Monday, March 10, 2014
In honor of the 30th Anniversary of the cult sci-fi punk epic REPO MAN directed by Alex Cox
Gorehound Mike is proud to present Some People Just Explode: Cast and Crew Interviewed!
ALSO Huge Thank you to Lou Rusconi for the mega awesome banner he did! visit his site
INTERVIEW WITH SY RICHARDSON Aka Lite.
GM: How did you meet Alex Cox?
]SR: I did a student film at UCLA for a friend of his. Mona Wali called Grey Area. He watched the shoot and after it was over he took my picture and resume and called me in to read of his student film Repoman. Funny thing about that is I came in to be an extra on Grey Area and one of the principle actors didn't show and got his part.
GM: And in Repo Man you went in for a much smaller part correct?
SR: Yes I went in for the guy who came into the office with his girlfriend in the set up to get his car back. And during the call back several actors didn't show up and he ask me to be his reader and I read different parts during the audition.
GM: And he liked you for Lite based on your reading?
GM: Was the character of LITE exactly how he was in the script or did Alex give you room to make changes to him?
SR:I made changes. For instant the scene where Emilo and I drove up and I started shooting at the house with a blank was not in the script. I didn't think he would let my dialogue when I said "Get out of the car white boy!" I went to a school in Chicago (St. Micheal) where I was the only male african american in the school and I called all the my friends and foes white boys. So it was natural thing to say for me.
GM: So some of your lines were adbibbed?
SY: A few, not many. 98% percent was all Alex Cox.
GM In the commentary for Repo you said you saw Lite as African american Bogart can you elaborate on that?
SR In those days, by being new at pursuing acting with very few classes I had to find someone I admired their style. Bogart was a regular guy, Blue Collar kind of guy but didn't take no shit on screen and I heard from old timer he didn't take any off screen either. I could relate to him. Blue Collar family went to 14 grammar schools and five high school and three colleges in chicago. And lived in many different ethic groups where being Black wasn't cool. but I had to survive. So, I didn't take no shit.
GM: What was Ellimo like to work with? Did any his family visit him on set?
SR Great he taught me a lot about giving interviews on camera and how to work on camera vocally. Since I came straight from 1 and half years doing Vaudeville shows. Several other actors help me too. Anyway, His father came on the set love him real down to earth we had a good time talking to him. He would tell us jokes etc… It wasn't on the set tho it was during our call back audition His father visited.
GM Speaking of co-stars, I heard Harry Dean was quiet a character. Any stories working with him?
SR He is a method actor and kept it real, honest and stayed in the moment on set. I remember he used to bring his guitar on set and practice.
GM Did you see him and Alex clash at all?
AC No I didn't. Clash no not that I remember. When I am not on set or eating. I stayed to myself and kept my mind, heart and moment into being Lite.
GM Were any of the locations you shot Repo in dangerous?
SR Driving underneath the bridge was little on the shaky side. We worked in areas that could of been dangerous. But, the homeless, and the gangs sorta looked over us. The didn't pay us any mind. The blues and reds had better things on their minds then messing with a bunch of young cats making a movie. The knew we wasn't a high budget film.
GM What the most memorable behind the scenes story you have from Repo?
SY Tracy Walter and I was watching the crew lifting the car up for the last scene. And Tracy said millions of people would pay to be in a movie and we make a living doing them. That is when I took this business serious instead of just having fun doing something, like i spent my entire life doing just having fun. I have thanked him several times for that quote.
GM Do fans ever recognize you from any of your cult films?
SR All the time. Once i was on the pasadena bus and six young men ran over to me and started reciting some of my lines. And then they recited Bad Man. On different sets during actors and crew will crowd and around me and ask about Repoman, They Live, Bad Dreams, Straight To Hell and Walker. Oh yea and Colors.
GM What was working with Gary Oldman like on Sid and Nancy?
SR: LOL wonderful! the man awesome. Strong intense the kind of actors I like working with. My two favorite strong intense actors are Danny Glover and Ed Harris.
GM Personally what has been your favorite film you`ve acted in?
GM That a terrific film. What current projects are you working on?
SR I just finish Reluctant Polygot, and An I gets witness protection. I am directing a one man show now called The Devil and Billy Markham, and waiting for my editor to give my memoir back so I can publish it. And I getting ready to publish my book called An Actors Spiritual Armor. Just read a script was offered the lead in but, they are doing another rewrite. Can I get a witness protection.
GM: Finally advice to young actors?
