Wednesday, August 6, 2014

BLAST FROM THE PRINTED PAGE!: JAY LIND INTERVIEW



Back when Divine Exploitation was a xeroxed zine I did quite a few issues. This particular issue had Linnea on the cover. Articles by Christopher Jarmick, Mark Engle and the late great Larry Stanley. It also had an interview with the one and only Jay Lind. Jay has relocated to the Philippines and is waist deep in a vampire thriller THE BRIDE WORE RED.
This is years before that and I present it electronically for the first time.
Enjoy!


Divine Exploitation - Okay, first question; How do you go from counterintelligence work to making cool, low budget films?
Jay Lind - I majored in film and theater in college, Salisbury State University with an eye to acting and directing. Mostly on stage, actually. I had some really great teachers, Leland Starnes who was my faculty adviser taught me a lot about acting and theatrical direction. Jim Welsh was a big influence on my film work and my ideas and philosophy as far as what makes a film work and why I should make certain projects. He instilled in me the idea that I had to do more than just entertain that, if I wanted to be an artist, I had to ask questions and do movies that were about something, not just a way to kill two hours. And Leland Starnes gave me the confidence to try. To takes chances as an actor, a writer and director. Because that's what it is about. Taking chances, asking questions and telling stories. If you fail, well then it's better to fail at something noble than to succeed in adding more shit to the big pile of it that passes for entertainment these days. (Backstreet Boys, NSync, I'm looking in your direction. Martin Lawrence, you know who you are.

DE - If you were given a huge sum of money but weren't allowed to have final cut, would you still make the film?
JL - Only is I walked off with at least a million of it and it was a porno AND I didn't have to put my name on it. I'm an artist, but I'm not an idiot.

DE - What was your first film?
JL - As a professional, my first film was Sangre Songes (Dreams of Blood). It was my first attempt to make my script, Valerie, and starred my future wife, Maria Pechukas, Debbie Rochon and Amy Lynn Baxter. It was about forty minutes, n dialogue and really sexy and beautiful. My first amateur or student film was Library: Banned in Latvia. I did that with my best friend, John Wright, for a high school film contest, which we won.

DE - Which do you consider to be your best film?
JL - I hope it hasn't been made yet. So far, To Dance With Death. The new one, Shadow Of The Demon might be when I finish editing. We'll see...

DE - Who would you say your heroes/influences are?
JL - How many pages do I have? Kate Bush, James Whale, Francis Ford Coppola, John Lennon, George Harrison, Paul McCartney, Ray Davies, William DeKonig, Joe Heller, Austin Pendleton, Peter Jackson, Bobby Kennedy, Bobby Seals, Huey Newton, Lee Starnes, Jim welsh, Val Lewton, MST#K, Cameron Crowe, Terrence Fisher, Terrence Young, Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Barry Levenson and, of course, Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee.

DE - For the film, To Dance With Death; where was that filmed?
JL - Salisbury and Ocean City Maryland and Millsboro, Delaware.

DE - Were the locals good about the shoot or were they big pains in the you know what?
JL - For the most part they were fantastic.

DE - Brinke Stevens does a full nude outdoor shot in the film. Did you just wait until the neighborhood was asleep for the night, or did you have a crowd like when George Romero did his 'nude zombie shot' for Night of the Living Dead?
JL - Well, Brinke's pretty cool about her body and there were times when there were people close enough to see if they wanted to, but that scene, no. we didn't get to it until about 3AM, but I don't think we would have had any problems with Brinke shooting it earlier if we had gotten that far along on the schedule.

DE - Besides money, what is the hardest part of making a film?
JL - editing. It's just sooooo dull. No, maybe preproduction. That's pretty dull, too. Okay, a tie. editing and preproduction. Or waiting for the release...

DE - What's the easiest?
JL - Definitely working with the actors. I love directing actors, creating the characters, coaching them, falling in love with them, fighting with them.

DE -What's your opinion of Linnea Quigley?
JL - I love Linnea. she's one of my favorite people in the world along with Brinke Stevens and Debbie Rochon. And my best buds Austin Pendleton and Al Ryan, A very talented writer, cameraman and director from New Jersey.
Linnea is extremely hot. A very beautiful girl, a wonderfully talented actress and a natural comedienne with a great sense of timing and mischief. And she sings and plays the guitar! What more can a man ask for in a  woman. Plus, she looks great naked and that's the only true test of beauty.

