Produced by Sam Catalfamo. Shot by Thomas Van Der Zaag. Edited by Kyum Hoi Koo. Video Courtesy of Paradise Pictures
Yesterday I received an email from a filmmaker named Sam Catalfamo who just finished a video about a spree of Satan-themed Rob Ford bus tours that are currently on hiatus. OK, maybe I should back up. Apparently, in a scheme that sort of sounds like the “Kramer Reality Tour,” a couple of performers—who go by the names Victor Marshall and Morgan Wilkes—regularly took small groups of Ford fanatics around to see the house where the crack tape was allegedly filmed, Robbie’s old high school, a park that’s named after Rob Ford's father, the gas station where the mayor was given a mysterious package by Robbie’s alleged enforcer Alexander Lisi, and so on.
The video, which you can see above, shows just how completely insane the hysteria around Rob Ford has become. During the tour, Morgan Wilkes demands that a young woman spit in his mouth (while screaming that he is unafraid of AIDS). He also speaks in tongues, pretends to find crack in the infamous Esso station, and entertains another camera crew who was there covering the bus tour for Al Jazeera of all places.
To add a bit more context to this completely absurd spectacle, I called Sam to chat with him about the dreary Etobicoke afternoon he spent riding around with faux-satanists inside of Rob Ford’s cracked out universe. He said he first became acquainted with Victor Marshall and Morgan Wilkes after he solicited the services of one "Jesus Maggot," who is connected to the Cloven Path Ministries where Wilkes and Marshall practice Satanism (although it's quite clearly a website belonging to some comedic peformance artists), for a short film he cast through Craigslist. Apparently the satanist shtick is one these dudes have been developing for a long time—so good on ‘em! Sam told me he felt like he “needed to take a shower” once the tour was over, and nearly puked when Marshall started administering leeches to an unnamed woman sitting at the front of the bus (you know, the one who spit in his mouth).
One particularly tense moment in the video comes when the bus rolls up to the Ford family home. It was there that Victor and Morgan planted a Rob Ford impersonator (who looks absolutely nothing like Rob Ford) to meet the tour group. Before they could begin their little pantomime with fake Rob Ford, real Doug Ford came out of the Ford family home to confront the group and figure out why a bus, an impersonator of his brother, and two gentlemen pretending to be Satanists were gawking at his private residence.
On camera, Doug appeared to have been a good sport about the whole charade. He posed for a couple of photos, and seemed amicable, despite telling the group he didn’t appreciate the attention. Then, yesterday news broke through the Toronto Star about Doug’s off-camera reaction to the bus tours. Doug is alleging that the organizers of the Rob Ford bus tour—specifically the Rob Ford impersonator who looks nothing like Rob Ford—were stalking his mother. While speaking with the press who were stationed at City Hall, Doug warned the impersonator: “Don’t come after my 80-year-old mother and stand there for four hours. And she’s wondering if it’s a stalker or it’s a lunatic or whatever. It’s unacceptable.”
The impersonator, who is actually a clown that goes by the name “Sketchy,” insists he didn’t know that Doug and Rob’s mom lived at the house, and appears to find the stalking allegation ludicrous. Sketchy also claims that Rob and Doug followed him back to Royal York station, after he was intimidated off of the Fords' street by the two brothers and Rob’s driver. The police intervened, and the clown was given a police escort back to Royal York station.
Just in case you needed a reminder, yes, Rob Ford has turned the city he's supposed to be running into a circus—complete with a clown.
I called Morgan Wilkes to get his thoughts on the scandal his tours have caused and to ask him if they’ll be resurrected (the bus company who had previously been providing transportation services has since cut ties with the actors). He told me that in the next couple of weeks they not only plan to restart the tour, but that they’ll be selling a pricier ticket that includes a second leg of the experience. This new tour is set to start from the spot where Sketchy the Clown was chased by Rob and Doug Ford. Golden ticket holders will get to sit in the 1990 Volvo station wagon that Sketchy was in when Rob and Doug allegedly went after him (Morgan refers to it as their “White Bronco”) and intends to get an Escalade just like Robbie’s to use as the chase vehicle. Morgan said he'll be starting some kind of crowdfunding campaign to get a new bus for their tours, but until then, it sounds like the satanic Rob Ford reality tour has been ground to a halt. As usual, we'll give you updates on this story if it progresses and/or gets weirder. It probably will.