Today’s guest is screenwriter Charlie Haas, best known for his work with cult filmmaker Joe Dante. Our conversation focuses on their movie MATINEE, released in 1993 – a love letter to the horror films of the 50’s and 60’s set during the Cuban Missile Crisis: John Goodman plays Lawrence Woolsey, a producer not unlike William Castle, who comes to Key West, Florida, to promote his new monster movie MANT! – half man, half ant, all terror! The story is told from the perspective of a young boy who loves horror cinema, and who befriends the eccentric producer while out in the real world, the United States and the Soviet Union come close to a full-scale nuclear war during the October Crisis of 1962.
In our interview, Charlie talks about his own movie-going experiences and his memories of the Cold War, about working with a film scholar like Joe Dante, about the development of MATINEE and the inspiration behind the Lawrence Woolsey character. We also talked about some of Charlie’s other work, including the teen rebellion drama OVER THE EDGE, the sci-fi cult classic TRON, Joe Dante’s anarchic sequel GREMLINS 2, their TV movie RUNAWAY DAUGHTERS – and an exciting project they worked on which unfortunately didn’t come to fruition.
The interview was conducted in connection with the German-language podcast Lichtspielplatz where we produced an entire episode on MATINEE, so if you speak German, check out our Lichtspielplatz episode #43 at www.lichtspielplatz.at.
So here’s Talking Pictures with Charlie Haas!
The mp3 file can be downloaded HERE.
All photos (C) Charlie Haas.
Special thanks to Dr. Wily, my Lichtspielplatz podcasting partner for audio editing. The music was created by Clark Kent.