Thursday, September 30, 2010
ABOVE: Teaser Poster For MONSTER CRUISE.
Another B-Movie Celebration has come and gone. The annual 3-day celebration of the independent film industry is always something to look forward to as it brings a very unique festival to the circuit. Held in Franklin, IN, this year’s celebration did not disappoint.
ABOVE: Producer Bill Dever, Jim O’Rear, and Jim Wynorski await the world premiere of MONSTER CRUISE.
Friday started with a bang…the world premiere of a family comedy that I’m in titled MONSTER CRUISE. This flick, directed by the legendary Jim Wynorski (RETURN OF SWAMP THING, CHOPPING MALL), was filled with sea monsters, mermaids, and hunts for pirate treasure. The audience members inside the packed theater seemed to really enjoy themselves. The pre-movie and post-movie parties allowed cast, crew, and attendees to mingle and discuss the making of the film. Great food and fun! Here are a few photos from the premiere and the parties:
ABOVE: Stacey Dixon (OLD HABITS DIE HARD) peeks around at Daniel Taylor (RETURN OF THE SWAMP THING), Jim O’Rear, and Bryan Wilson (UNDERGROUND ENTERTAINMENT) outside the Historic Artcraft Theater.
ABOVE: Jane Jensen (TROMEO & JULIET) opens the premiere of MONSTER CRUISE.
ABOVE: Daniel Taylor peeks over Bryan Wilson and Stacey Dixon at the MONSTER CRUISE party.
ABOVE: The theatre fills for MONSTER CRUISE.
ABOVE: Ervin Ross & Shay Dickerhoff, co-stars in MONSTER CRUISE.
Saturday was filled with activities, including film screenings, educational filmmaking seminars, and more. As time permitted, Bryan Wilson and I also shot more wacky footage for UNDERGROUND ENTERTAINMENT: THE MOVIE (www.UETheMovie.com). I participated in a director’s panel and Bryan and I hosted a Q&A about our old television series UNDERGROUND ENTERTAINMENT.
ABOVE:Daniel Taylor unleashes the angry hamster filming a segment for UNDERGROUND ENTERTAINMENT: THE MOVIE.
ABOVE: Patrick Giraudi (TWILIGHT, THE DEAD MATTER, SIDEWAYS) and Jim O’Rear.
ABOVE: Ed Douglas (THE DEAD MATTER), Thomas Burdinski (THE ITALIAN ZOMBIE MOVIE), Jim O’Rear, and Bryan Wilson look at some shocking reading material.
ABOVE: Jim O’Rear, Dr Ivan Cryptosis, and Bryan Wilson await more seminars.
Saturday night was The Golden Cob Awards ceremony, honoring excellence in independent cinema and genre entertainment. After a rather lengthy opening by a band and several comedians, the awards portion of the ceremony got underway. I was honored to receive, for the second year in a row, the Golden Cob for “Best Leading Man/Actor” and a Cob as “Television Pioneer” for UNDERGROUND ENTERTAINMENT.
ABOVE: Jessica Cameron (RESURRECTION), Jim O’Rear, and Bryan Wilson pose for the paparazzi with their Cob Awards.
ABOVE: Jim O’Rear & Brooke Lewis (SLIME CITY MASSACRE).
ABOVE: The Golden Cob Awards.
Afterwards, Bryan and I rushed over to a screening of my recently released film THE DEAD MATTER (featuring Andrew Divoff, Tom Savini, and Jason Carter). The director, Ed Douglas, was in attendance, as well.
ABOVE: Jim O’Rear and Ed Douglas at THE DEAD MATTER.
Following the screening it was time for some dinner and a trip to a local haunted house, FEAR FAIR, that had just opened that same day in Seymour, IN. Bryan Wilson, Ed Douglas, Daniel & Ami Taylor (RETURN OF THE SWAMP THING, ROAD TRIP), and Chuck Budreau (BEVERLY LANE) hopped in Ed’s van for a short road trip. FEAR FAIR was an awesome haunt (special thanks to Joanna for the invite)… well worth the drive from Franklin.
ABOVE: The entrance to the fantastic FEAR FAIR HAUNTED ATTRACTION.
ABOVE: Ed Douglas (THE DEAD MATTER) and Jim O’Rear outside FEAR FAIR.
Afterwards, Ed Douglas (THE DEAD MATTER) introduced us to the wonderfulness of Waffle House’s blueberry waffles. Apparently, Ed has a regular craving for the sweet treat from “The House.” It was yummy goodness…but probably won’t replace my unnatural craving for their loaded hash browns.
