Sunday, September 13, 2009

Movies: "It has been proven that people just stay stuff because they want to have the spotlight on them."

Back in February, I featured a news item about Jonathan Sharkey, "one-time presidential hopeful and full-time Satanic vampire overlord of Toms River, Minnesota." Sharkey, who worships the pagan goddess of witchcraft and claims to live off human blood, made headlines back in '07 when he threw his hat in the national ring as the presidential candidate of the Vampires, Witches, and Pagans Party. For a brief moment, he was a hot enough item to merit a Tina Fey delivered punchline on SNL's regular "Weekend Update" bit.

I brought him up in February of this year because his Satanic Majesty failed to make a court date to answer charges he threatened a 16-year-old girl her referred to as "his wife and princess."

From my the story that inspired that original post:

The criminal complaint says he was running for president in 2007 when the 16-year-old girl wrote a message of support on his MySpace page. She told police they began dating online, and the threats began when she tried to break off the relationship.

She told police that "in a desperate attempt" to get him to leave her alone, she had e-mailed him that she was a member of an elite vampire hunter society and that continuing their relationship would put him in danger. Her father told police he talked to Sharkey, but Sharkey continued to call the girl and write letters to her parents.

Well, as it turns out, Sharkey was the subject of a 2007 documentary that chronicled his ill-fated '06 run for Minnesota governor. And, because the Internets are slow to anger and steadfast in their forgiveness, this doc is available free on Hulu. For realz.

That's right. Listen in awe as Sharkey explains that he banged and then married his own half-sister. (The then gubernatorial candidate explains to the camera, "I'm not the kind of guy to ask a girl her last name or anything like that.") Thrill to Sharkey's explanation of his proposed anti-terror policies: "Especially considering the first day after I am sworn in, I am going to personally impale 10 people that I know have violated my rights and have committed acts of terrorism." Squirm as you watch Jonathan and his wife feed of one another. You'll get that ol' "walking in on mommy and daddy's special hug" feeling all over again.

As a counterpoint to Sharkey's Byronic self-regard and Quixotic indifference to reality, the film shows the surprising poignant struggle of Julia Sharkey Carpenter, who claims that her pagan beliefs got her fired from her school bus driving gig, a gig that seems to be her Rushmore. At one point, when asked what the most perfect job she can conceive of would be, Julia thinks hard about it and then answers that she would want enough money to buy her own school bus. Her odd mixture of touchy independence and essential decency makes he a brilliant foil for Sharkey. She also gets the film's best line when she tells Sharkey, without any sense of irony or self-awareness, "It has been proven that people just stay stuff because they want to have the spotlight on them."

I was going to do a review of this odd, low-fi treat, but I realized that the film overwhelms my modest critical capacities.


Anonymous said...

Yeah...I watched this last is totally a surreal experience.

zoe said...

he's not in jail? am i awake?