CD Review: Power Trip “Nightmare Logic”

“Nightmare Logic”
Power Trip
Southern Lord Recordings
Tracks: 8

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Texas thrash band Power Trip is back with an all new angst filled album titled “Nightmare Logic”. As the follow-up to the band’s debut 2013 album “Manifest Decimation” the 8 track sophomore effort is being released via Southern Lord Recordings and continues on where its predecessor left off as a reincarnated version of the 80’s thrash sound.

Having caught these guys one night opening for Lamb of God I was instantly hooked as the band’s sound and energy commanded your attention as it was straight up thrash ala early Overkill and Anthrax. The group’s latest album “Nightmare Logic” continues on in that vein but with an injection of modern metal flare and accoutrements. Opening up the album is the lurching “Soul Sacrifice” a track which starts of being reminiscent of early Pantera before catapulting you head first in to the thrash sonisphere. The track then gives way for probably my favorite track from the album “Executioner’s Tax (Swing of the Axe). An infectious number with a chorus that quickly gets logged in your ear drums and with have you singing the line “Swing of the Axe” over and over again. As the album quickly progresses tracks like “Waiting Around To Die” and “If Not Us Then Who” all leave an undeniable stain on your senses as both songs feature the near perfect amount of vintage thrash DNA.

If you are a fan of the big four of thrash (Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer and Anthrax) and want to recapture the energy those bands provided with their earlier albums but, with a fresh/modern spin then the latest offering from Power Trip is sure to do the trick. First time listeners will also appreciate “Nightmare Logic” as the album is chocked full of great guitar riffs, tongue and cheek lyrics and slamming drum beats which offer repeated opportunities for solid head banging.

Track Listing:
1.) Soul Sacrifice
2.) Executioner’s Tax (Swing of the Axe)
3.) Firing Squad
4.) Nightmare Logic
5.) Waiting Around To Die
6.) Ruination
7.) If Not Us Then Who
8.) Crucifixation

CD Review: Saxon “Let Me Feel Your Power”

“Let Me Feel Your Power”
Saxon
UDR Music
1 DVD+2CD’s

Our score: CD 4 out of 5   

                   DVD: 3.5 out of 5

British heavy metal legends Saxon have just released their 10th live album titled “Let Me Feel Your Power”. The two CD and one DVD/Blu-ray is being released via UDR Music and features 16 tracks that were recorded in Munich and Brighton in November of 2015. The release also contains bonus footage from the bands September 2015 show in Chicago. “Let Me Feel Your Power” is available in a variety of formats including a deluxe vinyl version which also includes the Blu-Ray and 2 CD’s and is limited to 1500 copies.

The latest live offering from Saxon is a solid testament to the staying power of one of the originators of the NWOBHM movement. Vocalist Biff Byford and company sound great through all 30 tracks making this an enjoyable listen and one of the better live releases I have heard recently. The video portion (which coincides with the audio portion) of the package is equally good as it features a variety of crystal clear camera angles with top notch sound. Songs like “Motorcycle Man”, “Power and Glory” and “Queen of Hearts” rip through your speakers with surprising clarity which allows you to hear every instrument with ease, often a rarity with live recordings even with today’s modern technology.

With a track listing that is a mixture of both new and old Saxon “Let Me Feel Your Power” has something for just about every era of Saxon fan out there. Combine that with top notch audio and video and you have a really enjoyable release. Though there are a few songs which you get duplicate versions of and a lack of any real bonus or behind the scenes footage of the band (which would have been cool) these small short comings weren’t enough for me to not highly recommend this release as it’s a great heavy metal listen.

Audio Track Listing:
 Disc 1
1. Battering Ram
2. Motorcycle Man
3. Sacrifice
4. Destroyer
5. Power and the Glory
6. 20,000 FT
7. The Devil’s Footprint
8. Heavy Metal Thunder
9. Queen of Hearts
10. Princess of the Night
11. Wheels of Steel
12. Denim and Leather
13. Crusader
14. Eye of the Storm
15. Battalions of Steel
16. Requiem

Disc 2
1. Motorcycle Man
2. This Town Rocks
3. Sacrifice
4. Power and the Glory
5. Solid Ball of Rock
6. Dallas 1 pm
7. Heavy Metal Thunder
8. Rock the Nations
9. The Eagle Has Landed
10. Wheels of Steel
11. Backs to the Wall
12. Just Let Me Rock
13. Strong Arm of the Law
14. 747 (Strangers in the Night)
15. Princess of the Night
16. Denim and Leather

DVD Reviews “Power Rangers Megaforce & Power Rangers Super Megaforce: The Complete Seasons”

Actors: Andrew Gray, John Mark Loudermilk, Ciara Hanna, Azim Rizk, Christina Masterson
Directors: Jonathan Tzachor, Jonathan Brough
Number of discs: 5 (per set)
Rated: Not Rated
Studio: LIONSGATE
DVD Release Date: August 16, 2016
Run Time: 460 minutes (per set)

Seasons: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2.5 out of 5 stars

Some may not know but the “Power Rangers” series has never faded or slowed down in its success over the last 20+ years. The last two seasons were “Power Rangers Megaforce” and “Power Rangers Super Megaforce”. These two DVDs are each of the complete seasons included with a digital HD copy of each and some fun extras.

Power Rangers Megaforce: The Complete Season Synopsis: When the evil Warstar aliens plot a massive invasion of our planet, Earth’s supernatural guardian, Gosei, mobilizes a team of five extraordinary teens with the talent and attitude to oppose them: the Power Rangers Megaforce!

Power Rangers Super Megaforce: The Complete Season Synopsis: In order to stop ruthless Prince Vekar and his massive alien Armada, the Rangers have only one hope: to unlock the special keys — and harness the amazing powers of Legendary Rangers of the past!

Personally, I haven’t watched “Power Rangers” in a long time but watching these parts of this season I was easy drawn back in. I really enjoyed what they delivered. They were fun, cheesy and action packed. “Power Rangers Megaforce” includes the following special features Character Gallery, Zord Gallery and Power Rangers Morph Through 20 Years’ Video. Power Rangers Super Megaforce” also includes a featurette “Power Rangers: A Legacy”.

Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider talks about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fames latest exhibit “Louder Than Words: Rock, Power and Politics”

Dee Snider is the out spoken, wild hair front man of the heavy metal band Twisted Sister. Dee is currently one of the subjects in a recent exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame titled “Louder Than Words: Rock, Power and Politics”. The exhibit showcases some of the most important debates of our country through the lens of rock music. Media Mikes had the chance to talk with Dee recently about the exhibit, his thoughts on the country’s current political climate and the Twisted Sisters farewell shows scheduled for this fall.

Adam Lawton: How did you become involved with the current Rock and Roll Hall of Fame exhibit “Louder Than Words”?

