This is the first time I put someone in our Hall of Fame not for just their accomplishments, but for what they bring to the interview process. Keith Crocker each time I interview him, I seem to generate the most mail from what comes out of these interviews. I will not comment if the mail is positive or negative, when you read this interview you will know. Keith Crocker is one of the very few people I ever interviewed that I feel never holds back and tries to challenge the system. Whereas most others I have interviewed always hold back in fear of losing an opportunity or pissing someone off, Keith not only speaks but even I am not safe from his wrath. This being my absolute last interview ever, I figured I wanted to do it with my friend, someone who helped me get my foot in the door with a lot of people. The sad thing is, that person was not available so I had to do it with shitbag Keith instead. To put Keith in the Hall of Fame is an honor and this interview I figured is the way I wanted to go out. All things have to end, I hope everyone enjoys this. I have always put up a disclaimer to Keith’s stuff, but this time I will say if you are easily offended, you may want to not go any further.
1. Keith, as you know it is always an honor to do this once a year with you. What was the first film or television show to inspire you to pursue film?
A) Iâ€™m sure you get this answer quite a bit, but honestly it was a double feature of Freaks and Night of the Living Dead shown at an art cinema in 1978 that started the fire in me. I was 13 years old when I had seen those two films. Bear in mind this was way before the accessibility of videotape or cablevision. In fact I started shooting my first Super 8mm film in â€™79. As far as TV goes, it was certainly Chiller Theater that started my love of horror films, and I was watching that with the whole family back in the early 70â€™s. Big family, six kids, I guess my mom and dad didnâ€™t care much for TV prior to all those kiddies coming onto the scene. Any more lame questionsâ€¦
2. People know your name from directing; I have to ask are you currently working on any new films? Acting in any films?
A) James, it never stopsâ€¦not the films, but your ridicules questions. You bet my friend, since Blitzkrieg wrapped four score and several years ago, Iâ€™ve been attempting to accumulate financing for one of two motion pictures Iâ€™ve been nurturing for many, many years. These two films are Rasputin on Campus and Three Slices of Delirium. The problem with both films is this; they are both period pieces. Rasputin on Campus opens in Russia of 1916 and closes in New England circa 1950â€™s. We are talking mega bucks top pull this off. And it doesnâ€™t get any better for Three Slices. Bulk of that film takes place in the 1840â€™s, and one story (because it is an anthology) takes place in Russia during the 1400â€™s. Champagne dreams and penny pockets. This year Iâ€™m going to make some very serious attempts to raise the money for one or both, but we are talking a starting amount of at least $100,000 for one a piece. The problem is this James; Blitzkrieg was so damn ambitious that I boxed myself into a corner. I need to be able to top Blitzkrieg; my next film canâ€™t be a step down. If you notice, no one has attempted to rip off Blitzkrieg. Its way to big an undertaking and the current groups of indie filmmakers (if we can call them that) are way to lazy to really try doing a period piece. Iâ€™ve said this before, many times, I have no competition (only in the fact that no indie wants to try tackling period pieces these days, itâ€™s way too grueling a task for anyone working with no or low budget). But I do have expectations that must be met. Iâ€™ve been too many years away from a feature film and must return or risk not getting off my ass again. If these two films I mentioned are way to large to tackle this year, I will shelve them until the money is met. In the meantime, Iâ€™ll try to consider an alternative project that will look good, be a feather in my cap and a springboard to bigger and better. I also am lending myself out as a director for hire for any aspiring producer who is looking for an experienced director to bring their project to life. In fact, this past year I had been hired by an assclown to direct a film on a serial killer. Not my type of project, but I accepted the offer. However, I had to pull myself off the project because the producer turned out to be a hophead. He needed to be in a rehab, not trying to make a film. And after I left, others came and went as well. This business attracts rip-roaring assholes. Iâ€™m no saint but I damn well know what Iâ€™m doing.
3. It seems like every time I interview you, there seems to be some people who get sort of upset over some of your comments. (Probably this time as well, knowing you). Do you regret anything you say? I mean is this really you, or part of some persona?
A) James, I am a misanthrope (look it up). And while I do have a sense of humor, I also tend to despise what goes on in this world. Everything is so corrupt and insane, most of the people go mad just trying to adjust. So the day you have to worry about me is the day I say to you that; â€œI love reality TVâ€. â€œI love the latest film from Harvey Wiensteinâ€. â€œI miss James DePaoloâ€™s writingâ€. When those claims come out of my mouth, abandon all hope. If people are getting bent at what I am saying, tough shit, Iâ€™m not saying it to piss people off; in most cases Iâ€™m simply telling the truth. I donâ€™t play games, I donâ€™t believe in politics. This doesnâ€™t mean that Iâ€™m indiscreet or donâ€™t have any decorum, I do but I also donâ€™t want to white wash things. Free speech, when handled well, is the ultimate protest. And itâ€™s a great right I love to indulge. But I never do that for attention, I only let it swing when Iâ€™m asked. Most protest these days is for attention. It has nothing to do with issues. It has to do with â€œlook at me! My mom and dad were hippies, and Iâ€™m one tooâ€â€¦pure bullshit!
4. If I make a film on my IPhone am I a director? Should I be respected? Also, if people do not like my 11-dollar film (plus battery life) should I feel angry?
