Interview with Jim O’Rear

Jim O’Rear, start off by telling me about yourself. What made you want to get into the cinema industry as well specifically into horror? 

 

I was never interested in getting involved in the film industry in any way, actually… especially not horror.  I, kinda, fell into it by accident.  I had always been interested in the art of magic, as a child, and started studying how to be a magician while I was in kindergarten.  Before long I found myself traveling around the United States as “The Youngest Professional Magician” and working with people like Harry Blackstone Jr, David Copperfield, and The Great Tomsoni.  Magic and music were my loves.  But, one night after a magic show I was approached by a television producer who was interested in casting me in a television commercial.  I turned him down because I was not interested in acting and really didn’t think I could do it.  He was persistent, though, and after a week or two of begging me, my agent, and my parents, I finally caved in and did his television commercial. From there I started getting hired for other acting jobs in television, film, and live theater.  So, like I said, I accidentally fell into the film/telelvision industry.

As far as the horror genre… I was never a horror fan.  One of my favorite television shows was THE MUNSTERS, but I didn’t consider that to be horror of any kind.  The theme music of THE TWILIGHT ZONE would send me running out of a room.  I just didn’t like it.  Again, by accident, my agent called and asked if I’d be interested in being a zombie in a low-budget, independent horror film that was being shot in Florida.  I was not interested… there was no pay being offered, I had to be covered in latex all day in the hot Florida sun, and it was a genre of film that I wasn’t interested in being involved with.  But, at the last minute, I decided to go ahead and report to set because they were desperate for zombies and I could add another credit to the resume. The film was George Romero’s DAY OF THE DEAD.  From that point forward I started getting offers to do horror films.

 

 

Can you tell me about some of your early work?

Especially your small role in “Day of The Dead” and the recent controversy behind it.

 

DAY OF THE DEAD was not a big deal. Like I mentioned before, it was a small, independent, low-budget film that everyone thought would be forgotten pretty quickly.  Plus, I was just an extra in it… and we all know that all it takes to be an extra in a film or television show is just some free time in your schedule.

Regarding the controversy… some people just take themselves and the movies they love waaaaay too seriously.  I was emailed by a guy who claimed to be writing a book about the making of DAY OF THE DEAD.  He sent me a very aggressive email asking me to tell him exactly what I did in DAY.  I told him I was a zombie.  He told me that I was lying because I was too young to have been on that set as a zombie. When I asked him where he was getting the information about my age he said, “Wikipedia.”  I told him, “There’s your problem.  You’re using a site full of user-generated content to gather your ‘facts,’ which makes you a hack as a writer who doesn’t know how to do proper research.”  My birthdate on Wiki was incorrect… as are many “facts” posted to that site.  He again told me I was lying about my birthdate… as if I didn’t know when I was really born.  That’s when I told him to go fuck himself and that I had no interest in helping him with his book. In turn, he threatened to do everything in his power to ruin my name and “expose” me as a fraud.  Even when Tom Savini publically posted that he met me on the set of DAY… that still wasn’t good enough for this guy and his 6 or 7 buddies.  They then turned on Tom and berated him and called his memory into question… which is when Tom basically said “whatever” and backed off.  They are just a bunch of jealous and bitter keyboard idiots who have nothing better to do with their time… who eventually, in the end, turned on each other over the whole matter.

Really… anyone who wants to make that big of a deal out of a background extra role in a 30 year old movie has some mental issues going on.  DAY is not what made me as an actor… it’s the leading roles in much larger productions that I did after that.

 

 

You’ve worked with several actors, among them who has been your favourite to work with and of these who has been your least?

 

My favorites have been Marin Sheen, Henry Winkler, Connie Britton, and Debbie Rochon.  All extremely talented, kind, and down to earth individuals.  My least favorites… Jonathan Frakes and Linda Lavin.  These are very brash and egotistical individuals (or they were at the time I worked with them).

 

 

Is there any grand advice that you were given when you started out that you would like to share with the readers or any words of Wisdom in general for them?

 

I, unfortunately, was not given any advice, training, or guidance when I started.  I was “thrown to the wolves,” so to speak, and had to figure out how the industry worked on my own.  However, after working in all aspects of the industry I’ve come to realize that there’s no real, single piece of advice that sums things up… and the industry is always changing.  I recently released a book titled MAGIC, MONSTERS, AND ME, though, that is a “how-to” guide, of sorts, for people wanting to get started in the industry and tells you what I’ve learned from my personal experiences.  Yes, that was a shameless plug to buy my book… there’s a lot of information in there.  Ha ha ha

 

 

Just recently, I believe, you wrapped up filming on you and Daniel Emery Taylors new film “Fat Chance”. Can you tell the readers about it and when it will be released?

