Monday, October 20, 2008

TCM Uncovers Lost Cult Classic

Turner Classic Movies (TCM) has uncovered one of the world’s most sought-after cult films to kick off the latest season of its late-night movie showcase TCM UNDERGROUND. The World’s Greatest Sinner, Timothy Carey’s rock-and-roll satire about politics and religion, features a score by rock experimentalist Frank Zappa. The movie will make its cable television debut on TCM Friday, Oct. 24, at 11 p.m. (ET).

“TCM UNDERGROUND is a great showcase for this memorable example of underground filmmaking,” said Charles Tabesh, senior vice president of programming for TCM. “We are proud to be able to bring this rarely seen film to our viewers, especially at a time when its take on religious and political themes is quite timely. It’s also a great chance for viewers to enjoy music from Frank Zappa during his pre-Mothers of Invention days.”

The World’s Greatest Sinner is a film so underground, it doesn’t even register in most film guides and histories,” said Romeo Carey, son of the film’s producer-writer-director. “I’m thrilled TCM is able to give movies like this a chance to be seen.”

In The World’s Greatest Sinner, producer-writer-director Carey plays Clarence Hilliard, an insurance salesman who loses his job after telling potential customers that life insurance is pointless. He then starts preaching radical religious ideas to an ever-growing crowd, incorporating rock-and-roll music into his act and eventually declaring himself to be God. After drawing large crowds to his crazed performances, he catches the attention of a political boss and is soon put up as an independent candidate for President.

The World’s Greatest Sinner comes to TCM from Absolute Films and Romeo Carey, the son of the movie’s creator. This film has garnered a considerable cult following, despite never receiving a full national release. Much of the appeal is driven by Carey’s no-holds-barred performance and Zappa’s unique score.

In addition, notable voice-over artist Paul Frees provides the narration. And Ray Dennis Steckler, who won his own cult following with such films as Rat Pfink a Boo Boo and The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies, served as a cameraman.