Jeff Krulik’s The Fanboy
It’s safe to say that Jeff Krulik is my favorite documentary filmmaker of all time. The video embedded above is a pilot Krulik shot for a proposed TV show called Neat Stuff that never got picked up. It features Jose Behar as “The Fanboy” who shows off his action figure collection and gets a tour of that mall staple, Spencer Gifts. It’s also doubly safe to say that Neat Stuff is a show that, were I a cable network executive, I would have green-lit without hesitation. I’d even go so far as to launch a 24-hour-a-day Jeff Krulik cable channel, which is probably why nobody ever offers me a job as a network executive, but also why they should.
Krulik did have one TV show on the air. He and John Heyn were executive producers on Parking Lot, a show based on their underground classic Heavy Metal Parking Lot in which the weirdos hanging outside various concert and convention arenas are interviewed. Sadly, the show only lasted one season on the Trio network. Trio itself was also totally obliterated from the airwaves, the result of which I can only assume was because they didn’t show more Jeff Krulik TV shows.
Neat Stuff also looks to me to be an extension of another group of films that I would call Krulik’s “King of …” movies. Actually I think there’s only two films in this “series.” One is King of Porn, which is about the ultimate porno collector, Ralph Wittington. You can find this short on the excellent Xperimental Eros compilation DVD from Other Cinema. Krulik’s other “King of …” film is Obsessed With Jews, which is about a guy who collects tons of Jewish memorabilia. I saw this at the 2000 New York Underground Film Festival, but I don’t think it’s available on DVD.
Also, my favorite bit in the Fanboy video above is when he shows off his Oscar Goldman action figure, which reminds me of the scene in The 40-Year-Old Virgin in which Seth Rogen spies the same toy in Steve Carell’s apartment and asks, “Is that the Six Million Dollar Man’s boss?” Except, the Fanboy video was shot in the mid-’90s and Virgin came out about ten years later in 2005.
See, that’s why Jeff Krulik needs his own TV show. He’s obviously way, way ahead of his time with each of his projects. If you’re a network executive who is reading this, go visit Krulik’s website for more info.