“I Killed My Lesbian Wife, Hung Her on a Meathook, and Now I Have a Three Picture Deal at Disney”

By on June 27, 2015

The title speaks for itself: this is actually the full-title of Ben Affleck’s first movie as director, made while he was a student at Occidental College in 1993.

More about that film in a sec.

Ben Affleck’s name was in the news earlier this week when it was announced by PBS on Wednesday, June 24th, that they were postponing the third season of the ancestry-exploring docus-eries “Finding Your Roots” after it was discovered that the show edited an episode about Ben Affleck’s family tree to remove all references of the actor’s slave-owning ancestors. In a statement, PBS said they would not run the upcoming season until staffing changes – including the hiring of a fact checker – were made on the series hosted by Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Affleck apparently didn’t want the world to know that he had an ancestor who kept slaves, and back in April he apologized, saying, “I was embarrassed. The very thought [of such an ancestor] left a bad taste in my mouth.”

However, as far as we know, he hasn’t yet offered up an apology for this film, his first attempt at directing.

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Jay Lacopo in Affleck’s student film I Killed My Lesbian Wife, Hung Her on a Meathook, and Now I Have a Three Picture Deal at Disney

He did, however, five years ago, tell Entertainment Weekly :

“It’s a 13-minute film and stars a friend of mine, Jay Lacopo, who’s now a writer. It’s horrible. It’s atrocious. I knew I wanted to be a director, and I did a couple of short films, and this is the only one that haunts me. I’m not proud of it. It looks like it was made by someone who has no prospects, no promise.”

We’re sorry, but that doesn’t sound like an apology to us.

In case you’re wondering about the film itself, it’s about a first-time director/writer/producer who also happens to be a homicidal misogynist, and he’s tied up his wife, who can be seen hanging from the ceiling. He’s in the midst of casting the lead actress for his movie. Some other stuff happens, but we didn’t watch it all the way through.

We’re kinda wondering now what Affleck might have said if a first-time director presented the very same movie idea on the HBO show Project Greenlight,” which is coming back to the HBO network for a fourth season, according to this article from last year… would he have said that looks like a film made by someone with “no prospects, no promise.”

We’ll go ahead and speak for Affleck on our own, then, and simply say to those of you who might be tempted to watch this first film effort: “We’re sorry.”

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To be fair, Affleck only really gets the credit for directing, the screenplay was written by Lacopo, who starred in the short film. By the way, Affleck didn’t attend Occidental for very long, where he had studied Middle Eastern studies: he dropped out after just one year, after a creative writing instructor at Occidental ridiculed his early draft of a screenplay he’d written with Matt Damon, called Good Will Hunting, about a troubled math genius, although the first draft was a thriller about a young man in the rough-and-tumble streets of South Boston who possesses a superior intelligence and was targeted by the FBI to become a G-Man.

In addition to Damon, Affleck had befriended other aspiring actors, including Cole Hauser, Rory Cochrane and Matthew McConaughey, living together with these dudes in apartments all over the L.A. area, and he ended up appearing with the last three — playing a jock Texas asshole — in Dazed and Confused, which re-started his acting character (he’d been a child actor, first appearing in small roles and TV commercials in the late 70s).

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Then, just a few years later, Good Will Hunting, written with Matt Damon (with some help from William Goldman and others along the way, including execs at the film studio, who encouraged them to drop the silly FBI stuff), won Affleck his first Oscar.

Come to think of it, this is the second Night Flight post we’ve done where an actor has disavowed working on a movie with the word “lesbian” in the title. Our advice to future filmmakers: don’t put the word lesbian in the title of your film if you want to be seen as someone with prospects and promise.

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About Bryan Thomas

Bryan Thomas has been a freelancing writer/critic for All Music Guide, and a contributor to Launch, Music Connection, Big Takeover and numerous other publications and entertainment websites, blogs and zines, most of them long gone. He's written more than sixty sets of liner notes. He’s also worked for over twenty years at mostly reissue record labels -- prior to that he worked in bookstores and record stores, going all the way back to the original vinyl daze. He lives in the Miracle Mile neighborhood of Los Angeles, CA.