Quint is thrilled by genre great Tom Atkins! NIGHT OF THE CREEPS! MY BLOODY VALENTINE 3D! And much more!!!
Ahoy, squirts! Quint here to excitedly bring you my half-hour long interview with one Mr. Tom Atkins. It’s not secret I’m a die-hard NIGHT OF THE CREEPS fan. It’s one of the best under-seen horror movies of the ‘80s and Tom Atkins should have been a fucking star after his work in that film. He’s an iconic badass. When I saw an email come in offering someone from AICN a spot in the LA press day for MY BLOODY VALENTINE, I immediately emailed the publicist and said that I am not in LA, but even if I was the one person from the movie I really want to talk to wasn’t on the list… Who would I have to kill to get on the phone with Tom Atkins? Apparently, I didn’t have to kill anybody (maybe they just haven’t called on me yet, Godfather style) and I got half an hour on the phone with one of my favorite character actors. And it’s not nearly enough. We talk about everything from his return to the big screen with MY BLOODY VALENTINE 3-D to his first gig (with Frank Sinatra, no less) to John Carpenter to Vincent Price to Fred Dekker and NIGHT OF THE CREEPS. So without any further ado… Mr. Atkins… Thrill me.
Quint: I want to start off saying it’s a really great pleasure for me to speak with you, I’ve been a big fan of yours since I was a kid.
Tom Atkins: Thanks, man. Who am I talking to, anyway?
Quint: My name is Eric, I write as “Quint,” on a movie news site called Ain’t It Cool News.
Tom Atkins: Great.
Quint: NIGHT OF THE CREEPS is one of my all time favorite movies.
Tom Atkins: It’s my favorite. I love that movie!
Quint: It’s so good, but that and MONSTER SQUAD. I grew up loving both, not realizing Fred Dekker did both of those films and when I got the chance, I ended up organizing a reunion screening of MONSTER SQUAD and got to meet Fred and I understand it kind of got the ball rolling on getting the DVD release.
Tom Atkins: Why don’t you do the same thing with NIGHT OF THE CREEPS?!?
Quint: If you guys would be down for it, I would organize a reunion screening in a heartbeat, here at the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin.
Tom Atkins: I’m sure we would! I’m sure everybody would. I just saw Fred last week, I invited him to the screening of MY BLOODY VALENTINE out in LA on Thursday and he came. We had a great evening together and had a couple of beers, watched the movie, sat with each other and reminisced after. I’ve seen him a couple of times since we made NIGHT OF THE CREEPS, but not very often, only two times really. He’s a terrific guy and he said he has been talking to people for twenty years, since we made it, to get a DVD, but nobody seems to want to do it and for a while we weren’t even sure who the hell owned it.
Quint: I remember him talking about that. It was the same deal with MONSTER SQUAD, where they couldn’t lock down who had the rights and when they found out, like I know Anchor Bay has been chomping at the bit to get both of those out and there was a guy, who I don’t think works there anymore, named Mark Ward, who told me that he could retire if he got MONSTER SQUAD and NIGHT OF THE CREEPS out on DVD, because those are his two…
Tom Atkins: See? See? I know! I don’t understand why nobody has done that. There’s money to be made, so they ought to get it out there.
Quint: There’s a huge fan base for it. It’s growing, too. There are people my age and the generation even after mine… I grew up in the eighties, but even my little brother who is ten years younger than I am, he’s a huge fan of those movies and he spreads them around to all of his friends.
Tom Atkins: That’s great!
Quint: But, yeah I can tell you I remember when they announced that you had been cast in MY BLOODY VALENTINE, I was just like “Finally he’s coming back to the big screen!.” It was a huge deal for so many people.
Tom Atkins: It’s because mainly (director) Patrick Lussier is a big fan and when he found out that I lived in the southwest Pennsylvania area where they shot it, he jumped right away and we had met in downtown Pittsburgh and had a cup of joe and talked about God and things and stuff and he said, “I would love if you would do this part. It’s not the main part, but it’s a nice part and I would love it if you would do it.” I was thrilled to do it.
We had a great time shooting. I think he is a terrific director, Lussier, and I saw it for the first time last Thursday out in LA and it’s just terrific. The 3D stuff is stunning to watch and it starts from frame one. The entire movie is just not… old Vincent Price, God rest his soul, throwing a dagger into the screening or something, it’s from the Lionsgate logo with all of the gear rolling and tumbling and turning and it’s all in 3D and it just… It’s wonderful to watch.
Quint: What I liked about it is there seems to be a… 3D is coming back in a rather big way, but there is hesitation on a lot of people’s parts to exploit the 3D in terms of doing the “poke you in the eye” gags, which I agree, I don’t want all of the time in every 3D film, but what I loved about MY BLOODY VALENTINE was that it wasn’t afraid to have fun with it, which is crucial, especially in a horror film. It’s meant to be fun, that’s what genre is, entertaining.
