Tag Archive | "joe dante"

ICON VS. ICON PRESENTS: Acid Pop Cult Podcast – Episode 148: Sentimental Softies

ICON VS. ICON PRESENTS: Acid Pop Cult Podcast – Episode 148: Sentimental Softies


This week on the Acid Pop Cult Podcast, Jeremy and Jason reflect on their holiday. The show kicks off as Jason offers his opinion on the latest entry in the Terminator franchise — ‘Terminator Genisys.’ Meanwhile, Jeremy delves into his latest obsessions, Marvel’s ‘Daredevil’ and ‘Batman: Arkham Knight.’ The duo then discuss the launch of their Mystery Care Package Contest. Be sure to check it out and enter today as APC wants to make you a winner. Looking for something new to satisfy your pop culture cravings? Look no further than their “Pick of The Week” segment were we discuss Joe Dante’s ‘Burying The Ex’ and the awesome new album art book, ‘And Justice For Art…’ As always, it is a jammed packed episode served up hot and steamy! Bon Appétit!

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Zach Galligan: Iconic Actor Discusses Life, Career, ‘Gremlins’ and ‘Hatchet III’

Zach Galligan: Iconic Actor Discusses Life, Career, ‘Gremlins’ and ‘Hatchet III’


At nineteen, Zach Galligan went from being a virtually unknown young actor to one of the most recognizable faces on the big screen, not only in the United States but around the globe. With his terrific performance as Billy Peltzer in ‘Gremlins’ he instantly became one of the most beloved characters of the 1980s. His work as an actor didn’t end there as he continued on to star in projects ranging from film to to television to the stage. Even after many years in the industry, Galligan is not one to shy away from challenges. His latest role lands him smack dab in the middle of one of horror’s most talked about cult movie franchises and pairs him with some of the horror genre’s most iconic names! 

‘Hatchet III’ continues the tale of the now-iconic villain Victor Crowley, played by genre favorite Kane Hodder, and ramps up the action to bring this epic tale of terror to a close. The film As a search and recovery team heads into the haunted swamp to pick up the pieces and carnage left behind from the first two films, Marybeth (Danielle Harris) hunts down the true secret to ending the voodoo curse that has left the ghost of Victor Crowley haunting and terrorizing Honey Island Swamp for decades.

Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently sat down with Zach Galligan to discuss who he got his start as an actor, becoming a film icon almost overnight, the challenges of his latest tole in ‘Hatchet III’ and what projects he has in store for us for the 30th Anniversary of ‘Gremlins’!

Zach Galligan

Zach Galligan

Many people of my generation instantly recognize you from your role in ‘Gremlins’. I wanted to go back a little further than that and learn what got you started as an actor.

I had done a number of plays and musicals in high school and summer camps. They were your obligatory ‘Pippin,’ Grease’ and ‘Godspell’ productions. I went to school in Manhattan at 75th and Broadway. I didn’t really know it at the time but that was a place where casting directors would go and scout young talent. A couple of casting directors swung by and saw me in the plays that I did. They called me in to try out for some very, very early 80s movies. I think the first movie I ever tried out for was ‘Taps’ with Timothy Hutton, Sean Penn and Tom Cruise, so I was in that generation of actors. The role I went in for, I got beaten out for by Sean Penn, which I never really feel that bad about in retrospect! [laughs] Long story short, after I started trying out for these movies, I stumbled into getting an agent and I was pretty much off and running by the time I was seventeen.

Who would you cite as some of your biggest influences in your early years?

I would say the two actors who really influenced me are so different from me, I was never really able to use their thing. I loved Steve McQueen and his kind of quiet thoughtfulness. I also loved Malcolm McDowell. I loved his intensity of his eyes. I love the opening shot of “A Clockwork Orange” where it pulls back from him and he has that look on his face. I remember seeing that for the first time and thinking “What is that!” It is that kind of mischievous, demonic, evil glint in his eye as Alex. I still think that is one of the most underrated film performances of the last fifty years! I think Malcolm McDowell is flawless in that movie.

Your career path lead you to one of the most beloved movies of my generation, ‘Gremlins’. When you took that role, I doubt you had any idea it would become the phenomena it did. How did that effect you as a young actor?

Zach Galligan: ALways Smooth

Zach Galligan: ALways Smooth

I have to contradict you. I think both Steven [Spielberg] and I both knew how huge the movie was going to be and we were kinda freaked out by it! Spielberg had just done “E.T.: The Extraterrestrial” and it quickly became the biggest movie in the world, now he was doing sort of an “E.T.” on it’s head followup and was very enthusiastic about it. He was really going to push it and was going to open it a week or two after his own movie, “Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom.” We knew if it even did a quarter of what “E.T.” did, we would instantly be thrown into the forefront of popular culture at the time. To answer the second part of your question, how did it affect me? It changed my entire life forever! Basically, the film opened 29 years ago yesterday. I would say within two weeks, a maximum of three weeks but by the first of July, everywhere I went all around America and a year later, all around the world, I was recognized everywhere I went. In every shop or restaurant, I was recognized! It was this crazy thing — a sudden impact! I didn’t realize the scope of it until I went down to South Africa in 1988. As you can imagine, South Africa is about as far away from New York City as you can get! On a map, it is all the way over and then all the way down. I was walking down the street in Johannesburg and these kids came running up to me saying “Gremlins! Gremlins!” I thought to myself “Holy shit! I could be at the South Pole and people would still know me!” [laughs] It boggles your mind! It is still very strange. I have had so many strange things happen to me in life! You don’t realize what it is like to be in a hit movie until you are in one because the breadth and scope of the number of people it reaches is really hard to imagine.

Speaking of movies that have reached people, ‘Hatchet III’ is your latest project. This franchise has an incredible fan base. How did you initially become involved with the project?

I opened up my email one day and in front of me was an email who’s subject read “Hatchet III Offer”. At first, I thought it was from Amazon.com or Best Buy. I thought “I don’t know if I really want a ‘Hatchet III’ DVD. Thank you very much!” I was about to delete it when I saw it was from my agent. I was like ” Wait. What?” because most actors, unless you are one of the top thirty actors in the world, you don’t get a lot of offers all the time. Offers are few and far between. You have to work to get a part. They were like “Hey, we are going to be doing this movie down in New Orleans!” I took notice of that right away because New Orleans is one of my favorite cities. They said “There is a really cool part in the film, not sure if you would be interested in doing it but if you want to, give us a ring!” I read the script and it has hilarious. The part was huge, it was awesome and I could do anything I wanted to with it. I basically signed right up!

