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B. Alan Orange talks exclusively with Director Fred Tepper & Producer Tom Zimmerman about Sasquatch Hunters! (Part 3)

CLICK HERE for Part 1 of the interview!

CLICK HERE for Part 2 of the interview!

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Kill It!
O: That goes back to being in a bar, and screaming something at someone. After it’s over, you always wish you could go back in and change what you said, but that’s impossible. It’s an instantaneous process.

Tepper: Hmm? Well, we had three of us usually sitting around Fudd Ruckers in Burbank…

O: Crabby Bob’s in Burbank, which is a Hooters now.

Zimmerman: Oh, wow. Yeah, we closed that restaurant.

Tepper: Yeah. So, we’d either sit around Crabby Bob’s or Fudd Ruckers and just hash out ideas. That was one of the most fun parts of the whole thing. Just sitting there and coming up with ideas.

Zimmerman: I hate seafood; so sitting at Crabby Bob’s was great.

Tepper: Al did a first draft of the script. Because he had other things he was doing, that part of it took a little longer. About a month longer than we would have liked it to take. We might have shot it even sooner. He did the first draft, and then we went back and forth on it. We’d make changes. We got the final script hammered out. Now, I’m not saying what we wrote was the world’s greatest script.

Zimmerman: Yes it is.

Tepper: Our thought about the film was that making it had to be fun. We tried as much as we could just to do the film in a way that would be as much fun as possible. For the crew also. We told them we were going to be cool about everything. That we probably wouldn’t go into overtime. We had great craft service, and great catering. The only time we went overtime was the last day of the shoot. It was because we had a stunt with an actor, and he wanted to do it himself. And he wanted to be safe about it, so we told him to take his time. We’d shoot it when he was ready. And we ordered some pizza, and we went overtime on that one day. That was it. Other days, we’d finish anywhere from a half hour early to ten or fifteen minutes late. We just wanted to have fun with it. What we got out of it is; I think there will be enough people that like the film. Like I said before, there’s always going to be some people that hate it, and I’m not a “toot my own horn” kind of person…

O: I picked that up when I talked to you on the phone earlier…

Tepper: I don’t like almost anything I’ve done, so…

O: You don’t like Titanic?

Tepper: No, that’s one of the only thing I do.

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More Bikini!
Zimmerman: Collectively, we’ve all worked in the industry for a long time. We’ve all worked on sets. We’ve all had miserable experiences. I worked on Dante’s Peak. I was out on the tarmac at the Van Nuys Airport in hundred and five degree heat, sculpting foam, and I almost passed out. Not to say that’s a bad film. But, sometimes, what goes into making a film is a nightmare for the people doing it. We, at this point, when we stepped into making these films, we kind of want it “not” to be the worst experience for everybody.

Tepper: I think we did really well. We did the pick-ups almost an entire year after principle photography. And with the exception of only one person who simply wasn’t available, we got the entire crew back.

O: How did you get your cast for this movie?

Tepper: We put an ad in the back of Backstage West. And that was a lot of fun.

Zimmerman: Its very interesting how some people will send you headshots, and then when they arrive, they look so much different. The guys are fine. It’s the women. And it’s not necessarily that they’re prettier in the headshot, and they walk in and are ugly. They just look totally different. We based a lot of what we wanted on the headshots, but when they showed up, we realized we shouldn’t have done that. For what we were looking for, some of them just wouldn’t work.

Tepper: We also had no idea what some of these people were going to do. One guy came in and he was falling down drunk. Another girl was really, really crazy. We never feared for our lives. It was kind of bizarre. One girl thought she could use her sexuality to get the role.

O: You experienced the casting couch?

Zimmerman: Well, she didn’t go to the point of opening up her shirt, or anything.

Tepper: We begged her, and she just wouldn’t do it.

Zimmerman: We did have a girl come in. She was really nice. She was really good looking. And she seemed like a sweet, little girl. And she didn’t really fit the part. We said, “Thanks, good bye.”

Tepper: Tom happened to be walking out with her to the door, to go and get the next person, and on her way out she says, “Wow, this is the first audition I’ve been to where they didn’t just tell me to take off my shirt the moment I walked in.”

She was use to doing a lot of those types of films where, if you’re an actress, you are going to be naked through part of it. She thought this film was going to be like that. Which is too bad, because she said that as she was walking out. If she’d have said that coming in, we would have said, “Take off your shirt.”

O: Is there nudity in your film?

Zimmerman: No.

O: What’s it rated?

Tepper: I think its rated R, because the creature is naked the whole time.

O: He’s not hanging out, is he?

Tepper: No.

O: Is it a he or a she? I was kind of pissed that it was a mother in that last film. I don’t know why I was upset about that. I think it had something to do with her crying over that dead baby. Now, you don’t want to share your opinions on the first one? I keep calling it the first one, but it’s really not the first one.

Tepper: I would like to see a Director’s Cut of that Sasquatch film. I didn’t listen to the whole commentary, but I had a feeling watching it that there was a lot that was cut and changed at the last minute. There was one scene, and I’m not sure what was going on, because I only watched it the once. But in the cockpit of a crashed airplane, there are a couple of people sitting in there, talking. Then, at the same time, there’s a campfire going on, with people talking. And one of the characters is in both scenes. They cut back and forth. The guy talking at the campfire is also in the cockpit. And there was no transition point.

O: I don’t remember that. I only watched the film once. And that’s my problem with that movie. I only watched it once!

Zimmerman: It looks like a professional movie.

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Ranger!
O: Yeah, but just because it looks great, doesn’t mean its going to be interesting. You could have a movie that looks horrible, but some element of the story will pull you in.

