The conceptual artist developed the sets and visual style for science fiction movies like Blade Runner, Short Circuit, and Tron. NASA has also called on him to design Skylab. He joins Fresh Air to talk about how individuals and corporations conceive of the world to come.
Carpenter has made films in a variety of genres, but he has a special affection for horror and sci-fi. His first movie, Halloween, spawned several sequels. His latest, They Live, is a political satire about aliens colonizing Earth.
Walas created the often bloody special effects for movies like Raiders of the Lost Ark, Scanners, and Gremlins. He recently directed The Fly 2 -- fulfilling his lifelong goal to make his own film. He joins Fresh Air to talk about some of his most memorable, macabre work.
Horror film director John Carpenter. He's best known for the film "Halloween," one of the most successful independent films ever ($300,000 budget, over $30 million in receipts). His other credits include "The Thing," "the Fog," "Escape From New York, "Christine" and "Starman." His most recent film, "They Live," is about aliens who disguise themselves as humans and take over the planet. It stars former professional wrestler Rowdy Piper and has just been released for home video. (Rebroadcast.
Special effects master and director Chris Walas. He directed "Fly II," the sequel to the popular remake of "The Fly," about a scientist whose genetic experiments run amok. Walas was responsible for the special effects in "The Fly." He got his start in film making working for the special effects team for several Roger Corman films, including "Piranha." His work was first noticed in the film "Scanners;" it was Walas who created and choreographed the famous exploding head scene.
Film maker Peter Wang (it's spelled "wang," but it's pronounced "Wong"). Wang wrote, produced, directed, and acts in his new movie, "The Laser Man." It's a suspense-comedy about a Chinese-American physicist who discovers his laser research is being used for evil purposes. Much the same thing happened to Wang himself. He holds a PhD. in laser technology but left the field after deciding he could no longer use his skills to help create new weapons systems. After a stint teaching, Wang migrated into acting and film.
Actress Pam Grier. She got her start playing tough, scantily-clad women in black exploitation films, such as "Black Mama, White Mama," "Foxy Brown," and "Sheba Baby." She played a hooker in "Fort Apache: The Bronx," and is now appearing in the new film, "The Class of 1999."
Actress Pam Grier. She's starring in the new film Quentin Tarantino film, "Jackie Brown." She got her start playing tough, scantily-clad women in black exploitation films, such as "Black Mama, White Mama," "Foxy Brown," and "Sheba Baby." She played a hooker in "Fort Apache: The Bronx," and (REBROADCAST from 5/10/90)
Film director Barry Sonnenfeld. His latest movie is Men in Black II, the sequel to his film Men in Black. Both films star Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones. Sonnenfeld's other films include Wild Wild West, Get Shorty and The Addams Family. Before directing, he worked as a cinematographer. He did three films with the Coen brothers - Blood Simple, Raising Arizona and Miller's Crossing. He also worked on Misery, When Harry Met Sally and Big.