AGE OF DEMONS & interview with DAMON FOSTER
This is DAMON FOSTER, the director and producer of [AGE OF DEMONS]!
DF With His Pet Scorpion, Destron!
!!! WARNING !!!
All the photos in this site are not allowed to use privately.
Copyright : DAMON FOSTER
If you have any question about this, ask him.
This is interview with DAMON FOSTER, who produced AGE OF DEMONS and publishes
good fanzine ORIENTAL CINEMA. First I traded some movies with him, secondly I
read his zines, and finally I saw his movie AGE OF DEMONS. I was shocked to
death when I see that movie!!! Of course, it's very cheesy, cheap and low
quality, but also full of fun! Hard Core Punk + Black Magic Witch + Brutal
Killing + Big Breast Chicks + Japanese Robot Hero + HK Kung Fu Action + ...
and so on. Surely, this movie would be under Z-GRADE movie, but it's very
good to enjoy. You might see several movies that is made with big budget
but have no fun at all. At the point of joy, AOD is much superior to them!
So I interviewed him. Let's check it out.
And if you're interested in ordering AOD, check draculina site.
This girl must die, at the start of this movie. T_T
Poor girl... Poor girl... T_T
mrKwang(K): I saw your movie AGE OF DEMONS. Of course, it's cheap, cheesy, low quality, but very brillant movie. In fact, it's more interesting than plain B-movies. If you could get more money and time, it would be good movie. How did you come to make this movie?
Damon Foster(D): AOD was the result of several ideas. I had scribbled notes for a couple years, notations of different ideas ("punk rock", "acrobatic stunts", "beautiful girls", "comedy", "monsters", etc.) that I wanted to use in an amateur video. I had more ideas ready, than there are Big Wheels parked outside Michael Jackson's bachelor-pad! So it was just a question of taking all these different suggestions and concepts, and building a coherent script around them.
K: I know that you are a great fan of JAPANESE HEROES and I can see that on
this movie, [AOD]. I think it's very rare case that an adult American likes
JAPANESE HEROES. How did you come to be like that?
D: As a baby in the 1960s, I loved watching BATMAN, ULTRAMAN and of course THE GREEN HORNET. Most people outgrow this stuff, as they get into more "adult" pursuits like sex, drugs and rock 'n roll. I got into all these "adult" things too, but somehow, never got tired of karate-chopping superheroes! In the 1970s, when I was a little boy, there were local Japanese TV stations (my vicinity has many Asian immigrants) which aired programs like JINZO-NINGEN: KIKAIDA, YUUSHA RAIDEEN, HIMITSU SENTAI: GO-RANGERS, SUPERCAR: GATAIGA, TOYAMA NO KINSAN and UFO DAI APOLON. I realized growing up, that very few local Americans were aware of, or even interested in such exciting programs. Most "normal people" out here were into sports and other garbage I had to patience for. Being raised on Japanese programming isn't a bad thing, I think it broadened my horizons and made me a more innovative, openminded person. Even now, when I'm in my 30s, I still wear my KAMEN RIDER T-shirt with pride!
K: In fact, I want to get something from this question best. Who are the women in your movie? Just friends? But, I think, just friends never get stripped and die by the sword. ^_^ (Especially, 1st. dead woman.) Who were they? Where were they from? And... what about another guys? All all friends?
D: Whenever I make a video, I put my girlfriends, and guy friends too, in the movie. Girlfriends come and go, but the male actors, my best friends (Barrie Evans, Butch Portillo, August Ragone, Perry Wong, John Grace, Ed Martinez) will always be here for me. My male cast is also in other tapes of mine, like HOT DOGS ON THE RUN and THE ADVENTURES OF MYSTERON. These dudes are eccentrics, unique people like me. It's difficult to find people as unusual, and cool as them! I've known them most of my life, and grown up with them. But as for the ladies: AOD was a slight problem, because my ex-girlfriend was in the movie, as well as the current (at that time) love of my life. The two of them didn't like being around each other, there was jealousy on the set. But most of the local gals won't allow me to show them in the nude. So the gorgeous blond, Tammie Costas (she's married now; her old name was Tammie Garcia) was a model I hired. She only charged me fifty bucks for her appearance! That's just $25.00 per breast-implant! She later posed nude in PENTHOUSE magazine, which aided in AOD's sales.
K: I think AOD is a good movie, and I wonder if you have made another videos or not. Can you tell me more?
D: I have indeed made other videos, like DAMON FOSTER'S WEIRD VIDEOS, HOT DOGS ON THE RUN, THE ADVENTURES OF MYSTERON, and THE ADVENTURES OF MYSTERON VOLUME 2. But none of these are as slick as AOD. AOD is still my best video. The others are made for limited audiences, I'm spoofing specific, obscure genres, so most people don't get all the jokes. Pople have said my other tapes make no sense, so I don't eagerly promote them. I think AOD is the only video I'm especially proud of.
