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An Interview with Walter Ruether a.k.a. Scarlet Fry on the Release of The Scarlet Fry Collection on Blu-ray

by Mike Haberfelner

December 2023

Films directed by Walter Ruether on (re)Search my Trash

 

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Pretty much your entire filmography as a director will be released on Blu-ray come spring as The Scarlet Fry Collection - so how did that release come about?

 

I'm glad you asked. My latest film Scream Machine, featuring Lloyd Kaufman, creator of Toxic Avenger, was released in 2015, and prior to that I was putting out films every two years, I had decided to take a break, I got engaged, moved to another state and just enjoyed life for a while. I was doing some small projects but for the most part I decided to just lay low for a while. One day I had decided to type "Scarlet Fry" into the search engine online, and to my surprise I saw that people were still reviewing and enjoying my films. I decided to call up a distributor I knew whom I had worked with in the past and said "I have five films under my belt all of which had distribution, is there anything that we can do with them?" To my surprise he told me yes and had decided to release them all at once... It was a great idea since they had gained cult status over the years. The Scarlet Fry Collection then came to light. To make it special for the fans who kept the films alive and for the new Scarlet Fry fans it was decided that The Scarlet Fry Collection will be released on Blu-ray, and to celebrate this release you can get a T-shirt and poster as well. The T-shirts are available for purchase now & The Scarlet Fry Collection will start pre-sales on Jan 2nd ! I will also be offering a signed Scarlet Fry trading card to the first 10 People who buy one and post a picture of themselves with their Blu-ray on the Facebook fanpage.

 

Talk about each of the individual films included inThe Scarlet Fry Collection for a bit!

 

Ok well, the first film I made was a SOV piece that I filmed while I was working for Camp Video & later Even Steven Productions. At that time I was acting and had just done a part in the film Satan's Storybook, directed by Michael Rider. Me and Mike had always made movies together for fun before he went on to do Satan's Storybook. At that time I decided to throw my hat into the ring and did my first anthology Scarlet Frys Horrorama. I loved the classic horror hosts like Zacherley the cool ghoul & Vampira, and decided to host my own anthology. That was released on VHS in the late 80's and has become a very rare cult classic, it was later released on DVD. 

 

I followed up Scarlet Frys Horrorama with Scarlet Fry's Junkfood Horrorfest which featured Alice Cooper's daughter Calico Cooper. We changed the look of the host and decided to take a more brutal approach the film which did really well. We also had Alice Cooper's band members Ryan Roxie & John Corabi do a song for the soundtrack. Scarlet Fry's Junkfood Horrorfest was released on several compilations as well  as a single release.

 

After that we put out the cult classic Nightmare Alley, which was deemed as "Grindhouse meets Creepshow". We brought back the classic host and put that out with Brain Damage Films. It is now long out of print and became a very hard to find film which featured David C. Hayes [David C. Hayes interview - click here] who had been in a ton of horror films (Bloody Bloody Bible Camp, Vampageddon & more), and Danny Maranino, lead vocalist of the North Side Kings, who gained  fame for knocking out Misfits lead singer  Danzig in a disagreement they had back stage. The knockout went viral and he had gone on to write a book, Never Punch a Rock Star. Nightmare Alley was produced in Phoenix AZ and featured a lot of local and mainstream cult stars like Mykel Sane, formerbassist of the Los Angeles rock band Saigon Saloon, Steve Davis of The Glass Heroes & Vinent Bocchini from Van Buren Wheels & Thee Unfortunates.

 

Following the success of Nightmare Alley we cashed in on the VHS craze with the film Death by VHS, which was actually written before the film V/H/S. For this one we decided to take the host out of the equation and put out an anthology that told its own story. This was originally going to be called "Scream Machine" but with the smarts of the distributor Death by VHS was born. The new title worked perfectly with the story, and we gained a lot of attention with a different group of horror fans who had a fascination for SOV films and  VHS movies. That was a really fun movie to do.