That is very cool. What did you bring to the character that might not have been on the written page originally?

Zach Galligan In 'Hatchet III'

Zach Galligan In ‘Hatchet III’

They wanted me to play a Northern who was down south, who had relocated to Louisiana and spoke normally. I know my persona and I thought people would be like “What would a guy like him be doing down in a Louisiana Parish as a sheriff?” I just kinda decided to make him what I imagined a southern sheriff to be, whether they are from Louisiana and spoke with a Cajun accent or like my character who has transferred from the Houston branch. If you listen closely, you will hear a reference to that. He is just a guy who is bored to shit with his job which is basically arresting drunks for Mardi Gras. That is what his life has been like until the second the movie opens and he is thrust into the most nightmarish twelve hours of his life. I liked the idea of someone who was a bit more laid back and lazy. He is let go and developed a little bit of a beer belly and is just counting the years until his retirement while arresting drunks and stopping domestic squabbles like you see on ‘Cops’! He is just that guy! Now all of a sudden, he has to go fight a swamp monster! I thought “You know what? That might be a lot more interesting!”

Speaking of being thrown into things, I imagine you had to feel that way about filming in the swamp! What was that experience like for you and what was the biggest challenge you encountered while there?

The experience was basically hell on Earth! [laughs] It was incredibly hot and sweaty! If I never see an insect again it will be too soon! I guess the biggest challenge was willing myself to get back in the van to go back to the set to get eaten alive eight nights in a row! [laughs] It was a very weird thing because once I was on the set, the people were so great, I had a fantastic time shooting it and laughed my ass off. It was a weird thing because I would be having a great time, laughing my ass off and then I would look down and see I had been bitten seven times on the palm of my hand in the last ten minutes! [laughs] Prior to this, I had never even been bitten once on the palm of my hand. I never even knew mosquitos would find the palm of your hand tasty! [laughs] When my girlfriend came to visit me on the set, she took a look at my hands and said “What are they doing to you?!” [laughs] I said “They are not doing anything to me sweetheart! It’s the bayou! It’s alive! The whole thing is alive and it wants to eat you!” [laughs]

HATCHET III / Director BJ McDonnell / Photo: Skip Bolen

They say you always take a little something away from each project as an actor. What did you take away from you time on the set with this amazing cast and crew?

That is a good question. I will tell you what I took away from this experience. It really reenergized and reinvigorated my passion for filmmaking because everyone on the set was having so much fun making the movie. It had been a long time since I had been on a set where everyone was filled with an almost child-like enthusiasm. It was the innocence of “Hey man, we are making a movie!” It was a great thing to feel. I have been on a lot of sets where people are like “Let’s just get the shot and go home.” There are a lot of jaded professionals out there. It was totally different with this project. It was more like “Can you believe it! We got the money and we are doing a swamp monster movie! Isn’t it awesome!” It really was awesome!

'Hatchet III'

‘Hatchet III’

It is really cool to hear that as a fan of the franchise. I know everyone is working hard to bring these films to life.

Did you have a chance to see ‘Hatchet III’ yet?

I did!

What were your thoughts. You can tell me the honest truth, everyone is going to have different opinions.

As I mentioned, I am definitely a fan of the franchise. We actually went to see the first film in theaters the night it opened. The latest film was great. I felt the pacing was terrific and it was definitely action packed. As I mentioned to Adam Green and BJ McDonnell, I am sure it was a big challenge to move the series forward and keep the balance they were looking for. I feel like they did a tremendous job in doing so. The performances in the film were great as well.

Did you notice that the film looked larger in terms of scope and size, the whole look of it?

Absolutely. BJ and I were discussing that in our interview yesterday.

To me, as a filmmaker, I felt the second film in the series looked like it was shot at a studio. It just seems smaller and compressed. With ‘Hatchet III,’ the swamp itself is so beautiful, it just looks like a swamp instead of sets because it was.

I totally agree and coupled with the fact the entire cast and crew is so into making the film happen, it gives it a certain life of it’s own. I think it really jumps of the screen because of that.

Yeah. I can imagine some fans might be disappointed because it isn’t as scary with stuff jumping out at you as in the previous films. I don’t know. I thought it was interesting to try and go in more of a slightly different direction yet still maintain a lot of the carnage.

Definitely. I felt the slight shift in direction was a welcome one and was a bit of an evolution.

That is a great way to put it. I did feel like it kind of evolved with this.

That leads into my next question for you, Zach. How do you feel you have evolved as an actor through the years?

Oh good lord! [laughs] I think the real question you would ask of any actor, and I am not trying to correct you but I am just saying the big picture is “How have you evolved as a human being?” That is going to inevitably and inexorably bleed into some of your performances. The fact of the matter is when I started as an actor, I was a senior in high school. I was a kid, ya know. Basically, I was one year removed from losing my virginity! [laughs] Now, I will be fifty next February, which probably makes you feel old too! So, I am a middle aged man who has traveled all over the world, seen all sorts of things and learned all sorts of lesson. One of the things I liken it to, and these is not that much of it in the movie, but you do kinda get a little sense of my world weariness. I carry that around with me a little bit here and there! [laughs] That was a little bit by design. There are elements in my performance, for example in the ambulance boat sequence where I am trying to get help. The person on the other end of the radio is saying “What’s your twenty? What is your location. Where are you?” The frustration of even then having to deal with the bureaucracy explodes at him and he is like “Where the fuck do you think we are!!!” [laughs] That is totally how I think most adults feel by the time they are fifty! There is so much frustration that comes from existing and the layers of layers of crap you sometimes have to navigate just to live! So, I don’ know, maybe I brought some of that world weariness to the character.

My last question is an important one for pop culture fans around the world. Do you have any special plans to ring in the 30th anniversary of ‘Gremlins’ in 2014?

