BEST OF TIMES WORST OF TIMES
I looked like a swashbuckler in Jack Of All Trades. It was very dashing and fairly comfortable, except the cape, which was too fucking heavy. They took out half the weight. I said, “I gotta fight in this cape, baby!” For Mindwarp, I played a post-apocalyptic Jeremiah Johnson in a costume made of car parts. My goggles were car heating vents. But I was hitting on the costume designer so I was somewhat distracted.
Sundown: The Vampire In Retreat. about ’88 we shot that, in Moab, Utah. I’m a huge fan of the west and it completely made me eat up Utah. It’s just spectacular in its desolation and isolation and its solitude. I’ve since come back multiple times to that town as a civilian because it was such a spectacular location. the worst was probably detroit, Michigan, shooting Crimewave. I was directing the second unit. we were on a cherrypick bucket up over the detroit river in the middle of winter and it was 30 degrees below Fahrenheit. your mouth starts to freeze up so when you start to talk, you sound really drunk, but you’re not.
I’ve gotten three jobs from auditions in my entire life. The first one was Knots Landing, playing Michael York’s assistant for two episodes. It was 1987 — the first thing I auditioned for in Hollywood. I didn’t do TV for another five years because of how horrifying the experience was. I met with Ed Zwick for Thirtysomething. He was mixing a movie while I waited. I came into his office and said, “You should fix [those] cricket sound effects on reel three.” My manager said, “Ed Zwick just told me your meeting is the reason he doesn’t like to take meetings with actors.”
Bubba Ho-tep. elvis is lying there, looks up and sees the stars align. It says, “all is well.” It was a poignant ending to a ridiculous film. I added a, “thank you very much.” that’s how elvis would die. I vomited leeches in Mindwarp. they were rubber fishing lure leeches with fake blood you had to hold in your mouth without gagging. But I met my wife Ida [on the film], so that worked out.
The premiere of Ash Vs Evil Dead in Hollywood. We never had a Hollywood premiere for any of the Evil Dead movies. We shut down two blocks of Hollywood Boulevard and Iggy Pop sang for a thousand screaming fans. I was like, “Okay, Evil Dead, you’ve arrived.” This shitty little movie that had been made fun of for years had finally got into the Hollywood mainstream. That cracked me up. I got fired from Crimewave and I was cast as the lead. I did a screen test, but because the budget was bigger and it wasn’t horror, some studio guy wasn’t going to have it. I had to take a secondary role as a slimy heel and watch some other actor [Reed Birney] do the role. That was a shitty experience.