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Recommended Horror Films


 

 

 

Recommended Horror Films

My top 10 horror and thriller films list is based on
"re-watchability" ~ those movies I can
watch over and over again without ever
getting sick of them. They all have great
performances, highly quotable lines, and
great pacing: my 3 most important qualities
for a cult classic.
1) Class of 1984 (1982)
2) Return of the Living Dead (1984)
3) Halloween (1978)
4) Phantasm (1979)
5) Hell Night (1981)
6) Night of the Demons (1987)
7) Kalifornia (1993)
8) Let's Scare Jessica to Death (1974)
9) Dawn of the Dead (1978)
10) Vampire's Kiss (1989)

***

CHILLER TV'S TOP 13 HORROR MOVIES OF THE 00's:

13) Drag Me to Hell

12) The Strangers

11) Final Destination

10) Orphan

9) The Descent

8) Hostel

7) 30 Days of Night

6) Cloverfield

5) 28 Days Later

4) The Mist

3) Saw

2) Paranormal Activiy

1) The Ring

***

More Horror Movies

I strongly recommended:

Note: I consider the 70s and 80s the absolute golden age of horror films;

most of my picks are from this period, although some newer ones

have also impressed me (1408, Hostel, Session 9, The Hills Have Eyes remakes, etc.)

Alien Abduction: Incident in Lake County (1998)

American Gothic (1988)

Bio-Zombie (2001)

The Birds (1963)

Blue Velvet (1986)

Carnival of Souls (1964)

Cemetery Man (1998)

Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things (1972)

City of the Living Dead (1983)

Dance of the Dead (2008)

Dark Ride (2006)

DeadGirl (2006)

Dead Leaves (2005)

~ featuring music from Rozz Williams ~

Deathdream (1974)

Demons (1986)

The Descent (2006)

The Evil Dead (1983)

The Exorcist (1973)

Fangs of the Living Dead (1968)

1408 (2007)

Frogs (1974)

The Funhouse (1981)

Happy Birthday to Me (1981)

Hell of the Living Dead (1981)

Horror of Party Beach (1964)

House by the Cemetery (1984)

Humanoids from the Deep (1980)

I Pass for Human (Chris D. from Flesh Eaters) (2004)

I Was A Teenage Werewolf (1957)

Invasion of the Saucer-Men (1957)

Let Sleeping Corpses Lie (1974)

Liquid Sky (1983)

Maniac (1980)

Massacre (2003)

Messiah of Evil (1974)

Multiple Maniacs (1970)

Near Dark (1987)

The New York Ripper (1982)

Night of the Living Dead (1968)

Prom Night (1980)

Rabid Grannies (1989)

Re-Animator (1986)

Rot (2000) - never released on dvd

Scars of Dracula (1970)

Terror Train (1981)

Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

The Thirst (1980)

Tourist Trap (1979)

Videodrome (1983)

Wild at Heart (1990)  (more of a bizarre thriler, David Lynch)

Willard (2003)

Wizard of Gore (1970)

Zombi (1979)

Zombie Honeymoon (2006)

Zombieland (2009)

*****
My friend and true horror film afficionado
Larry Hirsch in Texas has sent me his
top 100 Horror flicks of all-time
(he notes that only the top 20 are in order):

100.) Pumpkinhead
99.) Child's Play
98.) Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer
97.) Nightbreed
96.) Cujo
95.) Creepshow (the best horror anthology film ever)
94.) High Tension
93.) The Last House on the Left
92.) Dead-Alive
91.) Alien
90.) The Deadly Spawn
89.) Salo: 120 Days of Sodom
88.) Event Horizon
87.) Gremlins
86.) Peeping Tom (1960)
85.) Suspiria
84.) Psycho 2
83.) Halloween: H20 (in my mind, this concludes the Laurie Strode saga)
82.) Stagefright (aka Deliria)
81.) Tourist Trap (70s)
80.) Humanoids From the Deep (1980)
79.) Candyman
78.) Basket Case
77.) Sisters (70s)
76.) Misery
75.) The Dead Zone (1980)
74.) The Eye (original Japanese film)
73.) The Others (2001)
72.) Aliens
71.) 28 Days Later
70.) 28 Weeks Later
69.) The Blair Witch Project (sue me, I loved it, ha ha)
68.) Frailty
67.) Pin: A Plastic Nightamre
66.) Friday the 13th
65.) Friday the 13th, Part 2 (actually better than the first one)
64.) Wolf Creek
63.) Dark Night of the Scarecrow (the single best made-for-TV horror film ever)
62.) Whatever Happened to Baby Jane
61.) Session 9
60.) May
59.) Dead and Buried (1980)
58.) Bubba Ho-Tep
57.) Audition
56.) Nosferatu (Murnau's original)
55.) The Craft
54.) The Descent
53.) Night of the Creeps (needs to be on DVD!)
52.) The Lost Boys
51.) Near Dark
50.) Jeepers Creepers
49.) Cat People (1942)
48.) American Psycho
47.) The Hitcher (1985)
46.) Re-animator
45.) Evil Dead 2: Dead By Dawn
44.) The Hills Have Eyes (70s)
43.) Eraserhead
42.) Cannibal Holocaust
41.) The Omen (70s)
40.) Dolls
39.) Christine
38.) The Blob (1988)
37.) The Howling
36.) The Fly (1986)
35.) An American Werewolf in London
34.) The Thing (1982)
33.) The Creature From the Black Lagoon
32.) Dog Soldiers
31.) Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)
30.) Inavsion of the Body Snatchers (1976)
29.) Return of the Living Dead
28.) Ringu
27.) The Haunting (1963)
26.) Duel (70s)
25.) The Innocents (1961)
24.) Vampyr (1932)
23.) The Night of the Living Dead (1968)
22.) Dawn of the Dead (1978)
21.) Freaks (1933)
and the TOP 20 in order:
20.) The Silence of the Lambs
19.) Phantasm
18.) Rosemary's Baby
17.) Jaws
16.) A Nightmare on Elm Street
15.) Black Christmas 70s)
14.) Deathdream (70s)
13.) Ghostwatch (1992 controversial British TV mockumentary)
12.) Horror Hotel (1960)
11.) Videodrome
10.) Jack Ketchum's "The Girl Next Door" (2007)
9.) The Shining (1980)
8.) The Wicker Man (1973)
7.) Ginger Snaps
6.) The Company of Wolves
5.) Carrie (1976)
4.) The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
3.) Psycho (1960)
2.) Halloween  (1978)
1.) The Fog (1980) --- I know this isn't the best horror film ever, but it's my favorite, despite
                   its many obvious flaws.
 
