Your new film is called Sleepwalker
Strangler. In a few words, what's the film about?
Women are being strangled and it appears to be the result of a
policeman who finds himself sleepwalking and in locations where he has no
memory of going.
inspired you to make the movie?
It was inspired by several things. One was a TV movie that featured a
character that was found sleepwalking and put on trial for the murder
of, I believe, his mother-in-law. This was based on a true story where
the guy used sleepwalking as a defense and got off.
And a local man in my area was arrested for walking into his
girlfriend’s daughter’s bedroom and claiming he was sleepwalking at
the time. He was convicted. I was friends with his mother and she denies
he would ever do anything like that. That’s when I decided to write a
script using sleepwalking as a plot device.
In my eyes, Sleepwalker
Strangler is in equal parts slasher and old-fashioned murder
mystery. Would you agree to this, and your views about both genres?
That’s exactly what it was. A number of our movies have mysteries
included. In fact, our very first movie, Sisters, was a murder mystery
slasher set around daylight savings time and what happens when the hired
killer fails to change his clocks. I’m a bigger fan of mysteries than
slashers, but I enjoy both.
Strangler, you have for the first time used guest directors to do
whole sequences. A few words about your guests, their sequences, and why
did you decide to use them in the first place?
Phil Herman [Phil Herman
interview - click here] and Nancy Feliciano [Nancy
Feliciano interview - click here] had offered to shoot footage for me and
this was an excellent way to use them. They did a great job with the
script and have in fact shot another sequence for Pumpkin Eyes: Blind
Justice. Phil shot the footage as well as playing the killer and Nancy was
the victim. Krystal Stevenson’s segment was produced and directed by
Michael A Tiller. She’s just a young girl out walking who finds herself
in the wrong place at the wrong time. Joe Sherlock produced and directed
Toni Dragon and Richard Siegfied in a segment where Toni returns home only
to be strangled in her bathtub. Luc Bernier produced and directed the
segment with Isa M and she’s the one character who actually survives.
Strangler stars quite a few actresses and actors who have long
come to be regulars in your films. What can you tell us about genre
veteran Debbie D [Debbie D interview -
click here], who has been in I don't know how many of your films?
Debbie has appeared in well over 70 of our movies. I met her at a
Chiller Convention and she began shooting in 1995 and has worked with WAVE
ever since. She’s a great person and will do anything for you. She was
one of the people I took to Vegas when we shot on location back in 2000.
Paul does also pop up time and again in the credits of your films ...
started in 1998 and has been in over 50 different features, usually as the
killer, but sometimes as the hero. He too was one of the people who went
to Vegas to shoot with me. Dean has been invaluable in both his
contributions to WAVE
and to me personally.
few words about Deana Demko?
I officially met Deana at the Fanex Convention in Baltimore back in
1994 although we probably saw each other at the early Chiller
We both had tables at Fanex and we ended up shooting two sequences for two
different movies that night in the hotel. She worked with us until 1998
and has only returned this past year. But we have seen her a lot over the
years at the Chiller Conventions we go to.
What can you tell us about
I was introduced to Violetta by Debbie in 2007
and she’s been shooting ever since. She’s very nice and does a great
... and then there's of course GW Lawrence.
Anything you want to say about that man?
Let’s just say
he’s been around since the beginning in 1987 when WAVE
with Aven Warren, Mike Brady, and Clancey McCulley. They were the original
actors for WAVE
and did a great job for a lot of years. Without their
would never have gotten to where it is today.
actors/actresses in Sleepwalker
Strangler you want to talk about?
Luke Marlowe plays Tracey’s boyfriend who just happens to end up in
the wrong place at the wrong time. This was Luke’s first part for WAVE
since the early 2000s. Tragically, his father died shortly after we shot
and he’s unable to shoot any more at the present time.
Catilin Shore is a newcomer to WAVE
and did a great job for her first
shoot. We hope to use her again in the future.
As for Tracey, just look at her photo and that will answer your
questions about her.
The 64 Dollar
question of course: Where can Sleepwalker
Strangler be ordered from?
