Today’s guest is Barry Opper, best known as the producer of the CRITTERS series, the tongue-in-cheek sci-fi horror series about furry little creatures from outer space creating havoc here on Earth. Barry started out, together with his business partner Rupert Harvey, as the producer of Aaron Lipstadt’s 1982 sci-fi cult film ANDROID, which was made in collaboration with Roger Corman and starred Klaus Kinski and Barry’s brother Don, who also wrote the screenplay. Barry and Rupert went on to produce the CRITTERS series, which also starred Don as Critter hunter Charlie, and they also made Aaron Lipstadt’s post-apocalyptic film CITY LIMITS and the noir-ish crime thriller SLAM DANCE, both also written by Don. Later on, Barry worked as a producer on the first instalment of Victor Salva’s JEEPERS CREEPERS series and co-produced video director Marc Klasfeld’s feature-film debut, the biting satire THE L.A. RIOT SPECTACULAR.
In our conversation, Barry recalls how he went from working as a teacher in West Africa to joining the Company Theater group in Los Angeles and then becoming a movie producer. He tells numerous anecdotes from his various movies – for example, how a young and unknown teenager named Leo DiCaprio became one of the stars of CRITTERS 3. He discusses some of the problems that the productions ran into – including creative differences on SLAM DANCE and a difficult situation on JEEPERS CREEPERS which led to Barry being fired from the film. Barry also talks about his personal and his creative relationship with his Brother Don, and he discusses some of the projects he is currently working on.
The interview was conducted in connection with our German-language podcast Lichtspielplatz, so if you speak German, please visit lichtspielplatz.at and check out episode #63, which features an in-depth discussion of Barry’s first film ANDROID. Also, make sure to listen to my interview with ANDROID director Aaron Lipstadt here on Talking Pictures.
So without any further ado, here’s Barry Opper discussing how he became interesting in the world of movies.
The mp3 file can be downloaded HERE.