‘Night of the Comet’ with star Kelli Maroney

nightof-cometposter

Title: Night of the Comet
Rated: PG-13
Directed by: Thom Eberhardt
Written by: Thom Eberhardt
Starring: Robert Beltran as Hector
                   Catherine Mary Stewart as Regina
                   Kelli Maroney as Samantha
                   Mary Woronov as Audrey
                   Geoffrey Lewis as Carter
Tagline: It’s the last thing on earth they ever expected.
Trailer

By: Shelley Stillo

Pre-screening memories:  I was never a rebel. I usually maneuvered through my childhood with little friction.  Perhaps that is why I found myself gravitating toward those who broke the rules on the big screen.

I envied those who flipped authority the bird and damned the consequences, for it was something that I secretly desired to do as I walked the straight and narrow.

screencapPerhaps that is what drew me to Night of the Comet, for it featured not one, but two female leads who embodied strength, power, courage and conviction. Oh, and they battled Comet-scarred zombies to boot.

I recall its heady mix of science fiction, dipped in horror, frosted with comedy and sprinkled with a little romance, as well. All of these elements sweetening the package of Comet all the more for a pre-teen such as myself.

It was all just a thrilling mix that felt like the perfect blend of everything I enjoyed separately in my movies of the time. I can recall just how real Regina and Samantha felt to me when I watched them battle their way for survival. Though I had not yet entered high school, these were the kind of girls I could envision myself hanging with, even though I may have quietly ridden in the back seat while they raced through the empty post-apocalyptic California freeway.

They were the high school equivalent to Aliens‘ Ripley, and they were able to carry with them their femininity while effortlessly whooping a mess of zombie ass at the same time.

I know that witnessing a comet is usually a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, but I have to say that I am grateful for the chance to see this one blaze in front of me once again.

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Download the podcast: ‘Night of the Comet’ with Kelli Maroney

Listen to it here:

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kelli_maroneyOur featured guest: Kelli Maroney

We are honored to have the star of the film, Ms. Kelli Maroney, join us for a return to her ‘Night.’  Kelli has become a cult heroine for her roles in this film as well as her role in Chopping Mall. Kelli got her first big break in film as a cheerleader in Fast Times at Ridgemont High ( a role that landed her the lead in Comet), and has worked on stage and screen ever since — most recently seen in the hit HBO series True Blood.

But her role as the no-nonsense cheerleader Sam in Comet that is perhaps her most iconic so far. It has earned her legions of fans, including many of us here at Natsukashi.

Kelli spoke about her experience on the set, as well as some of her other works and the overall state of the female cinematic heroine. We are very thankful to Kelli for sitting down and chatting with us and sharing her thoughts and memories and eagerly anticipate her slate of upcoming features. For updates on Kelli, please swing on over to her myspace page, or check out her website.

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‘Troll’ with fx legend Jim Aupperle

troll

Film: Troll (1986)
Rated: PG-13
Directed by: John Carl Buechler
Written by:John Carl Buechler and Ed Naha
Starring: Noah Hathaway as Harry Potter Jr.
                   Michael Moriarity as Harry Potter Sr.
                   Shelly Hack as Anne Potter
                   Jenny Beck as Wendy Anne Potter
                   Sonny Bono as Peter Dickinson
Tagline: Come closer…

By Jason Plissken and El-Ron
Jason’s pre-screening memories: As mentioned before, I was a fan of scary movies. Ironically, I would always get scared and turn them off. Troll was no different. I was perhaps not even in high school when I first started to watch Troll on television, and I can remember watching it up until the part where little Wendy Anne has become inhabited by the eponymous monster and her voice morphs into his guttural growl.

I guess I could blame Poltergeist, or perhaps even The Village of the Damned or The Bad Seed, to know that when a cherubic little blonde girl shows up on screen, bad things follow.

Troll was no different.

El Ron’s pre-screening memories: Trollwas released during the evil puppeteering heyday of the mid- to late-80s, which included Ghoulies, Gremlins, Critters and Munchies, and I ate all of those films up, despite being terrified by them. There was more than one evening that I swore one was trying to push his was up past the floorboard under my bed, causing me to sleep with the lights on.

Troll stood out, though, for I remember its mix of fantasy in the everyday world. Was our old neighbor a former witch? How about our mailman? Did he possess some supernatural power that I was unaware of? What about my Uncle? Was that a magic potion on his breath, or just whiskey?