ABOVE: A late-night trip to “The House” with Bryan Wilson, Jim O’Rear, Ed Douglas, Daniel and Ami Taylor, and Chuck Budreau.
Sunday offered more movie screenings and seminars as well as a little more time to shoot a few more gags for UNDERGROUND ENTERTAINMENT: THE MOVIE. That brought a close to this year’s B-Movie Celebration; a fun event that I hope continues for many years to come.
ABOVE: Bryan Wilson & Jim O’Rear film a segment for UNDERGROUND ENTERTAINMENT: THE MOVIE with the famous Bryan & Jim Dolls.
ABOVE: Daniel Taylor (ROAD TRIP) loves his Bryan & Jim Dolls.
ABOVE: Yes, for those wondering, Taint made an appearance!
Thanks for reading,
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
ABOVE: Jim O’Rear outside the Warner Brothers Building in Burbank, CA.
I recently had the pleasure of working on a new Edgar Alan Poe audio project titled THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER. I’ve always loved the writings of Poe and am a huge fan of all the movie adaptations of his works (especially the Roger Corman / Vincent Price versions), so I was thrilled to hear I’d been selected to go to Los Angeles to play the role of Roderick Usher, alongside Kevin Sorbo (HERCULES, ANDROMEDA), John Billingsley (STAR TREK: ENTERPRISE, TRUE BLOOD), and Bonita Friedericy (CHUCK).
ABOVE: Tooling along through Hollywood.
Normally, I don’t enjoy flying great distances, but nothing about this trip was bad. I boarded the plane in Nashville, TN, and was pleased to see that I would be flying alongside the legendary Kris Kristofferson! Known for his years of chart-busting music hits and appearances on the silver screen in such films as BLADE, A STAR IS BORN, BIG TOP PEE WEE, CONVOY, and more, Kris was as cool of a guy as you’d ever want to meet.
ABOVE: There’s a plane inside my hotel!!
Getting to Los Angeles/Burbank, Kevin Herren of Macabre Mansion (www.MacabreMansion.com), producer/director of the USHER project, took me to my hotel, conveniently located only minutes from the airport and the studio! The hotel was “airport-themed” and had all kinds of cool props inside, including an airplane that hung inside the lobby.
ABOVE: Jim O’Rear relaxes by the fountain at his temporary Hollywood home.
After checking in, it was time to find some grub. Kevin and I ventured out and grabbed a bite to eat at a local steakhouse. While there, I received a call from actor Daniel Roebuck (LOST, MATLOCK, THE FUGITIVE, HALLOWEEN) who invited us over to his house. Not many people know that Daniel is an avid collector of monster and Halloween memorabilia… so avid, in fact, that he has an entire house behind his house set up as a museum. Needless to say, we jumped at the opportunity to check out his private collection, which includes genre-related costumes, props, figures, and toys from the 1950’s to present.
ABOVE: Daniel Roebuck (LOST, MATLOCK, THE FUGITIVE) and Jim O’Rear inside Dan’s personal monster museum.
ABOVE: Daniel Roebuck at home inside his museum office.
What a special treat it was to see all of Daniel’s mint collectibles and spend time in this very unique environment. I could have stayed there for days soaking in all of the toys that surrounded me. A BIG thank you to Danny for the invite!
ABOVE: The entrance gate to Warner Brothers Studio.
It was time to cross Burbank and head to the studio to work on THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER. Of course, there were plenty of things to see during my time in LA. One of those things was the ever-so-famous Hollywood branch of the church of Scientology. Does anyone see Tom Cruise or John Travolta?
ABOVE: The Hollywood branch of the church of Scientology.
I think I have to refer to my friend Daniel Taylor (RETURN OF THE SWAMP THING, ROAD TRIP) for an explanation of the following. It looks like some kind of clock…but not quite sure… Whatever it is, I like it!
ABOVE: Would Daniel Taylor like to give his “two-cents” on this one?
Of course I had to get a quick snap of the actual Hollywood Tower Hotel. Many are only familiar with this from Disney’s TOWER OF TERROR ride and assume it is not an actual location. Well, for those who haven’t seen it, here is the actual Hollywood Tower Hotel…
ABOVE: The famous Hollywood Tower Hotel.