Tom Atkins: I spent the entire time watching it just hooting and hollering and screaming and yelling. I had a great time. So, you’ve already seen it? Where did you see it?
Quint: They programmed it at a 24 hour film festival called Butt-Numb-O-Thon, appropriately enough, but it’s run by the guy who runs the site that I write for, Harry Knowles. It’s 24 hours and there will be vintage films, like he showed SAHARAH with Bogart and he showed VIVA VILLA with Wallace Berry and a lot of vintage film, but then he will program in premieres and MY BLOODY VALENTINE was one of the premieres and Jamie [King] was there with it and it just went over like gangbusters. Everybody there is a huge film fan, anybody who shows up to this festival.
Tom Atkins: Oh, Jamie King was there? Where was it? In Texas?
Quint: In Austin.
Tom Atkins: Oh yeah, I heard. I think Patrick was down there.
Quint: Yeah, he was there.
Tom Atkins: He said when I came on the screen everybody hollered.
Quint: It’s true. People love you, they really do and we loved seeing that…
Tom Atkins: (laughs) That’s sweet of you, Eric. That’s nice of you.
Quint: You show up and you are still as badass as everybody remembers you. It’s like, I think people worried that if we hadn’t seen you for a while that you are going to show up and you are not going to not live up to the memory, but it was. It was a real fun part and I thought you did a great job in it and you got a really particularly gory death scene, too.
Tom Atkins: Fred just emailed me this morning, before I came out here, to Chicago and he said “What a good time we had the other night at the screening in Hollywood” and he said “I think you had the most memorable 3D death scene in history.”
Quint: They go up to the line and then they jump right on over it. They go for it.
Tom Atkins: I got a kick out of watching it and I loved seeing Gary, the guy who did all of the effects… I saw him as I went into the theater, Fred and I sat in the middle of the house and he was right next to Megan, one of the four young people in it, gorgeous girl… And anyway, Fred said it was so great sitting on one side of a beautiful lady and on the other side one of my favorite actors watching him watch himself in a movie. Gary, the guy who did the effects, he came up to us and he said “Tom, I just want to tell you your jar heads up to house right. It will go up over your right shoulder out that way.” (laughs) Oh, and it did! It was so fun to watch. So what did you think of the film?
Quint: I’m not a big fan of remakes in general, but ever since I saw the first trailer for it, I’m like “You know, I think this might be an exception to the rule.” The fact that it’s unapologetically R-rated, which is so refreshing in a sea of PG 13 horror.
Tom Atkins: Wasn’t she wonderful? The girl?
Quint: The naked girl?
Tom Atkins: Yeah, the naked girl running around the parking lot, trying to kill the guy and then gets it herself.
Quint: That was great and I love that they go for it and that he doesn’t pull any punches and it just felt like fun, which has been missing from horror for so long. It’s either so serious and up it’s own ass, or it’s so cheesily executed that it’s not fun. But I think Patrick found a really nice middle ground and kept it fun and kept it theatrical and the production value was high and it was also just a fun movie. I really liked it. I was really impressed and I’m a fan of the original, too.
Tom Atkins: I have never seen the original. I have no idea what that was like. I only have a history with this one. I have never seen the first one.
Quint: It’s one of those movies and there are a few films were I’m a fan of from that era that I would hate to see remade, but even this one, when they announced it I was like “I guess they could do a good version of it.” It’s one that I really like, but it’s also not one that I’m so attached to. It was kind of like now that they are remaking the FRIDAY THE 13TH, the first one, that’s one that I’m not to worried about.
Tom Atkins: How about when they remade THE FOG? I thought “What the hell? We did a wonderful job on the original FOG. Why would anybody want to remake that?”
Quint: Then you see how they went wrong there, they…
Tom Atkins: I didn’t see it, but I heard it wasn’t very good.
Quint: It’s horrible. What they did is they cast out of TV, so it was pretty much like a GAP ad, a PG-13 GAP ad, so it wasn’t scary. It was so full of CG that nothing was scary. What I love and I think one of the reasons why I’m such a big fan of yours and the films you were in was that you look at THE FOG and you look at even HALLOWEEN 3, it’s like you look at those films and they’re not films about kids being stupid, it’s films about real people, adults, dealing with a horrible situation.
Tom Atkins: It’s true. You are right, that’s all true.
Quint: I think horror has turned… These days it’s really hard to find really good horror that’s actually about adults and people forget, when I was a kid that was the kind of stuff I loved. I loved movies with adults. I loved GHOSTBUSTERS and I loved RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK… There weren’t kids in that movie. You don’t need teenagers.
