Welcome to our first NLG interview! I, cult-movie geekazoid Julianne, had the pleasure of chatting with Cinema Insomnia host Mr. Lobo about ZOM-BEE TV, his new film Plan 9 and The Church of Ed Wood.
JG: Just to fill our readers in on a little bit of backstory, I met you on the set of Jonathan Morken’s music video for The Touchy Feelies, “The Queen of Trash”. We had some fun death scenes in that video. We had some really cool effects in that video. I got my tongue bit out by The Queen and if memory serves me correct, you got your face cut, right?
LOBO: Mr. Lobo did get cut, but that may have been “cut” from the final video. The director, Jonathan, asked if I could do the gore effects for that film–when the guy he hired dropped out. He also insisted we use some institutional fruit cocktail sauce for blood and he bought a giant can from the restaurant supply store. This was shot in 8mm film and we had limited footage and no time for retakes. They must have changed the formula since his childhood film-making days because it looked like fruit cocktail and not blood. How did it taste?
JG: I remember it being awful, almost like a cough syrup mixed with silly putty. Yuck. But it does give you something to act off of if your tongue got bit off. Anyways, your show Cinema Insomnia started in Sacramento on KXTV ABC News10, got a national syndication deal and was on local TV stations coast to coast. Now you are living in Philadelphia area shooting near Washington DC and Cinema Insomnia is now on ZOM-BEE TV, a horror driven channel on the Roku box. Has the format for the show changed at all? Can you give me any insight on what working with Roku is like?
LOBO: It reminds me of when UHF was new for broadcast TV– It allows for all kinds of funky and creative home-grown programing and commercials. We have about 21 episodes up there on demand right now along with new fun in-house commercials. Artistically, we can be more free and we don’t have the time or content restrictions of broadcast.
You are too young to remember, but until the late 60′s any channel over 13 was on a different bandwidth and until TVs had a built in UHF dial, the only way you needed a converter box to see channels 14 through 88. In the 70′s, UHF exploded because all new TVs had it built in. These were the days of afternoon kid shows and late night horror hosts like my mentor and hero Bob Wilkins back in Sacramento!
Until everyone has ROKU built into their TVs, a player can be purchased at department stores and on Amazon for $40 to $90 and there is no monthly fee for the box. It uses the internet in your home to deliver programming to your TV. There are hundreds of free channels, thousands of private channels, you can use it to access your Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime accounts, or purchase other programming. We cut our cable. Connected TV is all we watch.
JG: Wow. I’m suddenly wanting to buy another Roku box!
LOBO: I think Mr. Lobo is doing another commercial right now…Sorry. But I’m legitimately excited about it.
JG: I’m legitimately excited for the Roku Streaming Stick.
LOBO: I just heard about this and I think it’s great. I think our platform has the edge over Google Chromecast because of all the exclusive Roku content and you get a remote!
JG: Whoa. We’re in commercial mode again!
LOBO: (In an announcer voice) ZOM-BEE TV is a new FREE horror and classic exploitation channel for CONNECTED TELEVISION that is currently on the ROKU but will soon be infecting GOOGLE TV, SMART TVs, GAME CONSOLES, and SMART PHONES!
JG: Is it hard to move to a new city and establish yourself with a new crew?
LOBO: The hard part was leaving home. Missing friends and family. The other part that is hard is that I’m not just making one TV show anymore I’m helping ZOM-BEE TV get a whole network off the ground. My wife, Dixie Dellamorto, is my right hand so luckily I have “my best guy” with me at all times! The shows we’ve made so far have been great shows, we just need to make a lot more of them as “content (and lots of it) is king”. It’s always been hard to keep a low budget show like Cinema Insomnia going. Every two years it seems we have a turn over as far as crew goes. I’d love to have a same crew for a long long time.
JG: I know you were a faithful attendee of TFO (Trash Film Orgy in Sacramento), have you found a B-movie/Cult movie home on the east coast?
LOBO: The historic picture palace where they filmed scenes for the 1958 movie The Blob called The Colonial Theatre in Phoenixville, PA, has a great cult movie program on first Fridays (First Friday Fright Night)…as well as Blobfest on July 11th, 12th,and 13th–Hosted by, yours truly, Mr. Lobo!
JG: You’re currently starring in the remake of Ed Wood’s B-Movie classic Plan 9 From Outer Space, just called Plan 9 which screened at MystiCon last month. Can you give me any scoop on how this project came about? What drew you to it?
LOBO: Johnny Johnson in Charlottesville, VA, who has made a number of micro-budget direct to video horror films, has tapped the last surviving cast member of the original film–Conrad Brooks, myself and some indie horror mainstays, to tell a serious and effectively scary version of Ed Wood’s camp classic for it’s 50th Anniversary back in 2009. It’s finally finished and the fans in Roanoke seemed to have loved it! We’re hoping for a wide release soon. I am a Saint and Reverend in the Church of Ed Wood. Edward D. Wood Jr. was an extremely prolific American exploitation writer who directed several “so bad–they’re good” or “so bad they are bad movies”. Although, Mr. Lobo likes to say “They’re not bad movies–just misunderstood!”
JG: I love that. I couldn’t agree more. Can you tell me anything about your character, Criswell?
LOBO: I will essentially be Criswell–but no one can ever really BE CRISWELL. The Amazing Criswell was a real man with a historical life. He was a TV psychic in LA who was often cast as the narrator in Ed’s “classics” including the original Plan 9. We are similar in that we are both real guys who have a TV show and will be in the movie. But this time the narrator who predicted these future events is actually in the story and witnesses the evil unfold.
JG: Do we get to see you in any chase scenes, or any fights scenes?
LOBO: I did my own stunts and fired guns. It was much more exciting of a role than expected. Next to the hero, Jeff Trent played by Brian Krause of TV’s Charmed fame, Criswell is the central character in Johnny’s version and the only character with an arc.
JG: Do you think fans of the original Plan 9 will like the new version?
LOBO: I predict that they will be pleasantly or unpleasantly surprised!
JG: Cinema Insomnia is shooting more episodes this month. What can viewers expect this season?
LOBO: New and old films will be presented with comedy, interviews, trailers, and the usual slumber party fun.
NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD RE-ANIMATED(2009)
HARD DAYS NIGHTMARE(2013)
THINGS TO COME(1936)
WARRIORS OF THE WASTELAND(1983)
…and much more that I can’t tell you about, yet. Mr. Lobo is also working on a talk show called Sleepless Knights and some Saturday Morning kid stuff called All Systems Go…
JG: Who has been you favorite interview on the show so far?
LOBO: That’s like picking a favorite child. Interviewing Bob Wilkins and Elvira-Mistress of the Dark were the most thrilling, as they are my heroes.
JG: Can I get a top 5 favorite B-movie list from you?
LOBO: This list is subject to change at any time…
5. The Brain That Wouldn’t Die
4. Forbidden Zone
3. Night of the Creeps
2. Return of The Living Dead
1. Plan 9 From Outer Space
JG: NLG features a column called “Tales From the Instant Queue” where we review random films on the Netflix Instant Queue. Got recommends for us?
JG: Last question, how does it feel to immortalized on Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated?
LOBO: I got a phantom call from someone at Cartoon Network that told me to watch for it. But I didn’t have cable. Next thing I knew people started asking me to autograph pictures as “Professor Rofalo”.
“And I would have gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for those meddling kids…and that stupid mutt!”
Keep up with Mr. Lobo on Twitter: @MisterLobo
and on his website: http://www.cinemainsomnia.com/