 

FAT CHANCE can best be described as THE BIGGEST LOSER meets FRIDAY THE 13TH.  It’s a horror/comedy about 10 fat guys who go on a reality weight loss television program being filmed at a “fat camp” in the woods.  One by one they are picked off in humorous ways by a mysterious killer.  It’s a lot of fun with some brilliant comedic performances by the entire cast and features Dick “Michael Myers” Warlock (HALLOWEEN 2, JAWS, SPIDERMAN), Bree Olson (THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE 3, KEEPING UP WITH THE KARDASHIANS), WWE/WWF superstar Al Snow, Scott Tepperman (GHOST HUNTERS INTERNATIONAL), as well as Daniel and myself.  It will have its international premiere in March, 2014.

 

 

How would you describe the experience on set working on it?

 

It was a tough shoot.  We filmed it in the heat of the summer in Alabama, so we were covered up in sweat, bugs, snakes, and various woodland critters for 20 hours a day.  The conditions were not grand, but fortunately we had a cast full of easy-going actors with fantastic senses of humor who kept everything light and fun regardless of the conditions.

 

 

You and Daniel also have a film circulating called “The Hospital” where can people snag a copy of your film at? 

 

Yes, THE HOSPITAL is very different than FAT CHANCE.  It’s a dark, violent, ugly horror film filled with rape, torture, blood, and more, featuring John Dugan (TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE), April Burril (CHAINSAW SALLY), Scott Tepperman (GHOST HUNTERS INTERNATIONAL), and Daniel and myself.  Luckily, it’s been getting rave reviews and even won the “Scariest Movie” prize at a big show in Germany called MOVIE DAYS/THE DARK ZONE.  It will be released worldwide on DVD and various movie outlets on January 21st, 2014.

 

 

The book that you have recently released, called “Magic, Monsters, And Me”… where can the readers purchase of copy?…You’ve been quite the busy bee.

 

The easiest place to pick it up is on Amazon.  There’s an electronic copy available for Kindle, as well, for people who like e-readers.

 

 

As far as the genre goes, do you feel positive in the direction that it’s going?

 

Not at all.  I’ve said many times that Hollywood doesn’t make horror films any longer.  Every now and then a true horror film will slip out, but most of it is crap.  It’s either poor original crap or a crappy remake of something.

 

 

Do you find that Hollywood is essentially feeding people consistent remakes as of late because it is out of ideas or do you feel as if it’s because it sells real easy?

 

There’s plenty of ideas out there.  I’ve read a ton of great original horror scripts.  But, Hollywood is all about the dollar.  They know that it’s easier to capitalize on a proven title, easier to market and advertise something that people are already familiar with, and know they are taking less of a risk with something that’s already been proven as opposed to experimenting with something new.  Hollywood would much rather make a crappy film that earns money than risk making a great original film that people will remember for decades to come.  The days of the RE-ANIMATORs and PHANTASMs are over.

 

 

How hard is it working in the Indy film industry? Does this extensively effect your films budget and availability as far as what you can do?

 

Of course.  There’s far less money to work with, so an indy filmmaker must rely on story and creativity to carry their film. There’s a lot of hard work and sacrifice that goes into making an indy production.  In Hollywood you throw money at things to make them work or make things better… but, a good indy film requires talent because there’s no money to throw around.

 

 

Do you have any tips for homemade blood or prosthetics that are quick and easy for those young filmmakers rocking a budget at home?

 

The best blood is still corn syrup and food coloring.  You can’t go wrong with it and it’s cheap to make gallons of it.  As far as prosthetics… you’d be surprised what you can do with some liquid latex, pros-aide, cotton balls, and tissue paper.  It’s all about how creative you are with your supplies.

 

 

Out of all of the horror films that you have seen or films in general, which would you consider to be your favourite?

 

I have 3 horror favorites…. the original NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, from 1968, the original HALLOWEEN, and the original PHANTASM.  Those 3 films influenced my horror tastes the most… however, I love tons of them… RE-ANIMATOR, DEAD AND BURIED, CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON, THE THING, I could go on and on.  As far as non-horror films, some of my favorites are STAND BY ME, PIECES OF APRIL, NAPOLEON DYNAMITE, STAR WARS, RADIERS OF THE LOST ARK, and… are you ready for it?… PURPLE RAIN.

 

 

Do you feel that these films have highly influenced you as a filmmaker?

 

All of these films have influenced me in some way…. whether it be storytelling, lighting, camera angles, acting, editing, etc.  I think all filmmakers borrow from their favorites.