Pop Icons: Zach and Gizmo

Pop Icons: Zach and Gizmo

Well, I have started writing what I hope will be the definitive “Making of” book for the “Gremlins” films. Wether I get it together, finished and published by the 30th anniversary, I don’t know but I guarantee you I will work really hard. I think it is a story I think a lot of people would like to know — what it is like to be nineteen years old and as a nineteen year old kid be thrust into this amazing piece of machinery and then have this amazing film that people are still talking about thirty years later. The fact of the matter is, “Gremlins” is just as big today as it was when it came out. When I go to the conventions, I am stunned by the eight, nine and ten year old kids who have seen it with their parents and how many people watch it at Christmas. I am still amazed by how many people get in contact with me. I still get probably fifty to sixty fan letters and requests per month. It just never stops! It is amazing and very gratifying, so hopefully I will be able to get that book out on time.

The book sounds terrific! I want to thank you again for you time today, Zach. We look forward to spreading the word on ‘Hatchet III’ and hope to see you again soon!

Thank you, man! I appreciate it. Take care, Jason!

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Pick of The Week: ‘Piranha 3D’ Takes A Bite Out Of Blu-ray & DVD!

Pick of The Week: ‘Piranha 3D’ Takes A Bite Out Of Blu-ray & DVD!

One of our favorite horror movies of 2010 is now available for you to relive again and again in the comfort of your own home!  What’s it about you ask? Jaws… lots and lots of jaws. That’s right ‘Piranha 3D’ is ready to take a bite out of Blu-ray and DVD!

The remake features an ensemble cast which includes Elisabeth Shue, Kelly Brook, Richard Dreyfuss, Jerry O’Connell, Christopher Lloyd, Ving Rhames, Dina Meyer, Ricardo Chavira, Paul Scheer, and Eli Roth. Check out the red band trailer for the flick below!

While your at it, check out our interviews with director Joe Dante, who directed the original cult hit ‘Piranha’, as well as adult film star Riley Steele who is one of the stars of the new film!

Synopsis: From acclaimed director Alexandre Aja (The Hills Have Eyes) comes the new action thriller PIRANHA 3D, in the latest eye-popping 3D technology. Every year the population of sleepy Lake Victoria explodes from 5,000 to 50,000 for Spring Break, a riot of sun and drunken fun. But this year, there’s something more to worry about than hangovers and complaints from local old timers; A new type of terror is about to be cut loose on Lake Victoria. After a sudden underwater tremor sets free scores of the prehistoric man-eating fish, an unlikely group of strangers must band together to stop themselves from becoming fish food for the area’s new razor-toothed residents. But our heroine (Elisabeth Shue) is seriously outnumbered, and with only one chance to save the lake and her family from totally being devoured, she must risk everything to destroy the aquatic carnivores herself.

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Retro Review: Joe Dante’s 1978 Cult Classic ‘Piranha’

Retro Review: Joe Dante’s 1978 Cult Classic ‘Piranha’

Fresh off the success of Steven Spielberg’s 1975 blockbuster ‘Jaws,’ many producers rushed low budget rip-offs to theaters in order to capitalize off the now famous ocean horror story.  It was this atmosphere that created some of film’s less than finer moments.  Audiences were pounded over the head with such fine cinema as ‘Mako: The Jaws of Death’ and, how can any of us forget, ‘Orca,’ the tale of a killer whale hell bent on revenging its deceased mate and unborn offspring.  It wasn’t until 1978 that audiences were given a film about killer fish that would carve its own niche and prove to have staying power.

‘Piranha’ began its journey to the big screen in the minds of Richard Robinson and John Sayle, but was ultimately brought to life by the legendary Roger Corman and then up and coming director Joe Dante.  That’s right, the guy who directed ‘The Howling’ and ‘Gremlins’ brought life to those pesky little piranhas that lead to so much onscreen carnage.  ‘Piranha’ represents the pinnacle of what exploitation and B cinema was all about in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s.  The movie is violent and gory at times, but also maintains a campy atmosphere and never takes itself too seriously.
The film begins with a clear homage to ‘Jaws,’ as two swimmers meet their untimely fates at the biting teeth of the titular killer fish.  Of course, this doesn’t take place in the ocean, that would be a blatant rip off.  These kids die in what seems to be a harmless pool inside a mountainside military installation.
We are then introduced to the characters of Maggie, who is searching for the missing kids, and Paul, the local town alcoholic.  Maggie ends up acquiring the reluctant help of Paul and the two eventually make their way to the upstream military installation.  Our two heroes find evidence that the missing teenagers had been there and Maggie ends up draining the pool in order to discover any remains.  Mid-way through the draining, Maggie and Paul are attacked by a crazy scientist.  The scientist, portrayed brilliantly by Kevin McCarthy, is dead set on stopping the draining of the pool and not “letting them out.”  Now you can probably guess what was let out and what is to ensue downstream, especially at a summer camp where Paul’s daughter is unfortunately located and at the grand opening of a water park.  In case you couldn’t guess, people die and they die viciously.
Thanks to the brilliant minds over at Shout! Factory, fans and newcomers to the world of ‘Piranha’ are treated to the best possible transfer of the film to date.  The image throughout the film is relatively crisp and every bit of gore and bloody goodness pops off the screen due to spectacular color.  It is important to note that this is a review of the DVD version and that the film is also available on Blu-Ray.  There is no doubt that the transfer of the film on Blu-Ray is phenomenal.  The film is presented in anamorphic widescreen (1.85:1), which is a huge improvement over the previous releases that were all full frame.  The audio specs are nowhere to be found on the packaging of the film and online, but the film sounds good considering the source material.
The special features and packaging of the disc are something special and Shout! Factory should be given credit for putting so much effort into a film that is relatively unknown to most modern audiences.  If we could only get special features like these on some of the newer films Hollywood is spitting out nowadays …  The packaging alone is worth the price.  It features a reversible cover, with two different versions of the old movie posters for the film.  There is also a small booklet inside with a note from Roger Corman.  The disc features a commentary track with director Joe Dante and producer Jon Davison.  It’s unfortunate that Corman isn’t featured on the track, but Joe Dante is entertaining and gives the viewer plenty of inside knowledge about the film.
Next up on the extras front is 10 minutes of behind the scenes footage, which consists of handheld video captured when cameras were not rolling on set.  The pot of gold at the end of ‘Piranha’s’ special features rainbow is a new “Making of Piranha” featurette, featuring mostly interviews with members of the cast and their memories of being a part of the film.  The viewer is treated to interviews with Roger Corman, Joe Dante, Dick Miller, Belinda Balaski, as well as others.  Rounding out the special features are a blooper reel, the original trailer for the film that features commentary by producer Jon Davison, stills galleries, additional scenes from the TV version, and radio/television spots.
This presentation of ‘Piranha’ is as good as you are going to get.  Shout! Factory has really outdone themselves this time.  If you are a fan of B-Movies and blood, this is your film.  While it may not be in 3D, ultra gory, or have loads of half naked female co-eds, it is definitely worth picking up.  Shout! Factory’s reissue of Joe Dante’s ‘Piranha’ earns a 7 out of 10.
Score: 7 out of 10

