; Henry Hathaway directed it. CRIME WAVE (Warners) was directed by, Andre De Toth, on location at San Quentin and in Los Angeles’ Chinatown.  It starred Gene Nelson (who later directed KISSIN COUSINS and THE COOL ONES) as an ex-con forced into helping with a bank robbery.  Also in the cast were Phyllis Kirk and Charles Bronson (who had both just been HOUSE OF WAX, made by the same producer, director, screenwriter team), Carey and young Richard Benjamin.  ALASKA SEAS (Paramount) was a remake of SPAWN OF THE NORTH, starring Robert Ryan. 

“Someone took me to see Lazlo Benedict, who directed THE WILD ONE, and he liked me, but he wouldn’t let me drive a motorcycle, I guess he didn’t trust me.  He thought I’d run over a few people”.

 In THE WILD ONES, Carey as a biker, eggs on Chino, (Lee Marvin) in a fight, throws beer in Brando’s face, and takes over the office of the local phone receptionist. “After that, I tried to get into PRINCE VALLIANT (1954, Robert Wagner starred).  So I went to Western Costume to dress up like Sir Black, the heavy in it.  They fitted me in this outfit…all sashed pants and that had a medieval glove with a weapon from that era.  And I thought, how am I gonna get in there, so I went to climb the fence at 20th Century Fox, but I couldn’t make it because of the clothes I had on.  It was right near a golf course and a golfer helped me over with a ladder.  I told him I was an actor on the set who got lost.  I tried to find the director, Henry Hathaway, but he wasn’t in his office so I went to the commissary where he was having lunch and said, ‘Here I am, Sir Black!  My men number many.  I’m here for the part.  Do I get it?’  I took out my knife.  He said, ‘Put the knife away, you got the part.’   Then I was escorted off the lot.  I never got the part, but I enjoyed it.  It was fun”. 

“I went up and read for Elia Kazan.  He picked me up and we went to Mendicino to shoot the scene (for EAST OF EDEN).  I was playing the bouncer in the house of ill repute for his (James Dean’s) mother.”  “Another time I did a show called FINGERMAN with Frank Lovejoy.  They needed some publicity for the show, so I went to the Santa Monica Pier and I was going to be thrown in the water in a trunk in front of the press, but the box was supposed to open up so I wouldn’t drown.  But the newsmen wanted to lock it.  So I went in but I didn’t lock it and the police came to arrest me.  Then the producer John Burroughs came and he helped me out.  You know I was always a hound for publicity. They were doing the Academy Awards and Brando was up for it. Well, I knew him from THE WILD ONE; I knew he was going to get it (for ON THE WATRFRONT) so I was getting dressed up for it and I was going to go up there and get it before he got there but some guy from Western Costume who was dressing me up talked me out of it.”  In FINGERMAN, Carey was the right hand goon of Forrest Tucker, a bootlegger, white slaver. 

THE KILLING, a United Artists release, was Stanley Kubrick’s first major feature, a classic time shifting semi-documentary style look at the racetrack payroll heist.  Johnny Clay (Sterling Hayden) hires Nikki Arane, a sharpshooter who lives on a farm (Carey) to create an important diversion.  Nikki shows up in his MG sports car with a double-barreled shotgun in a guitar case to assassinate Red horse.  James B. Harris produced THE KILLING, PATHS OF GLORY (and LOLITA), before splitting from Kubrick and producing and directing THE BEDFORD INCIDENT (1965).  He later directed SOME CALL IT LOVING (1973), FAST WALKING (1982, again with Carey) and COP (1988).  His last two films starred James Woods.  THE LAST WAGON (20th) was a Richard Widmark western.  FRANCIS IN THE HAUNTED HOUSE was the 7th and last of Universal’s popular talking mule series, and the only one starring Micky Rooney.  RUMBLE ON THE DOCKS (Columbia), a juvenile delinquency movie starring James Daren was one of six Fred Sears movies released in 56.  It was co-billed with Sears’ DON’T KNOCK THE ROCK and also featured Robert Blake and Freddie Bell And The Bellboys.  FLIGHT TO HONG KONG (U.A.) was a gangster movie starring Rory Calhoun. 

