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An Interview with Dale Pierce

by Mike Haberfelner

September 2006

For films written by Dale Pierce
on (re)Search my Trash
click here !

 

Click here to read an article on
Books by Dale Pierce

 

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Aside from having written numerous reviews for this side, Dale Pierce is also a horror writer, a writer of non-fiction books on (horror) films, bullfighting, wrestling and Wild West characters, plus he is a wrestling manager. On top of all that, one of his books, Bullring, is now turned into a film, Museo Taurino, in which he also plays a (rather important) part - though according to his own account, that didn't come all that voluntarily ...

 

Dale musing amidst bullfight memorabilia

1. One of your books, Bullring, has been turned into a film, Museo Taurino, quite recently. Could you tell us what it is about ?

 

The original concept for Bullring is quite different from Museo Taurino. Bullring is a series of Twilight Zone-ish episodes surrounding a cursed bullring. Everyone who scoffs at the bullring and it's being a place of bad shadows ends up with an encoutner with the supernatural. In the book, a bullfighter's ghost is doomed to wander the earth, tyring to stop others from being killed, only to fail each time. A corrupt bullfight critic listens to an old LP record and each song in homage to a famous matador, transports him not only through time but into the body of the matador that song is about. A corrupt evangelist tries to do an exorcism in the bullring, only to die in the end. Things like that.

Information on the book may be found at http://www.myspace.com/carbonellbullring for details. 

Museo Taurino, which means Bullfight Museum in Spanish, is from this book as well. It is a story of revenge. In the text an old man and woman seek revenge for their son who was killed in the ring, striking back against the promoter, the manager and others. In the film version, the main villain, Don Guillermo Monclova, is alone as the killer. It is a low budget film, so don't expect anything on par with Dario Argento, but it has its moments ...

 

2. How much were you involved in the making of the film (apart from acting), and does Museo Taurino differ vastly from your original book ?

 

Originally, I was not going to be very invovled at all, as I do not understand screenplay writing. It is an entirely different style than books. I was not going to be invovled at all, except providing technical data as the bullfight itself is far more detailed than outsiders think. I was also going to provide the bullfight films out of my archives and that was it. I told them to take the book and do whatever they wanted as far as a screenplay went, as long as I approved it at the end. You see, Jeff Stoll, the  producer, has been a longtime horror fan who goes to all these conventions and such. He is also a professional still photographer. I guess he saw everyone else in the midwest starting their own companies and figured he would do it too. He bought the equipment and set out to do a lifelong ambition, I guess. I knew him because he had bought and read all my horror books, so when he started a company, I figured it would help out to let him do one of my stories. Hey, just because it is an indy project does not mean it will be doomed to failure. Look at the Blair Witch Project, right? This guy may be the next Troma or something , as he has a load of projects planned.

As for the book and the film, there are vast differences and I expected this. In some cases the changes in the story were an improvement, I think. In the book, Don Guillermo is accompanied by his wife in his crimes and in his campaign for vengeance. In the book, the wife lives, but in the film she commits suicide after her son is killed by a bull, leaving Guillermo as the grieving husband/father alone. This makes him go all the more insane. The film deals with his growing crazier and crazier, as he talks to himself, sees ghosts, has visions of bullfights in his head and just gets freakier as things go along. As he plots to lead on, trap and kill his next victim, the writer, Carlos Sanchez, one wonders if he will even be able to pass off as sane long enough to do the murder. In the end he does, but with a change again - instead of using a sword on his victim, as in the text , he uses a pair of mounted bull horns ...

This doesn't bother me much. I mean, all films get changed a lot when they go from book to film version. I cannot think of one film that directly followed a book, ever. The Phantom Of The Opera, Carrie, Dracula, Frankenstein, The Invisible Man, Re-Animator, The Pit & The Pendulum. On and on.

 

Dale making a kill in Museo Taurino

3. You also ended up playing a character in the film. Could you tell us a bit about your character, and how did your acting debut come about ?

 

I ended up doing the lead role. I am not an actor. This was not my debut as I also played a small part as a bartender in a 1998 film shot in Apache Junction, Arizona, called A Gunfight In Tombstone, but I am no actor. I keep telling people this and even though a lot of people have been captivated by the role, I keep telling them it is not what I want to do. The thing is, "No, Goddamn it, no," I keep telling them and they keep saying "Yes, yes, yes." Now I have Stoll wanting me to act in his other films and not just authorize the release of my manuscripts for them, plus other people have wanted me to be a nutcase in their films as well. I do not want to do it. I am a writer and NOT a godamned actor. This was a fluke that was unintentional.

You see, the guy who was cast as the elad showed up drunk at a rehearsal and it just happened to be when I was there. Not being a nice person and having a low tolerancy rate for stupidity, I told Stoll and Marvin, the guy who did the screenplay to get rid of this son of a bitch, give me the goddamned script and we would shoot it with me instead. It wasn't that hard because even though I did not do the script, I created this character and the story.

This also led for a lot of add-libbing and changes for the film, as we did actual shooting. A lot of the original text from the book and also the script version got shot in the ass, but in the end I think it worked out well enough. It could have been a lot worse and I must emphasize again, I am not an actor. The whole change of events could have led to disaster but it did not.

