Tag: Bill Rebane

2010: A Look Back at a Lot of Interviews

At the end of 2009, I took a look back at 100 interviews I’d done over the course of the year, and it was exhausting…not only for me, but possibly also for you, the reader. Oh, I still think it was a heck of a piece, but I believe I made a mistake by numbering them. I mean, you get about 20 – 25 into the proceedings, and it’s, like, “Oh, geez, I’ve still got 75 left to go? Screw this, I’m out of here.” So this time, I’m not going to tell you how many quotes are in the piece. I’ll just say that I talked to a lot of really funny, fascinating, and decidedly forthright people during the course of 2010, and I’ll let you dive in. Hope you enjoy the chance to reminisce as much I did, and here’s to a great 2011 for us all!

Big Shots at the Box Office

“I was in Australia, touring with my films and live show, and I got an E-mail from my agent, saying that there was interest in me for Tim Burton’s ‘Alice in Wonderland.’ I thought, ‘Okay, that sounds good.’ I thought it would be for a day or two, maybe a few days or something, and I would’ve been very happy to do that. But then the offer came in, and it was for virtually the entire run of the film. I didn’t even know what part it was for, so I asked my agent, and he said it was for the Knave of Hearts. So I looked up the Knave of Hearts in the original book online and…it didn’t really seem like a character that would require the run of the film. I thought, ‘Something must be different.’ And then I got the actual screenplay, and it was extremely different. I could see that it was written as a sequel. But it was a great part, and I was ecstatic to be in it…and I’m still ecstatic to be in it!” – Crispin Glover, Alice in Wonderland

“They called my agent and said they were auditioning for (‘Inception’), so I flew myself back, I read for Chris (Nolan) once, and I left. I think it was later that day that I heard from my agent, saying, ‘They’ve cut everyone except you. Now, they’re going to go to London to see some people, and then we’ll know more after that. So don’t get your hopes up, but…this is great!’ Then I came back and read again, and I got the job. And then, as you might expect, I freaked out completely.” – Dileep Rao, Inception

Dileep Rao

“I was actually down at my ranch in South Texas, and my guys called me and said, ‘Hey, we’re trying to get you a meeting with Sylvester Stallone. He’s casting a movie called ‘The Expendables.’’ Several months went by, and he’d already cast ‘The Expendables,’ but he still wanted to meet me for potentially playing the part of Dan Paine. So I went in to meet Sly, it was the first time I’d ever met him, and I’m a huge fan. I remember watching ‘Rocky’ back in ’76 or whenever it was, then getting up the next morning, drinking eggs, and running down the street…and now here I am meeting with this guy!” – Steve Austin, The Expendables

Steve Austin

“I was privileged and honored to work side by side with Sly (Stallone in ‘The Expendables’). Most of my scenes take place with him, and I’m telling you, man, he took me under his wing, and it was a brilliant thing. I don’t know what else to say. ‘Rocky,’ ‘Rambo,’ just everything he’s done is iconic, and it wasn’t lost on me. I love the man, and I can’t wait to do another one, ‘cause Sly’s the king of the sequels…and in my whole career, I’ve never done a sequel to any one of my projects. So I’m, like, ‘Sly, I’m ready for ‘Expendables 2,’ okay?'” – Terry Crews, The Expendables

Terry Crews

“Jessica (Pare) was just about to disrobe…we were in the (hot) tub…and they were, like, ‘Ready!’ And she took off whatever was covering her in the tub. And somebody asked the boom guy a question just as she was disrobing, and all he could say was, ‘Yesssssss…’ He could only whisper. I didn’t make a joke about it, though. I was just, like, ‘Okay, Craig, keep it cool, keep it together…’” – Craig Robinson, Hot Tub Time Machine

Craig Robinson

“I made the mistake of using one term loosely and saying (filming in 3D) was a tedious process, and somebody made it sound really bad. The bottom line is that it took a little longer, and the one that suffered more than anybody was (director Kevin Greutert) and the camera guy, because they have to get it right. You know, calibration and being specific with lights and all that stuff. For me, it was a good excuse to go play with the crew that wasn’t on set and crack a couple of jokes, so I got to socialize a little bit more.” – Costas Mandylor, Saw 3D

