So said the late Paul Marco in 2006. Best known for his role as Kelton the Cop in several of "cult" movie director Edward D. Wood Jr.'s films, particularly Plan 9 From Outer Space. He had been experiencing bad health and believed he only had a short time left. Paul would be dead within the year, but little did he know that his film career would be thriving to this day.
Ed Wood was one of the pioneer independent filmmakers of Hollywood beginning in the late 1940's. Critically ignored at the time due to their low production values, over the top dialogue and a general surreal quality, they would be relegated to the early am programming on pre-cable American TV. It wasn't until the dawn of video cassette technology as well as some snarky books elevating Wood to "the worst director of all time" that he received a much greater public awareness.
Although he would pass on, never to see the growing popularity of his work he would live on in other ways. Within two decades of his passing, Johnny Depp would portray Wood in an Academy Award winning feature film about his life directed by Tim Burton. One of the two Oscars was won by Martin Landau for his role of Bela Lugosi, who had been Wood's best known leading man.
In the wake of this, among the numerous documentaries and "tribute" films relating to Wood made before and after this, was Kelton's Dark Corner.
In the mid ‘00’s, Russian Rock musician and music video director Vasily Shumov had the idea of doing a video homage to Film Noir, the dark, stylized dramas of the 1940's and 1950's. He became aware of Paul Marco's desire to do another film and after approaching the veteran actor, gave him the title role in the film which became Kelton's Dark Corner.
Although a series of sequels was planned, Paul would pass away during production of the second episode. Some time after that one was finished Shelley Michelle, best known as Julia Roberts' body double in Pretty Woman became interested in the series and was cast as "Keltonova,” a zombie - type reincarnation of Kelton the cop in a third episode (as a tribute to Wood's first feature film Glen or Glenda, with a similar theme).
The popularity of the videos on Shumov's concert tours and on Russian MySpace has now led to a fourth installment of the series. Utilizing the many shots he took of Paul and using an animated stills technique as in the other episodes, Paul Marco has, in a sense, become the first virtual movie star almost ten years after his death. And from the looks of things, he has even "more film in him."
"Life's tough in the big city."
So goes the old saying. But life just got a whole lot tougher for Kelton the cop. At an age when most police would gladly accept retirement, Paul Kelton has taken the road less traveled. In the Ed Wood films Bride of the Monster, Plan 9 from Outer Space and Night of the Ghouls, Kelton the Cop as a young man was forced to face his fears, constantly being called upon to go one-on-one with supernatural entities such as "spooks, ghouls and zombies" with little more than a gun and a badge.
All of this has come at great cost.
Like some kind of a human sponge, Kelton has drawn forth and absorbed some of those energies unto himself.
With survival mode now amped up into overdrive, the once cheerful, yet dedicated cop has evolved, due to constant contact with adversarial forces, into a mirror image of those he vowed to fight. Now, the ones whom he once had cause to fear have had the tables turned on them, sending them scrambling like ants from an upturned rock.
An attempt to kidnap and, at least temporarily, take Kelton off the streets has gone seriously awry. Being bound in the locked trunk of a car caused the ectoplasm inside the seasoned old cop to come to critical mass. Freed from the confines of the car trunk, Kelton slowly but surely transforms, like an unnatural butterfly, into the sexy zombie policewoman Keltonova.
Kelton/Keltonova, seeking greener pastures, find their land of opportunity in the mountains of Appalachia. Seeking to unleash their creative energies by using all the street smarts accumulated over decades of dealing with the underworld, Ke/Ke as an entrepreneurial kingmaker now comes into his/her own, a fast and furious force to be reckoned with.
"Not so fast," say some of those whom have come under Kelton's baton back on the streets of L. A., both figuratively and literally, "This party is about to come to a close." Will these party crashers, in an ironic twist, put Kelton the Cop to bed for a long, long night?
Who will be the last man/(?)woman standing in The Kelton Marathon?
“Kelton the Cop” was co-created by Paul Marco and Ed Wood for the film BRIDE OF THE MONSTER(1956). The name Kelton came from the street that Paul’s manager/agent, Marge Usher, lived on in Hollywood.
BRIDE OF THE MONSTER was the first of three appearances that Paul would make as Kelton in films directed by Edward D. Wood, Jr. The others were NIGHT OF THE GHOULS(1958) and PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE(1959), the latter film being built around footage of Bela Lugosi that was shot just prior to his death, and which has since achieved worldwide “Cult film” status. Paul would refer to these films as “The Kelton Trilogy”. THE DARK CORNER TRILOGY is a nod to these earlier films, as well as other film series, such as Sergio Leone’s “Dollars” and “America” trilogies.
THE DARK CORNER TRILOGY began as a extended music video “homage” to Director Vasily Shumov’s favorite classic Film Noirs such as THE BIG HEAT, GILDA and DOUBLE INDEMNITY. Many of the scenes in Episode #1 were recreations of stills from these and other Noirs. Paul Marco would later join the cast as Kelton the Cop, and a second episode was begun as part of a projected DVD and cable TV series. However, Paul died during production, having had some health problems for a few years prior to that. The episode was finally completed and a third was added, with Kelton, in classic Ed Wood style, supernaturally transforming into “Keltonova”(portrayed by professional body double Shelley Michelle).
PAUL MARCO (Kelton the Cop, Kelton co-creator)
Paul Marco was born in Hollywood, CA and appeared in films and TV shows starting in the mid 1940’s, such as HIAWATHA(1952) and “Ramar of the Jungle”(1952), in addition to his “Kelton Trilogy”. He was also Associate Producer on nIGHT OF THE GHOULS).In his later years, he appeared at numerous fan conventions in his Kelton uniform, and was interviewed for such documentaries as FLYING SAUCERS OVER HOLLYWOOD: THE ‘PLAN 9’ COMPANION and THE HAUNTED WORLD OF EDWARD D. WOOD, JR.
EDWARD D. WOOD, JR. (Kelton co-creator)
Ed Wood was one of the pioneering independent film directors following the dismantling of the Hollywood Studio System. He began with short films and graduated into features with the art/exploitation film GLEN OR GLENDA(1953). He produced,wrote and directed six “mainstream” films, none of which had any great success at the box office, although the TV release of a few of them began to develop a momentum. Shortly before his death in 1978, articles began to appear about the “campy” surrealistic quality of his films, and the advent of video and DVDs made him the most prominent “cult” movie director in film history, to this day. An Academy Award winning film biography, ED WOOD(1994), was directed by Tim Burton and starred Johnny Depp as Ed. A growing number of books and lists of great and prominent film directors are including the name Edward D. Wood, Jr.
CONRAD BROOKS (Narrator, Episodes #’s 2 & 3)
Conrad Brooks first met Ed Wood in 1948, and is the only actor to have appeared in all of Ed’s “mainstream” films. Conrad played Jamie the Cop in PLAN 9, appearing in a number of scenes with Paul. Conrad is still active today, living in West Virginia, appearing in films and at fan conventions. Also a Producer/Director, he directed his own “trilogy” of films about the character “Jan-Gel”, who was inspired by Ed Wood stock player and professional wrestler Tor Johnson.
SHELLEY MICHELLE (Keltonova)
Shelley Michelle began her career as a young model at the William Adrian Teen Modeling Agency in Pasadena, CA. Besides print modeling, Shelley became the first “Body Double” celebrity in her own right, standing in for Julia Roberts in PRETTY WOMAN(1990). She has also filled in for Madonna, Kim Basinger and others, and also co-produced, co-wrote and starred in the film GALAXY HUNTER (2004).