By MICHAEL GINGOLD
This month, actress Candy Clark returned to the horror genre in the supernatural thriller COLD MOON, which she discussed with us here. We also took the occasion to ask her about some of the fright flicks she co-starred in during the 1980s, including AMITYVILLE 3D (pictured), part of a current series of dimensional film screenings in New York City.
The third AMITYVILLE flick, playing Sunday and Tuesday during the 3D fest at Manhattan’s Quad Cinema (go here for full details), casts Clark as Melanie, partner of paranormal debunker John Baxter (Tony Roberts), who finds out the hard way that the evil infesting the notorious house is genuine. In Larry Cohen’s flying-monster fave Q, she’s Joan, girlfriend of small-time crook Jimmy Quinn (played by Michael Moriarty at his most eccentric and improvisational). And in Chuck Russell’s remake of THE BLOB, Clark plays Fran, a diner owner who becomes an item on the menu of the rampaging slime creature. RUE MORGUE got her reminiscences about each of these movies…
AMITYVILLE 3-D: “We shot that in Mexico, and that whole house was sets that were built inside this big soundstage. It had a real staircase that was solidly built, like it was an actual house. The workmanship at that studio was amazing.
“We were based in an area of Mexico City called the Zona Rosa, which is where hotels and stuff like that are. The phone service was really bad; it has probably improved greatly, but back then, you couldn’t call the hotel. It was quicker to go down the elevator and walk to the hotel across the way, and knock on the door of the person you were trying to reach, than to call across the street.
“Working with the 3D cameras was no problem, but there was one scene where I was going down the stairs to the basement—of course, the characters always put themselves in the worst situations—and I had this flashlight and I had to really stretch my arm out and aim it at the camera to create the 3D effect. I also had that scene where the car was on fire, and that was easy [laughs]. They just set up a little gas pipe along the window edge, and that created the illusion; the car was not really burning.”
Q: “That was a short-notice opportunity, and the next thing I knew, I was in New York, working with David Carradine and Michael Moriarty. That was really fun. Michael Moriarty was so good in that film that he was distracting. There’s that one scene where he’s playing piano and then we’re talking, and he was so into his character, and I was so fascinated watching him up close during his scenes that I would forget that I was supposed to say something! He was mesmerizing in that role.”
THE BLOB: “I really enjoyed that, because it was challenging to be reacting to stuff that wasn’t there. It was the same thing on AMITYVILLE 3D, where you’d wonder, ‘Am I really overacting here?’ I’d be dodging and weaving, but there was nothing in front of me, and I’d just hope that wasn’t too much or too little for the situation.
“In the scene where I’m in the phone booth, the blob was made out of parachute silk, and it was painted pink and had some kind of gel in it. I remember the prop guys trying to get that thing up on top of the booth so it could creep down the sides of the glass, and it was really heavy, and they had a hard time lifting it. So I was looking at this piece of parachute silk, and I was supposed to be terrified because I’m about to get killed, and it was creeping down the glass of the phone booth, and I was thinking, ‘This is not scary! Well, I’ll just keep doing my part, and hope that it’s gonna work!’ [Laughs]
“And when they edited it all together, that thing looked like it was really moving fast. It was like, ‘Wow! Boy, was I wrong!’ That scene was a couple of days in that phone booth, and I had to scream myself hoarse. They were spraying me with water to look like I was sweating, and sparks were going off while I was trying to get money into the phone, while watching for my boyfriend, the sheriff. It was a lot of fun.”