Tom Atkins: My first sci fi horror, well it wasn’t horror, but THE THING, the original THING in 1951 when James Arness played The Thing and all of those wonderful guys were in it with the overlapping dialogue… in Alaska and they spread out the form of the flying saucer in the ice was like “Oh God.” That was so wonderful and that’s my memory as a young guy, really falling in love with sci fi and horror and stuff.
Quint: Hawkes knew iconography. That’s another thing I think is missing in horror these days and if you look at the villain in MY BLOODY VALENTINE, he’s striking and it’s somebody that you recognize and it’s striking. You mentioned, going back to your early days and seeing those kind of films, did you know that you wanted to be an actor when you were growing up?
Tom Atkins: I did not. No, I didn’t have a clue. I got interested in acting going to Duquesne University after I had worked for a year after high school and after I came out of the Navy, I went to Duquesne and majored in journalism and started dating a girl who was in “The Red Masquers” and extracurricular theater group and she said, “come on over and be in something and we will see more of each other,” so I did. I really fell in love with acting and saw less and less of her and ended up moving to New York and that was that, so it wasn’t any old movies that did it. I don’t know… it was…
Quint: You were following the romance.
Tom Atkins: A young tomato! A young catholic student girl at Duquesne University, yeah.
Quint: That’s awesome. That’s great and one of your first movie roles was with Sinatra, is that right?
Tom Atkins: My very first, yeah. I played a rookie cop opposite (Sinatra), well not opposite, I had a scene with him and a scene with a bunch of other guys. There are some good actors in that movie now that I think back on it. Jack Klugman was in it.
Quint: Oh yeah, I love Klugman… Great face.
Tom Atkins: Yeah, I was a rookie cop and I did a bad thing, I shot somebody and it was a racial thing and Sinatra chewed me out. I auditioned with him, with Sinatra, and the director, who’s name I can’t remember, one of those old Hollywood guys… It was wonderful. He was terrific. He was very gracious on the set and he was on the set a lot and sat around and in his chair reading a paper or reading a racing form, just shooting the breeze with that from in New York, Gilley, who was with him, because we shot a lot of it in New York. It was great meeting him and getting to work with him at a relatively young age.
Quint: I can only imagine. I have been visiting for the first time a lot of his films and really getting a much greater appreciation of how he was as an actor, because I’ve seen, of course, MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE and of course he was fantastic in there, but he…
Tom Atkins: I loved that. I think it was one of my favorites and think it’s one of his best movies. He’s great in that.
Tom Atkins: And I’ll tell you, it was easy to get the part in THE DETECTIVE, because at the end of the audition scene, Sinatra shook my hand and said “Nice to meet you, kid” and left the room. The director said “So, you think you could do it that way when we shoot it? You had a nice nervous quality about you.” (laughs) I said, “Well, goddamn!” It’s like how can you not be nervous around him! But the cop is nervous, because he shot some guy and he knows he shouldn’t have done it, so it all fed into itself and it was great. It was a wonderful time.
Quint: That’s a great story. So, when you started working fulltime, I would imagine, as an actor, were you attracted to genre work, or did you just kind of fall into it?
Tom Atkins: I just kind of fell into it. I wasn’t particularly attracted to it, but after I did the first one, which I think was THE FOG, I’m not positive, but I think that was the first one and I thought “My Lord, I really like this. It’d be nice to have a career like Vincent Price,” who I thought was a wonderful actor, who happened to make a lot of genre kind of films.
Quint: He kind of elevated genre. He and Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee, those…
Tom Atkins: He did because he was a terrific actor, a terrific stage actor and had made a lot of films that were not part of the horror genre and he was a wonderful actor. I met him once, when I was out in LA.
Quint: Oh really?
Tom Atkins: I was sitting in a pastry. He came in and bought a pastry. I saw him at the counter. He bought his little bag of stuff to go, left and came around the window and looked at me and mouthed the words “I love your work” and I went “Woo woo” and I ran out and had a chat with him on the sidewalk.
Quint: Man, that would blow my mind.
Tom Atkins: It blew my mind! It was great talking with him and it was kind of a bittersweet thing; he was getting old and I was an up and comer, still young and it was really nice talking with him and it was nice to know that he had seen something that I was in.
Quint: I know a few people who got to talk to him a couple of times and every story that you hear is just that he is the sweetest guy in the world. That’s great. So you enjoyed your work on THE FOG and wasn’t that Carpenter’s follow up to HALLOWEEN? Wasn’t that his next movie?
Tom Atkins: Yes.
Quint: Cool, so how did you find working with John?
Tom Atkins: Oh, I don’t know. He was okay to work with, but he’s not one of my favorite guys. He was kind of distanced from people. He wasn’t a people director, not an actor’s director. He likes the gizmos and the rubber and effects stuff, but not very personable. I didn’t think he was then and he has proven not to be ever. He’s almost like a recluse out in LA and cant get him out of his house. He just sits there, smokes and watches basketball games.
