Thursday, November 15, 2012

Let the Midnight Show Shine the Light on Me Featuring Newt Wallen as Larry Cohen

The first time I had heard of Midnight Show, I was following post for Crystal Plumage Films showing of Demons and Bronx Warriors at the Forum Theater in Metuchen. Midnight Show would be showing before the big double feature. Having not been to one of Crystal Plumage screenings previously I was pleasantly surprised by the turn out, the promo merch at the front table including some very sexy prints for Deadly Spawn and oh and just some nice guys at the front waiting to introduce us to 35mm of Hell. When Newt Wallen stood up in front of the rabble of film nazis and introduced a preview of what will soon become Midnight Show (once it had been fleshed out), I pretty much expected a student film. I did not know Newt which is to say, I did not know ANYTHING. A few minutes later I was belly laughing. I mean truly in hysterics, and it wasn't only me.The crowd got Wallen. The crowd got Midnight Show. What else can a guy do when faced with Crab Monsters from Terror Beach, Attack of the Robot Nazi, Planet Mirrorball or, my personal favorite, Her Time of the Month. I was hooked. I am hooked. I am aware now. I know of the genius of Newt Wallen's vision and his crew's vision and tenacity. That unexpected short snipit of what will and has become Midnight Show was actually more powerful to me than watching two pieces of 35mm gold I had planned on seeing. I even had the chance to watch the crew shoot some documentary footage in front of the theater that will hopefully go into a making of special someday. Wonder if I made the cut. I'd be honored to be on the floor as long as I'm in 16mm or 35mm.

Poster for Her Time of the Month

Now you wanna see it right?... Okay now check out the teaser trailer...

How about now? You haven't even seen anything yet and you're loving it, right?

So now that I'm done properly humping this project like a dog on Viagra, let's get juiced on some of the finer notes. Just what is Midnight Show? How did it come to fruition and who the fuck is Newt Wallen? All your questions will be answered; most likely with even more questions. Ladies and germs, let's talk to the man behind the Show and, run down a what's what of trailers that inspired Midnight Show and Newt Wallen.

TERROR: What are the movies that inspired you to make this movie and to use this particular format?

WALLEN: I wanted to set midnight show in the vibe of films like When Nature Calls, Amazon Woman on the Moon and Kentucky Fried Movie. Hilarious skit based films. But they each came about during the rise of cable TV and VHS, so I saw the satire in them. I thought that would play well into Midnight Show which is about our love for theater experience and 35mm film which are both more or less dead.

TERROR: Will the final product of Midnight Show be more of an amalgamation of trailers or will they be short films? Both?

WALLEN: It's trailers. It's animated ads. It's weird drive in pieces. It's odd reels that transition us in and out of the theater... It's just a grab bag of trash cinema goodness

TERROR: Who are the filmmakers and what are the films that comprise Midnight Show? Has Midnight Show become an international effort or is it simply nationwide?

WALLEN: (some of the contributors are) Steve Carino, Joe Kramer, Thomas Berdinski, Steve Grainger, Chris Spotto, Mars Homeworld, Mike Tanner Flynn, Shawn Caple, Adam Murray, Steve Gregson, Mark Mackner, Ben Neate and Michael Barankovich, David Maddison, Chris Witt.

TERROR: What has your experience been working with B and cult movie greats Lloyd Kaufman, Ron Jeremy, Lemmy and Gilbert Gottfried? Did you have much contact with them given the group dynamic involved with producing Midnight Show? 

WALLEN: I had met Lloyd and Ron and the bulk of the other cameos we have in passing over the years from working on indie projects. They would not know me from the next guy, BUT I am lucky enough to have friends who are talented filmmakers and believed in me and Midnight Show enough to call in favors and we were able to add some fun names to the mix.

TERROR: How close to completion is Midnight Show? When can we expect to see the whole shebang? 

WALLEN: I am aiming for the end of December, so it will be 1 full year from when we started. This production started in South Jersey and moved straight across the country, and I even have an animator in it was a lot to wrangle. I am excited to see its final form and fairly impressed with myself for not loosing my damn mind in the process.

TERROR: Do you have a particular favorite film? One that is closer to your heart than the others.

