On April 7th, the Damn Dirty Geeks recorded our first live audience podcast episode at Eliot Brodsky's fantastic annual convention, Monsterpalooza, in Pasadena -- an entire weekend filled with guest appearances, star-studded stage panels and the top monster artists in the business. We launched the event with our live podcast recording with two special guests: actor/writer/director/puppet creator Kirk R. Thatcher and co-creator of The Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards, writer David Colton.
Get ready for a rip-roaring, fun hour-plus as Kirk takes us on a whirlwind tour of his career, from working in the creature shops of RETURN OF THE JEDI and GREMLINS, to playing the annoying punk opposite Kirk and Spock in STAR TREK IV: THE VOYAGE HOME, to writer of MUPPET TREASURE ISLAND and director of JIM HENSON'S TURKEY HOLLOW. Kirk is a barrel of laughs and has a hilarious gift in telling stories about working with George Lucas, Jim Henson, Leonard Nimoy and many other talented collaborators on Thatcher's many creative projects.
David Colton, a journalist and executive editor for USA Today, is a lifelong fan and supporter of horror films and founder of the Classic Horror Film Boards who coined the term Monster Kid to celebrate the generation of fans who grew up watching and loving horror and monster films. David also runs the Rondo Hatton Awards, an annual fan-voted presentation nominating the best and most talented writers, journalists, artists, filmmakers and Hall of Fame inductees who preserve and perpetuate horror, sci-fi and genre entertainment in all forms. Members of the CHFB and participants in the Rondo Awards extend the continuum of classic monster films like the original DRACULA and FRANKENSTEIN though 1950s sci-fi classics, the explosion of iconic horror film characters in the 1970s and '80s, up through today's horror renaissance with THE WALKING DEAD and beyond.
Enjoy the energy of this live audience podcast episode in which the Damn Dirty Geeks and our guests chat and laugh off-the-cuff on stage at Monsterpalooza. Even so, we barely scratched the surface of discussion with both Kirk and David, and hope very much to have both back on our show as guests again soon to continue the fun.
Special thanks to our sound engineer Brice Cranston for his extra efforts making this live recording run so smoothly, and to friend of the show Eric Kurland of 3-D Space for letting us share his convention theater to record this episode. And don't forget to listen to this episode with your glasses on as we recorded the show in 3-D!
For more photos and full show notes/links, visit our website at DamnDirtyGeeks.com
The Damn Dirty Geeks geek out with the amazing character actor H.M. Wynant, star of one of the best Twilight Zone episodes plus a featured actor in CONQUEST OF THE PLANET OF THE APES, among his lengthy list of credits. H.M. is the first APES veteran we’ve had as a guest on our podcast, though he won’t be the last! Joining the Geeks and H.M. is a talented director/producer and film historian Michael Schlesinger, a friend of the Geeks with a steel trap mind when it comes to Hollywood history — which came in very handy during this episode as H.M. recaps his decades-long acting career and lengthy list of co-stars!
Being lifelong fans of the PLANET OF THE APES films, the Geeks were thrilled to have H.M. Wynant as a guest on our podcast as a cast member alumnus from the classic franchise films — but there’s so much more to H.M.’s acting career. Enjoy the tales of his lengthy credit list that including dozens of Hollywood legends including: Clark Gable (RUN SILENT, RUN DEEP), Errol Flynn (PLAYHOUSE 90), director Sam Fuller and actor Charles Bronson (RUN OF THE ARROW), Randolph Scott and director Budd Boetticher (DECISION AT SUNDOWN), creator Rod Serling and actor John Carradine (THE TWILIGHT ZONE), Elvis Presley (IT HAPPENED AT THE WORLD’S FAIR), Adam West (BATMAN), Roddy McDowall, Don Murray, Ricardo Montalbano and Severn Darden (CONQUEST OF THE PLANET OF THE APES) and many more.
We try not to fan-geek out discussing H.M.’s guest starring turn on excellent 1960 episode of THE TWILIGHT ZONE, “The Howling Man,” which series fans often consider among the very best produced by Serling for the landmark show. H.M. regales us with tales of how writer Charles Beaumont and episode director Douglas Heyes battled over whether or not to reveal the prisoner’s true identity, and a surprising resolution to this decision. As the delirious and eventually doomed David Ellington, H.M.’s multi-layered performance makes this tale of good versus evil immensely believable despite its simple setup. Enjoy listening to how H.M. approached this pivotal role in the episode, and speculate on why “The Howling Man” remains so highly praised after five decades of syndication.