Quint: I saw him work on GHOSTS OF MARS. I know the guys at KNB, Greg Nicotero and those guys…
Tom Atkins: Oh yeah, sure.
Quint: Greg’s a great guy. Anyway, he invited me out to come see him. I grew up being a huge… I don’t think anybody has had a run in genre like Carpenter did, going from ASSAULT ON PRECINT 13....
Tom Atkins: You know I have never seen that film. I’m going to have to get that and look at it.
Quint: Definitely. It’s a really great movie and it has that great seventy’s realism to it, where it’s kind of almost an experimental film, but it’s not. It’s still a straight forward film, but just in it’s style. It’s a very entertaining and very fun movie, but I know exactly what you are talking about. I could tell on the set that he…
Tom Atkins: You know it’s funny, I only did a couple of… THE FOG… ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK… were the only two that I did with John, but I have become terrific friends with Chuck Cypher, who was in THE FOG and we hardly knew each other then and we didn’t really have a scene together. I think Jamie (Lee Curtis) and I find him dead in his radio shack or something in the movie. Now he and I go to these horror conventions every once and a while and bump into each other. He is a terrific, fun guy and I think he made seven movies with Carpenter, but still feels kind of the same way, that he’s not really a personable guy, but he makes pretty decent films. God knows HALLOWEEN, THE FOG, and ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK are terrific. You know the best movie I think he ever made was STARMAN.
Quint: STARMAN is great and that’s one that’s not well appreciated either.
Tom Atkins: He went outside of himself or something and made a terrific film with that.
Quint: I completely agree and I love seeing directors stepping out of their comfort zones and I think he very much did that.
Tom Atkins: What do you think of Patrick Lussier?
Quint: I don’t know if I’ve seen anything else he has done.
Tom Atkins: He did DRACULA 2000.
Quint: I didn’t see DRACULA 2000.
Tom Atkins: Yeah, I haven’t either.
Quint: But I think we are going to see his next movie. I really liked this one, I liked it a lot. I think he brings a lot of energy to the story and I think he puts the emphasis where it needs to be. It will be interesting to see…
Tom Atkins: As an actor working with him, he was terrific to work with, a wonderful guy and I thought he got everything out of the film he could get and he put it all up on the screen. None of it got left anywhere.
Quint: Yeah, no waste. It’s going to be really interesting to see what he does next and I would love to see an original film from him, anything that he has a passion for that’s his own, that’s not somebody else’s, I think. I’ve never gotten a chance to talk with the guy, so I don’t know what he’s like in person.
Tom Atkins: He’s terrific. He’s a really good guy. He’s got a young son, Devon, who is an editor like he used to be. He edited most of those Corman? No, couldn’t have been… FRIDAY THE 13TH or NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET…?
Quint: Wes Craven?
Tom Atkins: Yeah, him! I think Patrick edited most of Craven’s film and his son is an editor and just started work on something that Spielberg is doing, doing editing work with him. Not the main editor, but…
Quint: Well, that is how you start, being an assistant editor or second editor on a Spielberg movie is almost like being the main editor on anybody else’s movie, isn’t it? I’d be remiss if we didn’t talk just a little about NIGHT OF THE CREEPS before we get back into MY BLOODY VALENTINE, because like I said it’s one of my all time favorite movies. I have the one sheet and the lobby set… I’m a huge fan of the movie.
Tom Atkins: Oh wow, yeah.
Quint: So, did Fred approach you or did you audition for the movie?
Tom Atkins: I auditioned for it I think. I know I met for it with Fred and the producer. I think I read a scene or two, but I think Fred had me in mind from before I walked in the door, so it was great. Oh God, we had a good time working on that.
Quint: That’s what it feels like. You watch that movie and…
Tom Atkins: It was my favorite movie, we just had more fun putting that together and I thought he did a great job, it just didn’t get a very good run at all. I don’t know if it was whoever owned it at the time, I don’t even remember. They didn’t release it good. I think it only played a week in New York and a week in LA and hardly anywhere in between and it never came out on DVD. I see it now and I laugh, my son laughs, we… I think it’s a wonderful, not campy, but a kind of homage to all of those old horror movies.
Quint: That’s the great thing about it, is it strikes that balance where it is it’s own movie and it is kind of scary, like all of the stuff with the reincarnated axe killer… the skeleton thing… that creeps me out. I don’t know, I think Fred is a fantastic director. I know that he’s trying to get some stuff off of the ground now, but it’s a shame that we’ve lost a decade’s worth of his movies.
Tom Atkins: I think he’s in talks with Lionsgate, hoping to get something started with them out in LA.
Quint: It’d be great, because there are a couple of directors that got a really bad shake that I know of off hand. If you look at MONSTER SQUAD and you look at NIGHT OF THE CREEPS, you just see how his style… He could have been the guy directing SPIDER-MAN. He could have been a Raimi, he had the same kind of energy to his films and it was just kind of the way the dice fell that he got a bad shake, so I’d love to see him make another film.
