A Top 1o post is always going to come under scrutiny. What may be Top 10 to you may be Bottom 10 to someone else and vice versa. That’s why I put the word “My” out there in front of the title. This is my Top 10 favorite werewolf films of all time. I’m sure some of you have favorites on this list, also. My number 10 might be your number 2 and so on. Anyway, I’m babbling incoherently so let’s get on with it.
10. Curse of the Werewolf (Terence Fisher,1961)
A woman is raped by a nasty, smelly, hairy beggar and nine months later her kid pops out with a tendency to chase cars, hump legs, eat sheep and rip people apart. Later on he grows up to be Oliver Reed and adds scenery chewing to his resume. Based on the book The Werewolf of Paris by Guy Endore, it’s a shame that this was Hammer films only dip into the lycanthropic pool. It’s actually held up quite well in the 52 years since its release. I think it’s overdue for a Special Edition Blu-ray.
9. Bad Moon (Eric Red, 1996)
Uncle Ted (Michael Paré, Eddie and the Cruisers) gets bitten by a werewolf in the first two minutes of the movie and later comes home to live with his sister (Mariel Hemingway, Star 80) and her kid (Mason Gamble, Dennis the Menace, Gattaca). Based on the novel Thor by Wayne Smith; the twist is that the family dog knows exactly what Uncle Ted is and will do anything to protect its family. The transformation scene could have been better; but it’s still a pretty good show and worth a look.
8. Wolf (Mike Nichols, 1994)
Jack Nicholson (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, The Departed) portrays publisher Will Randall. Bitten by a wolf, Will uses his new-found lycanthropy as a worthy weapon in the fight to keep his job as a publisher out of the hands of the smarmy Stewart Swinton (James Spader, The Blacklist, Lincoln). Add the gorgeous Michelle Pfeiffer as a love interest and you have the ingredients for a woefully underrated film. The whole damn thing is a metaphor for office politics.
7. The Wolf Man (George Waggner, 1941)
It may not have been the first (six werewolf films including Werewolf of London preceded it), and it may have been remade with Benicio Del Toro in 2010, but those are trivial matters. None of these films has the tragedy and pathos that defined the character of Lawrence Talbot as portrayed by the underrated Lon Chaney, Jr. The Wolf Man is the grand-daddy of werewolf movies.
Silver Bullet (Daniel Attias, 1985)
Based on Stephen King’s novella Cycle of the Werewolf, the film adaptation took liberties with the story to fit its cinematic needs. King’s story followed the beast as it howled and bloodied its way through a calendar year. Silver Bullet featured the late Corey Haim as a cute kid in a wheelchair trying to stay one step ahead of the big bad werewolf. Don’t let any of that fool you; Silver Bullet is actually a pretty darn good werewolf movie and yes, it does indeed have Gary Busey in it.
5. Brotherhood of the Wolf (Les Pacte des Loups) (Christophe Gans, 2001)
Based on the tale of the werewolf-like Beast of Gévaudan, Brotherhood of the Wolf is the story of the Chevalier de Fronsac (Samuel Le Bihan, Frontier(s)) and the Native American Mani (Mark Dacascos) as they are called to Gevaudan to investigate a string of mysterious and brutal killings. Is it a werewolf? It could be. Brotherhood of the Wolf is one part action, one part horror, one part period drama and every bit spectacular. Did I mention it has a Kung Fu fightin’ Native American?
4. An American Werewolf in London (John Landis. 1981)
I may catch a little flak for placing this one at number 4; but I tend to believe that there has been better werewolf movies since An American Werewolf in London premiered in 1981. All that aside, what we have here is one of the coolest lycanthropic movies ever made and it’s got the guy from those Dr. Pepper ads (“I’m a Pepper, he’s a Pepper, she’s a Pepper, we’re a Pepper, wouldn’t you like to be a Pepper, too?”) a slowly decomposing animated corpse (Griffin Dunne, After Hours), a killer soundtrack with songs by Creedence Clearwater Revival and Van Morrison and the word ‘moon’ in nearly every title, the second-best werewolf transformation (I’m getting to the best) ever committed to celluloid to prove it.
3. Ginger Snaps (John Fawcett, 2000)
Whoever thought that using lycanthropy as a metaphor for menopause deserves a Lifetime Achievement Award or something to that effect. Katharine Isabelle (American Mary) and Emily Perkins (Supernatural) are Ginger and Brigitte; two outcast and bizarre sisters (they stage and photograph fake suicides for a school project). When Ginger is bitten by a werewolf she begins a transformation that includes a lot more than fur, fangs and howling at the moon. Does anyone else besides me think that Katharine Isabelle is the sexiest woman with a tail that they have ever seen?