“Somewhere around there I was kicked out of six films in a row.  Then I did BAYOU and they wanted me to play the heavy, so I went down to Louisiana and played a Cajun, Ulysses, ‘What I want I gonna get and no dirty Yonkee from swell country is gonna take it away from me!’  Peter Graves takes away my woman and we have a big fight scene in the cemetery and I fall on an axe.”  Carey’s Cajun bully was memorable (other characters refer to him as a shark and a snake), but his standout bit was doing an incredible uninhibited dance to accordion music.  He hops in the air, does rubber-leg moves, caresses himself and scratches like he has fleas, while a storm brews.  The Ulysses dance is so good that it’s edited in several times.  BAYOU was made at about the same time as Roger Corman’s SWAMP WOMAN.  Both featured Corman regulars, Jonathon Haze and Ed Nelson.  BAYOU was directed by Harold Daniels, who had co-directed the famous road show hit THE PRINCE OF PEACE with William Beaudine. 

Poor and broke.  Never had no cash.  Everybody calls me Poor White Trash.  Live in the swamp for my pay.  Well the company man.  He came my way.  Company man stole my gal away.  Poor White Trash, not a nickel in my jeans.  Poor White Trash, don’t know what lovin means.  Poor White Trash, never had no fun.  Poor White Trash, ain’t got no one.  In the swamp I live.  In the swamp I’ll die.  But Poor White Trash, no one will cry.  No one will cry. 

In 1961, Producer M.A. Ripps, based in Mobile, Alabama, bought back his film from United Artists, added some new sex and shock sequences, a great new pre-credit banjo theme song intro and game BAYOU the effective new title, POOR WHITE TRASH.  Often unconvincing doubles were used for the stars.  When northerner Graves and sexy Lita Milan finally start to make love in a cabin, the scene continues with cuts of bare legs, caresses, close-ups of eyes, and the storm outside.  The long, at the time shocking scene everybody remembered though was when Ulysses attacks Milan.  In the new footage, Carey’s shirtless double chases Milan’s double through the woods, ripping away her clothes as they run.  Eventually she’s running naked, then crawling in the mud screaming.  More new footage shows her praying in church.  Even Carey’s death scene was spiced up with a bloody axe in the back insert.  Because of the new scenes and a brilliant exploitation advertising campaign (radio, and newspaper teasers) the adults only POOR WHITE TRASH was still paying theatres as late as 1971 (!) and grossed an  “estimated $10 million” (!)  More people probably saw Carey in this historical re-constructed movie than in any other he was in.  The incredible success of POOR WHITE TRASH helped spawn other country shockers like COMMON LAW WIFE (from Ripps), GIRL ON A CHAIN GANG, SHOTGUN WEDDING, and several titles each from Russ Meyer and Herschell Gordon Lewis.  Ripps’ 1976 POOR WHITE TRASH II was really S.J. Brownrigg’s unrelated SCUM OF THE EARTH, shot in Texas.  It was re-titled, advertised as a sequel and made lots of money.  

“Then I went to Germany to do PATHS OF GLORY…and that’s where I met my wife.  It was dull, but I loved working for Kubrick.  Now, I love publicity, so I decided to get kidnapped and disappeared for a few days and they dragged the lake because someone reported that I committed suicide.  It built up a lot of advertising in Munich.  Let me tell you an interesting story about PATHS OF GLORY.  In the execution scene there was no dialogue but I started to speak, so Kubruck said, ‘Bring in the sound!’  I kept saying, ‘I don’t want to die, I don’t want to die’, so Kubruck comes up to me and says, ‘Tim, you better make this good, Kirk Douglas doesn’t like it’, but of course they used it.”   PATHS OF GLORY is considered one of the most powerful anti-war films ever made.  The World War I themed feature,based on Humphrey Cobb’s novel, was made by United Artists only after Douglas agreed to star.  Although the characters are in the French Army, the film was made with German police extras playing French soldiers.  Three soldiers are chosen to be court marshaled to cover for the crass mistakes of their generals (Adolph Menjou and George Macready).  After a mock trails with Colonel Dax (Douglas) as the defense attorney, they’re found guilty and executed.  Private Ferol (Carey with a goatee), Corporal Paris (Ralph Meeker), and Private Arnuad (Joseph Turkel who had also been in THE KILLING) are the doomed men.  Both THE KILLING and PATHS OF GLORY were co-scripted by novelist Jim Thompson (THE GETAWAY, THE KILLER INSIDE ME…), who wrote most of the dialogue.  You can order a dozen different Thompson re-print novels from Amok (see book review section). 