Dee Snider: As it turned out my involvement during the 1980’s in Washington was a significant rock and politics moment. They reached out to me to do an interview and afterwards asked if I had any items I could loan them for a display. I ended up donating some of the things I wore the day I testified before congress. After talking with them more I was invited to the opening of the event which evolved into me singing an acoustic version of “Were Not Gonna Take It”. We did that with just piano and vocals and it went real well. This song is so much more important and says so much. It’s a lot more than just a great party song.

AL: Prior to your appearance before congress were politics something you had always been interested in?

DS: I had no interest in politics at that time. I was a young man in rock and roll and you just don’t think about those things. The song was written about my/our oppressors and I was sharing it with our audience who were equally frustrated. Now were older and there are greater concerns. The political climate right now is just awful! The fact that we have probably the most despised person in the history of presidential elections running against the second most despised person. The elections are going to come down to voting for one of those two people. That’s not the way it’s supposed to be so that’s why now more than ever I want “Were Not Gonna Take It” to inspire people. I want people to listen to that song and have it inspire them to try and make a change to get things back to the way our fore fathers intended it to be. People have to vote based on if they like the other guy or girl candidate instead of what issues they stand for. People are viewing this election like a reality television show. We all know reality television is not real but this is! When it comes down to this election we are just boned. I am actually in the process of shooting a new video for “Were Not Gonna Take It” with the guy who shot the original. This time around the video is not going to be funny. It’s going to be a fucking statement! The thing is its too late now but it’s not too late for the future to make something happen.

AL: Initially “Were Not Gonna Take It” was attached to Donald Trump’s campaign. How did that come and about and how did things work when you asked them to stop using it?

DS: I want to make something very clear. Donald Trump is a friend, a great guy and a class act. Unlike most politicians he called me and asked if he could start using the song. Him being my friend I told him he certainly could use it. Now when you are friends with people there is a rule. You don’t talk about three things sports, religion or politics. We never talked about the things he was standing for so when I started to see and read this stuff I thought “Holy Shit!” I called him up and told him I couldn’t stand behind the things he was saying. He said ok and that was it. Donald is a class act because he asked me first to use the song and then stopped using it when I asked him. I still like him as a person but we definitely don’t see eye to eye politically.

AL: Having seen where “Were Not Gonna Take It” has gone what do you think the young Dee Snider would think of all this?

DS: Young Dee Snider would be stunned. That song was written to rile up the masses and scare parents and it did that. Then it leads to me being the poster boy for all things bad about rock music and having to defend my songs and speaking out about censorship. Cut to now and it’s a rock and jock anthem, It’s on kids shows and commercials for women’s pre-menopausal medications. The ultimate irony of all happened a couple of years ago when the “Rock of Ages” film came out. Catherine Zeta-Jones plays a typical esc character fronting a PMRC esc organization who is trying to stop rock and roll. What song do they end up singing? “Were Not Gonna Take It”. You had to be fucking kidding me! That was the ultimate definition of irony. If you told young Dee Snider that thirty or forty years ago he probably would have punched you in the face! (Laughs)

AL: Twisted Sister was recently the topic of a documentary titled “Twisted F****** Sister” which showcased the bands early career. Are there plans to release a second part to that showing the success of the band?

DS: We sort of covered that with the “Behind the Music” special that aired on VH1. That’s the story most people tend to already know. We supported the making of that documentary but it was not something that was instigated by us. There was a documentarian who was intrigued by our story having learned that we were a band for ten years prior to making it big. This was something he was taken with and we welcomed his interest as too many people think that we jumped on the bandwagon of hair metal. We didn’t jump on it we built it! There were no bands like Motley Crue or Poison when we started. I give credit to Hanoi Rocks and Quiet Riot as well for also contributing but there was certainly no wagon to be jumped on. We were carrying the torch for something that record companies were rejecting. This film shows how hard we fought to get noticed and to where we are.

AL: It was recently announced that the band will be playing a handful of farewell shows this year. Can you tell us about those plans and what prompted this decision?

DS: I think this is long overdue. I don’t want anyone to take that the wrong way but I never intended to reunite Twisted Sister and then be together longer than we were when we first got together. I wanted to fix the broken relationships we had with one another and then end on a higher note than the one we ended on when we quietly disbanded in 1987. After a few years of reunion shows we had accomplished what I had wanted. We played the Wacken Festival to seventy five thousand people and it was a perfect show played to a perfect crowd on a perfect night. It also was captured by a dozen or so HD cameras and is available on DVD. That’s how I wanted to end things and I asked the guys if we could stop however the guys voted to keep going. With AJ passing away the sense of who Twisted Sister is and how we wanted to be remembered has become very strong. We know guys have members die and they keep going but we don’t want to be that band. After AJ died it seemed like a logical stopping point for us but with one caveat. AJ was the nice guy in the band however he didn’t have any sort of estate planning set up in the event something happened to him. These shows are going to allow us to say our goodbyes to the fans but also help raise some money for AJ’s estate. Along with our love for AJ and with the help of Mike Portnoy who is one hell of a drummer we did a run of shows last year and will be doing some this year as it will be our 40th anniversary. After these show’s that will be it for us. I don’t think anyone would fault us if we wanted to continue on indefinitely however there are other things we have to take in to account besides the loss of AJ. We perform with a very high energy rate and aggressiveness which has become expected of us. I don’t want to let our fans down. With a lot of work at the age of 61 I am still in great shape but no one beats gravity. I don’t want to go down on stage with a broken hip or something. If I did I don’t think the guys would even know something happened because they have seen my roll around on the floor before. (Laughs) Those guys wouldn’t think anything was really wrong until the EMT’s showed up as they probably would just assume I was milking it.

TMNT fan? Check out Turtle Power Podcast’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Movie SpoilerCast


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Movie SpoilerCast – TPP Episode 32 – August 8, 2014
CLICK HERE TO DIRECT DOWNLOAD THE mp3

SpoilerCast!!! They dive shell first into the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie! Make sure you watch/listen to this show AFTER you’ve watched the movie. They analyze this TMNT movie from every angle and try to help you the Fellow Turtles Fan understand its impact.

Official Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Movie Website:
www.teenagemutantninjaturtlesmovie.com

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Song of the Show
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http://shellshocked.ocremix.org/
1-04 – Duh, Who Put the Lights Out!
Arranged by: Washudoll
Source: BGM 07, Down Town (Scene 2) [Hyperstone Heist]
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Monte Pittman talks about newest solo album “The Power of Three”

Monte Pittman is an accomplished solo artist/guitarist who has played with everyone from Adam Lambert and Prong to being a part of Madonna’s touring band since 2001. Monte’s newest solo titled “The Power of Three” is melding of styles which were produced by legendary heavy metal producer Flemming Rasmussen. Media Mikes had the chance to speak with Monte recently about the new album and how he diversifies his playing style.

Adam Lawton: What was it that first inspired you to pick up the guitar?
Monte Pittman: The first thing that sparked it all was being 3 years old and discovering my sister’s Kiss records. I’ve wanted to play music since I can remember. I don’t recall ever wanting to do anything else. When I was 13, I finally got my first guitar. A year later I started taking lessons with the best guitar teacher in the area, started my first band, and played my first gig.

