World Horror Con has ended and as the dribs and drabs of attendees start to filter out into the city or return home, I find that my New Orleans adventure is just about to begin. Well both my friend Chas and I since I’ve dragged him along for the journey…credit to him for putting up with me…
I’m about to meet sexploitation filmmaker Jason Matherne. We’ve been talking over the Internet for some weeks. And I’ve visited his website and watched his movie trailers with interest
Jason collects me from N St Peters St off the back of the Mississippi River and we head to a bar in the French Quarter. It’s an all American no frills saloon. I expect tumbleweed as I cross the road to the door. Heads turn as I walk in with Jason, but they are soon accompanied by smiles. It’s a local friendly and everybody knows one another.
We’re joined by Rikki, Jason’s girlfriend and, it seems, right hand lady for his productions. We talk about his film company Terroroptics and the film he is best known for called The Cockface Killer.
The bar is suddenly alive with roars of laughter. A man in a studded bra, short skirt, cowboy hat and wig approaches our table. He introduces himself as Big Sexy 504.
‘And here he is. This is the Cockface Killer,’ says Jason.
I’m in awe as this great big friendly giant joins us for a drink and fills us in on his role.
‘I love this guy,’ he exclaims looking at Jason and then asking him when he’ll be needed for the next shoot.
A couple of drinks later and I find myself at Jason’s apartment, somehow it doesn’t strike me as too much of a coincidence that he lives right outside a Masonic Cemetery.
His cat Panthore purrs heavily and so it should, he’s absolutely humongous, which I find is quite typical of New Orleans cats. Jason shows me his studio and his impressive work with the local television broadcaster. Born and bred in New Orleans, Jason’s television work reflects his passion for the city, with documentaries focusing on the Bayous and further afield.
He shows me a few scenes from his latest feature Grimewave. It’s shockingly funny and my eyes instantly meet Big Sexy’s bottom as he walks into the shot. Other scenes consist of a Samurai sword fight with a half-metre sized black dildo.
And the door of a portaloo swinging open to reveal a naked lady. It’s all tongue and cheek but very well made.
‘I’ve got a role for you if you’re interested,’ Jason tells me. ‘And you,’ he says looking at my friend Chas. It’s right up our street, a glorious leap from the literary world at World Horror Con to the slapstick crazy movies of Terroroptics.
One week later and I’m ready for my role. I’m wearing a red leather harness, sexy pencil skirt and some killer PVC boots courtesy of Rikki. A storm is brewing as we head over to a gun range part-owned by Jason and used as a set for most of his movies.
We drive over an iron bridge, penetrating deeper into Louisiana territory.
‘This whole area was destroyed by the floods,’ Jason explains
‘Water reached the tops of the roofs.’
When you’re there it seems almost beyond belief. But the honest truth is that the legacy of devastation from Hurricane Katrina still hangs over many abandoned houses. And maybe always will.
We pull onto industrial land and run inside the gun range before the rain starts to rage down on us. I catch a glimpse of an electrical storm in the distance and hypnotised by its apocalyptic furore I stand and stare.
The remnants of past movies litter the gun range. Planks of wood rest on the ground. Blood is splattered across the walls and even against the soundproof glass of the shooting range. It looks like a slaughterhouse.
I meet my co-star Steve who seems stoic, after all he is used to Jason’s film escapades having starred in most of his movies.
Jason casually fills in Chas and I about our role. It’s exciting and I’m given some time to get ready.
After much fooling around in our costumes and getting into character, we’re finally allowed inside the shooting area.
There is minimal lighting and we’re told to go to the far end of the set, which is pitch black. Steve is centre stage, tied up against a pillar, with his hands bandaged in thick gaffer tape and held high above his head.
A sandblaster sits a metre or so away from him.
‘And action,’ Jason calls.
I glide across the range gently criss-crossing my legs and swinging my hips from side to side as I walk in what I hope is an overtly sexy manner. I bend down and reach for the sandblasting hose, guiding it up my body, caressing its steel nozzle past the tangled chains on my harness. And then, after some suggestive tongue action, I aim at poor Steve. It’s at that very second, that Chas also emerges from the darkness, veiled in a latex gimp mask and wearing black rubber gloves. He stands ahead of me, looking at Steve, rubbing his oiled gloves together and poking his lips through the zippered gash in the mask.
We do this scene many times and it proves difficult with the humid air and lack of air conditioning. I’m having to dab my face and touch up at every second, but we eventually finish. We have no choice as I have a voodoo ceremony to attend. But that’s a story I’ll save for another time.
We take a group photo. It’s a wrap for Chas and me. And we look forward to seeing the footage. Minutes later the leathers are off, the chains are banished and used wet wipes lay on the counter and floor like poop-stained tissue that has missed the toilet bowl.
The storm has cleared and Jason drives us to St John’s Bayou, where I record a piece to camera, clear-faced in my frilly dress. It’s as if the afternoon’s events of leather and bondage and torture were just a dream.
I’ve come to learn that life is wonderfully varied. That opportunities should be seized. That people can be amazing. And that life can be more than you can possibly imagine. If my time in New Orleans was a Mardi Gras cake, then Jason and Terroroptics were the sprinkles on top.
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