It’s available for $30
at WAVE Movies (www.wavemovies.com)
or it can be ordered by mail at WAVE Productions PO Box 83 Deerfield, NJ
08313. Shipping is $4.95 in the U.S. and $8.00 for overseas.
Like pretty much all
of your movies, Sleepwalker
Strangler was produced by your own production company WAVE
Productions. What can you tell us about the company and its
As I mentioned earlier, WAVE
began in 1987. I ran an ad in a local
weekly paper for people who loved horror movies and who wanted to make
them. Video cameras had become affordable so I decided to start making
my own movies and then selling them mail order. I will be celebrating my
23rd year come this September.
As for my philosophy, I just want to make horror movies. Tina Krause
[Tina Krause interview - click
here] once referred to them as fetish horror because of all the fetish
elements that are included in many of the movies. My own feeling is that
horror itself is a fetish. Why do people go to horror movies? Some go to
get scared. Some go to see the gruesome effects. And some go to see what
the body count will be. So that’s not any different from the guy who
might want to see a pretty girl chloroformed or carried like in the
Creature from the Black Lagoon.
Let's leave the present behind for the time
being and head forward into the past, all the way back to 1987: What can
you tell us about your first movie Sisters and its troubled
We began shooting Sisters in the fall of 1987 with the idea that the
killer murders the wrong girl because he doesn’t change his clocks for
daylight saving time. Since we only had one actress at the time, she
played twins, one of whom wanted the other dead. We got a good portion
shot when one of the main actors dropped out. So I reworked the script,
dropped the daylight savings idea, and the movie became Stalked!. We
shot new footage in the winter and summer of 1988. Stalked was then sold
mail order. It was only in the last year or so that I went back and
re-edited both versions and put them out on a 2 disk set that has both
Sisters and the alternate version now called The Valley
What made you go into directing
movies in the first place, and what were your experiences in the film
world prior to Sisters?
I’ve always loved low
budget horror and sci-fi. I grew up in the 50s and went to a lot of
drive-in movies and stayed up late watching the old horror movies on TV. I
always wanted to make movies, but it was just too expensive. The first
movie I did was in 1976 with my two younger brothers called If A God
Should Fail about Hercules fighting a cyborg to the death. We shot it on
super 8 film and the soundtrack consisted of a tape recorder played along
with the projector when we showed it to the family. In 1981, we shot the
Misadventures of Fanny Starr, again with my brothers and friends. This
time we audio dubbed the sound onto the video we had made from the film
and were able to show it that way. We did the same with If A God Should
Fail. I have both movies now on VHS and DVD. Due to copyright reasons with
the music, they are not for sale.
Since Sisters you
have made an amazing number of movies, too many to list even here, but I
want to talk about at least some of them that have caught my attention by
the strength of their titles: What can you tell us about Ravenwing
& Cybercop vs Spellbynder?
It’s funny you should mention that one. I plan to shoot a sequence
with the Ravenwing character as played by Tracey Lixx in a few weeks.
Unfortunately for the character, it doesn’t end well. The Dark Witch
has been hired to kill all the members of the D.O.L.L. Squad and
Ravenwing is her second target.
When I shot the original movie in 1997, I wanted to do a serious super
heroine movie after having done three Adam West Batman-like
Lightnings. Tina played
Ravenwing, Pamela Sutch played CyberCop and
Deana played Spellbynder. The effects were very minimal, but Dawn Murphy
did a nice make up job on Pam making it look like she was part cyborg
after she’s almost killed in an explosion.
A few words about the
Rana: Queen of the Amazons-series?
Rana was a custom tape. In other words, someone had paid to have us film
a jungle woman movie. I used the woods that my parents owned at the time
and that became the Amazon Jungle. Laura Giglio was Ilsa Von Todd’s
(Tina Krause) less than bright jungle girl accomplice, Teela. I followed
up the original movie with several sequels that I wrote myself based on
some of the ideas of the guy who originally ordered the custom.
What about the
Misadventures of Fanny Starr-series?
That was based on a character I had created as a comic book heroine
back in the late 70s and then put into a movie back in 1981 that I
mentioned before. The idea is that this private detective always finds
herself in the most bizarre deathtraps, that many times include water. As
a fan of the 70s movies and TV shows where the women rarely wore a bra, WAVE
characters rarely do, and Fanny is no exception.
the Serena Powers-series ...
