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Interview with President Wolfman director Mike Davis

No lights? No camera? No problem! With Hollywood film crews shut down over the past few months in the wake of the global Coronavirus pandemic and its continued spread, the creative community is scrambling to figure out how to produce content remotely. Traditionally run studio sets that depend on close physical collaboration are off the table as social distancing is not a viable option. And while Zoom conferences provided a novel diversion, a sustainable form of scripted entertainment they are not. Filmmaker Mike Davis has come up with an innovative solution by creating feature films out previously existing footage, which he painstakingly re-edits with new dialogue and music recycled into what he dubs “green movies.”

How did you come up with the idea for quarantine filmmaking?

MD: I’d been collecting stock footage for years. Bits and pieces of old industrial shorts, educational films, public domain b-movies. I love the grainy look of scratched 16mm film, something nostalgic and subversive all at once. It comes from years of watching weird late night cult films on television as a kid. I began making my own films out of the footage, music videos, but I wondered if I could put together a full length feature with a plot and a story.

And this footage that needs to be purchased and licensed?

MD: I only use public domain material, meaning it’s lost its copyright or never held a copyright to begin with. Most films in that category are from the 1940s through ‘70s which is the disadvantage, except for me because I love the look, I’m all right with my films looking like they came from that period and it’s conducive to comedy and satire since visually it’s often funny to look at.

By piecing together random clips, how do you maintain continuity and characters?

MD: Well, there is cheating involved. I need to start with something long form as a base in order to have enough footage of a lead character to work with. For President Wolfman I used 1973’s The Werewolf of Washington which is not about the President, but it does feature a werewolf running around the capital which gave me a lot to work with. I combined that with over one hundred other sources. Some of those had an actor who resembled the guy in the original film, so I used it. Like stories you hear of an actor dying hallway through production and they need to shoot a double only showing the back of his head.

What is the plot of President Wolfman?

MD: On the eve of his re-election, the President of the United States is bitten by a werewolf and goes on a rampage, killing off his opponents one by one. He must hide this from his young son, girlfriend and of course the public, all while dealing with China’s bid to take over America and serving as judge at the Miss America Junior Miss beauty pageant.

Did you have to keep story elements from the original footage?

MD: No. The first thing I do when compiling clips is to erase the soundtrack. I don’t want to know what the characters are saying because I don’t want it to influence or hamper how I use it. Once it’s all edited together in sort of a “silent movie,” I write a script and have voice actors record the dialogue. So I’m guided by the visuals as to what is going to happen, but what they say is entirely new. I plug in the words into the actors mouths like a bad kung fu movie, but the audience is pretty forgiving and seem to play along with the joke.

Then the process is exactly backwards from a traditional production?

MD: I suppose. I start with the finished product first, the filmed footage. Then do the story and script. Sound, too, is really important. It’s what sells the technique to the viewers and gives the feeling of consistency. Same with music.

Is that also public domain?

MD: In most cases, it’s royalty free, which means it was bought kind of wholesale and very affordably. I actually composed the President Wolfman theme song and a couple of tunes were written by the star, Marc Evan Jackson.

There also appears to be in the film animation. Where did that come from?

MD: There’s an amazing psychedelic cartoon commissioned by the US government for the American bicentennial that has all kinds of patriotic imagery and came in handy for transitions. But also elements that were added by our producer Miles Flanagan that really accentuate the humor in many of the scenes. He added all the teletype subtitles, which is one of my favorite things in the movie not just because they’re fun but a great example of the creative collaboration that was involved in the making of the movie despite the fact that we were all hunkered down separately in our respective basements.

Is this your first foray into filmmaking during a pandemic?

MD: It’s the first to be released during one! So it’s timely. But I’d done a previous movie called “Sex Galaxy,” an homage to sexy sci-fi movies of the 1960s, which has become quite a cult hit. I’m working on a new film that deals with the current social climate, police violence and racism. It’s funky, very Seventies. Should be a real kick!

