Monday, June 29, 2015

"Deadite Joe™ : Interview"

{The following interview was an unused article from the now defunct fanzine 'Genre Film E-zine'.}

{It was scheduled to appear in the 'Personality' Section of the online version of issue 138.}

{The date of the interview, conducted via phone, was 11-04-2014}

Marcus: "Thank you for you time, uh...what should I call you? Deadite Joe, Deadite or Joe?"

Joe: "Heh heh! Joe is fine! You're welcome. It's not like I'm busy or anything."

M: "(chuckling) Is this a bad time?"

J: "No, no...I'm being sarcastic."

M: "I've heard about your sarcasm - it almost legendary! (Laughs)"

J: "Really? I'm just being me. It's not an act although it has become part of the (Deadite Joe) persona now."

M: "The name, Deadite Joe, most horror fans recognize it as a homage to the 'Evil Dead' film franchise. Tell me a little bit about it."

J: "That's right. I'm a fan of the 'Evil Dead', so it was a no-brainer for me! Plus, the name was available on most social media sites!"

M: "I'm sure that helped with continuity & creating a base as well."

J: "Oh yeah, definitely. That's something I kind of fell into. I'm no expert in online marketing or crap like that. I just wanted to write about the things I like."

M: "How did you get into fandom?"

J: "Growing up in the 70's & 80's was the biggest thing. At 5, I was already a fan of Star Trek, Space:1999, Lost in Space, Time Tunnel, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Land of the Giants, Battlestar Galactica...all the original stuff. My sister snuck me into the local theater to see my first horror film at age 9 - " Phantasm ". I sat through the entire film peeking through my fingers! That experience, even though it scared the crap outta me, also sparked an interest in the horror genre."

M: "That's a cornerstone horror film. To have seen it in its original theatrical as well. Any others?"

J: "Oh man, I saw Basket Case, Evil Dead 2, Friday the 13th, The Thing, Nightmare on Elm Street - all of the cult classics at the theater when they came out. I had no idea until years later that I was part of a relatively small number of people to have seen these on the big screen. Especially, Evil Dead 2 & Basket Case. "

M: "Wow! I'm 24 - I've had to see those genre films on DVD. I would have loved to see them as originally intended."

J: "DVD? Shit, I remember having to rent VHS to check out horror films! Before VHS came out, we had Fangoria magazines to keep us up to date. That is, if you could find them! Fangoria was real controversial when they first came out...well, here in rural Georgia anyway. Too violent, they said. Hell, it was about special effects to my young mind back then."

M: "Fangoria was & still is the horror periodical. It was the inspiration for us to start this E-zine."

J: "Agreed. It was an integral part of my youth & my interest in horror. I still have stacks of them! I even have some of the original run prints of Gore Zone Magazine they put out for a while."

M: "What are some of your favorite horror films?"

J: "Well...Re-Animator, Evil Dead 2, The Thing, Romero's films...OK, you talking 80's or...?"

M: "Not necessarily, just favorites in general."

J: "Alright, uh, man - uh, Bubba Ho-Tep, The Dead Hate The Living, Army of Darkness, Zombie, The Beyond, Deadly Spawn, Event Horizon, World War Z, I am Legend, Dead Snow...there's really too many to rattle off, man."

M: "Is there an underrated genre film that you like that you believe deserves better?"

J: "Sure. I think the Ford brothers two Zombie flicks are damn good. The Dead & The Dead 2:India are really good films. Then there's I Sell The Dead - which is well done & funny. Sinister was good too. The Devils Backbone...Let Me In...Monsters...Hellboy..."

M: "Are there any that you feel don't deserve popular genre status?"

J: "You're trying to get my ass in trouble with that one! (Laughs) But...yeah, there's a few that I think suck that seem to keep getting play, man."

M: "What would be an example of that?"

J: "1408 sucked, OK? Warm Bodies sucked. Paranormal Activity franchise, the Saw franchise, Insidious - way overrated. There's just as many big budget horror films that suck as there are big budget good ones."

M: "Paranormal Activity? That series has been a pretty consistently well received staple in the horror fandom."

J: "Look, found footage films are intriguing when they're done right. Look at the Rec series, those were done well, but Paranormal Activity just didn't break any ground with me. Just a bunch of frickin' jump scares for the teeny bopper crowd, that's all."

