The Chromium Hook
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Media Kit/Press Information: Film Synopsis | Director's Bio | Cast Bios | A Talk with Jim and Ace | Press Releases
 
  The press kit contains the film synopsis, the director's bio and the cast bios. The latest press releases are available on the press release page. And be sure to check out the conversation with Jim (the director) and Ace (the producer).

If you would like to receive additional press materials, please contact Ace Allgood at ace@channelzsucks.com.

 
 

What the press is saying:

 
  Minneapolis Star Tribune, Colin Covert April 14, 2000

Steamy encounters between young lovers on Conversation Point. A one-armed marauder from a nearby asylum. A famous urban legend comes to life, uncovering illicit love triangles, love hexagons and love octehedrons. The little town of Nimrod, Minn., unwittingly spills all of its secrets in this ritorious mockumentary based on a short piece by novelist Ron Carlson. Splendidly cast and acted. Inventivly dramatized and chock full of delightful suprises.

 
  Cucalorus Film Festival 2000

You know that urban myth about the lovers and the hook hand? Well, it's true, all true. Happened up in Nimrod. But it went down different than you think. Alot more happened than just that, and it's all revealed in this here expose. THE CHROMIUM HOOK: Takes the urban myth of the escaped asylum "Hook" killer and stretches it. And I mean STRETCHES it - this inventive short turns a curt campfire yarn into a twisted, bleakly hilarious soap opera that's so smart it's scary.

 
  Rochester Film Festival 2000

Remember those scary stories about "The hook-armed-man" you heard around the campfire when you were in Scouts? This hilarious and detailed "mocudramedy" examines the sordid stories behind the truth of this American urban legend as it unfolds in one small town.

 
  Florida Film Festival 2000

A teenage couple alone one dark Halloween night-a maniac on the loose-and a sinister memento on the door handle of a Ford. What really happened on that night of terror? Equal parts Twin Peaks and This is Spinal Tap, The Chromium Hook is a brilliant, devastatingly hilarious "mocudramedy" exposing the seamy underbelly of a small Midwestern community while seeking the truth behind an American urban legend.

 
  The Skyway News March 20, 2000
by Steve Froehlich

Local Movie Makers up for Maberry Awards

As part of the gala Hollywood 2000 Academy Awards AIDS Benefit, the Minnesota Film Board will honor independent film makers who have made a significant cutting-edge contribution to the state's film culture with the fifth annual D.L. Maberry Film/Video Award.

The Chromium Hook

Producer Ace Allgood and Director Jim Stanger share this inspired and twisted turn on the famous urban legend about an ill-fated couple on lover's lane that encounters a hook-handed escaped lunatic. In their self-described "mocudramedy,"Oklahoman immigrant Allgood and St. Paul native Stanger manage to squeeze teen rebellion, police corruption, mental illness, a bizarre love triangle and more into a tidy 35-minute package. Chromium Hook is the first film funded by Channel Z, a commercial editing partnership formed by Allgood and Stanger to support their film making habit. Already garnering praise as it hits the indie festival circuit. Hook will make a hometown stop at this year's Minneapolis/St Paul Independent Film Festival.

 
  Mill Valley 2000

The Chromium Hook is James Stanger's magnificent combination of funny peculiar and funny ha-ha, which unfolds as a series of revelations that propel the story in some very unexpected directions, despite the sheriff's keen interest in confiscating beer from partying teenagers.

 
  Star Tribune, March 27 2000
by Colin Covert

Chromium Hook named top Minnesota Film

While Hollywood was fixated on the Academy Awards, hometown talent was celebrated Sunday by the Minnesota Film Board with the announcement of the fifth annual D.L. Maberry Film/Video Awards.

The award for Best Minnesota Independent Short went to "Chromium Hook," by producer Ace Allgood and director James Stanger. It offers several twists on the twists on the urban legend of a hook-handed maniac who menaces couples parked on a small-town lovers' lane. The 36 minute black-and-white film combines teen rebellion, insanity, unlikely love triangles, Minnesota nice and police corruption in what its creators call a "mocudramedy."

