Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Jim Wynorski, aka Popatopolis

Jim Wynorski
Jim Wynorski is a crafty, and exceedingly thrifty, director of somewhat less-than-B-rated movies such as The Bare Wench Project, Sorority Party Massacre 2, and more. He chooses to work outside the Hollywood studio system and has shot entire films in as few as three days. Wynorski has directed numerous films under countless screen names but he is known within the industry as "Popatopolis." He got this name for his frequent usage of the direction, "Let's pop some tops!" when preparing to film topless scenes.

He sums-up his filmmaking philosophy thusly: "A Big Chase and a Big Chest."

Wynorski relocated to California in the 1980s, where he sought-out his filmmaking idol, Roger Corman. Corman hired Popatopolis to cut trailers for upcoming films. About six months into this, Corman approached him with a development deal which lead to Wynorski's cult classic, Chopping Mall.

Wynorski has experience in various movie-making roles and often acts as a kind of one-man media empire. While most of his recent releases have been on-demand titles, he made a plethora of straight-to-video exploitation flicks that did very well in cable syndication throughout the 1980s and '90s. His parsimony is so well-known that it inspired a documentary on his spartan filmmaking process. 

It was during this rise to prominence that he became known for casting busty, beautiful women in heroic, and unapologetically exploitative, leading roles. As though his pedigree weren't impressive enough, Jim Wynorski has worked with such B-movie goddesses as Julie Strain, Morgan Fairchild, and Heather Locklear. His modest, California apartment is literally packed with B-movies, mostly in VHS format.

Wynorski has experienced moderate success within the Hollywood system and it is unclear why he chooses to go the underground route, as it seems he should be able to find greater financial success than he has. While his films are often formulaic, his talent for filmmaking is undeniable. Jim Wynorski has a particular gift for editing, which he credits to his tutelage under Corman.

Copyright 2014, The Weirding

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