M: "What would be an example of a good found footage film - in your opinion?"

J: "Cannibal Holocaust is the big one. Gotta have a steel stomach to make it through that one though. Recent ones? Chernobyl Diaries was great, Rec was incredible. The Last Exorcism."

M: "OK, if you had to choose one, what's the worst horror film you've ever seen?"

J: "Every film ever directed by Uwe Boll. Really. I'm frickin' serious. How in the hell does he keep getting the money to make this shit? Ever seen his 'Zombie Nation'?"

M: "(chuckles) Yes, I have."

J: " Then you know that it's an incoherent mess. The title is a cash grab, man, come on - there's three zombies in it! That's a nation? Jeez, and he's an asshole of a guy, too. You need to go interview him! Ask him why isn't he mopping the floors at an Arbys 'cause he sure as hell can't make a damn movie."

M: "(laughing) Looks like I hit the jackpot with my last question!"

J: "I guess you did! That's one guy I can't seem to like. His films are shit, so you'd figure he'd have a little humility, but hell no! He has the audacity to blame the fans! He cusses them out!"

M: "He's definitely caused a stir & his movies have been universally panned."

J: "Panned? That's the word you're gonna go with in describing Uwe Boll's movies? (Laughs) Shit..."

M: "Let's, uh, let's move on to something else. What's a movie that you'd like to see made?"

J: "Great question. Hands down: Guillermo Del Toros version of H.P. Lovecraft's 'At the Mountains of Madness'! That's the one."

M: "You're a fan of Lovecraft, I understand."

J: "Absolutely! I think he was one of the greatest weird fiction writers in history. His style, his creations, it's something on a whole different scale."

M: "How did you become familiar with Lovecraft's work?"

J: "As a kid I saw an episode of Rod Serlings 'Night Gallery' called 'Pickman's Model', which was a Lovecraft story. It was a cool story. The next trip to the library I checked out all they had by Lovecraft. What cemented it was in 1985 when Stuart Gordon's 'Re-Animator' came out. Blew me away! That also introduced me to Gordon's work & I've been a fan of his ever since then too."

M: "Many consider 'Re-Animator' as the catalyst in the resurgence of interest in Lovecraft's work."

J: "I agree with that wholeheartedly! I think that film is one of the best adaptations of Lovecraft's work, with the exception of 'The Call of Cthulhu' movie by the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society."

M: "Who is your favorite director?"

J: "I really like Sam Raimi, but I love George Romero as well! Again, Stuart Gordon deserves a top slot."

M: "Let's talk zombies..."

J: "Hell yeah!"

M: "How & when did you become a fan of zombies?"

J: "Way back! Long before it became mainstream, man. I remember watching 'Night of the Living Dead' on late night TV in the 70's. That's when I was hooked. After that, when VHS rentals came out - I watched the Italian stuff, Fulci, Argento...between VHS & the movie theaters, I got my fill!"

M: "You have a favorite?"

J: "Romero's 'Day of the Dead' is right up there at the top."

M: "In your opinion, what's the greatest Zombie film ever made?"

J: "That's easy - it hasn't been made yet."

M: "(chuckling) What do you mean?"

J: "I think there's, you know, I think the greatest Zombie film has yet to be conceived. By saying this film or that film is the greatest, that says that nothing better can come after it. I say that the greatest has yet to come."

M: "Oh, OK, I understand. What are your thoughts on 'The Walking Dead'?"

J: "I like the comics and the show. I think the TV series is very good, but it doesn't add to the genre really. I've got a love/hate relationship with it."

M: "Can you elaborate a little on that?"

J: "Well, like I said, it's a good show but I don't think it's as good as a lot of its fans think it is. (Robert) Kirkman said in an interview once that he wanted to make a Romero movie that never ends. The zombies are Romero-type zombies. The stories are a soap opera. It's that simple. The show is a soap opera with zombies...there's no allegorical meanings or deeply written messages in the stories. It's comas, being shot, cheating wives, pregnancy, young lovers, good men losing their way, bad guys with eye patches...its a soap opera. Has it added to the Zombie genre? No. It hasn't added anything new to the Mythos itself."

M: "It does have a massive following...large number of fans."

J: "So does Kim Jong Un. That doesn't mean he's great."


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