***
 
Larry's Top 10 Horror Films of 2007
 
Right at Your Door (highly recommended...with L.A. locations)
Hatchet (highly recommended)
Jack Ketchum's "The Girl Next Door" (highly recommended)
28 Weeks Later
Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon
Grindhouse: Planet Terror & Death Proof (highly recommended)
Vacancy
Whisper
Severance
Joshua
 
*****
 
Larry's 50 Worst Horror Films of all-time:
(this was exceedingly difficult,
because for every 1 excellent horror
film made, there are 35 shitty ones,
but these are all from memory):
 
The Capture of Bigfoot
Jason Goes to Hell
Zombie Lake
Alien Contamination
Darkness Falls
Garden of the Dead
Yeti
The Beast in the Cellar
Attack of the Killer Tomatoes (supposed to be funny, it ISN'T, I despise it!!!)
Manos: The Hands of Fate
Texas Chainsaw Massacre: A New Generation
When a Stranger Calls (2006 remake)
The Mangler
Darkness (2004)
Alone in the Dark (2005)
The Boogeyman (2005)
Moon of the Wolf (1972)
The Ripper (1985)
A Bothered Conscience
The Beast of Yucca Flats
Axe 'Em (2002)
The Children of the Living Dead
Killjoy
The Fangleys
Ghost Ship
The Exorcist 2: The Heretic
Jaws: The Revenge
Jaws 3
Troll 2
The Blood Shed (2007)
Sleepy Hollow High
Home Sweet Home (1980)
Cry Wolf (2004)
Don't Go in the Woods
Don't Answer the Phone
Don't Look in the Basement
Don't Go Near the Park
Critters 4
Leprechaun 2-whatever
A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy's Revenge
Spookies
The Howling 4: The Original Nightmare
Monstroid
Elves
The Werewolf of Washington
Freddy Vs. Jason
Scream, Baby, Scream
Ghoulies 4
TerrorVision
# 1: Halloween (2007) --- Sure, there are waaaaaay worse films than this, in terms of
            acting and production values and all that, but it's the sheer audacity of this film
            that made me give it the number one spot.
*****

Some Classic Juvenile Delinquent Flicks
(another genre I love):
Rebel Without a Cause
Live Fast, Die Young
The Restless Years
High School Confidential
City Across The River
Rock Pretty Baby
Hot Rods to Hell
Female Trouble
*****
 

GRINDHOUSE FILMS

Although the term "Grindhouse" only recently

became public knowledge, the Beverly Cinema

here in Los Angeles has been resurrecting

 the 60s & 70s phenomenon for years now.

Here's some info about their recent film festivals

(and those from the last few years below)

Please ask for these films from your local video store,

take it from me as a long-time video store manager,

most video store owners would never

dream of carrying these titles, these stores' owners often

are very out of touch with the real classics and

won't get them unless requested.

 

The Grindhouse Film Festival

New Beverly Cinema
7165 Beverly Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA
(323) 938-4038
Admission: $7.00


About the Grindhouse Film Festival

The monthly Grindhouse Film Festival events feature the screening of rare 35mm prints of

cult and exploitation films from the 1960’s through the 1980’s, many of which have

 not been publicly shown since the drive-in’s and inner city grindhouse theaters faded

away twenty years ago. For the low price of only $7.00, attendees get two rare films,

a reel of rare exploitation trailers, a free raffle,

and very often appearances by the directors, cast and crew of the films being shown.

We'll be partnering with some horror and cult film DVD

companies in upcoming months to bring some great new prizes to our attendees,

so it's possible you'll actually win something worth keeping!



 

Some of the films shown were:

Coffy

The Dragon's Vengeance

Fight for Your Life

Foxy Brown

Grave of the Vampire

Hot Summer in Barefoot County

In Hot Pursuit

Jail Bait Babysitter

poster

Kung Fu: The Punch of Death

The Muthers

Redneck Miller

Screams of a Winter Night

Slithis

 


All films were presented in 35mm prints

from Quentin Tarantino's personal collection.


All films personally selected by Quentin Tarantino.


Surprise in person appearances by

Mr. Tarantino and other surprise guests.
Every show is a double or triple bill!

Rare trailers and posters on display.

*****

Past Grindhouse Festivals

(we'll be adding to this as we go through old flyers and refresh our memory)

http://www.hollywoodbookandposter.com/grindhouse.html

September 19th, 2006:

Vampyres and The Blood Spattered Bride

 

August 15th, 2006:

Mausoleum and Demons

Special Guest:

Bobbie Bresee

 

July 18th, 2006:

Zombie and The Grim Reaper

Doctor Butcher M.D. was originally scheduled as the first feature, but was pulled due to print problems

 

July 2nd, 2006:

Grindhouse Goes to Vegas! with The Thrill Killers and The Astro-Zombies

Special Guests:

Ray Dennis Steckler, Ted V. Mikels, Liz Renay and Carolyn Brandt

 

June 20th, 2006:

Dolls and Crash!

Special Guests:

Stuart Gordon, Charles Band, Ian Patrick Williams, Carolyn Purdy-Gordon and Carrie Lorraine

 

May 23rd, 2006:

Devil Woman and Lady Terminator

 

April 25th, 2006:

Don't Go Near the Park and House on the Edge of the Park

Special Guests:

Lawrence D. Foldes and Tamara Taylor

 

March 21st, 2006:

Torso and What Have They Done To Solange?

 

February 21st, 2006:

Dolemite and Brotherhood of Death

 

January 24th, 2006:

Headless Eyes and Night of the Zombies

 

December 20th, 2005:

Silent Night, Deadly Night and Black Christmas

Special Guests:

Silent Night, Deadly Night 2nd Unit Director/Editor Michael Spence and Executive Producer Scott Schneid

Black Christmas star Olivia Hussey

 

November 22nd, 2005:

The Hollywood Hillside Strangler and Don't Go In The House

 

October 18th, 2005:

William Girdler Tribute: Combat Cops (aka The Zebra Killer) and Grizzly

Special Guests:

Austin Stoker and Andrew Prine

 

September 20th, 2005:

The Visitor and Night of the Howling Beast

Special Guest:

Joanne Nail, star of The Visitor

 

August 23rd, 2005:

The Psycho Lover and The Toolbox Murders

Special Guests:

Robert Vincent O'Neil, Frank Cuva, Pamelyn Ferdin, Marianne Walter and Gary Graver

 

July 19th, 2005:

Shock Waves and Burial Ground

Special Guest:

Shock Waves 'zombie' Gary J. Levinson

 

June 21st, 2005:

The No Mercy Man and Rolling Thunder

Special Guests:

The No Mercy Man co-star Sid Haig and Rolling Thunder director John Flynn

 

May 24th, 2005:

Maniac Cop 2 and Vigilante

Special Guests:

Director Bill Lustig, producer/screenwriter Larry Cohen and star Laurene Landon

 

April 19th, 2005:

Amityville II: The Possession and Women's Prison Massacre

 

March 22nd, 2005:

The Black Gestapo and The Legend of the Wolf Woman

 

February 22nd, 2005:

Invasion of the Blood Farmers and Scream Bloody Murder

Special Guests:

Invasion of the Blood Farmers producer/director/screenwriter/co-star Ed Adlum and Scream Bloody Murder co-star Angus Scrimm

 

January 25th, 2005:

Satan's Sadists and The Northville Cemetery Massacre

Special Guests:

Satan's Sadists cast/crew members Russ Tamblyn, Greydon Clark, John 'Bud' Cardos, Bobby Clark, Gary Graver and The Northville Cemetery Massacre director William Dear

 

December 21st, 2004:

The Child and The Children

Bloody Birthday was originally scheduled as the first feature, but was pulled due to print damage

 

November 23rd, 2004:

Pieces and Nightmare {in a Damaged Brain}

 

October 26th, 2004:

Simon, King of the Witches and The Centerfold Girls

Special Guest:

Andrew Prine, star of both films.