 
  Rhode Island Providence Journal, August 11, 2000
by Michael Janusonis Journal Arts Writer

One of the best, funniest, cleverest films in the Providence/Rhode Island Film Festival is James Stanger's Chromium Hook, which-in only 37 minutes-delves inside the shuttered secrets of the small Minnesota town of Nimrod. It will be screened at 2:15 P.M. tomorrow at the Columbus Theatre.

The joy of Chromium Hook which starts as though it were going to be a parody of some 50's black-and-white thriller about a hook-handed maniac who preys on teens on Lover's Lane, is the way it keeps turning around on itself. The motives of its characters and the directions they seem to be headed in at first glance are consistently and cleverly overturned time and time again. The results a chaotically funny and always unexpected.

Based on a short story by Ron Carlson, Stanger's film opens with jack and Jill narrowly escaping what they think are the hook-handed terrors of a lunatic who has escaped from the local mental hospital.

But all is not what it seems. In short, staccato, face the camera, documentary style, Stanger introduces us to a town full of characters-from the sheriff to the hook handed man to Jill's mother, who has recently been locked up at the Spinard Institute, a place that everyone in town refers to as either the "loony bin" or the ""nut house."

Then, in follow up interviews, Stanger peels away the layers of their secrets to uncover the true natures of their motives and feelings. Perhaps Jill's mother's attack on the psychiatrist's wife with a pair of scissors was more than just jealous anger over an adulterous affair. A lot of the root causes of anger in Nimrod are traced back to High School days.

The on-camera interviews, played passionately straight, reveal more and more about the psyches of the individuals. But Stanger isn't above toying with their serious sensibilities. At one point, Jill and her father, who is driving past in his TV repair truck, have a stand-off of sorts while he is waiting for a traffic light to turn green, each one hiding a cigarette that they are not supposed to be puffing. In another, Jack, doing an interview on a surburban street, is suddenly surrounded by neighborhood youngsters who begin tossing rocks at the stranger in their midst. While the hook handed man is being interviewed at the nut house("this is NOT a nut house," protests the doctor), a couple of inmates frolic insanely behind him.

As one of the characters says "How can anyone imagine Nimrod?" Fortunately for us, Stanger and Carlson have.

 
  City Pages, October 11, 2000

Here's an urban legend for ya: Ever hear the one about the film industry that decided to stop producing teen thrillers about rat weiners, microwaved poodles and babysitters answering pesky phone calls? Neither have I. In fact, everytime I hear a another socio-horror tale scraping across the hoods of America's drive-in movie vehicles, I get frightened for the future of oral history posing as block-buster entertainment. Fourtunately, St Paul native James Stanger ins't afraid to dissect his predecessors by romancing a tired Hollywood genre, gutting it while it's not looking, and selling its organs on the indie black market through his half-hour short "The Chromium Hook." This comedic mock-doc begins in the aptly named town of Nimrod, USA, where a young couple (Kyle Ingleman and Amy Lou Adams) involved in a romantic backseat rollup is, of course disrupted by a hook-armed madman. Through the testimony of a G.I. Joe collector, a gang of grade school hooligans, and a few mute loonies cavorting spasmodically through the background, the film delves into the hook man's past and slowly reveals how community gossip can perpetuate the most devastating myths. Each acute observation expressed by these characters exposes the urban legend as both a scare tactic to uphold puritanical morality and as a sordid need to sort through the neighbor's trash talk. In the bloody aftermath of Scream, etc. Stanger's non-violent film offers a fresh perspective of cheap slasher thrills, poving that there is always more to analyze about what terrifies us. We can be thankful that the Urban Legend was not, the Final Cut on this matter. "The Chromium Hook" screens at the Heights on a double bill with the silent classic "The Cabinet of Dr Calagari"


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