CraigCalman.com - An actor for writers, a writer for actors, and a director for both
HOME HOLLYWOOD CONTACT HODGE PODGE - A Miscellany of Curios & Treasures HUMANISTIC TAXIDERMY SOCIETY OF AMERICA PHOTO GALLERY DIRECTOR WRITER ACTOR BIOGRAPHY

 

"THE CALISTRA ZIPPER STORY" a Digital Video Feature in production from February 3, 2007 to completion of editing on July 8, 2010 evolved from an innocent phone call to The Howard Stern Radio Show several years ago when Anthony Zipper announced:

"ALL Americans must enjoy their inalienable right to preserve their beloved departed loved ones for all time."

My associate MR. ANTHONY ZIPPER sacrificed his good name and risked his impeccable reputation by appearing on THE HOWARD STERN SHOW both on national radio as well as on network television (CBS) and cable television (E! Entertainment) to make his cause known throughout the land.

 

 

Mr. Zipper is President and CEO of The Humanistic Taxidermy Society of America, a non-profit organization dedicated to the proposition that all Americans have the right to seek alternative and enlightened forms of post-life attention to that provided by the barbaric, antiquated and outmoded customs of entombment, ground burial and/or cremation, "burial at sea," ashes scatterings, etc.

The Humanistic Taxidermy Society of America believes all Americans should feel proud and empowered to exercise their God(dess)-given right (nay, obligation) to preserve their beloved departed loved ones in a respectful manner and to be able to share with all and sundry and for all time their departeds' physical manifestation in their earthly bodily form.

"A safe and sanitary way to honor our dead"

The first client/advocate of The Humanistic Taxidermy Society of America was Anthony's daughter CALISTRA ENDFIELD ZIPPER (August 16, 1984 to July 10, 1998). She was beautifully preserved (a year after her passing) by Dr. Refugio V. Cisneros whose practice is located somewhere near the Texas/Mexico border. (Contact this site for further details and directions. Hepatitis vaccine suggested before visiting South Of The Border.)

 

Calistra was born on August 16th which is Super Star MADONNA'S birthday. Perhaps that's why she loved her so much and was such a fan. Calistra's father Anthony actually sent Madonna a letter prior to their appearance on the Howard Stern Radio Show asking her to please listen (after all, isn't Evita beautifully preserved in Buenos Aires?) and to everyone's amazement, Mr. Stern READ this very letter OVER THE AIRWAVES -- Madonna's people had sent it to him!

Here is a link to an excerpt from the 2000 "Howard Stern Show":

https://vimeo.com/42378531

 

Calistra's favorite super-star and birthday-buddy.

 

I do hope that when Madonna watched the televised shows (aired a couple of weeks subsequent to the Halloween 2000 radio appearance) she delighted in the lovely collages Calistra made that were included in her secret notebook discovered after her untimely passing which Anthony revealed to the nation on THE HOWARD STERN SHOW:

 

 

 

 

WILLIAM PRESTON (above) was Calistra's Godfather. He was a marvelous actor, best known as "Oldy Olsen," a regular guest on "The Conan O'Brien Show" from 1993 to 1998. Beloved throughout the world and a delight to his goddaughter, Oldy passed away on July 10, 1998 -- amazingly on the very day of Calistra's passing. The above photo was taken by yours truly in Timmy Nolan's Pub, Toluca Lake, California whilst Oldy was on location for the filming of "Waterworld." (He plays the old man on the raft in the Lake of Oil in Kevin Costner's soggy epic.)

 

Courageous host Howard Stern gave Anthony and Calistra a national forum in the Fall of 2000. It was time for the "shock jock" to become shocked himself when Calistra was exposed to the world for the first time in all her taxidermied glory:

Although Anthony and Calistra were subjected to some extremely cruel ribbing as well as undignified mockery by Howard's gang and even though Mr. Stern's shows are often raunchy and disgusting and filled with bad taste and unpleasant guests, The HTSA so firmly believes in the sanctity of our First Amendment right to free speech that it stands behind Mr. Howard Stern in his battles against censorship.

"Howard Stern is an antidote to all the overpackaged, smiley, phony, condescending pap of personality in American media and entertainment. In an age of predictable news and political correctness and numbing national rhetoric, Stern cuts through the crap and says what he thinks -- and what many of us think. And that is incredibly refreshing. No, it's liberating."

-Jeff Jarvis, "The Nation" May 17, 2004

 

 

August 15, 2000: Initial radio interview with Anthony Zipper on The Howard Stern Radio Show.

