Talking with the soul man Joe Estevez by Greg Tiderington

Joe Estevez was another actor from the Sheen/Estevez parody but unlike his family members who only did the odd horror flick Joe stuck to the horror film industry which I thought was very cool.
I enjoyed his work in the film 'Soultaker' which he had the lead role in with Robert Z'Dar from 'Maniac Cop' fame as he worked with him on many other b-film projects since the two of them had a tight friendship.
His first horror flick was playing a maniac in 'The Zero Boys' which is another film that he was well credited for as it starred scream queen Kelli Maroney.
As mentioned, he had many other low budget horror flicks under his belt as well and still is getting work in that genre to this day as you b-horror film fans may have also seen him in 'Werewolf', 'Fatal Pulse', 'Dark Universe', 'Blonde Heaven', 'Murder in Law', 'Blood Slave of Vampire Wolf', 'The Remnant', 'Hell Asylum', 'The Rockville Slayer', 'Deathbed', 'Minds of Terror', 'Tales from the Grave', 'Vampire Blvd.', 'Killer Story', 'Evil Grave: Curse of Maya', 'Resurrection Mary' and the list goes on and on....
I had the pleasure of interviewing him on the phone as he was a wonderful person to talk to and his career in independent horror films continues to shine on.

  Greg: At what age did you see yourself as an entertainer?

Joe: Probably not serious till I was 17 I don’t know what the difference is between an actor or an entertainer seen as an actor at 17.

Greg: Did you take note of your brother Martin Sheen acting in films and said to yourself you wanted to do the same?

Joe: When my brother became an actor primarily doing stage work I was very proud of it. I think I wanted to be like him in the character and spirit but not necessarily as an actor. In the early days I wanted to be a singer but I think I wanted instead to do a highschool play. This was for me. Regardless, as an actor it was much harder for me to be an actor with him as a brother than if you have no relations. I love my brother dearly but this has not helped me and it's hindered me.

Greg: Did you see yourself acting in horror flicks?

Joe: I saw myself acting in films. Horror films? That’s fine. I do all kinds of films except X rated films. Horror movies are just a part of what I do. They're just movies just like comedies or dramas. I enjoy them all.

Greg: What was your first acting gig?

Joe: The first acting I played the evil innkeeper who threw Mary and Joseph out of the Inn on Xmas Eve; it was a Christmas play. My professional acting gig was a TV movie called The Story of Pretty Boy Floyd in 1974. I got the audition through the director. Clyde Ware had the part that was offered to my brother and Clyde asked me to auditon. That’s the last influence my brother had on my career. I worked with Corman a number of times and during the set of Dillinger & Capone because I looked like Martin, I was cast due to a resemblance because that is what the part was called for. My character got killed and the killers were looking for my brothers character and because of the resemblance, killed me by accident.

Greg: Do you two keep in touch?

Joe: We love each other and see each other once a year at Christmas time. I have not gotten any parts related to my brother. In fact, it has hurt my career.

Greg: You played a killer in the Zero Boys. I haven't seen it yet but was that a horror film?

Joe: Yes absolutely. It was my first horror film. I was happy for the work and it was the first independent movie I did.

Greg: What was your character all about?

Joe: He was just a total killing machine. His presence was a take off on a famous film. The story was about just 4 kids in the house and the bridge is gone and they can’t get out of the house. I was the terrorist it was fun I enjoyed it. Lots of physical stuff. I saw the film not too long ago and it did pretty well.

Greg: What kind of a release did it get?

Joe: It got a theatrical release in the middle states so it never played NY or Los Angeles. It was a limited release. When a film gets a limited release it perks up for a world wide release. The producer/director was Nico Mastorakis and Omega Entertainment is his company. I did two films for him. It went to theatre's through all of the European countries. Greece, Italy, France, Louisianne, Southern states, Idaho and New Mexico.

Greg: One of your memorable roles was Fatal Pulse which was apparently a crime horror. What kinds of feedback did you get?

Joe: "Don’t do those roles again", that was the feedback. Fatal Pulse was ok. It was a horror film. My days of peeking through keyholes are over.

Greg: What was your character Ernie all about through the film?

Joe: Ernie was a Vietnam veteran who was suffering through Combat shock and he was the caretaker of the sorority house and Ernie the poor guy was the hero killing the killer.

Greg: Did the film get reviewed in magazines like Fangoria that you know of?

Joe: I would assume it did. Frankly I don’t know.

Greg: I rented your flick Murder in Law where you played the role of a father named Bill which supposedly was a made for TV movie. Was it actually aired on TV or cable? I ask because the contents on there would be too much for a regular channel like ABC TV.

Joe: I thought that this movies unlike most other horror movies had a plot and it had no gore. The acting is marvelous and shot terrifically. I thought it was freaking brilliant. It was the most subtle performance I’ve ever done. I’ve gotten 10 percent of the films I’ve ever done. The director was offered 10,000 dollars and turned it down so never got another offer. Once it was finished and the money was offered, Tony Jiti Gill turned it down.