2. Dog Soldiers (Neil Marshall, 2002)
Think Aliens with werewolves. A group of soldiers on a routine military exercise in the Scottish wilderness get way more than they bargained for when they encounter a pack of bloodthirsty werewolves. Seeking refuge in a farmhouse, the soldiers put up a fight that leaves the beasts wondering what they got themselves into. This was director Neil Marshall’s (The Descent) first film and he rips into it with a glee that is evident in every frame. Must see lycanthropy, yo!
1. The Howling (Joe Dante, 1981
Did those of you who know anything about me expect any other werewolf movie to be at the top of this list? I saw The Howling on the first day of its release on April 10, 1981 and in the 32 years since then I have watched it more than a hundred times on VHS, DVD and finally a beautiful Blu-ray copy that shows details that I never knew existed. One of my proudest moments as a blogger was the opportunity to interview the film’s star, Dee Wallace. The plot is deceptively simple; news anchor Karen White (Wallace, The Lords of Salem) is attacked by a serial killer and is sent to a woodland community known as The Colony to unwind and get her life back together. Instead she finds herself up to her ass in werewolves. This is the movie with the single greatest werewolf transformation of all time, courtesy of Rob Bottin. With characters named after famous horror directors of the past and a cast that includes Belinda Balaski, the late Christopher Stone, Dennis Dugan, Patrick Macnee, Robert Picardo and the late Elisabeth Brooks. Ignore all the horrid sequels that followed; among werewolf films The Howling reigns superior!
ONE PIECE OF TRIVIA FROM EACH FILM
10. The Curse of the Werewolf-In an interview, Richard Wordsworth stated that in the original screenplay his beggar character was a werewolf. Hammer told him that the censor had problems with the notion of a werewolf/rapist, so out it went.
9. Bad Moon-In the scene in which Janet makes breakfast, her son Brett is watching Werewolf of London (1935) on the television, and he and his Uncle Ted argue about werewolf lore. Actually, the lore that Brett argues that “everyone knows about”, such as details about silver bullets and wolfsbane, comes from The Wolf Man (1941), which Curt Siodmak totally made up.
8. Wolf-Director Mike Nichols had originally wanted lead actress Michelle Pfeiffer to wear a red-hooded sweatshirt for the film’s final act. She refused as she thought it would harm the film’s credibility.
7. The Wolf Man-According to the documentary on the Recent Wolf Man DVD collection, the script for The Wolf Man was influenced by writer Curt Siodmak’s experiences in Nazi Germany. Siodmak had been living a normal life in Germany only to have it thrown into chaos and himself on the run when the Nazis took control, just as Larry Talbot finds his normal life thrown into chaos and himself on the run once he is turned into a werewolf. Also, the wolf man himself can be seen as a metaphor for the Nazis: an otherwise good man who is transformed into a vicious killing animal who knows who his next victim will be when he sees the symbol of a pentagram (i.e., a star) on them.
6. Silver Bullet-According to director Daniel Attias, Gary Busey ad-libbed a great deal, for instance when Uncle Red is in the gun shop. Attias checked with Stephen King, who said OK for these ad libs to be included.
5. Brotherhood of the Wolf-There actually was a Beast of Gévaudan (La Bête du Gévaudan) which was a real wolf-like creature that prowled the Auvergne and South Dordogne regions of France during the years 1764 to 1767, killing about 100 people, often in bizarre circumstances.
4. An American Werewolf in London-The final look of the werewolf beast was based on make-up creator Rick Baker’s dog Bosko.
3. Ginger Snaps-The opening shots of the girls’ fake suicides had to be shot on location at an actual home. Someone would have to distract the homeowner’s four-year-old child whenever the actresses, who would be covered by fake gore, would have to come inside to change.
2. Dog Soldiers-When the squad first lands from the helicopter, Sgt. Wells tells Cooper “Get a position and bearing. I want to be on the move in three minutes.” He gives the command for the squad to move out exactly 3 minutes later.
1. The Howling-There were times during the making of The Howling (1981) when Robert Picardo was very despondent about the hours he had to spend in makeup. On the Special Edition DVD he remarked: “One day, after spending six and a half hours in the makeup chair I was thinking, trained at Yale, two leading roles on Broadway. My first acting role in California, my face gets melted in a low-budget horror movie. All the crew had to say to that was, “Bob, next time read the script all the way through first!”
