Jaycee Dugard's Inspirational Tale to Get Grindhouse Treatment
On one hand, the inevitable Lifetime adaptation of Jaycee Dugard's story -- kidnapped at age 11, held captive for 18 years by a sex offender to whom she bore two kids, reunited last summer with her family -- might not yield quite the cinematic punch that such an extraordinary tale of psychological torment and survival could produce on the big screen. On the other, it's a relatively happy alternative compared to the adaptation one gonzo filmmaker says he has in store.
In all fairness, it's hard not to laugh while browsing some of writer/producer/director/editor/cinematographer/actor Shane Ryan's resume at IMDB. It's also hard to believe: 15 films in six years, stacked tall like the oeuvre of some grindhouse Herzog, featuring titles like Amateur Porn Star Killer (parts one through 3-D!), Big Boobs, Blonde Babes, Bad Blood, Warning!!! Pedophile Released, and now, right there at the top, Abducted Girl: An American Sex Slave. The latter film, now in development for 2010, is admittedly based on the Dugard story, with Ryan telling a Sacramento TV station that he "wants to focus on the relationship between Dugard and Phillip Garrido" -- the 58-year-old registered sex offender charged with kidnapping, raping and imprisoning Dugard for 18 years in his tented-in backyard.
Too soon? Like, forever? Yes, says Dugard's family, whose spokeswoman on Tuesday issued a statement calling the proposed project "exploitive, hurtful and breathtakingly unkind." Some reports label Ryan a pornographer and Abducted Girl an adult film, but that doesn't seem to be his tack. Rather, he's just a garden-variety purveyor of schlock whose bit parts and extra work -- including his coveted 2003 role as "Raven's Psychic Classmate" on That's So Raven -- haven't delivered quite the career boost they promised.
But at least he's sort of living the dream, which must count for something, right? If even Roger Corman could finally earn an Oscar, then certainly the director of Sex Kids Party aka The More the Better can follow that trail with just the right blend of mayhem, exploitation and pathos. Only 54 more years -- and probably a lawsuit or two -- to go, pal.