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Apar Films Reviewed


WHAT'S AN APAR?


By TOM SOTERDoherty (with camera) and Apar cast members on location in 1973.Doherty (with camera) and (left to right) Tom Sinclair, Tom Soter, and Charles Daggs on location for The New Theft of Reason in 1973.

After making dozens (or was it hundreds?) of TR shows, Alan Saly, Tom Sinclair, and I gathered in front of Christian Doherty's super-8 camera to make action movies under the name Apar Films. Usually, the plots were simple: Saly and Sinclair would chase Soter (WISHING YOU WERE DEAD), or Soter and Sinclair would chase Saly (THE THEFT OF REASON), or Saly and Soter would chase Sinclair (PRESSURE POINT). Then there was the occasional innovation: Sinclair without Saly chasing Soter (GUN FOR HENRY), or even Doherty, as actor and director, chasing Soter (THIS WILL REALLY KILL YOU and MAKE A WISH).

Some could see the movies as metaphors for life. Others might call them exercises in action-packed illogic. I think they were a good way to get some exercise.

And they're also really, really well done.

Evan Jones in action.Evan Jones in action.Watch:
The Jake Rock Incident

Clayton Rogers and the Palfarganian Menace
Produced arid directed by Christian Doherty. Screenplay by Dan O'Dey. Distributed by Apar Films. Running time: 20 minutes. Filmed: 1970. Clayton Rogers: Tom Sinclair. King: Tom Soter. Warlock: Alan Saly.Warlock's Aid: Charles Daggs

Planet of the Muggers
Produced and directed by Christian Doherty. Screenplay by Dan O'Dey. Distributed by Apar Films. Running time: 10 minutes. Filmed: 1970. Clayton Rogers: Tom Sinclair. Mugger #1: Alan Saly. Mgger#2: Greg Manning. Head Mugger: Tom Soter.

Wishing You Were Dead
Produced by Moe Tel. Directed by Christian Doherty. Screenplay by Alan Saly. Distributed by Apar Films. Running tiIne: 20 minutes. Filmed: 1971. Henry Sorelli: Alan Saly. Assassin: Tom Sinclair. Victim: Tom Soter. Father: Dan O'Dey
The first of the Henry Sorelli movies has a split personality: the first two-thirds is one of Doherty's first and most inspired chases as a man in a brown blazer (Tom Soter) is pursued by a black man dressed in white (Tom Sinclair) and a white man dressed in black (Alan Saly) over hills, by the water, up steps, and up against a wall. It is witty and simple, with a satisfying shocker of an ending. The problem is that it doesn't end there: the last third introduces Henry Sorelli, a top spy, who is asked to investigate the events of the first part of the film. The problem is that the actors from the first two-thirds all play different characters in the last third. Saly, the villain, is now Sorelli, the hero; Soter, the victim, is now John Bastard, the villain (and also a hit man); and Alan Saly as Henry Sorelli.Alan Saly as Henry Sorelli.Sinclair, the villain, seems to play both hero and villain. Only completists need watch the entire film; the rest of us can stick with the brilliant chase sequence that demonstrates Doherty's early skills (it is even more impressive when you realize it was all cut in-camera).

Visual Horror

Produced and directed by Christian Doherty. Screenplay by Dan O'Dey. Distributed by Apar Films. Running time: 4.26. Filmed: 1971. Man 1: Alan Saly. Man 2: Tom Soter.
This bizarre, plot-less film was one of Doherty’s first, a surreal collection of random images of violence as two young men try to destroy each other. Judging by the views on YouTube, it is among his most popular works.

Gun for Henry
Produced by Moe Tel. Directed by Christian Doherty. Screenplay by Rob O'Dey. Distributed by Apar Films. Running time: 10 minutes. Filmed: 1971. Henry Sorelli: Alan Saly. Victim: Tom Soter. Assassin: Tom Sinclair. Father: Dan O'Dey

Jason Rogers (The Return of Mooseman)
Produced by Dan 0' Dey. Directed by Christian Doherty. Screenplay by Rob, 0' Dey, based on characters created by Tom Sinclair. Distributed by Apar Films. Running time: 10 minutes. Filmed: 1971. Jason Rogers: Christian Doherty. Pilot: Alan Saly. Thug #1: Tom Sinclair. Thug #2: Tom Soter.

Blue (I Am Invisible)
Produced by Moe Tel. Directed by Christian Doherty. Screenplay by Tom Sinclair. Distributed by Apar Films. Running time: 10 minutes. Filmed: 1971. Henry Sorelli: Alan Saly. Assassin: Tom Sinclair. Henry's Fiance: Leslie Parker. No.1: Tom Soter. Father: Dan O'Dey.