A) James, somewhere in this world, there actually is a brilliant young man or woman who is going to make a great movie on an IPhone. They are going to be pure of mind and soul, and not fans of conventional cinema. They are going to create a whole new way for making product and zip us into the 21st century. The jokers that are shooting on IPhones, and other such video cameras, and making attempts at imitating Hollywood product, are the fools making the biggest mistakes. Indie film means you must recreate the medium, start something new, and not imitate the past. You have to do something unlike Hollywood would do it. But I notice that these â€œcomputerâ€ nerds who fancy themselves storytellers are actually trying to compete with Hollywood product. This is insane; youâ€™re never going to be able to outdo Union talents that are masters at their craft. But you can undo Hollywood by writing something good; you need to look for their Achilles heal, whatâ€™s their weakness? Well, writing for one, most Hollywood films are written miserably. First and foremost, write a good film. James, respect is earned, it should never be given without the receiver earning it. For instance, I never give you respect because you havenâ€™t earned it. Nothing has changed, you keep being James. Also, no one should ever step out and say, â€œIâ€™m making a cult filmâ€. How dare you, cult status is achieved by accident, it canâ€™t be built in. Also, any idiot who goes about trying to make a purposely-bad film should be buried alive in dog shit. I mean it. Why would anyone want to make â€œa bad filmâ€. You should give the utmost care to whatever it is you are doing. Good intentions do show through. James, the sad thing is that we donâ€™t have an underground anymore; we have a lot of â€œwannabesâ€. They all wannabe Quinton Tarrintino. They all wannabe Johnny Depp. They all wannabe Lloyd Kaufmanâ€¦wannabes!
5. How do you feel about people who will do anything to get noticed? Basically someone who has to tell people they are in movies, you know they use actor or actress in front of their name.
A) I take it youâ€™re talking about attention whores, correct? Like the â€œWomen in Horrorâ€ bullshit. Chicks taking pictures of themselves with theyâ€™re boobs hanging out, talking dirty, and telling everyone how they love porno and horror. You mean those assholes? Or do you mean the jerk offs who claim they are shooting a movie, or editing a movie, yet spend the whole day on Facebook posting idiotic time wasting nonsense. Or posting pictures of themselves wearing a bandana and drinking coffee, chatting it up with the pretty actresses on the set, you mean those assholes? Attention whores are a dime a dozen, they are so readily around that to not notice them is an impossibility. Giving them the attention they seek is the real crime, ignore them and theyâ€™ll go away. You want to know what really drives me berserk? Insecure men and woman who constantly post their pictures on Facebook looking for compliments. Fuck you, why the fuck do I have spend any time telling someone who isnâ€™t sucking my cock how attractive they are! My wife doesnâ€™t even pull that shit. I could give a flip flying fart if anyone likes my chrome dome or not. Screw you, itâ€™s me warts and all. Thatâ€™s why I like you James, you post that picture of yourself with that Minnie the Moocher mug and your Anne Ramsey hair, and thatâ€™s that! Fuck â€˜em all! You know what Iâ€™m going to do James; Iâ€™m going to start posting pictures of my cock and balls. I want some chick to say; â€œNice sack Keithâ€ â€œwow, thatâ€™s some garden hoseâ€. And the good news James is that my Italian side has won when it comes to endowment, if my Irish side had won Iâ€™d have had to retire the little lad.
6. Are you a fan of the Kickstarter campaign? Do you think it is fair that people have to help someone make a film when half of these campaigns are fake, and the films are finished and they just want the money so they can get paid vacations to tour the film on the fans dime?
A) James, we are talking about two different things here. The concept behind Kickstarter and Indie-A-Go Go is a good one, it gives folks interested in investing in the arts a chance to do so, and there is nothing wrong with that. They invest based on their own choice; no one is forcing them to do it. Now, are there jerk offs out there who are taking advantage of Kickstarter and other such funding programs and using the money for their own means? You better believe it. These are the early days for funding sites; itâ€™s like the Wild West. You better believe that the scam artists are alive and well and are going to milk those venues for all they can get. I heard about some chick mooching money under the pretense of making a film but in all actuality the movie was already done and she wanted to tour with it, thatâ€™s what she needed the money for. Thatâ€™s 100% wrong, she misrepresented the issue. I saw one so called â€œScream Queenâ€ running a campaign to get money so she could fly to a premier of a flick she was in and hang with other â€œScream Queenâ€ buddies. Youâ€™d have to be a moron to give this woman money. Why donâ€™t these Scream Queens simply become porno queens? You get paid well to be a female in porn, and then you donâ€™t have to ask your fans for money. I have a big gas bill coming up this winter, should I run a campaign and get my fans to pay my bills for me? The concept is inane. As much as I hate to say this, these scheming assholes are going to force more supervision and intervention regarding these funding sites. And thatâ€™s a shame. Now, I did try a Kickstarter campaign for Rasputin on Campus, and a few weeks into the campaign I was pulled off. Some asshat complained that my trailer was not compliant with Kickstarter policies (regarding nudity, I guess). This complaint ended up in the hands of some chick that agreed that my trailer was â€œnaughtyâ€. Hence they pulled the bids. I was enraged. They told me to change the trailer. My wife and I were in the middle of moving into a new home, something we were doing under tremendous duress. The last thing I had time for was to â€œchange the trailerâ€. Fuck them. Iâ€™m putting the campaign for Rasputin on Campus up on Indie-A-Go Go this spring, lets see what happens then.
7. People may also know you from Cinefear. You want to tell people what you got going on with that right now? A movie line news leak maybe?
A) James, Iâ€™m super proud of Cinefear Video. Itâ€™s a serious collectors DVD/VHS database of rare, alternate or unreleased films. Iâ€™ve been running Cinefear since 1990. Back then we advertised in all the major and minor zines. Since 1999 Iâ€™ve had it on the Internet. Iâ€™m sure I donâ€™t have to tell you that the free download sites are doing us some serious damage these days but, there are folks out there who still like to hold a DVD or VHS in their hands. These people are still very loyal customers. We get by, but by the skin of our teeth. Yes, this year I intend to start a factory professionally produced DVDâ€™s line of some rare Spaghetti Westerns I have on 16mm, the titles of which I wont divulge at this moment but I can assure you they not available on any format here in the good old U.S. of A. Iâ€™m also going to be releasing a rare title (horror, this time, but I still wont divulge the title yet) in a slipcover VHS box and tape. So far, none of the bozos putting out VHS during this revival have done slipcovers (they are very difficult and time consuming to construct). So we are hoping to break the boundaries of being just a collectorâ€™s only site. Plus it may prove to be just what Cinefear needs to stay alive in these tough times. As you know, I once did a fanzine called The Exploitation Journal. We produced 25 issues between the years of 1987 and 2005. I now have a Cinefear blog and we are reproducing the full, out of print issues for customers to read FREE of charge. Sorta my way of giving back to all the lovely people who used to subscribe to zine back in the days. We are also using the blog to do reviews of Cinefear product, reviewed in an unbiased fashion by author Allen Kupfer (The Journal of Professor Abraham Van Helsing, A Meal To Die For), and former music zine editor Michelle Alexander (who helms from Australia). We are also reviewing DVDâ€™s of films not sold by us, but are out on the market being sold by other distributors. How do you like them apples?
