Lou Ferrigno, the Original Incredible Hulk, at Rhode Island Comic Con this Weekend

By Jason Harris

Lou Ferrigno.

Lou Ferrigno. Photo by Jason Harris.

Lou Ferrigno, the original Incredible Hulk, is in town for the fourth Rhode Island Comic Con, which starts this afternoon and runs until Sunday, November 8. We sat down at the Dunkin Donuts Center to talk about bodybuilding, the Incredible Hulk, and being the personal trainer for Michael Jackson.

Ferrigno discovered weight training 52 years ago at the age of 12, he said.

“When I was a kid, I was really skinny. I was just obsessed with power. I wanted to be powerful. I discovered weight training and I knew it would make me feel good about myself.”

Ferrigno wanted to be a hero like Hercules. He would watch old Hercules movies, then want to be a modern day gladiator or some other heroic character from the movies or comic books.

“I would fantasize about being the Hulk because of the way I was built.”

One day, he received a phone call about auditioning for the role, which at the time was being played by Richard Kiel. Kiel played the character of Jaws in two James Bond movies. The reason behind the switch was because director Kenneth Johnson’s son was on set one day and said Kiel didn’t look like the Hulk in the comic books, Ferrigno said. They contacted hundreds of people, including him, to audition.

“They called me, I went down for the screen test and immediately they hired me. And the next day, I was filming. In 48 hours, I went from bodybuilding to show business.”

Everything he did for the role came naturally to him, Ferrigno said.

“When I did the pilot, I used a lot of the animalistic behavior the way the character should be.”

One of his favorite moments on The Incredible Hulk was meeting Cary Grant, who came to the set with his nephew to get a picture taken with him.

“I was excited because he was one of the top movie stars in the world. That was one of my exciting moments because of the fact I was well respected.”

Ferrigno enjoyed working with Bill Bixby, who he considered “a very talented actor.” He was a fan of Bixby’s television shows The Courtship of Eddie’s Father and The Magician.

“I learned a lot from him. He was an icon. I was excited to learn from him and watch him.”

Ferrigno’s portrayal of the Incredible Hulk ended in 1990 with television movie, The Death of the Incredible Hulk, but he has continued with the character by voicing him in the UPN cartoon and in the current Marvel movies that started with The Incredible Hulk in 2008. The job was given to him after the director heard him say “Hulk crash” and “Hulk smash” at New York Comic Con seven to nine years ago, he said.

In the last few years, Ferrigno has been on Celebrity Apprentice and in an episode of Star Trek Continues.

“It was great because you’re on a show with a bunch of egos, celebrities,” Ferrigno said about Celebrity Apprentice. “I’m glad I raised 100,000 for my charity [the Muscular Dystrophy Association]. It taught me what it’s like to be with other celebrities. It was fun, but the hardest thing was no one wanted to be fired so you’re forced to look at other people’s faults. That was tough.”

Ferrigno did mention that “Donald Trump is a loose cannon.”

“I was very tense because you’re in the boardroom three times a week. You have to be careful how you conduct yourself. So with me, they were afraid of me, because when we were in the boardroom I just spoke my mind.”

Ferrigno has always been a fan of the original Star Trek so he was happy to play slave trader Zaminhon on Star Trek Continues when Vic Mignogna asked him. He wasn’t happy with the makeup, which took five hours to apply, he said.

“I knew I wanted to play [the character] because it was against type. I enjoyed playing that character.”

His upcoming movie Instant Death will be released next April. You will see him do things in the movie that audiences have never seen him do before, he said.

“I would say it’s my best work ever.”

Along with his acting, he continues giving advice about being a person’s own personal trainer at his website here or being a personal trainer to stars like Chuck Norris and Mickey Rourke. He was also Michael Jackson’s personal trainer for 20 years, which came about because he was a good friend of Jackson’s doctor.

“He learned a lot from me and I learned a lot from him,” Ferrigno said about Jackson.

You can meet Ferrigno at Rhode Island Comic Con this weekend. Find out more about the convention here.

Pictures from Rhode Island Comic Con 2014

 

By Jason Harris

 

Actor Walter Koenig (Star Trek: The Original Series).

Actor Walter Koenig (Star Trek: The Original Series).

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Captain America and Casey Jones.

Captain America and Casey Jones.

Actor John Wesley Shipp. (Flash, Dawson's Creek, The Flash).

Actor John Wesley Shipp (Dawson’s Creek, The Flash (1990 and 2014).

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An Andorian Starfleet officer holding a tridimensional chessboard.