 

September 28th, 2004:

Night of the Bloody Apes and Blood Diner

Special Guests:

Blood Diner star Carl Crew, screenwriter Dukey Flyswatter and producer Jimmy Maslon

 

August 24th, 2004:

Blackenstein and Dr. Black, Mr. Hyde

 

July 20th, 2004:

Deathdream and Satan's Cheerleaders

Special Guest:

Satan's Cheerleaders director Greydon Clark

 

June 22nd, 2004:

The Candy Snatchers and We're Going To Eat You

 

May 25th, 2004:

Ed Gein and Ted Bundy

The Hillside Strangler was originally scheduled, but the print didn't arrive from Cannes in time

 

January 2004 through April 2004: GRINDHOUSE FESTIVAL TAKES A BREAK

 

December 23rd, 2003:

Blood Feast and She Freak

 

November 18th, 2003:

The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires and The Thrill Killers

 

October 21st, 2003:

Mantis in Lace and Mondo Teeno

 

September 23rd, 2003:

Barbed Wire Dolls and Hot Spur

Sorry! This was our worst double-feature so far. If you survived this snoozefest and still come back to our festivals, thanks!

 

August 2003:

Welcome to Arrow Beach and Re-Animator (did we really screen this?)

 

July 2003:

Cannibal Ferox and Kung Fu Cannibals (aka Raw Force)

 

June 17th, 2003:

Barn of the Naked Dead and Gates of Hell

Invasion of the Blood Farmers was the original second feature, but cancelled due to print problems.

 

May 20th, 2003:

Spider Baby and The Big Doll House

Special Guests:

Director Jack Hill and star Sid Haig

 

April 22nd, 2003:

Wizard of Gore and Vampyres, Daughters of Darkness

 

March 25th, 2003:

I Drink Your Blood and Blood Eaters (aka Toxic Zombies)

Special Guests:

I Drink Your Blood director David Durston and stars Lynn Lowry and Jack Damon

 

2000 Maniacs and Dr. Butcher, M.D. were in there somewhere.

*****

Below is a great article about Grindhouse films with Quentin Tarantino and Bob Clark,

who died just a few days later in a horrible car crash here in L.A.  

Clark was working on the remake of one of my favorite zombie flicks of all-time,

"Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things"..

who knows now if that movie will ever be completed....

I'm putting a Bob Clark tribute article first here,

and then the full Grindhouse article, thanks for reading this...

courtesy of www.laweekly.com

Remembering Bob Clark

The director's long and varied career stretched from low-budget horror to cultural touchstones,

 including A Christmas Story and Porky's

By SCOTT FOUNDAS
Thursday, April 5, 2007 - 10:48 am
I was working from home on Wednesday afternoon when a friend phoned me with the news that director Bob Clark had been killed that morning in head-on traffic collision on the Pacific Coast Highway. As is so often the case, the driver of the oncoming car was drunk, and largely uninjured. Such a loss would be a tragedy under any circumstances, but Clark's struck an especially personal chord, given that just 11 days earlier, I had found myself seated next to him at the dinner that gave rise to the "Grindhouse Gang" feature that appears in the current issue of L.A. Weekly.

Clark was in spirited form that evening, reminiscing about a long and remarkably varied career that stretched from his early days as a shoestring horror auteur in the Miami film industry to the modern-day holiday perennial A Christmas Story and the surprise hit Baby Geniuses. And yet, for all his success, Clark appeared genuinely humbled by the praise Quentin Tarantino and others present that evening lavished on his work. Upon learning of Clark's death, I did the only thing I could think of, which was to contact the other "Grindhouse Gang" participants, all of whom were similarly shocked and dismayed by the news. Remembering the enthusiasm with which Clark had talked about several upcoming projects, Brian Trenchard-Smith said "It was as though he'd gotten a new lease on his career." A lease that has now all too prematurely been revoked.
 
*****

Grindhouse Gang

Quentin Tarantino summons the masters to historic summit

By SCOTT FOUNDAS
Wednesday, April 4, 2007 - 7:00 pm
The following interviews were conducted on the evening of March 31. Sadly, as this story was going to press, it was reported that Bob Clark was killed in a head-on car crash on Pacific Coast Highway in the early-morning hours of April 4. His son Ariel, a passenger in the car, was also pronounced dead at the scene.

Tarantino on location: When he says action, he really means it. (Andrew Cooper/The Weinstein Company)
It was during a typically long and muggy Florida summer that I first wandered into the dimly lit recesses of a local video store and plucked from its dusty shelves the movies of the Australian suspense maestro Richard Franklin, including his 1978 Patrick, with its comatose yet telekinetic title character. In short order, I would similarly discover the work of the American urban-terror specialist William Lustig (of Maniac and Maniac Cop fame), and that of the Italian splatter king Lucio Fulci (New York Ripper, Don’t Torture a Duckling) — my fondness deepening, with each successive trip to the rental counter, for the golden age of grindhouse cinema. It was only later that I came to realize how thoroughly VHS and cable had cannibalized the theatrical exploitation market, so that by the time I made it to New York and Los Angeles in the 1990s, the decaying movie palaces along 42nd Street and Hollywood Boulevard that once served up exploitation movies by the pound had shuttered or been converted into more traditional places of worship (those with altars in place of screens). Low-budget horror and action quickies were now being manufactured almost exclusively for the home-video market. Per Norma Desmond’s prophetic words, the pictures really had gotten smaller.

Among contemporary filmmakers, none harbor greater affection for (or have been more influenced by) this bygone era than Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez, whose Grindhouse offers a vintage double-header (complete with ersatz trailers and print damage) of cheap thrills and gory chills, starting with Rodriguez’s eco-horror zombie movie Planet Terror and concluding with Tarantino’s edge-of-your-(car)seat thrill ride Death Proof. Yet, when I proposed to these two nostalgia junkies that, in lieu of a conventional interview, we might organize a kind of roundtable with a few favorite grindhouse veterans, little did I imagine the historic meeting — or, to quote Tarantino, summit — that was about to transpire. Only too happy to answer our call were Richard Rush, who began his career with the classic biker movies The Savage Seven and Hell’s Angels on Wheels; Bob Clark, who directed the 1970s creep-outs Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things and Black Christmas before going on to create the Porky’s franchise; and the British-born Brian Trenchard-Smith, whose résumé ranges from directing Steve Railsback in the cult classic Escape 2000 to latter-day entries in the Leprechaun and Omega Code franchises. Joining them would be three alumni of the Roger Corman dream factory: Allan Arkush (Hollywood Boulevard, Rock ’n’ Roll High School), George Armitage (Private Duty Nurses, Vigilante Force) and Lewis Teague (The Lady in Red, Alligator).