Greg: What was Marilyn Adams who played your Mom like to work with?

Joe: She was a sweetheart great very easy very giving very opposite of a primadonna.

Greg: Did you act fatherly offscreen to the cast who played your son and daughter as you seemed believeable as a parent to them on screen?

Joe: No we’re all actors here. But Daryl Gablow keeps in touch me. He’s an ordained minister.

Greg: A film I loved you in was Soultaker which was another flick fans remembered you in. What was required for you to audition for the role of the evil spirit known as the Man?

Joe: Well you know, it’s funny. He called me and he wanted to know if I could played the Mayor who was the father of the female lead and I said that I wanted to play the Soultaker who is the movie. That character was originally going to be a nameless monster. I really enjoyed it. Soultaker was good to me and put me on the map. I have literally not stopped working since Soultaker.

Greg: What was Michael Rissi like to work with?

Joe: He rewrote the end of the script as it was painted into a corner and he found a writing solution that gave it the perfect ending. Michael Rissi is an excellent director I’m surprised he isn’t doing more.

Greg: I understand that your co-star Robert Z’Dar can be real difficult to work with. What chemistry did you have with him?

Joe: I tell you that was the first time I worked with Bobby and it was terrific. Bobby may at times have been difficult in the past but now Bobby is super to be around, he is easy to work with, patient, sober and I personally believe Bob’s best work is ahead of it. He’s a great actor and I am proud to be his friend.

Greg: Who did you enjoy working with the most?

Joe: Bobby yeah.

Greg: What memorable scene did you have doing the film?

Joe: A flashback to a previous life and I was a confederate officer. That that scene seemed to stay in my mind when I think of Soultaker.

Greg: Now it got a theatrical release. Was it shown nationwide?

Joe: Soultaker? I don’t know, I really don’t. They invited me to the premiere and it was terrific.

Greg: I heard a sequel is to follow and you will reprise your role in it. Will this ever happen?

Joe: There was a lot of talk and I think politics was the big reason why there was never a sequel. There was one segment who wanted me to star in a sequel and then then there was another segment who wanted William Schatner and just for whatever reasons it didn’t happen just because of infighting and policital reasons.

Greg: Now Dark Universe was another well known flick. How did you feel about the film in general as your role as Ron Kendrick?

Joe: I never saw it. I don’t know. The director asked me to come in for a day or two. It was a cameo.

Greg: You were in a David Decoteau's vampire flick titled Blonde Heaven. The film starred Julie Strain and former scream queen Michelle Bauer. Was this your first time acting with them?

Joe: I don't remember my role in it. I worked with Julie Strain a number of times she’s a sweetheart and a good actress. Michelle Bauer is fun and good to be around.

Greg: I saw half of Werewolf and it looked really hot where you were. Was this in a desert and did most of you complain about the heat as you all wore clothes that wouldn’t suit the kind of weather you was having.

Joe: I just think "God I got killed early in the movie", but I think it did very well due to it’s box cover cause it sold very well.

Greg: You seemed to be cast in other werewolf flicks like Blood Slaves of Vampire Wolf. Was this due to your role in Werewolf?

Joe: Probably not.

Greg: In the mid 90’s your nephew Charlie Sheen was dating Ginger Lynn Allen while she was moving on from porn to low budget horror films. Were you and her ever billed to be in a horror film together?

Joe: Not that I know of.

Greg: I enjoyed your role as the hotel Desk Clerk in Scary Tales: The Return of Mr. Longfellow. Did you have a lot of fun in that film?

Joe: I did. I enjoyed it. Most of the roles that I do the directors let me do what I wanna do and Mike just let me go on that. It was fun. Some reviewers said it was the most subtle over the top performance they have ever seen.

Greg: I noticed that the room was dark. Where was this shot at?

Joe: It was shot in some lobby at some strip mall at 1:00 in the morning. What you saw is what is was. It was very small and Michael was very inventive with that set.

Greg: What kind of feeling did you get playing the Desk Clerk?

Joe: Every role that I play comes from my heart. I read it and instinctively that’s what I wanted to do.

Greg: Now here’s some fun stuff: What are your favourite horror films?

Joe: Favourite horror films. Of course Soultaker, House on the Haunted Hill and Invasion of the Body Snatchers. A great film.

Greg: If you have a film you’d like to change. What would it be?

Joe: Beach Babes from Beyond. Me being in it. I went down on that with a lot of good actors.

Greg: What is the film you acted in that you cherish the most?

Joe: Gotta be Jumping for Joy. A family movie and I don’t know if it’s released yet. I worked with the same company again in a film called Slow Mo.

Greg: If you were a top scream king for one day whether this actor was alive or dead who would he be?

Joe: Humphrey Bogart

Greg: What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Joe: I think is finding and fully realising God in myself.

Greg: What are your ambitions in life?

Joe: To be a better person. To fear nothing. To love my children and wife more fully.