We Have All the Time in the World
Produced by William Tobias. Directed by Christian Doherty. Screenplay by Doherty. Distributed by Apar Films. Running time: 20.34. Filmed 1971. Henry Sorelli: Alan Saly. Howard: Tom Sinclair. Assassin: Tom Soter. Father: Dan O'Dey. Picture: Sean Connery.
The fourth of the Henry Sorelli spy pictures, this plotless tale is hardly pointless, as Henry tries to survive in a world of shaky-cams, swish pans, and overexposed footage. Highlights: the "trash-the-place" fight, Henry's meal, and the rubber alligator from the earlier (and remarkably similar) VISUAL HORROR.
Tom Soter and Evan Jones.Tom Soter and Evan Jones.
The Man with the Golden Bullet
Produced by Brian Williams and Joseph Wilson. Directed by Christian Doherty. Screenplay by Tom Soter and Christian Doherty. Music by Nick Soter. Distributed by Apar Films. Running time: 23.37. Filmed: 1971. Henry Sorelli: Alan SaJy. Marie: Cam Doherty. Dr. Life: Tom Soter. Dr. Death: Tom Sinclair. Assassin: Christian Doherty.
The fifth in the Henry Sorelli spy movie series, this installment finds Henry (Alan Saly) trying to recover his girlfriend (Cameron Doherty) from the assassins Dr. Life (Tom Soter) and Dr. Death (Tom Sinclair). Highlights: the roof sequence, the playground fight, and Nick Soter’s memorable title tune (“He’s a rough one, the golden bullet man/Quite a tough one known throughout the land”), which you’ll be humming by movie’s end.


The Place

Produced by Moe Tel. Directed by Christian Doherty. Screenplay by Alan Saly and Tom Soter from the story by Doherty. Distributed by Columbia Films. Running time: 9.14. Filmed: 1972. Harrap: Tom Sinclair. Silas: Alan Saly. Reporter: Tom Soter.
This offbeat horror story - Doherty's expressionist take on a Twilight Zone-style tale – is a fascinating and bizarre portrait of a man on the edge of madness, all set in a castle in Mayberry! No chases, no guns, a lot of long takes, and, of course, some crazy violence.

This Will Really Kill You
Produced by Moe Tel. Directed by Christian Doherty. Screenplay by Doherty based on characters created by Tom Sinclair. Distributed by Savoy Films. Running time: 15 minutes. Filmed: 1972. Jason Rogers: Christian Doherty. Girlfriend: Emily Gould. Killer: Evan Jones. Big Guy: Charles Daggs. Victims: Lisa Volpe, Alan Saly, Peter Nagykery, Sally Praeger, Doug Picirillo, Tom Sinclair, Tom Soter.

You Made Me Hate Myself
Produced by William Tobias. Direcbed by Christian Doherty. Screenplay by Doherty and Tom Soter. Distributed by Apar Films. Running time: 23.10. Filmed: 1972. Evan: Evan Jones. Tom: Tom Soter. Emily: Emily Gould. Police Officer: Chet Doherty. Inspector: Alan Saly. Lisa: Lisa Volpe. Little Girl: Sally Praeger.
One of Doherty's most bizarre – and disturbing – movies. It features the frequent star of the director's later movies, Evan Jones, as a maladjusted serial murderer of his wife (Emily Gould), a prostitute, and various other women. It is unusual because of its lack of the regular Apar cast (Tom Soter is the nominal hero, Alan Saly has a bit part, and Tom Sinclair is nowhere to be seen) and its obsession with violence against women. It's no longer spy movie stuff but an attempt at somethig psychologically deep. Best sequence: the party.Apar Films stock company.Cast of Don't Live for Tomorrow.

The Theft of Reason
Produced by Moe Tel. Directed by Christian Doherty. Screenplay by Doherty. Distributed by Apar Films. Running time: 11.33 . Robber: Alan Saly. Pursuers: Tom Soter, Tom Sinclair.
A bank robber (Alan Saly) defies two bizarre cops (Tom Sinclair, Tom Soter) to capture or kill him if they can. Directed in gritty, handheld style by Christian Doherty, the short film finds the hunted and the hunters traveling from the Upper West Side of Manhattan to the Statue of Liberty in the director's patented logic-be-damned-isn't-this-shot-​great? style.

Don't Live for Tomorrow: The Central Park Affair
Directed by Christian Doherty. Filmed: 1973. Cast: Alan Saly, Tom Soter, Evan Jones, Cameron Doherty. This short thriller derived from Doherty's mammoth final Henry Sorelli film Don't Live for Tomorrow has what the full movie lacks: simplicity. It's a plotless, pointless, but completly satisfying chase sequence in Central Park as Henry (Saly) runs, jumps, and absorbs punches but never fires a shot at the two crazies (Soter, Jones) who are trying to kill him. Ron Myrvik at Barking Tiger International did the superb 2009 sound edit. With Cameron Doherty as the treacherous girlfriend Marie (last seen as a more innocent character in The Man with the Golden Bullet (1971).