PRESIDENT WOLFMAN is now available on AMAZON.
AMAZON PRIME VOD: https://tinyurl.com/y6u77pky
AMAZON DVD: https://tinyurl.com/y8bvs98y


When Sid Haig officially accepted the PRICE AWARD earlier this year we knew he wasn’t a well man. In fact we knew he was a very sick man. He told us so. But hearing the news on Monday that he had passed away was still a shock and very painful. In the time we all knew him he was always funny, generous and a deeply caring man. Being able to celebrate him and his iconic career just before his death was a true honor. If anyone’s work in recent memory was iconic, it surely was Sid’s.

But on celebrating his vast career we realized he was so much more than Captain Spaulding. Sid’s career covered every genre and every TV and Film format. He’d worked with everyone from Connery to Shatner and (as we learned on stage that night) to the great Mr. Price too. As we read the obituaries it’s great to see how much the man’s work was loved by both fans and his peers.

We’ll never forget the touching and totally surprising story he told everyone about his meeting with Vincent Price on the set of TALES OF TERROR, and also the pure joy he expressed at receiving the Award. Something he simply described as “The highlight of my career.”

Our hearts go out to Sid’s family and close friends at this difficult time.

RIP Sid. We miss you.

We want to personally thank Victoria Price for being at this year’s HOLLYWOOD HORRORFEST and being there to present the PRICE AWARD to Sid Haig. We know it meant so much to Sid to receive it from Vincent’s daughter. And again we and the entire audience were enthralled by Victoria’s eloquent and entertaining (and very revealing) talk on her great father.We could have listened to her all night long, it was that good.

We’d also like to thank everyone at the VINCENT PRICE ART MUSEUM for their continued support of the festival and particularly to Sonia Mak and her husband for attending this year’s event and introducing the PRICE AWARD on behalf of the VPAM.

 

Thanks to all our truly wonderful prize sponsors – both for the festival winners and for the VINCENT PRICE ART MUSEUM fundraising auction at SID HAIG’S PRICE AWARD evening.

Thanks to:

Rob Hauschild at WILD EYE RELEASING

Kathy & Larry at BLAST FROM THE PAST

Del & Sue at DARK DELICACIES

Christopher Zephro at TRICK OR TREAT STUDIOS

David Shapiro at CREATIVE HANDBOOK

and Evan Zeisel at COPYRIGHT SLAP

We couldn’t do this without your support and generosity.

Thank you.


Friday 9th August’s Opening Night W.Coast Premiere of EXORCISM AT 60,000 FEET was not only SOLD-OUT but also brought the film 4 major festival awards. In attendance were writer/actor and producer ROBERT RHINE, director CHAD FERRIN, composer RICHARD BAND and stars ROBERT MIANO, LANCE HENRIKSEN, BAI LING, BILL MOSELEY, KELLI MARONEY, SILVIA SPROSS, MATTHEW MOY, GINO SALVANO, DAN BENTON, JEFF BLUMBERG, LUCA PENNAZZATO, CRAIG NG, BRAD SERVER, JIN N TONIC and SAMMY THE DWARF. Pretty much the entire cast.

After an audience pleasing screening BAI LING was presented the HHF Best Comedy Actress Award, RICHARD BAND the Best Original Score Award, ROBERT MIANO the Best Actor Award and Producer ROBERT RHINE the Best Horror Comedy Feature Award.

A lively Q&A followed with journalist & author PAT JANKIEWICZ. We’ve never seen so many stars on-stage at the same time.

To add to the fun, star LANCE HENRIKSEN was clearly moved when presented with the festival’s IMPACT AWARD, an award he very clearly was not expecting. The evening raised funds and awareness for the VINCENT PRICE ART MUSEUM.

