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THE GUATEMALAN HANDSHAKE

Here’s a novel promotional e-mail we received today from Todd Rohal, director and sound engineer of The Guatemalan Handshake. We can’t vouch for the accuracy of the story, but we thought you might find it of interest:

“As the news of Tom DeLay’s misuse of funds is talked about daily here in the nation’s Capital, we at The Guatemalan Handshake would like to clear the air about our involvement…

“Early on in our search for funding we were set up to meet with a high-profile Washington lobbyist. I bought a brand new pair of pants for the occasion. This lobbyist was the former producer of the Dolph Lundgren film Red Scorpion, which had very little in common with the film we were pitching to him … but we figured that time had passed and indie film was now King. He had to be interested in something new and different.

“At our meeting we learned that [his party had had just lost power in the House], so he rented an entire floor at DC’s Willard Hotel for his family to stay in for the night. He showed us some old promotional materials (buttons and posters), told us that we should use some boobs and some guns [in our film], looked at our production materials and told us that he wasn’t sure if a title like The Guatemalan Handshake would get anyone’s attention. (He raised the money on Red Scorpion, [he said,] based on the title alone.) He still very much believed in the 1980’s action movie … after all, it did bring him quite a profit and made Dolph Lundgren the star he is today.

“So how much money did we net on this meeting? Nothing. Not one penny. I actually lost money by having to purchase the pants I was wearing.

“[As it turns out,] had we taken money from this guy, we would have been mixed up with some crooked-ass money. It seems our lobbyist friend was funneling money from Native American groups and buying folks like Tom DeLay trips to foreign golf courses. Now he’s mixed up with the FBI, the IRS and the Justice Department trying to explain himself out of this big mess. He lost his high-ranking position at the lobby firm he worked for, he lost the big desk and corner office overlooking the White House that we met in, and he’s in some hot water right now, taking the blunt of the blame for all this.

“We [eventually] ended up raising the money we needed to shoot [The Guatemalan Handshake] … although it all came from people who work normal jobs and who have never slept a night at the Willard Hotel. I’ve since worn those pants again to a friend’s wedding, and I recently caught Red Scorpion on TBS at 2:30 in the morning in a hotel room in Philly.

“I’d say things are moving along nicely.”
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