Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Magic of SciFi Movie Making - Interview with Steve Latshaw

Posted by: Veronica Scott
Today at my blog, I have a lengthy, wide ranging interview with Steve Latshaw, multi talented Director/Producer/Writer, whose extensive credits include writing and directing favorites such as "Vampire Trailer Park" and "Return of the Killer Shrews" (which is premiering this week in fact). ...writing over twenty other movies like  "Planet Raptor", "Curse of the Komodo" (a favorite in the Scott household),  and "American Black Beauty".

We talk about writing, directing, acting, James Best (Star of the original "Attack of the Killer Shrews" and - 50 years later! - Star of the sequel), Bruce Davison, Dukes of Hazzard,'s an excerpt from the interview, with Steve talking about some of his personal favorites when it comes to old science fiction movies and storytelling:

 If you could tell ANY story on film, rights, budget and stars being no object, what would that be? What’s your all time favorite movie monster and why?
I have a number of projects I’d like to do.  Books I’d like to make, etc.  I like to keep them to myself.  RETURN OF THE KILLER SHREWS was a movie I’ve wanted to direct since 1989, after first meeting James Best.  I still get a thrill when I think to myself that we actually got it made.  I love showbiz biographies and am currently circulating an original screenplay about  Al Jolson’s 1950 trip to entertain troops in Korea.  I don’t have a favorite sci fi film… I have eras… for me,  1951 to about 1962 is my favorite period.  However, I have a few guilty pleasures I always return to… THE SLIME PEOPLE… NIGHT OF THE BLOOD BEAST… ROBOT MONSTER… FLYING DISC MAN FROM MARS (A Republic serial – if anyone can find me the feature version of this one, called “MISSILE MONSTERS” – I’ll be eternally grateful)… GIANT FROM THE UNKNOWN… WAR OF THE COLOSSAL BEAST… RADAR MEN FROM THE MOON… INVISIBLE INVADERS… BRAIN FROM PLANET AROUS… HIDEOUS SUN DEMON… ATTACK OF THE CRAB MONSTERS… NOT OF THIS EARTH…. IT CONQUERED THE WORLD… MAD DOCTOR OF BLOOD ISLAND… ASTRO ZOMBIES… and all the early 1980s Fred Ray classics like BIOHAZARD, THE TOMB, PHANTOM EMPIRE, WARLORDS, ALIENATOR, HAUNTING FEAR, BAD GIRLS FROM MARS, STAR SLAMMER, SCALPS, etc.
(VS sez: You're listing a lot of MY favorites above as well!)

 What’s your favorite science fiction book or series?
Original Star Trek series and movies.  Even GENERATIONS.  Heinlein’s FUTURE HISTORY stories. TIME ENOUGH FOR LOVE.  But my biggest influences are adventure fiction writers (novelists).  Alistair MacLean (GUNS OF NAVARONE, WHERE EAGLES DARE, ICE STATION ZEBRA) probably has had the biggest effect on my writing, in terms of stories and characters.  And Ian Fleming, in terms of how, and when and how much I write.  I’ve been reading and re-reading his James Bond books since 1969.  A great travel and historical writer… his novels are now picture perfect looks at the bad old world of the 1950s and 1960s.

If you'd like to read the full interview and more about the magic of movie making, please come over to   and enjoy!

Steve's question for Readers today (which we also pose on my blog) is:
What movies haven’t you seen that you’d like to see?  What do you like and dislike about today’s movies?

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