D. Foster and his friends are looking at FLYING DEMON!!!
And one of them, Barrie Evans has his own site. Check it out~
3 witch chicks and 1 super-natural boy.
K: How could you make those 'costumes'? I really wonder about that. The clothes robot wore, demon wore, villian wore, ... and the big-breast-witch wore. They wore wonderful things!
D: Voluptuous vixen Becca Torez made all her own costumes, and Alice C. made hers too; these were outfits both already had, for previous projects like Halloween parties, etc. Ed Martinez has done special effects in movies like THE DEAD PIT (where I play a zombie), and he was helpful in assisting on costume designs & construction. Also, I simply went into costume shops around Halloween time, and was amazed at what useful costume accessories I could buy! They really helped make AOD look colorful. I also experimented with contact cement, super-glue, and materials I bought at a fabric store, and it was incredible how good some of my hand-made costumes came out.
K: About budget, money. Of course, AOD is almost no-budget movie, but you might pay some money on clothes(women, demon, villians), hiring model, renting something(university, concert place) and lunch for your staff. Where did you get money? Production like Draculina? Or all by yourself?
D: All the money for AOD came out of my own pocket! I paid for things
(costumes, materials to construct the "dungeon" set in my garage, etc.)
just a little at a time. That's one reason AOD took over a year to produce.
I'm not rich, and never have been. I live in what's basically a ghetto for
low-income people; my neighborhood is so lower-class and sleazy that the
nearby clothing store doesn't have "Dressing Rooms", instead it has
"Undressing Rooms"! But seriously, when financing production of AOD, I just
pinched pennies, shopped around for bargains (I was lucky a nearby costume
shop was going out of business, and they had some great sales), and really
budgetted myself, very carefully. I'm very poor, so poor that I consider
things like food and water to be luxuries for rich people!
K: Are there many INDEPENDENT movies like yours? I've seen some INDE-movies, but they put much more money than yours. ([Clerks], ...) What do you think about them? And how about [El Mariachi]? If your film was picked up by major studios, would [AOD] well remastered like them?
D: There are no independent movies which are anything like mine! That's
about as likely as finding a black inner-city welfare receiving girl
who's not had at least two kids yet! What other independent movies are
trying to do, is be professional. These people WANT mainstream acceptance,
so they're attempting to be as normal as they can, to get that "big
break". EL MARIACHI is a classic example of that; his low-budget movie got
him into the big time. I however, know I'll never be directing Hollywood
movies,and therefore, don't give a damn about what the monotonous mainstream
thinks. I made my videos because it's fun, and know that hundreds, maybe thousands of people will see and enjoy these productions, and I owe nothing to the professional movie-makers. I have no desire to "sell-out", so I'm one of the few who can TRULY be called "independent". And no, I don't think any Hollywood releasers would ever show interest in remastering my work; my stuff (like AOD) is pretty abnormal, there's no commercial market for it.
K: What do you do for a living? I think you are not professional movie maker, so you might have another job. What's your real job?
D: Right now I get paid miniscule wage doing Temp Work as a technician. I work in the engineering department in a large company. I'm in the process of completing school, and getting my architectural degree. I've learned AutoCAD, a computer-aided-drawing program which can be applied toward 3-d modeling, architecture and engineering. Once I complete my resume and portfolio, I can finally make a decent living. I'm so tired of being broke, and bouncing checks all the time.
Our superhero ROBOT is fighting against tha muthafuckin' DEMON!!!
D. Foster's friends are fighting against villians. It's HK movie style!!!
ROBOT is fighting against the boss of villians.
K: Have you ever attend on making another movies? You said that you were the zombie on DEAD PIT. Is that the only movie you were concerned in? And where did you learn how to make a movie? Were you the staff(Camera, editor, ...) of any good movie?
D: I played several different villainous zombies (I get shot in the chest by a gun, thrown off a large tower by the hero, etc.) in THE DEAD PIT, and actually played a "good" zombie called 'Dead-Man' in an absolutely terrible no-budget video from the late 1980s, called SECRET OF THE SUPERHEROES. In both these roles I got paid, I was just an actor, and had no control over scripts or stories. If nothing else, my involvement on the sets of these movies inspired me. Brett Leonard (director of THE DEAD PIT) did a good job, I watched him, and learned from him. Perhaps he influenced my approach directing AOD a little, I don't know.
K: You publish that magazine ORIENTAL CINEMA. Plain movie fans don't make such a good fanzine, they only see movies. How come to make that cool zine? When did you start to make it? How often do you make that zine? And... so on. Tell us about that zine briefly.
D: I've been doing OC for over 20 years! I first started doing OC on Crayon (I could not type then) back when I was a little kid. I had become mad that nobody was writing about the rare Asian films on TV, and decided to do something about it! Later, I was amazed to make connections and find others in my field! But they were all so boring, and still are! I felt I needed my publication to stand-out somehow. So I decided to be silly, like the way I really am in person. The other dull fanzine makers can just keep being lame geeks, But I decided to do what came naturally for me: To make OC amusing and fun. But OC, again, like all my stuff, isn't very commercially successful, so it comes out irregularly, like once or twice a year.