Tepper: The other problem I had with Sasquatch is, there were characters that I didn’t know who they were, or why they were there. Lance Hendrickson goes into the woods with a team, and it seems like something was cut explaining the other characters reasons for being there.

O: What are your thoughts on the Patterson film, and do you think it was fake?

Tepper: I don’t think it was real.

O: When he died, they came out and said it was fake.

Tepper: I know, but now there are people saying that was the hoax. That he was saying it wasn’t real to cover his tracks and protect his family. I’m pretty sure it was fake. And I know some other effects people that don’t buy it for one second. And they know a thing or two about creating a hoax. My thought on Bigfoot is my same thought on UFOs. I think there is a possibility that he exists. I just don’t think any of the evidence people have right now is real. Same thing with the UFOs. I think there are lights out there. There are plenty of life forms out there. I just don’t think a lot of these UFO sightings are real. Not that I’ve looked into every single one, but anything I’ve ever seen, it’s like, “That aint real.”

Zimmerman: We did have a discussion about the UFO thing. I guess, for some reason or other, because we like to write about this stuff. Fred said, “Why would aliens come here? Why would they come to Earth? What could possibly be the purpose of coming here?”

Tepper: There had to be a first intelligent life. Who’s to say we’re not the first? When people look up and see a UFO, they go, “Oh, my God! A UFO.” That alien race, that we are so much more primitive than, when they were evolving and growing up as a society, they were probably going, “Gee, I bet there’s life out there.” But they were probably the first. They are the one’s coming here. There had to be a first, and who’s to say that we’re not the first? Who’s to say we’re not the ones, two hundred thousand years from now, that are going to go to other planets. And the people on those planets are going to go, “Oh, my God! I saw a UFO.” There had to be a first. And the Universe is so big, what could possibly draw them here?

O: Maybe they wanted to pick up Sasquatch Hunters on DVD.

Zimmerman: I think there’s plenty more out there to keep them entertained. It would take them so long to get here

Tepper: That’s going to be my next movie. Alien: Truth or Fiction.

O: Speaking of next movies, what about a Chupacabra movie?

Tepper: There’s one coming out a week after ours on Sony. On the 19th. It takes place on a cruise ship. The thing gets loose and it starts killing everybody.

O: Oh, wait. I did hear about that movie. It’s got the Dwarf from Lord of the Rings in it. I originally confused your movie with that one.

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Scary!
Zimmerman: I like the idea. I had a friend of mine, who I ironically worked with on Dante’s Peak, and I asked him what it was all about, because he is Spanish. And he said, “Cat Sucker.” I guess, the thing is, a lot of livestock gets killed by this creature and no one can figure out what it is. The idea is; I’d like to know more about the legend of it. It’s very obvious that you can make a story about some creature. But he seemed to think that there’s some NASA facility along the Mexico border, and that this creature is some sort of genetic thing that escaped from there. I don’t know. I like the theories behind a lot of that stuff.

Tepper: It’s amazing how we have half the nation saying the Government is so stupid, and everything they do is wrong. Then the other half is saying that the government is so good and so smart, that we have UFOs but they’re a secret. And we have teleportation, but it’s a secret. We have another friend that wants to do a Chupacabra film. He has the script.

O: The key is the look of the Chupacabra.

Zimmerman: Sure.

Tepper: It would be pretty cool, because we’d have the same guy design it. The same guy that did our Sasquatch.

O: I think it’s a good idea.

Zimmerman: I think the Chupacabra is lower to the ground, and more cat like. But also ape-like.

Tepper: Maybe we’ll call it Chupacabra Hunters.

Zimmerman: There’s your exclusive.

O: Does anybody survive Sasquatch Hunters that could come back for Chupacabra Hunters?

Tepper: There are. Yes.

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Shooting Bigfoot!
O: One last question. All of the kids from Home Improvement have starred in a Bigfoot film. What do you think the connection is between the three kids of Home Improvement and Sasquatch? And would you ever cast any of them in your sequel? Maybe have a reunion of sorts?

Tepper: Hmm? I don’t know. I’d go with a Brady Bunch kid.

O: Chris Knight was on Bigfoot and Wildboy.

Zimmerman: That’s right. I totally forgot about that show. You know, we wanted to do an audio commentary for the DVD so badly.

Tepper: I wanted a second audio commentary that’s nothing but silence, but then there’s this “EEEEIIIIGGGGG!” alarm two seconds before Bigfoot’s going to appear. Kind of a wake-up alarm. “Wake up, Bigfoot’s coming!”

Zimmerman: Or we could have the John Waters version with a scratch and sniff card…“Here comes Bigfoot! Okay! That’s what Bigfoot smells like.”

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Zimmerman and the bear!
O: God, it’s like a mad house in here. We’ve got a kid crying in that corner. And a dog barking over there. Why is there a dog in this restaurant? I don’t know what they got going on. Anyway, this has been an awfully nice time hanging out with you guys.

Zimmerman: Man, you didn’t even ask where we came from, or anything.

O: That’s not important, is it? Okay, where did you come from?

Zimmerman: We’re not telling you now.

O: How long is your movie?

Tepper: 88 minutes.

O: We have one minute, then, before this interview is longer than Sasquatch Hunters. Well, guys, it was great talking to you. Well see you later. Any parting thoughts?

Zimmerman: Watch the skies.

Tepper: No pirating.

O: I’m sure I can go buy it on the streets of Silverlake before I can go rent it.

Tepper: That’s the thing. Near the end credits, where the copy write comes up, I wrote, “Please be nice. We’re not getting rich off of this.”

Zimmerman: Chupacabra Hunters will have more naked ladies.

O: All right. Good-bye.

Dont't forget to also check out: Sasquatch Hunters