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First Trailer For Wes Craven’s ‘My Soul To Take’ Unleashed!

First Trailer For Wes Craven’s ‘My Soul To Take’ Unleashed!

Master of Horror Wes Craven is back with ‘My Soul to Take’, which is his first movie since 2005’s ‘Red Eye.’ The flick stars Max Thieriot, John Magaro, Emily Meade, Nick Lashaway, Denzel Whitaker, Shareeka Epps, Paulina Olszyinski, and Raul Esparza and is currently slated to hit theaters October 8th, 2010. Check out the first official trailer for the film below and be sure to weigh in with your thoughts!

Synopsis: In the sleepy town of Riverton, legend tells of a serial killer who swore he would return to murder the seven children born the night he died. Now, 16 years later, people are disappearing again. Has the psychopath been reincarnated as one of the seven teens, or did he survive the night he was left for dead? Only one of the kids knows the answer.Adam “Bug” Heller (Max Thierot) was supposed to die on the bloody night his father went insane. Unaware of his dad’s terrifying crimes, he has been plagued by nightmares since he was a baby. But if Bug hopes to save his friends from the monster that’s returned, he must face an evil that won’t rest … until it finishes the job it began the day he was born.

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The Cinema of Cool: Legendary Director Joe Dante Speaks!

The Cinema of Cool: Legendary Director Joe Dante Speaks!

What comes to mind when you hear the name Joe Dante? Does the ‘Jaws’ inspired ‘Piranha’ come to mind? How about ‘The Howling’ or ‘Gremlins’? Still not enough? Maybe you are more fanatical about ‘Innerspace’ or ‘The ‘Burbs’. That’s right, Joe Dante is responsible for directing some of the most memorable movies of the late ‘70s and ‘80s. While Dante is truly something special in the realm of cinema and has retained steady work since those glory days, he somehow managed to disappear off the industry’s radar for the past couple years. Well here’s the news you Joe Dante maniacs have been waiting for! The master of horror is back with a vengeance! The legendary director has been thrust onto the scene with a new DVD reissue of ‘Piranha’ and its big budget remake due to hit theaters on August 20th. While his past works and influence on modern cinema speak for themselves, the director also has a new trick up his sleeve. Dante is on the verge of unleashing a brand new tale of terror upon the masses this fall in 3D. Steve Johnson of Icon vs. Icon recently caught up with the director to discuss his influences, his memorable films, Shout! Factory’s upcoming DVD reissue of ‘Piranha’, Hollywood’s trend of remaking classic films, and his upcoming movie ‘The Hole 3D’.

First off, I want to give our readers a little background. When did you realize you wanted to pursue a career in the entertainment industry?

Well I don’t think it really ever dawned on me until after I made my first movie. When I was a kid I wanted to be a cartoonist. I spent most of my time at Saturday matinees. I ended up getting a job at a film magazine reviewing movies. Then I came out here to make trailers and I got a chance to direct a movie. It all sort of happened to me. When I look back on it, it’s the only career I ever could have had.

Who were your influences, be it other directors or otherwise?

Almost every movie I ever saw influenced me. I discovered later when I looked back at some of the movies that I had made, how many things I had stolen from other pictures that I wasn’t even aware of at the time. I had all of these images floating around in my head and they just would come out while I was working.

You are a director, writer, editor, and producer. Is there one aspect of film making that you prefer over the others?

I started as an editor. I still think that’s where the power is. You can ruin a movie or you can make a movie in the editing room. Obviously, you have to have the footage for it. If I hadn’t been an editor first, I don’t think I ever would have been able to direct my first couple of pictures as successfully as I did because I was aware of what I needed and what I didn’t need.

You’ve done work on motion pictures and television series. Which format do you prefer?

Well I think that for watching movies, the theatrical experience is unique. There’s nothing like it. As far as the content goes, with the advent of big screens at home and new sound systems, the difference between making movies for theaters and making movies for television has really diminished quite a bit. In the old days they used to say, “If you do a TV movie it has got to have a lot of closeups because the screens are small.” Now, of course, that isn’t true. I don’t think most people change their style one way or the other depending on which medium they are working in.

You are responsible for some of the most memorable films of the ‘80s (‘The Howling’, ‘Gremlins’, ‘Explorers’, ‘The ‘Burbs’, etc. …). Is there one of those films that sticks out as your favorite or that you have really fond memories of?

As far as fond memories of … I really enjoyed making ‘Innerspace’ because the cast was so much fun. It was fun to go to work every day. Some of the other movies were a little more difficult for various reasons. As far as on the set, I had the most fun on ‘Innerspace’, ‘Gremlins 2’, and ‘The ‘Burbs’.

Did you ever imagine that those films would become so popular and affect people the way they have?

No, you never think that. I’m here at the Shout! Factory booth doing a promo for the new DVD reissue of ‘Piranha’, which is my second movie. If you had told me in 1978 that anybody would be buying a Blu-Ray of what I was doing then I wouldn’t have believed it. When you are making the movies you don’t think about posterity, you just think about getting it done.

'Piranha' Is Now Available From Shout! Factory

Speaking of Shout! Factory’s reissue of ‘Piranha’. They are due to release the film on DVD and Blu-Ray on August 3rd. Looking back on it, do you have any fond memories of working on the film and would you have done anything different with it if you were given a chance?

