INTERVIEW with THOR about ZOMBIE NIGHTMARE
by CROWGRRL (December 2004)
Before other movies were released about a main character being brought back from the dead for the purpose of vengeance or making wrong things right (like Pumpkinhead or The Crow), there was the 1986 classic, Zombie Nightmare.
This was the second movie for Jon Mikl Thor, and also featured Adam West and Tia Carrerra. This also marks Thor's transition to the horror genre.
Just as fresh now as it was when it was first released, Zombie Nightmare certainly stands the test of time. In it, Thor stars as Tony Washington, who foils a robbery at a local grocery store, only to be killed shortly thereafter - hit by a car full of out-of-control badass teens. Brought back to life as a superhuman avenging zombie by a voodoo priestess, one by one these murderers are just as brutally reckoned with.
Crowgrrl: Both Zombie Nightmare and Recruits were released in 1986 - which was actually your first movie?
Thor: Recruits came First.
C: How were the FX done?
T: There was a lot of latex special effects make up. I had to get up at 3 am to have 3-4 hours of zombie make up done. and then get ready for the set.
C: Tell us about the make-up process that transformed you into the Living Dead Avenger.
T: As I said I got up early in the morning and sat down to have a lot of glue and latex put on me to become the creature.
C: What were the hardest obstacles to tackle and overcome during the filming process?
T: How the monster would walk and react to things. I created a certain walk and mannerism the zombie would have.
C: You wrote original music for this film and used existing songs as well?
T: Yes. There were incidental songs and vocal songs I wrote for the film.
C: Were you also involved in picking other songs on the soundtrack, like Motorhead, etc?
T: Yes. I was the producer of the soundtrack and contracted all the bands to have their song in the film. Motorhead, Girlschool, Fist and more.
C: How did you like working with the rest of the cast?
T: I was a big fan of the TV series Batman so it was great working with Adam West. It was Thor meets Batman. He was a great guy and Tia Carrere was very a beautiful and kind person.
C: Is this movie where you began your long-time friendship & working relationship with John Fasano?
T: Yes. John is a very talented man and has gone on to great success. We have done some very successful films together. Even recently we filmed Murder At The Presideo which will be shown on USA Network in Feb/2005. We will also be putting out the new Rock N Roll Nightmare DVD in 2005 through Synapse Films.
C: What were your personal favorite scenes?
T: When I chased the blonde girl and guy in the steam room with a baseball bat.
C: Any special, fun anecdotes of things that happened behind the scenes during the movie's filming?
T: I was supposed to play a cop in the movie but played a zombie. Actually I'm pretty good at playing monsters.
C: Looking back, is there anything you would have changed in the movie?
T: Yes. I would have asked Tia Carrere out for dinner.
C: How has the filmmaking process changed from the Eighties to now, in your opinion and experience?
T: Well horror films have become even more graphic now. Also back then everything was shot on 35 mm. Now we are making horror films on 24P digital. There is new technology that is constantly moving forward. But overall it is much less expensive to shoot horror movies on digital than film.
C: This movie is still a cult classic?
T: It most certainly is. When it appeared on Mystery Science Theatre 3000 it brought it into the classic status.
C: Is Zombie Nightmare going to be re-released on dvd?
T: First Rock n' Roll Nightmare will be released on DVD this year and then Zombie Nightmare a year later.
C: Anything I didn't ask that you'd like to say about Zombie Nightmare?
T: It's amazing it became such a cult classic. Watch out for the upcoming DVD, merchandise and soundtrack album.