AL: Can you give us some background on your new album “Power of Three”
MP: It combines some of the styles that I grew up listening to and that I still listen to today. Sometimes as the years pass by you can fall out of touch with a band you grew up listening to but there are also albums that are just as good as the first time you heard them when listening today. I looked at the kind of songs I was missing in my live set and wrote them.

AL: Your previous solo release was also titled “Power of Three” Are there any links other than the name between the two?
MP: Originally, it was going to be 3 EP’s and that would be my third album. A couple things changed all of that. One was when Flemming Rasmussen pushed me to focus on the heavy material I was writing. Another was playing when Flemming and I recorded for Brian Slagel and him signing me to Metal Blade. If I had to do it all over again, I would have called it “Another Lesson I’ve Learned” which is the first acoustic song on that EP. Also, retailers don’t want you to call a recording a title that is a music format. “M.P.3: The Power of Three, Pt. 1” meant “Monte Pittman 3”. Now I look at it as that EP ends the chapter, or Part 1, of my previous releases and Metal Blade’s “The Power of Three” begins a new dawn.

AL: Can you tell us about the video for “Before the Mourning Son” and what made you choose that song to release as a single
MP: When I played the album for Brian Slagel, he wanted to play “A Dark Horse” & “Before The Mourning Son” for the rest of the Metal Blade staff. That’s why I chose those as the first two singles. We had done an “artwork / order now” video for “A Dark Horse” so when it came time to make a “performance” video, I went with “Before the Mourning Son”. The song showcases a lot of different things too so it was the perfect choice.

AL: Being a metal guitarist what types of steps to do you take to adjust your sound/style when working with acts like Adam Lambert and Madonna?
MP: Madonna has just about every style you can play with well over 30 years of an outstanding career. I just approach each song with a fresh outlook on what it needs for the time we are doing it. We rarely repeat ourselves. For Adam, I wanted his band to have as much balls as I could bring to the table. I was concerned with other singers from that show having bands that almost reminded you of karaoke and I thought he should have a strong band that worked for the venues he was playing. It has to have attitude and passion behind the music because that’s what translates to the audience. Just playing the overproduced multi tracks and trying to pass that off to the audience doesn’t cut it. I wanted the band to be a “band”. Not some people way back there in the dark. That came back to bite me in the end but it is essential to play to your crowd and be one with your audience.

AL: Are there plans to tour behind the release and what other plans do you have for 2014?
MP: I’m playing March 12 in Austin for SXSW. I’m playing March 14th in Dallas and March 16th in Longview. Now I’m connecting the dots there and back. On April 5th at The Whisky, it’s me, Holy Grail & Gypsyhawk. Keep checking in at www.montepittman.com for all of the latest news.

CD Review: Monty Pittman “The Power of Three”

Monty Pittman
“The Power of Three”
Metal Blade
Produced by: Flemming Rasmussen
Tracks: 10

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

“The Power of Three” is the latest solo release from Madonna guitarist Monte Pittman. The album is third solo release from the Los Angeles based artist and is the follow up release to his 2012 album titled “M.P.3: The Power of Three, Part 1”. The 10 tracks which make up this release were produced by legendary rock/metal producer Flemming Rasmussen (Metallica) and are being released via Metal Blade records.

Having known Pittman from his work with Madonna and Prong I was certainly interested in checking out what he had in-store for listeners on his newest solo release. Pittman blends a number of different styles which are as diverse as the list of acts he has worked with. The albums opening track “A Dark Horse” starts out with a haunting acoustic passage which gives way to blistering, overdriven electric guitars flanked by thunderous drums and vocals reminiscent of Pentagrams Bobby Liebling. As I made my way through later tracks such as the catchy, power groove filled “Blood Hungry Thirst” and the four on the floor “Missing” my attention was kept making me anxious to hear what would come next as Pittman covers immense musical ground.

Don’t let the fact that Monte Pittman has played with a number of pop acts fool you as he is definitely a metal guitarist and “The Power of Three” is a shining example of that. Double bass filled breakdowns, ripping solos and crushing rhythms made this album a great listen. My only advice to would be listeners is to make sure you have stretched your neck properly prior to starting the album as it’s bound to get a work out from the 10 head-banging tracks

Track Listing:
1.) A Dark Horse
2.) Delusions of Grandeur
3.) Everything’s Undone
4.) Blood Hungry Thirst
5.) Away From Here
6.) On My Mind
7.) Before the Mourning Sun
8.) Missing
9.) End of the World
10.) All Is Fair In Love and War

CD Review: Nekrogoblikon “Power”

Nekrogoblikon
“Power”
Goblin Records
Producer: Nekrogoblikon
Tracks: 5

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

The always entertaining Nekrogoblikon are back with a brand new EP release titled “Power”. The 5 song EP is the follow up release to the bands 2011 full-length album titled “Stench” which contained the song “No One Survives. The video for that song has garnered over 2 million hits on YouTube instantly catapulting the band and their music which they describe as “goblin-core” in to the spot light. The “Powercore” EP which was mixed by the band is being released via Goblin Records and is destine to carry on in the tradition of its predecessors.

After being one of the many who contributed to the 2 million hits for the “No One Survives” survives video I have anxiously been waiting for some new material from the pioneers of goblin-core. Well thankfully I didn’t have to wait long as the bands newest release “Powercore” instantly delivers. Humorous subject matter and crushing instrumentation run rampant throughout the 5 song EP. The band blends everything from dub beats and synth tracks to polka like rhythms mixed with brutal death metal riffs.

The releases opening track “Friends (In Space)” is an assault on the senses as the band throws everything at you but the kitchen sink. The track “Powercore” was probably my favorite as the song features a multitude of layers and sounds that create a different listening experience each time the track plays. My only complaint was I WANT MORE! However these 5 tracks are so well crafted that they will certainly be enough to hold me over until the group’s next release.

Track Listing:
1.) Friends (In Space)
2.) Nothing but Crickets
3.) Powercore
4.) Bells & Whistles
5.) Giraffe

Be sure to check out our exclusive interview with Nekrogoblikon guitarist Alex “Goldberg” Alereza, here

Nekrogoblikon’s Alex Alereza talks about new EP “Power”

Alex “Goldberg” Alereza is the guitarist for the extreme metal band Nekrogoblikon. The band which also consists of Nicholas Von Doom – Vocals, Keyboards Tim Lyakhovetskiy – Guitars, Brandon “Fingers” Frenzel- Bass, Eddie “Drifty” Trager- Drums and Aaron “Raptor” Minich- Keyboards hails from Santa Barbara, California and performs a unique blend of goblin theme heavy metal unlike anything you have ever heard before. The group has just released a new 5 song EP titled “Power” and Media Mikes had the chance to talk with Alex about the release and the formation of the band.

