Wednesday, May 25, 2005

My Favorite Cameos

I have died many times.

That's what most of my cameo appearances in cheap horror movies have consisted of. I have been shredded by a werewolf, beheaded by a clown, shot by cops (twice), vampire bitten, vampire staked and had my head blowed up. But two new movies have just arrived, and I have cameos in both. Even though I only die in one of them, they are easily the two cameos that I have done which have pleased me the most. And they are both movies that are a cut above the usual.

Ted Newsom's THE NAKED MONSTER was released years ago in a less-polished form as ATTACK OF THE B-MOVIE MONSTER. Since then, Ted (who played the serial killer in my movie DEAD SEASON) has shot a multitude of new material, completely re-edited it, and put in entirely new monster shots. And I am so glad he did, becuase what was once a cute but crude experiment is now a gloriously silly and heartfelt valentine to the movies we monster boomers grew up on.

The silly three-eyed monster is a rubber suit, just right for this goofy comedy. The script is a dizzying pastiche of puns and gags, like the AIRPLANE of monster movies. Some are gags funny, some make you groan, but it's all in the spirit of fun. But the real attraction here is the amazing assemblage of B-movie talent, headlined by the late Kenneth Tobey from THE THING (he is just marvelous; when handed a box containing a flight suit just like the one he wore in THE THING, Tobey exclaims with appropriate awe "my old monster-fightin' suit!"). The late John Agar is equally grand as a scientist who first realizes that the creature is pregnant female ("Your monster is a mother -- A big, uuugggglllyyy mother."). A partial list of the cast is as follows: Jeanne Carmen, Les Tremayne, Gloria Talbot, Robert Shayne, Daniel Roebuck, Ann Robinson, Lori Nelson, Paul Marco, John Harmon, Robert Cornthwaite, Robert Clarke, Michelle Bauer, Brinke Stevens, Linea Quigley, Bob Burns, Forry Ackerman, Tim Sullivan... Whew! Is that enough to pique your interest, you monster fans you?

Ted is looking for a distributor, so hopefully THE NAKED MONSTER will soon be available to all.

Oh, yeah, I almost forgot. My cameo? I am passing out torches to angry villagers singing (or rather, lipsynching) The Festival of the New Wine from FRANKENSTEIN MEETS THE WOLFMAN (Fa Ro La Fa Ro Liiii!). Does life get any more fun than that? I don't hink so!

CAMP UTOPIA - I wrote about this movie in my first article for the old Dog Pile site, but I thought it was time to mention it again since it has just seen a DVD release via Texas Trouble Entertainment. It was produced by Duane Whitaker, an artist of great talent and integrity who I am proud to call a freind. He's most known as the guy who played Maynard in PULP FICTION, but his work behind the camera has been just as exciting, though has yet to be noticed and appreciated in a big way. This, his first "dead teenagers movie," (though to be fair the kids/victims in this slasher film are college age, not really teenagers), is his concession to the commercial (after the brilliant but non-commercial EDDIE PRESLEY and TOGEHTER AND ALONE, it seems a wise choice if he wants to continue getting financing to make films), but one done with Duane's usual intelligence and sense of humor. This slasher movie contrasts the young people of the sixties with those of today. Hippies vs. Yuppies, if you will, and it says a lot about the integrity (or lack there of) of the values from both generations. This one tells about a group of yuppie college students camping out in an area notorious for a hippie massacre occuring thirty years earlier. Flashbacks show Timothy Bach, a Manson-like mad-hippie guru (played by former Ratt frontman Stephen Pearcy) going on a rampage and slaughtering dozens of hippies gathered for a Woodstock-like festival of peace, music and love. Not much love was had that day, though.

Now, thirty years later, kids are being slaughtered again. Has Timothy Bach returned from the grave, or is there a new killer at Camp Utopia? I ain't tellin'!

CAMP UTOPIA is one of the smartest and funniest slasher films I have ever seen. Gore hounds stay at home, the blood is pretty minimal. This one is about people and ideas, and with some real smart laughs thrown in for... well, for laughs. But for horror fans looking for a little more than the normal thrills, this may be just the ticket.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot. My cameo. I am the farmer who owns the land where the hippies frolic. Sort of the Old Man Metzger of Camp Utopia. I am seen early on with a large pig and two youg topless hippie girls. If that weren't fun enough, later I give Tim (Pearcy) a peace sign and get my had whacked off by his machete for the trouble. The funny thing is, I never got to meet Pearcy. We were shot on different days in entirely different locations. You will never tell when you watch the movie though.

Until next time...