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Tuesday, 7 April 2009

I Love Kelton " The Cop"

Some time ago myself and my good friend Vic had a dream to produce a film magazine. This was in a time before t'internet made obscure actors and movies easy to read about or see. A time when the Scala Cinema was the mecca for Cult Film Fans and before everything became got released on DVD. Anyway, one of our all time favourite subjects were the films of Ed Wood,Jr, who I am sure you are aware is supposedly the Worst Director Of All Time (Copyright Medved Bros 1980ish). So what better as a centre piece to our filmzine than an article about the great man. During our extensive research we discovered that the actor Paul Marco, who played a character known as Kelton the Cop in at least three of Wood's films was alive and had an address in the USA that you could write to him at. This was exciting news so we set about drafting a letter with questions from which his answers would form a centrepiece to our 'zine. I have recently discovered the original manuscript that we wrote on. Of interest is the fact that it was written on the back of five stapled together 'Grand Summer Draw 1989' raffle tickets for the1st/2nd Heston Scout Group.

We excitedly sent the finished letter of to the mysterious land of the Red Indians and eagerly waited for a reply...

A year or two down the line and all thoughts of magazines and hearing from Hollywood Superstars had been quietly forgotten, until out of the blue a curious envelope thudded onto welcome mat of Vic's parents house. It was from the States and in the corner was a small sticker stating " Kelton Productions Post Office Box 38666, Hollywood CA 90038". Could it be that after all this time the legendary Paul Marco had actually answered our questions? Vic raced round to my house as fast as the local Omnibus could take him and we excitedly opened the package...

Inside was the stuff of obscure American B Movie fans dreams. First was a personal letter, neatly typed on official 'Kelton Productions' paper that answered our questions, from what were probably his stock answers that he had repeated endlessly throughout his life. The letter, though, began on a sad note:
" Dear Vic,
It's been nearly a year since I received your kind letter. I apologize for the delay. I have had a series of personal tragedies, including deaths in the family, which has set me back. I do, however, keep all of my fan mail on file and answer it all personally..."
It was heartbreaking reading about the 'personal tragedies' and gave a warm glow in hearts to think that after all this bad stuff that happened he still took time to painstaking type a reply to a bunch of limey nerds like us. He goes on to answer our questions and finishes by saying that he is developing a comedy/mystery/horror TV show called, yup you guessed it, 'I LOVE KELTON "The Cop"'. As you can imagine this show never made it past the stage of his own fevered imagination.

There were more goodies in the envelope. A resume of his career complete with autograph in ill advised red ink:
Apart from the Ed Wood films 'Bride of the Monster', 'Plan 9 From Outer Space' and 'Night of the Ghouls' ( which Marco claims form the 'Kelton Trilogy'. This is the first time I have ever heard them called this...), he has not really done that much. He was one of the original 'Meglin Kiddies', no I have never heard of them either, and " New York, he appeared at a special bachelor party for The Amazing Spiderman at Nirvana Club One in Times Square...". Only one thing you can say to that... What the?!?!?!?

I realise that your adrenalin levels have peaked at the thought of all these thrilling Kelton items, but there was more to come from the envelope of delights, so brace yourself....

There was a cheap photo copied page detailing the merchandise you could get from his fan club. How I wish I had joined and received the quarterly newsletter and bumper stickers and... the I Love Kelton " The Cop " balloon. As we were dreaming of what such an item would look like, we discovered nestling at the bottom of the envelope was a red I Love Kelton " The Cop " balloon!

The balloon was treasured for many years until one day I discovered it in in the throes of advanced disintegration in the drawer of my bureau. The balloon, possibly the last (or only?) of its kind in the UK is no more.

Paul Marco (the President of his own fan club) is no longer with us, he finally met with the ultimate 'personal tragedy' in 2006. I feel proud that he spent a small part of his life to bring nerdish joy to the lives of two others...
His legacy lives on in this website dedicated to the great man. I would recommend looking at the 'Kelton's Patrol' section with photos of an aged Marco with various celebs, who we are supposed to imagine are his buddies. Sadly it appears that he has just stepped beside them and hurriedly had a picture taken before he gets hustled away by bouncers, my favourite being the one with Martin Landau...
Paul Marco, we love you.


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  3. So that's what happened to my letter. I was wondering where it was, you light-fingered rogue. I have one addendum to add: in addition to the red balloon you mention, I believe I was also sent a black "PLAN 9" balloon, which suffered a similar fate. I just clicked on the Marco site. I'd love a copy of that 45 with Criswell singing on the flipside, but strangely I could not find any way to actually order any of the "merchandise". Alas.