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Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies LA Presents: Celebrated Biographer Jimmy McDonough In Conversation with Kier-La Janisse

Wednesday, May 10, 2023 | Events, News

On Wednesday, May 31 Miskatonic L.A. will host Live From Miskatonic: Author Jimmy Mcdonough In Conversation at the Philosophical Research Society in Los Feliz. In addition, on Thursday, June 1st, Miskatonic and PRS present The Films Of The Ormond Family: If Footmen Tire You, What Will Horses Do? + The Burning Hell – With Author Jimmy Mcdonough In-person with new restorations of the surreal, religion-inspired features from the outsider filmmakers, newly restored and presented by Nicolas Winding Refn in conjunction with the release of Mcdonough’s new book on the family, The Exotic Ones.

You’ve read his warts-and-all biographies. You’ve reveled in their fiery prose and pulsating detail. Maybe you’ve even seen him in Tales from the Tour Bus, talking George Jones in cartoon form. But tonight you will see him in the flesh, and you will bear witness to the testimony of the mad biographer himself!

From art school to 42nd street, where he co-edited seminal Deuce chronicle Sleazoid Express, McDonough went on to fashion one of the most rich and colorful careers in pop culture history. He did time in the editing rooms of Radley Metzger and Brian DePalma before music writing for The Village Voice led to twin trajectories, penning definitive biographies of some of the biggest names in popular music – Neil Young, Tammy Wynette, Al Green – while also trawling the gutters of exploitation cinema to give voice to misunderstood iconoclasts like Russ Meyer and Andy Milligan.

We’ll head deep into Milligan country as we revisit anecdotes from McDonough’s groundbreaking and personal account, The Ghastly One (a perennial favorite of artists as varied as John Waters and Patton Oswalt). We’ll discuss the libido-igniting Ormond Family picture that sent McDonough on a 35-year mission to tell the story of vaudevillian, UFO enthusiast and shrewd no-budget producer June Ormond and her odd family of filmmakers. Maybe he’ll even share a taste of the Southern gothic tragedy next on his plate: a biography of honky-tonk singer Gary Stewart.

McDonough’s is a wild story full of lawsuits, betrayal, broken hearts, and most importantly for our purposes, MOVIES – from the swamps to Staten Island, from skid row to the Hollywood hills and straight up to heaven itself.

“Does anybody out there remember F. Lee Bailey’s Lie Detector show? That’s how I envision this interview. I hope Janisse will grill me unmercifully. For I intend to TELL ALL and let loose every bat in the belfry! Because I am KING of the Crazy Biographers! Hallelujah!” – Jimmy McDonough

Copies of Jimmy’s new book THE EXOTIC ONES – in a gorgeous, fully illustrated limited slipcover edition from FAB Press and ByNWR – will be available for purchase in the lobby alongside the paperback edition of THE GHASTLY ONE, or you can get a ticket bundle that includes a copy of THE EXOTIC ONES, to guarantee you have one waiting for you!

Grace Detwiler
Rue Morgue's Online Assistant Editor - Grace Detwiler (@finalgirlgrace) is a freelance film journalist and law student. Her original work can be found on her blog, FinalGirlGrace, as well as in Rue Morgue's print and online publications.