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Actor James Hampton (Teen Wolf).

Actor James Hampton (Teen Wolf).

Mary Poppins.

Mary Poppins.

WWE star and author Mick Foley.

WWE star and author Mick Foley.

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Actress Nichelle Nichols (Star Trek: The Original Series).

Actress Nichelle Nichols (Star Trek: The Original Series).

Cobra Commander.

Cobra Commander.

Groot and Rocket.

Groot and Rocket.

Actor Seth Gilliam (The Walking Dead).

Actor Seth Gilliam (The Walking Dead).

Quint being eaten by Jaws.

Quint being eaten by Jaws.

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Ben Obi-Wan Kenobi and Dr. Strange.

Ben Obi-Wan Kenobi and Dr. Strange.

Captain America.

Captain America.

Actor Mark Sheppard (Supernatural, Leverage).

Actor Mark Sheppard (Supernatural, Leverage).

Frozen's Elsa.

Frozen’s Elsa.

Actor J. August Richards (Marvel's Agents of Shield, Angel).

Actor J. August Richards (Marvel’s Agents of Shield, Angel).

Actor Vic Mignogna (Star Trek Continues).

Actor Vic Mignogna (Star Trek Continues).

Mirror Universe Spock.

Mirror Universe Spock.

Actress Karen Allen (Raiders of the Lost Ark, Starman).

Actress Karen Allen (Raiders of the Lost Ark, Starman). Photo by Stacey Longo.

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Actor William Forsythe (The Devil's Rejects, Dick Tracy).

Actor William Forsythe (The Devil’s Rejects, Dick Tracy).

Dick Tracy.

Dick Tracy.

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Actor Saul Rubinek (Warehouse 13, True Romance).

Actor Saul Rubinek (Warehouse 13, True Romance).

Kevin Smith.

Kevin Smith.

The Blues Brothers.

The Blues Brothers.

Actor Anthony Michael Hall (Weird Science, televison's The Dead Zone).

Actor Anthony Michael Hall (Weird Science, televison’s The Dead Zone). Photo by Stacey Longo.

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Steven Williams (Supernatural, The X-Files, Jason Goes to Hell).

Steven Williams (Supernatural, The X-Files, Jason Goes to Hell).

Actor Bobby Clark (Star Trek: The Original Series).

Actor Bobby Clark (Star Trek: The Original Series).

Batman.

Batman.

Actor John Rhys-Davies (Raiders of the Lost Ark) and author Stacey Longo.

Actor John Rhys-Davies (Raiders of the Lost Ark) and author Stacey Longo.

Spider-woman and Captain America.

Spider-woman and Captain America.

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The Dome of the Sci-fi Saturday Night podcast.

The Dome of the Sci-fi Saturday Night podcast.

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Princess Leia (Cosplayer Sarah Ann McGinnis)

Princess Leia (Cosplayer Sarah Ann McGinnis)

The alien marching band.

The alien marching band.

J. August Richards dancing with the alien band.

J. August Richards dancing with the alien band.

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Actor George Takei  (Star Trek: The Original Series).

Actor George Takei (Star Trek: The Original Series).

Movie Review: Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead (2006)

 

By Stacey Longo

Poultrygeist Night of the Chicken Dead

Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead is vulgar, politically incorrect, and completely unapologetic about it. The premise of this ridiculous romp is that a fried chicken franchise, American Chicken Bunker, has been built on top of a sacred Native American burial ground in Tromaville. The site is also chock full of toxic waste (this is, after all, the same town that birthed the Toxic Avenger). Our hero is Arbie (Jason Yachanin), who discovers his high school sweetheart, Wendy (portrayed by Kate Graham) has turned gay while away at college, and is now protesting the new chicken franchise in Tromaville. Arbie, in turn, gets a job at the restaurant to spite her. As Arbie sings (this movie is also a quasi-musical): “Revenge is a dish best served fried.”

Things quickly go south as patrons of the restaurant get sick and eventually turn into giant mutant chickens from eating the toxic poultry. There is one particular bathroom scene that is so disgusting, repulsive, and full of excrement, that teenage boys everywhere will be cheering.

The climax of the movie shows patrons being murdered in gratuitously gory ways including sliced to death by deli slicer, impaled by chicken nuggets, and a guy’s legs being ripped apart like a wishbone. Arbie, fellow employee Hummus, Wendy, and a random little girl are able to fight off the chickens with alcohol, but it is Hummus who sacrifices herself so the others can escape.