October 31, 2000: Live (and almost live) guest appearances by Anthony & Calistra Zipper at The Howard Stern Show in New York City

November 11, 2000: CBS Television broadcasts special seven minute version

November 27, 2000: E! Entertainment Television airs complete interview

September 11, 2001: Anthony's offer to make the recently deceased Hank The Angry Drunken Dwarf the next client of The Humanistic Taxidermy Society Of America is aired just moments before the tragic and questionable events at The World Trade Center.

December 16, 2005: Anthony phones in his best wishes to Howard and his gang during their last day on FM Radio and wishes them all "bon voyage" on their "transcendence from the terrestrial to the celestial."

 

...or is it?

 

Of course not!

 

Calistra became the toast of the L.A. alternative and underground art & music scene when she returned home from her visit to New York City. She has appeared at art gallery openings, has been photographed by artists of the lens both in studio and in the great outdoors; and The Darling Taxiderm has been an honored and highly sought after guest at numerous alternative music events for such fabulous performers as...

 

songstress Starlit...

 

...Tina Staples of "The Fontanelles."

 

...and Rachel Arieff, that lovely impish triple threat combo of comedienne, singer and songwriter

 

Perhaps Calistra's most exciting appearance occurred at a late night extravaganza at the famous Hollywood club The Knitting Factory hosted by notorious rock 'n roll impresario KIM FOWLEY.

 

Backstage at The Knitting Factory, Calistra gets her make up touched up by underground Hollywood celebrity LADY BUNNY.

 

On August 16, 2002 Calistra turned legal. She became 18 years old and two months later wedding bells were ringing!

Calistra Endfield Zipper was engaged to marry Yasuaki Taniguchi, fantastic exotic drummer for the rock band 3Way Popcorn.

Although that did not exactly happen, the wedding did take place Saturday, October 26, 2002 at Club CIA (California Institute of the Abnormal Arts) in North Hollywood, California.

 

(WARNING: THIS WAS A MIXED MARRIAGE:

THE BRIDEGROOM IS ALIVE)

 

 

The wedding invitation.

 

October 26, 2002 is a very appropriate date for Calistra's wedding as it marks the 50th anniversary of the passing of a Hollywood legend: HATTIE McDANIEL who although she was unable to benefit from the services of the Humanistic Taxidermy Society she did receive her Last Wish with a Memorial Unveiling at HOLLYWOOD FOREVER CEMETERY on October 26, 1999.

 

EXCLUSIVE WEDDING

PHOTOS:

 

The rock band "Exhibition" performing at Calistra's wedding prior to the ceremony. Andee, in the white blouse, black shorts and boots, became Calistra's surprise bridegroom when Yasuaki declined to partake in the nuptials.

 

The lovely and forlorn bride-to-be awaits a volunteer from the audience to marry her after the defection of her dastardly fiancé Yasuaki Tanaguchi.

 

Potential brides: Beware this man! If he proposes he MAY not marry you! Heed the example of poor Calistra's lamentable experience!

 

Anthony Zipper and Carl Crew, owner of Club CIA and "minister" to the wedding ceremony, plead for someone -- anyone -- to marry Calistra.

 

Hallelujah! A groom at last! Andee Wilson of the rock band Exhibition makes the supreme sacrifice and steps up to marry Calistra! He even had a wedding ring!

(Now, even though Mr. Wilson looks as though he'd make a fetching bride himself, he wants everyone to know that he is definitely brideGROOM material.)

 

The radiant new bride just prior to the honeymoon, rumored to have taken place in either Guanajuato, Mexico to visit the famous mummies or to Paris, France for a tour of (naturellement) the Catacombs.

In a blur of color and sound, dynamic rock group 3WayPopcorn explodes at Club CIA to climax America's first Taxidermied Wedding.

 

Special thanks to: David Speck, Sean Niles, Darren Burgos, Jason Shapiro, Alexis Blasini, Toney The Maef, Benai, Derek Brown, Jeffspace, "Rikki", Mark Alfa, Michelle & Dionicio for helping to make Calistra's wedding come to life.

 

 

FLASH: July 17, 2004:

Calistra's long-lost older brother MARCO has been discovered -- alive!

Stay tuned for further developments as this breaking story progresses....

 

January 1, 2006: Calistra's erratic brother MARCO ZIPPER has vanished again. Filled with conflict, he often yearns to join his sister in immortality, yet remains fascinated with the many delights yet to be discovered on this earthly plane. We can only wish him God-speed and good luck.

