Q: What is your background as a director/filmmaker?
I come from a showbiz background, since my late father was a well known child star in the 1930's and '40's. He worked in over 80 films and over 200 radio shows with all the stars of the "golden age" of Hollywood. I somewhat followed in his footsteps, but focused more on producing and directing. I did work as an actor in TV and films, including shows like "Remington Steele," "Murder She Wrote," and commercials for "IBM." However, I preferred producing and directing, and have produced five (5) features and two (2) TV series, and am currently producing a large number of anime movies for a big Japanese studio.
Q: I thought FRANKENSTEIN VS. THE CREATURE FROM BLOOD COVE was both a good homage to the classic Universal Horror pantheon as well as to Al Adamson. Why did you decide to make a Frankenstein movie?
Thank you. I basically had the idea or nightmarish dream of the Frankenstein Monster battling a half-man, half-fish creature on a beach, with waves crashing in the background, and lightning striking off in the distance. From this basic seed of an idea, I built an entire movie. I always wanted to make a classic style monster movie / creature feature, like the AIP, Paul Naschy, and Adamson stuff. I didn't want to make a modern horror film, like so many guys... a typical gorefest or slasher flick. What I think we did worked, since the movie has elements of the classics, but it also has the action and pacing of a more contemporary film, plus it has the added bonus of female sex appeal (which was always lacking, in my view, in the old films because of the censors).
Q: Your cast was great and I liked the cameos. How long did it take you to cast the movie? How did you get David Gerrold to do a cameo?
Thanks, they were all terrific, especially veteran Hollywood character actor G. LARRY BUTLER. Larry was excellent as "Dr. Monroe Lazaroff" and really carried the picture, along with my character, "Bill Grant." It didn't take that long to cast it. Since I have been in showbiz a while, I personally know a lot of TV and film celebrities, especially genre stars, and David Gerrold is a personal friend of mine. In fact, David Gerrold is a wonderful voice over actor, who I've hired many times, to provide voices in some anime features. He is a modern day Mel Blanc!
Q: I was also impressed with the monster makeup. That was decent. Did you have a lot of input as to how the creatures would look or did your special effects people?
All the monsters in the movie came from written script descriptions and long conversations I had with the special effects department. I didn't want our monsters looking like other studios creations, and in fact, our Frankenstein monster is actually very true to the description in Mary Shelley's novel "Frankenstein." Fans love the final look of the monsters. However, I must say, that the Creature costume in particular was very difficult to deal with, and the camera, black and white photography, and brilliant editing, made it look even better.
Q: What was the most difficult aspect of making the movie?
The make-up took much longer than expected, and as a result, the production schedule was always in danger of being thrown off. Every day my cinematographer Matthias Schubert and I would struggle to get all the shots we needed, get the actors into their make-ups and costumes on time, so we could finish the film on time and on budget. We barely made it, by some miracle. There were actually a couple scenes in the script we had to abandon, simply because we didn't have time to shoot them, again, because of make-up delays.
Q: Why did you decide to keep the whole thing in black and white?
I love the look of black and white photography, and I believe it gives a special feeling and larger-than-life look to horror films. There is an "escapist" element when you shoot in black and white. I think I made the right choice. We actually shot the movie in color, then later turned it black and white in post. We had to light each scene for black and white, and that was tricky.
Q: Were you surprised it won "Best Feature" at the 2006 World Horror Convention?
Not really, since the movie is really loved by most fans and critics, I wasn't too surprised we began winning awards. The movie is a top seller on Amazon.com, it rents like crazy on NetFlix, and now fans can even download the movie on Amazon UnBox. I think a lot of audiences love the fact that, once again, it is a DIFFERENT type of horror film... not your typical kids getting slaughtered in the forest, or mindless gore fest production. Our film stands out from the rest so to speak!
Q: I also heard that the music soundtrack is going to be manufactured by Lakeshore records... how did that come about?
Composer Mel Lewis did an awesome job with the score, and Lakeshore Records, the biggest soundtrack record label in Hollywood came to us and wanted to license a soundtrack CD. We did the deal, and now that soundtrack CD is available everywhere, all over the world! The CD is just great, with lots of bonuses, and a nice booklet with pictures. Mel's music was a cross between old 1930's type organ music and 1950's type theremin type sounds. A very unique score, just like the film is so unique from other horror movies.
Q: Also, is there a model kit being produced of the "BLOOD COVE CREATURE?"
Yes, we licensed several merchandise items based on the film. GeoMetric Designs has a great "Blood Cove Creature" figure and diarama from the film. There is also a collectors card set coming out soon by MonsterWax. A "Blood Cove Creature" rubber mask is also available from Cemetery Gate Productions.
Q: Are you working on any new films?
Yes, many anime feature films at present. I have long term business relationships with several Japanese studios and am writing, producing and directing dozens and dozens of animated movies each year. We are also returning to live-action co-productions with the Japanese too, with very large mainstream studio level production budgets! Stay tuned!