Udo Kier has worked with the likes of Lars Von Trier, Gus Van Sant, and Rob Zombie. He’s portrayed Dracula (and assorted other vamps), Hitler, and Jekyll and is still going strong after over three decades of acting, his latest role being in Nazis-on-the-moon horror-comedy Iron Sky.
Some would say it’s his piercing blue eyes and thick accent that cement Kier’s presence as deliciously memorable regardless of the size of the part. I would also say it’s his unique presence, the way he moves with such elegance and a dash of old world, unearthly sexuality and a twinkle of humor.
This time around we find Kier on the dark side of the moon playing Nazi leader Wolfgang Kortzfleisch. The movie takes place in 2018, in a world with a political landscape much like our own, filled with propaganda, global infighting, and a race for new fuel. Little does the world know that they’re in for a second Nazi invasion. The Reich have been hiding out in their secret moon base waiting for their time to take back what is theirs—the world.
We recently had the chance to chat with Kier, who takes us through this process and other key projects which have made up one hell of a movie career. We bring you the man, the moon Nazi (now at a theater near you): Udo Kier.
Heather Buckley: What do you do to prepare to play a Nazi?
Udo Kier: Well, you have to say it a different way, obviously. A ‘Nazi’ and a Nazi are two different things. In my life I’ve played, in comedy twice, Adolf Hitler. I played in Rob Zombie a Nazi, also comedy Werewolf Women of the S.S. for Grindhouse, and this film. I’ve never played, being German, a serious, let’s say, role, where I was supposed to be a real Nazi with real evil ambition. And how do you prepare? How can any actor prepare themselves when they get an offer to be a Nazi on the moon? It’s like, you cannot prepare yourself; it’s just the uniform, the text, and the situation…what is important about this film, and how it was made. [Iron Sky] was partially financed by the internet. The trailer itself now has ten million hits on the internet, and it was for years they tried to find money for this film.
They did ask me, the director, Timo [Vuorensola], years ago, and it was on the IMDB and everybody said, ‘What is this film, you play a Nazi leader on the moon?’ and when they offered me the script, I mean, when they offered me the film years ago and they sent me the script, and it said ‘Nazis on the moon!’ and I said, ‘What? Nazis on the moon?’ So I read the script and I realized that it was a black comedy, and I liked it, and technically it was amazing because they showed me the storyboards and the concept of the film, and then we filmed a week in Frankfurt. Then we all met in Australia, and they had the water everywhere, and we shot it there.
Basically the whole big studio was a green box. We just looked at the storyboards, at what was going to be the next situation. So I prepared myself just by situation and by learning my lines, and trying to be serious, because comedy… to play comedy is very different and very, very difficult because you have to be very serious, and then people laugh. If you already try to be funny, it doesn’t work. Only Jim Carrey can be… he is brilliant, I did, with him Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, one of my first films in America, and he is brilliant, but he is a comedian, and he knows very well how to do that.
Heather Buckley: Is there a difference between acting in your native language and doing roles in English?
Udo Kier: Not anymore because I came for my first film to America for Gus Van Sant, My Own Private Idaho, which I think was 24 years ago, and now I’m 24 years in America, and now it’s like, I think I even dream in English. It’s like, sometimes I go to Germany and I have to be careful because when I do interviews sometimes, I don’t find the words, and I say, ‘How do you say?’ and you have to be really careful because the journalists can be really pissed that you forgot your own language. No, it’s no different anymore. It’s like, if there is a lot of text or something, of course, it would be better in German, and I still work a lot in Germany, I just played the Pope in the Borgia TV series in Germany. They had two Borgias, The Pope in America was played by Jeremy Irons; I played the Pope in Czechoslovakia in the TV show, and I just played in a Turkish film, so it is a language that is for me no problem, even for voiceover; I just did it yesterday. I did Scooby-Doo, and now I’m doing Batman (just the voice), and no, I don’t see there being any difference anymore.
Heather Buckley: How do these amazing parts find you? Because you just went over working with Van Sant to doing Scooby-Doo to doing satirical looks at the Reich—do you go with the character, do you go with the story, do the directors just stalk you down and go, ‘I need to work with Udo Kier!’?