 

UPDATES 2007

 

WHERE IS CALISTRA ZIPPER? She has been missing since her honeymoon, poor thing. Her bridegroom? Case of the Curious Vanishing. Her devoted father Anthony? In torment, unseen for years. Her brother Marco? Emerged from hiding, now on a revolutionary tirade. Yet Calistra's fate is still unknown. Physicians of every stripe, psychics, men of the spirit, law enforcement personnel, close relatives, all are baffled. The public demands answers! Therefore, Hollywood, Beware: "THE CALISTRA ZIPPER STORY" is now a reality. The umpteenth arrest of Ronald A. Dotson at the beginning of 2007 started this all; that Detroit event became the catalyst for action. This statuephilia-related event, combined with the simultaneous unexpected appearance of Marco Zipper, who miraculously and courageusly emerged from his self-imposed seclusion to offer his complete cooperation, has made "THE CALISTRA ZIPPER STORY" an inevitability. Cameras began rolling on February 3, 2007.

 

An arsenal of suspicious characters have been interviewed:

 

NEIMAN DARK, Psychic Extraordinaire, seeking clues by summoning forces in the nether regions for answers as to the whereabouts of the spirit and bodily remains of Calistra Zipper

 

Legendary star ALEXIS DEL LAGO denies the rumors she had a torrid affair with Anthony Zipper

 

They call him Bubble Bath Boi. He claims to be Calistra's only true love. They met in the Hollywood Bus Station, became "close" that very night and remained an item until Calistra's passing less than a year later. Bubble Bath Boi's only happiness now comes when he shares a bubble bath and a good smoke with his rubber duckies -- the last gifts given to him by his beloved Calistra.

 

 

Dazzling club kids, notorious "friends" of Calistra:

SHAM who shares a deep dark extraterrestrial secret

 

and

 

CANDICE CASH who swears her beloved familiar Mini is NOT taxidermied

 

Mortician U. Heap expounds upon the virtues of plastination, a modern technology endorsed by the Humanistic Taxidermy Society. Combining this method with human preservation, a new word has been coined: "plastidermy."

 

Brother Abram gave brotherly sanctuary to a distraught Anthony Zipper, haunted and hounded by an uncaring, noncomprehending society.

 

Dr. M. Teitelbaum does NOT believe in Human Taxidermy and he demanded equal time to share HIS vision of post-life attention. Here he reveals a bottle of his precious invention which he calls "Infinity Gas." Dr. T claims that his lighter than air expandable gas once injected into the deceased who are then shot into outer space will preserve said corpse into the indefinite future, by which time science will have perfected the means of thawing out the body, curing whatever ailments they had which caused their death, and return them to life!

 

 

Male Nurse Rio Rivers is dubious about far-fetched notions of freezing bodies and sending them into outer space. This practical down-to-earth hospital employee attended to Calistra during her final days at the County Hospital and developed a very strong bond with her. Too strong perhaps between a medical professional and his patient? That's what Bubble Bath Boi thinks. In any event, Nurse Rivers has serious concerns regarding Calistra's untimely passing.

 

Delmar Watson, former child actor, Hollywood historian and photojournalistic archivist who has followed the Hollywood scene for seven decades plus, vividly recalls the former legends of Tinsel Town. He also shares his pungent, uncensored thoughts and feelings about Calistra, her father Anthony, her brother Marco, the Hollywood Wax Museum, Pola Negri, Greta Garbo, Cecil B. DeMille and the woman who still haunts his dreams -- Alexis Del Lago.

Here's a link to the late Delmar Watson reminiscing about Calistra:

https://vimeo.com/26127995

 

 

Detective Robert Clements of the Arson Investigation Department reveals incriminating evidence: a letter from possibly the culprit or culprits responsible for the rash of fires sweeping the Los Angeles area in recent months, the latest occurring right behind the world famous cemetery and which threatened the iconic Hollywood sign. Could these firebugs really have some relationship to Calistra Zipper?

 

Marco Zipper on the streets of Hollywood espousing his cause.

 

Francine and Luke, Marco and Calistra's maternal grandparents, warned their daughter Helen not to marry Anthony Zipper. Their outrage over the preservation of their beloved granddaughter Calistra has now been compounded as Grandpa McKissick shows his equally mortified spouse the flyer being passed out by their only surving grandchild Marco advocating Human Taxidermy. Francine and Luke, as a counter measure, have formed the HSFPHT - the Hoboken Society For The Prevention Of Human Taxidermy. This, of course, means intrafamilial WAR.