Like the great B-movie directors of the 1950s before them (and Tarantino and Rodriguez afterward), these industrious auteurs often bridged the gap — or muddied the waters — between grindhouse and art house, with Rush going on to receive an Oscar nomination for his direction of The Stunt Man, while Clark helmed the elegant Sherlock Holmes–meets–Jack the Ripper thriller Murder by Decree and that holiday classic known as A Christmas Story. Some, like Teague, graduated to studio tent-pole fare (The Jewel of the Nile), while others, like Arkush, settled into careers in network television. The elusive Armitage emerged in the 1990s from a decadelong hiatus to deliver two memorable slices of modern pulp fiction: Miami Blues and Grosse Pointe Blank. The recent work of Trenchard-Smith, perhaps the most unpredictable of the lot, includes the 9/11-themed Showtime docudrama Time of Crisis and two films (Tides of War, In Her Line of Fire) in the burgeoning subgenre (who knew?) of gay-themed action movies.

As we convened over dinner on the night following Grindhouse’s first press screening, the admiration flowed freely between the masters and their disciples, while the conversation (particularly when Tarantino himself held forth — which was often — with his exhaustive inventory of B-movie arcana) encompassed such obscure objects of cinephilic desire as the forgotten low-budget master William Witney, the Filipino action director Cirio H. Santiago and the sexploitation actress Candice Rialson. Above all, the discussion offered a reminder that, for the filmmmakers present, no matter where their careers have taken them, their hearts will always belong to the grindhouse. What follows are highlights culled from that evening, with the caveat that, per Tarantino’s own sage advice, I have elected to keep some of the magicians’ secrets just so.

(Courtesy Dalia Productions, Inc.)
QUENTIN TARANTINO: I want you to know, Lewis, that I cast Robert Forster in Jackie Brown because of his performance in Alligator.

LEWIS TEAGUE: Oh, he was great in that. Did you see him in The Lady in Red also?

TARANTINO: Of course, I saw him in The Lady in Red! I even have a story about that. Not knowing anything about them, I went to see every New World picture on opening weekend. A New World picture with Pamela Sue Martin, Robert Conrad and tommy guns? I’m there! I go to see the movie, and I’m watching it and watching it, and eventually Robert Forster shows up. Robert Forster? I thought it was Robert Conrad. Did I read it wrong? So — and I’ve never done this before — I actually got up out of my seat and walked outside of the theater to look at the poster. Nope, it’s Robert Conrad. He just hasn’t shown up yet!

TEAGUE: Forster wouldn’t take credit. Working for Roger Corman, I’d done second unit on a movie called Avalanche that he was in...

TARANTINO: Corey Allen directed that.

TEAGUE: ...and I got to direct a whole scene with him on a rifle platform. I had a great time and I said, “If I ever direct a movie, I want you to be in it,” and he said, “Fine, when you do a movie, call me.” When I finally got The Lady in Red, he was working on that big Disney science-fiction film.
TARANTINO:The Black Hole.

TEAGUE: Right. I called him and he asked me, “What part do you want me to play?” I said, “I’ll send you a script and you can do whatever you want.” He picked that part and he said, “I’ll do it for no money and no credit.”

TARANTINO: I have to say that that’s one of my favorite cameos in movies, because when he’s on, it’s really an important character at that part of the movie, and it needs a star to pull it off. And when he comes back at the end, you’re like, “Oh, yes!” Great payoff.

ALLAN ARKUSH: Jon Davison and Joe Dante were working for Roger Corman and they needed another person, so I started working with them in the trailer and marketing department. The first thing we worked on were the TV spots for Caged Heat, the Jonathan Demme picture.

TEAGUE: You guys worked on the trailer for Cockfighter too.

ARKUSH: We surely did: “He came into town with his cock in hand, and what he did with it was illegal in 49 states.”

Rodriguez unleashes the undead. (Photo by Rico Torres)
TEAGUE: That movie opened, and I had co-edited it with Monte Hellman. As I was cleaning up the editing room, I had a call from Roger saying, “We made a mistake. People in the South do not want to see cockfighting. We’re going to change the title and make a new trailer. I want you to go through the footage and find every shot of sex and violence that you can.” I said, “Roger, Monte didn’t shoot any sex and violence.” Roger said, “Hmmm, I don’t care where you get it...” Allan and Joe Dante were cutting the trailer, so Roger said, “Give them the footage.” I went through all these old nurse films and whatnot and gave Joe and Allan all this footage of nurses’ tits and police cars careening around corners. I called Roger back and I said, “Roger, I don’t think it’s right to put this footage in the trailer if it’s not in the movie.” He said, “You’re right, Lewis. Put it in the movie!” So, in that version, Warren Oates falls asleep and dreams about student nurses.

ARKUSH: We also changed the title.

TARANTINO:Born to Kill! He closes his eyes and he dreams of sex and violence, and then he wakes up. Eighty percent of the trailer was his dream! Hey, does everyone have a drink going on here?

GEORGE ARMITAGE: [Raising his glass.] Here’s to you.

TARANTINO: No, here’s to this table, this summit!

ROBERT RODRIGUEZ: You guys are the reason we’re here tonight.

ARKUSH: George, were you connected somehow to Darktown Strutters?

ARMITAGE: I wrote that.

ARKUSH: I cut the trailer for that too.

TARANTINO: That’s a great trailer, actually. You know, [Darktown Strutters director] William Witney is one of my favorite classic Hollywood directors. I wrote a big piece in The New York Times about him, and I’m actually very proud of the fact that there were all these auteur critics who didn’t have any clue who he was. Bring him up to Peter Bogdanovich and he didn’t know who he was. Andrew Sarris didn’t know who he was — if he had, he’d have written about him in The American Cinema. How I discovered him was that I always saw myself as doing a sort of graduate study of cinema for the rest of my life, and at some point, you get to that place where you think that you’ve seen all the movies that you want to see. Yeah, there’s a zillion that you haven’t seen, but you feel that, even with those, you can make an educated guess as to how you would feel about them. For example, I knew there were the Budd Boetticher–Randolph Scott Westerns out there and the André de Toth–Randolph Scott Westerns out there. So, I’d pick up a Randolph Scott movie and I’d see it was directed by, say, Sam Taylor. Oh, that must be a piece of shit, I don’t want to watch that. But at a certain point, I was like, “Wait a minute: How do I know Sam Taylor’s a piece of shit? Just because Andrew Sarris didn’t write about him? Fuck that!” So, I figured there were other guys out there who were probably terrific. Let me start looking at Fred Sears’ films. Let me start to see if there are other masters who Andrew Sarris didn’t mention in those days. And I found some very good ones, but William Witney is the one! I can champion him all the way to the French Cinematheque.

ARKUSH: I found a copy of The Golden Stallion, but it was the only one I could find. I can’t find Paratroop Command.

TARANTINO: That actually was released. They released all of those AIP [American International Pictures] World War II movies as double-feature DVDs. So, they’re out there. Paratroop Command is fantastic. That’s one of the best.

ARKUSH: I thought The Golden Stallion was really good.

TARANTINO:The Golden Stallion is great. But the first one that I saw that knocked me out was The Bonnie Parker Story.

ARKUSH: And is that available anywhere? Because I’ve been looking.

