Marketing Mayhem

Marketing Mayhem

Filed under: Culture

The DVD opens with a disclaimer: "These people are Hood Professionals; do not attempt these things at home or in your hood. Your ass might get shot."

Da Hood Gone Wild, Volume One is an hour's worth of frenzied after-hours street brawls, beatings, and booty shaking — reality TV at its most depraved. The scenes were mostly shot in Clearwater, with about 20 percent coming from hoods in West Palm Beach and Miami, though its creators won't say where specifically.

The street vignettes are dark, jumpy, and generally brutal: A hair-pulling fight between two women, one of whom does battle from behind the steering wheel of a parked car. A bicyclist sucker-punched in an attack that ends with his assailants throwing his bike on top of him. Dueling pit bulls. Armed men in menacing skull masks. The scenes are interspersed with dancing girls in various states of undress.

"Kill Bill," the president of Da Hood Gone Wild, Inc., says he was inspired in part by Joe Francis, of Girls Gone Wild infamy. "I saw an interview with him," says Bill. "Guy's a dirtball, but I was impressed. I took a lot of notes."

Bill and his brother-in-law, who are white, handle production and distribution; they've also sought to protect their identities. Their two partners, Allan Burney and Cortez Hearns, who are black, did most of the videography and also appear in the DVD.

Da Hood Gone Wild, Volume Two is due out next month. Burney, however, won't have much involvement; in October, he was arrested and charged with attempted first-degree murder and remains in jail.

The discs — along with T-shirts and, soon, hats — are available only at, where they sell for $17.99. "We attempted to retail [at stores] in the hoods, but they do things funny there," says Bill. "You go back and you find that your DVDs are gone and someone new is in charge. We lost 30 or 40 DVDs that way." — Frank Houston

Crew's Control

Filed under: News

When you take care of Rudy Crew, he takes care of you. Miami-Dade school board member Evelyn Greer can attest to that.

Last August, Greer led the charge to give the schools superintendent a $41,000 bonus even though he delivered 38 failing schools after promising none. Crew appeared to return the favor January 18, when he wrote a letter declaring the board's support of a county request for $5 million in state housing funds to construct condos at the Brownsville Metrorail station.

The builder is the Carlisle Group, an affordable housing company founded by Greer's husband, Bruce, and currently helmed by their son, Matthew. "We are encouraged that Miami-Dade County and the Carlisle Group IV LLC have embarked on the mission to increase the availability of affordable housing for essential workers in Miami-Dade County," Crew wrote to County Manager George Burgess.

One pesky detail: Crew never received permission from the school board to send the letter on its behalf. "That has never come before us," said board member Marta Perez. "I didn't even know it happened until I read the letter."

Coincidently, county officials appeared before the school board's blue ribbon committee on affordable housing this past February 27 to request that the Carlisle Group's project be listed on a district website that lists affordable housing options for teachers who want to purchase homes. Greer, who created the panel and had never missed a meeting, was conspicuously absent.

Crew and Greer did not return phone calls seeking comment.

"The superintendent routinely signs letters of support for grant applications," says school board spokesman Jon Schuster, "including several that would provide affordable housing for teachers, which has been in short supply in recent years." — Francisco Alvarado

Snapshot Skirmish

Filed under: News

Last Wednesday, Hollywood resident Paul Bensen was taking his daily walk on the beach when he stumbled across a film crew in front of Nick's restaurant. It was a shoot for Marley & Me. The movie, about a family and their Labrador retriever, stars Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston, who were spotted strolling along Miami Beach together last week.

Bensen stood behind the yellow caution tape that police had set up and whipped his camera out of his pocket to snap the scene. A member of the film crew quickly put the kibosh on his excitement: No pictures allowed, the crew worker announced.

Bensen was skeptical that a movie crew "really had the authority to restrict photography in a public venue." Then a Hollywood cop told him to beat it.

In response, Bensen dared to raise the issue of "civil liberties and such," he says, but the cop stood his ground. And for what? So Owen Wilson didn't have his picture taken sitting at a table on the beach?

City of Hollywood spokesperson Raelin Storey says Marley producers paid eight off-duty police officers $35 an hour to work the extra detail. (One of them, a supervisor, got $37.50.) If someone were to inadvertently wander onto the set, getting caught on camera taking pictures in the background, Storey says, "it would seem a little unnatural and screw up their whole movie."

But if the person were standing outside the cordoned-off area? "Absolutely they would, and do, have the right on public property to take pictures," Storey says. The officers would be reminded of that, she adds.

Bensen decided it wasn't worth the hassle to stand up to studio goons, even though it was in defense of what he deemed "a harmless, normal activity in a public venue." But the next time something like this happens, it could be a different story, he says; he hopes then he'll be "committed enough to push for an arrest." — Deirdra Funcheon

Don't Move Here

It's too expensive to live here. We're suffering. And you can help: Don't move here. If you're thinking about it, just don't come. If we can deflate this housing bubble, we can afford to live here once more. It might take years. But in the meantime, it sucks here anyway. Don't come.

Taken from: Incertus (

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Francisco Alvarado was born in Nicaragua and grew up in Miami, giving him unique insight into the Magic City and all its dark corners. An investigative reporter with a knack for uncovering corruption, Alvarado made his bones as a staff writer at Miami New Times and remains in dogged pursuit of the next juicy story.
Deirdra Funcheon
Frank Houston