Soter and Doherty: Make a WishSoter and Doherty: Make a Wish Make a Wish
Produced by Tom Soter. Directed by Christian Doherty. Screenplay by Doherty and Tom Sinclair, based on characters created by Sinclair. Distributed by Savoy Productions. Running time: 24.47. Filmed: 1973/Completed: 2008. Jason Rogers: Christian Doherty. Bob: Tom Soter. Marie: Leslie Smith. Flame: Cathy Cramer. The Big Guy: Alan Saly.
Filmed and edited in 1973, this late Doherty gem sat unfinished until 2008 when, at the instigation of Apar archivist Tom Soter, Tom Sinclair provided a scriptful of words to match the silent action that occurs on screen. Sinclair, who actually created the hero of this movie, Jason Rogers, in a series of short stories in the 1970s, said he "had a blast" writing the dialogue for this absurd thriller and trying to make sense of the jigsaw puzzle of images Doherty had left (Doherty himself could no longer remember the plot). Using the sort of emotionally charged dialogue for which Doherty was known, Sinclair does a fine job of recreating the Apar style - a lot of colorful language and simple-minded plot explanations. The story involves a character known as Bob the Bastard (Soter), out for revenge against detective Jason Rogers (Doherty), who arrested his brother years before. There's a lot of great action, leading off with a ridiculous precredits scene in which Rogers and Bob fire off rounds of ammunition at each other without connecting once, and there are also three women (four if you count the uncredited Marina Saly in a truly bizarre part), all of whom are abused in one way or another by Rogers, a nutcase with a badge. Alan Saly, nearly unrecognizable in a character part, has a memorable turn as Rogers' chief, "The Big Guy."

The Photographer
Produced by Tom Soter. Directed by Christian Doherty. Screenplay by Doherty and Soter. Distributed by Apar Films/Savoy Productions. Running time: 5.30. Filmed: 1973/Completed: 2009. Photographer: Tom Soter. Man in White Coat: Alan Saly. Girl (uncredited): Vicky Parker.
Filmed on location in London, this strange little gem features Tom Soter as a photographer/tourist who may or may not be paranoid. Is someone following him or not? The movie was shot in 1973 but remained unedited for over 30 years, Doherty being dissatisfied with its skimpy plot. Finally, Soter and Doherty got together in 2009 to assemble the footage. Agreeing that the plot was a little thin, Soter concocted a method to add another character and a deeper meaning to the story: he used footage from Don't Live for Tomorrow of Alan Saly and Vicky Parker in London and from The Sandman of Saly and Soter together to give the photographer a guilty secret – a reason for his paranoia – and a possible pursuer (all of which would strengthen the initially very predictable surprise ending). At the end of the 2009 editing session, Doherty proclaimed the film was "very dark" and now one of his favorites.Tom SinclairTom Sinclair

The Sandman
Produced, written, and directed by Christian Doherty. Running time: 6.11. Filmed: 1973. With Alan Saly, Tom Soter.
Shot on location in Crete, this bizarre film was one of Doherty’s last and best, a surreal picture of a friendship gone wrong that builds with relentless intensity to the twist ending.

Pressure Point
Directed by Christian Doherty. Running time: 23.59. Filmed: 1973. With Tom Sinclair, Alan Saly, Tom Soter, Leslie Parker, and Evan Jones as the purse-snatcher
Designed as a film to showcase New York City, the movie is part-documentary collage and part-Doherty fantasy vision of a world in which two white racists (Alan Saly, Tom Soter) brutally assault a black man (Tom Sinclair) and a man (Evan Jones) is executed for snatching a purse. Visually, one of the director’s most accomplishd pieces, with superb editing. This is among the last of the 22 short movies Doherty directed in the early 1970s.

Thou Shalt Not Live
Directed by Christian Doherty. Filmed: 1974

The New Theft of ReasonAlan SalyAlan Saly in Don't Live for Tomorrow
Directed by Christian Doherty. Filmed: 1974
Unfinished

Pressure Point 2
Directed by Christian Doherty. Filmed: 1974
Unfinished

Elysian Fields
Directed by Christian Doherty. Filmed: 1974/Completed 2009
Recently rediscovered and completed by Thomas Soter, this haunting film doesn't reveal its origins: a collection of bits and pieces from uncompleted projects, home movies, and other sources. It stars Tom Soter as a man apparently reflecting on his life – though to give it that much linearity is misleading. It is Doherty crossed with Bunuel and Welles, by way of Sam Peckinpah..

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