Adam Lawton: Can you give us some background on the formation of the band?
Alex Alereza: Yes. It all started at a Chuck-E-Cheese’s in Northern California. None of us knew one another at the time, but as the only grown men at the establishment, we soon became friends. At the exact moment in time that this friendship was fully conceived, a horde of goblins captured us all in one giant net and dragged us into the trunk of their Dodge Sprinter Van. They drove for hours until they reached a strange wasteland that they referred to as “Los Angeles”. Upon arrival, they threw us out of the van and held us at gunpoint. They screamed in unison, “you will create a metal band honoring us or we will shoot you….to death.” Not wanting to die, we quickly nodded and agreed to write these metal songs. A couple months later we released an album called “Goblin Island” under the name Nekrogoblikon and instantly became billionaires who were sought after by women young and old. The rest is history.

AL: How did you first meet John Goblikon and what’s his role in the band?
AA: John Goblikon was one of the goblins that were supposed to aid in the kidnapping, but his anxiety got in the way and he was unable to carry out his duties (he soiled himself instead). The other goblins mocked him and eventually they just stopped associating with him entirely. Having just lost his job in addition to this, he had hit rock bottom and thus decided to start hanging out with us and joining us on stage. His role in the band is bringing a great energy to our live performances, but the main reason we allow him to do it is to boost his self-esteem. So far it hasn’t worked, but we keep trying anyways.

AL: Can you tell us why you feel Goblins are better than Trolls?
AA: Goblins are overall better at most things including casting nets, driving vans, making threats, and solving crossword puzzles. The only thing trolls are better at is sitting under bridges in Scandinavia while listening to black metal.

AL: What can we expect from the bands upcoming release “power” and is the band planning to shoot any videos for any of the songs from the EP?
AA: The “Power” EP contains five songs that sound like a mixture between crutch step, vomit rock, and laugh core. As far as filming video go we have already completed one and have plans to film another later this year.

AL: Will the band be out on tour in support of the release?
AA: Yes. The plan for us is to tour the greater Los Angeles area for about two months first. After that we plan to be out on the road hitting everywhere else.

“Power Rangers” Adult Sweatshirt Hoodie Giveaway [ENDED]

THIS GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED AND WINNERS HAVE BEEN NOTIFIED VIA EMAIL. PLEASE CHECK BACK EACH WEEK FOR NEW GIVEAWAYS!

Media Mikes is teaming up with TVStoreOnline.com to giveaway some great official merchandise from “Power Rangers”. If you would like to enter for your chance to win one of these great prizes, please leave us a comment below or send us an email with your favorite Power Ranger series? This giveaway will remain open until August 23rd at Noon, Eastern Time. This is open to our readers in US and Canada only. One entry per person, per household. All other entries will be considered invalid. Media Mikes will randomly select winners. Winners will be alerted via email.

Back in Stock! Run true to size. Are you looking for a cool and geeky way to keep warm? Look no further than these officially licensed Power Rangers hoodies! If you’re a child of the 90’s, chances are you remember how cool the Power Rangers were. They were always fighting off some kind of monster, and with the power of their Zords, they could take on any foe! Morph into your favorite Ranger with these awesome retro hoodies!

Interview with Michael Berryman

Berryman is probably best known for his role as Pluto in Wes Craven’s 1977 horror film “The Hills Have Eyes” and the 1985 sequel “The Hills Have Eyes Part II”. He has also made appearances in “Weird Science”(1985), and the Academy Award-winning drama “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” (1975). In 2005, he appeared in Rob Zombie’s “The Devil’s Rejects”. MovieMikes asked Michael a few questions about his career and talked about his favorite genres and his passions besides movies and most importantly his love of craft service on a movie set.

Click here to purchase Michael’s movies

Mike Gencarelli: “The Hills Have Eyes” was your first major role. Did you have any idea that your were making a film that three decades later still ranks as one of the great horror films of all time?

Michael Berryman: To tell the truth, I didn’t. I was just happy to have another job. When I read the script it was called “Blood Relations,” which was the name of the company. Then it was changed to “The Hills Have Eyes.” And, having talked to Wes (Wes Craven, the writer/director of “The Hills Have Eyes”) about the McBain family and learning that the story was mostly true, I thought “OK, this is not really a monster movie…it’s about two families.” It was hot in the daytime, cold at night. Very physical. A lot of the people in what we called the “White Bread Family”…Dee Wallace….the guy that played Bobby (Robert Houston)….they were a little more citified. Which kind of fit. I mean, everyone on our side, the Hills family, had done Westerns and rough and tumble parts. So it kind of lent itself to a natural selection as far as having the two sides – protagonist and antagonist. No, I had no clue at all that it would be a classic. Wes was just getting going after “Last House on the Left” and, actually, nobody had ever heard of anybody in the cast at all. We all just threw ourselves into it. I wanted to make Pluto as real to life as possible. And we got lucky. It hit. The drive-ins helped. It created some controversy. By today’s standards it’s not very bloody or gory…not a lot of special effects. So I’m very proud that after thirty years it has those other elements to fall back on.

Mike Gencarelli: You appear as a patient in the Oscar winning Best Picture “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” Any favorite memory from working on the film?”

Michael Berryman: Many. Many. I worked 127 days on that masterpiece. We had two weeks of rehearsal with camera on the major scenes. Blocking and just trying to get a feel for it. And during the two weeks all of the main actors, including myself, had to spend time with the real patients on different wards (note: the film was shot on location at the Oregon State Mental Hospital, which was open and operational at the time). We even went to the criminally insane ward which was on the third floor. And with a guard at the door looking through the window there were moments where we spent a half hour…up to an hour with the patients. One fellow had been committed because he had, unfortunately, burned down a church. We looked at his art work. It was a very strange place with these individuals whose lives weren’t like yours and mine. But it gave us a nice insight into what really goes on. My father having been a prominent brain surgeon (Dr. Sloan Berryman was a very distinguished neurosurgeon)…that helped also because I had been around doctors and nurses my whole life. And then Jack Nicholson…this is what made him. It got him his first Oscar. He was still pretty well known. And having filmed at a real hospital was kind of cool. We were all hoping that Ken Kesey (author of the novel) would drop by but he was pretty dissatisfied with the screenplay (the script, by Bo Goldman and Laurence Hauben, won the Academy Award) because it wasn’t through the eyes of the Chief (in the book, the story unfolds through the eyes of Chief Bromden). But all in all it was very impressive to me. The hand picked crew…everybody now has a legacy behind them and I was just proud to be a part of it. The days I had off I was still on the set watching so I could learn my craft. I wanted to learn as much as I could about the lighting and the blocking…how you do coverage.

Mike Gencarelli: What did you think about the recent remake of “The Hills Have Eyes?” Have you seen it?

Michael Berryman: Yes I have. I was at a sneak premiere at a film festival and then I was at the red carpet event in Los Angeles. It was great to see Dee (Wallace) and Wes (Craven) and everybody. I liked the beginning of the film quite a bit. It had a nice feel to it…a nice atmosphere. But after about 20 minutes it became obvious to me that the movie was losing its dramatic impact…the relationship between the two families as individuals dealing with other members of their own family…I thought it fell apart and it turned into a chase film. I thought it basically turned into a video game. And then the second remake…I have no interest in even watching it. I thought they were pretty weak. And I know they were financially successful but I’m an artist first and, while I always want my projects to do well so I can make subsequent films, all in all I was pretty dissatisfied with the remakes. Of course they’re remaking everything these days and some are better than others. I just didn’t care for these remakes. They could have been better.