Udo Kier: First, I like certain directors. Gus Van Sant, for example, discovered me for America. I met him at a festival, and we developed… 24 years ago there was no internet, we had no fax, we wrote letters and developed the character at a distance, and thanks to him I got my Social Security number in America and my permit here to stay. And I say the director is important. I’m working on 24 years in this country, and I’ve done many films. Tthe last one was Melancholia, and I’m off now to Germany to play a part in Nymphomania with Charlotte Gainsbourg and Nicole Kidman and the nice boy from the Transformers; he is playing in it. So that is my next step. The thing is, I like directors, certain directors; for example, I love David Lynch.
Heather Buckley: What do you like about Lynch’s work?
Udo Kier: Because it is different. Lars von Trier is different. Gus Van Sant is different, Cronenberg is different. They don’t follow the clichés, the rules. They make their own, they write their own scripts. Much more realistic, the acting is better, it’s totally different. I don’t like the word ‘independent’, because independent is never independent, but I think that they are just great directors and they are telling great stories, and the actors want to work with them so they have the possibility to choose amongst amazing actors, and that’s what I like because it is wonderful to be in a film like Lars von Trier’s Melancholia with Charlotte Rampling and with all these wonderful people, and everybody is normal. Normal.
If you make a film with David Lynch, there’s no room for a star system. If you work, for example, with Lars von Trier, every actor gets the same money. Every actor has the same trailer, every actor has the same car, every actor has the same class room. And that’s wonderful. I remember when I did Dogville, you sit in the evening, you have your dinner in the little hotel. Lauren Bacall, Ben Gazzara, James Caan, Nicole Kidman, Chloe Sevigny, Jean-Marc Barr, Stellan Skarsgard and myself, having a normal conversation. It’s not Hollywood, and that is some of the difference when you, as an actor, you work in a European film or an independent film, though I don’t like the word independent, with a director like Gus Van Sant, for example.
I had a great time when I made my first film, I had a great time seeing the city of Portland, I had a good time with the actors, with Keanu Reeves and River Phoenix. River Phoenix was an amazing person, unfortunately, as we know, he died so young. And that’s what I’m looking for, I’m looking for… I made a lot of films with new directors, sometimes it was bad. Somebody asked me the other day how many films. I said I’ve made over a hundred films, whatever, fifty of them are bad, thirty of them are okay, twenty of them are good. It’s a good thing. I’m a very lucky person. I sit in an aeroplane and I meet Paul Morrissey and I do Dracula and Frankenstein for Andy Warhol. I go and have coffee with Gus Van Sant and he offers me a movie. I’m a very lucky person because I’m not running after films; as I’ve said, I never told a director I wanted to work with him. I never stood in front of a director, waited until he’d come out and said, ‘I need to be in your movie’, I’ve never sent pictures away. I’m just working in my garden, doing my normal thing. Cooking for friends; I collect modern art and modern furniture, and so, there you have it.
Heather Buckley: You pick very interesting roles, a lot of them are in the genre. This piece is going to appear in Dread Central. Are you a fan of exploitation and horror films? You play great characters, you mentioned Dracula…
Udo Kier: The horror film came to me, not me to the horror film. I was just sitting in the aeroplane and Paul Morrissey was sitting next to me, and he wanted my number so I gave him my number. A couple of weeks later, I got a call, and he said, ‘I’m making a little film in Rome, Frankenstein, and I have a little role for you.’ I said, ’What do I play?’ and he said, ‘Doctor Frankenstein.’ So it started like that. It wasn’t any agent, or casting, it just came like that, and then when we finished Frankenstein, someone else was supposed to be Dracula, but he said, ‘I guess we’re going to have a German Dracula.’ And I said, ‘Who?’ and he said, ‘You, but you have to lose twenty pounds.’ So I didn’t eat any more for four days and then I became a very weak Dracula. And then, of course, because these two films became so famous, in a way, cult films, and then, for example, when I was cast for Blade, it was this time, playing the overlord vampire, and I like it, because the vampire, it has, a lot of people don’t know that from Romania, Count Dracul was a real, living person. He was Count Dracul, and he was a horrible person. And the legend came over the years that he was a vampire, people disappeared, people were biting, biting girls at midnight, so it… so you have a lot of fantasy. And there were famous people who were Dracula before me, so I have to be good to fulfill the chain of all the famous vampires. But it’s not me who’s looking for vampires, though. It’s interesting, though. It’s more interesting as an actor to play people who are fantasy characters.