DE - Did anything odd come out of shooting To Dance With Death?
JL - Well, there was the night that spiders decided to crawl down the backs of Brinke and Victoria when we were shooting a scene under this incredibly old tree. That was pretty odd. The weird part is that they stayed in character and that's the take we ended up using. Brinke, well all then girls were so incredibly professional. It was wonderful to be on that shoot. I loved every one of them. They made me look so smart and talented the way they did their roles. They, Brinke, Victoria, Kim and Kirsten make the movie what it is.

DE - What is your dream project?
JL - There are a couple. There's a movie I've tried to shoot a couple of times that I'm actually going to get to make next year. Valerie. I tried to make it years ago with Maria Pechukas in the lead and Debbie Rochon as her best friend. Financing fell through so many times it was ridiculous. But now I've got this great producer, Robin Rothschild and she's putting the money together so we can shoot it in the Spring with Debbie in the lead and maybe Brinke and Linnea in the cast as well.  We thinkwe owe it to Maria's gost to get it made. My other dream project would be a stage version of MacBeth with Frank Langella as MacBeth and Austin Pendleton as Banquo. I'd like to use stage magic to make the Banquo's Ghost scene work so Banquo is projected translucently on the stage. Of course my other dream gig is to be the night manager of a chocolate factory staffed by naked ballerinas.

DE - Finally, have you made a film you really wish no one had seen?
JL - Oh yes. Well, sometimes I wish no one had seen any of my movies. There are times when I hate each and every one of them. There are also times when I love all of them. Since I answered that question though, the movie I was going to name has once again wormed its way back into my good graces so, today there are no movies that I wish no one had seen.

Monday, April 21, 2014

THE DISCO EXORCIST (2010)



Rex Romanski (Michael Reed) is the king of the disco dance floor. He loves to dance. He loves the ladies...all the ladies and he loves the drugs. Then he meets Rita (Ruth Sullivan) and he thinks he has found true love. Rex in unaware that Rita is a voodoo priestess with ties to the dark side. When Rex meets porn star extraordinaire Amoreena Jones (Sarah Nicklin) he realizes that it's time for Rita to hit the streets.
Rita has other ideas and curses Amoreena. Pulling out a lock of her hair helps with the whole demonic possession thing and it isn't long before Amoreena's eyes turn black and she goes on a murderous rampage.
THE DISCO EXORCIST shows us that Richard Griffin is a master of what he does.
You want a disco/horror blood and guts exploitation film? You got it. He uses the tattered film look to maximum effectiveness and you believe that it was made forty years ago. This is what Tarantino and Rodriguez' GRINDHOUSE was supposed to be.
While I am a huge fan of Griffin's ATOMIC BRAIN INVASION, I think this has nudged NUN OF THAT and BEYOND THE DUNWICH TERROR out of second place. This is what low budget film making should be; original and embracing it's exploitation roots at the same time.
I caught this on the ROKU channel Midnight Pulp. It's free and this amazing film is there for your viewing pleasure. Be sure to watch this incredibly gory, sexy, funny film today.
You won't be sorry.
Now, if I could just figure out why I think Sarah Nicklin is so freaking hot when she has the all black contacts in during her possession scenes. She did this in BEYOND THE DUNWICH HORROR as well and I thought it was hot there as well.
I think there is something wrong with me.
Oh well.