The first one was a
collaboration with Tina’s then business partner and myself. It starred
Barbara Joyce as Serena Powers and Tina Krause as her assistant, who
wanted to be just like Serena Powers. Tina gets her wish when she is
kidnapped by someone who thinks she is Serena Powers and it‘s up to the
real Serena to rescue her. It features several different deathtraps
including a saw blade about to cut Tina in half. It was similar to the old
movie serials I grew up with. And yes, there is nudity involved.
What can you tell us
about the Psycho Charlie-series?
That was also a custom that we fleshed out considerably. The guy who
ordered it was mainly looking for chloroform and carrying scenes. The
first movie, Psycho Dance, had Charlie kidnapping these girls so he
could dance with them. Then in Psycho Vampire, he imagines he’s a
vampire and goes after some of the surviving girls from the first movie.
And then he was a mad scientist in Psycho Charlie Returns and a movie
director in Psycho Charlie’s Revenge. And then Dean Paul starred as
his son in a series of very popular movies.
And then there's
of course the Strangled-series ...
became a big selling point for our movies in the mid 90s. It seemed we
couldn’t turn them out fast enough. But they always had a good storyline
to back up the strangling scenes.
... the Chlorophormed
That was also a custom tape that’s pretty self explanatory. Laura
Giglio played the Chloroformed Model in 4 different movies, the last of
which had her twin as the model who’s out for revenge for her
sister’s death in the previous movie. But it doesn’t end well for
... the Damsel in Distress-series
They were mostly customs also. Most of my custom customers grew up in
the same era as myself and enjoyed the damsel-in-distress types of movies
where sometimes the girl escapes, and sometimes she doesn’t.
... and let's not forget the Witchfinder-movies!
was one of our earliest movies, being shot in 1988. The second one was
shot over a number of years starting in 1993 and ending in 2004. It was
released in 2008.
Debbie D as Destiny
I understand, you also made a couple of Debbie D's Destiny the Vampire
Mermaid-movies [Debbie D interview -
Yeah, I loved the fantasy element of the series.
Another title I just love is Who
Wants to be a Vampire Bride. A few words about that one?
That was also a custom where three beautiful women compete to become a
vampire’s bride. It starred Pamela Sutch, Debbie D [Debbie D interview -
click here], Laura Giglio, and
Dean Paul as the vampire. To make it a bit ironic, we had the actress who
doesn’t flash her chest be the one picked by the vampire.
about Barefoot Jenny: Undercover?
That was a custom
for someone who liked both cannibal movies and characters flailing around
in the mud as well as having the main character barefoot. There are two
scenes in the movie where characters are wrestling around in a mud pen set
up indoors. There was a follow-up to it where Jenny ends up wrestling in a
baby pool filled with oil. Carol Livingston starred as Jenny.
Hillbillies is yet another title I simply love. A few words about that
This will give you a glimpse into how something small
can be made into a short movie. A customer wanted a 10 minute sequence of
Debbie being carried naked. That’s it. So we came up with the whole
cannibal idea and Laura and Dean played these 2 hillbillies who kidnap
Debbie and eventually cook her on a grill.
Female Mercenaries on Zombie Island - now
that's another great title. What can you tell us about this movie?
This was another custom that we had already done 2 other shorts of. The
basic plot was that a meteor strikes the earth and sends civilization back
to a more primitive living style. We then made a full length movie based
on the guy’s ideas. Originally titled Zombie Holocaust, EI
was distributing it, changed it to Female Mercenaries so it wouldn’t be
confused with another movie name Zombie
Holocaust. The basic outfit for
the girls consisted of a long t-shirt, knee-hi socks, and high heels.
It’s been one of our most consistent sellers and produced a sequel
entitled The Mad Doctor of Zombie Island. I’m working on script that
shows what happened right after the meteor hit the earth and destroyed
most of civilization.
Go-Go Girl Strangler?
This was an original script I did
as a follow-up to the Necktie Strangler we did in ‘91. Dean plays the
brother of one of the killers from the original movie and his girlfriend
is one of the targets of the Necktie Strangler. Revenge of the Necktie
Strangler was a sequel to Go-Go Girl and partially shot in Las Vegas where
the strangler catches up with Barbara’s character and leaves her dead in
the back of a van out in the middle of the desert.