8. This is a new one for you Keith. This is word and name associationâ€¦I am going to give you some names and words, and you just say whatever you wantâ€¦
a. Brandon Slagle.
A) Who? Whoâ€™s he?
(Let me help you out. Slagle is a up and coming director on the scene. Well actually he has been up and coming for 15 years. He has more films under his belt than fans of the films. He did work on Sesame Street at one time.)
b. Brain Damage Films
A) They deal in lots of indie product. Most of it is crap, but thank God they are out there giving filmmakers a chance.
(I want to say something so bad. I am not Scarlet Fry, I am not going to rant. Let’s assume that you reap what you sow in this lifetime. They should be worried)
c. Wild Eye Releasing
A) Whatâ€™s not to say? A true outlet for indie filmmakers, and they donâ€™t just release horror product. They have documentaries, comedies, classic vintage flicks and of course my films. Great company, treats itâ€™s clients very well, honest, and caring. Itâ€™s the privilege of any indie filmmaker to be part of Wild Eyeâ€™s catalog.
d. Paula Deen
A) I have no problem with Paula Deen. She was being used as a smoke screen by the media to cover up terrible things going on that deserve our attention. Iâ€™m glad she beat off the accusations, and Iâ€™m happy sheâ€™s still stuffing her fat ass.
e. Indie films in 2014
A) Indie films in 2014 will hopefully be better than indi films in 2013. We need to stop imitating trends. No more Zombie films, please. Stop it, theyâ€™ve taken the guts out of the genre. I, the man who worships Night of the Living Dead, would never watch a modern zombie film now; Iâ€™d rather watch Paula Deen fill her fat ass up. Stop making slasher films, please! That genre died 30 plus years ago. Stop doing horror comedies, they arenâ€™t funny. In fact, comedy is as difficult a genre to do correctly as horror is. Stop it. Work on documentaries. Try your hand at a human drama. Do anything but stop inbreeding genre cinema. The glory days are over. Itâ€™s time to start being original. And stop trying to compete with Hollywood; they have the big guns and toys, invent your own road.
9. Do you think that everyone in America should be able to speak English?
A) The first person who needs to learn English is you James. When the day arrives that I donâ€™t have to grammatically correct your questions Iâ€™ll know we have made headway. Yes, by all means people coming to America from foreign countries MUST learn English. We are an English speaking country; hence the English language must be their first priority. There is nothing racist about my statement, its common sense.
10. I know you have in the last four years been very outspoken on bloggers. In the last few years I have noticed that the bloggers have gotten lazy and they decided that typing was too much work and do audio and video reviews. Have you ever listened to any or watched? Do you view them as valid critics?
A) Those audio and video reviews are so bad that they actually make your blogs look good James. Those video blogs are awful; they are usually done by the biggest social retards, folks who have no screen personality what so ever. My eyes gloss over watching those. To this day I have yet to see a good one. Perhaps if those video reviewers committed suicide on camera after reviewing a film than maybe it would be worth watching, but otherwise these lame ass individuals have grown tired real quick. Its flash in the pan type stuff. One guy does it, gets a small following and soon 100 people are doing it. Soon, so many are doing that you wouldnâ€™t know whom to watch. And with that comes sheer indifference, too many chefs in the kitchen spoil the soup. And no, none of them are valid critics. They are looked at as free publicity. I still question whether or not the publicity does any good.
11. Are you a fan of social media? Do you think it has made the way of life easier or lazier?
A) Social media is horrible. People are full of shit; they present situations that are completely false. Itâ€™s unrealistic presentation of life. Talk and plenty of it, but you see very little action. So why then do I have to use social media? I use it to promote new films I make, projects Iâ€™ve been involved with or, on a slow day, to joke around. I rarely if ever post anything personal and I find it amusing to watch people play their games on it. Good things have come out of social media for me. This past year I was interviewed for two books, Xerox Ferox by John Walter Szpunar, published by Headpress Media, and How To Make Movies by Kevin J.Lindenmuth, published by McFarland Press, who in their day put out some of the best books on cinema. This pretty much happened because if my availability on social media, they didnâ€™t have to waste time tracking me down. I was also interviewed for the documentary Adjust Your Tracking, which was about VHS collecting. That was also arranged over the Internet. Social media sort of tells you whoâ€™s alive and whoâ€™s dead (literally). So it has a reason to exist. The problem is that people abuse it; they use it to give meaning to their lives as opposed to using it as a supplement to living a good life.
12. I have noticed in the last year, directors are going online and showing people deals they signed and being very vocal about things that went either right or wrong. You being involved in a label or two in your time, what are your feelings?
A) Someone waving a contract on social media is clearly unprofessional, and you better believe they are very unlikely to see another contract after doing such a thing. Thatâ€™s show off nonsense, you look like an idiot doing that. If you are going to be an adult, you have to behave like one. Take responsibility. This isnâ€™t kindergarten.
13. So I review your film Keith, and I say all this negative stuff in my review about your film. Do you have the right to attack me for it? Also, how do you handle the negative you do get?