 

Dr. Omar Betraious, Psychiatrist-General for the State Of California, announces the apprehension of the prime arson suspect and warns the populous about the Humanistic Taxidermy Society Of America.

 

Reverend Carl Crew who officiated Calistra's wedding in 2002 is gravely concerned over her disappearance. He has stated that he plans to present a special "Statuephilia Night" at Club CIA in North Hollywood, California to honor America's Number One Taxidermied Girl and her beleagured family The Zippers. Stay tuned for further details.

 

EXCLUSIVE PHOTO:

ANTHONY AND MARCO MEET AT THE HOLLYWOOD CEMETERY

Estranged father and son's emotional encounter

 

Many more scintillating personalities are on the way including shocking video of Marco Zipper's demented ramblings

 

Questions or comments? Wish to invest in promotion/distribution?

 

 

Here is a link to the Promo:

https://vimeo.com/26130643

 

Contact The Humanistic Taxidermy Society Of America at:

htsa@mindspring.com

 

UPDATE JUNE 15, 2007: After more than four months of incredible adventure and creativity, principal photography was completed this day on "THE CALISTRA ZIPPER STORY."

UPDATE JULY 30, 2007: I took my first and virtually only digital editing lesson for this project. (I had one Final Cut Pro class in 2003 but now I'm SERIOUS, with my own equipment acquired this month.) Editing proper commenced the following week. I utilized instruction books, watched You Tube video lessons, experimented endlessly and obtained Brandon Kaplan's expert advise in order to edit this project. A fantastic learning experience for a guy who as a teen used to edit 8mm and Super 8 with a little metal editing gizmo and cement. Where would I be now if I had today's technology back then?

UPDATE AUGUST 2007: Cemetery scene and Director's Commentary can be viewed on www.YouTube.com under my YouTube moniker "ccvisions"

 

YOUTUBE LINKS FOR "THE CALISTRA ZIPPER STORY"

You Tube is a great website for all sorts of entertainment delights. I have been a member since July 14, 2007. Click the link below to view clips from "THE CALISTRA ZIPPER STORY" as editing progresses, as well as other clips I upload from time to time, including a 2001 interview with yours truly, my actors demo and new videos I am producing:

http://www.youtube.com/ccvisions

 

SHOCKING SAD NEWS

Michael DeGoes, 61, a cultured gentleman who was a great inspiration to this project and who provided invaluable advice, filming locations, props, moral support and the means to acquire the computer for video editing, was found in his bathtub lifeless on August 27th. Mr. DeGoes leaves behind numerous friends and former students, as he was a Professor Of English at the University in Northridge, California. It remains to be seen whether or not he elected to become a client of the Humanistic Taxidermy Society Of America.

 

Michael DeGoes (1945-2007)

 

UPDATE DECEMBER 2007: Additional filming as editing progresses.

UPDATE MARCH 2008: Additional filming as editing progresses.

UPDATE APRIL 2008: Rough cuts completed. Three versions created: 96 minutes, 82 minutes, and 27 minute "mockumentary."

UPDATE MAY 3, 2008: Final scene shot at Ron Borst's Hollywood Poster Shop concluding filming that began one year and three months ago. Whew!

UPDATE JULY 16, 2008: Editing of full length version for first public screening completed: 94 minutes.

 

The first public screening of "THE CALISTRA ZIPPER STORY" occurred on Monday, July 28th 2008 at The Bungalow Club in West Hollywood, CA. This swank bar and eatery was perfectly divine and drew a happy crowd of friends and fans. The screening took place in their large outdoor patio as soon as night fell.

 

The Bungalow Club

 

Special Guest Star Alexis Del Lago with her Director

 

Robert Clements as the Arson Detective who spends the movie searching for Marco Zipper finally catches up with him at the July 28th screening.

 

Maef and friends celebrate

 

Luke McKissack plays the rascally Grandpa come to Hollywood to give his granddaughter a proper burial, here with the lovely actress and muse Brenda.

Gary St. George plays the fantastic Jews Harp prominent on "The Calistra Zipper Story" soundtrack here with his wife Susan (mother of Jeffrey Space) and Aunt Margie.

Jeffrey Space (Taylor Maid), Craig Calman (Anthony Zipper) and Maef (Marco Zipper)

Maef (Marco Zipper), Catherine Anne Hayes (Francine Delvecchio McKissack), Daniel Dicriscio (hairstylist to the stars) and Alexis Del Lago

 

Actress Eve Sigall joined in on the festivities.

 

Actor/Producer Danny Pape and his lovely lady friend graced us with their presence

 

Who plays Candice Cash???

