Twentieth Century Spatchcock
The Hollinwood studios of 20th Century Spatchcock produced over 20,000 films. Many have been destroyed - sometimes accidentally - but this new project seeks to locate and catalogue as many of these films as possible.
DW Blunt and Alfred Spatchcock were prolific film makers. They may not be remembered for the quality of their films but what they lacked in quality they more than made up for in quantity.
At one point they were making as many as six films a day at The Tripe Factory, their studios in Hollinwood near Oldham. Their first film The Stink was shot in The Tripe Factory in less than two hours. Then they started filming on location in the immediate vicinity of the factory before moving further afield.
In just one day they made The Mancunian Trilogy - The Third Mancunian, The Thin Mancunian and The Invisible Mancunian. This was a particularly challenging film as they were unable to find an invisible man to play the starring role despite placing an advert in the Hollinwood Globe & Advertiser.
The next day they filmed on location in Rossendale shooting Mr Blunt Goes to Accrington and Dirty Rawtenstall Scoundrels in the morning and The Wizard Of Oswaldtwistle after a three hour lunch in The Coach and Horses.
They then moved north, making Men In Blackburn and Mississippi Burnley before spending a weekend in Blackpool where they made Tramspotting and the first four Blackpool Rocky films.
They even crossed the Pennines to make The Grapes Of Rotherham with a young Henry Honda.
Their films cover every genre from epics (Gone With The Window Cleaner) to horror (The Cocktail Cabinet of Dr Calimari) and war (Fags Of Our Fathers). To capitalize on the popularity of cowboy films they invented the north western genre with films such as Huyton Noon, Once Upon A Time In The North West and True Millstone Grit.
Gradually their output declined. By the time the studio closed on New Year's Eve 1999, they were making only one film a day.Their films may have been forgotten by the public but they are still shining examples for students of how not to make a film.
For a full account of 20th Century Spatchcock, see Dr Ripley's newly-published book.
© Copyright 2012 LEB Ltd T/A The Lost Films of 20th Century Spatchcock