Page 1








LONDON - Yes! We’re finally open! After months and months of preparations The Grindhouse Theatre opens it’s door on Leicester Square in London! We’re aiming to be the main cinema in and outside of London where you can catch your favorite classic b-movies. But not only that, with this newspaper we’re also taking aim at the film press. Read on for more information...


With this first edition of The Grindhouse Companion we’re only giving you a little taste of what’s to come. These sample pages only contain a fraction of the content we aim to publish once we’re fully up and running. So consider this only a taste of what’s to come. That said, let’s take a look at what this issue does have to offer... First of there’s the news. We’ll be giving you a nice update on what’s happening in b-movie land. We know we can’t compete


GREEN LANTERN LEADS MODEST CORPS NEW YORK - Friday wasn’t the brightest day for Green Lantern, but the comic book adaptation still drew an estimated $21.6 million on approximately 7,200 screens at 3,816 locations. Green Lantern had a slightly higher first day gross than X-Men: First Class’s $21.4 million, but it was less than Thor’s $25.5 million. The gross was also comparable to The Incredible Hulk and the two Fantastic Four movies. In terms of estimated attendance, though, Green Lantern trailed all of those movies. A precise 3D location count was at the moment of writing unavailable for Green Lantern as of this writing, but it had at least 2,700. Those 3D sites accounted for an estimated 46 percent of the gross. The 3D share was close to Kung Fu Panda 2 and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides but down from Thor’s 60 percent. Mr. Popper’s Penguins slid in to second with an estimated $6.4 million on around 4,200 screens at 3,339 locations. That was tepid for a Jim Carrey comedy.


with the directness of the internet, but what you’ll be able to read in here will be a lot more thought-out. Secondly there’s the features, things like portraits and interviews and stuff like that. Nothing mindboggling, but still pretty entertaining. Up next are the reviews. We’ll be doing

reviews for new and old dvd’s, but also for movies that still have to screen at The Grindhouse Theatre. And lastly there’s the Monster Corner section of our newspaper. That page is basically something silly but cool about our passion. We have no idea what’s to come in the next issues, but we know it’ll be fun!

August 29th PEEPERS REDNECK ZOMBIES Check out our website for exact schedules and updates:

BATTLE OF THE PIRANHAS HOLLYWOOD - This summer is shaping up to be very piranhacentric, with two major new films featuring the river fish in its blood drinking role. The Grindhouse Companion brings you the facts: We all know about the recently released Piranha 3D, a 25 million dollar special effects extravaganza helmed by Alexandre Aja, produced by Atmosphere Entertainment, and starring Richard Dreyfus, Elizabeth Shue, and Ving Rhames. But we don’t know quite as much about Mega Piranha, a low budget camp-creature-feature helmed by Eric Forsberg, which premiered on Syfy April 10th to 2.2 million viewers, the second largest audience in the station’s history; Produced by The Asylum; it stars 80s pop sensation Tiffany; B-action dude Paul Logan; and 70s icon Barry Williams (yup, it’s Greg Brady folks): a cast that is as perfect for a cult following as any John

Water’s movie. In fact Mega Piranha’s fan base has been growing in leaps and bounds. “Hail the power of Mega Piranha! Saturday night is fun again” says the genre fan-mag, Monsters and Critics. The Huffington Post writes “Mega Piranha is the most entertaining and enjoyable live-action movie I’ve seen this year.” Jay Leno even showed clips from Mega Piranha during one of his monologues as an alternate to Disney’s “Ocean”. To top it off, Mega Piranha played at San Diego’s Comic-Con last month and the audience responded as if it were The Rocky Horror Picture Show, jumping up and screaming lines, chanting in unison to the screen, and shouting out positive commentary that made the entire experience a FAN-tastic blast.

movie to remember. The question is – can the big ticket “Piranha 3D” deal a knock out blow to the underdog “Mega Piranha”; or will Forsberg’s low budget creature pic gobble up the competition yet again?

With a budget twenty-five times bigger than Mega Piranha’s, Piranha 3D is trying to play catch-up as the “so bad it’s good”

If you haven’t seen Mega Piranha, then you really ought to because it truly is a spectacularly off-the-wall piece of b-moviemaking. That said, and even though I have not yet seen Piranha 3D, the prospect of a naked Kelly Brook in 3D gives Piranha 3D the automatic win, regardless.







