Thursday, July 31, 2014

KRIS GILPIN'S Unearthed Works Dept.

 By Kris Gilpin

Crank here (or Erok as people now know me on FB), Here's one of many unearthed works by Mr. Kris Gilpin, originally printed in Wet Paint, a zine by Jeff Smith.
The first time I read anything by Kris was in the Horror Handbook, where he interviewed celebrities. The Lynn Lowry interview when she mentioned how the naked girl from "I Drink Your Blood" pulled out a tiny comb and fluffed up her pubes--is the kind of hilarious antidote you can only expect from such a seasoned professional. We feel privileged and honored that he decided to unveil these works for us and the readers as well, most haven't been seen since they were first published in the early to mid 80's!

    Thanks to Greg Goodsell for finding this rare treat, now sit back and relax, we'll soon be taking a time machine back to when George Romero and Tobe Hooper's projects were looked upon with more anticipation then Meh kind of responses and zombies were popular among underground circles and not in the mainstream (or on baby clothes)! Puke! 

   In the most stupid, wasteful act of booking during the weekend, George Romero (the only real reason I wound up schlepping all the way to the other side of town for the event) was tossed on stage to spend a scant 45 minutes with three other people too: John Russo, Tobe Hopper, and author Gary (The Howling series) Brander, who later signed 75 free copies of his latest book on a first-come, first-served basis. This meant questions were taken on a round-robin basis, with each person only having time to answer a handful each (and they were typical dead-head questions at that). For us Romero fans, it was a shameful waste of a semi-rare opportunity to get into this filmic craftsman's mind a little more. What follows is only the most interesting dialogue from the panel:

Russo, fatigued from flesh eating 

John Russo: "I just finished a year and a half of 10-12 hours a day at the word processor, so I'm all spaced out;
I did a novel called MAKING LIVING THINGS and a non-fiction book called MAKING MOVIES, which is about the whole business from the ground up and how to do everything from making a TV commercial to making your own feature. Interviews with George and Tobe are in the book, along with 10 other directors."
   Scott Holton, the panel's moderator, told all that Hopper's latest project was directing the highest-rated episode of THE EQUALIZER TV show (the one dealing with the homeless). 

Brandner wrote The Howling series, Floater and Cameron's Closet (R.I.P).

GARY BRANDNER [apparently the oldest on the panel]: "I can't say how thrilled I am to be on a panel with men who've been my heroes since I was a small boy [all laugh]. The next thing coming out that I was involved with is a movie called CAMERON'S CLOSET. FLOATER [the Tobe Hooper project] is the dark side of an out-of-body experience; I thought, what if somebody floated around and came back, and their body wasn't there to get into anymore?" (Floater was an abandoned project for Empire Pictures. ed). 
RUSSO: [on the proposed remake of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD] "Some of the offers we got kind of melted away; I think we might get back on that. I'm going to be writing and directing my novel THE AWAKENING as a movie this summer in Pittsburgh."
   Half the place raised their hands for Romero questions, of course.
ROMERO: ["Anything else in the vein of MARTIN coming up?] "Anything in that vein? [laughs] MARTIN was a very personal film and my favorite of my films. I glad you like it too; thank you [smiles].

OK, Gunnar chew on these Coca Leaves so you don't pass out from exhaustion.

HOOPER: [on more TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE] "The whole Ed Gein thing was in the back of my mind when I made the first film; some of my relatives are from Wisconsin and, when I was a small boy, they used to terrify me with those Ed Gein stories. Leatherface and wearing real-skin masks did not come [from the Gein legends]; that came from the family physician who told me about going to a Halloween party as a pre-med student. He'd skinned a cadaver's face and worn it as a mask. [Crowd murmurs, quite audibly freaked out] I don't know what else to do with Gein; he's dead and gone. I don't know if there'll be a third film or not. There may be. There're aspects of the second film I like better than the first and vice versa. I think the less gore you see the better. Having hired Tom Savini for the FX I had a tendency to want to use him, but I worked myself into a corner with the MPAA, because when we skinned that guy in the sequel there was just no place to cut to, and the removal of that scene wouldn't have made any sense at all".

Shit, I forgot something-- I left my keys in that human skull candy dish

BRANDNER: [I had to change tapes at this point, and can't remember what film he's talking about; sorry folks! What movie is he referring to?] "The general feeling about Carlo Rambaldi's creature was a disappointment; I think the director, Armand [HE KNOWS YOU'RE ALONE] Mastroianni, and the editor did a hell of a job in making the final movie scary but the creature didn't come out really looking the way anybody wanted it to."
 (They mention the lame creature from Cameron's Closet).

RUSSO: "Some of my books have just been submitted for Movies of the Week; we don't know yet whether that'll happen. I wrote and produced the movie MAJORETTES, directed by Bill Hinzman, who was the ghoul in the cemetery in NOTLD; he then went on to make commercials."

Tight bros from waay back when.

ROMERO: [On Dario Argento, Italian horror filmmaker] "I think Dario's work, on these shores, is misunderstood by distributors and, to a great extent, by audiences; you have to be an aficionado to like his stuff. It's very operatic and stylish; I love his stuff!
I think the distributors can't find a way to sell his stuff over here and probably rightly so; I think those films'd have a hard time crossing Middle America and finding an audience. DAWN OF THE DEAD was half-financed by Titanus Films, which was a company Dario brought into the deal; part of that was that Dario had control over certain cuts in the film for the European market, and he had the right to use his own score and I had the right to use as much or as little of that score as I wanted for the English-language version. I liked that music by Goblin, and I used quite a bit of it."

The most half baked out of the 3 picture Cannon deal

HOOPER: [On his three-picture (LIFEFORCE, INVADERS FROM MARS, CHAINSAW 2) deal with Cannon Films]; "Before I'd finish one picture I'd start the next; they all overlapped; when I was cutting one I'd be casting another, etc. And always something'd go wrong in the Cannon [administration]. I was cutting 22 minutes out of LIFEFORCE--it was called SPACE VAMPIRES then, after Colin Wilson's novel--and I got a call from the story editor on INVADERS at Cannon. He said, 'We're having a lot of problems with the script; why do they have to come from Mars? 
I said 'Well, you spent a lot of money securing the remake rights to this title--where do you want them to come from?! I was real sorry I couldn't get that sandpit music 
[from the original]".

BRANDNER [On HOWLING 2, the film] "I was completely bummed out; I did a screenplay for it, none of which shows up in the final version. I think I spent about $12 on special effects and they shot in the dark so no one'd notice. As Joe Dante pointed out they had one terrific shot of Sybil Danning tearing off her bodice and showing her aptitudes; that was really the only good part in an awful movies; if you haven't seen it, don't!

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HOWLING 3 I haven't seen; it's the same director as the last one, so I'm anxious to see it. There is a HOWLING 4--I don't know anything about that! They bought the rights to the title; heck, I'll sell 'em that and they can go on and do as many Roman numerals as they want! Somebody asked James W. [THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE] Cain, 'Aren't you worried about what [the movies] are doing to your books?' and Cain turned to his bookshelf and said, "They're not doing anything. They're still up there!"

OK, STAY TUNED FOR PART 2, which will be up in a few weeks!  

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