 

 

Have you pulled any hilarious pranks on other cast members?

 

I tend not to pull any pranks for a few different reasons.  While they can be fun, they can also be distracting and make an actor or crew member lose focus.  When focus is lost on a set you lose valuable time getting the groove back… and time is what you really don’t have much of on an indy set.  Time is money… and there’s very little money in an indy.

 

 

What are your tips in getting into acting? Do you have a hotline number to call for roles? 1-800-Jim O’Rear?

 

I give many tips in my new book, but of those some of the most important are to get a decent agent, audition for every legitimate project that they send you, don’t let the rejections from many of those auditions frustrate you, and be yourself during the audition process.  The more you audition the more of an opportunity you have to get a “yes” from a casting director.

 

 

You seem to have several projects wrapping up as of late, can you fill us in on any upcoming projects?

 

Daniel Taylor and I are beginning to work on a new thriller called PRANK CALL, which we hope to film mid-2014 as well as a super-secret established property from the 1980’s that we are trying to obtain the rights to… not to remake it, but to further the story in a sequel.  I’ll also be acting in and doing the stunt coordinating for the remake of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, working on TALES FROM BEYOND PART 2, and have several projects about to be released, such as POST MORTEM AMERICA 2021 and the campy superhero comedy THONG GIRL VS. XOLTA FROM OUTER SPACE.

 

 

For a final question, where do you see yourself in a few years from now? Will you have won academy awards? Will you have created the greatest film ever? Or will you have called it quits and settled down with your wife and family in a log cabin somewhere?

 

I’ve never wanted to be a superstar or a household name… I’ve just wanted to work.  So, I don’t see Academy Awards in my future (I’m not drawn to those types of projects) and I will never create what the general public would consider “the greatest film ever,” because the general public and I have two very different views on what’s entertaining.  I do see myself slipping away from the front of the camera and spending much more time behind the camera writing, directing, and producing.  I’d also like to do more studio voice work and write a few more books.  I am getting old, though, so eventually… in the not too distant future… I will just call it quits and go into hiding with my family.  For now, though, I’m just happy to keep working in a variety of different aspects of the entertainment industry.

Keep tabs on what I’m doing at www.JimORear.com and on my Facebook page and Twitter accounts

 

 

Revenge of the toasters…

Robots, a topic that I believe has been sort of swept under the rug and ignored. More than likely because of our technological advancements, people see nothing to fear. So over time the machines that would ultimately take over the world have been over looked. After watching a few machine based films as of late, I’ve realized that this is most certainly a topic that should be brought back and discussed in film such as it was with James Camerons Terminator series, which if you haven’t seen, you are very deprived and I’m going to be honest, you should feel bad. The film revolves around the machines taking over the future so there’s an entire rebel alliance that fights against them but when the machines send a Terminator (cyborg with a mission to kill) back in time to kill the leader of the resistance, the rebel group sends a member back in time to combat and save their leader, then a bunch of stuff happens in between. Needless to say that the intention of the film wasn’t that machines would literally take over and we would have to fend ourselves from Terminators and other cyborgs but that we would become overly consumed by technology and enslaved by it. In the sense of nose always stuck in cell phone, 500 television channels on your cable box. All of that stuff Tyler Durden is against. There has been an enormous zombie trend going on as of late which ties in to all of this, here we are fearing a zombie apocalypse, despite it’s already upon us due to technology. You may as yell consider acronyms such as “YOLO” a spit in the face from the machines with their beep boop bop flippidy flop drives and what not. So despite that entire hiding in the basement conspiracy theory jingo jango, I do sincerely believe that the robots,cyborgs, and machines should be brought back into the spotlight. Which a film that really inspired me to think into it recently was “The Worlds End” which was an amazing spectacle of a film and recommend anyone with a soul and a sense of humour to check it out, in fact I require you to do so. I love that machines were the antagonists in the film because it’s just bloody brilliant. They come to earth trying to take over by recycling the humans and replacing them with machine replicas based off of their DNA. Then there’s an entire moral story involving growing up and such, giving into the machine. Growing up and becoming a robot through the union of one with society. Then another film that I really enjoy which isn’t a part of the horror genre is Robocop, you can’t hate Robocop though, if you do then you’re a communist and hate puppies likewise. It’s about a guy who is a cop that gets all sorts of blown to bits, only to be resurrected as a cyborg. Part man and part machine. Soon after they rebuild him, he is off kicking ass and taking names but ultimately when the other machines his owners develop go rogue, it essentially is the machines revolting in attempt to take over. Then the sad truth which I must admit, I would love to discuss even more amazing movies that deal wtih robots but you ultimately realize that the genre is lacking so much. As of late it’s very bare bones while zombies get all of the attention which in my opinion don’t deserve what so ever. The machines have taken over and the end is near, stay thirsty my friends.