I probably would have done everything differently if I had a chance! [laughs] The whole idea with that one was that it was an assignment picture. It was a movie that was available to do and Roger offered it to me. I thought it was a terrible idea for a movie, five years after ‘Jaws’ doing a low budget rip off. By the time we were done with it, I think we had obviously managed to change it into something that was a little more substantial. For some reason it’s managed to stay in the public consciousness.

What was it like working alongside Roger Corman on ‘Piranha’?

Roger initiated the project and worked with me on the script and on the cutting. We made the movie in Texas, so he wasn’t around. It was basically, as with all Corman films, beat the clock. You basically have to try to get as much footage in the can as possibly between sunlight and sunset. It means taking a lot of shortcuts and cutting a lot of corners. Usually the projects were very ambitious for the time and money that was being invested in them. You eventually wanted to make the best possible ‘Piranha’, ‘Women in Cages’, or ‘Teachers’ movies that you could make out of the material. [laughs]

Did Shout! Factory consult you when it came time to put the DVD together? If so, what input did you have?

They did. There had been a previous DVD and they wanted to know if I had anymore material. I actually managed to come up with some footage that I had cut out that was reinserted for network TV broadcast. When it was broadcast on NBC they cut out all of the piranhas. [laughs] They had to have something to fill up the space. Of course they did a Blu-Ray, which is a new transfer. It’s in the proper ratio and it looks as good as that movie could ever look.

Remaking films is the current rage in Hollywood right now. As a the director of a film that has been remade (‘Piranha’), what are your feelings on the trend?

As a guy who made his splash by making a ripoff of ‘Jaws’, I’m really not in the position to criticize anybody for remaking anything. Many of the movies that we think of as classics were remakes. ‘The Maltese Falcon’ was a remake. ‘The Wizard of Oz’ was a remake. There’s nothing wrong with remakes. If they improve on the original and are intelligent, I think they can be great. ‘Heaven Can Wait’ is a great remake of ‘Here Comes Mr. Jordan’. They are both good movies. I think it’s fine. I think the problem currently in Hollywood is that they’re remaking them only because the titles already exist and they have proven themselves. In this particular economic climate everybody is afraid to do new things, which is why I’m pleased to see that ‘Inception’ has been doing so well. It disproves the bromide that the studios can’t make money by doing new projects.

Do you intend on seeing the remake of ‘Piranha’ when it hits theaters?

Oh sure! Yeah! I was supposed to be in it, but I unfortunately couldn’t do it.

'The Howling' - When Werewolves Were Werewolves

You are responsible for one of the scariest werewolf movies (‘The Howling’) to ever hit the silver screen and are often looked upon as a master of horror. Have you always been a fan of horror films and what are your thoughts on being referred to as a master of horror?

I suppose it’s flattering, particularly the company that I am in. When I did that cable series a couple of years ago, we had some pretty good people there. It’s a little limiting in the sense that sometimes people don’t think of you for anything else. “Why would we want to give him a love story? He does horror pictures!” That’s a little limiting. It’s a genre that used to be considered junk and now it’s become the backbone of the industry, so I guess it’s OK.

Although you have directed films outside of the horror genre, you have become closely associated with the realm of horror. Do you see yourself continuing to work in the horror genre or do you want to pursue interests outside of the genre?

I think over the years I have not pursued as many things outside of the genre as I would have liked to because I’m much more bankable doing horror films. The trick with horror pictures is trying to find something new and interesting to do that hasn’t been done a hundred times. I get a lot of horror scripts and generally most of them aren’t so hot. They’re kind of all retreads of things or they’re just violence for violence sake. I think those kind of movies are going to age fast. I did do a picture last year called ‘The Hole in 3D’, which is a horror film. It’s more of a retro horror film, like the kind of things we were making in the ‘80s.

What can you tell us about ‘The Hole’ and were there any challenges to shooting the film in 3D?

I love 3D. I’m old enough to have seen it when it was new in the ‘50s. I think that when properly used, it’s a great storytelling tool. It’s a family style horror picture about a dysfunctional family. A mom and two kids move from the big city to kind of a boring podunk town. We don’t know exactly why they moved, but there seems to be some sinister reason. The kids discover a door in the floor that has locks on it. When they take off the locks, which you’re not supposed to do in these pictures, something comes out and it’s obviously not good. As a movie, it was a lot of fun to make because I really enjoy doing 3D. We won an award at The Venice Film Festival for best 3D film last year. It’s been playing in a couple places in Europe and I guess it is coming out here this fall.

Joe Dante's 'The Hole'

Is there any specific release date?

No. I finished it a while ago and I haven’t been talking to those guys. I just know vaguely that it’s supposed to come out at the end of the year.

The film has obviously made the rounds on the festival circuit. How has it been received?

Quite well! Surprisingly well! It did well in Toronto. They loved it in Venice. It opened quite well in Italy and it’s playing in Russia.

Do you have any other film projects that we should be on the look out for?

Not that’s going to be imminently out. I’ve got things that I am working on. Things I’m trying to get funded, which is a whole other story that you don’t want to hear about. Basically I try to keep busy with my website.

What do you consider the defining moment of your career so far?

The defining moment of my career came while I was making ‘The Twilight Zone’ movie. It was at Warner Brothers. I had never worked at a big studio. I was on an elevated set and we were looking down at the rest of the stage. A grip pointed to the corner and said, “You see that corner! Errol Flynn pissed in that corner!” I remember thinking, “You know! I have arrived!” [laughs]

That’s a good story! [laughs] What is the biggest misconception about yourself?

About me? Hmmm … That’s a stumper! I don’t know! [laughs]

What is the best piece of advice someone has given you along the way in your career?

Roger Corman once told me to sit down a lot. That was really good advice, except on his pictures there were no chairs. [laughs]

That being said, do you have any advice for someone who would like to pursue a career in the entertainment industry?

They have my sympathy because it’s much harder now than it was when I started. I would say this … If they’re directing, they should edit their own material so they know what mistakes they made and that they won’t make again.

Joe Dante

Is there anything else you want to add or let your fans know before we let you go?

Can I plug my website?

Absolutely! Plug away!

