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William A. Howes
- Published on Amazon.com
Interviews with 24 actors, writers, producers, and directors including Casey Adams...Lewis Allen...director John Badham...writer Alan (Man from UNCLE) Caillou...Antony (Pit and Pendulum) Carbone....Robert Clarke, Boutross, and Robin Kirkman on The Hideous Sun Demon....Edward Dmytryk...character actor Gene (The Giant Behemoth) Evans...child actor Richard (7th Voyage of Sinbad) Eyer...John (Tom Corbett, Night Stalker, voice of Piglet) Fiedler...Ed Wood co-worker Alex Gordon...Sidney Hayers...Jackie (Little Shop of Horrors) Joseph...Paul (Robinson Crusoe on Mars) Mantee...Donna Martell...Ken Miller...Jo (13 Ghosts) Morrow...John Moxey...Debra (The Haunted Palace) Paget...screenwriter Arthur (Creature from the Black Lagoon) Ross...actress Randy (Incredible Shrikning Man) Stuart...Arianne Ulmer, daughter of director Edgar Ulmer.
A collection of exccellent interviews by Tom Weaver of Hollywood's B-movie stars with a clear focus on science fiction and horror from the Ed Wood's mind-numbingly bad movies to horror and sci-fi Hollywood classics. Great viewpoints on B-movie-making.
Paul Mantee describes how much he enjoyed trading in an ice cream scoop for the lead in the under-appreciated Robinson crusoe on Mars, the trouble they had with the monkey who was his second lead for the first half of the movie and how Victor Lundin, who was up for the lead but played Friday in the second half, used a Mayan dialect for his alien language.
Richard Eyer, who became in elementary school teacher, talks about becoming the genie in Ray Harryhuasen's The 7th Voyage of Sinbad and his life as a child star.
John Fiedler talks about his role in Tom Corbett, Space Cadet on TV, his turn as morgue attendant Morty the Ghoul in The Night Stalker TV series, and how he didn't like working with William Shatner in the Jack the Ripper-derived episode of Star Trek.
Alex Gordon describes his first startling exposure to Plan 9 from Outer Space director Ed Wood in a blonde wig and a dress. He says Bela Lugosi never knew how Ed Wood was going to use his monologue for the notorious cross-dressing classic Glen or Glenda. It was just a rent check.
John Moxey describes how Barry Atwater in his vampire drag for the original Night Stalker TV movie walked the streets of Las Vegas and through the casinos, and no one batted an eye.
Jackie Joseph tells how when she came to New York to do Little Shop of Horrors, she was told it would be a detective movie.
Character actor Gene Evans, noted for his many westerns, says he initially rejected the lead in a monster movie until he found out The Giant Behemoth would be filmed in England.
Novelist, screenwriter, character actor, and ex-spy Alan Caillou says he wrote William Shatner-starrer Kingdom of the Spiders, but never got paid, although it made plenty. He also describes how his daughter was caught in a Catch 22 situation, needing a SAG card but unable to be in a movie as required without a SAG card and how they sneaked her into Kingdom of the Spiders.
- Published on Amazon.com
Tom Weaver is well known a number of expertly written books and articles on genre cinema. Here he collates two-dozen highly readable conversations with some of the more off-kilter characters of exploitation and genre films.
What I like about the book is primarily its focus on the forgotten and little known filmmakers. Weaver is undeniably an expert in his field, but don't expect any deep-probing questions here or analysis for that matter. He's more interested in the where/how/when side of things, which is fine if all you're after is a nostalgic trip down the memory lane.
Still, this should be quite an invaluable resource for more serious scholars of classic sci-fi and fantasy cinema, since many of the interviewees have rarely been interviewed (such as director Lewis Allen for example).