Deadites Gone Wild

Deadites, today I am talking about Deadites. Some people have their holy grail and is Evil Dead. My thoughts aren’t revolving around the overall films but the evil within the woods itself; the Deadites.

Ancient Kandarian demons possessing people and generally fucking shit up. Of course there is a new generation that is more familiar with the remake; Which to me didn’t have Deadites in it what so ever. Several of the zeds in the film reminded me more of Edgar from Men In Black. There were several times when I was waiting for the zeds in Evil Dead’13 to start commanding David to bring them sugar and water. Though I reject Evil Dead’13 for everything but Eric, who was like Red from Pineaplle Express in a horror film. This isn’t about that, this is about Deadites, pure ancient kandarian demons possessing teenagers with in the woods.

I’ll begin with something that I found awesome about the Deadites, the fact that they taunt their victims; Whether it be Cheryl from the first or it be Henrietta from Evil Dead 2. The time spent in the trailer was basically the two of them harassing the soon to be victims as well as Ash. There’s something about that which adds to the atmosphere of the film because not only are these chaps being tortured physically by the Deadites but they are taunting them and laughing at their suffering.

Their soulless eyes, the blank white contacts that Raimi used for the Deadites was bloody brilliant. There is a saying that the eyes are a gateway to the soul, so if you have nothing but emptiness to look upon then what you are observing is utterly soulless. They are evil. They are the abyss. You look into those empty eyes and you know that your friend is no longer with you. Then of course the tricks that the Deadites pull where they flip back into the human who they possessed to lure them in close and slaughter them. It’s insanely awesome. There’s a certain suspense to it if you haven’t seen the film before which makes one ask the question if somehow that person had the will power to fight off the demon and take back control, then as the would be hero gets close it’s just BOOM! They get attacked.

Their facial expressions and make up, there’s just something evil about how Linda looks as she sits laughing and singing “We’re gonna get you, not another peep. Time to go to sleep”. Something about Linda’s face as well as Cheryl’s was so menacing, especially in comparison to the characters in the remake. There was just something so much more menacing about the Deadites rather than the zeds, something magical the zeds lacked.

Now for the best part about the Deadites, all bets are off, there are no rules. They kill to kill. Once they snatch your soul essentially there is no coming back what so ever. With Ash being the exception, first due to circumstance then the second being the power of love, the will power he felt from seeing the necklace that he gave to Linda. People in the originals were getting possessed without any real explanation. It just happened. There was no telling who was next and who would soon to be tortured. This is what made the Deadites so awesome rather than the Zeds from the remake. There’s no cleansing from fire, dismemberment, or live burial. No ability to simply put a plastic bag over someone’s head and have it be that simple. Despite there being a remake, the original and the Deadites will always stand out as the best to me.

THEY CAME FROM URANUS

In an earlier article I brought up the zombie craze which has made me wonder, wouldn’t it be wiser to prepare for an Alien invasion? Where is the fear for some sort of Alien race invading the earth and taking it over and enslaving all humans? So before you read this article any further, prepare your tin foil hat.

Now you may be wondering why exactly I have told you to prepare your tin foil hats, it is so that the extra terrestrials can’t read your mind. They could be on to the fact that we are aware of them? Have you considered that maybe the entire zombie craze was produced by the Martians in order to direct your attention away from the fact that they exist as well as their anal probing? If you haven’t hopefully you have now but there are several types of aliens that we must be aware of, here are a few examples of films that you should watch in order to ensue your own safety.

First off we have Predator. As we have seen in the two film installments they are not fearful of invading our planet but they tend to only hunt down what they would find a challenge such as military personel and things of that matter. If you ever come in contact with an alien of this species, the best thing for you to do is cover yourself in mud. He sees through the use of infrared vision, this means it picks up on the heat given off from your body. If you do so then you should be pretty much well set to escape it. Now to kill it, you have to be absolutely physically dominant against it, there are no mess ups when fighting a predator.

Second is Alien. I’m not specifically sure what this species name is but these things are vicious, they attack at random rather than only killing the more physically dominant of a specie. So hide your kids, hide your husbands, and hide your wives because this creature is killing errybody. There isn’t too many ways of killing them but just remember when doing so their wounds spit out acid. Yes that’s right, their blood is acid. It will literally eat right through your face if you aren’t careful. In my opinion if you encounter one of these and you aren’t ready or willing to take it on. Run;run as fast as you can but don’t guarantee because you do so that your life is any less safe than taking it on in a head to head battle.