A) Iâ€™ve said this many times before James, negative press does not hurt a film, in fact the more vocal someone is about hating a film, the more likely it is that someone will feel challenged to watch it. If a director comes out fighting for their film, thatâ€™s a mistake, because it sounds like youâ€™re acknowledging the reviewers attack, which in most cases is not worth paying attention to. Let it slide and be honored that someone took the time to watch your film and give feedback. I think the only time a director can justify attacking a reviewer is if the review makes it obvious they never actually watched the film and is making material up in order to post a review on something they know nothing about. Only then should a director call foulâ€¦
14. In the past with Wild Eye and now with Cinefear, have you guys ever been approached about merging with another label or company? If so or not, is this something that you guys would contemplate?
A) My original intention was to dump Cinefear and just do Wildeye. The problem is that money in this business is not what it used to be, itâ€™s very difficult for two guys to draw a salary off of something like Wildeye, hence why Iâ€™m still doing Cinefear. The only type of merge Iâ€™d do is with production companies, Iâ€™d be glad to do limited merges with other production companies when shooting a project, but no, I have no intention of taking Cinefear any further than it should go.
15. Technology is always moving forward. I mean, when we were kids Keith, they thought by now we would be flying in cars and we feared this computer age. That being said, where do you see technology going next? I mean if you hear the president of Best Buy, physical copies are dead and everyone wants streaming and something that is easily accessible and not having to take up space on a floor or in a collection.
A) The people I serve at Cinefear want hard copies in their hands. No, there are people who want the real thing. But that is a small and specialized group. If you want the big bucks, you have to embrace these new technologies. Like it or not. I donâ€™t, hence Iâ€™m not privy to the big bucks!
16. I am going to put you on the spot. This can be in film or distribution. Who are some of the best people you have dealt with, and who were a pain in the ass to deal with or know? And anything you want to say, trust me Keith they all want to read it.
A) When I worked with Wildeye, Rob really dealt with filmmakers, so he handled the headaches that come up. My headaches occur as a filmmaker, most of the time it occurs with actors and actresses. Generally Iâ€™ve been blessed with some really decent people to work with. Have I dealt with egos, yeah, by all means? I bounced two actresses off of Blitzkrieg because one couldnâ€™t act to save her life and the other was a chronic complainer, she complained from the minute someone would pick her up to the minute she was dropped off back home. Both were written out of the script. Then I used two guys who thought they were going to be hot shit on the indi scene. Both of them thought they were James Dean and Sal Mineo. They acted odd on the set because they were part of the hipster scene. Needless to say, I wouldnâ€™t waste my time with them again, and itâ€™s not that I disliked their performance; I just didnâ€™t like their egos. Ego has no place in the arts, yet it runs rampant. But pay attention to the great people I have worked with. Tatyana Kot, Stephanie Van Vlack, Tammy Dalton and Brenda Cooney all work in plays. They are not Scream Queens, they are real actresses. They do all sorts of theater; they never pursued the indie horror scene. They never went on to embarrass me, and I in turn never embarrassed them. I weigh every project I do carefully. So do them. Iâ€™d work with them any time in a heartbeat. Totally professional actors. Same goes for dudes like Wayne Chang (who is a casting agent these days) and Charles Esser, who was the most dedicated actor any director could wish for. He was also a behind the scenes guy who helped get the film made by doing multi tasking. I was blessed on Blitzkrieg. The Bloody Ape had all my friends in it, I love those guys. George Reis (of DVD Drive-in fame), Paul Richichi, Larry Koster (of Kosterâ€™s Heat fame). The only pains in the ass in that film were the topless dancers hired to do nudity. But they werenâ€™t very educated (like you James), they didnâ€™t understand the process. Now, just about any girl is willing to drop their undies for a horror film, and most of them would be best suited keeping their cloths on. James, I promise you, Iâ€™ll never use a Scream Queen. I may accidentally create one, but Iâ€™ll never use those clowns in my film because they sell their bodies like cheap whores, that in place of actual acting talent. And believe me, the act is old and getting very tired.
17. If you had to sum up your life in one sentence what would it be?
A) My passion for film both fulfilled me personally and yet destroyed me financially. Being really into the arts can be so damaging in so many ways, I sometimes wishes the bug never bit me yet I canâ€™t imagine me any other way. I authentically love it. I will say with pride though that any income I do draw is from film related work, and Iâ€™m immersed 100%. Sometimes it pays off, other timesâ€¦
18. What advice would you give a kid who came up to you and said, â€œI want to be like you when I grow upâ€? Would you just hand him or her a chair, rope and piece of blank paper?
A) Actually, I agree with you James, the chair, the rope and blank piece of paper might fit fine, especially as it concerns you. But Iâ€™d honestly tell them to build a foundation in something more solid while dabbling in the arts.
19. Todayâ€™s crop of talent, (I know I will regret this question) any actors and actress stick out to you as names to keep an eye in the indie scene? Directors?
A) Iâ€™m trying to get my projects off the ground. Part of the reason why I left Wildeye is a conflict of interest, Iâ€™m a filmmaker yet in terms of Wildeye Iâ€™d be operating as a distributor. The two ends contradict each other; I honestly canâ€™t do these two things at once. I need to pay attention to my career yet Iâ€™m supposed to be tending to someone elseâ€™s. I will tell you something that drives me crazy James. I hate it when other filmmakers ask me for money for their projects. That makes no sense. Here I am often pouring my own money into my own films. Then some clown comes along asking, â€œCan you help me out!â€ Are they kidding? You have to reach way beyond me to get what you want. You need to hit up people who have a good income and who are not in the film business, but desire some sort of connection to it. Itâ€™s one thing if someone hits me up for advice; I have no problem with that. Or if someone asks me to help them out on set no problem. But asking me for money is inane, I need money to make my own films, maybe when Iâ€™m rich Iâ€™ll finance someone elseâ€™s film but for now we are all on our own. By the way, the last great indie film I remember seeing was I Was A Teenage Mummy, a musical horror flick set to 1950â€™s music, we reviewed it in the Exploitation Journal back in the early 90â€™s.
