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Before Viagra there were goat testicle transplants, men w/ dreams & one unlikely hero. The stranger-than-fiction tale of John Brinkley!
Before Viagra there were goat testicle transplants, men w/ dreams & one unlikely hero. The stranger-than-fiction tale of John Brinkley!
649 backers pledged $79,170 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

NUTS! The Story of the Goat Testicle Impotence Cure & More! project video thumbnail
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$79,170

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In 1917, John Romulus Brinkley discovered he could cure impotence in men via goat testicle transplantation. (Then, the story really gets weird.)

From Director Penny Lane (OUR NIXONTHE VOYAGERS), NUTS! THE BRINKLEY STORY uses animated reenactments, interviews, archival footage, and a hilariously unreliable narrator to trace Brinkley’s rise from poverty and obscurity to the heights of celebrity, wealth and influence in Depression-era America. 

Along the way, Brinkley transplants tens of thousands of goat testicles; amasses an enormous fortune; is (sort of) elected Governor of Kansas; builds the world’s most powerful radio station; invents junk mail, the infomercial, the sound-truck and Border Radio; hosts some epic parties; and annoys the heck out of the establishment, until finally his audacious actions force the federal government to create regulations to stop him. How he does it, and what happens when it all comes crashing down, is the story of NUTS! 

You really won't believe it. Seriously.

YOU: "I MUST SUPPORT THIS AMAZING DOCUMENTARY FILM!!!!"

US: "We AGREE! GO CLICK ON STUFF -- JUST TO THE RIGHT THERE!"

UPDATE 09/22/14: We've added a "$50 I Love Physical Media!" pledge level for a *SIGNED DVD* of the finished film, immediately upon commercial release. 

Note for anyone who wants a DVD: no worries! any pledge over $50 that includes a digital download now includes your choice of a download *or* a signed DVD. It doesn't say so, because we added this option mid-stream, but we promise it is true. 

TAX -DEDUCTIBLE DONATIONS

Donations over $500 can be tax-deductible! Tax-deductible donations are compensated with all the same rewards you see on this page. All you have to do is send a check to UnionDocs (our 501c3 fiscal sponsor) and let them know it's for NUTS! Mail it to: UnionDocs, 322 Union Avenue, Brooklyn NY 11211.

SPECIAL REWARDS FOR "OUR NIXON" SUPPORTERS!

You know who's the best ever? You. Especially if you supported OUR NIXON on Kickstarter. Anyone who pledged to either OUR NIXON campaign will receive a limited edition "Brinkley for Governor" campaign button (created exclusively for this Kickstarter campaign) with your pledge of $10 or more to NUTS! You don't have to do anything now; when the campaign is complete, you'll receive a survey on which you will just tick the "Our Nixon Supporter" button.

Kickstarter is an incredible platform to fund creative ideas and ambitious endeavors, and is the perfect way to finance a project like NUTS! Why? Because we don’t have to ask any one person to assume financial risk. We just have to convince all of you, who are captivated by adventurous documentaries, and want to be swept away by a completely bananas but true story, that you’ll love this new film and have fun participating in its production. We don't have to wait for Big Money; instead, we can harness the power of the film's future audience to make this thing a go. When NUTS! gets finished, it will be because people like you, people who are genuinely interested and want to see it, made that happen! It's simply INSANE that this film has not been made yet. Together, we can remedy this injustice.

Kickstarter is powered by a unique all-or-nothing method where projects must be fully funded or no money changes hands. In other words, if we don’t raise our goal, we lose everything. Our goal amount is the bare minimum we need to finish the film. Anything over that will be crucial in making it a better film. Your support is essential, and we are so appreciative that you took the time to consider this campaign. If you're looking for other ways to support the film, but are not in a place to make a financial contribution, you can spread the word to your interested friends, or otherwise on social media. Awareness will help us meet our goal!

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/NutsTheFilm

WEBSITE: NutstheFilm.com

On Twitter, follow director Penny Lane @lennypane, and use the hashtag #GONUTS

With the support of Creative Capital and Tribeca Film Institute, a lot of passion, and a few gray hairs, I've built a small but dedicated team, including: Executive Producer Dan Cogan (HOW TO SURVIVE A PLAGUE, THE QUEEN OF VERSAILLES); Writer and Voice Actor Thom Stylinski; Producer Caitlin Mae Burke (APPROACHING THE ELEPHANT, WE COULD BE KING), Composer Brian McOmber (A TEACHER, AFRONAUTS); and Illustrators/Animators Drew Christie, Michael Pisano and Hazel Lee Santino

But let me tell you: making a feature film is not something you can just go and do on your own. You need sooooooo many other people. (That's part of the fun!)

