Monday, August 29, 2011

Pookerland Features Pair of Detroit Music Legends

In the 1980s, punk rock band Heresy was a force to be reckoned with in Motown. Lead singer Tim King helped popularize the “liberty spikes” mohawk look and much later on, after hanging it up in 1991, took part in an unlikely 2005 reunion concert at the punk-challenged age of 50.

Meanwhile, even though Mitch Ryder's time in the limelight was two decades earlier, with 1960s hits “Devil with the Blue Dress” and “Sock It To Me," he is still performing. Next month, Ryder will take a break from to join King on the set of Pookerland, an independent drama shooting in suburban Detroit, to film a small walk-on role.

King, who previously made a couple of shorts with writer-producer Scott Galeski, has the lead role of an ex-con trying to get to know his 15-year-old granddaughter upon his release from jail. By day, Galeski is a policeman in Wyandotte, a small community eleven miles south of Detroit that is part of an area known as “Downriver."

Still going strong at age 66

Wyandotte is best known in cinematic celebrity terms as the birthplace of Lee Majors and the childhood hometown of Lucille Ball. The participation of Ryder (pictured) is obviously a coup; he tells local newspaper The Herald that donating his services to Pookerland was a no-brainer:

“The appeal for me is that it’s a Michigan project using Michigan talent,” Ryder said of his decision to be involved... “I was involved with movies a long time ago, and I know the difficulties of doing a project like this.”

Ryder's best known film appearance was as a performer in the 1967 Martin Scorsese drama Who's That Knocking at My Door. The first-time director of Pookerland, Brion Dodson, met Galeski at the now shuttered Lifton Film Institute, while Louisa Concessi, who plays the role of King's love interest, is an attorney being guided into the sideline of acting by Galeski.

This very intriguing film is slated to arrive in the fall of 2012.

[Photo of Ryder taken from Facebook community page]