PG 4






TOBEY To kickstart this feature (which will return every issue) we went straight ahead and immediately picked the most populair science fiction actor of the fifties and sixties. Kenneth Tobey starred as the hero in countless of movies, and was hugely popular because of it. His poster adorned the walls of lots of boys’ and girls’ rooms.

My love of monster movies constantly got me in trouble In Catholic school. One day, in fourth grade, wicked Sister Evalda (that was her real name, though it should have been Evilda!) asked every kid in our class who they most admired in this world. Now, I should have known that this was a set up. It was all a ruse to see who would suck up to her and say “Sister so and so,” or “Father so and so,” or mention some other great Catholic ( JFK was a safe bet). It was also to see which of us had already been corrupted by television and movies (oh, oh). So up and down the rows she went. If kids happened to mention a TV star or a rock group as their favorite (God forbid you said The Beatles), she was ready to pounce and tell them how weak their choice was, how they had “cobwebs in their brain,” and that in 20 years “no one would remember this person (or band).” I was still young and stupid (and hadn’t learned how to fool the nuns – yet) because when Sister Evalda got to me, I proudly stood up and said that I most admired actor Kenneth Tobey. I can still hear the laughter that erupted from my classmates (and I can still feel the embarrassment). And the look that Evalda gave me was as if I had just cut a huge fart right. They had no idea who I was talking about. I was just being honest. To me, Kenneth Tobey was just so cool. I mean he was in so many great sci-fi movies I watched on TV. He did fight some splendid monsters, like the carrot monster from “The Thing from Another World” (1951), the Rhedosaurus from “The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms” (1953), and the giant octopus from “It Came from Beneath the Sea” (1955). To a nine-year-old, Tobey had just about the best résumé of any actor out there. Tobey had a unique career. As a young man, while preparing for a law degree, he tried his hand at acting at the University of California. He enjoyed it so much that he then moved to New York and studied at the Neighborhood Playhouse. Tobey then moved on to off-Broadway and Broadway roles during the 1940s. In the latter part of the decade, he made his way to Hollywood and started working in film. He first gained recognition in the small role of “Red” in Howard Hawks’ “I was a Male War Bride” (1949). Hawks enjoyed working with the likable Tobey and promised to star him in a future role. When Tobey saw that Hawks was casting for “The Thing from Another World,” he approached the director. Hawks remembered Tobey and cast him on the spot. So as the decade of the 1950s dawned, Tobey found himself in one of the screen’s great sci-fi classics.


While it’s true that a lot of actors could have played the role of Captain Pat Hendry in “The Thing,” it’s doubtful if their performance would be remembered as fondly by sci-fi fans. Ken Tobey just made the role his own. His performance is sincere, funny, and engaging. He plays Hendry as a man who’s just getting by in his military career. He’s reached the rank of Captain, and he’s not in any hurry to raise his profile. He’s always been a lady’s man. And out of the blue, he’s thrust into a very dangerous situation. Once there, his true leadership skills emerge, and he’s determined to make sure that everyone (soldier and civilian alike) survive their encounter with the ferocious carrot alien. One of the great character traits that Tobey’s performance accentuates (from Charles Lederer’s screenplay) is Hendry’s playfulness. He throws sarcastic barbs at his crew when they tease him about his interest in Nikki (Margaret Sheridan). Throughout the film, he constantly jabs with Scotty (Douglas Spencer) over Scotty’s need to get the story of the alien to the outside world. But his best verbal sparring is with Nikki. She likes him, and Pat likes her (a lot), so he had come on very strong on his previous visit to the outpost. This has made Nikki a little hesitant about getting too involved with him. In order to put her mind at ease Hendry lets Nikki tie him up and ply him with drinks (a great scene). Nikki lets her guard down and tells Pat how she really feels about him. Towards the end of the scene, Hendry reveals that he has untied himself, all to Nikki’s consternation. He stands up, grabs

her and it seems as if he’s going to seduce Nikki, but instead all he does is give her a good long kiss and say goodnight. He likes her too much to cheapen their relationship. Tobey is terrific here. He embodies Hendry’s frustration (and honor) perfectly. In these scenes, his performance is playful and genuine.