Heather Buckley: What about something like in The Story of O? How did that find you?
Udo Kier: The Story of O? I did not want to make that movie. I was embarrassed for the opening of Frankenstein, and Polanski, we went together to a nightclub, and somebody came and said, ‘We saw your movie, we’d like to offer you the part in The Story of O, the leading man.’ And I said, ‘No way! I’m not going to do porno films!’ and then, after these people left, Paul Morrissey was there for his premiere, and he said, ‘Of course, you must take this movie. You will get so much publicity.’ It is one of the most famous books, which was forbidden for years, and so I made the movie. I made the movie, and I had a good time making that movie, The Story of O. If I had it again to do it over, I’d do it differently, but it was very French. Very French.
Heather Buckley: How is it working with all of the greenscreens on Iron Sky? That must be a big contrast from doing something like Melancholia with a full cast.
Udo Kier: In Iron Sky — Well, it was wonderful because it was all built as a set, it was up in a studio in Sweden, and greenscreen was kind of… we used to go, I mean, I know the story and I know the storyboards, and each time we had a scene, we would have a little meeting before and we would look at, the actors would look at the storyboards, But it is very different and it is very intense how you work with your actors, with your partner, because you have to concentrate much more. There’s nothing to distract you in the background, nothing like a plane going by; you’re just focused on the situation, with the actors who you are talking to or the situations you are observing. So I liked it, I liked it.
I liked it for a film like this; it works, but for example, for drama, or something realistically… for example I used to sleep in Germany, in Europe, I would sleep at night in the sets if it were my house. I would stay there one night. And I would look at every drawer because I made it mine. It’s like, I remember… actors, there are different actors. One actor does this and does this, but if you do greenscreen, you don’t have to because you just look at the storyboard, and you know where you are, and what is the situation. What is in the background. Is there a spaceship landing or… It’s a different thing. It works for black comedy. It works. But for a realistic film I don’t think it works, I mean, I never got the offer, never tried, but sets are very important, and lighting of course. Film is shadow and light, and light is very important.
I remember when I was making one of my first films, For Love or Money, with Michael J. Fox in New York, and we all had lighting doubles, and I went up to my lighting double and said, ‘If I stand here and you walk away, do you still get paid?’ and he said, ‘Yes.’ So I stood there with all the doubles, and Barry Sonnenfeld comes over the loudspeaker and says, ‘Udo, tell us why you are standing there,’ and I said, ‘It’s true, I want to know where the light is coming from.’ So, of course, I got the best lighting for the scene because it’s very important. I like to have fun. I don’t like to spend my time in my trailer, waiting my time to be called. I don’t like that. I like to have fun making movies. Seriously, but still having fun…I’m off to another interview; the tricky part is remembering what you’ve already said.
Heather Buckley: Well, I saw you do the panel for Theatre Bizarre up at the Fantasia Film Festival so good job with that one.
Udo Kier: Oh, thank you. Theatre Bizarre was strange because it was wonderful doing a film where I was a puppet and not knowing all the films and being there. I did it in basically one afternoon, being a puppet, and I really had a good time doing that.
Heather Buckley: Buddy Giovinazzo (Combat Shock) mentioned you while discussing his new film [Night of Nightmares]. He recently directed you in something for German television. He said it was the first time you acted in your own actual dialect.
Udo Kier: I played a homeless person in Cologne; I was born in Cologne so I could use the dialect. It was wonderful. And I was very proud because the TV show, it’s a police show, you know, like every week, and they have normally six million people watching it, and the episode I played in it had nine million so I was very proud, and it was the biggest rating for one year, for all these police shows. Buddy is a very good director. I made two films with him, some television, and he is a very good director. He is like Lars von Trier; he doesn’t like actors to act – just be there, be yourself, and not trying to be acting.