I remember all the faces familiar to me at the time — Michael Moriarity, Moe from The Stuff, Sonny Bono, Gary Sandy from WKRP in Cincinnati.

But it was not until I sat down to rewatch this that I realized…Holy Crap! It’s Harry Potter! I had no idea that the main character’s name was shared by a certain literary creation that has received some press as of late. Not only that, but as I recall, the Harry Potter of Troll was also practicing to be a wizard of some sort as well.   I suppose my updated viewing of this will answer all these questions for me.

All I know is that I have the light close to the bed tonight, just in case I hear a rumbling under my floorboard.

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jim-aupperleOur featured guest: Jim Aupperle Chances are good, if a film had groundbreaking stop-motion special effects work done, Jim’s fingerprints can be found on those little miniatures. He has worked with visual effects for such films as Dreamscape, Nightmare on Elm Street 3: The Dream Warriors, John Carpenter’s The Thing, Ghostbusters, Evil Dead 2, BeetleJuice, Critters 2: The Main Course, Gremlins 2: The New Batch, The Nightmare Before Christmas, and Hellboy (to name but a few!).

His name is mentioned alongside such stop-motion legends as Willis H. O’Brien, Randall William Cook and the master himself, Ray Harryhausen. Jim also wrote and produced his own feature, Planet of Dinosaurs, where he was able to live out his childhood dream of bringing dinosaurs to life.

We were very fortunate to have Mr. Aupperle for this little podcast and hope to have him back to discuss other films in his expansive resume.

Come venture under memory’s bridge for a trip to Troll here, or listen to below.

‘The Warriors’ with cast member Irwin Keyes

the_warriors

Title: The Warriors (1979)
Rated: R
Directed by: Walter Hill
Written by: David Shaber and Walter Hill
                         Based on a novel by Sol Yurick
Starring: Michael Beck as Swan
                   James Remar as Ajax
                   David Patrick Kelly as Luther
                   Deborah Van Valkenburgh as Mercy
                   Roger Hill as Cyrus
Tagline: These are the Armies of the Night

By Gurn Blanston (with guest appearance by Scott from He-Shot-Cyrus, naturally!)

Pre-screening memories: For this particular podcast, we’ve amassed our own group of social deviants. Gurn Blanston, who remembers wanting desperately to be part of a gang in his youth (unfortunately, the math club just didn’t have the ‘edge’ he so longed for).

So he sought solace with Walter Hill’s cinematic ruffians, imagining himself wearing makeup and wielding a baseball bat — at least this would give him a reason to wear makeup socially. It was a film that afforded him the chance to live dangerously (if only vicariously through the lives of those cool cats on screen).

No Warriors podcast would be complete without our resident Warriors guru, Scott from He Shot Cyrus, to keep us on task. As a lifelong lover of all things Warriors related, Scott brought his cache of knowledge to the proceedings.

We were fortunate to be joined by an original cast member, Mr. Irwin Keyes, who played the cop who smacked the stuffing out of Ajax.

Together, we took a return trip to the mean streets of New York City and recalled not only Gurn’s and Scott’s memories of the film, but also of Irwin’s tales from being on the set where it all went down.

Can…you…dig…it?

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irwinOur featured guest: Irwin KeyesIrwin plays the small but pivotal role of Bad Cop, who gets to smack some sense into Ajax after he gets a bit grabby. Irwin has carved quite a memorable niche for himself in film since ‘The Warriors,’ one of his earliest big-screen roles. Irwin is most remembered in TV pop culture for his reoccurring role in The Jeffersons, in which he uttered the phrase “Hi! Remember me?”

He has since balanced his career in both television, film and stage, with roles of shows such as Married with Children, Laverne and Shirley, Growing Pains and Thirtysomething.

Irwin has worked with filmmakers such as the Coen Brothers and Rob Zombie. His comical role as Weezy Joe in the formers’ film Intolerable Cruelty has been noted as one of the big screen’s best death scenes.

Most recently, Irwin starred in Wrestlemaniac, a film of which he is quite fond. You may also want to check out Irwin’s non-speaking lead performance in this video from Prozak, called “Good Enough.”