TARANTINO: It’s not, actually. I ended up getting a ’scope 16 mm print of it. And when we’re talking about ’scope for AIP, we’re talking about Superama, which is one of my favorite ’scope formats. They only did three movies in Superama: The Bonnie Parker Story, Machine Gun Kelly and I, Mobster.

RODRIGUEZ: What’s Superama?

(Courtesy of Dimension Films)
TARANTINO: It’s just a regular ’scope lens, but that’s what AIP called it. The interesting thing is that Machine Gun Kelly has always been my favorite-directed Roger Corman movie. I’ve always thought that was the best. Now, just as our Grindhouse double feature was made to play together, The Bonnie Parker Story and Machine Gun Kelly were designed to go out together. I’d seen The Bonnie Parker Story when I was a little boy, because my dad liked it, but I never saw it again, and as time went on, I figured, “Machine Gun Kelly is so great, what are the chances that The Bonnie Parker Story is also great?” Then I see The Bonnie Parker Story, and not only is it great — it’s magnificent! It’s just fantastic — a stylistic explosion! And I’m like, “People saw this with the magnificent Machine Gun Kelly? This is probably the greatest double feature in the history of cinema! I’ve got to see more of this guy’s films.” Then I spent a year seeing his movies, and I kept finding gems. I was not wrong. It was not an anomaly.
TEAGUE: Did you ever meet him?

TARANTINO: No. He knew of my enthusiasm. When I wrote that New York Times piece, he was still alive, though he had suffered a stroke and was a little out of it. But he could hear, and his family told him I’d been bringing his name up. What was great was that, after that New York Times article, different film critics said to me, “You got us. You beat us at our own game. We didn’t know who William Witney was, and you made us look at his shit.” About two years later, he died, and in The New York Times, there was a three-quarter-page obituary of him, including a picture of him directing on the set, with a script rolled up and stuck in his back pocket. And I don’t think there would have been as big of an obituary if my article hadn’t come out first. That made me feel really great.

BOB CLARK: I’m shrinking here, because I don’t know those films. Gone With the Wind, I know that one. Victor Fleming was one hell of a director!

BRIAN TRENCHARD-SMITH: How do you rate Gordon Douglas?

TARANTINO: Oh gosh! Gordon Douglas was probably one of the first directors I knew by name, by the simple fact that he’d done two movies that I loved so much. I loved Them! And I loved Rio Conchos — two such different movies that so delivered in every way, shape and form.

TRENCHARD-SMITH: He was very multigeneric, and I don’t think he’s been given enough credit for having had that range.

TARANTINO: I completely agree with you. I also always loved the idea of those old classic Hollywood directors who ended their careers with blaxploitation movies, and one of his last movies was Slaughter’s Big Ripoff.

ARKUSH: Nobody does that anymore. Nobody jumps from genre to genre.

CLARK: Do you know who K. Gordon Murray was?

TARANTINO: Oh, yeah! He took all those Mexican horror films and Mexican children’s movies and redubbed them. I actually have a 35 mm print of Vampire’s Coffin, which was a K. Gordon Murray release.

CLARK: Starting out in the Miami film industry, I was an assistant director for K. Gordon Murray.

TARANTINO: You worked for K. Gordon Murray!

CLARK: I did. I could write a book about that.

TARANTINO: I have to tell you that, of course, everyone talks about the George Romero movies when they talk about the zombie genre. But hands down, on my own list of great zombie movies — or even the great shoestring classics of ’70s horror — Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things is right up there in the tip, tip top. The thing I loved about that movie so goddamned much is that the whole movie is humorous — it’s humorous from beginning to almost end. If the movie is 90 minutes long, for 79 of those 90 minutes it’s a comedy. And then, when the zombies show up in the last 11 minutes, there ain’t a goddamn thing funny about it. They just wipe out everybody. I have never seen a movie that for 79 minutes is a comedy and the last 11 minutes is balls-out horror!

''Hey, baby, does my hot rod make you hot?'' (Andrew Cooper/ The Weinstein Company)
CLARK: Well, you know what? I’ve always said I would never allow any of my movies to be remade. I betrayed that by allowing Black Christmas last year. But now I have written a new script for a remake of Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things, and I’m going to direct it myself. It’s going to be like Monty Python meets Night of the Living Dead.

RODRIGUEZ: I just remembered a shot I tried to steal from Murder by Decree for this movie. It’s something that’s stuck with me since I was a kid — a flashback shot of one of Jack the Ripper’s victims being pushed out of a carriage. It’s in slow motion and a little out of focus. In Planet Terror, when the mother opens up the door of the car, I wanted the body of the little boy to fall out like that. It didn’t quite work, because a car isn’t a carriage.

CLARK: Thank you, sir. You’re so kind. [To Tarantino] Now, you’ve got to tell me, how long was the incredible tracking shot around the ladies in the diner? Seven minutes? Eight minutes?

TARANTINO: I don’t know. I’m sure it was probably around that.

CLARK: Given the complexity of whose energy and whose face you really needed to be seeing in the shot at any given moment, the more it went on, the more I said, “Oh my god!” I make these little 8-by-10 cards for the design of every one of my shots. And I thought, “Now, what the hell would my card look like for that shot?” I did a four-minute shot in a movie I did based on Arthur Miller, and it nearly killed me. And it wasn’t anywhere near as good as that one.
RODRIGUEZ: He was his own director of photography too, and his main cameraman was out sick that day.

TARANTINO: What’s interesting is that I’d shot one whole day of coverage already for that scene, and I was shooting it kind of like I’d shot the opening of Reservoir Dogs, so there were a lot of 180-degree dolly shots, with the backs of the heads and all that stuff. I got home that night and I didn’t feel good about it. I thought, “I’m ripping myself off. Now, if anyone can rip me off, it’s me, but I don’t feel good about it. I just feel like I’m doing it because I know it will work, and that’s not the same thing as doing it because it’s right.”

Then I go, “Wait a minute! Could I do it all as one shot? Would it work that way?” So, in my hotel room, I’m working it out in my mind, because I know the scene by heart. Can I do it this way? Is there any trouble spot where I’m in exactly the wrong moment at the wrong time? And I realized, “Yes, I can do this.”

So, I showed up the next day, the actors are all ready to do the second half of the coverage. “Fuck that. We’re going to do it all in one shot.” Now, the actors are so terrific in the scene because they had just done it all day long the day before. If I’d come up with my brilliant idea at the start of the next day, it wouldn’t have worked, because they wouldn’t have had the scene in their bones anymore.

TEAGUE: I did second unit on a whole bunch of car-chase movies for Roger before I started directing — Thunder and Lightning and Death Race 2000 — and the thing I learned was that if you don’t care about the characters, you don’t care about the car chase, no matter how spectacular it is. The great thing about that scene is that you really get to know the characters and begin to like them. The camerawork is terrific, but what really interested me was how you got the performances. The girls are amazing.

TARANTINO: You just nailed it, Lewis, because you can work a scene out forever, and if the actors aren’t pulling it off, then you’re just jerking off. If there’s even a line stumble, or a breath at the wrong place, then the whole thing is for naught. Now, the take that you see in the movie is the one where they all pulled it off. There are four other takes that are just short of that, but that was the one. When we watched it in dailies, we were applauding and cheering like it was a football game.