Tom Atkins: Me, too!
Quint: Now one thing that I think that also stands out about that movie is just how many crazy iconic lines that you are given, like “Thrill Me,” to this day, I know people who reference it at the drop of a hat.
Tom Atkins: I had a woman come up to me in the grocery store one day in the middle of Pennsylvania somewhere and she said “Oh my God. You’re Tom Atkins! You were in NIGHT OF THE CREEPS, look look look” and she pulled out this pencil and she had “Thrill Me” on the pencil and I said “Why the hell do you have this pencil for?” She said “I pass them out everywhere! It kind of has to do with my company that I own.” I said “That’s hysterical. That’s funny.” I had a lot of wonderful lines in there “Thrill Me,” “It’s Miller time,” and I love the moment with the girls…
Quint: The “good news and bad news?”
Tom Atkins: Yeah, “Oh girls, I’ve got good news and some bad news. The good news is your dates are here” and the little girl in the back goes “What’s the bad news?” “They’re dead” and there they are coming up the lawn all zombied out.
Quint: It's amazing... It was that line that stuck with me from my childhood viewings. You know... Fred was telling me that he had some trouble during the filming, some of the crew didn’t understand what he was trying to do like with the shot where the camera is spinning and you are spinning and you are firing and screaming…?
Tom Atkins: Yes! Yes.
Quint: Like it was hard to get the crew behind him to understand what he was trying to do and then it comes off and it’s an awesome scene and shot.
Tom Atkins: I know! It works great and I don’t know why… He just had a hard time with that film. I don’t think he got the money he needed to have or it didn’t have the kind of budget it needed and it was just tough. I don’t know why the crew gave him a rough time on that one. Maybe they did on others,that I don’t know about, I don’t know, but I just thought he did a wonderful job.
Quint: Thanks for talking about CREEPS and all of that stuff, because like I said it’s one of my favorites.
Tom Atkins: Mine, too.
Quint: So you said that when you jumped into VALENTINE, they were shooting in your neck of the woods, so were you there for a lot of the prep? Where you able to be there for…
Tom Atkins: No, I did… I went down ahead of time and had costume stuff done and they did a test or kind of test shots with a 3D camera, as much for them as with anything, the crew, the operators and stuff. It was really quite a production.
Quint: Was it hard working with 3D?
Tom Atkins: Not so much as an actor it wasn’t, but… a little bit, but not much no. I wasn’t asked or forced to accommodate a camera move or something. It was pretty much straightforward for me, but different for them, the camera guys.
Quint: Did it take longer? I know 3D is typically a little bit harder and sometimes needs more takes.
Tom Atkins: You know, I don’t feel like it took any longer, but maybe it did, I don’t know. It didn’t take any longer for me to shoot scenes or anything. It seemed to be the normal kind of amount of time and even the death thing out on the porch, getting my jaw ripped off was not over extended or anything, you know?
Tom Atkins: It all worked out pretty good.
Quint: Was that a lot of time in the make up chair?
Tom Atkins: No. One day. Well a couple of hours at Tom Savini’s joint south of Pittsburgh. He has a school and stuff and I went there ahead of time and made a death head, grimacing as if I have got a thing up through my jaw. It worked out good.
Quint: So, you did a life mask and then they built on top of that.
Tom Atkins: They shot it and they had the death shot at the house when we were shooting and Gary was showing me how the jaw rips off and flies off and stuff like that. I liked that! Oh my God.. It was fun. I had a wonderful time. We shot in a coal mine a little north of Pittsburgh, it’s a touring mine now. High school kids go to it and what not, but we shot in there. It was really first class all the way and I’ve got to say Jack Murray, the producer, who was one of the executive producers on it and he was on the set everyday every day, all day, every hour… I thought it was so well handled, the whole film. I’m tickled for Patrick that it turned out so good and for all of them. I think it’s really great. I’ve got to wrap it up, Eric. I’m really sorry, because I’m enjoying talking with you.
Quint: No worries, you’ve got a lot of people wanting to talk to you. I really appreciate the time.
Tom Atkins: I hope I get the chance to see you down in Texas somewhere.
Quint: Yeah, I’ll get in touch with Fred and see what we can do about organizing something.
Tom Atkins: That’d be great!
Tom Atkins: Please do that. Do that… That’d be great!
Quint: I will. Thank you so much, sir and you have a good day!
Tom Atkins: Thanks, man.