Friday, April 18, 2014

HIDDEN HORROR : A CELEBRATION OF 101 UNDERRATED AND OVERLOOKED FRIGHT FLICKS



Review books can be a tricky beast to review. How do you read it? Do you just cherry pick the reviews of films you want to read? Do you check on the films to see if you agree with their reviews? Do you just start at the beginning and plow though to the end?
This is doubly hard when you are a film reviewer as well. It becomes a game of how many have you seen.
Let's start with the good.
The book itself is beautiful. I assume it's made through CreateSpace and it shows what can be done with that particular Print On Demand process. Editor Aaron Christensen has done a fine job assembling so many reviews. At 313 pages this makes for nothing more than brief overviews, but it does give you an idea of what these movies are about. An appetizer of a review, if you will.
The logistics of getting all these reviewers in one place must have been a logistical nightmare and I applaud Christensen for getting that accomplished.
Now, my problems.
The title, the entire title immediately puts me into a mindset of  'Okay, lets see all these amazing pieces of cinema that I have never heard of.' It becomes a challenge as a film watcher to see how many of them I have seen.
The answer?
All of the ones I cared to see. Yes, there is a slim minority of films in this book that I have not seen. Why? Didn't want to. The older I get the less time I am willing to invest in films that I have no desire to watch. But, I have seen a lot of these.
The title shoots the book in the foot. Well, if book had feet. That might make it easier to read them. Just call for the book you want and it comes scurrying over to you. Convenient. And, a little weird. The title tells you these are overlooked and underrated films.
I want to give you a short list of films;
THE BLOB
CARNIVAL OF SOULS
THE HILLS HAVE EYES
I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE
THE SEVENTH VICTIM
In what alternate universe are any of these films underrated or overlooked. The editor, in his introduction, tries to waffle out of this with a throwaway comment that if the reviewer felt that way it was okay to include it in the book. No, I think it might have just been better to change the title of the book. As I mentioned before, the title creates a mindset in the reader and with every movie that goes against that mindset the book becomes more and more irritating.
Add to that there are reviews that I feel miss the mark entirely. BRIMSTONE AND TREACLE, for instance, just doesn't seem to grasp what is going on. Martin is not the devil. Martin is an answer to a mother's prayer for her catatonic daughter. No devil would remove that torment.
The review for POSSESSION is too brief for such a bizarre, layered film.
I could continue, but you get the idea.
In the end I wonder who this book is intended for. True horror fans will have seen so many of these films that the title is going to annoy them again and again. Newcomers to the field might find it a useful book, but I can't speak for them. I've been in this game for far too long to know what that mindset would even look like.
HIDDEN HORRORS? NO, not really.
Also, I am not a fan of the cover.
Sorry.

GODZILLA!!!



Look at these!!! How cool are they??? I do loves me some Godzilla so you know they will have to be added to my collection. And the coolest part is that you can get them, maybe even for free!!! Just follow  this LINK and it will get you to all the details. Have fun and enter today!

Monday, April 7, 2014

CINEMA WASTELAND APRIL 2014 REPORT

So, since the place we are buying our new vehicle from couldn't manage to have it ready for the trip we were lucky that our delightful daughter in law, Tabbie, lent us her car. We also took her husband, my oldest, and my grand daughter, Coyanna with us. So, along with me, my lovely wife, Martha and my daughters, Delia and Dandelion, we hit the road, ready for adventure.
We fueled up at the nearest  Taco Bell for their new breakfast, which was amazing, and hit the open road.
We arrived without incident and got checked into our room. And then were off to get our weekend passes. We went into the dealer room and saw everyone before going out for dinner. I did make sure to get copies of A BULLDOG FOR CHRISTMAS and HAUNTED HOUSE ON SORORITY ROW from our good friend and film maker, Henrique Couto.
Dinner was at a little place on Pearl Road called Katherine's. It was amazing. I got the fried ocean perch with piergoies and cabbage soup. Very good. We then stopped at Ground Zero Comics which was cool, but nothing like our good old Fanfare back home.
The first real event we were going to was the burlesque show by a group called The Rustbelt Honeys. Yeah, they had sound issues and took forever and they broke the cardinal rule. Don't bad mouth someone who tried to help you with your sound issues for three hours. They did, I left and we will leave it at that.
After that the charismatic, Charles Band took the stage with his Full Moon Roadshow and he showed us lots of cool things and convinced many women to show us their boobies onstage. It was magnificent and we signed up for Full Moon Streaming on the spot.



After that we made out way to the little room to watch an independent feature that was called BUNNI. I called the ending, but it was still good and the lead villain was pretty cool visually.
Then came Bill Zebub's newest feature, Scienceless Fiction, a tirade about the over abundance of political correctedness that we currently live in. Expect a review in the near future.
That put us at a little over 3 in the morning so we went back to the room and passed out.
My oldest son that came with us, staggered in about five and proceeded to throw up in the bathroom, flushing his pass and glasses in the process.
Saturday morning was spent watching 42nd Street Pete's Hardcore Wrestling Hour. Always a great way to start your day. We bought many souvenirs, including movies from Bill Zebub and Tom Sullivan's amazing documentary INVALUABLE. He sighed it and drew a little deadite on it for me. So cool. The one and only Gerrit Graham signed my VHS copy of his movie THE ANNIHILATORS. He also gave me the following, amazing story;
It seems that when they were filming the Vietnam scenes there is the scene where his character trips a trap that sends a log with a spike in the end, swinging through the air and spikes the canteen on his head. Yeah, while the spike didn't touch him. the log itself whacked him in the head. A crew member came rushing up and said, "Man, I just saw your skull!" Luckily, there was a great plastic surgeon in Atlanta where they were filming and he showed us you couldn't see the scar. I could have talked to him all day, but so could many fans so I left him to be the awesome gentleman he is.

The one in the stocking cap is my youngest daughter. Yes, that's a giant, inflatable penis.