 

4. Is there any website for the film ?

 

Yes, at http://www.myspace.com/museotaurino and there in the friends section you can find Jeff Stoll (the producer/director), Luke Menapace (Carlos Sanchez in the film - click here to read an interview with Luke Menapace), and the Blue Kat Boneyard (production company).

 

5. Museo Taurino was produced in Ohio. Could you tell us a little about the independent film scene in Ohio as such, and do you have any favourite Ohio-filmed movies ?

 

Ohio is within a day's drive to Chicago, Pissburgh, New York City, Detroit and several other places where indy a d horror film fests are held, so there is a load of opportunity for an Ohio-based film maker to get their films seen in a ton of places. Because of this, Ohio has a lot of film-makers at the indy level. The area is a good location for them. As far as favorites, I try to avoid making a statement like that because after all, I also cover horror films on the net and in magazines. I want to stay as neutral as I can. Aside from a built-in bias for Blue Kat Boneyard and Stoll, for obvious reasons, there are some others. Gwendolyn Kyste [click here to read an aricle on Gwendolyn] is another area film-maker and I like her films, not so much for the film content, but because she looks like a vampire and this amuses me. She has gotten a lot of press in Ohio, but is better known as a fashion designer for really weird looking clothes.

 

6. You are also writing a new novel now, Christian, can you tell us what this one's about ?

 

I am not writing this novel. It was written long ago and shelved because due to the content, I could get no one to handle it. Now, however, thanks to ebooks and books on demand printing, I am going to make a run of this in 2007 and then go for foreign reprint rights. The delay is finding someone to take 350 doublespaced manuscript pages and convert them to a disk for me. I have a few possibilities now. I do not want to do it myself because working on the book once was enough for me. The character is too uncanny and too frustrating to deal with again. I wrote Christian in only three weeks and it was a long three weeks for me, back in 1991. I then shelved it and let it set there, but now the time is right. When it comes out it will read like a confession.

The story is told in first person, from the killer's view. You know he is a murderer and you know how he kills, but the grabber is wondering how he got to be so screwed up and why he kills as he does. He is an atheistic Christian-hater, so logically he would kill Christians, right ? 

Wrong. 

He kills sinful people by cutting their throats with a razor and sticking a fish sticker on their heads, plus a bible tract in their mouths. He poses as a religious fanatic because in his deranged mind, he will so ofend thinking people that they will turn from christianity, due to the antics of this one lunatic killing supposedly for God. He figures by his actions he will destroy christianity from within. Insane reasoning, but that is what I love about writing about nutcases. You can take somehting absurd and make it believable.

The odd thing is he never gives his real name and is never fully described, so he remains this shadowy boogeyman to the readers, who could be anyone. He notes the press has dubbed him The Fanatic, but insists he be called Nobody. He hates mirrors with a passion, suffers weird flashbacks and insists he is not insane, but clever. His constant bragging about himself and his refusing to admit to having any psychological problem is the very evidence he is totally off his rocker.

I took this from real life nut cases. Truly insane people such as say Ed Gein and The Nightstalker, became offended if someone insisted they were crazy, when all evidence pointed to the fact they were.

He is a unique villain and the scary thing is, though he is not heroic, I believe there will be people actually liking him or even hoping he does not get caught.

 

Dale taking a break

7. You also promote this novel on MySpace, right ?

 

Yes. There is a MySpace page for the book at http://www.myspace.com/christianthehorrornovel and also a page run by The Fanatic so you can get an idea of what the book and his style at http://www.myspace.com/killingforgod as well. The funny part is some people are legitimately freaked out over this page. So think what they will be like whenever I do put the book out.

In the Fanatic's MySpace he is writing in modern times and thinking about going to work"again after years without killing. He plans to put out his story (i.e. the book) then go on the run and begin killing again.

I am kind of hoping the bornagain bibletumpers will all protest it like they did The Last Temptation of Christ and The Da Vinci Code and help it sell better.

 

8. Who do you think are your biggest influences as a writer ?

 

I don't know. I really don't. I like some of Lovecraft's works and some of Poe. I have always been more into film than into literature. I have been a fan of Argento, Hitchcock , Rod Serling, Armando de Osorio, Bava, Leone, Corbucci and the like. I even like Jacinto Molina (Paul Naschy). If anything, film more than books would have been an influence on me.

 

9. Then there's another side of you I'm dead curious about. You also work as a wrestling manager. Could you - for all those who are not familiar with wrestling managers - describe what a wrestling manager does as opposed to a regular manager ?

 

I hate to disappoint you, but I do not like talking about this too much unless I am doing the role. When you interview Dale Pierce you get Dale Pierce and when you interview the wrestling character, you get the wrestling character. I do not intermingle them too much. I worked as Mad Dog Marcial Bovee from 1979 to 1985 in the Southwestern USA, then as The Time Traveler from 1985 to 1998, when I quit, then from 2003 to the present again. It is something I do on the side, pretty much in the smaller leagues and nothing earthshattering. Like I said, this phase of my life I do not talk about when I am doing interviews as myself. The wrestling role is a character role and an extension of my own personality, but one I keep as far apart from Dale Pierce as I can.

