As D.C.'s Kings of Creature Features, the Langley Punks Never Met a Body Part They Didn't Like
02/27/1984 at 01:00 AM EST
The scene opens with a young couple picnicking in a quiet clearing. The music, soft and romantic, begins to whine menacingly. From the shadowy recesses of the woods, a gray blob approaches. The girl screams. Her boyfriend shields his face from the hideous sight: a voracious seven-foot intestine. Before he's devoured, he manages his final words: "Why couldn't we get ants like other people!"
Okay, so it's not Bergman. But then the Langley Punks, creators of Intestines From Space, a $1,500 cult film causing collective belly laughs in Washington, D.C., have no high-minded pretensions. How could they, with such previous hits as Insurance Salesmen From Saturn (featuring an alien plot to "bore the Earth to death") and Curse of the Atomic Greasers? "We have two guaranteed sellouts here," says Jeff Hyde, manager of the Biograph Theatre (where Intestines has been playing on a rotating schedule for two years): "Casablanca and the Langley Punks."
Indeed the Punks seem to have tapped the large and sophisticated audiences who made 1975's The Rocky Horror Picture Show a classic. Founded in 1973 by Pat Carroll, 29, the group takes part of its name from Langley Park, Md., a drab Washington suburb. Armed with a film degree from the University of Maryland and inspired by his childhood idols, the Three Stooges, Carroll formed a film company with several friends and promptly named it Travesty Ltd. to discourage pompous critics. "Hollywood studios worry about not going over budget," says Punk Tom Welsh. "Travesty worries about not getting arrested." Besides eight features, Travesty has produced a cable-TV pilot, a comedy record album, Teen Comedy Party, and a rock video.
Their profits, however, are lackluster, and so far haven't enabled the Punks to retire from their daytime jobs. (Carroll is a salesclerk in a Silver Spring, Md. record shop.)
Is there a Pancreas From Pluto plotted for the Punks' future? Perhaps, although Intestines director Richard West insists that their goals are truly modest: "Worldwide fame, unbelievable wealth and more parts for robots and small mammals in our films."