CLARK: Was it all scripted, or did you give them any freedom?

TARANTINO: I give them freedom, but with my stuff, especially the dialogue scenes like that, it’s musical, so it’s about them doing the lines. But I can honestly say that if they hadn’t had a whole day in front of them doing the scene piecemeal in coverage, 15 or 16 times, they wouldn’t have been as prepared.

ARKUSH: I’ve started doing the crane shot last or the wide shot last, because everyone’s dialed-in and they know it. Then you start getting all of these ideas.

TARANTINO: There’s really something to the idea of getting the scene down pat before you start doing that camera stuff that has to work in time with the performance, or else the whole thing is a jerkoff. For the actors, it’s like, “Oh, now this is an exciting stage I’m acting on instead of just coverage, coverage, coverage.”

Hell on wheels: Death Proof knockes 'em dead. (Andrew Cooper/The Weinstein Company)
ARKUSH: Sometimes, I’ll just yell, “Freedom take. Do anything you want as long as you hit the same marks.” Of course, they do it kind of the same, but they feel that the pressure’s off and they give it that little extra something.

TARANTINO: That’s it!

CLARK: The amazing thing for me was that it didn’t feel like a contrived master shot. It felt organic and real. If you hadn’t told me that they had the day before to prepare and you’d just come in that morning and done it, I would know that you were a god and not just a good filmmaker.

TRENCHARD-SMITH: It was an extraordinarily risky thing to do, because it’s the presentation scene for [Death Proof star] Zoe Bell, and she really has to have her personality on and be absolutely letter-perfect. If there was a flaw in her performance, it would have affected everything.

TARANTINO: That’s when all of a sudden the good idea isn’t such a good idea anymore.

CLARK: Was Zoe the one actually on the front of the car.

TARANTINO: That’s her the entire time. There’s no stuntwoman. She was the stuntwoman. If you see a shot of just her hand, it’s her hand. She made a point of saying, “Look, I’m hired as a stunt person, so if you cut to just a foot on the fender, I want it to be my foot. I’m doing the entire performance. I’m doing what I always do, except I’m doing acting too.”

TRENCHARD-SMITH: I assume you had some kind of mount hidden under her stomach for some of those shots where she’s facing forward on the hood of the car?

TARANTINO: What we had was a single wire connected to her that ran through the hood, through the engine and into the back seat, where a stuntman was crouched low on the floor with a blanket over him, holding on to her. It had to be a human doing it, because he had to give her some slack and then hold her when it came time to hold her. It was a whole human experience. There were no mechanics involved other than a wire that a man was holding on to.
CLARK: The tone and the style was completely different from Robert’s movie. And the three trailers... I want to make one of those movies. They were outrageously funny.

TRENCHARD-SMITH: What were the shots that the MPAA cut out of those?

TARANTINO: There’s been a rumor that we had a problem with the MPAA. We actually didn’t. That rumor happened before we’d even shown them the movie. It’s interesting, because I’ve never had a big problem with the MPAA. There’s some negotiation that goes on every once in a while, but they respect me and my stuff, and it’s pretty cool. What’s actually really funny is that when it came to Robert’s film, they said one thing to him. It was about the one zombie attack that didn’t have a humorous edge, that was a little bit more violent and rough. That was the one where they said, “Maybe we could lose a little bit from that.” But everything else they understood. Here’s the deal: We had no test screenings on this movie, because we didn’t have time. We had an April 6 release date, and we finished cutting our negative last week. So, when we were talking to the MPAA, they were actually the first people to see the goddamned fucking movie, and they were so down with everything that we were like, “I guess the humor works!”

RODRIGUEZ: They were our test audience.

TARANTINO: Look, I am not against the MPAA. I’m a big supporter of theirs, because without them, we’d have every jerkwater county in America coming up with obscenity laws, and that’s a dangerous road. That’s the road where Lenny Bruce gets put in jail and people are thinking about prosecuting Jack Nicholson for starring in Carnal Knowledge. So, they’ve got a hard job to do, and I’ve always appreciated them. But in this instance, they just kind of got it. Even when we did From Dusk Till Dawn, the one decision we made early on was to give the vampires green blood, because it’s not blood that the MPAA dislikes — they dislike the color red. We threw green everywhere, and they didn’t give a damn. Same thing with Kill Bill: You go to black and white, and suddenly the blood turns from crimson red to black oil. Intellectually, you know it’s blood, but if it’s not red, no worries.

TRENCHARD-SMITH: I’ve found that if you give them a couple of shots to cut out, then they’re happy. With the beheading scene in Night of the Demons 2, it needed exactly the number of shots that it had in the final cut, but I put in a few extra shots of squirting torso and head rolling, and they said, “Trim this scene down.” So, I took those shots out, and it was just the way I wanted it.

ARKUSH: At New World, we used to have to run the trailers for the MPAA and sit there and take notes. Roger used to only allow black-and-white dailies, so then you’d dupe the dailies and cut the trailer from those, by which point you couldn’t tell what was going on. Later, the MPAA would get all these complaints, because there was blood everywhere. So, then they said that we had to show the trailers in color.

TARANTINO: Here’s something I want to talk about, and, Allan, you’re the guy to talk about it because you did trailers: If movies have entered a less sensationalistic time than what existed in the late ’60s and throughout the 1970s, trailers have changed completely! The trailers I have from the ’70s, you couldn’t get that stuff in a feature today, let alone the fucking trailer!

ARKUSH: The Grindhouse trailer is so much like the old New World trailers, I ran it five times the other day. When the narrator says “two” over the shot of her breasts, that’s like when we used to say “Pam Grier’s two biggest hits!”

RODRIGUEZ: We referenced those trailers all the time. Originally, we were going to do more fake trailers ourselves, and we were going to keep cutting to a shot of a helicopter blowing up.

TARANTINO: You guys put that helicopter shot in every trailer, including Jackson County Jail, which is the one I remember best. Tommy Lee Jones shoots a shotgun out of a window, cut to a helicopter exploding. Then I see the movie: Where’s the fucking helicopter?

ARKUSH: On Crazy Mama, Jonathan Demme, who’s a brilliant director, never got a shot of Cloris Leachman, who played Crazy Mama, firing a gun, which to Roger was like sacrilege. At one point, she waves the gun around and sticks it out the window of the car. So, when we were cutting the trailer, as soon as the gun cleared frame, we added the sound of a gunshot and cut to a helicopter blowing up, which we lifted from a Cirio Santiago movie.

TARANTINO: Cirio Santiago happened to be in town recently, and I became the first person to do an in-depth interview with him about his entire filmography. We did a 90-minute interview at my house, and it’s going to be on the Grindhouse Web site.

ARKUSH: George, didn’t you produce one of Cirio’s films?

ARMITAGE: I didn’t produce any of those. Demme and Joe Viola produced that one they shot in the Philippines [The Hot Box]. Cirio was around, though. We would hang with him.

ARKUSH: Cirio was so cheap that when he would send us the movies, they were only spliced on one side.

TARANTINO: I heard stories of Scotch-tape splices! Is that true?