When I did the film, one of the people made the crack, "What do you mean you never acted? You worked with that fakeassed wrestling for how long?" What he didn't get is wrestling and acting in a film are two different things. I mean vastly different.

 

10. How did you get involved with that scene ?

 

I started out as a magazine writer and photographer at the old Phoenix Madison Square Garden in Arizona and figured I could do this as well as anyone else up there. While I was big enough size wise, I didn't really have the coordination or stamina for wrestling in the ring, though I have had a number of matches over the years. Thus I stuck with doing the manager role for the other villains. By working with wrestling on the outside, with the programs, the photos and the magazine work, I was in contact with the area wrestlers and had an in, so to speak, already. It was easy to get into the profession.

   

Feeling lucky ?
Want to search for books by
Dale Pierce
yourself ?

The links below
will take you
just there !!!

11. Apart from all that you also write heaps of articles on (horror) films, not only for this site but many other websites and fanzines. What's your fascination with films and horror films in particular ?

 

Ever since I was a little kid, I loved horror films. I used to read Famous Monsters Of Film Land all the time. I have always loved the horror film genre. I don't know what the key fixation would be. I can't tell you why I have liked this genre, but I always have. It's been so long since I took a fancy to the industry I cannot remember exactly why. I just know I do.

 

12. Any films that came out lately you really liked ?

 

Among the newer films, I loved The Secret Window, Phonebooth and Final Destination III.

 

13. ... and some you really despised ?

 

There are no movies that I truly have hated. There are some I have watched once and could care less if I ever see them again, but saying I hated them would be unfair. I will admit I skipped the most recent King Kong, as I am getting sick of the remake fever that has dominated Hollywood during the past decade. I also skipped House Of Wax simply because Paris Hilton is in it and I can't stand the bitch.

 

14. Your all-time favourite movies ?

 

Honestly, the irony of it is my three alltime favorite films are Christmas films, not horror. The Gathering, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation and A Cristmas Story, As far as horror films go, there are many. I don't want to list any as an absolute favorite though, but there are many I never get tired of seeing - Suspiria, Deep Red, Horror Rises From the Tomb, Silence of the Lambs, the old Universal horror cycle and Hammer horror series, The Howling, Frenzy, The Tombs Of The Blind Dead, The Legend Of Hell House, and on and on. Two of my favorites are two lesser known ones, Tourist Trap with Chuck Conners and an obscure made-for-TV vampire film called I, Desire. I also love The Haunted Palace, Re-Animator and many more.

Other all time favorites would be the Spaghetti westerns of old, by Leone, Corbucci, Ignacio Iquino, and the like. One of my favorites was and still is an obscure Italian western from 1966 called Johnny Yuma. I was able to find a DVD version of it for only $1.00 on the net a while ago.

 

15. Your favourite directors ?

 

Favorite directors ? Hmm, there are many. Incredibly, though we are different as night and day philosophically, I favor the Christian up in Canada, Andre Van Heerden [click here to read an aritcle on André Van Heerden] (Deceived, Revelation, Apocalypse, Judgment, etc). Others: Fulci, Bava, Corbucci, Leone, Ossorio, Carpenter, Hitchcock, Argento, the list could go on and on. I even like some of the Ed Wood pictures [Ed Wood bio - click here].

 

16. And of course, your personal all-time worst movies/directors ?

 

Again, I don't want to go with absolutes. As far as worst goes, there have been some really crappy indy films and also some really crappy Mexican films I have seen over the years. I do not know who directed it, but one of the ones that was pretty bad, that comes in the so-bad-it's-good-category would be Santo & Blue Demon vs The Monsters [editor's note: it was directed by Gilberto Martínez Solares in 1970].

 

17. What are your future projects, and what do we have to look out for by Dale Pierce in the near future ?

 

I have quite a few new books planned for ebook and books on demand printing being worked on now, plus a number of low budget horror films through some of the people I know so there should be quite a bit of new material out soon.

 

18. Anything else I forgot to ask ?

 
My other books are as follows:
The Wind Blows Death (western horror): http://www.myspace.com/thewindblowsdeath
Riot At the Garden (wrestling at the old Phoenix Madison Square Garden) http://www.riotatthegarden.com and http://www.myspace.com/riotatthegarden
Wild West Characters (western history) at http://www.goldenwestpublishers.com
Death rides The Horns (an ebook on death in the bullring, great facts but the guy who did it did some horrible retyping, he is supposed to have fixed this) http://DeathRidesTheHorns.com

 

Order Museo Taurino at http://www.CustomFlix.com/221807

Order The Monster Within at http://www.CustomFlix.com/223799

 

Thanks for the interview, and good luck with your books, your films, wrestling and whatever else there is ...

 

© by Mike Haberfelner


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Thanks for watching !!!



 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD

 

 

Stell Dir vor, Deine Lieblingsseifenoper birgt eine tiefere Wahrheit ...
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Und an diesem Tag geht natürlich wieder einmal die Welt unter!!!

 

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