Jim Wynorski [Interview]
February 22, 2017 1 Comment
Today’s interview is, well, interesting. The subject of today’s questions is an accomplished filmmaker in the world of exploitive and horror films. The abundance of credits this man has amassed over the years is quite impressive in his field. To keep it simple, this man means business when he creates. And he is also not a huge fan of us, as you will soon read.
I have been asked by my respected colleagues, “Why would you want to put this out there?”. For me, the answer is simple. Trainwreck’d Society IS Jim Wynorski, whether he wants to believe it or not. When it comes to blogging and “journalism” as we see it, I can not pretend that we are on par with the likes of The Village Voice or even Entertainment Weekly. No, we are not concerned about image, we just do what we like and what we think others may like, with no real concern for popularity, and at times, quality. It is the exact reason we have turned down suggested interviews with certain YouTube “celebrities” or folks in the world of film and music that simply do not appeal to us, but might have gotten us a few extra clicks. We may not have created a solid fan base that is based around one certain ideal, but we have stuck to one idealism: Feature what interests us. Basically, if we have no interest in the subject, we just can’t do it. We will not fake it. That being said, we happen to be interested in ALOT of shit. So, take that as you will.
But how does this make us like Jim Wynorski? We are due to the fact that we will continue to pump out products that we find interesting, and do it at an alarming rate. In the world of blogging, we have always been pretty exploitive, and explorative (not a word, but you’ll understand this one later). The consequences of these actions does have a downside at times. The downside being we may not put out the purest product and can get sloppy from time to time. Which, again, is very Jim Wynorski like. But when you are pumping out so much content so quickly, things are bound to slip through the cracks. And Jim Wynorski was a man who was not afraid to call us out on that. And for this, we are extremely thankful for his insight.
More importantly, we are fans of Jim’s work. As we stated, he has a lot of it out there. So we wanted to ask a bit about some of the things he has done over the years. And despite Jim’s mild attempts to thwart us because of our ignorance, he still managed to give some great insight into some products we have loved over the years. So please enjoy a very interesting interview with legendary filmmaker, Jim Wynorski!
What initially made you want to get into the world of filmmaking? Was it early an early aspiration or did you sort of stumble upon it?
Ron, horrible first question. I’ve been asked this a hundred times before. I liked horror movies as a kid growing up on Long Island. I made commercials in New York before moving out to Hollywood to try my luck there. I wanted three things…money, chicks and most importantly to make entertaining B-movies like Roger Corman, Bert I. Gordon and Herman Cohen.
And when did your work with Roger Corman begin? What were some of the early projects you worked on for him?
Anybody with a computer can look this up on IMDB. Everything’s listed. A better question would be “Which famous actress did you sleep with first?”.
I’ve heard tales of the breakneck pace and a budget strains of working on a Corman production. So how was this experience for you? What are some fond memories you have of this time?
Making commercials in the Big Apple prepared me for the pace. Fond memories include nude pool parties, cashing big checks and helping move a giant 15-foot-tall maggot onto a set to rape a shapely astronaut in Galaxy of Terror.
You have had a great deal of success in the world of horror and exploration [meant to be exploitation], often blending the genres. How did you end of gravitating towards this line of work? And what keeps you wanting [to] create these very entertaining pieces of art?
Call the grammar police and alert the spelling committee – I’ve made dozens of horror flicks but never once did an ‘exploration’ film. I assume you meant ‘exploitation.’ Did you read these questions back to yourself even once before sending them to me? Don’t think so. And you also left out the word “to” between ‘wanting create.’ Is this indicative of your blog? I know it’s called Train Wreck, but it feels more like a devastating plane crash.
To answer your question, I like horror and exploitation flicks. I always try to combine the best elements of both genres in my pictures. What keeps me active is that very few others are doing it right, at least in my less-than-humble opinion. With 165 movies(or more) to my credit, I’m hoping to hit the 200 mark before heading up to the big grind house in the sky.
In 1991 you became a part of the cult classic Beastmaster franchise with Beastmaster 2:
Through the Portal of Time. What drew you to this world? And what are your thoughts on your contribution to the franchise?
Producer Sylvio Tabet lured me into the sequel with the prospect of writing and directing. He’d made the first film, but then waited close to seven years to make the second. Along with my writing partner, R. J. Robertson, we wrote him a helluva good screenplay. Then at the last moment, he pulls the rug out from under me and says he’s directing it himself. And then tops it off by threatening to take our writing credits off the picture. I took the bastard straight to court. He hired big time attorneys to stall paying out the final script installments. I hated his guts. But I got the last laugh when Republic Pictures picked up the show. They wanted a picture totally clean of legal entanglements. So they came to me to make a deal and I held them up but good. Cleaned up. I still remember Tabet’s pained face when I told him what it would take to get me to sign off. Even my own lawyer whined!
When you look back on your insanely varied and illustrious career, what would you say you are most proud of?
I’m always most proud of my next film. Bringing life to a script is always exciting and rewarding. And besides, who knows what lovely actress I’ll be meeting??!!
What do you have coming up? Anything you would like to tell our readers about?
I’ve got a monster mash-up show I just delivered to SyFy called Cobragator. Also doing family films now that horror has tanked in the market. All the newbies are still making haunted house movies; you know the kind – 10 kids trapped in a spooky old mansion somewhere. They aren’t aware that that ship has already sailed. Walmart has a dumpster in their video section where you can buy 10 recent terror flicks on dvd for five bucks. Let them end up there while I cry all the way to the bank with Doggone films.
What was the last thing that made you smile?
Someone I know got a pie in the face.
So that is it folks, quite the experience, right? Now please enjoy a nice galleria of sorts featuring some of the other works of Jim Wynorski, in a career spanning over 4 decades and close to 200 film and television credits. Pick up his films wherever you find movies. From iTunes, to the bargain bins at your local Dollar General, you are almost certain to find the work of Jim Wynorski somewhere out there. Chances are you already have. Enjoy!