HOUSE OF NUMBERS (MGM) was a crime film staring Jack Palance in a duel role as brothers.  Carey was a “Giggling psychopath”.  UNWED MOTHER was an Allied Artists teen movie with Robert Vaugh.  The ads said, “20,000 anguished girls wrote it’s blistering story!”  In REVOLT IN THE BIG HOUSE (Allied Artists) Carey played Bugs Moran.  Gene Evans and Robert Blake starred.  THE BOY AND THE PIRATES (U.A.) was a kid’s fantasy movie produced and directed by Bert I. Gordon and featuring his daughter Susan.  Carey played Morgan the pirate and Joseph Turkel played Abu the Genie.  It was filmed in “Perceptovision”. 

“I also did ONE EYED JACKS with Marlon Brando, a film that Stanley Kubrick was supposed to direct.  I played a bully and was supposed to push this girl’s face in a bowl of chili.  She was supposed to get angry, but she kept on crying.  Brando, who directed the film, told me to get her angry, to kick her in the ass!  Karl Malden said, ‘You can’t do that!’  I said, ‘I know, her husband’s gonna kill me!’ So we just couldn’t get her angry, she would only cry.  Brando gave me a compliment or a complaint!  He said, ‘Tim, you’re the only actor’, now he shot me, ‘You’re the only actor that I ever worked with, that even in death, you move.’   He knew me from THE WILD ONE.  There’s this scene where we shake up a beer and squirt it in Brando’s face and he said o me, “you’re not gonna throw any beer in my face are you?’ and I said, “If I do Marlon, it’s gonna be good beer, I’m gonna use German beer’.  Brando took over the direction of the excellent epic revenge western also featuring Elisha Cook Jr., Ben Johnson, and Slim Pickens.  Carey, as Howard Tetley meets Rio (Brando) in a showdown.  

THE WORLD’S GREATEST SINNER is an amazing film…with ahead of his time producer/director/screenwriter/distributor/star Carey as Clarence Hilliard, an insurance salesman who drops out, starts his own religion and eventually runs for president!  (It was filmed from 1958 to 1961, years before PRIVILEDGE or WILD IN THE STREETS).  The feature cost “$100,000”.  Clarence says, “There’s only one god and that’s man!” and renames himself God Hilliard.  God says, “Each and every one of use should be millionaires.  We should be gods, every one of us here – super human beings!”  After witnessing a wild, screaming, multi-racial rock show, he gets a guitar and a fake goatee and starts doing a rock/preacher show that might make you think of Elvis mixed with James Brown as Jimmy Swaggart.  God and his loud, crude rocking band, (with female sax player) work the audiences into a frenzy (the film’s original title).  All of a sudden the music stops and God yells:  “Please! Please! Please! Please! Please! Take my hand”  He takes off his white suit coat, does the same craze Ulysses dance from POOR WHITE TRASH, flops on his back on the stage like he’s having an epileptic fit, then jumps into the converted crowd! 

God’s followers wear F arm patches.  God also seduces an old lady for her money, welcomes a 14-year old groupie to his bed, hits his daughter, and drives a man to suicide.  The narrator is a snake.  Effects, including a flash foreword, a color scene and some up-side-down shots are used.  “I play an atheist who gets people’s attention by playing music.  I graduated from a rock and roller to a politician.  Then he ran for president with God written on his cuffs.  I played the part of God Hilliard.  I had this cult.  We shot at this cathedral in San Gabriel.  I was living there by now.  The end scene I take the communion from the church and take it home.  I hold it up in one hand and hold a pin in the other and I say, ‘If you’re really a god, show me if there’s something mightier than man.’  Then I start stabbing it and nothing happens.  The wafer breaks and I start laughing, ‘Nothing but a piece of bread!  Mother, you’re dead forever!’ and walk outside and then all of a sudden blood starts dripping out fast downstairs.  Out the house and I’m scared, but go back into the room and this light hits me.  We shot it in black and white, but at that point we change to color.  And I yell, ‘Oh my god’, and get thrown up against the wall and it cuts now to the wafer and the credits come on.  I’ve been tying to locate the negative of the film for years.  Mike Murphy and his wife Cheryl are trying to run it down”. 

