Swamp Things

Before you read this entry, head over to CO2 Comics’ Blog NOW and read Gerry Giovinco’s history of DUCKWORK. He fills in some of the enormous gaps left by my own meager history of PCA’s semi-official student paper. His entry comes complete with embarrassing photographs!

It was 1982, and DUCKWORK was a dead duck, but one of the ex-Ducks decided to have a party. Being that I talked incessantly about film and had mentioned the cinematic efforts of Plague Productions more than once, somebody suggested a film festival. I could bring my reels and we could fill the rest of the evening out with commercial films which were mainly released in 8mm format by a company called Castle Films. They weren’t the entire film. They were more like highlight reels that told the story in a greatly condensed form.

I had some horror films like The Mummy and House of Frankenstein. I think Matt Wagner had some of the old Batman serials from the ’40s; Bill Cucinotta brought some reels, and there were a few other things to pad out the bill.

The Mummy

So it was decided. The kids were going to put on another show. Matt decided to hold it at his apartment which was among some student housing in a tenement-like building in the 1400 block of Spruce Street. It was a large apartment that Matt shared with two or three other roommates and it, and it was called The Swamp.

Matt also did me the honor of drawing this poster for the party.


It was a good time. I think we projected the movies against a wall or a bedsheet. The place was packed. My movies got a good response as did the other movies. We all laughed hysterically at the Batman and Robin serial. I think the version of The Mummy is my favorite although it was heavily condensed. This 8mm version had sound and the picture quality was terrific. It was edited very well and felt like a poetic dream projected large in that apartment. Boris Karloff’s sonorous voice sounded especially eerie beckoning a lost lover from across the seas of time. Great stuff.

For me, it felt like the last hurrah for the DUCKWORK gang. DUCKWORK was done, but the Ducks were still a fairly tight group. We still saw each other in classes or in the halls of PCA or got together when we weren’t buried under an avalanche of school work.

Next time: Wrecking Ball

This entry was posted in Blast from the Past, Philadelphia and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.