20. Do you think racism still exists? Or has it reversed? Explain?
A) This country has, in so many ways, just about erased racism. Racism has always been a symptom of poverty. The poor of America are fat physically, so even poverty isnâ€™t nearly as rampant as it used to be. Now, the Liberals are the biggest group of hypocrites to come along in quite some time. They hang their coats on issues such as racism and poverty. Hence, when there arenâ€™t enough real life issues to react to, they go about making things up and blowing things out of proportion. Recent cases of so called â€œHate Crimesâ€ have been reported and screamed about, only to be denounced as fakes perpetrated by the very people who reported the crimes. But the media jumped all over this without checking the facts. So the truth is that Liberals are troublemakers who start shit for the sake of justifying their existence. Has racism reversedâ€¦well yeah, the Liberals have their own list of bad guys, so they teach revisionist history and paint a whole new portrait of who is good and bad. Right now according to the revisionists white Christian males are demons, plain and simple. They canâ€™t do anything right. Itâ€™s all bullshit; you need to stay away from people who think like this, because they are the real racists.
21.What is the greatest film ever to you? Also, what is the greatest album to you?
A) Two of the greatest American horror films are Freaks by Tod Browning and Night of the Living Dead by George Romero. Both men are inconsistent filmmakers, but you only need to produce one masterpiece in life. I saw both films in the movie theater as a kid, and they pulled my brain out of my head, rearranged it and plopped it back in my skull. Mind shattering cinema. As far as British horror films go, Witchfinder General by Michael Reeves, and The Devils by Ken Russell. Italian cinema, Black Sabbath by Mario Bava, Deep Red by Dario Argentoâ€¦this could go on for weeks dick so let me move onâ€¦albums, five of my greatest: 1) Another Side of Bob Dylan by Bob Dylan – Moving away from protest, getting deeper into social satire, and heading into electric. 2) Phil Ochs A Tape From California â€“ Once again, moving from politics to the esoteric, complete and total poetry. 3) Broken Barricades by Procol Harum â€“ Here is an agonizing cry of death from a band on the verge of breakup, yet itâ€™s also the sound of birth as Harum themselves revise their sound and line-up and Robin Trower goes solo. The lyrics are disgusting and dirty, Gary Brooker sings like Satan himself and Trower goes on to prove what a brilliant guitarist he could be. Just listen to Playmate of the Mouth and then try and tell me a mack truck hasnâ€™t hit you! 4) Songs by Leonard Cohen by Leonard Cohen â€“ What a miserable self loathing prick this guy is, but never in my life have I heard such poetry and arraignment on a song. This man is brilliant. 5) Layers of the Onion by The Incredible String Band â€“ A Celtic bitchslap my friend! Like taking an acid trip without having to swallow the sugar cube, these Scottish muti instrumentalists show you just how nice life really can be once you pull yourself away from all the bullshit that surrounds you. No question that Robin Williamsonâ€™s The First Girl I Loved is perhaps one of the most beautiful songs even written to a woman. And James, take note. Not one of these albums comes from the 80â€™s, 90â€™s and beyond. In other words, music sucks bone these last three decades, just like movies do!
22.There are so many fake critics these days, plagiaristic prostitutes as well. I mean letâ€™s talk about the major names. Rex Reed admitting he faked a review or two in his day, and the Fangoria Spiderbaby deal. Do you think these people should still have jobs? Do you also feel they should give back all the money they made for it?
A) James, to be completely honest with you, I never liked critics, I still donâ€™t understand why people need to read some assholes opinion in order to determine if they are going to like a piece of artwork or not. I always thought Rex Reed was an asshole. I never like Siskel and Ebert either. The Lianna Spiderbaby debacle was a rip-roaring disgrace. So much for â€œWomen in Horrorâ€ â€¦now, before some young lady reading this hits the ceiling and says, â€œThis guy is a sexist, he doesnâ€™t want women in the sceneâ€, thatâ€™s pure bullshit. I was one of the first zine guys who had chicks writing for him. In fact I went head to head with my ex-partner Joe Parda when he wanted to put a hardcore picture in the EXJ. I felt a picture like that might shut down a potential female constituency, so I fought him tooth and nail to remove it. All my life James, women have been muses to me (look it up James!). My wife, I have no clue why, because I never was worthy of her, has been my protector and supporter of my arts for over 20 years now. And then the Internet brought me a catch of intellectual lovers that just pushed me into the light and then some. First, Patty Mahlon (neeâ€™ Breen) who designed the Cinefear website for me. She got paid in videotapes. You canâ€™t pay bills with videotapes. She went above and beyond for me with that website, it was built so well that it stands to this day. Iâ€™m forever indebted to her. Heather Drain contributed articles to the EXJ when it was in its final stages. Sheâ€™s a class A writer. Freya Erickson from the U.K. She designed and runs the Cinefear blog site. Her specialty is cooking blogs and a site dedicated to Vogue magazine. Michelle Alexander, from Australia. She reviews films for the Cinefear blog site. These women are all my friends. Not once did any of them have to flash a boob, or show a thigh to earn my respect. Their sensuality is in what they donâ€™t show, but rather what they write. They are the real â€œWomen in Horrorâ€. And they are smart enough to not get involved in just horror. The â€œWomen in Horrorâ€ movement is not empowering women at all; itâ€™s setting them back 50 fucking years. It keeps reducing them to sexual objects. Itâ€™s all about cleavage and seduction, what the fuck does that have to do with insightful writing on the horror genre. Nothing really. And how is a woman empowered when she is constantly being judged by her breast size. Give me a break! Iâ€™ll be glad to acknowledge â€œWomen in Horrorâ€ when itâ€™s done right. I always did it right!
23. What are your thoughts on Troma Films and most importantly Lloyd Kaufman? Now, you know I would not let you off that easy..ahemâ€¦Does it bother you the man preaches indie films and independence but sold his 2 major films to be remade to major studios?