- The Difference Between A WEREWOLF And A LYCANTHROPE (or LYCAN) (hungryasawolfblog.wordpress.com)
- Werewolf (celisbryan.wordpress.com)
- The history of Werewolves (wwwelitepyrosniper.wordpress.com)
- “The Howling” vs. “An American Werewolf in London” (domcappelloblog.wordpress.com)
- Quote Picture (shiverthewolvesofmercyfalls.wordpress.com)
- WereWolves. (mexicanwhite8oy.wordpress.com)
- Howling at the Moon: 3 Best Werewolf films ever (videodead.com)
- On Gingersnaps (2000) (horror2013.wordpress.com)
- Your Weekend Creature Comforts: The Halloween Classics Part 1: Werewolves (evilgeeks.com)
- Famous Werewolf Movies (famous101.com)
Directed by Joe Dante
Screenplay by Sam Hamm
This episode gave me such a fucking headache and I will tell you why with all honesty. I am by far the most non-political person I know. I have no interest in politics or what’s going on in Washington, D.C. or what have you. I don’t care nor do I understand who has who’s hand up whose ass or who the master and who the puppets are. I’m just not interested. When I watched this episode of Masters of Horror the only thing I could do was view it as a typical zombie movie. The only thing about that is that it was nowhere near being a typical zombie movie. Typical zombies rise from the dead, eat the living, make more zombies and die when you kill the brain, therefore killing the ghoul. They do not rise from the dead, vote and drop dead again. What the hell were they trying to say with this one? That the dead have a right to vote? I’m sorry, but no they don’t! They are dead, deceased, taking dirt naps, the Long Goodbye and all that. More than anything, this episode did nothing but bore the hell out of me and makes my head ache.
The political undertones (overtones?) aside, what the hell happened to the Joe Dante that directed the greatest werewolf movie of all time? There are none of the trademarks of Dante’s earlier films in Homecoming. There’s Robert Picardo (The Howling and Innerspace), but that’s more of a wise casting choice than it is a directorial trademark. Where was Dick Miller? Where was the reference to the Warner Bros. cartoons? Did I miss them? Damn, my headache’s getting worse. Bottom line, this episode blew monkey balls.
Now where the hell did I put that Ibuprofen?
At the end, when the zombie soldiers are coming out of their graves, the tombstones have the names of veterans of the horror and zombie genre, easy to read are Jacques Tourneur, G.A. Romero ( George A. Romero), Jean Yarbrough, and Delbert Tenney ( ‘Del Tenney (I)’). Harder to read are Lucio Fulci, Victor Halperin, and Gordon Douglas. The (readable) graves have this order: Romero and Tenney in the first line, behind them Fulci and Halperin, and in the last line behind Fulci is Tourneur, who is in the middle of Douglas and Yarbrough.
- Movie Review: SINISTER (kealanpatrick.wordpress.com)
- [From the Ashes] October Horror Part III: John Carpenter Edition (fromtheashesrpg.blogspot.com)
- Masters of Horror – Dario Argento – DVD, Blu-Ray and Streaming (besthorrorfilms.net)
- Masters of Horror Season One, Episode Three: Dance of the Dead (jmountswritteninblood.com)
- Masters of Horror Season One, Episode Two: Dreams in the Witch House (jmountswritteninblood.com)
- Tom Holland and Alice Cooper Ready to Set Sail on a Ship of Fear with YOU! (dreadcentral.com)
- Ed Wood, bad master of horror tv (infocult.typepad.com)
- 13 Days of Halloween Joe R Lansdale ‘Incident On and Off a Mountain Road’ Review (horrornovelreviews.com)
- A Horror Master’s Horror Comics (themillions.com)
- It’s Romans vs. Zombies in Immortui by Adam A. Haviaras (flamesrising.com)
I’m feeling a bit tired and a little lazy, but I still want to get a post in for today. So instead of writing some long review I thought I would just share some of my favorite images of werewolves that I’ve discovered while doing the Google thing. I don’t know who the artists are for the particular pieces I’m featuring here; so if you see a piece that belongs to you or you know to whom it belongs then let me know and I will either give you proper credit or will remove it if you so desire. I’m not trying to step on anyone’s paws here. I’ve given credit to the ones I could find a name to attach to the art. Enjoy.
