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Peanuts, Goobers and Slime - Adventures in Moviemaking with Ted A. Bohus (part two) PDF Print E-mail
Written by Written by Joe Sherlock   
Aug 13, 2005 at 02:00 AM
DG: I once picked up some sort of Asian bootleg titled, "Deadly Spawn 2." Once I got it home and watched it, it was a completly different movie: Metamorphosis.

Ted: THE DEADLY SPAWN was a big hit in Japan.

 DG: Well, that's what I heard, yeah.

Ted: So what happened was, when I did Metamorphosis, they asked if it would be OK if they called the film, Deadly Spawn 2: Metamorphosis, which was our original title for it anyway, but then once the budget got over a million dollars, we decided not to connect it with that low-budget movie, so we just called it Metamophosis. When we went to the film market, there was already a film called Metamorphosis, so we changed it to Metamorphosis: The Alien Factor. When I did The Regenerated Man, the same thing happened! The Japanese said we'd like to buy the film, but can we call it Deadly Spawn 3: The Regenerated Man?

DG: Oh man!

Ted: I said, "You bought it, you can call it anything you want!" So that's why the name is still known there because they think there have been all these sequels.

DG: Well it's nice to have a following.

Ted: Yeah, the Japanese have always been very supportive of the film, all the films, I mean I have all kinds of stuff: toys, and they made Metamorphosis watches and this big colorful brochure and everything - they've done some really nice stuff.

DG: Well, I remember when I popped the tape in and the title came up it wasn't called Deadly Spawn 2...

Ted: Yeah - it was just Metamophosis : The Alien Factor

DG: Yeah and I thought that someone had ripped me off, I mean there's no deadly spawn monster here! However, I liked the movie a lot.

Ted: Well, you can do a lot more with 1.2 million dollars than you can with $74,000!

DG: Yeah! I read somewhere that Metamorphosis was kind of a pain to get done.

Ted: Oh Metamorphosis was a major pain to get done. We ended up with partners that stabbed me in the back. We had to shut down for a while to raise additional money so we checked with everyone to see if they'd do that and then when we got ready to come back, the girl who was the lead actress, the girl who played the doctor, all of a sudden says, "well now you have to give me x-amount of thousands of dollars for all the time I was off" and we said no, nobody's getting paid for the time we were down and she says, "well I just don't know if I'll come back."

DG: Oh geez...

Ted: And she thought she had us, so I just say, hey look, I'll just write something else, I'll just write that one of the thugs comes back and we'll kill her off, I'll use my girlfriend - we'll stick her in a wig and we'll kill her off in the film and that's it - fire her.

DG: Alright!

Ted: That was the end of that and that's exactly what we did - we put my girlfriend in this wig and when you see her running out of the lab and the guys come out of the lab and pull her back, that's not even her!

DG: Wow - well, I'll have to watch for that.

Ted: We went overbudget and...all the distributors made a fortune on the film: Intercontinental made money, Trimark has made a lot of money, they sold over 20,000 units on video, and we're not talking about sell-thru prices like they do today - we're talking $93.50 a pop! They sold out of the laser-disk like three times and it went to pay per view, so they've made a lot of money off of that.

DG: Wow.

Ted: I gotta find out what's going on, I got a letter from someone in England who told me they saw Vampire Vixens over there and I have not sold foreign rights to Vampire Vixens.

DG: So on a project like that, let's say, you are the one with the rights to it, like the foreign rights?

Ted: Well, I still own the foreign sales rights to Vampire Vixens, the domestic rights have been sold.

DG: The other thing I read was that you did effects and played a ghoul in The Amityville Curse

Ted: Oh yeah...

DG: Was that something that was just shot in town and you were around for?

Ted: No, no, that was shot in Canada. I did a couple films in Denver with a guy named Michael Krueger called Mindkiller and Lone Wolf, and then they teamed up with a Canadian company to do The Amityville Curse. The effects were awful, the effects guy just didn't know what he was doing so they called me up in a panic, saying can you set up an effect for this and that, etc. This was a Sunday, so I asked how long I had and he said, well I'd like you to get on a plane on Monday and I was like "what?!" It was just one of these horrifying situations. I asked for a good amount of money for the crew and I got a couple guys together and we flew out there. I was basically just supervising - the liaison between the effects people and the production company. At one point, I was writing these little sequences, these little horror sequences, because I was getting really frustrated - this was The Amityville Curse and people expected a horror film and there was no horror to it. So I wrote, like real fast, five sequences and they kept part of one and the rest of them they cut out of the film anyway!

DG: Oh man.

Ted: I just don't understand it, but I got to play this weird corpse - I wanted to do this scene where I throw this girl to the ground and as I'm on top of her strangling her, this disgusting slime just comes out of my mouth and as she screams it goes into her mouth and it starts gagging her. I thought it would be just hilarious. We started to do it, but the girl was completely freaking out because she said she would not allow anyone to spit anything into her mouth, so we had to tell her, because this was this elaborate make-up, that there was a spray gun in the make-up. So there I am behind these fake skeleton teeth with my mouth just filled with this slime and peanuts and goobers and things and all of a sudden I'm like spitting into her mouth making these horrible spitting sounds and she'd jump up and start screaming, "He's spitting! He's spitting into my mouth!" Then they go, "No, no no there's these tubes and they go up to the mouth and this is how it is," and it would be the same thing again, I'd fill my mouth up and just spit in her mouth and she's stand up horrified! And of course they didn't use it.

DG: Oh my God.