I did order that above shirt, by the way (from FrightRags, a great site for horror shirts). What can I say? I’m a nerd for NOTC. As you can tell, if I had my druthers I would have spent hours talking with Atkins about his past work. That’s not to say MY BLOODY VALENTINE isn’t worthy. It’s a genuinely fun, gory, crazy, over-the-top horror movie. It’s more a testament to Atkins’ great filmography. I mean, we didn’t even get to talk about the much maligned (unfairly, in my opinion) HALLOWEEN 3 or LETHAL WEAPON. But I hope you guys enjoyed the interview as much as I did! -Quint firstname.lastname@example.org
Readers Talkbackcomments powered by Disqus
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Jan. 16, 2009, 5:57 a.m. CST
by The InSneider
i hated the movie tonight but this was a cool piece. nice job!
Jan. 16, 2009, 5:57 a.m. CST
by The Amazing G
I want that on dvd or blu ray already :(
Jan. 16, 2009, 6:18 a.m. CST
Jan. 16, 2009, 6:23 a.m. CST
What a cool, cool guy. That cheered me up!
Jan. 16, 2009, 6:23 a.m. CST
Jan. 16, 2009, 6:42 a.m. CST
by Boba Fat
I'm sold on MBV 3D, but what's the Savini connection?
Jan. 16, 2009, 7:25 a.m. CST
Hello?! CREEPSHOW, TWO EVIL EYES, BRUISER? Ring any bells?
Jan. 16, 2009, 7:30 a.m. CST
I'm sure they got Savini('s school) to do a life cast of Atkins prior to shooting rather than fly him out to wherever the effects house was situated.
Jan. 16, 2009, 7:41 a.m. CST
Atkins is a cool cat.
Jan. 16, 2009, 8 a.m. CST
but seriously-can someone put them in a movie where they aren't just wearing a tan duster?
Jan. 16, 2009, 8:02 a.m. CST
the Friday remake will be great!
Jan. 16, 2009, 8:10 a.m. CST
by Shut the Fuck up Donny
I wanna hear the line where he goes: <p> “I love your work” and I went “Woo woo” and I ran out and had a chat with him on the sidewalk. <p> I mean..WTF..That's when you do Sound-O-Text! <p> However, I gotta say, the interview was great. Atkins is seems to be class act all around, but isn't afraid to say when he doesn't like a director, i.e. Carpenter.
Jan. 16, 2009, 8:22 a.m. CST
when i saw him in a flick- i kinda wished my dad was more like him.<P>is that so wrong? what does that say about my childhood that i saw a father figure in a character actor?
Jan. 16, 2009, 8:32 a.m. CST
by Stuntcock Mike
"It's big business Roger"
Jan. 16, 2009, 8:36 a.m. CST
Jan. 16, 2009, 8:38 a.m. CST
by Stuntcock Mike
Jan. 16, 2009, 8:45 a.m. CST
by Boba Fat
Jan. 16, 2009, 9:55 a.m. CST
Quint, please let's arrange a showing of NOTC at the Ritz and help get it on DVD! That would be freaking awesome!
Jan. 16, 2009, 10:02 a.m. CST
always thought he'd make a good one. that's all.
Jan. 16, 2009, 10:18 a.m. CST
Jan. 16, 2009, 10:36 a.m. CST
We screened "Creeps" here in Edmonton, Canada (it was a bitch getting the print) and in the process I got the chance to correspond with Tom. Class act all the way and a super guy. Wish we had the dough to fly him in.
Jan. 16, 2009, 10:57 a.m. CST
... this is the kind of thing I read AICN for. Tom Fucking Atkins. That made my day.
Jan. 16, 2009, 11:08 a.m. CST
Whoa man. Need to revive the AMAD for that one. I found it really enjoyable, much better than I'd expected.
Jan. 16, 2009, 11:35 a.m. CST
Come on Quint! No love for Michael Huntsacker?
Jan. 16, 2009, 11:44 a.m. CST
by The Reluctant Austinite
My BNAT review for My Bloody Valentine 3-D" was the first one to run here on the site. I've been a huge Tom Atkins fan for many years, and this interview was really a dream to read. I just about jumped out of my seat at BNAT when Mr. Atkins first appeared on screen looking not a day older than than the last time I saw him, and I'm so glad the film lived up to his performance in it. This is a good weekend for old school horror fans and I'll be going to the theater to see it again to support Tom Atkins and the film-makers.
Jan. 16, 2009, 11:48 a.m. CST
When I met him in person, he was a complete douche. It was at a horror convention in Baltimore. He signed my Halloween 3 DVD and while I was in the middle of telling him how much I admired his work (Especially in Night of the Creeps)he just interrupted me and said, "Are you going to pay me for the autograph or what?" I did, and when I got my photo with him he didn't even smile. As far as asshole celebrity people go, he wasn't in the same league as Brad Dourif (MAJOR prick), but close.
Jan. 16, 2009, 11:57 a.m. CST
by Mr Nicholas
There must be something about the big league that turns people into nobheads.
Jan. 16, 2009, 12:46 p.m. CST
It's completely original and totally fucked up.
