Lost, but now found!
Rockaday Richie was written and produced by Don Gronquist and directed by George Hood, son of Frank Hood, the founder of the all important Teknifilm Lab.
It is screening on Feb. 6, 7:00 PM at the Whitsell Auditorium, as part of the Essential Northwest series. Admission is pay what you wish.
Both filmmakers will be present.
The 1970’s saw the re-emergence of wholly independent feature filmmaking in the Rose City. Here’s the timeline:
Tom Moyers, Jr. and Will Vinton make The Circle in 1972
Don Gronquist and George Hood make Rockaday Richie and the Queen of the Hop in 1974 (For film scholars: I recommend Tim Smith’s thematically related The Case Of The Kitchen Killer , made in Portland the same year, for a great double feature)
Don Zavin makes Fast Break in 1977
Gus Van Sant makes Mala Noche in 1985
And then we were off and running.
Here’s more information, from NW Film Center:
VISITING ARTIST—Made at the same time as Terrence Malick’s BADLANDS, ROCKADAY (nationally released in 1975 as B-titled STARK RAVING MAD) is based on the infamous Starkweather-Fugate murder spree in 1958. Portland actors Russ Fast and Marcie Severson star as the pair who left a disastrous trail of carnage from Nebraska throughout the Midwest as they desperately tried to cover up one killing with another. Written and co-produced (with Tiger Warren) by Don Gronquist and shot by John Mincey, a large cross-section of the Portland film community worked on the film, which was also George Hood’s first feature. “A compelling, if modest, work … neither high-brow nor exploitation. Fast has a brooding presence and is genuinely chilling. … Severson has natural screen charm.”—Variety (88 mins.)
Brian Lindstrom comments “An underrated film! Truly worth seeing. Will make any independent filmmaker proud.”
Although I excuse myself from seeing Rockaday Richie and the Queen of the Hop because of my wimpy dislike of serial murdering, I do claim it as an Oregon film, based on the location shooting and the Oregon citizenship of the artists.