While silly and spoofy, this movie is entertaining, too. Highlights include a cameo by Ron Jeremy, and nods to films like Jaws, The Exorcist, and Alien. Although campy, this is also a commentary on corporate greed: how chain franchises and large corporations are putting mom-n-pop stores out of business, contributing to child obesity in the country, and basically dumbing down America. Yes, this could be a serious introspection on the heartlessness and cold greed of corporate America, if not for all of the topless girls and “choking chicken” references.

Stacey Longo Enjoys Ron Jeremy’s ‘One-Eyed Monster’

By Stacey Longo

One-eyed monsterONE-EYED MONSTER (2008, Liberation Entertainment) is the tale of an alien that comes to Earth to possess porn star Ron Jeremy’s penis and seed the Earth. If that statement didn’t make you giggle at least a little bit, then this movie might not be for you.

A delightful horror/comedy romp, this B-movie stars Amber Benson, Veronica Hart, and Charles Napier, with Ron Jeremy as himself. The film opens with a group heading off to the mountains to film an adult movie. Jeremy laments that he’s not in shape anymore, and Hart (also playing herself) is upset that she just might be too old to be in porn, despite her impressive Kegel muscles. However, these concerns take a back seat when Jeremy’s penis is possessed by an alien and detaches itself, only to set off on a murderous rampage.

The beauty of this movie is that the characters know the plotline is ridiculous. They’re stunned and incredulous that Ron Jeremy’s penis is hunting them down, one by one. The director made a wise choice in not showing the menacing member for three-quarters of the movie, which results in a heightened sense of suspense—a technique used effectively by Steven Spielberg in JAWS and replicated here.

Ron Jeremy of One-Eyed Monster.

Ron Jeremy of One-Eyed Monster. Photo by Jason Harris.

Notable performances include Jason Graham as Jonah, who is quick to accept that yes, a possessed penis is what they’re fighting here, and it’s a serious matter. Add to this Napier’s slightly crazed Vietnam vet, who has seen this kind of thing once before. His speech about the penis in ‘Nam that wiped out his whole platoon would come across as silly and trite if not for Napier’s ability to deliver it like a man who has seriously been traumatized by these events that “boot camp never prepared me for.”

Our heroes try to trap the murderous member, but their first attempt fails, and the survivors race to a radio tower to try and get help. Veronica Hart regains consciousness at this point (she’d been knocked into unconsciousness when Ron’s penis first attacked during their sex scene) and tries to catch up on the action.

Veronica: “Who’s in me?”

It is Veronica, and her fabulous Kegel muscles, that eventually save the day.

This movie is not for the faint of heart, young children, or your mother. Overall, it’s fun, chock-full of one-liners and laughs, and definitely worth watching. Check out the DVD extras for a fabulous five-minute mockumentary on the movie’s special effects for one last laugh after the film ends. ONE-EYED MONSTER is a must-see for all “so bad it’s good” movie fans.

Editor’s Note:

This review originally appeared on the Cinema Knife Fight website. You can see it by clicking here.

Visiting ‘Jurassic Park’ in 3D

Visiting Jurassic Park in 3D

by Jason Harris

Jurassic ParkIt has been 20 years since Steven Spielberg brought Jurassic Park to audiences. It’s a film that holds up well, which isn’t surprising since a lot of Spielberg’s movies do. E.T. and Jaws are two movies that come to mind.

This Friday a new Jurassic Park is arriving in theaters. This one is in 3D though. It’s perfect timing for Universal Studios since they are working on a fourth one, which should come out in 2014.

If you haven’t seen this movie, which is based on the Michael Crichton novel of the same name, here’s a brief synopsis. John Hammond (Richard Attenborough), the CEO of InGen, created a park populated by dinosaurs. There’s an accident at his Jurassic Park, which causes his investors to insist on an inspection by experts Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill) and Dr. Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern), who are joined by “rock star” Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum). All hell breaks loose because of corporate espionage and everyone is trying to survive when the dinosaurs get loose throughout the park.

I have never been a fan of 3D movies since my eyesight is bad and the 3D effect never seems to work for me. It also could have been the 3D glasses too. When I saw the movie at an IMAX theater during a screening the other night, they had glasses that were flush against my face. These worked quite well. A few times during the movie, I actually thought there was something in front of me. One time it was only a tree branch in the movie. The 3D effect also brings out things in the movie’s background, which may have been over looked in previous viewings. It also makes you feel like what’s happening is only a few feet in front of you.

It’s great seeing this movie on the silver screen. And it’s even better seeing it in 3D.

