“Somebody destroyed my ice cream maker.”

One of the films I’m most sad about missing at Sundance is Shut Up, Little Man, a movie that began as audio tapes recorded by two guys who’d moved from Wisconsin to San Francisco, whose elderly neighbors would have bizarre, drunken arguments at all hours of the night. I had the same idea when I used to record my mom and stepdad having sex, but oh no, I’m the weird one.  Here’s the run down:

The two friends in question are Eddie Lee Sausage [perfectly normal name, nothing to see here… -Ed] and Mitchell Deprey and their neighbors were Peter Haskett and Raymond Huffman. The year is 1987 and every night, Peter and Raymond would get super drunk and scream at each other. Peter would tell Ray to “Shut up, little man” and Ray would spout homophobic slurs at Peter. This would happen at all hours of the day and Eddie and Mitch recorded about 14 hours in total.

They let their friend hear the tapes, and then through cassette tape dubbing and exchange, the tapes spread all over the world, inspiring comic books, plays, art, movies and more. Shut Up Little Man tells this whole story, follows up on the current whereabouts of Peter and Ray, talks to people who were inspired by the tapes and even gets into the three competing movie adaptations that were happening simultaneously. [SlashFilm]

After the jump, I’ve got a couple puppet-reenacted snippets from the tapes.   Some of my favorite lines:

“Somebody destroyed my ice cream maker.”

“Oh, you wanna stick me with that fork?”

“I am not going to die.  I will tell you if I’m… dead.”

The worst was on Christmas 1987. It was our first Christmas away from home, and we were feeling pretty forlorn. Pete and Ray started a mammoth fight and before you know it, it spilled out onto the veranda in front of our place and Peter threw Ray over the railing down some 15 feet below onto the cement. The ambulance came and took the little man away. “Merry Christmas, Ray.” [an old interview with Eddie Lee]

My biggest regret in life is that no one was there to record it when I had to stop my old roommate (also in San Francisco, probably-not-coincidentally) from choking his girlfriend while blackout drunk and butt naked.  I could be rich instead of emotionally scarred.