Do you know about it?

No. I’m not familiar. What can you tell us about it?

Well, this is an important day in your life. It’s www.trailersfromhell.com. It’s a site where we have almost 500 trailers, all narrated by contemporary filmmakers. They talk about what the movie meant to them, where they saw it, how they stole from it, whether they liked it or not. It’s everything from ‘Attack of the 50 Foot Woman’ to ‘Spartacus.’ The commentators include everybody from John Landis and Guillermo del Toro, to Eli Roth, Edgar Wright, me, and a lot of other people. It was basically created because I was concerned that the movies that I grew up with from the ‘40s, ‘50s, ‘60s, and even the ‘70s were getting kind of unknown. Kids today, in this world where we have so many things available, don’t know about these things and don’t know about these filmmakers. I was just basically trying to get it back into the public eye. It’s been working quite well.

Awesome! I’m going to check that out as soon as I get off the phone with you!

Cool! You’ll find Roger Corman talking about ‘Tales of Terror’!

The World Needs More 'Gremlins'

Real quick, what’s the status of ‘Gremlins 3’?

There were so many rumors I actually asked Warner Brothers last month if there was anything going on and they said no.

I’m sure you get that question 3,000 times a day.


Thanks for your time Joe. We wish you all the best. We’ll be on the lookout for ‘The Hole 3D’.

Thank you!

To get the latest on Joe Dante, be sure to visit his website, www.trailersfromhell.com. To see more on his upcoming flick ‘The Hole’, swing by the official website at www.theholein3d.com.

Trailer for The Hole 3D – Watch more horror

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Roger Corman’s Cult Classics: ‘Piranha’ and ‘Humanoids from the Deep’ Invade August 3rd!

Roger Corman’s Cult Classics: ‘Piranha’ and ‘Humanoids from the Deep’ Invade August 3rd!

Just when you thought it was safe to take a dip in the water again…they’re baaaack! This summer, rediscover two enduring Roger Corman underwater thrillers filled with unstoppable action and edge-of-your-seat suspense as Joe Dante’s Piranha and Humanoids from the Deep, directed by Barbara Peters, debut August 3, 2010 for the first time on Special Edition Blu-ray and DVD from Shout! Factory, in association with New Horizons Picture Corporation. These two definitive Special Edition home entertainment releases from Roger Corman’s Cult Classics are sure to cause a feeding frenzy among thrill seekers and loyal fans of Roger Corman and Joe Dante.  Piranha Special Edition offers 2 highly collectible covers: the Blu-ray and DVD both feature the iconic vintage cover art from the film’s original 1978 movie poster and the spectacular art from the original international poster for the reverse cover; and the Special Edition DVD is further sparkled with a visually stunning 3-D lenticular exterior packaging. Humanoids from the Deep Special Edition also boasts a reversible cover featuring vintage art from the U.S. and international movie posters.

Both Special Edition Blu-ray and DVD releases of Piranha and Humanoids from the Deep feature anamorphic widescreen presentation of the movie and a spectacular array of special bonus content, including all-new in-depth interviews and commentaries with cast and crew, rare behind-the-scenes footage, reversible cover and more. Each Blu-ray and DVD is sold separately. Blu-ray is priced to own at $26.97 and $19.93 for the DVD.  Dare you to take the plunge with the original Piranha andHumanoids at home before you put on those 3-D shades for the remake of Piranha in 3-D coming to theaters nationwide late August.  See where the phenomenon began!

Lost River Lake was a thriving resort until they discovered … Piranha!

In 1978, audiences discovered Piranha, widely considered one of the very best films “inspired” by the success of Jaws, and for more than 30 years Piranha has been one of the true cult gems in the Roger Corman canon.

For the first time in anamorphic widescreen, Piranha is being seen the way it was meant to be seen: Bigger, badder, bloodier and more BITING than ever! This summer at Lost River Resort, the fish are most certainly biting!

While searching for missing teenagers, rookie skip-tracer Maggie McKeon (Heather Menzies) and booze-soaked river rat Paul Grogan (Bradford Dillman) stumble upon a top-secret military laboratory conduction genetic research on piranha fish for the purpose of developing the most lethal form of biological warfare imaginable.

When the deadly eating machines are accidentally released from the compound, they’re soon headed downstream, consuming everything — and anyone — in their path. With Paul and Maggie in hot pursuit, the piranha’s next stop is the children’s summer camp, where Paul’s young daughter is vacationing, and then the newly-opened, multi-million-dollar water resort. Time is running out, and the piranha are hungry!

Piranha marked the solo directorial debut of Joe Dante (The Howling, Gremlins and Gremlins 2: The New Batch), after a long apprenticeship under Roger Corman’s tutelage at New World Pictures, and also marked the first produced screenplay of future indie-film icon and two-time Academy Award® nominee John Sayles (Lone Star, Passion Fish, Eight Men Out). Sharp-eyed viewers will also spot cameo appearances by both Dante and Sayles in this film!

The film also featured one of the most star-studded casts ever assembled for a Corman production: Daytime Emmy® and Golden Globe® winner Bradford Dillman (The Way We Were, Compulsion, Escape from the Planet of the Apes), Heather Menzies (TV’s Captain America and Logan’s Run), Academy Award® nominee and Golden Globe® winner Kevin McCarthy (Death of a Salesman, Invasion of the Body Snatchers) and Emmy® nominee Keenan Wynn (Dr. Strangelove, Robert Altman’s Nashville), as well as Emmy® winner Barbara Steele (The Pit and the Pendulum, Caged Heat, Mario Bava’s Black Sunday), Dick Miller (A Bucket of Blood, The Terminator, Martin Scorsese’s After Hours), Paul Bartel (Death Race 2000, The Usual Suspects), Belinda Balaski (The Howling, Small Soldiers, Explorers), Richard Deacon (TV’s The Dick Van Dyke Show and The Mothers-in-Law) and, in his final screen appearance, Barry Brown (Bad Company, Daisy Miller, The Ultimate Thrill).