- chapter two of………VAMPIRE VS. WEREWOLVES (srsstudentnews.wordpress.com)
- Vampires, Werewolves and The Post Election Market Reaction (confoundedinterest.wordpress.com)
- Yahoo’s Best TV Vampires and Werewolves (houseofvampires.wordpress.com)
- Michael Trevino Interview with Bullett Magazine – Werewolves are Better than Vampires (houseofvampires.wordpress.com)
- Werewolves Illustration (spikedennis.wordpress.com)
- Musical Halloween Favorites! “Werewolves Of London” [Video] (myq105.cbslocal.com)
- Dour Defence: Sang-Froid – Tale Of Werewolves (rockpapershotgun.com)
- Werewolves and Vampires? (anaturemom.com)
- Google goes gothic in new Doodle: Happy Birthday, Bram Stoker (popwatch.ew.com)
- #SciAmBlogs Wednesday – #Sandy, NYC rats, werewolves, diatoms, 3-D printing math puzzles, fall colors, and more. (blogs.scientificamerican.com)
Thank you to Nathanael and Mollie Munn for giving me the opportunity to write reviews for their great magazine Arcanum Axiom. The two of you have been great friends ever since I got to know you.
Thank you to writer/director Eduardo Sanchez (Lovely Molly, The Blair Witch Project), author Brian Easton (The Autobiography of a Werewolf Hunter), actress Dee Wallace (The Howling, Cujo), director Christina Raia (Summit), actress Tuesday Knight (A Nightmare on Elm Street IV) and founder Joe Ripple (Scares That Care) for granting me some awesome interviews and for being patient with a guy who’s new to all this and was winging it every step of the way.
Thank you if you liked me on facebook, mentioned me on twitter, dugg me on digg, read me on reddit, linked me on linkedin or did any of those odd sounding things that people do on social networks with funny names.
Thank you to the following people who have chosen to follow Written in Blood via e-mail or subscription. The list below is their user names; each one of which has a link to their respective blogs or websites. Click on them; they are all great and they all have something for everyone whatever your interest may be.
TheBruce-Night Train to ¡Mundo Terrible!
Tysoncarter-Head in a Vice
Marc Winger-Marc Winger
Coco J. Ginger-Coco J. Ginger Says
Creature with the Atom Brain-Creature with the Atom Brain
Bias the Black-biastheblack
chyrondave-My Two Cents
Derek-It’s Latin For Cookies!
Tim The Film Guy-Tim’s Film Reviews
Cinephile Ignoramus-marked private by user
youjivinmeturkey-”You Jivin’ Me, Turkey?”
djpekky-no blog address listed
justwilliam1959-no blog address listed
AndyK-no blog address listed
Wednesday’s Child-Deep Red Rum
Best Horror Movies-Best Horror Movies
aaronebrown-the Budding Journalist blog
tashtoo-~The Tashtoo Parlour~
Love Your Movies-No longer available
Mike-Badasses, Boobs and Body Counts
AndyWatchesMovies-Andy Watches Movies
Aloha Mister Hand-Aloha Mister Hand
cannon_lab-no blog address listed
moviegarden-no longer available
ooa revo-ooamerica: ooa’s USA Road Trip
The Seemingly Omnipotent Scroo Loose-The Legendary Scroo Loose
ediliociclostile -Edilio Ciclostile-I buzz into your head
williamcookwriter-BLOOD RELATED by William Cook
adambellotto-Eat. Sleep, Television
Loup L’Orange-Simple Terrors
jeanpaullefrey-you know who you are
SLAPAHOE-!SLAP A HOE!
ariefz75 -My blog collection arts design individu
alexlaybourne-Official Site of Alex Laybourne-Author
belchdini-stabs in the dark
Real Fiction Studios-realfictionstudios
kurtivanyu-Authorized Access Only-Rubbish thoughts of Mr. Yu
dawnwylder-Love is worth the fall
anatheimp-Ana the Imp
Adriene (Sweepy Jean)-Sweepy Jean Explores the (Webby) World 4.7
Abiel Disciple-page not found
So, why am I thanking all these people and listing all these blogs and websites and the like? Well, there is a very simple answer for that question. As of June 14, 2012 my blog Written in Blood surpassed the 100,000 page view mark. For a guy who started this blog in November of 2010 and who never expected to even reach a thousand page views the feeling of achievement I have is awesome. However, the feeling of gratitude is even more awesome. Thanks to each and every one of you who stopped by, even if it was only for a split second. Thank you, thank you and here’s to the next 100,ooo!!