The third species of course are “The Martians” as featured in the film “Mars Attacks”. Upon their arrival, do not release any birds of peace. They will take this as a threat. Then get pissed off and start killing everything on the planet. This specie is pretty vicious. One of their main focuses is to kill off the humans and take over the planet. Unlike the Predators or the Aliens, their main goal is to hurt us, this isn’t any sort of accidental invasion or random hunt gone wrong. This is them invading to murder us. You must avoid their laser rays. Being shot by one of their guns results in your disintegration and death so be weary. As to kill them it is pretty simple. All you have to do is play “Indian Love Call” by slim Whitman and you will rid of the Martian menace in no time at all. Their heads will begin to explode upon hearing the song.

Finally, the species from Starship Troopers. These insectoids are brain suckers, they stab your head with their claws and suck your brains out. They are truly relentless death machines. If I remember correctly the best manner of killing them is to start blasting them and of course you have to shout out an awesome catch phrase as you do so “I’M A LEAD FARMER MOTHER FUCKER”. If the information I have given you is false and your brain gets eaten by one of these things then that’s on you for not confirming that what I said is in fact true. For all you know I could be one of them typing this with my alien claw thingies as as I slurp down some delicious brains.

These are the four main alien species that you do in fact need to be aware of as apposed to the alien species of District 9 or Signs. In fact all you have to do to kill the alien scum from Signs is throw water on them and they’ll die so swing away George, swing away. Hopefully as you read this your tin foil hat was nice and snug on top of your head. Then you pulled your family into whichever room you’re reading this from and you discussed your survival plan. If not;then you should, little Timmy doesn’t need to die because you decided to be stupid and not come up with a plan. Prepare your weapons and start stocking up just in case because like with some sort of biochemical warfare that can kick up in a heart beat creating zombies, Aliens can just as well invade the planet and begin taking over zapping us into oblivion or eating our brains. So let’s get prepared to SAVE MOTHER EARTH!!!

I want to know what your survival plan is for the Alien invasion, leave me a comment below.

Noferatu, where are you?

Vampires, what do you think of when you hear that word? Hopefully your thoughts drift towards vicious blood thirsty creatures of the night; the tales of Dracula and Van Helsing. Unfortunately there is a generation that will not associate the word “vampire” with these things. Instead they will think of a certain franchise most famous for a certain twinkly cry baby sissy boy by the name of Edward Cullen and his love for a teenage girl Bella . There’s also a werewolf guy thrown in the bunch. Now in case you aren’t familiar with the Twilight franchise it’s about a girl (Bella) that falls in love with a vampire (Edward) then some shit goes down, he twinkles and the other guy from the triangle turns out to be a werewolf. She’s like 16 years old wanting to bone this vampire guy that has to be pretty old. As you know a vampire is already dead so she would be committing the act of necrophilia which as we all know is just nasty. Eventually I think they get it on and she has a baby or something. I don’t know though, I’m not a Twilight enthusiast as you can tell, in fact it’s an entire series that should just be looked over It’s bad enough that it blew up as big as it did. Lets take a moment to thank those chubby emo girls that hang out at Hot Topic for this malicious fecal distribution. Not only are the vampires and werewolves terrible in this but so are the humans. Anyone that looks up to Bella as a role model is pitiful, if you want a really great strong female role model look to Buffy The Vampire slayer and in this era of vampire media, I sure do miss her because she had the guts to go out there and take care of buisness. You know what she would do to Mr. Twinkletoes a.k.a Edward? She would drive a stake through his heart and cut off his head. It’s just so terrible that a franchise like Twilight could destroy the mythology as it has, it needs to stop. Hopefully in the next few years some sort of revolution will take place bringing back the carnage, blood, and mayhem that were once attached to the vampire name rather than this cheesy jingo jango romance rubbish. Hopefully vampires will no longer be associated with those silly little fan girls and their obsessive love with a sparkly spineless imbecile. Maybe we’ll see more movies like The Lost Boys, Fright Night’80s, From Dusk Till Dawn, and 30 days of night. I feel that vampires are in desperate need of a reboot. If you are falling in love with the evil Nosferatu rather than fearing them then something is seriously wrong. In a sense it does make you wonder though if some sort of vampire illuminati put out the Twilight series so a new generation wouldn’t fear them as much and they would be able to feast upon their blood a lot easier. Although I do have to admit that it is a genius horror series on the sole basis of the countless nights spent awake fearing more and more merchandising, books, or movies being released; or anytime that I would make a joke about the series and some obnoxious 14 year old girl would throw a brick through my window threatening me. As for vampires, here’s to hoping that it gets better.