“It’s no wonder that the “The Thing from Another World” is acknowledged as a classic. Kenneth Tobey’s endearing performance is just one reason why.” Tobey’s acting choice also deepens another great character trait in Hendry – his determination. Once the alien threat has been revealed (in the wonderful scene where scientist Dr. Voorhees [Paul Frees] staggers back from the greenhouse and reveals the carnage that happened there), Hendry is galvanized into action. Tobey allows the viewer to see that Hendry has witnessed death before (during World War II) and that it sickens him. He seems to be one of the few people at the base that realizes

the dangerous situation everyone is in. He spends the rest of the film trying to keep everyone out of harm’s way. He takes the lead, and his crew fall right in step behind them. He directs all the attempts to find and destroy the creature, and is in the forefront of every battle.

But perhaps Tobey does his best job in the scenes showing Hendry’s common sense. After the alien ship is destroyed, Hendry doesn’t allow the base scientists to remove the alien from the block of ice for fear of damaging the body. Tobey’s Hendry is unwavering, resisting all of the scientist’s logical reasons for examining the body. He delivers his lines in a way that a parent might answer a petulant child. Then, once the alien’s true intentions are revealed, Tobey lets Hendry’s reactions reveal how level-headed he is. The scene that highlights this perfectly is when Hendry and his crew quietly approach the greenhouse door. When Hendry opens up the door, the Thing is standing there menacingly. It strikes at Hendry who does what any logically-minded man would do – he slams the door shut. There is no hesitation. Tobey looks totally shocked, but determined, and slams the door as if his life depends on it (which, of course, it does). When Scotty complains that he couldn’t get a picture, Hendry sarcastically asks him if he wants Hendry to open the door again. Tobey’s timing and rhythm are perfect. It’s a great light ending for such an intense scene. It’s no wonder that the “The Thing from Another World” is acknowledged as a classic. Kenneth Tobey’s endearing performance is just one reason why. ›››

#01 THE GRINDHOUSE COMPANION Battling Beasts Tobey’s next sci-fi call to action was in the Ray Harryhausen monster film “The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms” (1953). Once again he plays a staunch military man (Colonel Jack Evans) who has to dispatch a thawed-out dinosaur that’s destroying New York. Tobey is the second lead in the film (Paul Christian is the hero scientist). The screenplay, by Lou Morheim and Fred Freiberger, is not as good as Charles Lederer’s for “The Thing from Another World”. It doesn’t allow Tobey any room to stretch out, so he is forced to play it straight. But Tobey does manage to add some color to his character. Early in the film he acts very concerned when Christian and fellow scientist Ross Elliot turn up missing after the atomic bomb test. Later (in probably his best scene), Tobey tries to convince fellow military man Donald Woods about the existence of the monster. It’s a wonderful scene, because even as Tobey tries to tell Woods, you can see that he’s still having trouble believing it himself. Later, once the monster has made Manhattan his new home, Tobey calmly and coolly directs the troops under him. He has them use dif-

ferent types of weapons, in a vain attempt to kill the monster. Unfortunately, Tobey has nothing to do but look concerned for the last act of the film, as Christian and a young Lee Van Cleef attempt to destroy the Beast with a radioactive isotope. But Tobey’s there staring grimly as the mission unfolds. While the film does not present an opportunity to shine, Tobey brings a calming and reassuring presence to his role as Colonel Evans. Two years later Tobey was once again cast as a military man in another early Ray Harryhausen monster fest – “It Came from Beneath the Sea” (1955). This time he’s Pete Mathews, a tough and salty nuclear sub commander, who is the first person to encounter Harryhausen’s giant cephalopod. Tobey’s role is more clichéd than in “The Beat from 20,000 Fathoms.” The screenplay by George Worthing Yates is strictly following a formula, so Tobey has no latitude and has to say his lines with a straight face. The screenplay is so clunky that it doesn’t allow Tobey and his beautiful co-star Faith Domergue to generate any romantic sparks (unlike the great chemistry that’s evident between Tobey and Marga-