 

Jeffrey Space with Jon Orovitz, who traveled all the way from our nation's capital to see "The Calistra Zipper Story"

 

The late English-born actor Michael Raye (1945-2010) and his colorful guest who was unable to hold her liquor, became most obnoxious to all and sundry and so therefore shall remain nameless.

 

Hollywood Artist "Sex Artiste" was so inspired by "The Calistra Zipper Story" that he created a special fan of Marco and Anthony Zipper. Now THAT'S a fan!

 

Anthony and Marco Zipper? No, dagnabit, it's the REAL Craig Calman and Toney The Maef.

 

Now THAT'S glamour!

 

Now everyone is interested in Calistra! Even Michael Musto of the Village Voice is talking about her, as well as dishing the dirt on Alexis Del Lago and introducing the world to Candice Cash:

http://www.blogs.villagevoice.com/dailymusto/archives/2008/08/howard_sterns_l.php

 

Update December 2008: New improved 89 minute edit!

 

FLASH:

 

"THE CALISTRA ZIPPER STORY" IS AN OFFICIAL ENTRY IN

THE FIRST ANNUAL ZERO FILM FESTIVAL:

 

 

1st Annual Zero Film Festival

December 1 - 6, 2008

Los Angeles, California

 

Alexis Del Lago enjoys Opening Night at the Downtown Independent Theater with two of her fans.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A modestly attired Calistra awaits the screening of her movie with her dear friend Jeffrey Space who plays butler Taylor Maid in "The Calistra Zipper Story."

 

Update January 17, 2009: New improved 84 minute edit completed and 25 minute mockumentary version "Who Is Calistra Zipper?" created.

 

Update February 5, 2009: "The Calistra Zipper Story" receives the Purple Heart Award from Zero Film Festival.

 

Update March 13, 2009: A new edit at 85 minutes in anticipation of the March 27th screening of "The Calistra Zipper Story" at Club CIA in North Hollywood, the very place Calistra had her wedding back in 2002.

 

MARCH 27, 2009: CALISTRA RETURNS TO CLUB CIA

 

 

 

Jeffrey (Taylor Maid) Space returns to Club CIA.

 

The screening of "The Calistra Zipper Story" in Club CIA's outdoor theater was a great success.

 

At the left is Craig Elliott, my assistant cameraman who passed away unexpectedly March 5, 2011 while still in his forties. Giving the peace sign is his former girlfriend singer-songwriter Carol MacArthur and to her left is the incomparable Alexis Del Lago, guest star of "The Calistra Zipper Story."

 

Toney the Maef (Marco Zipper) flanked by two adoring fans.

 

A "Calistra Zipper" family portrait.

 

CIA proprietor Carl ("Jeffrey Dahmer") Crew is still haunted by Calistra Zipper.

 

Fans take up the cause of Human Taxidermy!

 

Update May 14, 2009: New edit: 81 minutes.

 

Update September 21, 2009: A new ultra-fine tuned edit at 81 minutes AND a special streamlined 69 minute version has been created as well.

 

Update February 17, 2010: Film composer Steven Mahpar contributed a new score to several scenes and the penultimate edit has been achieved.

 

Update July 8, 2010: ABSOLUTE FINAL EDIT HAS NOW BEEN ACHIEVED! 77 minutes. Finito la comedia.

 

November 12, 2010: Gary Dell'Abate, Howard Stern's right hand man, appears at Book Soup Bookstore in West Hollywood, CA for the signing of his autobiography "They Call Me Baba Booey." I took that occasion to present him with a complimentary DVD of "The Calistra Zipper Story." It was a ten-year reunion.

 

Notice the irony of seeing Janie Bryant's name, the costume designer of the show I had been hired to appear on six months earlier, displayed in the same window as that announcing the appearance of Baba Booey.

 

Slowly creeping up to the front of the line. Heaven only knows what his gatekeeper is thinking...

 

There he is -- Gary Dell'Abatte himself. Would he remember Anthony Zipper a decade later?

 

Notice how wonderfully my DVD compliments Howard's book which I found on display at Book Soup whilst awaiting an audience with Baba Booey...

At last I reach the front of the line...

 

Look at that TOOTHY GRIN! He REMEMBERS Calistra!

 

Of course, I never heard from those Stern people again I guess because they're still incredibly pissed that I punked them so royally.

 

 

Return to Top

 

 

 

 

 

htt

 

Biography
Actor
Writer
Director
Photos
HTSA
Hollywood
Hodge Podge
Contact
Home