ARKUSH: Exactly. We would get the prints in order to cut the trailer, and we’d go through and resplice them on both sides. There was one called TNT Jackson and Dynamite Wong. Roger said, “I don’t like Dynamite Wong — he’s gone.” So, it became just TNT Jackson. And the ad line was “TNT Jackson. She’ll Put You in Traction.” But to this day, Roger tells me with great affection that his favorite ad line was the one I came up with for Eat My Dust: “Ron Howard Pops the Clutch and Tells the World to Eat My Dust.”
TARANTINO: By the way, that’s poetry. I can recite that in my sleep.

ARKUSH: It came to me in the shower, and I ran to the editing room.

TRENCHARD-SMITH: I liked his line for Shogun Assassin. “Shogun Assassin: He’ll Kick Your Ass In.”

ARKUSH:Cover Girl Models: They Don’t Need Clothes to Strike a Pose.”

TARANTINO: Yes! I loved Cover Girl Models. Of Roger Corman’s three-girl movies, that would be my third favorite after Night Call Nurses and Private Duty Nurses. I’m also a fan of Hollywood Boulevard, though I almost don’t consider it in the same vein, because it is a wink at those. It’s not a three-girls movie proper; it exists outside of them.

ARKUSH: I still have a Xerox of my paycheck: I was paid $85, and we shot it in 10 days.

TARANTINO: And can I just say that of all the sexploitation actresses — and there were some goddamn good ones, in particular the brunette in Night Call Nurses — Candice Rialson had a star quality.

ARKUSH: A toast to Candice Rialson, who passed away last year.

[Clinking of glasses.]

TARANTINO: Candice Rialson had a wonderful quality about her, and not only was she sexy as all get-out — the quintessential stripper girl in every way, shape and form, with an Amazonian body — but she had a genuine sense of humor and, like Zoe Bell, was just immensely likable.

ARKUSH: She was bubbly and funny in real life. The day we went out and shot all the stuff that starts the movie was just one of the most fun days, running up and down Hollywood Boulevard, shooting shots of her.

TARANTINO: In Summer School Teachers and in Candy Stripe Nurses, she’s really good. But Hollywood Boulevard was the first official comedy she acted in, so she could actually lead with her strength in that. And you realized how incredibly good she was. To tell you the truth, I never understood why you and Joe Dante didn’t bring her along with you when you moved on.

ARKUSH: She went and did that movie about the singing vagina.

TARANTINO: Which she pulled off. Few could have pulled that off as well as she did.

ARKUSH: Then she had little tiny parts in a bunch of stuff her boyfriends were working on, but I think the singing-vagina movie kind of killed her.

TARANTINO: Allan, in that documentary Roger Corman: Hollywood’s Wild Angel, it was great seeing you on the set of Grand Theft Auto directing Don Steele’s car crashing into that pool. When I was working at Video Archives, I bought the old MPI Home Video VHS tape of Roger Corman: Hollywood’s Wild Angel, and I still have it in its original case. It’s like a prized jewel.

ARKUSH: That’s how I met my wife. I was at a screening of the documentary, and in that exact part you’re talking about, where I’m wearing those wild sunglasses, the woman behind me says, “That guy’s cute.” When the lights went up, I turned around and said, “I’m that guy.” We’ve been together for 25 years.

TARANTINO: Here’s the thing about car chases: Once you’ve made a couple of movies, you can see how they’re done. For this movie, I watched so many car chases, I was finally like, “Now I don’t like any of the car chases I thought I liked, and I don’t even know if I like car chases anymore at all.” Because I could see how they were done, and I never wanted to know how the magician did his tricks.

ARKUSH: I thought the Bourne movies raised the level of car chases, especially the second one, The Bourne Supremacy. That car chase was a whole step up.

TARANTINO: It’s weird — I could still feel CGI in that. The last real, old-school car chase was in Terminator 2. To me, there’s nothing worse than CGI when it comes to a car chase. And this whole idea of having 16 cameras shooting from every conceivable angle every time a stunt happens — that’s not directing, that’s selecting. In the ’60s and the ’70s, it was about the one shot; it was about the good driving abilities of these people, and the way the cars held together. Back then, you couldn’t do a 14-year-old-girl coming-of-age movie without having a car chase in it. Now, everything is all cut up and it doesn’t matter who’s driving the fucking car. The geography is lost. The momentum is lost. Being inside of the chase is lost.

ARKUSH: I’ve got two daughters, and I spend a lot of time showing them old movies. We had a movie night recently where we were watching Howard Hawks’ Hatari!, and there’s a scene where this rhino comes right up to the side of the Land Rover and starts kicking the shit out of it. I said to my daughters, “That’s a real rhino, not a CGI rhino.” Two weeks later, they’ve got some girlfriends over and they put the DVD on to that scene and I hear them telling their friends, “That’s a real rhino, not a CGI rhino.”

TEAGUE: Before CGI, you had to find a practical way of doing something that nobody had ever seen before. On Thunder and Lightning, we finished the movie and Roger said, “The car chase isn’t exciting enough — shoot something else.” So, I thought about those foot chases where you see the people jumping from rooftop to rooftop, and I figured we could do the same thing with a car. On the first take, the stuntman miscalculated and missed the other building entirely. We had a pancaked car about a block down the road. The stuntman wasn’t injured at all. He had a backup car. So, we shot it a second time and it was perfect.
L.A. WEEKLY:So, where have all the cheap thrills gone?

TARANTINO: The exploitation market died when ticket prices went as high as they did. To this day, and I know I’m way out of touch, I don’t think a movie ticket should cost more than $5. Back in the day, you could spend $5 to see a low-budget exploitation movie or you could spend $5 to see A Star Is Born or whatever — it was all the same. Now, I’d feel ripped off if I spent $12 at a movie theater to see Eat My Dust, though oddly, I don’t feel ripped off spending $24 for the DVD. That’s my own prejudice. Having said that, today there’s a huge market of straight-to-video exploitation movies.


L.A. WEEKLY:But whenever I see one of those movies, I almost always feel they lack the expressive grandeur of the big-screen exploitation movies of yesteryear.

TARANTINO: You are absolutely right. Whatever else you want to say about Roger Corman, he was a soothsayer. He knew everything that was going to happen years before it happened. When, all of a sudden, his movies started having these one-week engagements in two theaters just to meet a contractual obligation, and then they came out in video two days later, that was the end of exploitation movies theatrically.

ARKUSH: The second he moved into that studio in Venice, everything had to fit within four walls and you lost all the freedom of location shooting.

TARANTINO: The loss of the theatrical experience was like a loss of heart for the directors, because even though you guys didn’t expect critical respect, there was a chance that Kevin Thomas, or Linda Gross, would see what you had done and give you a good review in the Los Angeles Times.

TRENCHARD-SMITH: [Former Los Angeles Times film critic] Michael Wilmington found The Siege of Firebase Gloria playing on the lower half of a drive-in double bill with Red Scorpion and said, “Why isn’t it playing the top half?”

TARANTINO: Here’s a wonderful thing: The Siege of Firebase Gloria played for a week in Los Angeles. Cut to 15 years later, and it is now, among war-film fans, considered in the top five of all Vietnam movies ever made!