Iron Sky, directed by Timo Vuorensola, stars Julia Dietze, Götz Otto, Peta Sergeant, Udo Kier, and Kym Jackson.
You can bring Iron Sky to your city with TUGG, a collective action web-platform that enables users to choose the films that play in their local theaters. Select a film, screening time, and a nearby theater, and spread the word – once a necessary amount of people commit to attending, TUGG handles the rest!
Be sure to check out the official Iron Sky page on TUGG to get started.
In the last moments of World War II, a secret Nazi space program evaded destruction by fleeing to the dark side of the moon. During 70 years of utter secrecy, the Nazis construct a gigantic space fortress with a massive armada of flying saucers…and now they’re coming back to claim Earth for their own.
Two Nazi officers, ruthless Klaus Adler (Götz Otto) and idealistic Renate Richter (Julia Dietze), travel to Earth to prepare the invasion. In the end, when the moon Nazi UFO armada darkens the skies, ready to strike at the unprepared Earth, every man, woman and nation alike must re-evaluate their priorities.
Got news? Click here to submit it!
Goose step in the comments section below!
Want a LEGO Godzilla Set? Here’s Your Chance!
The longest-running franchises in cinema history, the Godzilla films have created a cultural icon in the form of the titular beast. Simply hearing its roar or seeing its silhouette is enough to let us know precisely what we’re looking at. Having ventured out of cinema and forayed into TV shows, comic books, video games, and countless merchandise options, Godzilla still hasn’t managed to break into one of the world’s most popular toy company: LEGO. However, that might change if BRICK_101 has their say via LEGO Ideas, where they submitted a design based on the 1954 original film!
Here’s the description from the site:
This model contains approximately 850 LEGO pieces, stands 9 inches (23 cm) tall, and measures 17 inches (44 cm) from head to tail. Godzilla has had many different designs over the years, but we based ours on the original 1954 movie. The arms, legs, jaw, and tail are hinged to allow the model to be posed in a variety of positions. In addition to Godzilla, the set also includes a small microscale train for Godzilla to stomp on or chomp on and a flame piece to represent Godzilla’s atomic breath.
The website allows people to submit their own ideas (such as this Call of Cthulhu set) and then allow the public to vote on whether or not they want to see it get made. Should the idea get 10,000 votes, it then gets moved up the ladder within LEGO’s headquarters and a decision is made to see if they want to make an official set.
So, if you want to see LEGO make an official Godzilla set, click on the link above and cast your vote!
#Brainwaves Episode 78 Guest Announcement: Legendary Film Composer Harry Manfredini
The Friday the 13th franchise without the music of Harry Manfredini would be like peanut butter without jelly. McDonalds without the Big Mac. Knetter without Creepy. His music defined a generation of horror fans, and few could have done it better, if at all. Now Manfredini brings his equally as unique voice to Brainwaves Horror and Paranormal Talk Radio.
Join us this coming Wednesday, February 21st, at 8:00PM PT/11:00PM ET for all the shenanigans fit to be had!
It’s radio without a safety net, kids. It’s Brainwaves: Horror and Paranormal Talk Radio.
Spooky, funny, touching, honest, offensive, and at times completely random, Brainwaves airs live every Wednesday evening beginning at 8:00 PM Pacific Time (11:00 midnight Eastern Time) and runs about 3 hours per episode.
Knetter and Creepy will be taking your calls LIVE and unscreened via Skype, so let your freak flags fly! Feel free to add BrainWavesTalk to your Skype account so you can reach us, or call in from a landline or cellphone – 858 480 7789. The duo also take questions via Twitter; you can reach us at @BrainwavesRadio or @UncleCreepy, @JoeKnetter, or @MrDarkDC using the hashtag #BrainWaves. You can also check us out on our Brainwaves Discord channel!
Have a ghost story or a paranormal story but can’t call in? Feel free to email it to me directly at UncleCreepy@dreadcentral.com with “Brainwaves Story” in your subject line. You can now become a fan of the show via the official… BRAINWAVES FACEBOOK PAGE!
Brainwaves: Horror and Paranormal Talk Radio is hosted live (with shows to be archived as they progress) right here on Dread Central. You can tune in and listen via the FREE TuneIn Radio app or listen to TuneIn right through the website!
