Sunday, 10 April 2016

Remembering Michael J. Murphy

Michael J. Murphy, 1951 - 2015
As a relative outsider it is testament to Michael J. Murphy's (MJM) larger than life personality that after only meeting him twice I was keen to get to know him and his work beyond the surface.

The man may be gone but his work lives on.

By the end of March 2016 I had managed to archive digital versions of most of his significant works on the official Murlyn Films International channel on Youtube.

It may not quite be definitive (only fuzzy clips of Boadicea remain as part of the original BBC broadcast profiling MJM) but later professional works are well represented but much products of their time - VHS is a 240P format at best so we were lucky to get some of his work sourced from master tapes - but it seems zero celluloid survives.

His work lives on, as does his power to inspire. Phil Lyndon (the surviving Murlyn business partner) received this praise via Facebook (reproduced with permission):

Hello Mr. Lyndon.
Of course you don't know me, so a brief introduction: I'm Joe Chapman from Pennsylvania. I have a video and photo studio, Chapman Productions, in the city of Allentown, where my fiance, Libby, and I work on various projects. Recently, I happened upon Invitation to Hell and The last Night on Youtube, and watched them both. I then investigated into who this fellow, Michael J. Murphy was, which led to my discovery of his recent passing - my condolences. Watching the video interview of Mr. Murphy on the MurLyn Films website painted him in a very favorable light to me, and prompted me to watch more of his work. I then proceeded to view everything I could find with great enjoyment. The long interview on Youtube with him by you pressed upon me to learn more about all of you. I suppose my discovery of MurLyn Films came at an opportune moment for me, as gearing up to shoot our first feature has been somewhat stressful, but hearing Mr. Murphy speak so candidly about his career making films, and seeing his films myself, was exactly the inspiration that I needed to snap me out of my doubtful mindset. So this is simply a letter of thanks to Director Michael J. Murphy, to you for keeping MurLyn Films aloft, and to the cast and crew of all of MurLyn Films' productions. Also, if we can be of service to your future productions in any way then let us know. It would be an honor to help keep Mr. Murphy's love of filmmaking going, and a pleasure to work with you and MurLyn Films.
Joe Chapman

Discover the obscure world of Michael J. Murphy yourself, here are some pointers:

MURLYN films

Rare video interview with Michael J. Murphy by Chris Jupp

MJM's Facebook cover picture shows the director with his stalwart Murphy cam rig

Murlyn Films International on Youtube archive works of MJM

Michael J. Murphy on IMDb

Michael J. Murphy on Letterboxd

MJM Interview on The Zone by Paul Higson

Dead Or Alive:British Horror Films 1980 - 1989

Michael J. Murphy Tribute Video

And remember, "the next one will be bloody marvellous."

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