WALLEN: I see everything. I have always just loved sucking up as much film as I could, and I ran theaters for 10 years, so I got a greater appreciation while working behind the scenes. But if i had to pick one flick ,and it's maybe cause it always inspires me, it is ED WOOD. As a little kid something about seeing PLAN 9 on afternoon TV stuck in my mind. And learning about the real guy it just reminds me a lot of myself. Not very talented, but able to get people excited about silly projects and follow me on these wacky adventures.

TERROR: I was at the Demons/Bronx Warriors screening earlier this year. The crowd reaction is incredible. I would go as far to say that I enjoyed what I saw of Midnight Show as much as the feature presentations. Has audience response been overwhelmingly positive?

WALLEN: We did a few dates in PA and NY and Washington state [Note: at Grindhouse Theater... Justin Giallo and company doing 35mm like it's a one legged stripper] and always before some sorta double feature or cult show. So it's the right type of viewers. I knew if the cult crowd liked it then I was on the right track.

Note from Dr. T: Newt, Like? WE FUCKIN' LOVE IT, BRO!

TERROR: How can a theater or screening group get in contact with you to set up a Midnight Show screening?

WALLEN: The Midnight Show Facebook is where they can get a hold of me and find out what's going on with the flick as we move into the next stage

TERROR: The best exploitation cinema thrives off the sequels. Any plans for a sequel? Is there a working title? What’s next for you and anything new a foot with the web series?

WALLEN: We had a lot of hilarious fake trailers and such we could not do because time and money. So I would love to do a Midnight Show 2....reel 2 or held over or what ever we can call it. Anthology films are sorta the rage right now with V/H/S and Chillerama and ABC's of Death, so I would love to get in on that.

What's next for me hmmm. I always have a bunch of stuff going at once. My web series releases every Friday  I had a comic book one shot on the way from Ape Entertainment in the Dream Reavers graphic novel called EMO BOY. I'm working on a Jersey Devil book with DC Comics Hawkman writer, Mark Poulton, and at some point I'm gonna get back to me Scott Pilgrim meets Grindhouse comic called NERDS GIRLS GUNS AND GHOULS...and I'm sure I have a few other film or podcast things I'm forgetting.

We thank Mr. Wallen for sitting down and letting us pick his brain for a bit. Prolific as always, moving and shaking and making things that the cool kids are gonna love.

In addition to the aforementioned notables, the trailers that stuck out to me, there are quite a few other gems. More than we'll even list here and I'm truly do not want to spoil the fun more than showing a few clips posted on YouTube by the bunch.

Titles include (but are not limited to):

Vacant Guillotine Blues
Rug Muncher
Stump Grinder
The Hillbillies Have Eyes

As an Italian horror jizz bag, nut job, House with a Morgue (I didn't even realize this was part of the project recently, got excited to see it and then go absolutely juiced that it was going to be a part of Midnight Show) is probably the project I need to spend some serious tissue and lube time with. The name tickles me and this VHS box pretty much got my goat.

and MORE MORE MORE... more

As promised here's a list of ten films that inspired Midnight Show and the trailers included within. Must watch movies I can assure you. Enjoy the trailers:

Movies that inspired the entire production:

Amazon Women on the Moon

When Nature Calls

Kentucky Fried Movie

Inspiration for the trailers in Midnight Show:

1. Xanadu 

2. Thriller: A Cruel Picture aka They Call Her One Eye

3. Scream Blacula, Scream


4. Pink Flamingos

5. They Saved Hitler's Brain

6. El Topo

7. Crippled Masters

8. It Came Without Warning

9.Horror of Party Beach 

10. Faster Pussycat Kill Kill

Also, before we go,the poster art, strewn about this article, is intense and created with love from a cavalcade of top notch artists. Make sure to appreciate them all and stop by the Midnight Show FaceBook page to like them, and love them and be at one with the Show.

Oh, oh, oh...  stop by the individual film sites and give them and like, follow their progress and make a fan boy mess of yourself on their wall.

Attack of the Robot Nazi
House with a Morgue
Crab Monster from Terror Beach
The Hillbillies Have Eyes

- Dr. TERROR ... Let the Midnight Show, Shine the Light on Me

Also enjoy this Behind the CLAW Footage from Crab Monster from Terror Beach. Laugh now!

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