Ladd Ehlinger Jr. is the conservative filmmaker behind that absurd advertisement for Alabama Agricultural Commission candidate Dale Peterson. He also makes weird, low-budget science fiction movies. One is a computer-animated adaptation of the book Flatland, starring Martin Sheen.
Ehlinger also directed Hive Mind which is described as "a techno-collectivist scifi horror film with a cast of billions." Ehlinger's trademark is subtlety.
"I decided to stick him on a horse, give him a gun, and make it a John Wayne movie," he says. "Some jerks are saying, ‘Oh, it makes us look like rednecks!' Well, maybe in New York you wouldn't make an ad like that, but this is Alabama, and here, people ride horses and shoot guns."
When Peterson saw the ad, he "loved it," Ehlinger says. "Because I was basically doing a portrait of him," he explains. "Not a campaign ad, but a portrait."
Thing is: Ehlinger is going to be in huge demand now with a certain kind of candidate. His outsized ad got an even more disproportionate amount of press for Dale Peterson, including an appearance on Glenn Beck'sradio show. (Beck asked him what kind of gun he was holding in the ad, of course.)
So it should be a very entertaining mid-term election, with tons of tough-talking state comptroller candidates fondling guns and horses and charging after illegals, dog tags in hand. By 2012, these things will probably be in 3-D.