“Usually, when you’re coming in completely blind with who you’re working with, you don’t know if you’re going to get along, nor do some people put the time in to try to get along. We were all in Pittsburgh, and we did do, like, two weeks of rehearsal before we started shooting (‘She’s Out of My League’), and in those two weeks, we hung out a lot…and, luckily, it went good rather than bad. Because sometimes it’s just awful, and you’re going, ‘I can’t stand that guy!’ So we were lucky. I know a lot of people always say this when they come off work, because they’re kind of trained to say it, but with this one, we all really got along, and I think that’s what helps our chemistry on screen so much: we thought each other were funny, we even liked to hang out afterward, and that played well. ” – Nate Torrence, She’s Out of My League

Nate Torrence

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A Chat with Bill Rebane (“Monster A Go-Go”)

Although the competition for the honor of being declared “The Worst Movie Ever Made” is one of the strongest in all of popular culture, there are some titles which continue to come up again and again. “Monster A Go-Go” is one of them…and, unlike “Plan 9 from Outer Space,” it’s a film so bad that even the man who directed it is willing to concede that it deserves to take home the win. Premium Hollywood had the opportunity to chat with Bill Rebane, who helmed “Monster A Go-Go,” upon the release of a special edition DVD, and even though 45 years have passed since the film’s original release, he still stands by his position on the matter.

Bill Rebane: Hello, Mr. Harris! How are you?

Bullz-Eye: I’m good! How are you?

BR: Hanging in there!

BE: (Laughs) Same here! Well, it’s a pleasure to speak with you. I actually just finished watching the special edition of “Monster A Go-Go” this morning.

BR: Oh, I feel so sorry for you…

BE: (Laughs) Well, it’s funny: at first, I wasn’t sure how I was going to broach the subject of the film’s reputation, but throughout the special features, you pointedly say that it is the worst movie ever made.

BR: Well, that was my impression when I first saw it. Three years after I gave it to Herschel Lewis to finish, the first time I saw it, I said, “Oh, my God, this is the worst picture I’ve ever seen.” That’s not exactly what we had in mind when we started…

BE: So to jump to prior to “Monster A Go-Go,” how did you get into filmmaking in the first place? Were you a movie buff as a kid and worked your way into the business gradually?

BR: Well, when I came to this country, I was obsessed with movies of that time, the old movies from Hollywood’s golden age, and I went to the theaters and spent maybe half a day…more than half a day…watching movies to learn English. I was a singer and dancer during that time. In fact, I actually started out wanting to make musicals. And then the occasion arose in Germany…I went back to Germany and worked with some filmmakers there, professionals, and learned a little bit, and came back to the States and started making short subjects.

BE: How did you make the move from short subjects to the feature-length?

BR: Well, it was timely. I was a realist. I was acutely aware of the marketplace, what was going, and it seemed very timely to do a science-fiction monster movie at that time for the drive-in theaters. We wrote a pretty cohesive script, a story-oriented project, and I dove into it. But I didn’t know that Chicago wouldn’t… (Hesitates) I made those short subjects with the union, and when they heard that I was making a feature film, they pretty much clamped down on me and said, “Yeah, you’re going to make it union, right?” I said, “Those were not my intentions.” And then they merrily went on to basically confiscate the whole budget, put it in Escrow, and they would take care of it. So we ended up with maybe two hours of good time of shooting, and the rest of it was spent on setting up heavy equipment. There wasn’t much of a break we got in those days. It’s not how independent pictures should be made to begin with. I lost the star, Peter Thompson, a week into production because of time constraints. And then I went on to a second part the same year, actually…1961, ’62…to do the rest of the picture with a non-union crew. And that’s how Herschel Lewis entered the picture. I hired him as a cameraman and a production manager, and we finished all the exteriors and everything that I thought we needed to do, except the actual final ending. We never got to that, which was about 10 minutes or 20 minutes of stuff, again running out of money. Herschel Lewis needed a picture for a double bill at drive-in theaters, and I turned the picture over to him for post-production, not knowing what he would do and what he could do. And about three years later, I looked at it. It was not the same title. It was now “Monster A Go-Go.” It had already run in some theaters in the South. And… (Starts to laugh) …I was more than surprised. I was a bit shocked. I said, “This has got to be the worst picture I’ve ever seen.”

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