FEATURES ret Sheridan in “The Thing from Another World”). But Tobey takes his man of action role to heart, as he always does, and he’s there throughout the film, dutifully trying to rid the world of yet another gruesome atomic monstrosity. Tobey had one more sci-fi credit during the 1950s; that of small town sheriff Buck Donley in 1957’s “The Vampire.” The film is an earnest attempt to tell a tale about a traditional gothic monster that’s been created through modern science. The film stars John Beal as a small town doctor who is called in to examine a dying local researcher. They turn him into a grotesque, scaly monster who craves blood. The pills also turn out to be addictive, and every time Beal takes them, he reverts to the snarling vampire. Tobey plays Buck in an easygoing and casual manner. He’s perplexed by the rising body count and doesn’t think that there’s a vampire running around. It’s only at the end, that Tobey realizes the true danger everyone’s in. His physical confrontation with the vampire is brief but thrilling. Sadly, the role of Buck would be Tobey’s last fantastic film part. •


a product here that people really wanted to see. The producers really responded to that and next thing you know we’re making an actual movie. I have to say though that we wouldn’t have gotten to make Hobo With a Shotgun and I wouldn’t be here in Texas talking about it if it wasn’t for all the support we got from people online. All those comments, all the hits on the video, that’s what got the film made. Nic - Hobo With a Shotgun stars Rutger Hauer. How did he become involved in your project?

JASON EISNER The way things usually work with movies is that you make a movie, and then cut a trailer to try and sell that movie to audiences. However, when Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino teamed up to do a retro exploitation cinema double feature called Grindhouse, they thought it would be fun to add some trailers for films that had never been made. Some were made by famous filmmakers, but others were chosen by a fake trailer competition. Entries of all types poured in, including one from a young Canadian filmmaker named Jason Eisener. Eisener’s entry was a blend of vigilante justice, social commentary, and over the top violence…Hobo With A Shotgun. The trailer won and was featured during the theatrical run and on the special features for the DVD release. But that wasn’t enough for fans. The trailer became a hit online and soon Eisener found himself behind the camera again. This time though he was taking the trailer and making it into a feature film, starring action/fantasy movie legend Rutger Hauer. With the film complete and preparing for a theatrical run of its own, Eisener has been pounding the pavement promoting the film at festivals and online. That is how this unassuming young man in a black t-shirt and toque ended up sitting behind a guest table at the 2011 Texas Frightmare Weekend. A line of horror fans waits for the chance to meet Eisener and he doesn’t disappoint. Taking the time to talk to each fan, Eisener’s genuine love of the genre and its fans is clear, making him one of the most approachable of the event’s guests. B Movie Man Nic Brown found Eisener up early on the convention’s last day, and despite a late night, the filmmaker was still happily greeting fans and signing Hobo With a Shotgun posters. During one of the rare lulls in the crowd, Eisener gave his signing hand a rest and talked with me about his film, the challenges he faced making a film in Canada, and how Rutger Hauer became involved in the project.


Nic - Jason, you’re here at the Texas Frightmare Weekend promoting your new film Hobo With a Shotgun and I have to ask, where the hell did you come up with this crazy, fun movie? Jason - It all started back home in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. There’s this pizza joint called Barney’s Pizza where me and my best friend John Davies, who’s also the writer of the movie, go to get inspired and pitch ideas around.

“All of a sudden we had close to a million hits!” Well one day we’re there, throwing ideas back and forth when one of my other buddies, Mojo, is hanging out with us. Mojo - he’s got really long hair and he was wearing this shaggy shirt on and he had just bought this Airsoft shotgun that shoots plastic pellets, and as me and John are talking about movie ideas, Mojo just pipes up and says, “Hey why don’t you guys

make a movie about me?” So John looks him up and down for a minute and then says. “What - a movie about a hobo with a shotgun?z” and it just clicked and we were all blown away by this, thinking that it would be a really cool title. So then we started envisioning ideas for the story and coming up with little scenes and stuff right there, but we didn’t do anything with it. A little while later, Robert Rodriguez came out with a ‘best fake movie trailer’ contest for the film Grindhouse and we brought Hobo out of the closet, dusted the idea off and brought it to life. Nic - So the film actually started as nothing more than a trailer? Jason - Yeah it did. It won and was included in the trailers shown during the Grindhouse double feature. Then after that, we put the trailer up online and it just kind of took off on its own and went viral. All of a sudden we had close to a million hits on the trailer and all these people were leaving comments asking us to make this movie and saying that they really wanted to see it. So we were able to take those numbers and the comments to our producers and showed them that there was