- This Is What A Seattle Horror Convention Looks Like! (slog.thestranger.com)
- Sam’s Order of Tarantino Favoritism (greencarbon2112.wordpress.com)
- Last week movies (iexploretheworld.wordpress.com)
- And Yet An Other Milestone…This One’s For You. (ldsconvertblog.com)
- Must-See Family Movies of Summer 2012 (prettyopinionated.com)
- Tag : Versatile Blogger Award/amyandthecity, bengraphik, bonanzaetfils, joxtapose, mimokhairphotography, objetsdeplaisir, purenrgy (missayodele.com)
- Sinister trailer will creep you out (bizzam.wordpress.com)
- Harry Brown Review ~ By Sam (greencarbon2112.wordpress.com)
- The Last Lovecraft: The Relic of Cthulhu (grogtard.com)
- Top Ten Directors-Honorable Mentions ~ by Sam (greencarbon2112.wordpress.com)
- Google+: the means to find the right people at the right time (guardian.co.uk)
- Why You Need To Be On Google+ and YouTube (cookthestory.com)
- Here Are 500 Full-Length Movies You Can Stream Completely Free [Streaming] (gizmodo.com)
- How Do You Like Them (Infographic) Apples? (waxingunlyrical.com)
- dVersePoets Pub – OpenLinkNight Week 47 : “Venus in Transit Across the Sun” (yoga-adan.com)
- Is YouTube and Chart-Sensation Alex Day the Future of Music? (forbes.com)
- Redesigned YouTube rolling out to some, shows Google+ roots (cracktech.wordpress.com)
- Another YouTube redesign? Enable it right now (ghacks.net)
- You can now build and share YouTube playlists with friends in Google+ Hangouts (thenextweb.com)
It’s 10 AM on a Tuesday morning and I am talking with actress, author and healer Dee Wallace. As many of you know she is the star of a vast array of films which include ET: The Extra-terrestrial, The Howling and Cujo. Her latest book is entitled “Bright Light: Spiritual Lessons from a Life in Acting”. She will be starring in Rob Zombie‘s latest horror effort The Lords of Salem, sometime in 2012. Her website is entitled I Am Dee Wallace.
I know today that one of the first things that you want to talk about are your book and your website. Your book is called “Bright Light: Spiritual Lessons from a Life in Acting”.
Could you tell a little bit about it?
Well, it’s a great journey through all of my experiences with all of the major directors and actors that I’ve worked with, and through that also are all the lessons I’ve learned as a creative person; how not to give up our power, how to regain our power and our joy about what we do. I think it’s just really timely for anybody who is out there creating in every way and really that’s everybody, isn’t it? We’re creating our lives, for sure, and that to realize that nobody can take anything away from us and if we think they have then we’re the only ones that can change that perception around and move back into our joy and our manifestation again. So in a nutshell, that’s it. It’s a great insight for any of my fans, a really great read and for anybody in life that wants to live a full life, I think.
So when you’re talking about healing I take it you’re not talking about a…you’re definitely not talking about a medicinal or a pharmaceutical type of healing and it doesn’t appear that you’re talking about a holistic type. You’re talking about a spiritual type of healing. Is that correct?
Well, you can call it spiritual. In actuality it’s very scientific. But science and spirituality are coming closer and closer every day. Basically, whatever you focus on is what you bring energy to. Any scientist will tell you the same thing. So, we have been taught throughout our lives to focus on troubleshooting, to focus on fixing, to focus on manipulating in order to create what we want. None of those things work. In actuality the very things that we’ve been taught that work to help us to create are the very things that sabotage us. Because you can only focus your attention in one place at one time; so if you are seeing the world is against you, you cannot possibly be creating a world that comes forward to support you. So, I give a pretty clear and simple…what’s the word? A clear and simple formula for re-adjusting your thinking and your focus and it’s what I know is truly the secret and what they meant to really share with people in the secret but, I don’t think did, is that everything around the creation of our lives, we are responsible for; by the thoughts we choose to think and the emotions we choose to feel and the focus we hold on those things. It’s really as simple as that, but we have never been taught that and we have been taught creation from the point of view of ‘no’ instead of the point of view of ‘yes’.
Okay, I think I understand that a little bit.
Well, in other words you can’t create money by worrying about money.