Okay, enough screwing around. This blurb is supposed to be about the awesome audio production of THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER project, coming out on CD next month from Macabre Mansion (www.MacabreMansion.com) just in time for Halloween! This project was a blast to work on. As I’ve already mentioned, Poe has always been one of my favorite authors and this was my first chance to immerse myself and become one of his characters.
ABOVE: Jim O’Rear records dialogue as “Roderick Usher” for THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER.
For those unfamiliar with the work, THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER is a short story by Edgar Allan Poe, first published in September 1839 in Burton's Gentleman's Magazine. It is considered to be Poe's most famous work of prose and is the best example of Poe's "totality," where every element and detail is related and relevant. This highly unsettling macabre work is also considered, by many, to be THE masterpiece of American Gothic literature.
ABOVE: Kevin Sorbo (HERCULES, ANDROMEDA) records dialogue for THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER.
In USHER, an unnamed protagonist (the Narrator – Kevin Sorbo) is summoned to the remote mansion of his boyhood friend, Roderick Usher (Jim O’Rear). Filled with a sense of dread by the sight of the house itself, the Narrator reunites with his old companion, who is suffering from a strange mental illness and whose sister Madeline (Bonita Friedericy) is near death due to a mysterious disease. The Narrator provides company to Usher while he spends all his days inside, avoiding the sunlight and obsessing over the sentence of the non-living. When Madeline dies, Usher decides to bury her temporarily in one of his house's large vaults. A few days later, however, she emerges from her provisional tomb…escalating the madness that surrounds Roderick and his friend to a deathly conclusion.
ABOVE: Bonita Friedericy (CHUCK) records dialogue as “Madeline” for THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER.
Featuring supernatural theatrics, which critics have interpreted a number of ways, the story exhibits Poe's concept of "art for art's sake," the idea that a story should be devoid of social, political, or moral teaching. In place of a moral, Poe creates a mood—terror, in this case— through his use of language.
ABOVE: John Billingsley (STAR TREK: ENTERPRISE, TRUE BLOOD) records dialogue as “The Doctor” for THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER.
It all equates to a cool story, cool actors, and a very cool audio-drama CD to add to your collection. On top of that, proceeds from CD sales go to benefit the charity A WORLD FIT FOR KIDS. There’s also about 1 week left to pre-order autographed CDs and items from this production through Kickstarter (www.kickstarter.com/projects/macabremansion/macabre-mansion-presents-the-fall-of-the-house-of) or by clicking the link on Macabre Mansion’s website.
ABOVE: Mixing audio inside the control booth.
ABOVE: Kevin Herren (MACABRE MANSION) is harassed by Jim O’Rear during a recording break.
Keep an eye open for this CD next month and enjoy it during the Halloween season! Special thanks goes out to the fine folks at Macabre Mansion for involving me in this project. I’m looking forward to the next one!
ABOVE: The cast of THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER (Jim O’Rear, John Billingsley, Bonita Friedericy, and Kevin Sorbo).
Thanks for reading,
Friday, September 3, 2010
ABOVE: Jim O’Rear with his favorite undead ballerina.
Paranormal Scarefest came to Murfreesboro, Tennessee! I had appeared as a guest at this show in Indiana a few months ago and had a great time so I was looking forward to giving it a go in another state. Although this first-time Tennessee show was not extremely well attended, it was a loaded weekend of fun.
ABOVE: Jim takes every opportunity to show off his banner designed by the multi-talented Billy Tackett (www.BillyTackett.com).
Realizing that this was going to be the first show I had done in a long time that zombie artist Billy Tackett was not appearing at, as well, I slapped on the black-straw hat so that I could represent and headed out the door to set up.
ABOVE: James Hampton (SLING BLADE, TEEN WOLF), Jim O’Rear, & Ken Sagoes (NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 3 & 4).
Arriving at the show, I was immediately greeted by legendary actor/director James Hampton (SLING BLADE, TEEN WOLF, F-TROOP) and NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET alum Ken Sagoes. I had appeared at shows with these guys before but never had the opportunity to really talk to them for any length of time. I was glad to see that we were all sitting together so that we could spend some time chatting. Also sitting with me was UNDERGROUND ENTERTAINMENT co-creator Bryan Wilson (whom would be working with me at the convention on filming more footage for UE: THE MOVIE) and the fine folks from MACABRE MANSION (www.MacabreMansion.com).