“When I was working with Debbie Reynolds for the second time (in THE SECOND TIME AROUND, a western comedy) at 20th Century Fox, a fellow came up to me and complimented me on my acting.  He said he was a composer and the guy he came with, his next-door neighbor, played the guitar.  I said, ‘What’s your name?’  he said, ‘Frank Zappa’.  So I said, ‘OK, I have something for you.  We have no music for THE WORLD’S GREATEST SINNER.  If you can supply the orchestra and a place to tape it, you have the job’.  And that’s what he did.  Around the same time he was on the Steve Alan Show.  That’s where our friendship stopped.  Steve asked him what films he did.  He said, ‘I did THE WORLD’S GREATEST SINNER, the world’s worst film and all the actors were from skid row.’  It wasn’t true.  The press said I was the world’s greatest ham, and that THE WORLD’S GREATEST SINNER was a travesty of the arts.  Zappa didn’t like that and he started to get on their bandwagon.  The opening night at the directors guild, he was in complete awe.  He walked into the window and banged himself in the head.  He didn’t even know there was a window there.  The World’s Greatest Sinner/How’s Your Bird? By “Baby Ray And The Ferns” (Donna 1378) was released in March, 63.  Baby Ray was vocalist, Ray Collins.  “How’s Your Bird” was a phrase that Steve Allen used to say on TV.  In 1983 Rhino/Del Fi included both sides of the historic single on the “Rare Meat” EP. 

Another cult figure who got his start on WGS was Ray Dennis Steckler.  Carey brought Steckler to Long Beach to shoot scenes of crowds of extras watching Carey on stage then rioting.  Several other cameramen had already been fired.  “This fellow said he needed an assistant and he knew a cinematographer that lived in Pennsylvania.  He said, ‘If you can give me the money to pay his expenses to come out here’ and I said, “Yeah.”  Steckler later said that when he was in the closet loading film, Carey threw a boa constrictor in with him.  After some more cinematography and acting jobs, Steckler directed WILD GUITAR for Arch Hall Sr., then began his own unique career with THE INCREDIBLY STARANGE CREATURES  At the premiere of THE WORLD’S GREATEST SINNER, Carey got everything off to a memorable start by firing a 48 above the heads of the audience.  For more promotion, he wore his gold lame Gold suit and told people on the streets about his must-see feature. 

MERMAIDS OF TIBURON was the creation of underwater photography specialist, John Lamb (VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA, WAR GODS OF THE DEEP…), who filmed in Mexico and around Catalina Island.  The hero discovers a race of mermaids wearing flowers on their breasts.  Famous model and two-time Playboy centerfold (May ‘55 and Feb. ’56) Diane Webber (Margaret Empey) was the star mermaid. She and her husband, Bob Webber, a film cutter, were nudists.  Diane later showed up in Ray Dennis Steckler’s SINTHIA, THE DEVIL’S DOLL.  Carey, as murderer, Milo Sangster, follows in a rented boat, searching for giant pearls.  He throws Pepe (Jose Gonzalez Gozalez) and his guitar to the sharks and dynamites some mermaids.  This unique color movie used to show up on late night TV in black and white and was especially popular in Boston.  One minor character was played by Gil Baretto, also in WGS.  In 1965, Art Films added some new scenes with mermaids without the flower pasties and re-released MERMAIDS as AQUA SEX.  For the second time, Carey inadvertently found himself in an “adults only” movie. 

“I did a great thing in CONVICTS FOUR.  I said, ‘You’re a great screw,’ but they changed it around.  They were afraid it was gonna mean I was screwing the guard.  It had nothing to do with that.  They’re always looking at the negative side.”  CONVICTS FOUR (Allied Artists) was about a prisoner (Ben Gazzara) who becomes a professional artist.  The impressive cast included Vincent Price as an art critic, Stuart Whitman, Ray Walston, Sammy Davis Jr., Rod Steiger, Broderick Crawford, Reggie Nalder, and Jack Aberstson.  In A.I.P.s BIKINI BEACH and BEACH BLANKET BINGO, the third and fourth in the popular Frank and Annette series directed by William Asher, Carey played South Dakota Slim who hangs out around the pool table with Eric Von Zipper’s gang.  RIO CONCHOS (20th Century) was a western with Richard Boone and Stuart Whitman.  It also featured Carey as an underground actor with “the new sentimentality.”  A TIME FOR KILLING (Columbia), a Civil War drama was started by director, Phil Karlson but actually directed by (an unaccredited) Roger Corman the same year as THE TRIP.  It starred, Glen Ford and Inger Stevens but the support cast was the best part: George Hamilton, Paul Peterson, Max Baer, Kenneth Tobey, Dick Miller, Harry Dean Stanton, and Harrison Ford.  WATERHOLD #3, also set during the Civil War, was a black comedy western starring James Coburn.  Carey’s character made goat noises. 