MG: Your role in “Weird Science” was a change of pace. At first you seem to be your usual villain but, once you’ve been rebuked, you meekly ask “Can we keep this…between us? I’d hate to lose my teaching job.” Was that line in the script or something you and John Hughes came up with on set?

MB: That was actually something John Hughes (writer/director of “Weird Science”) and I came up with on a whim. I was talking to him on set while they were setting up the shot for my close up and he said, “Hey, Michael, I’m going to end with you. What do you think these guys do when they’re not out terrorizing kids on the weekend? So we kind of kicked it around and we thought it would be kind of neat if he was a school teacher. This was sort of his chance, by proxy…because Kelly’s (LeBrock, who plays Lisa, the “doll” the boys create) character zapped us in…it wasn’t our idea…it gave us an opportunity to mess with these kids, which is kind of neat because most school teachers get a lot of razzing…get a lot of grief from high school kids. That’s how that scene came about. And John was just tremendous…tremendous to work with.

MG: Which do you prefer doing, horror films or more mainstream ones?

MB: I don’t really have a preference, honestly. I like it all. I just finished the last couple scenes for the new “Scooby Doo” movie playing a zombie, but I got to sing and dance. So there’s a mixture of comedy – slash – pseudo horror and making it all work. I don’t have a particular preference but I do have to say in my library growing up as a kid, being a big fan of films, I loved the monster films. I loved the Universal Horror classics. I loved the “Twilight Zone” and “The Outer Limits.” Especially because of their content. They were social commentary about situations that you could hide under the guise of…protagonist – antagonist…situations where your average person has to figure out what choices are most important for them. At an earlier age, of course, I loved Superman. I wanted to have super powers like every other kid. But I really appreciated the misunderstanding of the monsters. Now when you have a monster that pretty much just capitulates, like the one in the Korean film “The Host”. The monster wasn’t one you could have a dialogue with or get a lot of back story. I consider that a monster film in the classic sense. I thought it was a beautiful film, I really liked it. But I don’t have a preference. If somebody waved a magic wand and said you can only do one kind of film…gosh…I’d have to say sci-fi because it embraces all the other elements. But if it’s a good script and its well put together and we have a good crew… as long as there are good craft services catering I’m happy. That’s true. They say an army runs on it’s belly but a production company runs on craft service.

MG: What are your passions besides acting?

MB: My biggest passions? The first one is humanity. I’m huge on the basic theme…if you look at the back of the jacket that I wear all the time. And I wear it for a reason. It’s a Hard Rock Café jacket and the back reads “Love all. Serve all. All is one.” That’s kind of my philosophy of life. That is the most important. And that gives us room for civility to do continued good work. For instance Paul Newman, who I met while I was doing “The Crow,” invited me to get involved with his camp for kids that have their faces and skulls reconstructed and it’s all paid for through his philanthropic organization. I’ve been to his camp a number of times. I also lived at the Wolf Mountain Sanctuary for a number of years. The website is wolfmountainsanctuary.org. There’s also a woman whose been saving the Santa Cruz Island horses off the coast of California. It’s called Sunshine Sanctuary and they work with troubled kids. They let them come up and interact with the horses and they have an opportunity to make a difference. (www.sunshinesanctuary.org) I work with local charities. I’m a reader for blind college students. I’ve volunteered at many drug and alcohol programs through my friends in law enforcement. I think it’s important for the artists in the community to make a difference, especially if you have a recognizable face and/or name. People follow your career and there’s so much more to it than just making a paycheck and telling stories and buying expensive toys. I would love to be a gazillionaire. I would set my family up but I would also take a lot of the money and set it aside. I would be a philanthropist. That would be my ultimate goal. I have horses at home, I’m an avid gardener, I love to cook. I’ll sum it up by saying I can’t live in a world without garlic and chocolate.

MG: Do you enjoy attending conventions and meeting your fans?

MB: Absolutely. I think they’re really cool events. I’ve been splitting it up 50/50 pretty much. Half of the events I go to are film festivals where I do the meet and greet…well, I’m usually out meeting and greeting so I don’t get to see all of the films I would like to. If there were two of me, one would be out at the table (greeting fans) and the other one would be watching every movie being shown. I’ve talked to a couple of people who put the events together and I’ve told them it would be great if they put all of the film submissions in a collectors set so they could be available for the fans. I’ve been to festivals in Indianapolis…Texas…Canada…all over. It’s really exciting to meet people who are just getting their feet wet. The themes and subject matter are usually a lot more varied than what you see from the studios. I really enjoy my fans and I appreciate them very much. And they know that. I also get to meet actors that I’m really keen on…people whose work I’ve watched over the years. I may have never gotten to work with them but it’s nice to meet them…hang out at the hotel and maybe have a drink or a bite to eat. I think the conventions are wonderful. If anyone reading this hasn’t gone to one, I highly recommend it. Get out of the house and go…you’ll have a lot of fun.

MG: What can you tell me about your upcoming role in “Below Zero 3D?” Are you excited to be in 3D?

MB: I’m totally stoked. I just finished up the paperwork. I have a son who’s a serial killer. It’s sort of a “Fargo” esque story where a screenwriter gets locked into a meat locker so he can get into the mood to write his screenplay. It’s a three part story with a couple of nice twists to it. I’ve noticed that 3D is becoming pretty popular and they’re doing it different then before so maybe it will really be fantastic. I like the script a lot. It should be a lot of fun. I’m looking forward to going to Canada and shooting it.

MG: Any other projects you have coming up?

MB: A movie called “Stingy Jack.” We’re hoping the project gets green lit soon. I’ll play the title role. I can’t say too much about it…it’s kind of top secret! But it’s a really, really, really cool script. I’m just very grateful to make new contacts. People who are trying to put together their companies and create a library of good work so we can continue doing what we love to do, and that’s entertain…tell stories. It’s one of the oldest art forms in the world and I’m proud to be a part of it. Thanks to (legendary filmmaker) George Pal who gave me my first role. I’m really excited. I just want to pack my bags, head up to Canada and have a great time doing “Below Zero.”

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Interview with Chuck Williams

Chuck has appeared opposite Bruce Campbell in Don Coscarelli’s “Bubba Ho-Tep” and “The Carbon Copy” with Jonathan Breck. Also “Bryan Loves You” with Tony Todd and George Wendt. Chuck has also performed lead roles in “Groom Lake”, “Soultaker”, “Up Against The Eight Ball”, “Double Blast” with Linda Blair as well as countless other films and television shows, including “The Young and the Restless”. He has worked as an assistant director alongside such Hollywood heavyweights as James Cameron, Rob Cohen, Kathryn Bigelow, John Badham, Penelope Spheeris, Jonathan Kaplan, David Fincher, Jim Kouf and a host of others. MovieMikes talked with Chuck about his fantastic career, which shows no signs of stopping anytime soon.