 

 

 

Hollywood legend LANCE HENRIKSEN received the coveted IMPACT AWARD last Friday August 9th at HOLLYWOOD HORRORFEST 2019. The star of film classics ALIENS, THE TERMINATOR and NEAR DARK was happily surprised on-stage with the award presentation by festival founder MILES FLANAGAN and journalist & author PAT JANKIEWICZ. Mr. HENRIKSEN was at the festival as part of Friday’s EXORCISM AT 60,00 FEET Q&A panel and had no idea he was about to be given the award. The IMPACT AWARD is presented to an artist whose work has positively impacted genre filmmaking. And with a body of work that not only features the aforementioned classics but also includes THE RIGHT STUFF, JAGGED EDGE, THE PIT & THE PENDULUM, TALES FROM THE CRYPT, ALIEN 3, HARD TARGET, THE QUICK & THE DEAD, THE X FILES and MILLENNIUM to name but a few, Mr. HENRIKSEN truly deserves this accolade. 

As several cast members of EXORCISM AT 60,000 FEET received festival awards on-stage Mr. HENRIKSEN joked, “Well I hope I don’t receive an award” only to be clearly moved when the IMPACT AWARD was presented to him “This Is Your Life” style. Previous recipients include HALLOWEEN co-composer ALAN HOWARTH and the late, great character actor DICK MILLER.

On Saturday, August 10th, at the HOLLYWOOD HORRORFEST, actor SID HAIG became the 3rd annual recipient of the event’s prestigious Price Award – created to honor the iconic legacy of Vincent Price by celebrating an equally iconic genre icon.

The jet black Raven was bestowed onto Haig by VICTORIA PRICE herself, Price’s daughter. She delivered a touching speech explaining how Haig, like her famous father, embodied “the onscreen bad guy you secretly root for!”

The crowd at this invitation-only fundraising evening for the VINCENT PRICE ART MUSEUM, featured many of Haig’s costars from other projects, including Bill Mosely and Robert Mukes, Dee Wallace and Ken Foree, as well as HATCHET’S Adam Green, previous PRICE AWARD recipient Joe Dante, plus Belinda Balaski, Robert Rhine, the directors of THE AFTERMATH and HANUKKAH and many more.

A visibly moved Haig surprised everyone, as he held his Price Award and recounted a previously untold of meeting with Vincent Price. 

“I was casually dating a girl (who went unnamed) who invited me to the set of her movie, TALES OF TERROR. Once there, I met Vincent Price and spent the day with him and forgot all about her! I just loved him!

“We talked about everything. He was a gourmet cook and I wasn’t, but at least nobody died from my cookin’,” Haig joked.

Phaedra and Tate, the actor’s children, were in attendance.


 

“Growing up,  whenever Dad was on TV, my brother would always say, ‘what does Dad die in tonight?’, because he ALWAYS got killed!

“This Price award is so sweet, because it shows how much people love Dad.It’s still weird to see Dad on a t shirt, toy or tattoo, because to us, he’s Dad!”

The HOLLYWOOD HORRORFEST was held August 9th and 10th at the Mayflower Club in N. Hollywood.

Another famous guest, or more specifically famous vehicle, joins the all-star cast for the Opening Night screening of EXORCISM AT 60,000 FEET. The Girls and Corpses famous 1959 Cadillac hearse (Miller Meteor) which stars in Avril Lavigne’s new music video “I Fell In Love With The Devil” : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XIw_e2B0AbE  will be parked at Hollywood Horrorfest Friday August 9th for the Horror Comedy’s West Coast Premiere.

The restored vintage black ’59 Cadillac hearse has been featured in numerous music videos and movies, such as SUBURBICON, directed by George Clooney (starring Matt Damon and Julianne Moore) and in EXORCISM AT 60,000 FEET.

Tickets for the West Coast Premiere & Opening Night of HOLLYWOOD HORRORFEST can be purchased for only $10 in advance.