Timothy’s next parts were in the last film appearances by The Monkees and Elvis.  In HEAD, written by Jack Nicholson, another Carey fan, he had an incredible stand out scary role as “Lord High ‘n Low.”  Others from Timothy’s past, who had small roles included Frank Zappa and Annette.  HEAD is filled with references to Stanley Kubruck films (2001, DR. STRANGELOVE) and of course Carey himself.  “I did an Elvis Presley film, his last movie (CHANGE OF HABBIT with Mary Tyler Moore.)  I had one scene as a proprietor of a seedy Puerto Rican restaurant.  He came up to me and said, ‘Aren’t you Timothy Carey?  Didn’t you do THE WORLD’S GREATEST SINNER?’  I said, ‘Yes.’  He said, ‘I always wanted to see that show.  Do you have a 16mm version?’  I only had a 35mm, but proceeded to talk about it.  He knew all about it.  I only had four prints.  That was one of the reasons that I didn’t send it.” 

GET TO KNOW YOUR RABBITT (from Warners) was Brian DePalma’s first major release, but still showed his anti-establishment roots.  Tom Smothers starred as an executive who drops out and joins Orson Welles’ school for magicians.  The movie flopped, but the interesting support case included John Astin, Allan Garfield, M. Emmet Walsh, and Carey as a cop.  Timothy played a tramp in Curtis Harrington’s WHAT’S THE MATTER WITH HELEN written by Henry Farrel (WHAT’S THE MATTER WITH BABY JANE?).  Shelly Winters and Debby Reynolds were the mothers of two killers in 1930s Hollywood.  MINNIE AND MOSKOWITZ was a Universal release directed and written by John Cassavettes.  Gena Rowland starred as a museum curator who finds herself involved with Seymour Cassel as a longhaired parking lot attendant.  Carey was third billed as Morgan Morgan, a derelict poet who says he hates cinema but likes Wallace Beery. 

Carey turned down a roll in THE GODFATHER because he was busy directing and acting in TWEET’S LADIES OF PASADENA, a film he worked on for years.  The homemade comedy has been described as “looking like Steckler’s LEMON GROOVE KIDS movie.”  Carey plays a custodian/gardener for an old-ladies knitting club who wants to clothe naked animals.  “The first time I met Coppola, he kept asking me to do THE GODFATHER.  So I did a little Italian scene and they kept asking me to come up to San Francisco to do a tape there, but I didn’t go up; I just didn’t feel like going.  I was in the middle of doing TWEET’S LADIES OF PASADENA.  Later on he wanted me to do THE GODFATHER II, so I went down to Paramount and did a scene.  My son was with me, eating some Italian pastries and at one point; I reached into the pastry box, and pulled out a gun and shot Coppola.  He was just shocked.  He didn’t know what to do, but he wanted me even more after that, but I never went there.  It just never materialized.  Carey did play a role in THE CONVERSATIONS, Coppola’s lone feature between the GODFATHER films.  Gene Hackman was excellent as the surveillance expert.  The cast included John Cazale, Allan Garfield, Frederic Forrest, Robert Duvall, Cindy Williams, Teri Garr, and Harrison Ford. 

THE OUTFIT, from MGM was a violent gangster thriller based on a novel by Richard Stark (real name: Donald E. Westlake) as were POINT BLANK and THE SPLIT (which imitated the structure of THE KILLING).  John Flynn (ROLLING THUNDER) directed and wrote the screenplay.  Robert Duvall starred as an ex-con who had robbed a syndicate run bank.  Carey had a major role as Jake Menner, a mob underling who had killed Duvall'’ brother.  Duvall and Joe Don Baker declare war on Menner and syndicate chief Robert Ryan and escape in the end after a lot of bloodshed.  The TV version was altered so that they appear to be captured by the police.  Marie Windsor and Elisha Cook Jr. (also both in THE KILLING) were in the cast, along with Karen Black and Richard Jaeckel. 