K: You might see some KOREAN b-movies, because you're a great fan of ORIENTAL CINEMA. What do you think about those movies? Of course, I could read your reviews on ORIENTAL CINEMA, but others don't. This question is for them. ^_^
D: I enjoy Korean b-movies. The sci-fi/superhero films don't have the overdone, big-shot special effects seen on current Japanese TV. So often, the action is left to the martial arts. So sometimes, Korean movies remind me of the Golden Years (1970s) of Japanese Superheroes! The Koreans are making fun movies which nobody else is making. Some of these entertaining movies are also pretty stupid, which adds unintended humor-- so I like them even more. I had a lot of fun watching the silly Batman rip-offs, like SKY WARROR: EAGLE MAN, and that absolutely ridiculous SUPERBATMAN AND MAZINGA V!
K: You've grown up with JAPANESE HEROES as well as AMERICAN HEROES. What hero did influence you most? What hero do you like best? And what do you think about Korean hero movies, like POWER KING, THUNDERBIRD FROM THE OUTER SPACE?
D: The Japanese heroes that influenced me the most were KIKAIDA, IRON KING, GO-RANGERS, SPACE SHERIFF GAVANN, and of course all the KAMEN RIDER shows of the 1970s. I love them all though, I can't choose just one favorite. I have a tape of POWER KING, but haven't had a chance to watch it yet. As for other Korean superhero movies, I really enjoyed the later UREME films, SPARKMAN, and that wacky, cheap farce, YOUNG GU AND THE GOLDEN BAT.
These are both of video covers.
What do you think about them? Wanna see it~?
The music in AOD was performed by
punk rockers THE GARGOYLES.
K: How many copies of AOD did you sell? How did many people see your flick? Did you recieve any reviews from them? What did they say to you?
D: I've sold hundreds of copies of AOD, but don't have any exact numbers. AOD was reviewed in several magazines. Most of the reviews were positive, except for two: BLACKEST HEART and FILM THREAT VIDEO GUIDE. But I think the perverts who make these magazines are real sickos, so I'm glad they didn't like it. Besides, I rather got the impression that both publications had personal grudges against me specifically, and that's why they trashed AOD, to get to me. But I've seen some of the movies these disgusting people like, and I'm quite glad my work doesn't fall into those sickening categories!
K: What system did you use to make AOD? (Camera, Sound, Edit, ...) Your answer could help another INDEPENDENT directors, as I think.
D: I shot all the footage on 8mm, before transferring it to VHS during the editing. But I think most amateurs should use Super-VHS, for better quality-- less clarity is lost during editing and transfers.
K: Are you making another flick now? AOD was made at 1993 and 5 years has passed. Not any more?
D: Yes, I am trying to, but it's very difficult. I would love to make more "Satanic Punk-Fu" videos like AGE OF DEMONS, but it's all just so tiresome, expensive and stress-inducing! I am hoping to begin work on a very similar video, to be called DEVILS, DRAGONS AND VAMPIRES; if all goes well, production should begin in the year 2000, if I'm lucky. But it's been six years since I made a Satanic Punk Fu movie, so I'm out-of-practice, I've lost a lot of skills and equipment. So I did an experimental short film called SATANIC MASS OF THE VAMPIRE in April, to celebrate "Walpurgisnacht", the Satanic Holiday. But SATANIC MASS OF THE VAMPIRE is only six minutes long, it's not a real movie like AOD. SATANIC MASS OF THE VAMPIRE (accidently mispelled "Satanic Mass of the Vamire" on the video's title itself, oops!) was just a warm-up, to see how much I could remember before starting another big project. SATANIC MASS OF THE VAMPIRE is no big deal, but it reminded me how to gear up for making another video. So hopefully, I'll start work on DEVILS, DRAGONS AND VAMPIRES in 2000 (at the very earliest), and might have it finished by 2001. It will be much like AOD: Hard rock music, monsters, martial arts, beautiful women, horror, satanic covens, and of course, a lot of comedy!
K: Are there any other good INDEPENDENT movies nearby you? If there are some, let us know about them. (At Draculina, or what?)
D: The only ones I can recommend are the EL FRENETICO AND GO-GIRL movies, from Pat Bishow. Though some scenes are boring, and some of the actors over act way too much, Bishow's stuff is at least watchable. Steve Ross made an amusing movie called EYE OF THE MOSQUITO 3: MASTER OF THE FLYING GUILA-MONSTER. Steve Wang's KUNG FU RASCALS is okay, but every other independent movie I've seen is complete and absolute garbage, I hate almost all of them!
K: Finally, this is the last question of this interview. Please say something to guys and ladies who read this article and see your good movie AOD.
D: Never fall in love, for it may stick to your face.
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