Then we went to listen to director, Kevin Tenney talk about his movies before they showed NIGHT OF THE DEMONS. We didn't stay for the movie having seen it so many times before.



After that we met up with my buddy, Stew Miller and we drove out to Parma for our obligatory White Castle run. Delicious as always.  
Then Rhonda Baughman and Nick Peron interviewed me for their Micro Shock website. That was pretty cool.
Then 42nd Street Pete introduced his Grindhouse panel with porn star, Serena. I have never been a fan or hers, but she seemed very nice. I just wished she knew what a microphone was for. She was impossible to hear.



At 8 that night was the reason to come to Wasteland. I am, of course, speaking of GHASTLEE'S NIGHT AT THE MOVIES. A. Ghastlee Ghoul, his amazing band, Splattertude, and a plethora of people made music, did games, had fun and had a wild time.



After that it was time to hang loose in the lobby and talk with people and absorb the vibes of Wasteland. We met Calavera and he/she seemed very nice. Someone screamed at us that Vagrancy Films sucked. It was fun.



Then, Martha and I saw THE PHANTOM OF PARADISE before turning in for the night.



Sunday morning we killed time at the nearby mall before going back to say goodbye to everyone before heading home. It was a great time and I managed to not let the unprofessional behavior of The Rustbelt Honeys not bother me...too much.
Thank you Cinema Wasteland for an other excellent weekend!






Sunday, March 9, 2014

THE DAY THE SKY EXPLODED (1958)



So, this basically deals with a manned space flight to the moon. Unfortunately, the rocket experiences some difficulties and the pilot is forced to eject the manned capsule. He believes that the atomic engines were turned off by ground control. They thought he did it, but with the malfunction he was unable to make that happen. So, in effect, we sent a nuclear bomb hurtling into the void.
It makes contact with an asteroid belt and sends huge meteors right towards us dooming mankind for all time.
This was a pretty slow B&W sci fi pic. There is a ton of stock footage and when they do a animal stampedes it reminded me of that line in ED WOOD about the explosions upsetting all the buffalo. I thought the solution to the problem was both genius and a nod to anti war propaganda at the same time. If all the nuclear countries fired their missiles up into space at the same time they could take out all the meteors and save the day.
In the end it was a little long, a little dull and they spelled Mario Bava's name wrong. Mario Baja? Sounds like an Italian dune buggy.

Monday, March 3, 2014

DEATH RIDERS (1976)




For the Cult Cinema Drive in 200 Movie Box set I am currently working through I just pick a disc at random and go from there. Sure, it comes with a little booklet that gives a brief synopsis, but what would be the fun in that. I saw the title, DEATH RIDERS, and thought it would be pretty cool.
I was right, but not in the way I thought.
DEATH RIDERS is a documentary that chronicles the 1974 tour of The Death Riders Thrillseeking Motorcycle Show. You have a group of youngsters  no more than 20 going across the country from state to state doing what they do best.
Crazy ass stunts.
What makes a motorcycle jump or car crash even better?
Setting things on fire, that's what.
I would have been twelve when they came through Van Buren County. Yes, they show the fairgrounds sign in the movie. I probably saw something like this if not that show.
Very cool.
I did think it was funny that they manages to capture the true exploitative feel of the times with some nudity. How, you may ask? They did a show at a nudist colony. Sure, some of these people needed to put their clothes back on, but it was all in good fun.
Now, with stunts involving fire and motorcycles and cars you expect something tragic to occur.
Never happens.
The movie does open with a list of former members who lost their lives and in what stunt it was. That kind of makes you a little nervous when one of the new members does the stunt.
But, with all of this there is the one stunt that I can't believe they do at every show and there are a ton of volunteers for.
They do a motorcycle jump from a two foot ramp over people from the audience!
Sure, I know what you're thinking. That wouldn't be that bad. You can jump a few people pretty safely, right? But what if the ramp broke and you plowed right through those people on your bike? Plus, a few people would have been a comfort. The end of the film had one of the guys jump forty-five people.
Yeah, you read that right.
Forty-Five People.
Yeesh!
In the end you get a documentary that feels so honest and pure. It is a perfect time capsule of 1974 through the eyes of master camerman Vilmos Zsigmond. Yeah, you read that right, too. The guy that gave us things like Sugarland Express and Close Encounters of the Third Kind spent a summer following a group of kids doing crazy stuff and got some great shots of it all.
This is a sweet film of a time that is lost forever and it shows how much fun people were having being crazy way before something over polished like Nitro Circus ever even thought of it.
This is my favorite film in the box set so far.

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