PEEPER, from 20th Century Fox, was a spoof of the 1940’s private eyes starring Michael Caine and Natalie Wood, directed by Peter Hyams.  Carey played Sid.  Liz Renay was a dancer.  CHESTY ANDERSON, USN was a tame and silly sex and crime comedy with an incredible cast including Shari Eubank (SUPERVIXEN), Rosanne Katon (THE SWINING CHEERLEADERS), Dyanne (ILSA) Thorne, Betty Thomas (HILLS STREET BLUES), Fred Willard, Scatman Crothers, and Carey as a gangster.  Carey had second billing in John Cassavettes’ partially improvised, independent release, THE KILLING OF A CHINESE BOOKIE.  Ben Gazzara starred as the owner of a sleazy LA strip show, who has to murder the Chinese bookie for the syndicate.  Also, with Seymour Cassel and Morgan Woodward.  SPEEDTRAP starred Joe Don Baker as a private eye and featured Robert Loggia, Tyne Daly, Morgan Woodward, and Richard Jaeckel. 

TARZANA, a black and white short, was directed by Steve DeJarnatt (CHERRY 2000, MIRACLE MILE).  Carey was a Korean War vet friend of a detective/jazz drummer (Michael C. Gywne).  Eddie Constantine (ALPHAVILLE0, in a rare US film appearance, plays a cop.  A seven minute long unrehearsed stream of conscienceness scene with Carey (“The world is a cesspool.  But I like it!”) was cut out.  In 1978, Carey started directing THE HILLSIDE STRANGLER/PROTRAITS OF JACK.  It was never finished, but the following year Ray Dennis Steckler made THE HOLLYWOOD STRANGLER MEETS THE SKID ROW SLASHER/THE MODEL KILLER, so there’s probably some connection.  During the 70s, Carey also acted in episodes of Columbo, Baretta, Starsky and Hutch, and other cop/detective TV shows.  In 1979, he appeared in person at a three-night “Tribute to Timothy Carey” in Ann Arbor.  Lucky viewers got to see TWEET, SINNER, and TARZANA, as well as the Kubrick films, ONE EYED JACKS and WATERHOLE #3

FAST WALKING, directed and written by James B. Harris was considered too strong for a major release.  James Woods starred as a slimy con man prison guard.  Both Kay Lenz and M. Emmet Walsh take their clothes off.  Harris is the only man to direct Timothy Carey and Susan Tyrrell in the same movie (!).  D.C. CAB, a comedy, featured Mr. T, Gary Busey, Irene Cara, and Timothy Carey.  ECHO PARK, set in L.A. was an Australian/American co-production starring Susan Dey in her first serious role and Tom Hulce, alone with Timothy and Cassandra Peterson (Elvira).  Although it received some good reviews and helped Dey’s career, Timothy Carey hasn’t been in a feature since.  His last network TV appearance was on Mickey Spillaine’s Mike Hammer.  Although some directors consider Carey “hard to work with” his talents have been used in devious ways many times.  He’ll do an incredible screen test, they tell him “thanks but no thanks” and have another actor study his performance and copy it for the actual film! 

Timothy’s son, Romeo Carey, directed him in a 1988 short called THE DEVIL’S GAS.  In ’89, Timothy, (along with Johnny Legend), was a guest on the L.A. public access program, Little Art’s Poker Party.  He acted out scenes from some of his films, sang Jambalaya, talked about Dali and making wind and said, “The combustible engine has got to go.  It’s like glorifying arsenic.” 

Timothy Carey is a fan of Salvador Dali.  He memorized Dali’s words from DIARY OF A GENIUS (1964), does a one man Dali show and lectures on farting, a subject Dali wrote and talked about.  “In San Francisco, THE WORLD’S GREATEST SINNER and Dali’s film played together so I got interested in Dali.  He was like my idol.  I’ve been working on the fat play, The Insect Trainer for eight years now.  It’s the first ever story about the incarceration of farting in society and one man’s struggle to free it.  This guy gets arrested for accidentally killing a lady by farting and knocking her down.  In jail he discovers his talents for training insects.  It was he murder trial of the century where the defendant is the first person ever in criminal history charged with homicide where his ass was the lethal weapon.  He is eventually acquitted.  Hallelujah!  Personal human gas is free.  How an overnight celebrity, using his body as an instrument, he embarks on a successful, unique, musical career, a la La Pet, which means The Fart, who is originally from France who became famous with public farting.  We should fart out loud in public.  It’s good for us.  The play is not really about the man on trial; it’s about the fart on trial. What would you rather do…Fart in a crowd, or die alone in a corner?  Live longer, live healthier, let thy arse make wind!” 

 

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