Watkins grew up in Binghamton, making films from when he was a kid until he graduated high school and went to college. He was asked to leave Cornell, went into filmmaking at Oneonta State, became good friends with one of his professors -and made this crazy film about a pornographer who gets his revenge on people who've ripped him off. The film was edited and dubbed by Watkins at just under three hours when it was stolen from him, only to re-appear in theatres in the late 70's at a butchered hour and ten minutes. Released on home video in the 80's as The Fun House, the legend of the film only grew, supposively showing real murders on film. The imagery is impressive, including strange brutal murders, sadistic sex, abandoned factories, and a cow disembowlement at a local slaughterhouse. Finally in the early 21st century Watkins managed to get his hands back on the film and released it on DVD with the shortened film and all sorts of features telling the 30 year story of the film. His original is still missing.
During the 30 year period Watkins had directed and written a number of films as Richard Mahler, mostly a mixture of interesting stories with bad porn, where he directed the non-sex scenes. He wrote, Spittoon, a comedy which he was proud of until it was likewise butchered by its producers. All during this period he dealt with drug addiction and mental illness, living periodically in upstate, England, and throughout the United States. Watkins had become friends with many famous folks like Christopher Lee and Francis Ford Coppola during his life.
-written by joe
Editors Note: Here is a link to Roger Michael Watkin's profile on the Intenet Movie Database. Here is a link to his masterpiece, which IMDB refers to as "The Last House On Dead End Street" (1977). Here's a quote from a comment on the page:
"This movie is like walking in on someone's nightmare. I can best describe it as a mixture of Clockwork Orange, Last House on the Left and Bloodsucking Freaks. Sounds weird? It is."I think that's a compliment. Finally, here's a link to purchase the film.
-Posted by Jesse