Ted: I'd love, love to get my hands on some of the outtakes from the film because it would've been neat.

DG: Oh man.

Ted: But the film was pretty awful.

DG: Yeah? Well I have not gone out to get that one.

Ted: Well, don't buy it - if you want, rent it

DG: Well if your drooling scene isn't in it, why bother?

Ted: My creature is in the film for all of five seconds. Just about everything I wanted to add to it, they cut. I have no idea why.

DG: Wow.

Ted: They just said the Canadian censors were having problems with it or something or they had some sort of contract...I don't know, I was just very disappointed.

DG: Yeah. In the video shorts that I have done, the best blood splatters seem to come from just spitting it - I mean you get a really good splatter pattern.

Ted: Well for THE DEADLY SPAWN, we found the Black and Decker blood pump, which was actually the paint thing and you just shoot blood out of the handle - it worked great!

DG: I should get that - a friend of mine was talking about that the other day.

Ted: I worked great. On Spawn we didn't discover this until right towards the end. Like when the creature explodes, I just filled up pans full of stuff and I just stood there and flung it right in their face.

DG: Yeah? I've done several scenes where I had these actresses and I've just spit giant mouthfulls of fake blood on them and they kind of got into it. They actually thought it was kind of cool.

Ted: Well, were you spitting it in their mouth?

DG: Well, no I wasn't spitting it in their mouths, but there was this one time where myself and another guy were spitting blood at this girl's cleavage. She was "stuck together" afterwards, but it looked really good. But I did this thing the other day and I needed to splatter this girl with blood and I told her to just let me do it and she could wash it off right afterwards, but she wasn't going to have any part of it, so she suggested we take the red food coloring bottle and just squeeze from below the camera frame to shoot "blood" up onto her. I told her it wouldn't look the same, but what could I do? I did it. It looked horrible, but her skin and ceiling were stained red for like a week!

Ted: Yeah?

DG: Yeah, and I said, "see if you'd only let me spit all over you it would've been fine!"

Ted: Yeah, that food coloring is hard to get out.

DG: I felt kind of bad, but it was her idea.

Ted: Yeah, the Hildebrants can attest to their carpet being ruined.

DG: Yeah I bet.

DG: So you used to have a full-time job, but you quit to do movies and stuff full-time?

Ted: Well that's the big difference, I used to work for the phone company and left there about 15 years ago and, uh...it's a nightmare!

DG: Ha ha...

Ted: Well sometimes, I do one or two films and then I'll take off like a couple of years and sometimes it takes that long to raise the money. From Deadly Spawn to Metamorphosis it took like four years to raise the money! So it's really tough because it didn't happen nearly as fast as I thought it would.

DG: So in terms of getting the financing together, is it just a matter of networking with people you know and finding out other people who know other people, or...

Ted: Yeah, that's pretty much it, I mean sometimes I'll just get a call out of the blue and someone will say hey I saw this film, do you want to do another film like that?

DG: Wow.

Ted: And I've got this guy who's got 30 or 40 grand, blah blah blah, and I'll say fine and we'll put him on the list and when we get a couple other people with that amount, we'll do it. Money comes out of the craziest places and you never know, when you least expect it.

DG: I had read something recently where they said a lot of dentists in Hollywood were a goldmine for movie producing.

Ted: Yeah, dentists and doctors. You see, because it's something so different than what they're doing. One of my partners, Ron Giannotto, he's a doctor at Stafford Medical and he's been involved in pretty much every one of the films, right from the beginning. It helps out when you're doing these films with all these medical terms, they can help you out so you don't sound like a complete moron.

DG: Yeah.

Ted: So every real doctor in the audience is laughing hysterically when you say something like, "y'know your multiplicative ultrasonic klystronomic modulator," they're all going, "you idiot, that doesn't exist!"

DG: So in terms of getting locations, I mean besides shooting in your friends' houses, like when you shoot at a bar or something, do you just go in and talk to the owner and ask if you can shoot there?

Ted: Yeah, I mean, when you have a bigger budget, like on Metamorphosis where we have over a million bucks, we went and we rented a 10,000 square foot warehouse and built all our sets. But with Vampire Vixens, we actually had a lot of scenes, we moved around quite a bit on that. We had a police station that was shut down for a while, I don't know - something happened, they were moving to another location or something so we actually got to use a real police station. For the bar, yeah we went up and talked to the guy and we were able to use a bar. One of the other producers had a friend who owned another bar, the one we shot outside of with the motorcycles. So it was just one of these things where we just knew people and we could go shoot.

DG: Yeah, and you just have to ask...

Ted: Yeah, it's pretty good.

DG: That's the thing that I found was if you just ask you'd be amazed at what people will say yes to.

Ted: Yeah and they're really helpful, too, like a lot of times, they'll say, look, I'll cover all the electricity, I'll feed the people, everything - they're just really interested in getting involved. On The Regenerated Man we were lucky, one of my partners on the film, his father was like vice president of some big chemical factory out on the turnpike, so we went in there and used a whole bunch of locations there because we could use the offices, we had a little lab, y'know all the stuff so this scene we were going to shoot outside a delicatessen or something where the creature attacks someone, we said the hell with it, let's just shoot it out in back of this thing in the parking lot because we could shoot right there on the same location.

DG: Well, thanks, Ted this has been very cool, thanks for letting me call you up.

Ted: Well no problem.

DG: Now I'll be transcribing my head off.

Ted: Well, just don't make me sound stupid, that's all!

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