We are reaching a critical moment. Your contribution will help us find and pay the final, essential animators necessary to complete NUTS! Only 25% of the animations are complete. You'll be supporting our composer, hiring musicians and renting a studio to record our original score. Your dollars will also help us finance a color correct and sound mix for the film, so it looks pretty and sounds as great as possible for its big screen debut. There are many steps we need to take before we can bring this film to an audience. 

Thank you, thank you, thank you for your interest – and support!

xo Penny Lane

Risks and challenges

We are confident that this movie will be completed, but there are a number of challenges that all filmmakers face when finishing a project.

The most common challenge faced by independent filmmakers is that additional time is needed to complete the film. This can happen for a number of reasons.

There's an old saying about creative work: when it comes to having things done "fast, cheap, or good," you can only get two out of three. Since "good" is a non-negotiable, we have to consider the possibility that completion may take longer than we expect.

But worry not! This train has left the station! We are full steam ahead on NUTS! THE BRINKLEY STORY. However, we need your support in order to be able to dedicate all our time and resources to the film.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    The Best Around: You are the best ever! We'll be sending all backers EXCLUSIVE UPDATES from the making of the film.

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    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    It's An Indie LoveFest!: Any $5+ backer receives a free month-long MEMBERSHIP TO FANDOR! (http://www.fandor.com) Members can access thousands of handpicked, award-winning independent films from around the world. We'll also send you EXCLUSIVE UPDATES.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    The Awesome Person of Note: Thanks! Your name will go on the WALL OF AWESOME on NutsTheFilm.com, and we'll also send you EXCLUSIVE UPDATES.

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    The Digital Sampler: A collection of totally NUTS! ANIMATED GIFS, and SURPRISE AUDIO CLIP of John Brinkley in your inbox – as well as a special CHAMPIONSHIP GOAT RIBBON!

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    The NUTS! and Bolts: A DIGITAL DOWNLOAD of the finished film!

    INCLUDES $15 PLEDGE LEVEL REWARDS.

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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    The Radio Buff: A download of THE BRINKLEY RADIO LOVERS DREAM COMPILATION: a collection of Brinkley's Radio Talks, plus other radio tidbits from the golden age of XERA (music by the Pickard Family, ads for Kolor-Bak, etc.)

    INCLUDES $25 PLEDGE LEVEL REWARDS.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    The Patented Cure: An APOTHECARY BOTTLE of Brinkley's famous "miracle tonic," Formula 1020. Contents a sworn secret! (It's colored water.) INCLUDES $25 PLEDGE LEVEL REWARDS.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    I Love Physical Media!: a *SIGNED DVD* of the finished film, immediately upon commercial release. INCLUDES $15 PLEDGE LEVEL REWARDS. Note for anyone who wants a DVD: no worries! any pledge over $50 that includes a digital download now includes your choice of a download *or* a signed DVD. It doesn't say so, because we added this option mid-stream, but we promise it is true.

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    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    DVD on the Radio: For those fans of original media, a SIGNED DVD of NUTS! and a download of THE BRINKLEY RADIO LOVERS DREAM COMPILATION. Hear Brinkley's voice in stereo! INCLUDES ALL $25 PLEDGE LEVEL REWARDS.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    The Top Goat: Show off your support of NUTS! with this unique GOAT TROPHY.

    INCLUDES $25 PLEDGE LEVEL REWARDS.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Wall to Wall NUTS!: Limited-edition ART POSTER from an original oil painting by Hazel Lee Santino. http://hazelleesantino.com INCLUDES $75 PLEDGE LEVEL REWARDS.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Your Nixon: A SIGNED DVD of OUR NIXON, and a limited edition H.R. Haldeman BOBBLEHEAD. Essential for the diehard Penny Lane fan. :) http://tinyurl.com/bobbleHRH

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    The Charlatan Special: a SIGNED COPY of CHARLATAN: America’s Most Dangerous Huckster, the Man Who Pursued Him, and the Age of Flimflam-- Pope Brock's hilarious account of the life of Brinkley! INCLUDES ALL $100 WALL TO WALL NUTS! PLEDGE LEVEL REWARDS.