 

Since I still loved the name Scream Machine for a movie, I had decided to make another film which was titled Scream Machine. This time we had given Scarlet Fry a co-host, Paul C. Hemmes [Paul C. Hemmes interview - click here] & hired Troma's Lloyd Kaufman, creator of the Toxic Avenger to play the roll of Uncle Lloyd himself. Scream Machine was a great film we did, a lot of very creative ideas on that one I don't want to spoil for the viewer, but you're in for a ride with Scream Machine for sure.

 

Do also talk about the extras in The Scarlet Fry Collection, and to what degree were you involved in creating them?

 

The extras will include (tentatively):

- Re-mastered movie files

- Commentary tracks

- Trailers

- SRS trailers

- and more!

We always like to showcase other filmmakers and their titles as well, you will have plenty of great extras with the collection.

 

I'm assuming you have re-watched all of your films when compiling The Scarlet Fry Collection - so how do you feel you've grown or evolved as a director over the years?

 

The last thing I did was a short faux trailer for Troma's Grindsploitation, which is available on Blu-ray as well. I noticed a lot of growth there, we did a piece called The Gardener which I would love to one day turn into a full legnth feature, I think a lot of it is the time you take and who your partnering up with. The Gardener I did with Richard Stoudt [Richard Stoudt interview - click here], director of Voices from the Grave, I think it was one of the best trailers in the compilation. I'm also working on another anthology which will be my return to the scene, it's tentatively called Drag Queen Horror Time and is sort of a spoof flick. 

 

Also, how has your on-screen alter ego Scarlet Fry developed from Scarlet Fry's Horrorama to Scream Machine?

 

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Absolutely. When I created Scarlet Fry I never wanted him to be stuck with just one look, which was why we made him a redneck zombie for Scarlet Fry's Junkfood Horrorfest, the classic top hat wearing ghoul for Nightmare Alley & the wicked plague doctor in Scream Machine, next up is Drag Queen Horror Time, which I think says it all. 

 

Since all of your films are of the horror variety in one way or another, is that at all a favourite genre of yours, and what kind of horror do you prefer as a viewer?

 

I love all kinds of horror films but my favorites as a viewer are the classics like Universal Monsters, Hammer films, and I love  guys like Paul Naschy [Paul Naschy bio - click here] and Vincent Price [Vincent Price bio - click here] as well, although my films are largely influenced by people like Herschell Gordon Lewis [Herschell Gordon Lewis bio - click here], Troma & John Waters. I have a wide range of love for the genre which has always been my favorite ever since I was a little kid reading Famous Monsters magazine and Fangoria

 

The $64-question of course, when and where will The Scarlet Fry Collection be released?

 

It will be released by SRS Cinema and pre-sales will start Jan 2nd. We are also offering posters and T-shirts, you can just get the films or an unbelieveable bundle - https://srscinemastore.com/products/scarlet-fry-collection-the-blu-ray

 

Any future projects you'd like to share?

 

I am currently writing a new anthology piece that will be the return of Scarlet Fry, which is tentatively called Drag Queen Horror Time!

 

Your/your movie collection's website, social media, whatever else?

 

https://www.facebook.com/groups/878098167048686

 

Anything else you're dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?

 

That's all folks I think there is something here for everybody ,and remember these are limited so make sure when it goes on sale you get yours right away before they are gone.

 

Thanks for the interview!

 

© by Mike Haberfelner


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Thanks for watching !!!



 

 

In times of uncertainty of a possible zombie outbreak, a woman has to decide between two men - only one of them's one of the undead.

 

There's No Such Thing as Zombies
starring
Luana Ribeira, Rudy Barrow and Rami Hilmi
special appearances by
Debra Lamb and Lynn Lowry

 

directed by
Eddie Bammeke

written by
Michael Haberfelner

produced by
Michael Haberfelner, Luana Ribeira and Eddie Bammeke

 

now streaming at

Amazon

Amazon UK

Vimeo

 

 

 

Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
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