Who among us didn’t watch lonely, trusting J.F. Sebastian take renegade replicant Pris into his digs at the Bradbury building and think, Oh, this shall not end well? It was William Sanderson who gave BLADE RUNNER’s afflicted replicant designer an awkward vulnerability, but the actor also gave life to TRUE BLOOD’s conflicted Sheriff Bud Dearborne and, outside of the genre, DEADWOOD’s canny innkeeper E.B. Farnum and NEWHART’s deadpan townie Larry (of Larry, Darryl and Darryl).
I got talk with Sanderson about the span of his career, during which we get some inside tales of life on-set, and a certain, geeky podcast host and producer gets hoist on his own bio. Click the player to hear the show.
Joanna Cassidy’s acting career has been long and diverse, encompassing a bit part in BULLITT, trading barbs with Dabney Coleman on BUFFALO BILL, and presently playing the overbearing mother of Dana Delany on BODY OF PROOF. But for most genre fans, she will always be Zhora, the snake-loving assassin/exotic dancer/replicant of BLADE RUNNER, as well as Delores, the sarcastic, rabbit-befriending barkeep of WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT.
I got to talk with Joanna for this career-spanning interview that includes a look at the complication on the set of BLADE and RABBIT, as well her role as T’Pol’s mother on STAR TREK: ENTERPRISE, and so much more. Click on the player to hear the show.
WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN: Snake Dance by Joanna Cassidy
For close to forty years, the New York-based studio Troma has been a perverse, gory thumb in the eye of all that’s staid and safe in mainstream Hollywood. It’s co-founder Lloyd Kaufman has built a fan-base by directing such twisted, low-budget epics as THE TOXIC AVENGER, CLASS OF NUKE ‘EM HIGH, TROMEO AND JULIET and POULTRYGEIST, as well as distributing films with such indelible titles as SURF NAZIS MUST DIE.
Lloyd and I go way back — he was my first assignment for Cinefantastique, back when he was directing TOXIC AVENGER PART II, and with each step in my career, I’ve checked in with him to get his take on the state of the art. I was happy to reconnect with him for the show, to hear what he’s up to at Troma’s present digs in NYC’s Long Island City production nexus, and get some idea of how an indie outfit built on the bedrock principles of more boobs, more blood can make a way for itself in the current, cord-cutting media environment.
2013 is turning out to be quite the break-out year for actress Tatiana Maslany: Not six months into the thing, she’s already got several notable roles to her name. Of course, most of them are on the BBC America series ORPHAN BLACK, where she plays multiple clones, all with very different personalities and all of whom find their senses of identity threatened by the discovery of each others’ existence. In addition, she’s extended her talents further by playing a rebellious high school student in the non-genre drama PICTURE DAY, which recently debuted on VOD and home video.
We reached across the Atlantic by phone to catch Tatiana at a UK coffee bar, where she clued us in on what it takes to be one’s own co-star, among other things. Click on the player to hear the show.
Practically omnipresent and infinitely versatile, Malcolm McDowell has played, among others, a rebellious private school student, a futuristic sociopath, a degenerate emperor, Michael Myer’s nemesis, and the killer of Captain Kirk. He has worked with directors that have included Stanley Kubrick, Paul Schrader and Rob Zombie. He’s pretty much done it all, including a brief appearance as a mastermind in corporate espionage in this weekend’s environmental biography, A GREEN STORY. And, oh, has he stories.
We were able to spend some time with Malcolm, delving into the full range of his career, including his work with the iconoclastic director Lindsay Anderson and how he faced the challenge of filming a high-speed orgy for A CLOCKWORK ORANGE. Click on the player to hear the show.
As MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000’S TV’s Frank, comedian and writer Frank Conniff became possibly the most cuddly mad scientist in history. From his debut television appearance that started with the show’s second season — for which he scripted and also pre-screened the “cheesy movies” that would torture host Joel Hodgson and crew — Conniff went on to gigs both behind and in front of the cameras for such diverse genre shows as SABRINA THE TEENAGE WITCH and INVADER ZIM.
I am, admittedly, an unabashed MSTie, and so when I got the greenlight to go ahead with CFQi, Frank was the first person I contacted and subsequently the first to be interviewed. The talk is wide-ranging, including an in-depth glimpse into to the work on MST3K and other shows, plus discussion of the aborted Joel Hodgson feature project STATICAL PLANETS and Frank’s creation of the satiric, audio musical, THE WONDERFUL PUNDITS OF OZ (which you can download here).
Click on the player to hear the show.
Welcome to the banality of evil, Ben Wheatley-style: In his horror comedy SIGHTSEERS, a couple (Alice Lowe and Steve Oram, who also scripted) decides to take a caravan trip across the British Isles. But, really, who could enjoy such marvels as an antique tramway or the pencil museum when such distractions as litterers, rowdy Wiccans, and people who are just better than you keep interfering? There’s only one solution, and it’s one that requires sponges and tons of bleach to clean up after.
Wheatley has a unique way of grounding horror with credible performances and an unassuming shooting style that only accentuates the graphic violence. His hit-man horror film, KILL LIST, made my top ten last year, and SIGHTSEERS continues his streak of riveting an audience with a naturalistic brand of dread. I was happy to meet up with him again to talk about this film — click on the player to hear the show.
Shooting a workplace comedy set in Hell may be challenging, tedious work, but at least you get to traumatize the hotel staff. That’s only one of the lessons to be gleaned from the cast of YOUR PRETTY FACE IS GOING TO HELL, a new Adult Swim comedy that takes the white-collar satire of OFFICE SPACE and adds a piquant whiff of brimstone to the proceedings. Joining Cinefantastique Online’s Dan Persons for an interview that’s part INSIDE THE ACTOR’S STUDIO, part MMA cage match are comic actors Henry Zebrowski and Craig Rowin, and Satan himself, Matt Servitto. Pour yourself a nice, brimming mug of goat’s blood and click on the player to hear the show.
Every now and then, we pause in awe of the people we’ve had the opportunity to spend time with. Doug Trumbull, John Kricfalusi, and Paul Verhoeven in earlier years, Armin Shimerman and Frank Oz more recently — now it’s Martin Landau’s turn, and we couldn’t be happier.
In an extended and wide-ranging interview, we got a chance to discuss the length and breadth of Martin’s career. In the course of talking about his roles in NORTH BY NORTHWEST, MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE, and his Oscar-winning portrayal of Bela Lugois in ED WOOD — and much, much more — Martin provides insights on the art of acting, shares anecdotes from the set, and talks about the sometimes seamy politics that drive the film industry. It is, all told, a fascinating exploration of the life of an actor — click on the player to hear the show.
Musician, moviemaker, iconoclastic fan, Rob Zombie has built a formidable rep for himself by taking the horror genre and turning it to his own, unique vision. Now, after such wild rides as THE DEVIL’S REJECTS and HALLOWEEN, he ventures into new territory, telling a more nuanced tale of a New England DJ facing a hellish future when an accursed record introduces her to THE LORDS OF SALEM.
Dan Persons sits down with Rob and wife/star Sheri Moon Zombie, and the result is an energetic, off-the-cuff conversation incorporating, but not limited to, Rob’s views about reaching back to the roots of horror for his own work, the challenges of steering a low-budget project to a successful conclusion, and why there can be very little difference between actors stepping onto a set and high noon in Dodge City.