Come out and play-y-yay with Rob, Gurn, Scott and Irwin right here, or listen to the player below:

Episode XL: ‘Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man’ (with actor Jordan Lund)

harley_davidson_and_the_marlboro_man

Title: Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man (1991)
Rated: R
Directed by: Simon Wincer
Written by: Don Michael Paul
Starring: Mickey Rourke as Harley Davidson
                   Don Johnson as The Marlboro Man
                   Daniel Baldwin as Alexander
                   Vanessa Williams as Lulu Daniels
                  Tom Sizemore as Chance Wilder
                   Jordan Lund as ‘The Stagecoach Driver’
Tagline: “When the going gets tough…the tough take the law into their own hands”

By Rob R.

Pre-screening memories: The ’50s had their Brando and Dean, the ’60s had their McQueen, the ’70s had Burt Reynolds, Clint Eastwood, and, to a lesser extent, Chuck Norris (sorry, Norris nerds).

But once the ’80s bounced in, things changed. It was tough for a young lad on the scrawny side to envision himself as any particular big-screen action star. All of the big box-office heroes inflated to such bulbous sizes, there were no legal ways to replicate their physique. And besides, I really did not want the veins in my forearms to resemble garden hoses under my skin.

Schwarzenegger, Stallone, Van Damme, Bosworth. These monsters of muscle paraded across the big screen like Macy’s Day floats. And for a kid who could barely hold a tether, it was all rather disheartening. It’s not to say that I did not enjoy these films, it’s just that I could never envision that my scrawny sack of skin could ever inflate to their levels of heroics.  (Sure, I had Dr. Jones and his archaeological adventures, but there were only three films of his released over the entire decade!)

These guys were loud and proud. All seething sinew and bulging biceps. Where were the svelte rebels? Where was the smoky mystique and normal physique of James Dean? The ornery playfulness of Reynolds? The normal human build of McQueen?

There was an actor emerging in this decade who seemed to rumble in like my cinematic savior. I first caught Mickey Rourke on HBO during a broadcast of Rumble Fish as the tortured Motorcycle Boy. He had but a few whispered lines, but each one mattered: “Blind terror in a fight can easily pass for courage.”

Yes, I thought. That’s me! I’m blinded by terror in fights! If he threw in a line about wetting one’s shorts, it would have fit to a ‘T.’

I loyally followed Rourke as the years progressed, though most of his films I had to sneak in late-night viewings of, like 9 ½ Weeks and Angel Heart. This was the guy responsible for the on-screen deflowering of the eldest Cosby kid! I’m sorry, but you do not get much cooler for a child of the era.

I can honestly say that I learned about international relations and poetry through his next films, Barfly, based on the life of street poet Charles Bukowski and his IRA assassin in A Prayer for the Dying. My devotion remained as his box-office dropped: the criminally underrated Homeboy (which he co-wrote, and featuring a killer Eric Clapton soundtrack), Walter Hill’s lovably grimy Johnny Handsome, the minor-but effective Desperate Hours, the sun-drenched sexcapades of  Wild Orchid (OK, perhaps even I cannot defend that one, but it still convinced me to buy the sexy soundtrack in the hopes that merely playing the CD for girls might get me laid. It didn’t.).

But for many, Rourke’s big-screen kiss-off was his role in Harley Davidson and Marlboro Man, which teamed him with Sonny Crockett.. er, Don Johnson in this wildly erratic mash-up of science-fiction, western, buddy flicks and motorcycle genres.

And for all the TNT Roadhouse devotees, you can have your Zen-spouting mullet master, give me Rourke and Johnson zipping down a desert highway on a hog and roughing up a gaggle of clichés dressed as bar patrons any day. I would call this a guilty pleasure, but I don’t even feel that guilty about my love for this film.

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jordanlund_beard_small1Our featured guest: Jordan Lund: Star of stage and screens both big and small, Mr. Lund had one of the film’s most memorable lines (you’ll have to listen to the podcast to hear what that was!). Roles include such projects as Lonesome Dove, Doc Hollywood, The American President, Law and Order, Firefly, ER, and The Bucket List, among many, many others. We were very fortunate to snag Mr. Lund to join us for this episode and please visit his site, as well as go check him out on stage in California in Circus Theatricals’ presentation of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, February 21 through April 26 at the Odyssey Theater in Los Angeles. (You can get tickets here.)

Mr. Lund has many a story to share about the filming of Harley Davidson, as well as reflections of some of his other memorable screen roles. Thanks, Mr. Lund, for your time and tales. We welcome you back any time you wish to join us!

You can hear us all hit the open road right here, or shift down a little on the throttle and listen to the podcast below.

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