You can’t create health by trying to fix disease; that they are opposite energies that are fighting each other. So if you want to be healthy and well, you keep your focus on being well and how that feels; even if you are experiencing disease in the moment, that’s not where you want to put your focus.
I notice on your website that you have healing sessions. What does that consist of? What do you and the person you’re consulting with do during these sessions?
Yes, I do them all over the world every day; I’ve got three after I talk to you today.
Basically, what we do is get together for an hour. My expertise is being able to be an open channel; to understand and extrapolate where the blocks in a person’s energy is that is keeping them from creating the very things they want to create. It’s quite miraculous work. We do it in a rapid-fire way on both of my radio shows. I have a radio show that’s a call-in show, they’re both call-in shows, actually, Monday night and Thursday morning and you can find all that information at iamdeewallace.com. People call in and that’s kind of a mini version of what we do. Of course when you have an hour session you can cover a lot of different subjects. On the radio show I’m just giving the quickest thing that comes in around a particular limited question that they’re giving me. And I have many clients that do yearly programs with me once a month, and it’s incredibly empowering work that lets you get out of your own way and really, really become powerful in your life again.
Now you also mentioned when you were talking about your book to begin with some of the different people you’ve worked with and your experiences with them. You’ve worked with a wide array of people. You’ve worked with of course Steven Spielberg with E.T. You’ve worked with Joe Dante with The Howling and you also did The Hills Have Eyes which was of course directed by Wes Craven.
Yes, and Peter Jackson with The Frighteners…
Exactly, Peter Jackson and The Frighteners…
…Blake Edwards and 10. Rob Zombie, I just finished Rob Zombie’s new movie Lords of Salem.
Yes, that’s right. You were also the adoptive mother of Laurie Strode in his remake of Halloween, which I thought was fantastic, by the way. Can you tell us a little bit about some of your experiences working with these different people? For instance, what was it like working with Joe Dante?
Oh, God, I love Joe. It’s just very collaborative and you’re laughing all the time. He is just a very giving and fun director to work with. A lot of people don’t realize that in The Howling that a lot of what made The Howling was Joes’ idea and actually he even put in some of his own money for the cartoons and everything that run through it. So, he’s just incredibly innovative and talented and they would be wise to let him alone more when he does his work.
I can understand that. You do notice with him and his films there is a style. To me it always seems like a lot of his stuff is done in a tongue-in-cheek sort of way; that there is a humor just under the surface.
Oh my, yes. He’s a genius at building suspense and stuff. I don’t know if you’ve seen some of his latest TV work that’s he done on some of the series but it’s just awesome.
Actually I did not know that he was doing the TV work.
Well, it’s few and far between, but when he gets a script that he likes, you know Tales from the Darkside and stuff like that.
Actually, The Howling was the first time I saw you in a film. I have to admit that I fell in love with you after that.
(Laughs) Thank you.
You’re very welcome. One thing that I’ve always wanted to ask about that film was at the end, just before you get ready to transform into your werewolf persona; you let out, to me, what has always been the most blood-curdling scream. What I want to know is was there any enhancement to that scream, or was that all you?
Well, it was all me, you know, and then they echo it several times.
I can’t really answer you if there was a lot of enhancement. I know that originally he said ‘Well, we’ll put in a scream’, and I said ‘Give me a shot at doing it’, and it was so effective that they used it. But of course you know they’re going to enhance it with reverberation and stuff like that.
Yeah, I mean, seriously I found it to be amazing. When you let it out the hair just stood up on the back of my neck.
Well, good. You know, oftentimes you can’t do that digitally because it’s not connected to a soul.
No, that’s exactly it. Now, I was reading your filmography on the Internet Movie Database and reading a little about your bio on there; and one of your quotes was basically that you ‘hope that you never see a Pinto again for as long as you live.’
(Laughs heartily) Yeah, from Cujo.
Yes. What was it like? How long did you actually do the filming from inside that car, inside that Pinto?
Oh, I think that we were inside the car for about five weeks.
My goodness! That’s amazing. I can understand why you would never want to see a Pinto again after that.
Well, everybody thinks that we’re really dying of the heat; and it was freezing, it was Northern California in November and December. So I finally got them to put up a heater, they rigged up a heater in front of the floorboard for us so that Danny (Pintauro) and I could stay warm in there. But, you know Jan De Bont, I really hand it to him that he figured out all these different camera angles to do in this car, because half the film is in this car. So yeah, it was definitely the hardest movie I’ve ever done, physically and emotionally. But, it’s my favorite movie.