For more information and to listen live independent of TuneIn, visit the Deep Talk Radio Network website, “like” Deep Talk Radio on Facebook, and follow Deep Talk Radio on Twitter. And don’t forget to subscribe to Brainwaves on iTunes.
Victor Crowley Blu-ray Review – Killer Special Features Make This a Must-Own
Directed by Adam Green
Distributed by Dark Sky Films
Like many of you horror fans out there, I was surprised as hell when Adam Green announced that there was not only going to be the fourth entry in his famed Hatchet series but that the movie had already been filmed and was going to be screening across the country.
Of course, I wanted to get to one of those screenings as soon as possible, but unfortunately, there were no events in my neck of the woods here in Gainesville, Fl., and so I had to bide my time and await the Blu-ray.
Then a few days ago, the Blu-ray for Victor Crowley landed on my doorstep and I jumped right into watching the film. Short story, I loved it. But we’ll get into all of that more in-depth below. For now, let’s do a quick rundown on the film for those two or three horror fans out there who aren’t familiar with the film and its premise.
Victor Crowley is the fourth entry in the Hatchet series, a franchise that follows the tale of a deformed man that accidentally met the wrong end of his father’s hatchet long ago and now roams the Louisiana swamp each night as a “Repeater”, aka a ghost that doesn’t know it is dead and thus cannot be killed. Ever. Well, maybe not ever. After all, Victor was supposedly killed at the end of Hatchet III by a combination of Danielle Harris, his father’s ashes, and a grenade launcher. Dead to rights, right? Not so much.
In this fourth entry/reboot, a group of indie horror filmmakers, lead by the adorable Katie Booth, accidentally resurrect Crowley just as the original trilogy’s lone survivor (Parry Shen) is visiting the swamp one final time in the name of cold hard cash. Long story short, Shen’s plane crashes with his agent (Felissa Rose), his ex-wife (Krystal Joy Brown), and her film crew in tow. Some survive the initial crash, some don’t. As you can imagine, the lucky ones died first.
Victor Crowley is a true return to form for Adam Green, who sat out of the director’s chair on the third film. As always, Green doesn’t shy away from the over-the-top comedy and gore the franchise is well known for. The blood rages and the sight-gags hit fast and unexpectedly. And, speaking of the sight-gags, there’s evidently a shot in this Blu-ray version of the film that was cut from the “Unrated” version released on VOD. The shot is one I won’t spoil here, but for the sake of viewing Green’s initial vision alone, the Blu-ray for Victor Crowley is really the only way to own this film. Don’t get me wrong, there are (many) more reasons to shell out the cash for this Blu-ray, but I’ll get into those soon.
Back to the film itself, what makes this fourth entry in the series one of the very best Hatchet films (if not THE best) is Adam Green’s honesty. Not only does he conquer a few demons with the ex-wife subplot, but he gives us a truly tragic moment via Tiffany Shepis’ character that had me in stunned silence. Her death is not an easy kill to pull off in a notoriously over-the-top slasher series, but it earned mucho respect from this guy.
Basically, if you loved the original trilogy, you will love this one as well. If you mildly enjoyed the other films, this one will surely make you a fan. Slow clap, Adam Green.
Let it be known that I’m a massive fan of fly-on-the-wall filmmaking documentaries. Like many of you out there, I find film production to be utterly fascinating and thus have grown a little tired of the typical making-of featurettes we get on Blu-rays. You know the ones. The director talks about his vision for the film, the cast say how much fun they had on-set with the other actors and crew, and we get cutaways to people dancing and trying to kiss the behind-the-scenes camera – all usually set to upbeat music.
While I’ll take what I can get, these kinds of behind-the-scenes features have grown to be little more than tiresome and superficial. But no worries here my friends as Adam Green has pulled out all the BS and given us a full-length, 90-minute behind-the-scenes feature called “Fly on the Wall” that shows it how it really is on the set.
Highlights include new Hatchet D.P. Jan-Michael Losada, who took over for Will Barratt this time around, who is little less than a f*cking hilarious rockstar, a front row seat to the making of Felissa Rose’s death scene, a creepy-cool train ghost story prank by Green, a clever impromptu song via Krystal Joy Brown (Sabrina), and a fun bit towards the end where Green and the SFX crew create the “gore inserts” in (basically) the backyard after filming. Good times all around.