The Gosh Darned Mortgage?
was a movie produced and directed by Pamela Sutch for her company, Siren
It was also a custom tape she shot and I helped with by providing the WAVE
studio for a few of the scenes in the movie. It was a satire of the old
movie cliffhangers and actually included a Canadian Mountie character.
movies we have not yet talked about you want to mention?
loved the Dungeon of Death movies because there were a lot of plot twists
in both and because Tina did a great job as the tormented sister in part
2. And Deadly Sale was a neat supernatural thriller that showed off Dawn
Murphy’s biggest assets when she’s almost drowned in a tub and then
stands up in a white, see through clingy white t-shirt!
Productions is known to produce custom videos, many of which
also become part of your catalogue. A few words about these custom videos,
and what are the most common and the most outrageous requests you receive?
Years ago in the 70s and 80s, I would do custom artwork for people who
wanted comic strips and/or single drawings. When I started WAVE, I
figured if people would order custom artwork, they would also order
custom videos. The first custom video was a short vampire movie that we
shot in early ‘88. Then in the fall of ‘88 we got a custom order for
what is now known as Dungeon of Death. Back then, customers would
describe what they wanted in the movie and then we would write a script
around it and give it more of a plot and storyline. In order to
accommodate what he wanted to see in the movie, I wrote a script about 2
sisters having nightmares about being killed in horrible ways. But it
was a mystery. Who was behind the nightmares? Were there any other
people involved? It became one of our biggest sellers and I hope to do a
remake some time in the future. Another custom became Sleepover Massacre
about friends who had gone to college together and decided to get
together for a weekend reunion. But unknown to them, they’re being
stalked by a female vampire. The guy’s only contributions were that
the killer was a vampire. He also included rough drawings of how he
wanted the bites done. Some of the positions were impossible, but we did
the best we could.
The most common requests have been for either chloroforming or cannibal
movies. Quicksand movies come in third as far as requests go.
As for outrageous requests, I’ve gotten a couple things where it was
just too violent. I turned down a custom that someone wanted with Tina
that Tina later shot with someone else. But only a few people have seen
it because the producer hasn’t found the right venue for it yet.
Another request was at the very beginning: A guy sent a photo of a girl
and a guy in the surf. He wanted photos done of similar shot, except
that he wanted the girl replaced with a guy. It wasn’t what we wanted
to do so we declined since we weren’t doing photo shoots
me, your body of work seems to combine motives from golden age horror,
serials, slasher movies, softcore erotica, superhero comicbooks and old-fashioned
pulp literature. Would you agree to that, like to add something or
another, and elaborate on it?
You named almost all my
sources of inspiration. I loved the old cliffhangers. I loved the low
budget horror movies I’d go see Saturday afternoon and at the drive-in
at night. Many were so bad that I knew I could do better. I was
disappointed that in many cases they wouldn’t show everything. They
would cut away or skip over things. My main goal was to produce something
that could be mainstream, but that would also show things that weren’t
shown back then.
Almost all of your films
contain some degree of nudity/sex and violence. What are lines you do not
and don't want to cross?
I don’t have any really racy love scenes and most of the actresses are
at most topless, although some have appeared naked in the movies
including Debbie, Tina, and Barbara.
Others don’t even do topless including Dawn Murphy, Laura Giglio,
Carol Livingston, Vanessa Carlton, etc. Even Pam didn’t go topless
until she had shot for 6 years. We don’t accept any porn scripts or
any scripts that only want to see someone beaten to death horribly. We
require a storyline with a beginning, middle, and end.
Most of your films are at least
to some extent horror movies. Have you ever thought of making something completely
different, e.g. a romantic comedy?
At this point, probably not. But I’ve learned never to say never. As
Sean Connery found out, never say never. He swore he wouldn’t ever do
another Bond movie and yet, there he was doing
Never, Say Never.
But for the market we shoot for, a romantic comedy wouldn’t fly. But
if someone wanted a custom comedy done, I’d jump at the chance to do
something a little different.
Could you talk about
some of the women (not mentioned above) who have been in your past movies:
What can you tell us about the wonderful Tina Krause [Tina
Krause interview - click here]?
Tina was discovered at the 1994 Spring Chiller Convention. She walked
past our table and was asked if she wanted to audition to do horror
movies. She said yes, and we went outside and shot her first death scene
for the movie Fatal Delusion. She’s shot well over 75 movies
for us. She’s great to work with. And we’ve been very lucky. Believe
it or not, we actually found 2 other actresses who look exactly like Tina:
Mia Copia and Tracey Lixx.
few words about Barbara Joyce?