ABOVE: Daniel Emery Taylor (RETURN OF THE SWAMP THING) assumes his “Blister Taint” personality alongside Bryan Wilson.
Seated on my other side was my good friend and always hilarious Daniel Emery Taylor (RETURN OF THE SWAMP THING) and his lovely wife Ami. It didn’t take long for Daniel to slap on the patriotic mullet and shift into his crazy “Blister Taint” personality for some painfully funny moments of comedy. Of course, James Hampton… also an extremely funny actor… took every opportunity to join in the hijinks. These guys had me rolling on the floor with laughter.
ABOVE: Jim O’Rear, paranormal investigator Brian Henry, and Bryan Wilson try to act like tough guys.
There were a ton of other guests, too, ranging from filmmakers (George Demick, Joshua Hull, Jim Dougherty, Tom Berdinski, & more) to horror hosts (Dr. Gangrene, Midnite Mausoleum, & more) to paranormal investigators (SyFy’s Keith Age, Paul Browning, & more) to independent film actors (David Polk, David Ross, DJ Mincy, & more). I’m sure I’m leaving people out… there were many and my aging mind is getting feeble!
ABOVE: Director George Demick (DEAD START), Bryan Wilson (UNDERGROUND ENTERTAINMENT), Pixie Schwartz, our favorite “Elf” Juliette Vincent, Jim O’Rear, & Chris Pezzano hang out.
The weekend was filled with multiple film screenings, educational panels, costume contests, and paranormal investigations… just to name a few things. In between all of the events, Bryan Wilson and I also shot more footage for UNDERGROUND ENTERTAINMENT: THE MOVIE and GHOSTS OF TENNESSEE.
ABOVE: Jim O’Rear & Jim Dougherty discuss their new film BEVERLY LANE.
ABOVE: Jim O’Rear prepares to host a panel with cast and crew of the new zombie comedy BEVERLY LANE.
I was super excited to spend some time over the weekend with the gang from BEVERLY LANE, a new zombie comedy movie coming out next month from director/writer Joshua Hull. I moderated a panel about the film and it was as fun and wacky as the movie, itself. This is a really great group of people that I look forward to spending more time with in the future.
ABOVE: Bryan Wilson (UNDERGROUND ENTERTAINMENT), paranormal investigator Paul Browning, and Jim O’Rear taking a break.
Since my friends from MACABRE MANSION were in the house we also fit in some new interviews for their website. These are always a lot of fun, as well. This time around, Bryan Wilson and I discussed the upcoming UE: THE MOVIE and GHOSTS OF TENNESSEE documentary that we are producing and Daniel Taylor and I sat down to talk about his new film FAT CHANCE. Of course, as usual, the interviews were fun and irreverent.
ABOVE: Bryan Wilson & Jim O’Rear discuss UE: THE MOVIE for MACABRE MANSION.
ABOVE: Daniel Taylor is interviewed by Jim O’Rear for MACABRE MANSION.
Other fun over the weekend included jumping in the Spiderman bouncy room with zombies, shopping for cool stuff from the multiple vendors, and a surprise appearance by the Trinity Of Pain.
ABOVE: Taken just moments before Bryan Wilson’s throat was torn open. Yes, it’s gonna leave a mark.
The event concluded with an overnight paranormal investigation of the haunted Walking Horse Hotel in Wartrace, Tennessee. Several convention attendees joined myself, Daniel Taylor (ROAD TRIP), Ken Sagoes (NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET), and SyFy Channel’s Keith Age for a full evening of spooky fun. Did we have any paranormal experiences? Indeed we did… but, that’s another story altogether. Here are a few photos from the investigation:
ABOVE: Ami Taylor, Jim O’Rear, and Brandon O’Rear get some strange activity in the basement.
ABOVE: Daniel Taylor (sporting his GHOSTBUSTERS equipment backpack) and Brandon O’Rear investigate activity on the 4th floor.
ABOVE: Daniel Taylor & Jim O’Rear experience some unusual activity inside the Walking Horse Hotel.
ABOVE: Brandon O’Rear, Bryan Wilson, Keith Age, Jim O’Rear, and Daniel and Ami Taylor take a break from the investigation.
Needless to say, Paranormal Scarefest Tennessee was a blast. I hope the limited number of attendees does not discourage them from doing this event again in the area. As with all first-time shows you start small and grow and I hope to see this one continue to grow in the future.
ABOVE: Daniel Taylor practices his “spooked” look for the next investigation!
Thanks for reading,