Larry Hankin: “How To Raise Money For A Movie” (from “The Independent”)

By on August 14, 2015

If it’s Friday it must be time for another fun Larry Hankin film, and today we’ve got “How To Raise Money For A Movie,” a scene snipped from the 2000 mockumentary film The Independent, directed by Steve Kessler, which finds Larry in the role of an insane convicted serial killer, William Henry Ellis, restrained with a straitjacket in a state mental hospital, and negotiating away the rights to his life story.


William Henry Ellis (has anyone ever figured out why serial killers always have to have three names?) meets with two independent movie producers, the father-daughter tag team of Morty and Paloma Fineman, played by Janeane Garafalo and Jerry Stiller.

Morty Fineman, we’re told elsewhere in the film, is responsible for producing 427 movies in the past three decades, which includes mostly exploitation titles like Teenie Weenie Bikini Beach, Wind and Rain and Wet T-shirts, Whale of a Cop, Twelve Angry Men and a Baby, Christ for the Defense (in which Jesus returns to Earth and short-circuits personal injury lawsuits by healing victims right in the courtroom), and his colossal late 70s epic, World War III II (It was Morty, by the way, who apparently introduced Roman numerals at the end of movie titles. No, it’s true, look it up).


We don’t think it’s giving away too much of the plot to tell you that William Henry Ellis envisions the story of his 63 murders as a Broadway-style musical.


Also featured in this snippet from the film is Morty’s longtime assistant to the assistant to The Independent Ivan (Max Perlich, that’s him on the right) and capital investor Walter Jeffries (Richard Paul in his final role).


The Independent is a hilarious sendup of independent moviemaking and fans of indie films too, and it exploded from the collectively twisted minds of the writer/director/producer team of Steve Kessler and Mike Wilkins, who share the writing credit here (they also, in fact, came up with titles for all 427 of Fineman’s pictures — oh, you’d like to hear more? How about: Barnyard of Hate, Rock ‘n’ Roll Golem and Tattoo II: Pierced by an Angel. In fact, we see all 427 film titles scrolling across the screen during the final credits of the completed film, which was executive produced by the late, great Jerry Weintraub).

In addition to those already mentioned, The Independent also features an incredible ensemble cast, simply rife with cameos (check IMDB if you don’t believe us), which includes Ginger Lynn Allen, Julie Strain, Louisa Moritz, Anne Meara, Phil Proctor, Andy Dick, John Lydon (yes, good ol’ Johnny Rotten), Dana Gould, Fred Dryer, Laura Kightlinger, Bob Odenkirk, Billy Burke and, seriously, dozens more. Exploitation filmmaking stalwarts and graduates Ron Howard, Karen Black, Peter Bogdanovich and Fred Williamson also appear as themselves.

The Independent premiered at the SXSW FIlm Festival in 2000. Rated R for rambunctious!


About Larry Hankin

Larry Hankin is a writer, performer, director, producer and Oscar-nominee - and one of Hollywood’s most recognizable faces in the world of character actors. A graduate of “Second City”, an original member of “The Committee”, Larry has gone on to play roles in such diverse projects as “Laverne and Shirley”; Charlie Butz in "Escape From Alcatraz": the convict Clint Eastwood left behind. He stole the raisins on "Seinfeld"; he was Mr. Heckles, The downstairs neighbor on "FRIENDS"; on "Breaking Bad", Larry was the junkyard owner who destroyed the "Meth" Winebego and supplied the huge electro-magnet this season.   Larry's been seen in over 120 other TV shows and movies along the way, including Michael Bey’s: "Pain & Gain" with Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson (“In the film, my character ultimately gets the crap beat out of him by Dwayne Johnson, and I consider it a milestone and an honor in my acting career”, Larry was quoted as saying). But comedic storytelling is where his heart lies: all along, Larry's also been writing short, satiric fables which he‘s been turning into film shorts (30, at present), then directing and starring in them as “Emmett Deemus”, an old, street savvy homeless poet. In Larry’s first film short: “Solly’s Diner,” he introduced his younger, comedic street character, “Sometimes Jones” to audiences here and abroad and was nominated for an Academy Award.   Larry's written and starred over 30 of his own shorts – including Larry's second incarnation of his Sometimes Jones character: Emmett Deemus: basically Don Quixote on a motorcycle: a heroicly inclined, odd elderly biker on a battered old motorcycle with a sidecar: ”The Outlaw Emmett Deemus”. At present, Larry's writing a feature and TV series for Emmett. -xxx-