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The Props and The Cape

More frequently than not, I am contacted by people asking about props from some of my Zen Films. People question if I still own this prop, that costume, or a specific sword or something else. Two of the most frequent questions I receive are about the sword I used in Roller Blade Seven and Samurai Vampire Bikers from Hell and the Rollergator. Literally, and I am not exaggerating this on any level, I do not believe over the past ten years or so that a single month has gone by where I was not questioned about those two items and others and if someone could acquire them from me. As I told a person who recently inquired about acquiring Rollergator, that at one point I was offered ten thousand dollars for the gator but as Donald G. Jackson did have a flaring temper and actually hated that movie, at one point we were in our Production Offices in North Hollywood and he went into a rage and torn it apart. So, sorry but Rollergator is no more.

Regarding the Chupacabra monster… I wish I still had that. When Don passed away and I was helping his wife and his daughter clean out there house, as they had to move, I was planning to get it and have someone fix it up to use in another film as it did cost like thirty thousand dollars to create. But sadly, Don’s wife had already thrown parts of it away before I could let her know that I wanted it. So, also gone is Chup forever…

In terms of the sword, and most of the other stuff, I am just not one of those hoarder style people. In fact, I’m just the opposite. I get rid of stuff all the time. In many cases, it is stuff that I later realize I should have kept. And, that is the case with the sword, as well. Gone… I think I threw it away when I was cleaning stuff out at one point in time a number of years ago.

All this being said, I was just shown this little depiction/review of RB7 that some crew had recently put up on YouTube over at my friends production studio the other day. Of course, from the little bit of it I did watch, they did get a lot of stuff wrong, as is seemingly always the case. (Don’t people care when what they are speaking is wrong?) But, what I did come away with is that I noticed this clip of Frank Stallone. He was wearing this black cape.

Now, for those of you who have an eye for such things, (and I have met very few people who do), but if you study that cape you will see that it was the same cape worn by Joe Estevez in the film. Donald G. Jackson also wore it when he got his neck sliced open and tons and tons of blood pour out in Return of the Roller Blade Seven. And, if you want to go really deep, it is the cape I wore in Samurai Vampire Bikers from Hell. Plus, I had Joe wear it again in Vampire Blvd. Amazingly, I still own that cape.

For those of you who care, here’s the story of that cape…

Back in the ‘80s, before I had even gotten into the film game, I had this girlfriend. She was a graduate of Art Center and also of the Fashion Institute. So, she had a very specific and advanced skillset. I truly do not know what possessed her to do it, but one day she made me that cape. I showed it to my mother, who was a master seamstress herself, she studied the stitching and did not believe that my girlfriend had made it, as it was so professional. I think she was jealous. In my mother’s defense, (and there’s really very little defense for her as she was not a good person), but back in the ‘70s I was the envy of all my yogi friends as I would pick up the material and she would make me these great drawstring pants and kurta shirts. But anyway, that’s a whole other story… As for my girlfriend, it was one of those psycho relationships that I should never have gotten into. But, that’s youth for you; sometimes all that adrenaline filled lust/love is a great filler of time. Anyway, back to the cape…

My film career arrives. RB7 arrives. We need a cape. And, there it is.

For you fans of RB7 out there, (or you haters), I’ll tell you a little side-story as I mentioned Frank Stallone. In interviews about RB7 I have heard him mentioned the rubber knight suit he wore in the film. When I bumped into him at NAMM, a couple of years ago, he also brought it up. The moment we gave it to him to put on, once we drove him to our set, you could see the embarrassment in his eyes. I got it then and I get it now, he is/was Frank Stallone. Now, in interviews Frank thinks and says Don got him that costuming because we didn’t have much money. That is not the case. The truth be told, Don was very upset that our Executive Producer made us put Frank in the film at the last minute. And, Don being Don wanted to fuck with Frank. When we were deciding about his character, and what the character would say and do, as we were eating burgers at Tommy’s, we decided to make him a knight. We went to the costume shop, and though they had some pretty good knight costuming, Don intentionally rented the cheapest looking thing we could find. Thus, the Black Knight was born. We had already used the cape with Joe, so Don knew about it, and asked me to bring it to our set. I did. Thus, the legend of the cape.

So… Of all the props and costuming I have gotten rid of, that is the one piece that remains.

I used to always be on the look out for cool clothing and costuming for my upcoming Zen Films whenever I was in a thrift store or at flea markets and the like. But, as time has gone on, and I have moved away from story-driven films, (if you want to call them that), I got rid of it all. Yet, the cape remains. Is it for sale? No. I think I’ll keep it. …That one souvenir reminder of RB7. Plus, the cape is really cool! It is still in great condition. You never know, maybe I'll use it in another Zen Film.

I doubt that most of the people who inquire about props from Zen Films will read this. I doubt that they read this blog at all. But, that’s all okay. That’s just life… People get obsessed about something for some unknown reason and hope to own it. The only problem is, once something is gone, it is gone and it ain’t comin’ back. So, at least in this case, all that is left is the movies—the Zen Films. But, a film is a pretty good place to embrace the stuff of memories; isn’t it?