Not only was Piranha a box-office hit – becoming one of New World Pictures’ biggest worldwide hits – but it also earned rave reviews from critics, who appreciated its fast pacing, energetic cast, clever conspiracy satire, inventive special effects and, of course, the scares. Many critics considered it second-best only to Jaws but far superior to the “official” Jaws sequels — including Jaws 2, which opened the same year. Piranha won the Saturn Award for Best Editing (shared by Dante and Mark Goldblatt) and was nominated as Best Horror Film.

Like so many Roger Corman productions, Piranha served as a career springboard for many of its participants, including director Dante, screenwriter Sayles, and producer Jon Davison (Airplane!, Robocop and RoboCop 2). Future Academy Award® winner Rob Bottin (Total Recall, The Thing, Se7en) provided special makeup effects in what marked his first screen credit, and the visual effects team boasted not one, but two, future Oscar® winners: Phil Tippett (Jurassic Park, Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back) and Chris Walas (The Fly, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Gremlins).

Perhaps the greatest tribute to Piranha’s sustained popularity is that this summer will see the release of Piranha 3-D to the nation’s movie screens. While the big-budget remake will undoubtedly put the bite on moviegoers, true fans know where it all began … with the original, classic Piranha.


  • New anamorphic widescreen presentation (1.78:1)
  • Audio commentary with director Joe Dante and producer Jon Davison
  • Behind-the-scenes footage
  • “The Making of Piranha” featurette with new interviews from Roger Corman, Joe Dante, Dick Miller, Belinda Balaski and many More
  • Bloopers and outtakes
  • Piranha trailer with commentary by producer Jon Davison – Courtesy of Trailers From Hell (www.trailersfromhell.com)
  • Stills gallery with photos and posters from around the world
  • Behind-the-scenes stills gallery featuring photos from Phil Tippett’s personal collection
  • Additional scenes from the network television version
  • Radio and TV spots
  • New World trailers

One good bite deserves another!

Two years after the success of Piranha, Corman and New World Pictures went back to the water and came up with a winner. Humanoids from the Deep was yet another box-office bonanza.

In the sleepy fishing village of Noyo, the fish aren’t biting — and that’s the problem. The town’s faltering economy, dependent entirely on the fishing industry, has exacerbated ongoing, racially-charged tensions between the local fishermen, who want a cannery to be constructed in the town, and the Native American population, who most definitely don’t.

But something else is biting — and worse. A genetic experiment on salmon has produced a species of aquatic monstrosities that are half-man and half-fish … and constantly on the rampage! The body count is rising. Men are being mauled to death, but the female victims suffer a far worse fate: The monsters are mating with them, trying to propagate their horrific species.

Local fisherman Jim Drake (Doug McClure) and scientist Susan Drake (Ann Turkel) join forces to investigate the cause of this insidious invasion, but time is running out. Noyo’s annual Salmon Festival is about to take place on the town’s boardwalk, and some uninvited guests are planning to crash the party in bloodthirsty fashion, culminating in a bloodbath that pits man against monster.

Amid the film’s non-stop action and carnage, however, are also subtle messages about corporate corruption, preservation of the underwater ecology (years before Greenpeace hit the headlines!), and the importance of community. If the residents of Noyo are to survive, they will have to put aside their cultural and political differences and band together. If not, Noyo is doomed.

Humanoids from the Deep proved to be expectedly commercial, but also proved unexpectedly controversial. Credited director Barbara Peters (billed as Barbara Peeters) contended that many of the film’s gorier scenes had been added to the film after principal photography. That may be true, but some of these scenes are the ones most fondly — and fearfully — remembered by the film’s legion of followers. Then the MPAA (Motion Picture of America) threatened to slap the film with an X rating unless some of its more shocking moments were edited down or eliminated altogether. Nevertheless, these controversies didn’t count where it mattered the most — at the box-office, asHumanoids from the Deep became one of New World Pictures’ most popular releases up to that point.

Even more surprising is that the film received good reviews. Although he called it “fast, occasionally hilarious gutter trash,” esteemed film critic Leonard Maltin also awarded it three out of four stars!

This release of Humanoids from the Deep will truly be something spectacular. This version has never been seen before in the United States, as it was taken from the inter-positive from the uncut international version in high definition.

The cast of Humanoids from the Deep is headed by genre favorite Doug McClure (Warlords of Atlantis, The Land That Time Forgot and The People That Time Forgot), Golden Globe® nominee Ann Turkel (The Cassandra Crossing, 99 and 44/100% Dead) and Emmy Award® nominee Vic Morrow (Blackboard Jungle, The Bad News Bears, 1990: The Bronx Warriors).

Future Oscar® winner Rob Bottin again provided the film’s spectacular — and spectacularly gory — special effects, including a climactic birth scene that rivals the one in the original Alien! The film’s menacing and foreboding score was composed by James Horner (Titanic, Aliens, A Beautiful Mind), himself the future recipient of two Academy Awards®. Production assistant Gale Anne Hurd would go on to become one of the most successful female producers in Hollywood history, with such blockbusters as The Terminator, Aliens, Armageddon and Terminator 2: Judgment Day to her credit.


New high-definition transfer of the Uncut international version presented in anamorphic widescreen (1.78:1)

  • Never-before-seen deleted scenes
  • Trailer, TV and radio spots
  • Leonard Maltin’s interviews with Roger Corman on the making of the film
  • “The Making of Humanoids From The Deep,” featuring new interviews with composer James Horner, second unit/assistant director James Sbardellati, editor Mark Goldblatt and more!
  • New World trailers

With the release of both Piranha and Humanoids from the Deep on Special Edition Blu-ray and DVD, this is sure to be a shocking summer. But remember: Stay out of the water!

Shout! Factory will continue to present Roger Corman’s Cult Classics home entertainment releases on a monthly basis. Upcoming highlights include StarcrashSlumber Party Massacre: The CollectionThe EvilTwice DeadNot of This EarthTime WalkerDead Space, among others.

Independent filmmaker-producer Roger Corman’s illustrious career ranks as one of Hollywood’s most amazing success stories. Having produced more than 350 films and directed 50 others, his influence on American film goes far beyond his own energetic, creative low-budget movies. He is arguably one of Hollywood’s most gifted and masterful filmmakers. In 2009 he was the recipient of an honorary Academy Award® for his contribution to the medium of film.