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Mike Gencarelli: You’ve starred in numerous low-budget horror films, is that your favorite genre?
Chuck Williams: No, not really, I love all kinds of films….especially romantic comedies. It’s just easier for everyone to raise the money to make horror movies and that seems to be the most kinds of films that filmmakers ask me to be in. I remember in the beginning of my career, my mom would ask me “Are you ever going to star in a movie you don’t die in?”…LOL

Mike Gencarelli: Tell me about your involvement with the show “The Girls Next Door”?
Chuck Williams: I was asked to come on the show and produce a horror movie with Bridget Marquardt. She is an amazing, talented woman. She truly loves horror and scary films. So we developed a movie called “The Telling” that she also starred in with her friend Holly Madison. We had a blast and shot a lot of it at the Playboy Mansion thanks to Hugh Hefner. It now is playing on The Movie Channel.

MG: You’ve taken on many roles, actor, producer, writer, directer, what is your favorite job on the set of a movie?
CW: My favorite is always acting. That is why I came out to Hollywood. But I knew if I learned the craft of making films, I would always work. I want to be in this business for a long time like Paul Newman and Clint Eastwood and they both learned how to make movies!

MG: What was like working the film “Bubba Ho-Tep” and with Don Coscarelli and Bruce Campbell?
CW: One of the best experiences in my life. I love Don. He is a great writer and director. Bubba Ho-Tep is one of those films like Spinal Tap or Rocky Horror Picture Show…It will live forever. The fans love that movie and so do I. Bruce is the King….while on set in front of the camera or behind, he never broke character. As he would always say, “Thank you, thank you very much….now lets get something to eat boys.”

MG: What was your craziest experience on a film set?
CW: Working as a assistant director on the cult classic movie “Near Dark” directed by Oscar winner Kathryn Bigelow. Long and cold nights, great cast and for some reason, we kept blowing up things that would knock out the power in the middle of the night of this small little town in Arizona…LOL They were happy to see us leave…I mean, imagine waking up more than once and finding out your not going to have hot coffee in the morning.

MG: If you have all the means necessary, what would be your dream project?
CW: Well, I have always been an independent filmmaker, which I think that keeps the game interesting. But if I had 200 million dollars to make my dream project, I would make a film that makes people laugh!

If you would like to contact Mr. Williams directly, feel free to send him an email at:
chuckwilliamsfanclub@yahoo.com

www.chuckwilliamsfanclub.com
www.myspace.com/chuckwilliamsfanclub
www.facebook.com/chuckwilliamsfanclub

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Exclusive Interview with Amelia Kinkade

Amelia Kinkade, although known for her more prominent role as the Angela Franklin in the horror series “Night of the Demons” and its sequels. That was only the start of Amelia amazing journey. Besides being a champion level dancer, Amelia has written two pet psychic books and she is a practicing animal communicator. Amelia gives lectures, classes and book discussions have all around the world. Thanks to Neal DeConte, who is creating a figurine of Amelia as Angela from “Night of the Demons” for his company, Horror Idols (revealed this July at Famous Monsters Convention), MovieMikes was able to ask Amelia a few questions about her days as an actress and more importantly her current work which is her true passion. During this interview Amelia realized that “There CAN be a lovely cross-over between the horror lovers and the spiritual animal lovers.”

Click here to purchase Amelia’s books
Click here to purchase “Night of the Demons” films

Mike Gencarelli: You majored in dance and was featured in films and rock videos? Is dance still apart of your life?
Amelia Kinkade: If I didn’t still dance, I’d be lying on my back in an insane asylum dancing on the walls with crayons between my toes. I am a champion level salsa dancer, I’m proud to say, after many years of humiliation on the ballroom dance-floor. Salsa is a BLAST and I recommend it to all my students no matter how much they think they can’t dance. Dance is an outlet of joy, release, gratitude, and respect for these amazing bodies God gave us, no matter what shape we think we’re in or how critical we may be of ourselves. I trained all my life as a professional ballerina and jazz dancer, quit for many years after my Demon’s days, went into a horrid depression and realized I couldn’t live without the hope and joy that dance brings into my life. I decided to get my groove back on in my early thirties and and one of the reasons I moved to NYC was because I can still dance like a bat out of hell. I needed the best dance studio in America where I can smoke every nineteen year old Broadway star off the map. I found it. Good times! If I had any shame, I’d feel terrible about this. But I taught for years in Hollywood, and I can still ROCK IT.

Mike Gencarelli: You starred as Angela Franklin in the “Night of the Demons” franchise, did you enjoy planning the character?
Amelia Kinkade: Does a bear shit in the woods? Does the Pope eat fish on Friday? I got paid to get possessed and kill everybody. In my early 20’s, I was still doing this on a monthly basis, but not getting paid for it. These movies allowed a rare glimpse of my PMS before I had my monthly dose of Midol.

Mike Gencarelli: Do you have a favorite moment from the set of the films?
Amelia Kinkade: “I was just warming my hands over the fire!”


Mike Gencarelli: How do you feel about the franchise being remade planned for release this Halloween?
Amelia Kinkade: I didn’t know it was! But thanks for telling me! As long as I get my .0000000000002 % maybe I’ll have enough money to buy some cat food for my hilarious funky half-dead ol’ Persian, Doc!

MG: After you starred in “Night at the Demons III”, why did you stop acting?
AK: I got the calling to work with animals and write my first book. Divine Intelligence took over my life and it was time to allow my destiny to be more important than my history–a lesson I now teach in at least 12 countries all over the world every year. Working as an actress was a mindless cake-walk. Working with tigers in Thailand, elephants, cheetah, sacred White Lions, Great White Sharks, penguins, baboons, jaguars and giraffes in Africa as the human monkeys destroy their environment and exploit them off the face of the planet is not a mindless cake-walk. It’s time to take responsibility for our world and the other living creatures on it that we were put here to protect and champion. If my movie career can help position my work as an animal ambassador, I’ll run naked through the streets. What do you think THAT would do for my reputation? Grin You know that saying, “Good girls go to Heaven. Bad girls go everywhere?” Well, it’s true. But maybe this bad girl can get some GOOD things done in this world. If my fans join hands with me, we’ll have a better chance. The movies were “fun.” Rolling around with tigers and diving with Great White sharks is ecstatic. And even if the animals are in pain, and most are, the work is REWARDING, so I can go to sleep every night knowing I made a difference in the world. I’m not the one wearing the fangs anymore. I’m loving the ones with the real fangs, and it’s a LOT more fun than pretending I have fangs of my own.