SR Don't follow your dream, step in the middle of it and do it every day. Every step wheather it's right on wrong is one more step closer to your passion, your love. There is no greater feeling than doing what you love for a living.
Gorehound Mike would like to thank Sy Richardson for taking time out to do this interview and Lou Rusconi for the epic artwork.
Thursday, March 6, 2014
Film Class from Hell:Underrated Horror/Cult Cinema Part 2 What dirty little treasures you should be watching!
Its time for round two. Get your pens and pencils ready and get to tracking down this movies. Think of this as your cinema 101 FROM HELL!!! And i`ll be your professor of the weird and wild Gorehound Mike to guide you through the under belly of all that films have to offer.
Pin is a medical dummy used by a doctor in a sleepy town. But this film is more akin to Psycho rather then Childs Play. I dont want to give away to much of this film, because its more fun to go in knowing almost nothing about it. I will say this film makes your skin crawl and the end will leave your jaw on the ground.
Made by Roman Polanski in his "apt trilogy i.e The Tenant,Rosemarys Baby) this weird black and white film explores a pretty girl going totally mad. Its style over substance but its very well crafted. See it, you`d be crazy not to.
Looking for a cheese filled monster movie by legendary EMPIRE pictures. Well Celler Dweller would suit you nicely. Ok it has its flaws but has a certain charm that makes these kind of films enjoyable, also the gore is awesome. Look for a beheading that is done quiet well. The creature itself is also designed well.
The Honeymoon Killers
A personal favorite of mine. T.H.K follows the rather large and fabulous Martha played by Shirley Stoler and her husband Ray. They have a scheme where Ray marries a lonely woman and steals the money, Martha posses`s as his sister. Problem is when Ray said death do us part ....he meant it. Black comedy at its best. Its also a favorite of Rob Zombie who introduced the film for TCM:Underground. Look for a very young Doris Roberts as "Bunny"
I went into this movie thinking, OK its going to be a trashy little fun film with extra cheese. By the end I realized its actually disturbing nasty little film. Arch Hall Jr. steals the show as the titular sadist and woah hes great and maybe has one of the best crazy eyes ever filmed. This film is brutal, gritty and well acted. I think every cult cinema person should see this. It rants up there with Faster Pussycat Kill Kill.
Remember the time when Dario Argento was making really well crafted horror/murder mystery`s (gallios) Well folks this is his very first feature film and it packs a huge punch. The twists and turns this movie takes you on will keep you hanging on this roller coaster ride with moments of great pulse pounding suspense. Lets have a lot more this and a lot less Giant preying mantises in a horrible Dracula film.....
I`ve been a Sam Fuller fan for some time now but only recently (last few years) discovered this little gem. Its about a reporter who goes in a mental institute to discover the identity of a killer inside its walls. This film is very edgy for the time it was made and remains powerful to this day. Its the rain scene though that I recall having a huge effect on me.
This like a few other films on this list has a black comedy streak but for the most part is a serious film. Fans of AHS:Asylum may find the plot similar, I wouldn't be a bit surprised if there inspiration was partly this film.
By Frank Henenlotter this weird wild and highly entertaining film introduces us to Elymer a lovable brain munching parasite that is voiced by none other then Zacherley the cool ghoul!.I cant say enough good things about this film, its horror black comedy and gross out effects that will rot your brain and you`ll love every second of it.
Paul Bartel and Mary Woronov are pure brilliant in this black comedy. Desperate to open a restaurant the pair kills swingers for the money. Quirky off beat and funny as hell actors Bartal and Woronov have great chemistry together and really shine in there roles. Look for a gut busting cameo by Ed Begley Jr as a hippie. Filled with whips chains wine and murder this is sure to please even the most jaded of cinema swingers.
Fun fact: The couple reprise there role in CHOPPING MALL.
OK Class is over ...You have your home work...Do watch your step out of the dungeon you might just get a whipping from Doris the Dominatrixs!
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
Its evil in chrome and it cant be stopped.
The film opens with a quote from Anton La Vey`s Satanic Bible which should give you a pretty good idea where this film is gonna take you.
So if your looking for a great movie to go with "DUEL" The Car is certainly a great mean machine that could give Christian a run for her money. Now get out of here CAT POOOOH!
Sunday, March 2, 2014
Film Class from Hell:Underrated Horror/Cult Cinema Part 1 What dirty little treasures you should be watching!
80s cheese fest that is loads of fun. Killer robots in this throw back to Corman with lots of insider jokes for film buffs to enjoy. See my interview with its film maker Jim W in last months archives.