TRENCHARD-SMITH: And yet, I can’t get Sony Home Entertainment to put out a DVD, even though they have a high-def master.

TARANTINO: They just don’t know, and won’t take the two seconds it takes to find out. But I’ve been on the Internet. I’ve gone to these Web sites. Cirio Santiago, for example, directed nine Vietnam movies back-to-back in the 1980s and ’90s, and you know what? They’re the best movies of his entire career. Nobody has ever done as many Vietnam movies as good as that. They’re like the great, low-budget WWII movies of the ’50s. They’re like great Combat! episodes, except set in Vietnam. One of them, Eye of the Eagle 3 — also known as Last Stand at Lang Mei — is just terrific. When you look up the reviews, they’re within a breath of The Siege of Firebase Gloria. There’s another one, called Firehawk, that almost plays like Reservoir Dogs set in Vietnam. They’re not about explosions; they’re all about the human drama.

TEAGUE: We haven’t talked about a producer of independent films who was my original inspiration, and that’s Robert Lippert.

TARANTINO: He produced those B Westerns.

TEAGUE: And Sam Fuller movies. That’s what really got me interested in making movies. Jack Nicholson was writing and producing for Robert Lippert. Fred Roos was producing for him. And Fuller directed three or four movies for him.

TARANTINO: Robert Lippert did Monte Hellman’s Back Door to Hell and Flight to Fury.

TEAGUE: In the Philippines.

TRENCHARD-SMITH: Have you seen those movies that George Montgomery made in the Philippines?

TARANTINO: No, I know of them, but I’ve never seen them.

TRENCHARD-SMITH: They’re quite good. There’s The Steel Claw and Samar and Warkill. They all have great jungle combat. Some of them were period.

TARANTINO: Well, I’m a huge fan of Filipino cinema. I can defend Eddie Romero and Gerry DeLeon and Cirio Santiago till the cows come home. I have tonight, actually.

TRENCHARD-SMITH: When I first came to America in 1968, Warkill was the first exploding-blood-bag movie that I remember seeing. I thought, “This is great stuff. I want to do that.” It took a while for the rest of the world to catch up, but when The Wild Bunch came out in 1969, all bets were off. When I came to Los Angeles in 1970, the first movie I saw on Hollywood Boulevard was Slaughter, and they didn’t care that you could see the wires coming out of the actors’ trousers. The hell with the wires — everyone’s looking at the blood!

TARANTINO: Jack Starrett!

TRENCHARD-SMITH: Jack Starrett!

TARANTINO: If Jack Starrett were alive, he’d be sitting at this table. [To Richard Rush] You know, if you’re the king of the biker movies, he was the crown prince.

RICHARD RUSH: Thank you.

TARANTINO: One of the things I always loved about your stuff was that you started out Max Julien — the great Max Julien. Probably the single-most iconic performance in the history of blaxploitation movies was Max Julien as Goldie in The Mack. Not Superfly. Not Shaft. Not Pam Grier. Max Julien in The Mack is the Paul-Muni-in-Scarface performance of blaxploitation cinema, and he started in your movies.

RUSH: And after he did those blaxploitation pictures, he played in my first studio picture, Getting Straight.

TARANTINO: By the way, if you didn’t know this, Getting Straight was Ingmar Bergman’s favorite American movie of all time. He always cited Getting Straight.

RUSH: That script contains one of the proudest lines of my writing career, which is when Elliott Gould says, “You’re not a woman. You’re just a guy with a hole in the middle!”

TARANTINO: My love-of-my-life girlfriend, when I was in my early 20s, was a literature major going for her professorship, just like the Elliott Gould character. And Getting Straight was her personal favorite of all the movies we watched together. She loved the constant literary talk of that movie. There were two movies, out of three years of showing her movies, she loved the most: Getting Straight and — check this out — Paul Mazursky’s Blume in Love. So, on top of all your cinematic genius, thank you for giving me that moment with a woman I loved so much.

RUSH: My pleasure.

TARANTINO: Gentlemen, I’m going to leave because I’ve got to start my press junket early tomorrow. Otherwise, I’d keep this thing going until 2 o’clock in the morning.
 
GRINDHOUSE FILMS "GUILTY PLEASURES" LIST:
as printed in Entertainment Weely Issue #927, March 30, 2007:
1) Escape from New York (1981)
2) Vanishing Point (!971)
3) Mad Max (1979)
4) A Fistful of Dollars (1964)
5) Dawn of the Dead (1978)
6) The Warriors (1979)
7) The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (1970)
8) The Street Fighter (1974)
9) Piranha (1978)
10) Zombie (1979)
11) El Topo (1970)
12) Maniac (1980)
13) Dolemite (1975)
14) Raw Meat (1972) aks "Death Line"
15) Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (1974)
16) Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill! (1965)
17) My Bloody Valentine (1981)
18) Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde (1971)
19) The Big Bird Cage (1972)
20) The Clones of Bruce Lee (1977)
 
These are cult films listed in Danny Peary's 1981 definitive hardcover,
"CULT MOVIES", listed in alphabetical order:
Aguirre, the Wrath of God
All About Eve
Andy Warhol's Bad
Badlands
Beauty and the Beast
Bedtime for Bonzo
Behind the Green Door
Beyond the Valley of the Dolls
Billy Jack
Black Sunday
The Brood
Burn!
Caged Heat
Casablanca
Citizen Kane
The Conqueror Worm
Dance, Girl, Dance
Deep End
Detour
Duck Soup
El Topo
Emmanuelle
Enter the Dragon
Eraserhead
Fantasia
Forbidden Planet
Force of Evil
42nd Street
Freaks
The Girl Can't Help It
Greetings
Gun Crazy
Halloween
A Hard Day's Night
The Harder They Come
Harold and Maude
The Honeymoon Killers
House of Wax
I Married a Monster from Outer Space
I Walked with a Zombie
Invasion of the Body Snatchers
It's A Gift
It's A Wonderful Life
Jason and the Argonauts
Johnny Guitar
The Killing
King Kong
King of Hearts
Kiss Me, Deadly
La Cage aux Folles
Land of the Pharaohs
Laura
The Little Shop of Horrors
Lola Montes
The Long Goodbye
Mad Max
The Maltese Falcon
Man of the West
Night of the Living Dead
The Nutty Professor
Once Upon A Time in the West
Out of the Past
Outrageous!
Pandora's Box
Peeping Tom
Performance
Petulia
Pink Flamingos
Plan 9 From Outer Space
Pretty Poison
The Producers
The Rain People
Rebel Without A Cause
The Red Shoes
Reefer Madness
Rio Bravo
Rock 'n' Roll High School
The Rocky Horror Picture Show
The Scarlet Empress
The Searchers
Shock Corridor
The Shooting
Singin' in the Rain
Sunset Boulevard
Sylvia Scarlett
The Tall T
Targets
Tarzan and His Mate
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Top Hat
Trash
Two for the Road
Two-Lane Blacktop
2001: A Space Oddysey
Up in Smoke
Vertigo
The Warriors
Where's Poppa?
The Wild Bunch
The Wizard of Oz

 


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