Thursday, December 1, 2011

Celebrity Interview: Eric Spudic!

Headshot a go go

In action!

I first became acquainted with Eric Spudic over on the late lamented Retromedia Forum formerly run by LGOOH fave filmmaker Fred Olen Ray. At that time he was acting in and working on films for Ray in addition to helping out with Ray's distribution business Retromedia Entertainment. Spudic was also running a video store in Los Angeles called Spudic's Movie Empire specializing in used VHS and DVD sales. He posted a lot at the Forum, and he seemed like a pretty funny guy. He agreed to let me fling some questions at him, and he actually answered them!

Craig Edwards: When and where did the world gain an Eric Spudic?

Eric Spudic: In the late 70's in Mt. Olive, IL, which is near St. Louis, MO. Right at the beginning of VHS! Talk about perfect timing.

CE: What are your earliest pop culture memories?

ES: I'm remember watching Madonna and Devo on MTV. Grew up on movies like The Brood, Revenge of the Nerds, and Cat's Eye. Have fond memories of playing Pole Position and Pitfall for Atari.

CE: When did you know you wanted to work in the entertainment industry?

ES: When I was about 13 years old. The family had just purchased a VCR. I'd wanted to be on the SWAT Team and my dad asked, "Do you have a fascination with death or something?" He assumed that all cops and SWAT members just get killed somewhere along the line. Then, I thought, "Hmm.....in the movies, people can die over and over and still be alive!"

CE: How did you go about breaking in?

ES: I was a giant fan of Full Moon Entertainment, especially Demonic Toys and Dollman. Had those posters on my bedroom walls. I wrote a letter to David DeCoteau, because I enjoyed Dr. Alien so much. We chatted and he asked to see a copy of my first movie, Attack of the Bathroom Creature. He thought I was a pretty good actor and said he was making a movie in a month. I flew out to Hollywood and they gave me a little 3-line role. Got paid $750!

"Why yes, I DO have all the
ingredients for chocolate milk..."

CE: What was that first project you worked on?
ES: It was Micro Mini-Kids....filmed as Microscopic Boy. 10-day shoot, produced by Charles Band. A childrens/sci-fi movie. That was in 1999.

CE: And since getting that start you've been an actor; worked in crew positions; you've been a writer; a producer; and a director across more than 40 productions. Which job do you enjoy the most?

ES: I actually enjoy acting the most. I never even set out to become an actor, but to be honest, I hate crew work. With the exception of being a boom operator perhaps, because you can listen to everyone's conversations! I would place screenwriting at #2. Love to write as my head is crammed with ideas.

As "Timmy" in Dead Clowns.

CE: Which project are you most proud of being associated with?

ES: So far I gotta say Killers by Nature. It's probably the lowest-budgeted and has maybe the worst picture quality, but turned out pretty fun. I had a lot of control over that movie. We were laughing the whole time, having a blast doing that flick.

CE: Any you wish you could sweep under the rug forever?

ES: There's a reason I leave Evil Unleashed: The Mummy and Deadly Culture off my resume. As a writer, there's not much I can do after I type "The End" unfortunately.

Low budget and batcrap crazy, but a fun watch.

CE: Who are your idols in pop culture?
 ES: Charles Band, Roger Corman, David DeCoteau, Clint Howard, Richard Norton, Fred Olen Ray, George Romero, Cynthia Rothrock, Cirio Santiago, Adam Sandler, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Alicia Silverstone, Jean-Claude Van Damme, and Jim Wynorski.

Hanging with the stars of director
Fred Olen Ray's Glass Trap.

CE: Greatest unfulfilled ambition in the industry?

ES: Right now I'm so itching to do a starring vehicle. I have a project called Turds, which is a remake of my first movie. It would probably cost a few million in the real world. The ultimate ambition is to get it made properly and then played in theaters.

If that doesn't get made, I have a film I want to direct called Dead Evil. It's got killer dolls, zombies, and a warlock. Not to mention a killer car chase sequence!

CE: Pop culture character you'd most like to play?

ES: Billy the Kid.

CE: Would you be right for it?

ES: We're about the same height and weight. Sort of similar facial features. I like shooting guns, too!

CE: What about one you wouldn't be right for, but would love to play?

ES: Pete Rose. I don't look like him, but I sure do admire those 4,256 hits.

Ernest Borgnine and Eric

CE: Which actress would you most like to have as a leading lady, with love scene?

ES: Carmen Electra. Yowza!

Thanks for the excuse Eric!
Here's Carmen Electra!

CE: In addition to working on productions - are you a film buff?

ES: Yes, indeed. I don't limit myself to one genre either. I read a lot of books on movies and have the urge to know everything for some reason!

CE: Favorite movies?

ES: Romero's original Dead trilogy, Hard Target, Billy Madison, The Blob remake, Tremors, Avenging Force, Toxic Avenger, Evil Dead trilogy, Commando, Predator, and From Dusk Till Dawn.