Noted for his keen ability to spot young talent, Corman’s most lasting legacy will undoubtedly be the legion of producers, directors, writers and actors he has fostered, among them: Jack Nicholson, Francis Ford Coppola, Robert De Niro, Martin Scorsese, James Cameron, Ron Howard, Peter Fonda, Jonathan Demme, Gale Anne Hurd, Diane Ladd, Tommy Lee Jones, Sandra Bullock, Bruce Dern, Talia Shire, Charles Bronson, Joe Dante, Peter Bogdanovich, Dennis Hopper, Bill Paxton, Carl Franklin and Sally Kirkland.

Shout! Factory is a diversified entertainment company devoted to producing, uncovering and revitalizing the very best of pop culture. Founders Richard Foos, Bob Emmer and Garson Foos have spent their careers sharing their music, television and film faves with discerning consumers the world over. Shout! Factory’s DVD offerings serve up classic, contemporary and cult TV series, riveting sports programs, live music, animation and documentaries in lavish packages crammed with extras. The company’s audio catalogue boasts GRAMMY®-nominated boxed sets, new releases from storied artists, lovingly assembled album reissues and indispensable “best of” compilations. These riches are the result of a creative acquisitions mandate that has established the company as a hotbed of cultural preservation and commercial reinvention. With its fingers on the pulse of pop culture, Shout! Factory continues to impact the entertainment media landscape through acquisition of top quality programming for home entertainment releases. Shout! Factory is based inSanta Monica, California. For more on Shout! Factory, visit www.shoutfactory.com

Academy Award® and Oscar® are a registered trademark and service mark of the Academy ofMotion Picture Arts and Sciences. Golden Globe® is a registered trademark of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Emmy® is a registered trademark of ATAS/NATAS.

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New Theatrical Poster For Alexandre Aja’s ‘Piranha 3D’ Surfaces

New Theatrical Poster For Alexandre Aja’s ‘Piranha 3D’ Surfaces

A new theatrical one sheet for Alexandre Aja’s Piranha 3D has surfaced! The highly anticipated remake features an ensemble cast which includes Elisabeth Shue, Kelly Brook, Richard Dreyfuss, Jerry O’Connell, Christopher Lloyd, Ving Rhames, Dina Meyer, Ricardo Chavira, Paul Scheer, and Eli Roth.

Piranha 3D is slated to hit theaters nationwide on August 27th.

Synopsis: Jaws… lots and lots of jaws. From acclaimed director Alexandre Aja (The Hills Have Eyes) comes the new action thriller PIRANHA 3D, in the latest eye-popping 3D technology. A new type of terror is about to be cut loose on beautiful Lake Victoria. After a sudden underwater tremor sets free scores of the prehistoric man-eating fish, an unlikely group of strangers must band together to stop themselves from becoming fish food for the area’s new razor-toothed residents. But our heroine (Elisabeth Shue) is seriously outnumbered, and with only one chance to save the lake and her family from totally being devoured, she must risk everything to destroy the aquatic carnivores herself.”

Be sure to check out Icon Vs. Icon‘s exclusive interview with adult film star and star of Piranha 3D, Riley Steele at this location >

Synopsis: Jaws… lots and lots of jaws. From acclaimed director Alexandre Aja (The Hills Have Eyes) comes the new action thriller PIRANHA 3D, in the latest eye-popping 3D technology. A new type of terror is about to be cut loose on beautiful Lake Victoria. After a sudden underwater tremor sets free scores of the prehistoric man-eating fish, an unlikely group of strangers must band together to stop themselves from becoming fish food for the area’s new razor-toothed residents. But our heroine (Elisabeth Shue) is seriously outnumbered, and with only one chance to save the lake and her family from totally being devoured, she must risk everything to destroy the aquatic carnivores herself.”

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Official Trailer For Alexandre Aja’s “Piranha 3D’ Unleashed!

Official Trailer For Alexandre Aja’s “Piranha 3D’ Unleashed!

The full official trailer for Alexandre Aja’s remake of the Roger Corman classic Piranha in 3D has made it’s debut via Yahoo Movies. Check it out below and weigh in with your thoughts on the film! Check out the trailer below and be sure to weigh in with your thoughts!

Piranha 3D is slated to hit theaters nationwide on August 27th.

Synopsis: Jaws… lots and lots of jaws. From acclaimed director Alexandre Aja (The Hills Have Eyes) comes the new action thriller PIRANHA 3D, in the latest eye-popping 3D technology. A new type of terror is about to be cut loose on beautiful Lake Victoria. After a sudden underwater tremor sets free scores of the prehistoric man-eating fish, an unlikely group of strangers must band together to stop themselves from becoming fish food for the area’s new razor-toothed residents. But our heroine (Elisabeth Shue) is seriously outnumbered, and with only one chance to save the lake and her family from totally being devoured, she must risk everything to destroy the aquatic carnivores herself.”

Be sure to check out Icon Vs. Icon‘s exclusive interview with adult film star and star of Piranha 3D, Riley Steele at this location >

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Corey Feldman’s Wife Files For Divorce, Cites Irreconcilable Differences

Corey Feldman’s Wife Files For Divorce, Cites Irreconcilable Differences

Corey-and-Susie-FeldmanThe wife of 80s icon Corey Feldman,  Susannah (Susie) Feldman, has filed for divorce from the actor citeing irreconcilable differences.

The split comes after seven years of marriage. Court records in Los Angeles show that Mrs. Feldman wants sole custody of their 5-year-old son Zen with visitation rights for Corey Feldman, as well as an unspecified amount of spousal support.

The couple wed in October 2002, nine months after meeting in a nightclub while on the set of VH1’s “The Surreal Life,” according to People.com. MC Hammer and a rabbi reportedly officiated at their wedding ceremony.

Feldman, 38, rose to fame in ’80s films “The Goonies” and “The Lost Boys.” Feldman currently has several projects in the works such as a collaboration with renowned horror filmmaker Roger Corman called ‘Splatter’ and the third installment of the ‘Lost Boys’ franchise that is slated to begin shooting in South Africa this November, with Dario Piana (The Deaths of Ian Stone) directing.

Be sure to check out Corey Feldman’s blog for all the latest happenings and for more information on the whirlwind that has been his past few months.

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