time I think Zyzzyx Road is over, it pulls me back in.

The latest iteration of Zyzzyx Fever can probably best be called Zyzzyx vs Zzyzx. As Leo Grillo mentioned in our interview, when he was working on his fated to earn 30 bucks movie, Zyzzyx Road, another film with a similar title – Zzyzx (this, for the record, is the correct spelling) was shooting. Leo was less than kind to Zzyzx, both in print and on NPR in an interview*. Richard Halpern, the producer of Zzyzx, isn’t taking this lying down. In fact, he’s taking this by calling my family for my cell phone number and emailing me a whole lot. Rich was going to have a contest to change the name of his movie to avoid being lumped in with Grillo’s film, but now he has chosen confrontation. And to make his movie available for free for 24 hours on Google Video. He wants Grillo to do the same and let the fans decide which is the better picture.

Here’s the press release:

Las Vegas, NV January 9, 2007 – The producer of “Zzyzx”® (Zĭ-Zux), the suspense/thriller, internet-hit feature-film inspired by the famed, mysterious exit sign off Highway 15 between L.A. and Vegas, is offering to put his film up for the world to screen against a similarly titled movie, “Zyzyx Rd.”, after the actor/producer of Zyzyx belittled Zzyzx, implying it was a “cheapo” film. Both Zzyzx movies have gained notoriety for being confused as the lowest grossing box-office movie of all time, a title of which goes to “Zyzyx Rd.”

“Ever since broke their viral-sensation, infamous story about “Zyzyx Rd.” grossing a measly $30 at the box office, we were inundated with calls and emails about our film from many distributors, persons in the industry, confusing our film, “Zzyzx”, with theirs,” says Richard Halpern, producer/director of “Zzyzx.” “Now, the “actor/producer” of the other Zzyzx movie, if you want to call him an actor after watching his performance in the trailer, is ripping our film, which has truly irked me. I have heard rumors about the other Zzyzx movie and they ain’t pretty.”

Halpern continues, “So, I am offering a duel to the other Zzyzx movie. Let’s put it out there, on Google Video, for the world to see and then decide, whose Zyzzx movie is the best. Winner gets to keep the movie title, with the losing film’s title being decide by the viewers!” Richard continues, “Heck, our film premiered first as an Ipod downloadable video, selling over 1,000 downloads, so, we are already $2,970 ahead of the other film!”

“Zzyzx” dubbed as "…creepy, demented and voyeuristic" by “The Blair Witch Project’s” co-creator Daniel Myrick, is a modern-day thriller about three misfits lost on Zzyzx Road who attempt to "one-up" each other in a grisly game of murder, drugs and greed. “Zzyzx” stars Kenny Johnson, Lemonhead on TV’s The Shield, and the upcoming TNT series, “Grace” (starring Holly Hunter) and Robyn Cohen from “The Life Aquatic.”

Zzyzx recently won Best Picture at the Miami Independent Film Festival, is currently a semi-finalist in the $100,000 competition and is distributed by, LLC of Nevada. It is presented on large format dual-layer DVD at and other retailers.

Click here to see Zzyzx, starring The Shield’s Kenny Johnson, on Google Video. Rich says to be aware that quality is low because of Google compression.

If you can’t watch it in that format (or if you totally love it and want to own it), Rich has sent along a number of copies of Zzyzx on DVD – send me an email with your name and mailing address and I’ll mail you one.

Stay tuned – I am sure there are yet more insane twists and turns in this tale.

* Jesus Christ, we got Leo Grillo on NPR.