CE: Do you have a movie collection?

ES: I have about 2,000 currently, but have owned roughly 40,000 movies over the years.

CE: Crown jewel or two of the collection?

ES: I own a time-coded copy of The Girl I Want, which has never been released on VHS or DVD. I have a brand new/sealed laserdisc of Attack of the 60 Ft. Centerfold. Plus, assorted movies autographed by Ken Foree, Heather Langenkamp, Jeff Burr, etc..

"Love you. Mean it."

CE: Three words: "Spudic's Movie Empire" Now you give me 25 words about that.

ES: The ultimate place to buy movies on vhs, dvd, or laserdisc. New or used. All genres, 30's - present. http://www.spudicsmovieempire.com/

CE: We met on the Retromedia Forum. Describe that and tell me what you miss most about it being gone.

ES: That was the greatest hangout. Filmmakers told of their secrets and their new projects. Fans could ask all kinds of questions. I guess it was a product of its time. Facebook took over!

Eric and Retromedia Forum guru Fred Olen Ray

CE: What are you up to these days?

ES: Just moved to Louisiana this year to take advantage of their 30% tax incentive. There is production galore here. Shot a movie in Biloxi, Mississippi last month. Played a sniper in that one. DinoWolf, a movie I played a hunter in, hit dvd on October 18th. I'm trying to get back into the director's chair, so I'm shopping around scripts left and right.

CE: What's the perfect Eric Spudic breakfast?

ES: A banana, bowl of Cheerios, and maple-flavored sausages. I follow this up with a 20-minute rigorous workout. Gotta keep in shape for that upcoming Carmen Electra sex scene.

Joe Pilato (Day of the Dead) shows Eric how to hold
someone at fingerpoint.

CE: Last movie you watched?

ES: I watched Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star in the theater a not long ago. I laughed my ass off and thought it was decent. It dwindles down toward the end, but I watch anything Adam Sandler produces so I had to see it. Nick Swardson is a great actor. I have a crush on Meredith Giangrandes, whom I worked with on Werewolf in a Women's Prison, and she shows off her hooters in it.

Last movie I saw on DVD was Hatchet 2. I'm always a bit late, but just bought this one. Super gory, almost cartoonish, lots of death scenes, and great cast. It was pretty good. Looking forward to part 3, which I hope to get into.

CE: Police Academy - Can't believe they made that many, or why did they stop?

ES: They should have kept going. The fans are loyal, we'll watch them as long as you make them. Part 7 reeked, but I wouldn't have minded if they made two or three more. Who doesn't wanna see Leslie Easterbrook in a tight white t-shirt? Big, big fan of Tackleberry. I was saddened when he died. In his memory, I've painted my truck camouflage.

CE: Best piece of advice you can give to someone starting out in the entertainment business.

ES: The absolute best advice is to never give up if it's what you really want to do. I've been working hard at it for 15 years and still haven't made it. I've worked on 70 features and still survive check-to-check, which is tough. A lot of folks quit after a year or two.

Keep at it, keep things interesting, and have a job on the side to help with the grocery bill! And if a woman asks to tag along on your vacation so she can "interview" a band, don't fall for it. It's a trap!

"The future lies...that way!"

CE: Fair enough. Thanks for your time, Eric, and we'll be watching for your upcoming projects!
Until next post, you Can Poke Me With A Fork, Cause I Am Outta Here!


  1. Great interview! Good advice from Eric about people new to the biz. It really does take perseverance. Never give up! Interesting that he said to not give up your day job. Hard to make ends meet even with experience.

  2. LOVE this interview. Eric rules the Universe!! Dinowolf? Holy shit I've got to see that. I love Eric's story and how he got into movies. I have always dreamed of being a corpse/victim in a horror film or that crabby old lady who gets it right after she runs those crazy kids off her property. Ah dreams...Seriously awesome post, Craig. :)

  3. Luana - thank you so much - yeah, Eric's a really nice guy who is kind of the poster child for perseverance in pursuing your dreams. I hope he blasts through into the Big Time soon.

    MB - I know, right? Thanks for the kudos - listen, if I can get one of my scripts into production - I will fight for you to cameo, with lots of Karo syrup blood! Maybe we can really blow it out and have Eric drop the hammer on you in the scene - how awesome would THAT be? ;)

  4. One of my dream jobs...Hollywood makeup artist!

  5. Hey, that was a really great and entertaining interview - and I'm sure I have to watch CREEPIES asap. My goodness, what a hilarious poster artwork :-)

  6. with this much B-Movies, how did I missed this guy?! He's like a new age Bruce Campbell! Got to see some of his flicks.

  7. Maynard - thanks! I will watch the Horror Movie Diary to see if you manage to find a copy!

    Kaijinu - Hi, welcome! I really like your blog - thanks for coming by - and you really pegged it there - I hasn't thought about that - but Eric is a lot like Bruce Campbell - sorta leading man, sorta comedy sidekick! Hope you find some of his flicks and enjoy them!