Within the heart of every Star Wars fan is a little voice dying to spew his views about the “Star Wars” that once was. To some, good old George has taken the once sacred saga and turned it into a CG enriched mess of plastic plots and acting as bad as the decade of Steve Gutenberg. To put it frankly, Star Wars fans are mad as hell and they’re not going to take it anymore! One such fan is director Damon Packard. Armed with only a Mac and some miscellaneous behind the scenes footage, Packard’s “The Untitled Star Wars Mocumentary” is a hilarious fuck you about not only the state of the Star Wars saga, but also that of the CG loaded blockbuster.
Witness the sheer hilarity of the typical behind the scenes DVD doc gone terribly wrong. Vanished is the stale, “What a great time it was to work with/kiss ass to…” and inserted is everything as evil as the Dark Lord himself. From disgruntled Star Wars employees about to loose their minds to the machine of Lucasfilm, to the latest CG recruits required to bellow the brainwashing chant, “CGI rules… CGI rules.” Packard cleverly cuts scenes from the real Star Wars DVD docs while mixing in his own footage. The result is a sarcastic and comical commentary on how special effects have finally become first priority over compelling stories in Hollywood. The mockumentary verbally and visually strikes at every corner, never letting its fist of fury down.
The best example takes place when two Lucasfilm working stiffs use a combination of CG technology and homeless people to create some of the action packed battle scenes from Attack Of The Clones. By shooting real homeless people wielding knives and blending it with space age computer technology, they explain that the result is nothing less then the greatest war scene on celluloid. Packard on the other hand sees it as nothing more than another advertisement for the latest PS2 shoot ’em up game of the month gimmick.
There is something here to offend everyone associated with big time Hollywood; the computer wizard turned special effect lackey, the yes men who kiss ass to all above them, and the director that’s gone mentally mad with power. The mock’s only moment of slight disappointment comes from scattered jokes of a pornographic nature, which might throw fans for a loop. Remember, you’ve been warned.
All done in good fun, “The Untitled Star Wars Mocumentary” is something that all disgruntled Starwoids have been salivating for. The film leaves us with a creative, but disturbing obituary of George Lucas, who by the mock’s point of view, died in 1977. Even though this is the work of Packard’s sick and twisted humor, some fans would feel he’s not far from the truth.
Packard first became seriously involved with film at the age of 11. Packard spent his teens and twenties working on experimental shorts while supporting himself variously as a movie theater usher, security specialist and wrist-watch salesman. His early Super 8 efforts included The Afterlife and Amazing Stories (1982–84), starring his friend/collaborator Paul Trainor, son of producer/casting director Chris Trainor, who was partners with Miles O’Keeffe known for films such as Ator, The Blade Master, and Lone Runner. His first notable effort was Dawn of an Evil Millennium (1988) which he partly produced as a 30-minute short for a film class and featured Miles O’Keeffe in small role. This was followed by other shorts such as Apple (1992), an elfquest-inspired fantasy film made in Hawaii while living in a tent for two years. In 1999, he made The Early 70’s Horror Trailer, which included an early appearance by independent film actress Rachel Galvin.
After struggling for years to complete films out of pocket, living in cars and tents, Packard received a large inheritance when a relative died. He spent the inheritance on Reflections of Evil (2002), a long treatise on contemporary American paranoia. The film featured Packard himself as an obese, overwrought watch salesman. Packard pressed 23,000 DVD copies of the film and made them available for free. He also sent thousands of them to celebrities, whose reactions were recorded on his website. In the January/February 2006 issue of Film Comment, Reflections of Evil made the Editor’s List for Best of 2005.
His Reflections spoof of a young Steven Spielberg, a director he claimed to admire, was matched by his later assault on George Lucas in Packard’s film The Untitled Star Wars Mockumentary (2003). The film intercut actual footage of Lucas with staged shots of disgruntled Lucasfilm employees.
Packard remains relatively obscure to the public, He is known for his sharp and highly pessimistic view of the movie business, often commenting on how directors have no control of their work and that artistic vision is sacrificed for profit. He also claims that creativity in film largely vanished after the end of the 1970s. Nevertheless, Packard says he admires the recent work of Lars Von Trier and Alexander Sokurov among others.
In May 2007, Packard completed SpaceDisco One. SpaceDisco One was screened at the New York Film Festival on October 6, 2007 and was also selected for the Hollywood Film Festival, The Lausanne Fest Switzerland, Lincoln Film Center NY, Berkeley Fest, Tulsa Overground, The Dark Room San Francisco, Il Corral L.A., Union Gallery London, and many other through 2007.
As of May 2009 Packard completed his latest, Tales of the Valley of the Wind based on Hayao Miyazaki’s Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind. At press time, the film was screened at the 2009 Antimatter Fest in Victoria BC in addition to a 4-week show at Union Gallery in London.
In 2011, Packard began work on his long-gestating feature Foxfur, about a young girl involved with aliens from the Billy Meier contacts. “Foxfur” premiered at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood on July 21, 2012.
In 2014 Packard made “John Carpenter’s Corpse” for Severin Films, which will be released as part of a feature called Betamax”.
In late 2014 he began working on a new feature film then known as “The Untitled Yuppie Fear Thriller”. It premiered at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood on June 1st, 2018 using the alternate titles “Fatal Pulse” and “Night Pulse”.
Packard often collaborates with Actor Khris Kaneff on popular YouTube mini films.
Among these titles are Khrujo, Khreverse and The 2009 Packard Kaneff Halloween Special.