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    The Million Watt: A SIGNED COPY of Gene Fowler's BORDER RADIO. Learn more about the pitchmen, psychics, yodelers, and other amazing Americans on the early airwaves! INCLUDES ALL $100 WALL TO WALL NUTS! PLEDGE LEVEL REWARDS.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    I Want Everything!: You will get a NUTS! SWAG BAG – with a ribbon, PERSONALIZED goat trophy, bottle of Formula 1020, poster, download of the film, GIFS, and surprise audio clip of J.R. Brinkley.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Penny Gets Her Goat: Penny temporarily adopts a baby goat (from her neighbor's farm), and takes it everywhere she goes for one day! Backers at this level get to see a video documenting the results, which are pretty much guaranteed to be ridiculous. (Don't worry, I'll take excellent care of the kid.) INCLUDES $100 PLEDGE LEVEL REWARDS.

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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    The Mini Testicle Festival: Caitlin Mae Burke will THROW A PARTY for you (and ten of your friends) in her beautiful, conveniently located Brooklyn apartment. Have a BBQ or a picnic in the yard (with CMB behind the grill) or a craft night in the living room (CMB provides supplies and snacks.) Vegan/Gluten Free? No problem! All food and beverage provided, travel to Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn not included. INCLUDES ALL $250 PLEDGE LEVEL REWARDS.

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    Pledge $350 or more About $350

    I Want More Than Everything!: It's a SWAG BAG PLUS! Everything in the NUTS! Swag Bag ($250 reward level) as well as an ANIMATION STILL signed by the artist.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    The Three Arts: A SIGNED ART POSTER, a SIGNED animation still from the film, and a framed digital print of a portrait of John Brinkley by Michael Pisano. http://www.michaelpisano.com/

    INCLUDES ALL $350 PLEDGE LEVEL REWARDS.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    The Barn Dance: Host a SCREENING PARTY in Director Penny Lane's barn in scenic Central New York! You pick the movie, Penny will provide the party space (and the popcorn) for up to 25 guests! Great for an unforgettable birthday party, test screening or fundraiser. Travel to Hamilton, NY and accommodations not included. http://tinyurl.com/NUTSbarn INCLUDES ALL $350 PLEDGE LEVEL REWARDS.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    The Best Supporting: A SPECIAL THANKS in the film's credits, and on IMDB. INCLUDES ALL $500 PLEDGE LEVEL REWARDS.

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    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    The Cameo: YOUR NAME or initials appearing in an animation sequence in the film- over a shop in Milford, carved into a tree? Who knows?! It'll be there for all to see.

    INCLUDES ALL $1000 PLEDGE LEVEL REWARDS.

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    Pledge $3,500 or more About $3,500

    The Leading Lady/Guy: YOUR ACTUAL FACE drawn into the film! You'll be drawn into a scene in NUTS! Plus TWO TICKETS to a premiere screening of your choosing (travel not included). INCLUDES ALL $1,000 PLEDGE LEVEL REWARDS.

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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    Penny Grows A Pair: Penny does something she's horribly afraid to do, like for-real terrified to do. Choose from: Taking A Dancing Lesson, Going Skydiving, Performing On A Stage, or Something Else (we can discuss!!!). You can witness this event in person (travel/lodging not included) or we'll send you a backer exclusive video. INCLUDES $3500 "LEADING LADY/GUY" PLEDGE LEVEL REWARDS.

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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    The Golden Goat: ASSOCIATE PRODUCER CREDIT on the film/IMDB. 4 tickets to a major premiere (travel/lodging not included, but party tickets will be!), and 100 copies of the finished DVD. Plus: 12 half-hour coaching calls from Penny Lane (or other members of the NUTS! team, including Dan Cogan, Caitlin Mae Burke, and Thom Stylinski, as you wish). Use these calls to get feedback, insight and direction on an existing project or help in jumpstarting a new project. INCLUDES ALL $5,000 "LEADING LADY/GUY" PLEDGE LEVEL REWARDS (not to mention the pleasure and satisfaction of knowing that without you, this film would never come to fruition).

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Funding period

- (34 days)