Barbara is a great actress and a very sexy woman. She started 1998 and
unfortunately retired from the movies in 2004. A little known fact about
Barbara and Dean is that they met before WAVE
on the set of The Little
Shop of Erotica, a low budget adult film. She was one of the actresses who
went to Vegas in 2000.
What about Pamela Sutch?
Pam auditioned in the summer of 1994. She played Rana in our jungle
series and “the doctor” in Female Mercenaries. In all the years
she’s worked with us, she’s only missed one shoot despite coming down
from either Queens or North Jersey. She’s a great actress. She started
her own company of Siren Tales (www.sirentales.com) to do her own movies
and is also doing weddings under her Sunset Media company. She also went
to Vegas in 2000.
Giglio does also pop up in your films quite frequently ...
Laura’s story is interesting. She auditioned in the spring of 1992,
but didn’t start shooting with us until 1994. Her mother had come to
the audition with her and later told Laura that she didn’t approve of
the movies so Laura couldn’t shoot with us. But in 1994, Laura saw an
article about the auditions we had just held, and since she was now
living on her own, she called us up and asked if she could come out. Her
first movie was Sorority Slaughter.
She now has two kids and shoots her own mermaid movies.
and then there's of course Dawn Murphy?
Dawn also started in 1994 and also responded because of the article in
the paper. She was multi-talented. In addition to being in the movies, she
also did make-up effects and was my assistant from 1998 to 2000 until she
quit to start a family.
Any women I have
forgotten you'd like to talk about?
I’ve mentioned Clancey who was WAVE’s first actress. Others back
then included the mother/daughter team of Terri and Christine Cavalier
who eventually appeared in John Russo‘s Scream Queens Illustrated.
Others included Chris Stonage, Carol Livingston, Michelle Caporaletti,
and Lonna Cottrell. There are many others too numerous to include who
have appeared over the years.
Suzi Leigh is one that stands out because she started in 2002 doing
topless shots and then within a year decided going topless was no longer
for her. She has to come quite a distance so she hasn't taped in
about 5 years.
Having talked quite
as much about your past ... any future projects lined up?
have several scripts ready to go, some of which are remakes of movies made
in the 80s and 90s with a VHS camera. The current project is Pumpkin Eyes:
Blind Justice. The idea is people who do horrible things find themselves
as stroke victims who are unable to move and must experience being killed
over and over again in their minds by the very people they killed. It
stars Debbie D [Debbie D interview -
click here], Laura Giglio, Tracey Lixx, Nancy Feliciano [Nancy
Feliciano interview - click here], Phil Herman[Phil Herman
interview - click here],
Luke Marlowe, GW Lawrence, and a couple new people who I can’t mention as
website, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, whatever else?
The MySpace page is www.myspace.com/wavemovies
and the website is www.wavemovies.com
and a sister site www.indirestraits.net
that looks at the older movies as well as artwork, reviews, etc. That one is a
work in progress. YouTube will be the next site I hope to add, but not as of
who have influenced you?
To be honest, I’m terrible with
names. Dario Argento comes to mind. John Russo was an influence and
someone I worked with in the past. Herschell Gordon Lewis [Herschell
Gordon Lewis bio - click here] was another one
who I got to meet in 1990 at the first Chiller Convention and he inspired
both me my then partner to make the movies we did. And I loved the movies
Jess Franco made in the 60s including some of the Fu
Your favourite films?
think overall, my favorite movie has to be the original King
remakes really lacked what made the first one special. Current movies
include Avatar, the Spider-Man movies, and others too many to list.
Ironically, because of the movies I do, I really don’t see many of the
new slasher movies that have come out.
and of course movies you have really deplored?
Many of the
same old horror movies I watched back when I was growing up. There are too
many to list, but they did inspire me to think that I could do better.
Some people would agree I have done better, others wouldn’t.
else you want to mention I have merely forgotten to ask?
am often asked what does W.A.V.E. stands for. When Aven Warren and Mike
Brady first came up with it, it was Whitson’s Amateur Video
Entertainers. But as WAVE used for more professional actors and actresses,
it became Whitson’s Audio & Video Entertainment.
for the interview!