Documentary to feature Greenville filmmaker


GREENVILLE — A Greenville High School graduate-turned actor/director will be featured in a documentary on Thursday evening at the Neon in Dayton.

“Diary of a Deadbeat: The Story of Jim Van Bebber,” will be presented at 7:30 p.m. one night only.

“Jim Van Bebber, an uncompromising, underground, outlaw filmmaker from Greenville, Ohio, has become one of the most infamous and controversial American independent filmmakers of our time,” said a spokesperson. “Van Bebber brought us such cult classics as Deadbeat At Dawn (the first feature film made in Dayton in 1998), My Sweet Satan (1994), The Manson Family (2003), and many others.”

Diary of a Deadbeat is a documentary that follows his life from his early super 8mm films to his strange days in Hollywood. It features interviews with an eclectic group of artists such as Phil Ansemlo (Pantera), Richard Kern (Trangressive Film director), Nivek Ogre (Skinny Puppy), R.A the Rugged Man, and many more.

According to a website, Van Bebber directed videos for Skinny Puppy and Frontline Assembly. Bill Leeb (FLA) and Dwayne Goettel (of Skinny Puppy) appeared in the trailer of a movie called ‘Chunkblower’ [by Van Bebber]. The film never got made. The trailer can be seen, in part, on the Skinny Puppy BRAP CD-ROM. Goettel and Leeb are the burning victims. Later, some scenes were used in the ‘Virus’ video of FLA.

He reportedly also directed the music video “Revolution Is My Name” for Pantera, and was in Europe shooting the ‘06 tour for Philip Anselmo’s band “Down” [March 2006].

Director Victor Bonacore will be in attendance Thursday night, granting the world the first look at this documentary that has been in the works for more than five years.

VanBebber is a son of Dee VanBebber, a retired educator now of Crystal River, Florida, and the late Bill VanBebber, owner of the former VanBebber’s Jewelers in downtown Greenville. He has been staying with and helping to care for his mother, according to older brother Bill, who still lives in the family home in Greenville.

Jim was born on Nov. 24, 1964, in Greenville, and graduated from Greenville Senior High in 1983.

“When growing up and in third grade, he had a movie camera and made his own movies with all of our family” Bill recalled. “We always took part in those movies and he saved them. He then sold the rights to them to a fan, and the guy who bought them decided to take it a step further and made the documentary.”

Bill studied at Ohio State University and brother Jim studied at Wright State University.

“He went on his own path from there,” Bill said of Jim. “He lived in Dayton before he moved to California in 1997. Jim was always interested in horror films and late night shows like Shock Theatre and Dr. Creep. He was into horror and monster magazines, and he was always going to see new releases, like ‘Star Wars.’ We saw a lot of films together.”

At Wright State University, Jim studied cinema.

“Instead of using a bank loan to pay for a second year of college, he used the money to finance Deadbeat at Dawn, and founded the indie film company Asmodeus Productions with several colleagues,” one website stated. “The Manson Family took more than 10 years to complete.”

It was also noted that Jim is currently involved in the production of a feature-length horror film titled ‘Gator Green.’

“Be the first to see the much-anticipated and long-awaited Diary of a Deadbeat at its world premiere, for only $5,” the spokesperson said.

Tickets are on sale now at The Neon’s box office.

Staff report

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