Jason - Alliance, our Canadian distributor, asked me to write out a list of my top five favorite actors who I would love to play the role. Growing up, Rutger Hauer was one of my favorite actors and I ended up chasing down every one of his films. He just has this amazing class and smoothness and he has so much presence behind his performances that he’s like no one else I’ve ever seen. I wanted to bring that sort of classic vibe that he carries to the character, so I made him number one on my list thinking the whole time that there was no way in hell that this was ever going to happen. I figured I’d make him number one though because it would give everyone an idea of the kind of actor I was looking for to play this character. Well, Alliance got the script to his agent, but his agent didn’t think it was the kind of film that Rutger would do. But one thing about Rutger Hauer is that if you tell him that there is something he won’t want to do, that makes him more interested in it. So he looked at it and within a couple of days I had to get on Skype with him to talk about the film! It was funny because I’d never used Skype before and I was so nervous about talking to him that I couldn’t even stomach my lunch. But then we got on the call together and we hit it off. We talked for about an hour and we really connected. After that, he told the production that he was totally down with us on the project and that he was going to come to Dartmouth to get crazy with us! Nic - That’s great the way he came on board with you! I also understand you had some fun at the premiere of the film. Jason - Oh man, I was so worried about what she would think of it. When the film was over, she turned around and gave me a look she used to give me when I was a kid because she heard screaming coming from the television and she’d catch me and my brother watching Return of the Living Dead. It was a lot for her to take in and it is definitely not her type of movie. But she was so proud of us, it was great! •




Don Steele, Garry Marshall and others. Marion Ross is particularly funny, as her role is pretty much completely the opposite of her role as Marion Cunningham on Happy Days. She swears, flips people off and is generally caustic and rude. I think of all the performances in this film, hers was by far the most entertaining.

GRAND THEFT AUTO Paula (Nancy Morgan) and Sam (Ron Howard) just want to get married and be happy together. For any normal couple, this wouldn’t be an issue, but for Paula and Sam, things aren’t so easy. See, Paula comes from a well off family, and her father (Barry Cahill) has aspirations of becoming the Governor of the state. He and her mother (Elizabeth Rogers) have her life all planned out for her, including who she’s going to marry. They want her to marry Collins Hedgeworth (Paul Linke), who’s about the biggest... well, let’s put it this way. If you’ve ever seen Monty Python’s Upper Class Twit of the Year sketch, this guy would have come in first place. Not only is he a wussy twit, but he apparently has the emotional level of a child, because he’s convinced that Paula and he belong together and are engaged to be married. So when Paula has a fight with her parents after her father forbids her to



I actually put off reviewing this movie for quite some time. I’m not sure why that is really, but I guess it was because I didn’t think it would be goofy enough or be interesting enough to make a good review. Well, it’s turned out to be one of those rare instances where I’m happy to say that I was completely wrong. This movie was extremely well written, incredibly well acted, and beautifully produced from start to finish. The acting was first rate, especially by the little girl who was played by Sandy

marry Sam, she leaves, steals their Rolls Royce, picks up Sam, and the two head for Las Vegas, where they plan to be married. When Collins finds out what’s going on however, the chase is on. When Collins’ mother Vivian Hedgeworth (Marion Ross) finds out what’s going on, the chase is really on, because not only does she go after them herself, but she calls into a radio show and offers a huge reward on the air to anyone who can stop them. At this point, not only do the couple have Collins and his mom chasing them, but a street minister, a couple of guys who want the money to

put into their hot rod, and any number of others. Will they make it to Vegas so they can get married?