A) I never, ever understood the appeal of Troma. Who would anyone embrace a company that specializes in making â€œbadâ€ films. When they were releasing other peopleâ€™s flicks, like Joel M. Reeds Bloodsucking Freaks or Zombie Island Massacre, I saw some of those in the theater; I liked them because they werenâ€™t Troma. But then I saw Toxic Avenger, and I felt that movie was just so damn stupid. Kaufman always came off as some sort of baggy pants burlesque comic who is far less a filmmaker than more of a comic respite for the mentally challenged. I also donâ€™t understand this current movement of VHS obsessed nuts who embrace really bad shot on video horror films like the original Black Devil Doll From Hell or Video Violence. Back in the days, and I am a relic of the VHS rental era, and we knew that shit was garbage then. I donâ€™t know, I really donâ€™t! As far as Kaufman selling rights to Hollywood, you know James, money in this business is quite bad these days, so whatâ€™s heâ€™s doing is a survivalist move, heâ€™ll need to retire one day and heâ€™s putting away the cash. Itâ€™s nothing more than that.
24. Jeff Dolniak,(Cinema Head Cheeseâ€™s own) who may be your biggest supporter since the wonder bra, sent this question in. Ask Keith if he knows how much all of us in the community support him and love when he does these interviews? Also, does Keith know you are putting him in the Wicked Channel Hall of Fame?
A) You know James, thatâ€™s actually very touching, and I mean that. I had no clue anyone read you guys so Iâ€™m actually stunned that a return request was ever submitted. You guys have stuck with me, and in the production end Iâ€™ve been an absentee. I hope by this interview that everyone will understand why there is so much time between my various films, and me. True, some of it might be due to my laziness, but some of it ties into the fact that I have too many paddles in the water, I need to in order to draw an income. This means my time gets way too divided. But Wicked Channel has been good to me; you guys keep me alive and give me a forum to announce whatâ€™s coming up. Ok now, what is this Hall of Fame? I do I get a gold watch? Do you send a huge titted Scream Queen to suck me off? Do I get to send James DePaolo to the gallows?
This is the part I forgot to tell you Keith, you had to make the Hall of Fame for the site, fuck without you and all you did for us, and I mean all of us, whether it was my start on Horrorphilia, or me on Cinema Head Cheese or now with Wicked Channel, I would never be still doing this. Wild Eye was the first company that sent me stuff and took a chance on some new blogger who asked perverted questions. Your interviews always get the most reactions, and mostly negative but at the end of the day you always entertain and they beg me repeatedly to put you back on. It is like an honor to some if you attack them. Thank you for all you did for this blogging community and all you still do, you always looked out for our readers. Rob at Wild Eye our bro, who put me on movie boxes and always has ulcers when he hears I am interviewing you. Congrats Keith..this is your chance to plug and promote. This is such a fitting ending for the last four yearsâ€¦I knew I wanted to end with you being honored as well as Wild Eye, thank you sir for some of the best memories in blogging for me, and the readers. Welcome to the Wicked Channel Hall of Fame.
A) James, the amazing thing about you is that you treat all indie filmmakers like they are Hollywood. I wish to God there was a guy like you around early on because I could have used a cheerleader like you years ago. Despite all our joking around, you are so vital to the movement right now. And honestly, any of my cohorts in the indie film scene must acknowledge just what a vital role you play, James, you take a licking and you keep on ticking. And youâ€™re a good soul James, life will reward you in the long run, I promise you that, despite what looks like rough road and tough times, your positive energy toward all the indie filmmakers will be returned to you in droves. But James, we canâ€™t end it this way. I mentioned rough roads before, correct? If I should ever meet you in person, I will be forced to beat you to death for having put me through four years of inane questions. The torture has been beyond endurance, and the beating you will receive will alleviate the rage I feel toward you. That and the fact that Rob from Wildeye is paying me to kill you. â€œOne less bloggerâ€ is the only reason he gave me for this command. So be it!
This is where I am supposed to have the links and support…fuck that this is my end…Let’s go back to the beginning. An added bonus my first interview with Keith Crocker from July 2010…I want to say thank you to Rob at Wildeye who was the first person to send me a screener, and to correct me when I kept calling him Kevin. There are a million emails from Keith, and in those emails he is always giving me thanks and praise for my work. There is a small circle who since 2011 has been at each others throats in a brotherly good way. That is Crocker, Dolniak and myself. So, me and Dolniak always know with Keith we will get our asses kicked in these interviews. So, let’s go back to a time when I was just starting out and had no clue what this could all lead to. Thanks to Horrorphilia for letting me get my start, and this is what came out of it. Geez look at Keith’s face and smile my god he would make a glory hole miserable…haha. This is from 2010….if I only knew then…
1. Blitzkrieg: Escape from Stalag 69, fans, watch the trailer. Get the dvd immediately. Keith, this is obviously a throwback to the 70â€²s exploitation movies, when you just had a lot of female nudity and the gritty feel. Is this what you are trying to capture with this and Bloody Ape? Are you a fan of the (I hate this term, but it fits perfectly for this) of the Grindhouse experience?
KC) to be fair, first and foremost, Iâ€™m not really trying to capture anything; Iâ€™m simply making films and applying to them the type of look and atmosphere that benefits the films. Bloody Ape is very American in its application, and it is best represented by the type of film that has American stamped all over it, and thatâ€™s the drive in movie. Blitzkrieg in turn is very European in its application, as I was very inspired by 40â€²s films like Rome â€“ Open City. We have to remember that the Europeans portrayed nudity and violence a lot earlier than we (the Americans) did. So while both films are very different, they are united by an incredible amount of nekkid female flesh and bone crushing violenceâ€¦
2. Letâ€™s talk about the Bloody Ape trailer. I thought, ok you got a cute woman naked in the shower..but then a ape comes in to the picture and starts groping her, all the while the ape is bloodying her up. Then the trailer for Blitzkrieg, holy shit Keith..do any of the actresses in your movies ever wear clothes?
