Joseph Tatner has been acting in films and television for years -- his credits even include original episodes of 'The Brady Bunch' AND 'The Partridge Family' a couple shows which qualify as horror to some of our readers...but to most horror fans he is probably best known for his wonderful performance as the schoolgirl spanking Father Fogerty in Kenneth J. ('Evil Spawn') Hall's 'The Halfway House' starring Mary Woronov, Janet Tracy Keijser, and Stephanie Leighs.
He has hopes of doing more horror in the future and was nice enough to take some time out of his day and answer a few questions.

Okay Joseph, would you describe for me the room where you are answering these questions?

I live in a pineapple under the sea. Primarily you are known to horror fans for your appearance in Kenneth J. Hall's 'The Halfway House' as Father Fogerty. How did that role come about? The role was actually written for me. The writer/director/producer, Kenneth J. Hall was a friend of mine and I had worked occasionally in his shop, Total Fabrication, making foam-fabricated costumes and movie props. He liked my look because I reminded him of actor Whit Bissell -- who played one of the scientists attacked by the Creature from the Black Lagoon way back when. In fact, in the "Behind the Scenes" footage, Ken compares a picture of me smoking a pipe with a photo of Mr. Bissell. Considering I had never seen the photo, it's pretty eerie to see us naturally assume the exact same pose. By the way, I am also Nostradamus on the History Channel special narrated by Penn & Teller. It's constantly being shown and I've been seen all over the world, but no one can recognize me because i wear old age makeup, a big fake beard, and a floppy hat on my head. My most recognizable role and no one knows it's me. Go figure!

Also as a Roman Catholic as well as someone who once studied in a seminary I was wondering how you felt about tackling a role that invovled a priest who is drawn to spanking nubile young girls?

Well, of course, although I studied to be a priest, I was never actually ordained, so I do know what girls look like. That didn't bother me. Also, I have met many priests who were true saints -- very Godly men who sacrifice themselves to help others wherever possible. I have also met some major jerks who use their collar to hide from the world or their responsibility, or to hide their crimes. We all know about the pedophile priests and I think those bastards should be strung up by their genitalia...hmmm...maybe that's a subject for another movie. But I digress. The point is, everyone knows that just because you're a priest, that doesn't mean you know what you're doing. The trick was to make Fr. Fogerty FUNNY. His is intended to be the comic relief of the movie, and you can't make him funny if he's just a total pervert abusing the girls in his care. So, I chose to play him like a man who watched "Father Knows Best" and "Leave it to Beaver" one to many times growing up. He really believes his "research" into bondage and discipline is to give the girls the discipline they need to get their lives back on track. He doesn't even acknowledge his own enjoyment during the spanking process. Like most people who cause damage, he has no clue about the real effect he has on people, and he's genuine enough that the girls actually do look to him to save them at different parts of the movie.

So tell me something about cult superstar Mary Woronov that people might not expect from her.

She loves jelly beans. She's also very down to earth and insanely talented. I will never forget the promotional photo shoot we were involved in for the movie. The photographer took her photos right before me and she was brilliant at coming up with poses for her character, from the insanely comical to the deadly frightening. She was totally natural and instinctive. She was always a true professional. She also truly treasures her privacy and resents the attention the world has focused on her due to her association with Andy Warhol, so I never asked her anything about that and I would suggest to everyone to respect her wishes on that subject as well. We should all just appreciate her for the extremely talented actress she is.

Do you have a "most memorable moment" from the set?

The most memorable moment, no one got to see. Ken needed a shot of Mary in her nun's habit in silhouette looking down from the upper floor church window, but Mary had left. Because she was so tall, Shawn Savage, who played Det. Dick Sheen, dressed up in the nun habit for the shot. The shot was never actually filmed because it got too late in the day, but the sight of Shawn in that habit was treasured by all the cast and crew -- except perhaps Shawn.

I am also soooo curious. You appeared on original episodes of both 'The Brady Bunch' AND 'The Partridge Family'...I want to know everything that happened on those sets! Omit no details.

What strikes me about both those sets was how cool everyone was--including the big stars like Shirley Jones and Florence Henderson. I was just a kid, but I expected "movie stars" to be stuck up or snobby and that wasn't the case at all. Also, as a kid, I had to go to school on the set, so I went to school with the other kids on the set. In fact, I met Mike Lookinland (Bobby on the Brady Bunch) repeatedly at different television and film auditions for years afterwards.

Do you have any other upcoming projects that you would like to let the www.racksandrazors.com readers know about?

Lately I've been doing a lot of SAG background work to keep busy and make money. I recently worked on The good Shepherd, Spiderman 3 and Law and order -- just don't blink or you'll miss me. I was supposed to have a featured role in the upcoming "Cashmere Mafia" but as luck would have it, I was out of town without my cell phone when the call came it. Aaaargh! Ah well, on to the next whatever. I'd love to do another horror film or comedy-horror flick.

So vampires, zombies, ghosts, aliens, creatures, psychos, mummies, witches, >mimes...what does it for you horror wise Joseph and why?

I love the classic horror flicks because I grew up watching them all on Channel 9 on Saturday and in the evenings during the week. I am not into the gore for the sake of gore films. I like a good story, with good characters, and a good plot twist.

We're pulling the car into the Joseph Tatner Drive In. What three horror >movies are they going to be showing on the triple bill and what goodies are they going to be serving up at the concession stand?

The original Dracula, followed by the original Frankenstein, and ending with the original Mummy. All other horror movies have tried to recreate the impact of these horror films on the audience of the time--when no one knew what to expect and women fainted at the sight of Boris Karloff as "The Monster." Going back further, the original Phantom of the Opera with Lon Chaney (the silent version) traumatized movie goers in a way that only the original Exorcist movie did years later -- and without the aid of subliminal frames inserted into intense parts of the movie. I actually paused the video and found one of those subliminal images in the Exorcist when the priest is coming up out of the subway. I imagine it's a lot easier to find now on DVD with todays frame by frame forward -- assuming the current prints still contain the original subliminal images.

What makes you go psycho in real life?

Nothing, really. I know that life can throw a curve ball at you and turn to crap at any moment, so when it happens, I'm not too terribly surprised or bothered by it. In the meantime, I try to live life to the fullest and enjoy the good times while they're here.

What scares you in real life?

A 30 year mortgage. Car insurance rates. Most of the new cartoons on Adult Swim (Family Guy, excepted).