My Trip to Haddonfield

My Trip to Haddonfield

By Rob Watts

As a fan of many classic movies, I’ve had the pleasure of visiting a great deal of filming locations to those films. As a child I got to swim at the beach from Jaws in Martha’s Vineyard. I had the pleasure of visiting The Amityville Horror house in Toms River, New Jersey. Heck, I live within ten minutes of various movie locations in Boston where such films as The Town, The Departed, and Good Will Hunting were filmed. My absolute favorite location visited however was South Pasadena, California where the majority of John Carpenter’s HALLOWEEN was filmed.

Rob Watts in front of The Wallace home where Laurie’s friend babysat. Photo by Shannon Watts.

Unlike a lot of filming locations, the neighborhood of South Pasadena was used primarily “as is.” There was very little film trickery involved as the town of “Haddonfield” had (has) a charm and beauty of its own that needed very little set dressing. Aside from bags of painted leaves being thrown around within frame to establish autumn in Illinois, very little else was manipulated. Upon first visit to the now iconic neighborhood, I was shocked to see just how much of it resembled that as it was in the film, even more than thirty years later.

The hardware store (as it is today). Photo by Shannon Watts.

You don’t have to travel far around town to see most of the locations either, as much of the daytime hours scenes were all filmed within streets of each other. For instance, the street where Laurie Strode is walking to school after dropping the keys off at the Myers house (Meridian Ave), leads directly to the hardware store that was broken into later in the day. Incidentally, the actual Myers house was moved and restored directly across the street from the hardware store (now a picture framing store) and is currently a doctor’s office located at 1000 Mission Street.

Rob Watts on the steps of the Myers House. Photo by Shannon Watts.

If you walk back down Meridian Ave., you will be walking in the direction of the streets where Laurie and her friends walked home from school. You’ll want to look for Magnolia Street, Montrose Ave., and Highland Street. These are the streets which were most visible throughout the first half of the movie. Probably the most iconic location from the film, and believe me it’s still there, is the famous hedge where Michael Myers hid behind as the girls approached him. It’s a little tricky to find at first because most houses on the street have similar hedges, but if you travel down Montrose Ave, going through Oxley Street, you will stumble upon the giant hedge. Just make sure no one is standing behind it waiting for you.

The babysitting scene street . N Orange Grove Ave
The babysitting scene street. N Orange Grove Ave. Photo by Shannon Watts.

The last half of the film, where the girls were babysitting, was oddly enough filmed on the corner of Sunset Blvd in West Hollywood. Although you’d never know it from watching the film, directly behind the camera crew was a bustling nightlife. It was a bit odd for me to look in the opposite direction of the street from the film and find a KFC and Blockbuster Video (because I’m sure Laurie Strode could have run in there for help if she really needed it.) But that was the genius of John Carpenter. He had a knack for taking a side street of Los Angeles’ most happening neighborhood and have it appear as a modest suburban town in the middle of America.

The street where Myers drove behind the girls. Photo by Shannon Watts.

The two houses where Jamie Lee Curtis’ character and her friend babysat are located at 1530 and 1537 North Orange Grove Street, off Sunset Blvd. The home where Laurie Strode babysat looks almost identical as it did in the movie. The house across the street has been updated a great deal over the years but still maintains some resemblance to how it did in the movie.

Rob Watts in front of the Doyle House (Jamie Lee’s). Photo by Shannon Watts.

So if you are ever in the West Hollywood or South Pasadena area of California and you love the original Halloweenthen it’s worth a venture around the filming locations of this incredible film. Just be respectful to the homeowners and respect their privacy. And for God sake, if you see a guy walking around in a rubber mask, RUN!

The creepy staircase in the Myers house. Photo by Shannon Watts.

Jawsfest Celebrates ‘Jaws’ on Blu-ray

This past weekend the four-day Jawsfest celebrated the 37th anniversary of Jawsand the release of it on Blu-ray this past Tuesday.

The event coincides with Universal Studios’ 100th Anniversary celebration and the Aug. 14 release of Jaws on Blu-ray, which features an all-new, digitally remastered and fully restored picture, as well as 7.1 surround sound. It also includes over 4 hours of bonus features including an all-new documentary “The Shark is Still Working.”

Jawsfest takes place on Martha’s Vineyard, the stand-in for the fictional Amity Island. This festival celebrates the legacy of Steven Spielberg’s film and how it has impacted the lives of those who came to Amity in 1974. The tribute event also pays homage to the men and women of Jaws who have passed with a special focus on Peter Benchley, Roy Scheider and Robert Shaw.