Michigan’s GOP gubernatorial candidate used to star in B-list movies. They’re weird!
If you didn’t know who Tudor Dixon was before August, few would blame you. A former steelworks manager and Right wing A cable news host, Dixon was a little-known candidate in a crowded field for Michigan’s Republican primary race for governor when she announced her candidacy in May 2021.
But after several of his contestants were disqualified (for including fake signatures on nomination petitions, mostly) and after earning coveted endorsements (including that of Donald Trump), Dixon took the lead to win the primary. , preparing her to face off. with outgoing Governor Gretchen Whitmer in November. The race between the two should be tight.
A breast cancer survivor who said vaccination should be a “personal choice,” Dixon said his choice to run was prompted by his anger at Whitmer’s strict COVID shutdown policies. She has championed staunchly right-wing positions on issues such as abortion (she is against it), gender identity education in schools (she calls it “indoctrination”) and the presidential election of 2020 (she disputed the results).
But long before her foray into conservative politics, Dixon was briefly an actress. Between 2008 and 2012, Dixon starred in several low-budget horror productions made in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Much of it has now been removed from the internet (or was never available online in the first place), but the easiest to find in its entirety is the gloriously steamy and deeply unserious teen-sex-horror movie. comedy-zombie, Buddy BeBop against the walking dead.
It’s unclear exactly what this film is about, even after two full viewings. The movie – released in 2009 and available on Roku and Amazon Prime Video (where I watched it) – is set in a 1950s American town populated only by greasers and teenage girls in poodle skirts. It usually opens enough for a horror movie – with two teenagers hooking up in a car. But things quickly take a bizarre turn when the couple are attacked by a group of zombies immediately after the greaser gets sucked off. (“If I was a smoker, now would be the time” will forever be this teenager’s last words.) shoving guts into their mouths as heavy metal blares in the background.
For a horror movie, it’s not that scary, and for a comedy, it’s not very funny. And for some reason, the whole thing is shot in black and white. It might have come across as a nod to the 1968 classic night of the living dead if it hadn’t been for the bizarre choice of colorizing random objects like a main character’s bright red shirt, the ketchup and mustard paint scheme of a roller rink, and the garish yellow car in which the teenagers hang out at the start of the film.
Cue the intro credits, and we smash Buddy BeBop, an uncool high school kid who dreams of becoming a rock-‘n’-roll musician. When we first meet him, Buddy is getting ready for a musical performance at the town ice rink. But when the zombies descend on the town, the roller rink quickly turns into a battlefield, forcing Buddy and the little boppers to fight for their lives.
It’s in a field outside of that rink where Dixon’s character has his brief but dramatic moment in the spotlight. Dressed in a sweater vest and Mary Janes, Dixon’s character has no lines and appears only seconds before being knocked to the ground and brutally devoured by two zombies. The camera shoots up her screaming face as blood runs around her eyes and down her ankle, quickly ending the now gubernatorial candidate’s only appearance in the film. (In the credits, his character is only referred to as “Tag Teamed Bopper.”)
Elvis appears in the film’s final act, sent by the Vice President of the United States to protect the town from Buddy. Elvis apparently brought with him some kind of cure for zombie-fication – except he’s only got one dose. How was Elvis supposed to save an entire town from being eaten alive with a dose of zombie cure? It’s not clear. It also fails miserably.
Questions abound after the final credits. Why did they color blood on a victim’s face, but no blood on the zombies? Why do only certain characters have deep southern accents? Why did the Vice President entrust Elvis with saving a town from zombies? Like the Loch Ness Monster or the statues of Easter Island, these are just life’s unanswered mysteries.
“Is it a good movie? We know the answer to that. No, it’s not,” said Chad Ream, a producer at Buddy Bebopin an interview with the Detroit News in May. “Are there any fun parts? It depends on how you find the humor.
That wasn’t the end of Dixon’s acting career, by the way. Her most prominent role was in a web series titled Transitions, an online vampire TV show released in 2010 with 2000s slicked-back hair and eyeliner. Dixon played a vampire named Claire who is, surprisingly, British. However, we are left with little evidence to assess his accent, since the show’s creators pulled nearly every episode from YouTube in early May. Now all that remains exists in clips and screenshots – Dixon twirling a sword, buttoning up his shirt, applying dark lipstick suggestively in a mirror and shouting “Do I have your attention now?” in what kind of sounds like a British accent.
Dixon’s past life as a low-budget actress went largely unnoticed by voters until May. But as his campaign began to gain momentum, excerpts from his appearances on Transitions took off on Twitter and was weaponized by her opponents almost immediately. “Vampire porn actress”, an expert called her. “They were almost as scary as his dangerous agenda,” Michigan’s Democratic Party said of his movies in a attack announcement against her. Critics called her a hypocrite for promoting family values and a hardline stance against ‘sexually explicit’ education– she said she would criminalize adults who allow minors to see drag shows that schools shouldn’t “normalize” discussions on gender identity or sexuality – when she had clearly been involved in projects that were both violent and sexually suggestive. (My friend BeBop, while not exactly explicit, has a lot of horny teens getting along in a weird way. At one point, two teenagers are literally foaming at their mouths doing it doggy style while shouting “Put it in my butt!” in the bathroom of an ice rink.) And My friend BeBopThe zombies of are deliberately gruesome, biting into a pregnant woman’s belly, ripping through the insides of teenagers at the rink, licking blood off the linoleum floor and, my favorite, biting a perverted middle-aged man’s dick. .
His 2008 film LexiBaby—including the Kalamazoo Gazette said, “There’s a good movie somewhere” and that the cocaine scenes were awkward because they were “too obviously grains of sugar” – also drew accusations of hypocrisy. Dixon plays a character named Emma, described on the film’s website as “attractive” and someone who “comes across as a nice person”, but is apparently also “self-centered” with destructive behavior. In the only clips remaining online, which are of the trailerthe viewer sees shots of Dixon’s character watching her boyfriend do lines of cocaine before she straddles him and lifts his shirt.
Dixon said she had never seen Buddy Bebop and never seriously considered acting as a career. She also dismissed suggestions that her past film projects undermined her public platforms, telling Michigan media that her work was made for adults and was unlike something children could access – although excerpts of his work are still readily available online, and My friend BeBop is still available to anyone with the internet and $5 to spare.
A random stint in low-budget B-movies is unlikely to derail Dixon’s run. But the revelation of her acting past is just another reflection of the weirdness of Michigan’s gubernatorial race and the toxicity of primary election campaigns, as well as a reminder that several political hopefuls of this election cycle have had careers as performers, including the day. TV.
It remains to be seen if Buddy BeBop and his horny zombies will feature in future campaigns against Dixon, or if this will all become just a footnote in the story of another messy little political campaign for a field state. of battle in the post-Trump years. .
Still, not everyone knows Dixon as a politician. When I contacted Jon Petro, one of the producers of LexiBabyin early August, he was unaware that Dixon was running for governor and unsure why a reporter would call him about him.
“Oh yeah, that’s right, how is she?” Petro said, once I explained. “I just saw a sign about it.”
It was nine days after winning the Republican primary. I told him this.
“Fuck, wow,” Petro said stopping. “I had no idea she had this far.”