No Stopping The Stover
No Stopping The Stover
Release Date: June 21st, 2016
Starring: Fred Olen Ray, Dick Dyszel, Mark Redfield, Wayne Shipley, Chris LaMartina, Jimmy George, Kevin Kangas, Jennifer Rouse, Erik Kristopher Myers, Brad Twigg, Leanna Chamish and Nick Consol.
Directed by: Jeff Herberger
If all was right with the world (and the world, sadly kids, is seldom ever right) then George Stover would be a national treasure. To those of us who know his work and even, maybe, know the man, he is. He's an international treasure.
In the past few years, since I first saw his work and then, eventually when I met the man, I have done my very best to spread the legend of George Stover as far and wide as my little voice can carry.
I first became aware of him, through the work of Don Dohler (explanations and examples of who that is and who George is are scattered throughout the site in interviews, articles and podcasts... investigate!) and quickly absorbed as many of his films as possible, after that.
In recent years the Baltimore independent scene, a thriving and fascinating collection of awesome film-makers, has seen a couple documentaries about its various stars:
Don Dohler - Blood, Boobs & Beast by John Kinhart
Dick Dyszel (Count Gore De Vol) - Every Other Day is Halloween by C.W. Prather
It was high time then that George got one too.
I can't have been the only one thinking it because one day an e-mail dropped into my inbox asking if I would like to take part in one. This made me very, very happy.
I am just a big fan with a silly website and some friends who share the same tastes and yet, thanks in no small part to Robert Long from smashortrashindiefilmmaking.com, the Baltimore Indie scene has been incredibly supportive and welcoming. I have met George, consider him a friend and it was an incredible honour, along with my fell "Dohlerite" Nick Consol, to be included in this celebration of his life's work (for now - there are many more years of Stover brilliance to come!)
The documentary is fast, fun and celebratory. There is little to no talk about George's upbringing, work away from the movies or life in general and rather it is a chronological look at the highlights of his career with interviews with as many of the key players as possible.
The only story, which is told by George and his friends, that isn't about his creative endeavors is the harrowing tale of George's brush with death when he was shot in his basement by a man robbing his house. We here at the After Movie Diner were all incredibly grateful when George recovered, it takes more than that to take down George Stover. There's no stopping him!
And there's no stopping him in the acting stakes either!
As the documentary shows through great use of clips, interviews and images, from his earliest roles either on stage or in John Waters films, George Stover hasn't stopped acting. 84 roles and counting!
As an introduction to George Stover I am not sure exactly how well the documentary works. If you weren't aware of any of the Baltimore film-makers or actors you might, initially, be a little lost. However, if you have seen a John Waters, Don Dohler, Lee Doll or Chris LaMartina film, then this is an indispensable guide to the man, the myth, the legend and his work. It was definitely one of those docs I watched and made notes saying "Right I have to track that film down and that film and that film..." So much Stover still to see!
Director and Producer Jeff Herberger and Producer Lee Doll have done a great job, overall. The pace is up, the humour is front and center, it's shot well, the sound is good, the interviews are interesting and, with only really a couple of exceptions, everyone who could, has shown up and taken part. A documentary with a bigger budget or bigger awareness might have been able to get John Waters or Mink Stole to show up (and really they should've shown up anyway!) but, that aside, it has a wonderful feeling of a community and a family getting around to praise and discuss a man who is too humble to go looking to be honoured, but deserves every honour going!
You can BUY No Stopping The Stover HERE
You can hear my recent interview with George and his thoughts on the documentary HERE