H.M. spoils the Geeks with his tales on the set of CONQUEST, working with Don Murray (who got his first job in Hollywood via H.M.) and Severn Darden, who made an indelible impression on H.M. Then he shifts gears to play a villain with a farcical comedy touch in two episodes of the classic BATMAN series, co-starring as henchman Frosty working for Mr. Freeze (Eli Wallach) in the second season episodes “The Duo Defy” and “Ice Spy.”
Not only does our added guest Michael Schlesinger save our conversational bacon by pulling historic Hollywood names out of thin air during our chat with H.M., but you’ll learn some fascinating details about his work on Larry Blamire’s feature comedies THE LOST SKELETON RETURNS AGAIN and DARK AND STORMY NIGHT, both also featuring H.M. in hilarious supporting roles. Michael also co-wrote and directed THE ADVENTURES OF BIFFLE AND SHOOSTER, a series of simulated 1940s comedy shorts starring a fictional comedy duo (Nick Santa Maria and Will Ryan), along with co-stars including H.M. plus our own Frank Dietz and Trish Geiger.
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The Damn Dirty Geeks recently spent another fantastic evening discussing independent horror and genre film movies with another prominent woman filmmaker, Staci Layne Wilson, also joined by one of her frequently cast actors, Curt Lambert. Growing up in LA and the entertainment industry, and forging a career as a journalist for several entertainment-related publications, Staci now imbues her short and feature films that blend diverse elements from burlesque entertainment to pulp horror elements into Staci's unique narrative style.
In this episode, we delve into Staci's biographical background, her early influences and her growing resume of films as a producer, writer and director including VALENTINE DAYZ, PSYCHO THERAPY, FETISH FACTORY, THE FIANCÉ, NOT WITH MY DAUGHTER, KEEPSAKES, and SELF-PORTRAITS.
If you're a new viewer of Staci's films, her writing and directorial styles explore elements you enjoy from directors including Dario Argento (SUSPIRIA, TENEBRE, INFERNO) and Brian De Palma (SCARFACE, DRESSED TO KILL), artistically melding dark moody atmospheres of suspense and terror with brightly colored cinematic palettes that lend an eerie surrealism to her work.
Staci and the DDG are also joined by actor Curt Lambert, who appears in Wilson's films VALENTINE DAYZ, FETISH FACTORY, THE FIANCÉ, THE LINCOLN along with the web series THE HOTEL BARCLAY. Lambert provides entertaining anecdotes and experiences working on the set with Wilson across these projects, lending insight into her quickly paced production schedules.
Enjoy this latest episode in our DDG series discussing horror and genre entertainment with female filmmakers like Staci Layne Wilson making big names for themselves in the industry, then share it with your genre-loving friends and fiends!
The Damn Dirty Geeks are back for Year Two of our podcast as we celebrate our second anniversary of the show, and we're starting off on the wild side!
A quick change of recent recording plans resulted in our second Damn Dirty Geeks Wild Card episode that dives straight into THE TWILIGHT ZONE with a dizzying collage of discussion topics.
We launch into a study of GALAXY QUEST -- is it the best STAR TREK movie to date? -- then question the streaming service delivery of the new series STAR TREK: DISCOVERY starring our friend Doug Jones. We're psyched to see Doug in the TREK universe, but question if PPV is the right move by CBS to start a new mission.
Then we take a very goofy detour across the galaxy to revisit Maz Kanata’s house band as seen in THE FORCE AWAKENS. An equally abrupt transition sparks up a lively debate about the GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY makeover for the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror attraction at Disney's California Adventure park in Anaheim. This theme park ride discussion transports us into a larger study about the lifespans of our favorite Monster Kid franchises like Rod Serling’s classic TWILIGHT ZONE in today’s streaming-media generation.
Our discussion of the TZ franchise's longevity also makes a great topical preview of our upcoming episode with veteran actor H.M. Wynant, who discusses his leading role in one of the best classic TZ episodes of the series amid his prolific career. Watch for H.M.'s appearance with the DDG coming soon!
Buckle up for this wild, wacky ride through pop culture and genre films with the Damn Dirty Geeks as we throw caution – and good taste -- to the wind and simply let this podcast episode fly where it takes us!
And we dedicate this episode to the memories of Alan Rickman and Carrie Fisher, who both left us far too soon. Rest in Peace.