MG: When did you first realize that you have the ability to hear and speak to animals?
AK: I wrote a book about this called “Straight From the Horse’s Mouth: How to Talk to Animals and Get Answers”. In my Demon days, when I was 24, I took a workshop that was the seed of what I now teach. When it came time to try to actually “do it,” I was convinced I’d be the only person in the entire room who couldn’t do it. But when we were asked to “tune in” to a dog, I started writing pages and pages of notes, crying hysterically. The teacher asked us is the dog we were trying to connect with had ever had puppies. Suddenly the dam burst between me and the dog and I “became” her for a moment. In the vision, I WAS the dog, like being in a movie clip, in holographic 3D. I could see and touch the nose of my great love through a chain link fence. He was a big black doberman mix who lived next door and I was living in a trailer home that had a huge pine tree in front. The human got divorced and took “me” away from the only dog I ever loved. Then she got “me” fixed so that I couldn’t have puppies. Emotionally, I was heart-broken. The level of grief was over-whelming, but I knew I had to be loyal to my human owner. I looked down and saw the huge incision on my belly and felt the agonizing pain. The pain was devastating, both physically and emotionally. Then inside my mind, I heard the dog say, “I couldn’t be a mother myself, so now I take care of all the neighborhood cats.”The woman who owned the dog burst into tears and confirmed everything I said, from the trailer to the pine tree to the big black dog next door. She kept saying, “Tell her I’m sorry! I’m so sorry!” And she confirmed this huge pitbull mix herded all the neighborhood cats in the most loving way. That was the beginning of a shocking new career that has taken me all the way to Buckingham Palace to read the Queen’s Horses. I didn’t mean to do it. But God needed it done, so She chose to do it through me, and to tell you honestly, I didn’t have much choice in the matter.

MG: Tell me about the books you have written, “Straight From the Horse’s Mouth: How to Talk to Animals and Get Answers” and “The Language of Miracles: A Celebrated Psychic Teaches You to Talk to Animals”?
AK: It’s this mobility of consciousness that I now teach. Psychic ability is a learned skill, an innate part of our brain chemistry that only needs to be developed in order to function automatically like any of our other motor skills. In every workshop I teach all over the world, one of my first questions is, “How many of you think you’re going to be the only person in the room who CAN’T do this?” and almost every hand goes up. Then, I applaud their courage for coming. By the end of the seminar, almost ALL my students are able to download names: Names of the other animals at home, names of the other people at home, names of the neighbors, names of the animals’ medical conditions, names of the humans and animals in the household who have crossed over into Heaven and details that are absolutely impossible to dismiss. And it is often the most skeptical down-trodden students with the least amount of confidence who come out as the most SHINING professional psychics, because they are so humble and their ego doesn’t get in their way. Plus, if they question themselves constantly, they are all the more likely to push for more detail in their information and they get more accurate data. I’ve poured my heart and soul into my books and I’ve made my life an example of giving everything I’ve got to give in order to restore some peace to this planet and some comfort to Her animals—two and four-legged alike.

MG: You are currently on a world tour, how does it make you feel to be able to spread this gift all over the world?
AK: Tired. I’ve been on a world tour for eight years. I’ve got FOUR more world tours this year. That’s why I’ve chosen to start appearing in Horror Movie conventions here in the states. I’m willing to join forces with my horror fans who are also animal lovers and not have to fly all the way to Switzerland to find like-minded animal lovers who want to talk about Quantum Physics, Interspecies Communication, God, Spirit, life, and the future of the planet. My students in Europe share their inmost secrets with me, dance, and laugh, and cry with me. Maybe my horror fans will do that too, and Dorothy won’t have to fly all the way to Oz to get her rocks off.

MG: Are you excited about your return of the horror convention circuit this July at Famous Monsters Convention in Indianapolis?
AK: With bells on, baby.

MG: How do you feel being about becoming a figurine created by the company Horror Idols?
AK: The only thing my figurine can’t do that I’m doing is JUMP FOR JOY, but maybe we’ll work on that for the NEXT action figure/figurine.

Click here to purchase Amelia’s books
Click here to purchase “Night of the Demons” films

Interview with Steven C. Miller

Steven C. Miller wrote, edited, directed and even had a role in his first horror movie, “Automaton Transfusion”. The film made on a no budget but it looks like $5M dollar film. MovieMikes has the ability to ask Steven a few questions about his career so far. Keep an eye on Steven he will be the taking over the horror genre, no question.

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Mike Gencarelli: What were the main challenges you faced while making “Automaton Transfusion”?
Steven C. Miller: The biggest were obviously Time and Money. We had next to none of both. Its hard to make any movie in 9 days, but it gets even more challenging when you have less that 20k to do it with. We had to be extremely creative but ultimately I think that’s what gave us a unique little film. Other main challenges included– Locations, Make-up FX, and Exhaustion.

Mike Gencarelli: How did you feel when the film was picked up by Dimension Films?
Steven C. Miller: It was a huge honor for me. I felt like Dimension really brought back horror with the release of “Scream” back in the day and nothing thrilled me more, than to be in that library. They did an amazing job on the box art for the film and the overall marketing was fantastic.

Mike Gencarelli: You career started right out of film school, tell us about your road to success?
Well, I by no means think I am a success yet. I still see myself as learning and trying to perfect my craft. Anyway, I came to Hollywood right after film school (sleeping in my car/on friends sofas) and started Editing a few low budget horror films. I finally just got sick of all the crap I was seeing. It wasn’t necessarily the film makers fault, gotta pay the bills, but I always felt like there was no heart in those pictures. I wanted to make something that felt like “Evil Dead”. Something that had heart and showed a love for the genre. I gathered my friends Mark Thalman and William Clevinger and explained to them what I felt like we needed to do. They both agreed and we immediately contacted our film school. The school was on board and we were off to the races. Once “Automaton Transfusion” was finished, the journey of getting it bought seemed long, but eventually it landed at film festivals and ultimately at Dimension. It was an amazing time in my life and I will never forget it.

MG: Are you planning a follow-up to “Automaton”, if so can you tell us about it?
SM: I am. Its been in the works for a while now. Its the movie that ties up any loose ends or questions from the first film and leads into a whole new world for the third. It picks up where our characters were left for a brief moment before being thrust 5 years into the future. I can’t say too much because the script is just too exciting to spoil, but it will mix genres like nothing before. The biggest issue with the movie is the financing. It needs… well.. deserves a bigger budget than the first and that is always about timing. Its not a film I am going to just make for half a million bucks and hope it turns out good. Its something that I consider my Empire Strikes Back and I take it very seriously.

MG: Has horror movies always been your favorite genre? Do you see yourself ever making romantic comedy?
SM: I love all kinds. My favorite is really action. I always felt “Automaton Transfusion” was an action movie with horror elements. I also do love comedy. Horror and Comedy are very similar, its all about the timing. I would definitely do a romantic comedy if it was R rated and felt like something out of the 80s.

MG: Who is your inspiration for wanting to make movies?
SM: My biggest inspiration when I was growing up was Sam Raimi. It was amazing to me that he could be all over the genre map, from “Evil Dead” to “For The Love Of The Game” to “Spider-Man”.

MG: If you had any means necessary, what would be your dream project?
SM: I have a werewolf bank heist film called “Bad Moon Rising”, that if I had the chance, I would make in a instant.

