In light of the Harvey Weinstein saga, it may behoove us to recap the career of Victor Salva for some perspective. He is a man who has found steady work in Hollywood as a director.
A brief history: In 1989, while on the set of his first feature length film entitled Clownhouse, Victor Silva recorded video of himself sexually abusing the 12 year old lead actor, Nathan Forrest Winters. His home was searched and found to contain an abundance of child pornography. He pleaded guilty to lewd and lascivious conduct, oral sex with a person under 14, and procuring a child for pornography. He was sentenced to three years in state prison, and served fifteen months.
Prior to directing Clownhouse, Victor Salva directed many short films mostly starring children. His only IMDB credit prior to Clownhouse was for a short film called Something in the Basement, also starring Nathan Forrest Winters, who was 8 years old at the time of filming.
Years later in 1995 Victor Salva directed a straight to video feature called The Nature of the Beast, which was picked up for distribution by New Line Cinema, a division of Warner Bros and one of the world’s largest film distributors.
That same year, Caravan Pictures, a production company owned by Walt Disney Studios, greenlit Powder, a film written and directed by Victor Salva, the titular character being a hairless young orphan.
Following that he directed Rites of Passage, like all his other movies this was a sanctioned Screen Actors Guild production, and which featured several child actors. This was followed by Jeepers Creepers, which was a major box office success. It was produced by, among others, Francis Ford Coppola the patriarch of perhaps Hollywood’s most prominent family.
This wasn’t the first of Victor Salva’s films Coppola had produced. In fact, he gave Victor Salva $250,000 to produce Clownhouse, his first feature film, the one on the set of which he videotaped himself sexually abusing the 12 year old lead actor.
After the success of Jeepers Creepers it was followed up with a sequel, Jeepers Creepers II in 2003, two crappy movies called Rosewood Lane and Darkhorse, and finally Jeepers Creepers III, released this year, 2017, and also produced by Coppola.
How was a convicted pedophile permitted to continue directing children or even making movies, period? After assaulting a child on the set of one of his movies? How was he given funding by Hollywood’s elite? How were his films given distribution? Why did big name actors continue to take roles in his films even after the release of Powder, which was publicly boycotted by Salva’s victim, Nathan Forrest Winters? Why would the Screen Actors Guild, a union tasked with protecting actors, allow child actors on one of his sets again?
Everyone stayed mum on Harvey Weinstein, even though it was common knowledge he was a disgusting creep. Once it was established that Weinstein was being ousted by his own company, a lot of people stepped up. They stepped up after they could have spoken their minds and possibly stopped Weinstein from victimizing more women. They stepped up a time when there was strength in numbers and they assumed zero risk. They stepped up at a time when it was popular to step up, when it would perhaps not coincidentally get their name in the headlines, and perhaps garner them sympathy as victims. They didn’t speak up when it could hurt them, they bided their time and spoke out when it could certainly not hurt them, and potentially help them.
Meryl Streep, the beacon of all holiness, didn’t say anything about Weinstein until the walls had already come tumbling down, at which point she released a statement claiming ignorance in an effort to fully exonerate herself:
“The disgraceful news about Harvey Weinstein has appalled those of us whose work he championed, and those whose good and worthy causes he supported. The intrepid women who raised their voices to expose this abuse are our heroes.
One thing can be clarified. Not everybody knew. Harvey supported the work fiercely, was exasperating but respectful with me in our working relationship, and with many others with whom he worked professionally. I didn’t know about these other offenses: I did not know about his financial settlements with actresses and colleagues; I did not know about his having meetings in his hotel room, his bathroom, or other inappropriate, coercive acts. And If everybody knew, I don’t believe that all the investigative reporters in the entertainment and the hard news media would have neglected for decades to write about it.
The behavior is inexcusable, but the abuse of power familiar. Each brave voice that is raised, heard and credited by our watchdog media will ultimately change the game.”
In 1977, Roman Polanski drugged and raped a 13 year old girl while hanging out at Jack Nicholson’s house. That’s substantially worse than suggesting an ambitious actress who went up to your hotel room to discuss a Sylvia Plath adaptation should watch you take a shower.
Polanksi was indicted on six counts and plead guilty to Unlawful Sexual Intercourse with a minor, whereas Weinstein has only been accused and not faced any criminal charges.
In 2003 the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences awarded Roman Polanski the Oscar for Best Director, which he could not accept because he was exiled in France after skipping bail following his drugging and raping of said 13 year old girl.
Most everyone in attendance, the proverbial who’s who of Hollywood, gave Polanski a standing ovation, including one Meryl Streep.
She must be really out of the loop, or simply believe in nothing.
Perhaps the most outspoken critic of sexism and sexual harassment in Hollywood has been Rose McGowan, who constantly takes to Twitter to espouse her fairly hardline thoughts on the subject, having started this well before Harvey Weinstein made the news.
She fancies herself a bonafide whistleblower and truth sayer, a position she not coincidentally took on after having been established as being unemployable as an actress because she is bat shit insane, incredibly annoying and self-aggrandizing, and prone to rash displays of histrionics.
Before the Weinstein saga her main target was Adam Sandler, because she was once asked by Sandler’s production company to show up to an audition in a push-up bra. This was the wardrobe of the character she was auditioning for, and this is how all auditions work, so there is nothing weird about it at all, but she didn’t have a lot of material. It should also be noted that she has made millions of dollars flaunting her humungous breasts.
She also once claimed that her female agent told her not to talk during a meeting with studio executives, because these executives were intimidated by women voicing their opinions.
You be the judge.
McGowan has been in a precarious situation regarding Weinstein, because she reached a $100,000 settlement with him in 1997 following a hotel room incident. As part of the settlement, McGowan is not allowed to discuss what happened, which she apparently thought was a good tradeoff at the time, and she didn’t publicly allude to the incident for roughly twenty years.
Being shackled like that has really got to ruffle the feathers of someone like McGowan, who is steadfast warrior in the face of wrongdoing. Someone who will stand up to the patriarchy, no matter the consequences.
Remember that crappy movie Rosewood Lane directed by Victor Salva which came out in 2011 following the success of Jeepers Creepers?
The star of that movie was Rose McGowan.
It’s unclear why Hollywood is suddenly obsessed with the plight of women yet seems completely indifferent to child rapists. Do you suppose Streep has never heard of Bryan Singer? Or will she condemn him once it becomes socially acceptable within the industry?
The truth is that all people act in self preservation, especially actors, and actors love to hear themselves talk, yet the successful ones mostly lead sheltered lives which warp their opinions and sense of self-importance.
Meryl Streep will gladly applaud a guy who raped a 13 year old girl, and then rail against Trump’s misogyny a few years later.
Rose McGowan will scream about the patriarchy until she is blue in the face, yet gladly accept work from a well publicized convicted pedophile while wallowing in the humanity of producers hitting on actresses.
There is simply no need to ever listen to what these people have to say, on any subject, except maybe acting in Streep’s case.
Victor Salva currently has a film in pre-production called The Old Hag Syndrome. This is the first part of the plot synopsis, from IMDB:
“As children, Rheanna and Annette are happy. However, after an evening of ghost stories and games with their friend Tara, what started as innocent fun soon turns into a nightmare. Rheanna, the youngest is murdered by the Old Hag Syndrome, leaving both Annette and her mother Pamela scarred.”