Death at the hands of Troma is what you get when you “Beat the Geeks.” At least, that’s what filmmaker Paul J. Salamoff (Unbakeable) got when he trampled the Horror Geek and arose victorious on Comedy Central’s game show. But grisly deaths, not even the kind that Troma is adept at dishing out, are nothing new to Salamoff as he’s been killed time and time again in various horror films throughout the past thirteen years of his career as a special effects make up artist. So when the time came for Paul to claim his Grand Prize (along with a surround sound system, a flat screen monitor and the complete library of Troma DVDs), death in a Troma film, he decided to sweeten the deal a bit by offering to write, produce and direct the murder sequence. Troma quickly agreed and I soon found myself on the set of Paul Salamoff’s death for Troma’s new film, “Tales from the Crapper.”
It all started with a phone call. Apparently, a friend had referred the folks over at “Beat the Geeks” to Paul and they were quick to call up the make up effects artist. Having seen the show and knowing that he could clean house (just like we all think when we watch that show), Paul agreed to show up at the studio for a test run. In order to make sure contestant hopefuls are worthy of the Geeks, they do a test run through of the show. Paul gave it everything he had and aced the test. But it wasn’t until he was doing work on the “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” DVD that he got the acceptance call. “How ironic is that,” Paul remarked. “I was standing in Buffy’s living room when I got the call on my cell phone that I was going to be on ‘Beat the Geeks.’ It doesn’t get much geekier than that.”
According to Paul, the Mystery Geek remains just that – a mystery – until the day of the show. Being a major horror fanatic all his life, and professing to have seen just about every damn horror film out there, Paul was hoping this mystery man would turn out to be the Horror Geek instead of the Bond Geek or the Star Trek Geek. And as luck would have it, on the day of taping, Paul found himself faced with the Horror Geek. Holding his own against the Geeks (avoiding the Music Geek like the plague) and fighting it out tooth and nail with one of the other contestants, Salamoff found himself going into the final round where he challenged his arch-nemesis – the Horror Geek. Once again, Salamoff held his own, baring his extensive knowledge of horror cinema to all of cable watching America, but it was his final question that potentially could’ve proven to be his downfall. The question was – “In ‘The Changeling,’ how did the boy in the wheelchair die and who killed him?” Do you guys know that one, because I certainly don’t and if it weren’t for Salamoff coincidentally seeing the film for the very first time about a week before, he wouldn’t have know either. But good fortune smiled down upon Salamoff once again and the Horror Geek was defeated.
Get the rest of the story in part two of FROM “BEAT THE GEEKS” STRAIGHT TO “THE CRAPPER”>>>