Jan. 16, 2009, 12:58 p.m. CST
by Lance Rocke
"That's why God made fathers, babe. That's why God made fathers." Classic!
Jan. 16, 2009, 2:27 p.m. CST
And when the hell do we get a Night of the Creeps DVD?!
Jan. 16, 2009, 2:38 p.m. CST
by Shut the Fuck up Donny
about Atkins (and Dourif was pretty amiable at his recent Dragoncon visit), so I sometimes wonder if it's a crapshoot as to how the celebrity is feeling that weekend, how busy he is, and the general chemistry with the particular fan(s) in question (with no insinuation you were being a "dick" of a fan with Mr. Atkins). I recall Robert Picardo being an absolute tool when I met him at a convention, but other people swear he's an absolute gem. <p> I wonder if there's a blog or a database online that addresses the general demeanor of regular con guests?
Jan. 16, 2009, 2:39 p.m. CST
I'm wearing my Atkins t-shirt right now and am going to see MBV3D in 3 hours. I can't wait.
Jan. 16, 2009, 3:32 p.m. CST
Halloween III is amazing and I loved what he had to say about Carpenter! Hilarious!
Jan. 16, 2009, 4:01 p.m. CST
The guy never stops kicking ass. The Carpenter comment was surprising at first, but the cigarettes and basketball follow-up comment kind of made it all make sense. I met Atkins a couple months ago and made a comment to him that kind of came out wrong. It was about his one-man stage performance as the former owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers, and I said "I would've loved to have seen that, but I just don't think that could've played out here", which I think he took as a slag because Atkins came back with a "Oh, I don't know, this is a football town, etc...". I simply meant that it was a small town show. Anyway, I felt kind of bad because my brief time meeting him was somewhat soured. Kind of re-inforces why I hate meeting some of these guys. No matter. I still adore the guy. As much as I loved NIGHT OF THE CREEPS, his role as the horny drunken Dr. Dan Challis in HALLOWEEN III remains my absolute fav.
Jan. 16, 2009, 4:22 p.m. CST
by The Reluctant Austinite
I'm a huge John Carpenter fan, but I enjoyed hearing Tom's actor's perspective. Other directors have been accused of similar focus on technique over people, including Hitchcock, James Cameron and Sam Raimi. I interviewed John Carpenter years ago and asked him about his working relationship with Kurt Russell. He said, "Kurt is one of those actors trained by Disney years ago. He hits his marks, says his lines and gives you very little problems." It was a very clinical assessment, when I expected something more personal. I hadn't thought about it that way until reading this. Anyway, Atkins gave a great everyman hero performance in "The Fog" and in the Carpenter produced "Halloween III." I met Tommy Lee Wallace again last summer, and I'd guess that he was more of an actor's director.
Jan. 16, 2009, 4:56 p.m. CST
Yes, it sometimes really seem to depend on when you met celebrities. I once talked to Robert Picardo at a convention and he was nice, funny and had no problem that I asked him more questions about Joe Dante than about him.<br> I also remember that Robert Leeshock (Earth: Final Conflict) once got drunk during a convention and pissed off lots of people, but came back next year, apologized and was a total cool and nice guy.<br> And of course I know hundreds of story from people who met Bruce Campbell. Some describe him as one hell of a guy who always loves to share some time with his fans, the other describe him as arrogant prick.<br> Of course we all have to remember that celebrities are human beings too and are sometimes pissed off like everyone of us.<br> Except Robert Beltran. He is always an ass.
Jan. 16, 2009, 6:01 p.m. CST
I used to see that movie on Channel 11 in NYC, as a kid, all the time. I saw it on cable, though, a few years later and the ending was completely different. I always liked the leech things going into the cemetery and then ship doing the spotlights. I don't even remember what the cable ending was, but it was different. I would hope that they'd either have the cemetery ending or both of them, if it ever gets a DVD/blu-ray release.
Jan. 16, 2009, 6:43 p.m. CST
by Hikaru Ichijo
Not just horror, but sports, too. GO STEELERS!
Jan. 16, 2009, 7:27 p.m. CST
You know, you can edit the whole "Uh... Corman, no... who did Nightmare On Elm St?" sequence and just put in "Wes Craven" followed by Atkins' point.
Jan. 16, 2009, 8:05 p.m. CST
it's one of those movies that deserves a good remake (unlike the original Halloween, which didn't need to be remade at all). the premise of the film was good and the "commercialism gone mad" message was ahead of its time in the highly-commercialized 80's, but the delivery left much to be desired. and a religious nutjob using our own technology against us is very revelant in this post-9/11 world. of course, Tom Atkins would have to be a role in it too!
Jan. 16, 2009, 11:10 p.m. CST
Have you seen "Dracula II: Ascension" and "Dracula III: Legacy"? Both have cameos from Roy Scheider and Jason Scott Lee as a badass vampire killer named Ufizzi. The latter was actually shot in the Transylvania and features Rutger Hauer as the Count himself.
