Corin Nemec breaks down playing the role of a mass murderer, what else he has going on and why Parker Lewis Can't Lose isn't on DVD yet
Having appeared as the title character on one of the best '90s shows ever (Parker Lewis Can't Lose), Corin Nemec seems like he could have easily made a career out of playing zany characters who are one step ahead of the establishment.
However, Nemec seems determined to play every kind of role which is why his turn as a killer in Chicago Massacre: Richard Speck is such a departure. This film tells a tale that was started on July 14, 1966, when Richard Speck took 9 student nurses hostage. As he held them, Speck methodically beat, raped and stabbed them to death. This case was one of the bloodiest mass murders in American history.
Recently, Nemec sat down to talk about the film and the possibility of Parker Lewis Can't Lose coming to DVD.
You were an executive producer on this film and you starred in it... what attracted you to Chicago Massacre: Richard Speck?
Corin Nemec: Well, I wasn't the Executive Producer, I was the Associate Producer on it which is a much lower level of producer. (Laughs) I look forward to being an Executive Producer one day. What attracted me to it was the fact that it was more of a character study then it was your normal slasher, bloodlust type of film. Knowing that it was based on the true story, as best as we could base it on due to the budget constraints we were under, and the fact that we weren't shooting in Chicago or Texas... basically, that's the main thing that attracted me. It was more of a character study than a slasher movie which is normally, when you're looking at those kind of budgets and that genre, that's what you get.
It was exciting to be able to go in there as an actor and be able to do some serious character studying and character work, for a director that knows and understands how to work with actors. It gives you a lot of creative leeway within specified boundaries of a horror film.
Was being a producer on the project and actor difficult?
Corin Nemec: No, because depending on what your position is from a producer's standpoint, it's going to vary, what kind of hands on stuff you're doing. For the most part, outside of having helped to get distribution for some films that I worked on... the main thing that I can bring to a project is basically any and all connections that I have within the industry over the last 23 years. Plus, being in Hollywood, any talent that I may be able to acquire. All the connections that I've made over the years come into play when you put on that other hat. Now, I'm not calling someone up as an actor but as a producer saying, "Look, I've got this really small indy film that I'm working on. I'm also acting in it. We could really use your help, you think you might be able to come down and do a day for us?"
How much research did you do into Richard Speck and the murders?
Corin Nemec: To be perfectly honest not too much. Because of the budget and the time constraints on shooting, I knew that we weren't going to be able to do a truly deep, deep, down authentic version of his life story. What we had to do was we had to melt it down to the basics and get in there and give it the best we had, in terms of giving you an arc for this guys life. Mike (Feifer; the Writer/Director of Chicago Massacre: Richard Speck) did a great job writing it and a great job putting it together on the directing side. At the end of the day I think we got something that, so far from what I've seen from the bloggers, is taking everyone who watches it by surprise.
When you make a movie that deals with a true story about people who were murdered, do you ever stop and think about what the victims family might think of this film?
Corin Nemec: That's not really the place... just talking about it from, truthfully, an acting standpoint, as an artist, that's not where my head is at. I'm liberated in that respect. I get delivered a script, whether this guy is real or fake or created or actually existed or still exists, isn't the issue. The issue is, is there something there for me as artist? As an actor? That I can sink my teeth into and bring to life? That's the only question I ask myself and the rest is up to everybody else to decide what's best for them. Do they want to watch it? Or, do they not want to watch it? You decide. (Laughs)
As an artist you really can't touch on those moral dilemmas until after the fact. Then it creates a very interesting discussion. You make that choice beforehand, you go, morally this doesn't make sense to me I'm not gonna do it. Well, you choose not to do it, guess what? Now you've got nothing to talk about until the movie comes out because you're not in it.
What for you was the most difficult part of making this film?
Corin Nemec: By far the most difficult part was the rape scene. Everything else was really easy. Because of the somewhat graphic nature of the rape scene, and dealing with a young actress who was a first time on film in a movie, basically, just making sure that everybody was really comfortable and that we were all very professional. That was the main focus on that scene because it's traumatic enough for a real life event, and it's also truly uncomfortable to do the same thing filmingwise.
This next question is a bit off topic but I gotta ask, when are we going to see Parker Lewis Can't Lose on DVD?
Corin Nemec: I was working with Shout! Factory, the DVD company for a time, we did approach Sony about licensing the rights and they were willing to put up all the money to put the DVD out and share profit with Sony. Hopefully, someone at Sony will read this article when I say this but Sony wasn't interested in profit sharing, so they kept it on the shelf instead.
Those things have got to come out. You are talking about a generation of people that need those DVDs.
Corin Nemec: Believe me, I know. When it does finally hit, hopefully, I'll be able to be involved in that process and deliver to the fan-base a really great DVD package. I'm very passionate about the series myself but there's another film coming out through Lionsgate called High Hopes. I believe it's next month with me and David Faustino and Jason Mewes. It's a marijuana madness comedy. It's very funny. Its got a great cast. A bunch of character actors came together and made an indie film that's a lot of fun. Then a National Lampoon film at the end of the year called RoboDoc with David Faustino that we're both producers on. We have a production company together.
Then I have a film at the end of the year called Parzania from Infinity features. It's a politically driven piece about some riots that took place in India before 9/11, that went widely unnoticed by the International press. Then I leave for Lithuania for 5 weeks to go do a film called Stone's War, which is a really cool genre film. It's action adventure, sci-fi thriller, essentially it's Night of the Living Dead meets Battle of the Bulge during World War II.
Chicago Massacre: Richard Speck is currently available on DVD through Lionsgate Home Entertainment.