Daughters of Darkness
A film that is both sexy, well shot and all together hypnotic. Its a very different kind of vampire film and is one of my personal favorites. I never understood what people meant by a film being dream like until seeing it.
Bare Behind Bars
Its like the took the recipe for a typical Women in prison movie and throw in a tab of acid. Campy loads of sex (at times hardcore) and of course violence yet it goes from crazy to just plain wtf?? A treat for sleaze fans. See full review in archives.
Dead End Drive In
In the future where does the poor and the criminal scum go..Why to a drive in of course, only once you enter you don't leave. Wildly entertaining, imaginative and loads of rip roaring action, this weird little flick from down under is worth checking out.
Female Prisoner 701
Another W.I.P movie set this time in Japan. Its been loving referenced in Kill Bill and rightly so. Its a stylish weird and violent piece of celluloid hell that is a lot of fun. See full review in archives.
The Pit, wow this is just pure bat shit crazy movie. Its a story of a boy, a "pit" of monsters and a evil teddy bear that we assume only his owner can hear. Its one of those movies that has to be experienced. See full review in archives.
The apple is a Rocky Horror minus the brilliance in song writing and director, however its campy and surreal enough to justify a look at. I heard it once described as a alternative future where Nirvana never came about and the music world was totally different. So go on take a bite!
This black comedy could be easily dismissed as another Empire cheese fest but lurking within is actually a smart social horror film with mind blowing insane visuals from SCREAMING MAD GEORGE. But its the orgy scene that you will have a hard time forgetting about. See my interview with director Brian Yuzna in the archives.
The first of three in the trilogy, follows a rebel police officer who has a giant penis and his way of interrogating female suspects why raping them of course. But mid way through the sex,naturally the love it sooo much they will say anything he wants to know in order for him to keep going. Wildly un. P.C and could never ever been remade this is another one you just got to see to believe. The dvd set is fairly cheap and not hard to find and well worth it.
Well cinema friends that its for now, that should give you plenty to rent/stream. Look for more coming soon!
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
BY: Gorehound Mike
I`m going to spare you the history lesson on Ozploitation. Its been well covered in Mark Hartleys documentary "Not Quite Hollywood: The wild untold story of Ozploitation. It more then clue one in on these gems. I recommend it for any serious film fans. Look for my review of PATRICK 2013 by Mark coming soon!
This movie is a glorious mess. Its got its tongue firmly plated in its cheek, and if your a lover of the weird wild and humorous (and why else would you be at this blog, after all) then you`ll see past its flaws and embrace the genius of this film. Yes I said genius...
Right off the the director sets the tone with savage riot footage and gives us a taste of what we have in store. The cast is amazing. In the main roles you have character actor Steve Railsback as the rebellious Paul and Olivia Hussey as the innocent Chris. Supporting roles such as Michael Craig and Roger Ward (Mad Max) are over the top and perfect as the baddies. You gotta love seeing prim and proper Oliva in this down and dirty, down under film, something I suspect will never ever happen again. This further adds to the surreal quality of the picture. The cartoon style violence can never be taken to serious and fuels the films black sense of humor. For example Roger Wards severed hand continues to twitch even after its been cut off (by Oliva Hussey who almost nearly took it off for real.)
As stated above this film is flawed but a lot of that can be explained by the notoriously troubled production.
From the start something like 12 pages were cut leaving a whole first act re write. This would account for the at times the uneven story. Also its been got cut already half way during production.But one can never get bored with TURKEY SHOOT..Oh far from it. You have beautiful bare breasts, gore galore and even a mutant hybrid wearing a top hat and human clothes! Once the hunt begins, the film gets kicked into over drive. With all the blood guts, chases explosions and mayhem that make this genre so much fun. Despite its problems this is a pure thrill ride of carnage nudity action and weirdness that is sure to please even the most jaded of cinema go`ers. Its easy to see why this is one of Quentin Tarantino`s favorite Ozploitation films.
Monday, February 17, 2014
Jim Wynorski :Legendary Film Maker Interviewed! Talks Chopping Mall Working with Traci Lords and his New Film!!
Jim Wynorski :Legendary Film Maker Interviewed!
Fans of B-Horror films have do doubt seen the films of Jim Wynorski. His impressive body of work includes such cult classics as Chopping Mall, Not Of This Earth,Transylvania Twist,Camel Spiders Return of the Swamp Thing just to name a few. Jim Wynorski started out working for the legendary producer director Roger Corman and soon got his first assignment "The Lost Empire" In addition to giving Lords her first none adult film role his remake of Not This Earth he also discovered a young unknown Jennifer Love Hewitt in his film Munchies. Jim has is just finished a film with none other then the lovely Ms.Lords and took time out of his busy schedule to talk about his films and give us a sneak peek at his latest epic SHARKANSA PRISON MASSACRE.