The documentary then ends with the Facebook Live video of Adam Green announcing Victor Crowley‘s surprise premiere at that Hatchet 10th Anniversary screening. A great way to end a killer making-of documentary making his disc a must-own for this special feature alone.
But wait, it gets better. On top of the film itself and the above-mentioned “Fly on the Wall” documentary, the disc features an extensive interview with Adam Green called “Raising the Dead… Again.” This interview is basically Green going over the same speech he gave to the crowd at the surprise unveiling shown at the end of the “Fly on the Wall” doc, but that said, it’s great to hear Green tells his inspiring story to us directly.
So while this feature treads water all of us have been through below (especially fans of Green’s podcast The Movie Crypt), Green is always so charming and brutally honest that we never get tired of him telling us the truth about the ins-and-outs of crafting horror films in this day and age. Again, good stuff.
Additionally, the disc also boasts two audio commentaries, one with Adam Green and actors Parry Shen, Laura Ortiz, and Dave Sheridan, and another “technical” commentary with Adam Green, cinematographer Jan-Michael Losada, editor Matt Latham, and make-up effects artist Robert Pendergraft.
Add in the film’s teaser and trailer, and Victor Crowley is a must-own on Blu-ray.
- Audio commentary with writer/director Adam Green and actors Parry Shen, Laura Ortiz, and Dave Sheridan
- Audio commentary with writer/director Adam Green, cinematographer Jan-Michael Losada, editor Matt Latham, and make-up effects artist Robert Pendergraft
- Raising the Dead… Again – Extensive interview with writer/director Adam Green
- Behind the Scenes – Hour-long making-of featurette
One of the best, if not THE best, entries in the Hatchet series, with special features that are in-depth and a blast (and considering all other versions of the film have been castrated for content), this Blu-ray is really the only way to own Adam Green’s Victor Crowley.
Join the Box of Dread Mailing List
Want a LEGO Godzilla Set? Here’s Your Chance!
#Brainwaves Episode 78 Guest Announcement: Legendary Film Composer Harry Manfredini
Victor Crowley Blu-ray Review – Killer Special Features Make This a Must-Own
Supernatural Irish Horror Beyond the Woods Hits Home Video and VOD This February
Interview: The Cured’s David Freyne and Sam Keeley Talk Zombies, Politics, and PTSD
Exclusive: Saw Escape Room Las Vegas Review, Video Interviews with Creator Jason Egan and Series Star Tobin Bell
Hellraiser: Judgment Review – Pinhead Returns in a Truly Solid Sequel
Winchester: Before the Movie, See Dread Central’s Paranormal Investigation of the Actual Winchester Mansion
First Look at the Samurais vs. Kaiju Medieval Monster Movie Koujin
Silent Hill: Revelation Director Opens Up On Movie’s Failings; “It Was a Nightmare Dance”
Ron Bonk’s Positively Bonkers House Shark Ready to Swim Home
New Trailer Takes You to A Quiet Place
Cult TV Mini-Series V Big-Budget Film Adaptation Announced
Hellraiser: Judgment – Exclusive Gag Reel Will Have You Giggling
Gorgeous Highly Limited Edition Signed Copies of Stephen King’s Misery Coming This Summer
News6 days ago
Shane Black’s The Predator Release Date Pushed Back
News5 days ago
First Look: Metallica’s James Hetfield and Zac Efron’s Ted Bundy Face-Off
Editorials4 days ago
Why Netflix and David Bruckner’s The Ritual Scared the Hell Out Of Me
News5 days ago
Five Chilling Period Haunted House Movies
News6 days ago
Exclusive First Look: The Dawn Starring Devanny Pinn, Ryan Kiser, and Stacey Dash
News6 days ago
John Carpenter Talks the Movie That Inspired His Career, Future Plans, and Halloween
News5 days ago
NECA Reveals Captain Blake Figure From John Carpenter’s The Fog
News5 days ago
Guillermo del Toro Says The Shape of Water Sex Toy is Not Accurate