Descher. Sandy Descher incidentally, was also the little girl in an episode of The 20th Century Fox Hour playing Susan Walker in the Miracle On 34th St. episode the following year. There is no way I could ever describe the raw talent this girl has. It’s just something that you have to see to believe. When she was in her catatonic state, her eyes never moved. She was completely focused on one point and was completely non-responsive to any stimulus. When she came out of her catatonic state and had her freak out, she was just brilliant. She acted it so perfectly that you really believed that she was completely terrified.


The plot flowed well and there weren’t any times where I felt lost or confused about what was going on. This movie was actually written by three different people. George Worthing Yates wrote the story, and Ted Sherdeman and Russell Hughes wrote the film adaptation. The beautiful thing about how this movie was written, is that they actually allowed the characters to be smart. The dialogue was intelligent, the plan of attack was intelligent, the investigations were intelligent. The writers really allowed these characters to shine, and that took the film to a whole other level when compared to other, more shoddy films with poor dialogue and even poorer acting. So that’s about it. This film is one of the greats, and this DVD definitely needs to be in your collection of b-movie classics! Them! (



This film was produced by Roger Corman and written by Ron Howard and his father Rance Howard, with Ron also directing and starring in it. This film is far superior to the other feature in this double feature release from Shout Factory in almost every way. The story is more involved and better written, the acting is far better, the cast includes lots of familiar faces, including Marion Ross, Clint Howard, Hoke Howell,


While I had heard about these Steve Reeves Hercules movies in the past, I had never actually seen one before. Although the jittery sound, the bad quality of the film transfer, and the fact that it looks like this should have definitely been done in widescreen might have detracted from the enjoyment of this film, it really didn’t. I will admit that the lack of a widescreen transfer left me often times feeling like I was missing out on something that was happening off to the side though, especially in the one scene when Hercules is helping Iole out of her chariot. They’re almost

The film, on a production level was far superior as well. While there were a lot of car chase scenes, as there were in Eat My Dust!, this film had a compelling story to go with it, and you were actually pulling for the young couple to make it to Vegas, and you could feel the tension as various people tried to stop them. So the car chases weren’t the be all and end all of the film. The film was edited well and kept the story moving along at a good pace. The visual quality of the transfer is excellent and the sound is good throughout the film. I really don’t have anything bad to say about it from a production or story standpoint. The story in this film was pretty good, and the chases were usually a lot more involved than one car following another, so it didn’t become a major issue. All in all, this was a really enjoyable film. Of the two, this is the one that will make you want to add this release to your collection, but personally, Marion Ross’ performance would be enough to do it for me. She was great! Grand Theft Auto (


entirely off the right side of the screen. Nitpicking aside however, the film itself is actually quite enjoyable. Steve Reeves makes a great Hercules, and the guy is just freakin’ huge which makes the whole thing a lot more believable. Everyone for the most part in this film did a great job with the acting and really gave this film the kind of a feel that you would expect from these early Italian sword and sandal movies. I think the one thing that would have given the film a better feel to me was if the dinosaur monster had been done a little better. There are only two real monsters in this film - the dinosaur thingy that Jason had to fight to get the fleece back, and the cavemen that attacked them on the island. The cavemen were actually quite well done, but the monster that attacked Jason looked cheap and the battle was far too short. There were times in this movie when I almost felt like I was losing track of what was going on because they kinda jumped a bit and it felt like maybe I didn’t see something I should have. This only happened oncethough, and all was explained. All in all, I found this movie to be a very enjoyable and fun experience. The story was there and the acting was there to back it up. Anyone who’s a fan of sword and sandal type movies should definitely check out this piece of classic film history. Hercules (


The Grindhouse Companion is as you know a free newspaper, but we do offer subscriptions, so that you don’t have to collect it at the theatre. Instead, we’ll deliver it right onto your doorstep! Six editions a year, for only £10.

Yes! Please sign me up for 6 editions of The Grindhouse Companion. My name is .................................................... and my adress is ................................................................................................... I also have a cell phone number, which is ........................................... so that in case of trouble you can always contact me. I’ll pay The Grindhouse Companion the sum of £10 right away, with enclosed my full name and adress. Lastly, I’ll mail this filled in coupon to The Grindhouse Theatre, 15 Leicester Square, London.



Grindhouse Companion  

This is a small newspaper I designed for my graphic design class.