GM: What were some of your favorite Roger Corman films growing up?
JW: Oh that's a new question. I loved Attack of the Crab Monsters which I saw when I was very little. I liked Not Of This Earth which I remade. I wanted to remake Crab Monsters and theirs a script out there that exists but he (Corman) didn't want to do it he thinks to much of the original film to do a remake. Day the World Ended, of the black and white period though were my three favorite. Also liked Bucket of Blood. Of the color period I liked all the Poe films, X The Man with the X-Ray Eyes,Wild Angels there's a lot of them. I grow up watching those pictures and paying to see them. I told Roger that a lot of picture I saw growing up and they influenced me. So when I finally got to meet him and work for hiim it was quiet an honor, i was in awe of him.
GM: Whats the most significant piece of advice that Roger gave you, that you apply to this day?
JW: Just before I started shooting Chopping Mall he took me to lunch and he said bring a pad and paper,so I brought a yellow pad and after lunch he said this here is what you gotta do and he gave me film school in an hour.Everything I learned in film school didn't count but what he said made a lot of sense and I still have that yellow pad and I live by it. I now have it memorized, many do`s and don'ts. Many questions, not trick questions like if your in this situation what do you do and they have to do with keeping up your schedule, dealing with your actors etc. So in short the pad was the best advice I ever got on how to make a movie. He doesn't give it out willingly to just anyone but he gave it to me and a lot of his protege and its worth its weight in gold on how to make a movie for cheap and how to make it entertaining.
GM: Lets talk about Chopping Mall a personal favorite of mine. Did you have a bigger budget to work with on this then your first film "The Lost Empire"
JW: I believe it was yes.
GM: Which mall was used?
JW: The Sherman Oaks Galleria, which is now gone. Also used in Commando, Fast Times at Ridgemont High and many other movies.
GM: I read Keli Maroney did of her own stunts?
JW: No not all of them. Thats her with all the snakes and tarantulas on her and her running around but when it came to the dangerous stuff like being near explosions or going through plate glass windows that was a girl named Lise Romanoff.
GM: I heard there was a talk of Chopping Mall 2...
JW: My statement has been watch the first one again, there cant be a Chopping Mall 2. Somebody right now is remaking Chopping Mall, I believe without robots. Its like making a Friday the 13th movie without Jason.
GM: Do you have any say as far as...
JW: I have a say in terms of I own a piece of that film (the remake) if it ever gets remade, cause I know a piece of the original Chopping Mall.
GM: But creatively...
JW: They didn't contact me and I would tell them what I`m telling you, its not a film you want to remake. Especially without the robots and if they did it today the would probably use CGI robots and it would not be as good. Cause its done to remake it today or reboot it or in terms of a part two it never came up.Any time someone asks me about it I always just say watch the first one again. You`ll never be able to capture whats in the first one in a second one.
GM: I always put this movie out to friends of mine because not only do you have homages to Corman films but to B-films in general.
JW: Well I was just starting out people I wanted to thank visually, like Dick Miller and Paul Bartel and Mary Woronov and even Angus Scrimm is in the film, hes one of the guys asking questions at the beginning. It was a piece of work I had a desire to make.
GM: Speaking of Mary Woronov and Paul Bartel was there reprising there roles in Eating Raoul originally in the script or was this thought of later?
JW: No but Julie Corman who produced it already knew Paul and Mary and she got them to come in there and we just put the camera down and just turned it on and just let them talk. Yeah there was a couple scripted lines but everything else is ad libbing coming right from them and I just used what I liked.
GM: Another film that is a favorite of mine and I`m sure of many of the readers at home is Not Of This Earth. Was it your idea to remake a Corman film or Rogers?
JW: Yeah I wanted to remake Not Of This Earth and Roger said Ok and he left town and while I was doing prep thats when all the Traci Lords hoopla hit the newspapers about under age porn and everything else and I said this was the perfect girl to be in this movie.So I became a detective and sought her out. It was not easy to find her because she was not with any agencies, she was in hiding. I found her and convinced her to do it and been friends with her every since and we just did another movie together finally.
GM: What is she like to work?