Jan. 17, 2009, 3:17 a.m. CST
I hate these CG animated kiddie flicks, yet thanks to this new modern digital 3D thingie. I was actually engaged. So This bloody valentine movie should blow us away in 3D
Jan. 17, 2009, 3:20 a.m. CST
Nice to see the love for this unjustly maligned little film. Sure, it's a bit unpolished and weird, but as the years go by that becomes more and more part of its charm. As for a remake, they would NEVER do it justice. <p> It's a mean-spirited and nutty thing. I mean, come on -- a modern druid out to murder all the children of America with magic/tech Halloween masks? It also has killer robots, gore, a kid's head erupting in snakes and spiders, the fat guy from Beastmaster killed by rattlesnake, an almost-nude Stacy Nelkin and TOM FUCKING ATKINS as an alcoholic deadbeat dad in leisure slacks. <p> Ya can never bottle that particular bolt of lightning, folks.
Jan. 17, 2009, 3:24 a.m. CST
One of those guys who can keep a film grounded even when really weird shit is going on.
Jan. 17, 2009, 3:26 a.m. CST
...I bought the Monster Squad DVD to show my support for the project but I was very disappointed in the picture quality. There happens to be a 4-gig DVD rip of the HD broadcast of Monster Squad floating around the Interwebs and despite its smaller size, it fucking blows the official release out of the water in terms of picture quality. <p> There's also a similar version of Night of The Creeps floating around as well as one with both endings (although the quality is worse). I do have both but would GLADLY fork over the dough for an official NOTC DVD since I love the movie so much and want to see Dekker back in action.
Jan. 17, 2009, 11:46 a.m. CST
chopping mall here we come!
Jan. 17, 2009, 2:20 p.m. CST
I was actually surprised by how much I enjoyed the thing. It was a fun, gory, jumpy, & bootiful ride...& I dint even see it in 3-D. New who the killer was before the end of the flick & I really dug how they incorporated him into the mix...just dint like the very end. I recommend it...just for brainless fun.
Jan. 17, 2009, 5:09 p.m. CST
come on, PLEASE!!!! what's it gonna take? Give it justice. It needs to be seen!!
Jan. 17, 2009, 6:02 p.m. CST
Jan. 17, 2009, 9:54 p.m. CST
That was the best part of "Valentine".
Jan. 18, 2009, 1:13 a.m. CST
...for talking me into wasting my money on this piece of crap. my bloody valentine 3d was way too fucking long, the story was retarded, and the characters were dull and stupid. everything goes downhill after the intro and the sequence with the naked chick at the motel. save your money fuckers, and don't believe the hype.
Jan. 19, 2009, 12:22 a.m. CST
by Frodo T. Baggins
Please stop casting soap stars for main roles. 3D was good. But the pic axe kept missing my fucking forehead. I even leaned into it. I wanted...to....die
Jan. 19, 2009, 9:01 a.m. CST
One of my alltime favorites. Right up there with BRAINDEAD and EVIL DEAD 2. That said, Tom, I love you buddy, but VALENTINE 3D was horrible. Me and my wife went and saw it this past weekend. You won't find bigger horror fanatics. We both hated it. Just doesn't hold a candle to the original, one of my wife's favorite horror movies of all-time.
Jan. 19, 2009, 9:16 a.m. CST
Goddamn right. Also, Night of the Creeps best be on Blu-Ray. Soon.
Jan. 19, 2009, 1:19 p.m. CST
please, please, please hold a Night of the Creeps festival in Austin. It's one of my favorite movies. Why the fuck won't they release it? Fred Dekker and Tom Atkins are awesome.
Jan. 19, 2009, 1:31 p.m. CST
by Desk of Steel
What's the call on the new "My Bloody Valentine" FX? I haven't heard much about the FX at all.
Jan. 20, 2009, 6:11 p.m. CST
by Quake II
For 25 years I've heard about how terrible that film is....I've liked it since the first time I saw it on The Movie Channel in 84. Great performances, sick, twisted plot (witchcraft killing millions of kids!) & of course Tom Atkins. The Fog is in my "top 20 films of all time" list btw.
Jan. 20, 2009, 6:22 p.m. CST
by Quake II
I have that Night Of The Creeps Ebay dvd someone brought up above me. The picture quality is about broadcast tv. It does have 2 different endings and it lets you choose on the menu screen which version of the film you want to watch. Some fan took his time with that one. Worth the 12 bucks I paid.
Jan. 21, 2009, 12:03 a.m. CST
MBV 3-D. They set out to make a fun, gory, horror film, and that's what I got. I wasn't expecting Oscar worthy performances, or high art. I knew it would be cheesy. I knew it would be gory, and I had heard about the nude scene. I left a happy man. Take that Benjamin Button!!!
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