Okay. Another thing that I did want to talk about and I don’t know if this is a sensitive subject to you, but you worked with your late husband Christopher Stone on quite a few films; The Howling, of course, Cujo and I believe you also did the series Lassie, Come Home.
Well, it was called ‘The New Lassie’.
Right, I’m sorry. What was it like working with him? I mean, I know you guys were married and I understand that his death did come as quite a shock. I believe you were filming The Frighteners when it occurred. What was it like to work with Christopher?
Well, it was interesting because Chris and I worked very differently. He broke everything down and figured it out, he looked at the beats and all that stuff. I don’t do any of that stuff. I just kind of…and it is definitely a technique, an acting technique. But you train yourself to really become the channel and open yourself up and the character tells you what to do, you don’t figure out what the character does, and that always worked a lot better for me. When I finally found Charles Conrad, who I consider to be my mentor, and learned this acting technique I felt like I was free. Like my whole world opened up as an actor and all the fear was put aside and you can’t be in fear of making wrong choices and not being in the moment and all that stuff when you don’t figure stuff out, and you just go in and try something out. It’s based on a huge, huge amount of energy that you have, also. So, it would be interesting, for example the bedroom scene in The Howling where Chris hauls off and hits me. We practiced how we were going to do the hit, but that’s really the only thing that we planned out. We didn’t rehearse, and so we go up on the set the next day and did the first take and Joe was like ‘Oh my God, that was great you guys! You had it down, you must have rehearsed that a lot last night.’ Chris kind of smirked and looked at Joe and said ‘No, my leading lady doesn’t rehearse.’ (Laughs)
No, we, in our acting and in our lives we just always could kind of sensed the other person and where they were going to go and how they were going to react and we were just soul mates that way, you know? So when we were shooting The Frighteners and he had a heart attack I flew back and they thought he was just fine, so I flew back to finish the film and four days later a blood clot hit his heart and he was gone; and yeah, it was a real shock to me, ‘cause I lost my best friend and my soul mate and the father of my kid, you know? It’s not an easy thing.
No, it’s not and I’m very sorry to hear that. I always thought that, I didn’t get to see him in quite as many films as I’ve seen you in, but I always thought that he had this strength to his style of acting and I personally thought that he would have been wonderful leading man material. That’s just how I always saw him, that there was always strength and I’m not sure if there’s any other way to describe it.
Oh yeah, and more so interesting was he was the biggest teddy bear and the sweetest man, and so of course he played all these bad guys, you know, tough guy roles.
He was a Marine, too, and not until later in his career did they find that kind of sensitive place and let him do it on film. Not me. I can be a real bitch and all they want me to play is mothers now.
Yeah, I noticed, I think for a while after E.T. came out that that’s what people saw you as, and also of course, Cujo, I mean they saw you in that role and it was almost a typecast sort of thing and I knew better. I knew there was more to you than just playing a mom your entire career, a lot more.
Well, it’s true, we get typecast a lot more in America than we do in Europe. In Europe you’re supposed and you’re honored for being able to do a lot of different characters. Meryl Streep sort of paved the way for that here, but certainly in television they want to keep you kind of cubby-holed.
I can understand that. Now you’ve worked with a couple of younger directors, up-and-comers I guess you would call them. You worked with Ti West on The House of the Devil. What was it like working with him?
He’s going to be a really big director. I think he’s really talented. I found that he at times over directed a little bit, but I think every young director does that. It’s very interesting when you work with the big guys like Spielberg and Blake Edwards and people like that, they hire the right people and kind of leave you alone. You know, you get a little direction here and there, but certainly they have faith and trust in allowing you to do your thing if they hired you. The younger directors, they have a lot more on the line. They have a lot more to prove, and so they take a lot more responsibility for your performance. I loved Ti, I loved working with him, I loved him as a person and I think he’s going to be a really big director.
Yeah, I have The House of the Devil in my collection of films.
It’s a good little film.
It’s actually a very good little film. I loved the almost kind of 1970’s TV movie feel that it has to it. I remember like the old TV movie Trilogy of Terror. A lot of the Dan Curtis produced and directed films of that time, the made for television films of that time; and it seemed to just have that feel to it and that’s one of the things I loved about the film. I also like the fact that it was a slow build. It wasn’t one of those films where all the scares pop out at you at once.
