Movie Review #7: WICKED CHANNEL

Thanks to WICKED CHANNEL for their great review (8 out of 10) of THE MILLENNIUM BUG:

“…a lot of blood, gore and plain violence…They made this film by their own rules and there are plenty of surprises you won’t see coming.”

Read the full review here.

Cast & Crew Profile #3: Ken McFarlane

Ken McFarlane portrays Roger Patterson, the obsessive cryptozoologist whose career spent hunting the elusive Millennium Bug has finally come to a head. Ken shares his memories of the shoot:

My favorite memory is having my head smashed into a wall about 14 times. Fellow actor John Charles Meyer seemed to like doing it, except for the take when I fell at full force into him, causing him to speak at a higher pitch for a while.

In another scene, actress Ginger Pullman and I had to climb into a closet under the stairs which was maybe big enough for one small person. We also had to cram a crew member in there to achieve the shot. I was on my back with my legs over my head with Ginger and our PA folded around me until we heard “Cut.” It took two people to lift me out, because there wasn’t enough leverage or room to unfold legs and body parts on one’s own. Of course, we had to do ten takes. I didn’t want to tell (director) Ken that I was under a doctor’s care for back and neck problems.  

The most disgusting part of the shoot was my costume. We dressed for cold weather and shot in Burbank California, with temperatures in the 90s and hotter. I sweat a lot on a cool day, so after three weeks of wearing an unwashed costume, it smelled pretty rank. Producer Jim even asked me about needing to take a shower; I think he thought it was my body and not the costume that smelled like the Millennium Bug.  But in a weird way, the costume’s odor helped me as an actor with the believability of camping in the wilderness, brutalized by crazy people and eaten by a giant bug.

The most bizarre experience was having my head cast in plaster. Our makeup/SFX designer Robert and his assistant Bridget covered me in goop, with my mouth open in a frozen scream, at a makeup school where I could hear classes arrive and leave. As I sat in a corner for what felt like four hours, I could communicate only with hand movements to say yes or no. I think that was worse than laying in pools of blood and goo wearing a smelly costume. At one point during the casting, I fell asleep and Robert thought I was having a heart attack because of my breathing. It felt good to give him a scare for once…

Born in Nova Scotia, Ken spent his adolescence in Los Angeles, got his BA and MFA from CSU Northridge, and filled his adulthood with independent film and theatre. He recently played Polonius in Ty Mayberry’s innovative staging of Hamlet. Prior to that, Ken stepped into the shoes of a mortician trying to make sense of a dysfunctional Irish family in William Norrett’s comedy Brendan O’Lenihan Leaves Three Daughters. Other theatre credits (from New York, Vancouver, and Los Angeles) include Dracula, Six Degrees of Separation, True West, The Misanthrope, Enemy of the People, The Lark, Much Ado About Nothing, Two Gentlemen of Verona, JB, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Cockroach Nation, Molly Sweeney, and The Book of John, as well as the title roles in the world premiere productions of Godislav and The Crown of Minos. Film credits include Change For Food, The Golem, Noise Matters, Empire Builders, Annabelle, Rose Colored Glasses, Insomnia Manica, Delusive Dreams, The Short Cut, and the role of the bloodthirsty but lovable, martini-crazed “Jerry” in Caesar & Otto’s Summer Camp Massacre and its sequel, Caesar & Otto’s Deadly Christmas. Ken also made an appearance as a Roman general responsible for one of history’s greatest military defeats, on The History Channel’s Battles B.C.: Hannibal.

Visit Ken on IMDB.

Watch the trailer for THE MILLENNIUM BUG.

Cast/Crew Profile #2: Benjamin Watts

When you make a monster movie without CGI, you need someone to be the monster. Actor and stunt performer Benjamin Watts IS The Millennium Bug.

Ben recalls working on the set:

A diet of Little Caesars pizza and sweat-covered “Fuller’s Earth” prop dirt speaks volumes as to what one is willing to endure to work with the Cran Brothers. The worst of it was a horrid “A and B” chemical mix, for some awesome smoke they needed to emit from the Bug’s head. With no mask or filter between the bug’s head and mine, it stung my eyes, burned my nostrils, and made me extremely nauseous. I’m surprised I didn’t spew in the suit. It’s really nothing to complain about because c’mon, I was the fucking monster. I’d do it again in a heartbeat. It’s totally worth the cancer I’m sure to get – I mean, folks like the flick, right?

I don’t remember actually seeing the smoke in the final film. Hmm. I should ask Ken about that.



Even on days I wasn’t scheduled to be on set, I would show up if my schedule allowed for it, just to be around all the creativity. Just going to that set to see the other actors and the newest sculptures was amazing. The team was a very intimate creative force that had such a love for the genre. 

Ben spent his formative acting years in Las Vegas under the tutelage of Walter Mason. He enrolled with The Second City in Vegas and performed bi-weekly at their SET shows, learning how to make an absolute fool of himself. Mr. Watts also had an affinity for traditional theatre and kept himself busy with multiple productions including Golden Boy, Lysistrata, and Orpheus Descending. Simultaneously, he founded an independent film company with a longtime friend and went on to write, produce, and star in short films. Since making his way to Los Angeles, he’s worked with Nippon Television, BET, up-and-comer Eric England, and the great guys at The Squire Film Shoppe. He’s currently promoting his comedic web series, Matchstick McCoy, and preparing for an untitled superhero project.

Visit Ben’s web site: http://www.BenjaminWatts.net/

Find Ben on IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3179861/