MG: Tell me about your involvement with the proposed remake of “Motel Hell”?
SM: I was hired by MGM and Craig Perry to be the Director of the remake. There is a really fun script and Craig Perry has some killer ideas. The problem is that It’s at a stand still while MGM figures out there money situation. Its unfortunate that the movie hasn’t just been made. Its a great title and one of my favorite 80s flicks. Hopefully soon!

MG: What other projects do you have in development that you want to talk about?
SM: I’m in post production on my next feature for After Dark Films called “Scream of the Banshee”, which stars Lauren Holly and Lance Hendrickson. Its a fun little monster movie meets “The Ring”. It’s slated for a October theatrical release. I’m also working on a few things with various producers and Writers. I try to throw as many things as I can at the wall because eventually something will stick!

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Interview with Dante Tomaselli

Dante Tomaselli’s first film was a 23-minute short called, “Desecration”, which was expanded to feature length. The film received acclaim for its nightmarish visuals and became a cult horror classic. His second was a sequel titled, “Horror”, The film earned rave reviews in the horror world. Tomaselli third feature, “Satan’s Playground” was released in 2006 and featured an amazing group of cult-horror icons. MovieMikes has the opportunity to talk to Dante about his films and his what is in stop for the future.

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Mike Gencarelli: “Desecration” started off as a short film, how do you feel the film translated into a full length feature?
Dante Tomaselli: Not bad, considering it cost only $150, 000. “Desecration” was my first feature and I was still in my twenties.  It was 1999 and the genre was just finishing that God-awful cycle of “Scream”-like comedic horrors. My film premiered at the Fantafestival in Rome, Italy and then Image Entertainment picked it up for DVD distribution. It got some good notices in the horror world and art-house arena. Then came the Internet. Lots of press there. Lots of review sites popping up all over the place. That was around the time that the Internet was starting to replace newspapers and magazines as immediate media information and I felt I was riding the wave of something….

Mike Gencarelli: What was the biggest challenge making the full length “Desecration”?
Dante Tomaselli: Getting all the elements together…crew…actors…artists…money. Filmmaking is not like photography or painting. You can’t just have your paint brush and easel and display your vision. I needed to build a whole network of people around me. I’ve always been a mixture of shyness and occasional confidence, so socially, it was rough, but the film pokes through and leads the way. I think people around me understood that I meant business. The visions must be extracted. The film itself speaks and commands…and I’m the vessel, really. It was challenging creating my first feature…at the same time it came so naturally. After “Desecration” was released, I was hooked and deeply in love with making low budget movies….Film is a moving painting, a moving sculpture…a doorway to somewhere else…wow…I definitely felt that this was my destiny and I was on a mission. I wanted…needed…to make creative, intimate horror films.

Mike Gencarelli: Tell me about its follow-up “Horror”, what made you want to continue the story?
Dante Tomaselli: Horror was like a sequel to “Desecration”. It was a continuation of the eternally damned boy’s life. I was honing my craft. Even though I switched cinematographers and production designers from “Desecration”, “Horror” still retained my signature look…and sound. It was important for me to illustrate that I had a voice that was my own. I’m trying to construct a nightmare in which we experience the protagonist’s damnation. More than anything I wanted my films to be different, unique. Possibly I could have made a mainstream horror film…possibly…but instead I went the other way and created something crazier, wilder, and even more non-linear than Desecration”. “Horror”. My imagination was unhinged on “Horror”.

MG: You worked with a great cast in “Satan’s Playground” like Felissa Rose (“Sleepaway Camp”), Ellen Sandwiess (“Evil Dead”) and Edwin Neal (“The Texas Chainsaw Massacre”). What was it like working with them?
DT: Exhilarating. Looking back, I might have been a little too caught up in the horror fanboy dream of it all. It might have distracted me a bit from the film itself, sometimes. Ultimately, though I forged some actor director relationships that are enduring. Felissa was fun to work with; she really got into the part and put her heart into it. Ellen Sandweiss is a great friend and had one of the best roles in “The Evil Dead”, one of my favorite films. She was terrific…especially when her character’s baby was stolen. “Satan’s Playground” was her comeback after so many years. And Ed Neal, well, I am about to work with him again on my new film. He’s a really gifted performer, very underrated.

MG: Your films have all seem to involve religion undertones? Why?
DT: Well, I grew up in an Italian American Catholic household so it was unescapable. My older siblings all went to Catholic school and I went to Sunday School…or Catechism. And church. My religious grandmothers both lived in Paterson New Jersey, with all the Blessed Virgin Mary statues on the lawns and everything. A staple of Italian neighborhoods. It was a vibe all around me and I picked up on it. I remember, many times, being in church, on my knees, and chanting the prayers and zoning out and marveling at the architecture of the church and the eeriness of the church organ. I’m not a religious person. Spiritual? Yes. I’m more skeptical of organized religion. It causes wars and divides people. Certain religions thinking they know better than the other….It seems to have happened since the beginning of mankind and never stopped. Also, of course, sometimes the hypocrisy, the perversion of religion can be terrifying. I think organized religion could be the death of us. So yea, I fear it. In the end, though, my films are really about family.

MG: What made you want to get into the movie business? Is horror your favorite genre?
DT: Yes! I’m a lifelong horror film fanatic. Good horror films release serotonin in my brain. Growing up, my room was decorated like a Funhouse. This is something I’ve always wanted to do, for as long as I can remember. My notebook in school was filled with horror movie artwork and the titles of the films in their original font. Movies like…”Halloween”, “The Omen”, “Carrie”, “The Shining”, “Rosemary’s Baby”, “Tourist Trap”, “The Fog”, “Burnt Offerings”, “Let’s Scare Jessica to Death”, “The Sentinel”…When I’m inspired or in…the trance…I close my eyes and the images from the film I want to create are as clear as slides projected in my mind. And the sounds. It’s an all-out sensory take-over, like dreaming while wide awake. It’s been happening since I was really young and it’s like a faucet I can’t turn off. I fantasize for a living.   

MG: Your cousin, Alfred Sole, made “Alice, Sweet Alice”, would you ever consider remaking that film with him?
DT: I will be remaking that film. I have the rights from my cousin and he will work on it as well. It’s inevitable that all notable horror films will be remade so we want to beat others to the punch. It’s coming up.

MG: You are having a documentary made about you by filmmaker, Christopher Garetano, titled “The Horror of Dane Tomaselli”.  What can you tell us about this?
DT: You’d really have to talk to Chris about what he has in store because he’s totally in charge of it. He’ll be shooting the conclusion of the documentary soon, possibly next month.  I’ve seen clips and it’s like an out-of-body experience.  For me, it’s intense, hallucinogenic.

MG: What are your plans for the movie “Torture Chamber”?

DT: I’m ready to start shooting. We’re days away. It’s a horror shocker about a demonically possessed boy who escapes from a mental institution and discovers an old abandoned castle with a secret passageway to a cobwebbed torture chamber. It’s the first serious independent horror film in a while that’s in the vein of “The Exorcist”.

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