Stars Bill Moseley, Lance Henriksen, Bai Ling, Kelli Maroney, Robert Miano and the rest of the cast will be at the screening for a lively Q&A with journalist/author Pat Jankiewicz. We also promise a few big surprises along the way.

Tickets in advance available, while stocks last, at: https://exorcism.bpt.me

Doors Open at 7.00pm. Film begins at 8.00pm.

Full bar at the venue – bring ID

The 3rd Annual HOLLYWOOD HORRORFEST takes off on Friday 9th August with the star-studded, red carpet West Coast Premiere of “Girls & Corpses Productions” Horror-Comedy “EXORCISM AT 60,000 FEET.” This special event features the film’s cast on-stage, including horror legends LANCE HENRIKSEN (Aliens, The Terminator, Millennium) and BILL MOSELEY (The Devil’s Rejects, 3 From Hell), with ROBERT MIANO (The Girl’s Trip, Donny Brasco), BAI LING (Crank: High Voltage, The Crow), KELLI MARONEY (Night of The Comet, Chopping Mall), ROBERT RHINE (Cynthia, Dracula In A Women’s Prison), MATTHEW MOY (2 Broke Girls), SILVIA SPROSS (Giallo), CRAIG NG (A Low Down Dirty Shame), GINO SALVANO (True Lies), SAMMY THE DWARF (Bleeding Steel), BRAD SERVER (Curly’s of The Three Stooges grandson) and the film’s composer RICHARD BAND (Re-Animator, Troll, Puppet Master). More guests TBA.

On the last flight of a transatlantic airliner, a priest and a rabbi team up with the passengers to save the plane from a pandemic of demonic possessions which spread through the passengers and eventually to the pilot. Can they land and survive this Exorcism at 60,000 Feet? 

Writer/Producer Robert “Corpsy’ Rhine, who also play Rabbi Feldman, says: “We are extremely excited to see Exorcism at 60,000 Feet with an audience and we were thrilled to be accepted by Hollywood Horrorfest. We had a blast making the film and hope the audience can survive the flight! Seatbelts provided.”

The screening will be followed by a lively Q&A with the cast and journalist/author Pat Jankiewicz with a few surprises along the way.

“We’re big Girls & Corpses fans here and can’t wait to screen this. It’s a movie that needs to be seen with a large audience – it’s a real crowd pleaser,” says festival Director Miles Flanagan.

This is the 2nd feature from GIRLS & CORPSES’ Production arm after their critically acclaimed CYNTHIA (2018). Written and Produced by Robert “Corpsy” Rhine the film is directed by Chad Ferrin (Parasites, Someone’s Knocking at The Door) and promises to be one hell of an evening – it’s a Girls & Corpses Production after all! 

“Genre fans are going to lose their shit when they get an eyeful of Exorcism at 60,000 Feet. A balls out tribute to horror’s golden age from the boys and girls at Girls and Corpses, Exorcism at 60,000 Feet is everything you would expect from the title and so much more. Writer/producer Robert “Corpsy” Rhine (Cynthia) and director Chad Ferrin (Someone’s Knocking at The Door, Parasites) have rounded up all the best and bloodiest talents from the genre, unleashing them on a plane for what promises to be this year’s most garish, gory and unforgettable splatterpiece.” – Silent Motorist Media

HOLLYWOOD HORRORFEST continues all Saturday August 10th with screenings of the best in world horror shorts and features. The festival raise funds and awareness for the VINCENT PRICE ART MUSEUM. Check their website for full details.

 

 

“EXORCISM AT 60,000 FEET.” 

7.00pm Doors Open and red carpet photos.

8.00pm Film Screening.

9.30pm Q&A with the cast moderated by author Pat Jankiewicz.

BRITISH MAYFLOWER CLUB – 11110 Victory Blvd., N. Hollywood, CA 91606.

Seating is extremely limited so book in advance. 

Tickets in advance available at: https://exorcism.bpt.me