Yeah, it’s a good homage to the old-fashioned real horror films, not the slasher films.
Exactly; also you’re going to be working with Rob Zombie again with The Lords of Salem. Can you tell us a little bit about the plot of the film, a release date or anything?
Well, I can tell you very little (laughs). I play a new age guru, kind of, lady. Which is not far from who I am. It’s of course about the Salem witches, but it’s a whole, as Rob always does, a whole different take and beautifully shot. I can’t wait to see what the critics are going to, you know, I don’t think the critics know how to review Rob. He’s such a distinction in his own right; and this film is going to be a big departure from what we have come to expect even from him. It’s going to knock people’s socks off, I think. So I’m very excited. I would imagine they’re going to release it around October. That would make the most sense, but I’m not privy really to that information. I adore Rob Zombie. All of us kind of went in and did this as a labor of love for him and I think he’s, well, he is a genius, a creative genius. I would love to see him do some really great suspense stuff, some suspense relationship stuff along with the horror stuff.
When I was thinking about questions to ask for this interview, I just drew a complete blank and I have to admit that you were very helpful when you said that one of the things that you wanted to talk about was the book and about your website. I also have some friends that I mentioned to that I was going to do an interview with you. A couple of them are nurses. I work in a hospital and they wanted me to ask you about the healing and whether it was a holistic style of healing, whether it was a spiritual.
Well, it is spiritual, but it’s really scientifically spiritual; and it’s taking energy and knowing that you have to be the director of it. You literally have to direct and shape energy. That’s all there is to work with, that’s really why we’re here, is just to come in and experiment with what we can do with energy.
People have got to understand going into 2o12 that the world does not just happen. That everything that does happen is the creation of our thoughts and our focus and our feelings. Everything. So that’s what they mean by if you want to change the world, change you first. Be the change you want to see in the world. You want more love, and then you be more love and experience more love in your life and that goes out and puts it back into the collective. Then the collective consciousness rises because your consciousness rises and that’s the way it works; and you start understanding a lot of the old ‘no man is an island’ kind of thing.
You start understanding all those little ditties that we’ve heard all our lives, what they really mean and where they really come from.
Okay. I have to say it has been wonderful talking with you. This is something new for me. I’ve done this blog for the past year now, and this is one of those things that I thought about that were ways that I could do something different that other blogs aren’t doing, and this I have to say is one of those things where I’m stepping out of my comfort zone.
Well, that’s good.
Exactly. I try not to be nervous. You are by far the biggest interview I’ve done. I did an interview with Eduardo Sanchez, the co-director of The Blair Witch Project; and I’ve also done one with Tuesday Knight.
I know Tuesday. I worked with her a long time ago. Sweetheart, you just go in your heart and go ‘What do I passionately want to know about this person?’ Do what you want to know and you can’t go wrong.
Great, I appreciate that. Well Dee, it has been wonderful talking to you and I wish you the best of luck.
You too, sweetheart. Good luck with this. It’s great for you that you’re pushing out of your comfort zone because that’s where we all really get the gold.
Thank you and I hope you have a wonderful day.
I’m going to create it that way.
Thank you, ma’am.
At one point during the interview I completely lost my train of thought. I apologized to Dee and she was most gracious and patient, at one point telling me “It’s alright, sweetheart, relax.” That will never be forgotten.
Thank you to…
First and foremost I want to thank my wife for putting up with me. In the weeks leading up to this interview I was a real bear. The fact that I never once slept on the couch is testament to her love and patience with me.
I would like to give a special thanks to Lisa McMillan for her advice about the questions concerning Dee’s method of healing. In the past few months Lisa has become a sounding board about subjects concerning my blog and has been a true friend in every sense of the word.
To Sonia Rumzi for her unwavering support of both my blog and my writing.
Last, but not least, I want to thank Dee Wallace. Here is a woman that I have had quite the crush on for a long time, thanks to her many film roles and the personality she brings to each and every one. I wish her peace and love in everything she does.
- Michael Berryman on a Witch Hunt in New Lords of Salem Imagery (dreadcentral.com)
- The Devil Makes Dee Wallace Unhallowed (dreadcentral.com)
- Things Get Hairy for Sid Haig in Latest Lords of Salem Imagery (dreadcentral.com)
- Rob Zombie Shows Off The Lords of Salem’s Implements of Destruction (dreadcentral.com)
- Dee Wallace Lends a Hand to the Lords of Salem (dreadcentral.com)