KC) I love naked females, the nude body is for the most part one of the most fantastic pieces of art you can lay your eyes on. The same can be said about the male, and I do have full frontal male nudity in Blitzkrieg. I love all the different shapes and sizes the female body comes in, and I try and cast as many of these body types as I can. In the Bloody Ape, I mostly cast topless dancers for the nudity. They were about as bright as a candle in an air tight sealed room, but they did have the goods I was looking for, tits and ass worth having a gander at. By the way, I played the groping ape in that shower scene; I had just come out of a long term relationship with a monster of a woman and had sworn the ladies off for a while. That scene was a great, cheap thrill for meâ€¦.
3. Has an actress ever refused to do something, like make out with the Ape or run around NY chased by Naziâ€™s naked? If she did refuse did you just take her in the briefing room and slap her around and tell her how New Yawkers do it.
KC) you know it brother man, us New Yawkers enforce our rule with the law of the palm, our palm against your face. Actually, I never had a problem with the nudity because Iâ€™m very up front during the interview session and I explain everything down to the very last detail, hence there are no surprises for them, and none for myself. Every once in a while you have a person lie to get the job, but simply put, that person gets fired on the spot and a mark put next to their name used as a warning to other filmmakers that this â€œactressâ€ or â€œactorâ€ likes to promise a lot and deliver very little. In other words, talent should know what they do and donâ€™t do and they need to make that clear to the filmmaker.
4. Are the shavers readily available when girls need shaving?
KC) Haaaâ€¦Iâ€™m an old fart (45 years old) hence Iâ€™m from the days when hair on the below regions was very, very acceptable. Granted, the girls had enough sense to keep it from looking like low flying Africa, but hair was the norm. Same goes for porn at the time that shaved stuff was considered fetish. Iâ€™m fine either way, Iâ€™m kind of glad when I was growing up that I didnâ€™t have women looking like Barbie Dolls because that would have struck me as strange, plus I never would have had the joy of picking hairs out of my mouth 😉
5. Do you think Hollywood is fair to indie companies such as Wild Eye?
KC) Wildeye exists as an alternative to Hollywood; right now Wildeye is the best representative of independent and underground filmmaking out there. They compete with Hollywood, and they never once asked Hollywood for anything. They donâ€™t need to, the presentation of their DVDâ€™s is as professional as anything Hollywood could spit out, they know how to market and sell better than the big boys because the big boys are nothing more that fast food in the form of Cinema. Todayâ€™s Hollywood movie is the latest hamburger. Itâ€™s enjoyed once then completely forgotten about. The audience watches them and then shits them out of their conscience. The Wildeye releases all have messages, they donâ€™t treat the audience like a moron, and they actually offer things that make them watchable more than once. Hence Wildeye is the future, and the alternative to Hollywood garbage.
6. How much of Blitzkrieg do you think the MPAA would make you cut to play it on mainstream theaters?
KC) You know, we were very lucky with Blitzkrieg because we had a week long theatrical showing in NY City and it was shown at a theater that broke all rules, that was the Pioneer Theater on Avenue A. Unfortunately, they had to go out of business because greedy NY landlords had to keep raising the rent on that 99 seat theater. That said, we released this film unrated, I had no desire whatsoever to please some knucklehead who felt we went too far. All the violence in my film is justified; itâ€™s not there just for the sake of being there. The MPAA most likely wouldnâ€™t even look at Blitzkrieg, they are involved in big commerce, not truly independent filmsâ€¦
7. This is a question that Iâ€™ve been asking lots of people. Vivid, who do porn movies (like any male did not know that). They are offering the Octo Mom a half million dollars to have sex on screen. Jim Powers is offering Heidi Montag 1.2 for all the sex tapes of her and Spencer. Would you ever pay that kind of money for really, a no talent name, who may sell you what, 10 more dvds than you could have sold without them?
KC) Never, there is no reason that movies should cost millions and millions of dollars as it is, those inflated costs are caused by ego centric actors and actresses salaries, then add to that the cost of Union technicians, etcâ€¦senseless money spending made worse by the fact that the expense is passed on to the consumer in the form of inflated ticket prices. For what, so Hollywood can shit out an overlong film filled with senseless padding, then made all the more worse by subjecting viewers to TV ads in the movie theater!?! My God, the idea of TV advertising in movie theaters ages ago was a major no no. Now they are in bed with each other. Same goes for Porno, why do we need to see the octo mom have sex, does she have anything another female doesnâ€™t have? I mean its all horseshit, tied into that reality TV shit which is reducing the viewing audience to the lowest end of stupidityâ€¦
8. If you could work with one person, who would work with?
KC) Erica Blanc (Enrica Maria Colombatto), the Italian actress who starred in The Night Evelyn Came Out Of The Grave and Mark of the Devil Part II. She could be hot and sexy and yet very scary at the same time (check out The Devils Nightmare to see what Iâ€™m talking about). As far actresses or so called â€œScream Queensâ€ today, no, the bulk of them are attention whores with little or no talent. My topless dancers from Bloody Ape are more organic than any of these jokers playing actressâ€¦.
9. Do you read reviews about your movies? Do the negative ones, if there is any, get to you?
KC) Oh, my movies get 50/50 reviews, half good, and half bad. The point is that they instill passion in people, and a bad review is never a bad review in that it brings attention to your picture. The worst thing is when people ignore a film, but any kind of talk certainly brings interest. I never get angry if the reviewer has legitimate points and backs his or her argument up with logic. But, the internet has made writing and publishing your own reviews easy, and what has happened is it opened the flood gate for morons to come out and attack those of us who actually go out and make films with no outside help or intervention. These morons love to rip us up because they are impotent, they canâ€™t get off their fat cheese doodle eating asses and make a film of their own, so instead they have to throw rocks at those of us who do. The good part is that these social retards are obvious and no one takes them seriously, itâ€™s the same 50 people who couldnâ€™t get fucked if their lives depended on it, and itâ€™s a pleasure to watch them roast in their own juicesâ€¦.