JW: Shes a doll, she hits her marks, she knows her lines. She was a little scared of doing something new. We shot that film in twelve days, actually we shot that in eleven and half so on the second half of the last day of the twelfth day I went back to the stuff we shot on the first day and re shot it again when she was a lot more confident and self assured and that's what ended up in the movie.
GM: Speaking of blonde vixens you worked with tall and amazonian Brigitte Nelsen on your horror film 976 EVIL II and you have a interesting story of how she got cast.
JW: I was at a Hollywood party at some producers house and she was there looking hot as ever and I was playing pool in the pool room. She asked if we could have a game and I said can we make a wager? She said what kind of wager? I win you do a day for me for scale on my next picture I lose i`ll put on a maids outfit and clean your house. And she was up for that. We had a good game, it was close but I won. So she showed up on set of 976-EVIL II she did her day and did an Ok job.
GM: Did you felt her difficult to work with?
JW: No no she wasn't difficult to work with. She was working for pretty big bucks at the time and her she was working for scale and she didn't really come in super prepared and we had to go over her lines but in the end she did a great job.
GM: You have a pretty impressive number of film credits to your name. How long does a typical shoot for you last?
JW: It varies sometimes I shoot them in two days (chuckles) or twenty four it depends on whats being shot. A bigger movie like Not Of This Earths took twelve. Return Of the Swamp Thing took twenty two. Different schedules different budgets its whatever you can afford to do.
GM: Last talk now about your latest film with Traci Lords Sharkansas Womens Prison Massacre. Great title by the way, you came up with that?
JW: In the shower.
GM: (Laugh) Nice.
JW: Somethings just come to you right away and some things don't. I was in the shower last September and I was trying to find something with shark in the title and not use the word shark and suddenly it was like inspiration angel came over my head and Sharkansas and when I put those two words together women s prison massacre just followed. (Laughs) And I was like I wanna see that movie. I got out of the shower, went to the computer and starting belting it out.
GM: What can fans expect?
JW: Fan can expect everything you would expect from that title (laughs) Hot chicks cat fights shark attacks not only on water but on land, because these are land sharks from Saturday Night Live. Of course funny dialog and suspense actually. We spent a lot of the budget shooting on location in the Florida caverns and swamps. We got Traci Lords and Dominique Swain, its a good movie, so far were putting it together right now.
Thanks again to Jim Wynorski for taking the time to talk to us about his epic career! Look for Jims movie GILA! Starring Chopping Mall`s own Keli Maroney on DVD soon!
Saturday, February 8, 2014
Picking up after the original film left off the sins of the sleepy town of Gatlin is discovered by police and hot on the story is hacky rag man/journalist John Garrett and his teenage son Danny. And as you would guess the followers of former leader Issac is still going strong and the mysterious demonic force of "He who walks behind the rows" possess Micah (Ryan Bollman) and makes him the new leader of the pint sized blood cult. It seems that what turned out to be a juicy story for John turns into more then he can bite off. But can they escape the clutches of the corn or will they end up as just another sacrifice.
What I like the most about COTC II is that it doesn't take itself to serious and has some the best outrageous and yes even funny gore splatter scenes that is more reminiscent of eighties horror films. One of the best jokes is the Wizard of Oz references which is both map cap and priceless. Not to mention a scene which will make you NEVER look at bingo the same way again.
The acting is actual above what you`d expect. Ryan Bollman plays the emo new cult leader of He Who walks behind the rows" and manages to be not hammy but creepy giving Issac a run for his veggies. Also look for a young Sean Bridgers who would go on to do such great films as JUG FACE,THE WOMAN etc playing Jedediah. Marty Terry also steals the scenes in a duel role as Mrs Burk and sister Ms West. Like the acting the writing is smarter then you`d think and doesn't talk down to the audience like so many carbon copy horror films do. A nice touch is the church scene with the self referencing "movies with violence nudity etc" which again is a nice little self aware moment that adds to the film being better written film in the never ending series. This does what a good sequel should which is not replica the first film but expends the mythos from the first story with the nice addition of the native american character Frank Red bear.
Now lets talk about the blood and guts and that there are plenty. As stated above the gore is over the top and a makes this film enjoyable to even the most jaded horror fan. Award winning make up artist Bob Keen worked on this film (Star Wars,Nitghtbreed etc) and it shows.
Now this film is far from being perfect and I'm not saying its a great film, and its easy to put out its glaring flaws (crappy cgi,clunky romance subplot) but I feel like this is a lot less fun if you endlessly pick apart it. It is what is is a "corny" but fun splatter film that does what it sets out to do, entertain you on a beer soaked Saturday night.