10. Now, is a tricky question? It cannot be anything you did, or your company is releasing. What was the last movie you watched, that you actually were blown away by? Porn does count.
KC) For the record, I really donâ€™t watch most recent porn, it has no soul, no imagination, itâ€™s all shots of big open assholes and vaginas, no fantasy involved at all, all fetish garbage, I like the 70â€²s and 80â€²s stuff that tried to inject (no pun intended) the fantasy aspect, because believe it or not most folks whittle away their lives fantasizing. Recently, I saw a midnight showing of Alexandro Jodorowskyâ€™s The Holy Mountain, and I was reminded of the days when independent cinema was brilliant. Itâ€™s basically a hand book of Zen philosophy all wrapped neatly into one film, but it has some of the most disturbing imagery in it, and behind the disturbing parts are the key to good mental health and thinking, these are films that are more or less a religious us experience, and in a way thatâ€™s what a good film should beâ€¦.
11. Letâ€™s talk religion. You got so many sex scandals, and money missing. Do you think they can pray to god and be forgiven, like they preach to all of us who donâ€™t practice religion?
KC) this might sound strange to you but I donâ€™t have problems with religious people because they donâ€™t bother me. This must be something that varies based on region, but I grew up about 40 minutes from Manhattan, and all though technically I was raised Catholic my father was Prodisdent and by the time I came of age my mother must have been going through a change of life crises and religion went out the window. My mom was more or less political and hence I always involved myself in the practical. However, I often feel cheated, as Iâ€™d love to know what it like is to really believe in something. Rock and Roll was born because guys like Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard were conflicted by their desire to create hip shifting music yet still worship their religious ideals; itâ€™s this conflict that makes for great art. My generation is very cynical; we have anger but very little substance to back it. Hence our art may not be able to survive generations to come. But Iâ€™d love to know what itâ€™s like to really believe in something. As far as scandals go, the worst of these actually involve politicians miss spending the peopleâ€™s money, lying to people, lawyers and doctors do far more damage to people than religious folks doâ€¦.
12. Are you a fan of todayâ€™s internet? All the social networking, movie and music downloading, and letâ€™s not forget the people?
KC) No, Iâ€™m not. I think the internet is a fantastic tool for learning, unfortunately in order to find the good stuff you have to wade through huge piles of shit. Too much instant gratification, any idiot who without the internet, you would not have known existed, is now there for everyone to see. The problem is these idiots do not advance us one bit. They are instead a distraction. I also think the internet has devalued the value of good music and entertainment, helped make it very disposable, which is not good for future filmmakers or musicians because they canâ€™t survive on free downloads. That said, the good side to the internet is that you can be exposed to more people than youâ€™ve ever been exposed to before, and some of these people are of value, they actually have something interesting to day. There are great film sites out there, real labors of love. It also allows folks to become independent business people, and we need more of that in this Country, people who step forward and take chances instead of being mindless day job workers. For the time being, the internet will allow you that chance depending on what it is you have to offer. I still fear that soon all sorts of restrictions will be leveled at the internet to keep it from freeing people up, but weâ€™ll seeâ€¦
13. This is a question for the whole company to answer, do you ever listen to a podcast or go to a website and you know you sent them a lot of stuff for free..and they are dogging your company out to the fans, what would you do? ( and again, fans you know the guilty parties who always brag to their listener ship about they got this and that and then rip on the packaging or the movies inside without even being classy enough to tell fans they probably acted like bitches and begged the company for free stuff)
KC) Again, this goes back to my theory that there are too many assholes on the internet. Wildeye is effected by this because the free press is excellent for getting the product known but yeah, the game players are out there, looking for free goodies and either not reviewing the product or simply dissing it because they are embittered. A good â€œBadâ€ review doesnâ€™t bother us if the person backs up their complaints, but most folks on the internet donâ€™t even know how to write so their insults only show how stupid they are. To be fair Wildeye doesnâ€™t expect good reviews for each free disc, but donâ€™t ask for discs and not review the product, or claim it was lost in the mail, or your dog ate it. Wildeye is not stupid and do filter their press screeners.
(I feel stupid for that question looking back now..I see people ready to crucify me for that one..god am I so guilty today)
14. Keith, itâ€™s your turn..this is where you get to plugâ€¦and plugâ€¦and to all the people who made this possible..thanks againâ€¦
KC) Yes, Iâ€™m a filmmaker, and my work is available from Wildeye releasing on DVD. I have two screenplays in the works, one based on Poe and the other my own creation 100%. And yes, theyâ€™ll be horror, sex and violence, but a good story as well, which is what a viewing audience deserves. But thereâ€™s more to me than just that. I did a fanzine that received distribution called The Exploitation Journal. This zine existed between 1987 and 2005. I also transfer rare out of print films to video/DVD and import rare and alternate versions of horror, adult and exploitation films. My personal site is www.cinefear.com . Iâ€™ve been running Cinefear for over 20 years. If anyone reads this and comes to Cinefear to buy some Exploitation Journals or rare flicks, tell me you read this interview and Iâ€™ll cut you a special deal. I love cinema fans, and Iâ€™ll always take care of those who love the arts!
A ending bonus..I loved this the most of everything he has ever said…
20. I got a question from Jeff Dolniak. You know he talks all that shit all the time, and I am the patsy to his little jokes and totally innocent. He wants to know, what was a better accomplishment for you all the positive press you got this year, or when you witnessed firsthand the discovery of fire?
A. Dude, the discovery of Fire is far better than any of my films, so by all means the discovery of fire wins hands down. Another great moment would be to witness Jeffâ€™s death at the end of a firing squad, that would be equally as important as fire!