|Owen: Herman I heard your first
movie, 'Hell on Earth: Arena of
Death', took 6 years to
complete. What were the main lessons you
learned from that marathon filming
permits and avoid filming in public places. We
filmed at an abandoned bathhouse on an army base
and they did not like us destroying their
property with mutants. But as always finish what
you start no matter what. We had injuries,
arrests, fights you name it but we finished it
and showed everyone what you can do on such a
little budget if you put your mind to it. It was
my Waterworld but anyone that knows of us always
asks about the Arena!
Owen: Several of your films are also in anthology
format such as 'Horrortales 666',
'Tales Till the End', and 'Before
I Die...' as a filmmaker as well as film
fan what about that sort of segmented horror
appeals to you?
I have found out anthologies take only a few
months to do while a feature takes a year or
more. I like anthologies because if a story sucks
you as the viewer only have to sit there and
watch for 10-15 minutes and say I hope to God
that the next segment is better. Plus the
attention span of your average American is about
10 minutes before they start hitting that fast
forward button! So this way when they are about
to reach the button it is over and another
segment comes on.
Owen: Your films also have a tendency
to use and reuse the same stable of actors
(Debbie D. Nancy Feliciano, Joel D. Wynkoop) and
technicians. Does that help make for a more
relaxed environment on the set?
It is like a family reunion. I have found that
people write me and ask where is so and so how is
he doing? Why is he not in your movie? Our hard
core fans turned there noses down to Around
Midnight because it was the first movie to not
include anyone from our previous movies, it was
all new cast and stood on its own. While sales
were good and reviews were also good the fan base
stayed away cause no familiar names were
attached. Go figure!
Are the roles written specifically for those
A lot of times yes. All the roles in Jacker
were written specifically for the parts they
played. It is more realistic like that and easier
for the actors to deal with the roles. The vamp
scripts for the Midnight series was not like that
but I have been involved with such great talent
they were able to handle it.
You've also appeared in many films
as well, most notably as your own leading man the
murderous motorist Mike Rivers in 'Jacker'
and 'Jacker 2'. Tell me a
little bit about your take on the role?
At the time we filmed that there was a big
problem about car jacking. It was in the news all
the time. I turned it into a take on a lunatic
that takes advantage of it because of his
bitterness towards society. I got a ton of female
fans and notice because of the male nudity in it
-- something that people shy away from in these
movies but wanted girl to watch our films
also...it worked we have very large girl fan base
and that is why we have no problem getting
actresses, they feel like it is equal exposure
Owen: Where did that idea come
Like I said it was in the news everyday and I did
not want to do a basic guy car jacking people but
I used the Car jacking as a backdrop and
developed around it to create a cruel story of
revenge on people that were happy and really
disturbed the Jacker!
Owen: Do you think the
reality-based violence in those 2 films is
more disturbing than fantasy?
Yes, people always say that these movies
were the most disturbing because they were filmed
in like a nightmarish fashion and had nothing
good or bright in it. We tried to film on dreary
days and at night. And in the sequel created a
true hell that haunts everyone that has seen it.
The first was such a basic idea but really
blossomed with the sequel into a real
psychological thriller. My good friend Barry
Gaines directed the sequel in order for me to
focus on the script and the character 100%. We
were mentally drained with the completion and
people still are begging for one more!
Owen: Any chance for a 'Jacker
Phil: As of now there are two different sequels
written. This is a question I have to answer
every day. But we are having problems getting the
main characters involved. I had one script that
had my involvement to the minimum -- but everyone
shot it down, then I have my other script that
has the remaining characters and a mysterious
survivor who survived his fury looking for
revenge. It is just too hard to make these movies
and unless I get everyone it wont be made!
Owen: As the head honcho at
Falcon Video do you have any sort of mission
statement about the type of films you want to
make and distribute?
Phil: I want to make entertaining movies that people
talk about after and say, Hey that was fun
I really want to see their next movie.
Owen: Do you often get confused
with Falcon, the gay XXX studio?
Oh yeah, we always thought of changing
the name but we have had the Falcon name for over
2 decades and hate to lose it. Especially when
Jacker came out...the title was confusing...I
still don't see it! WINK! It really upsets me
sometimes but we have enough people and fans to
notice the difference. Our movies overflow with
beautiful girls and in no way do people think
were the same as what theyre putting
Owen: Tell me about your cameo
appearance in 'Day of the Ax 3:
I was asked to play a mental patient and jumped
at the chance to be in a 4th floor production.
Ryan is one of my good friends and I have worked
with him a few times. I have done numerous cameos
and unlike some Indies never say no to a cameo if
Owen: The delicious Julie Strain
also makes a cameo appearance in 'Horrortales
666'. What was working with her
Phil: She taped her stuff and pretty much told us to
make sure that we put "Cameo ". She did
not want to mislead her fans.
Did you make a sales pitch to have her join
Debbie D and Nancy Feliciano as a Falcon scream
I sent her a copy of one of our movies
and she dug Nancy and said she would love to be
in the movie. She is not a person for many words
but it was a dream come true to have her
involved. She was very professional and would
love to get in another movie hopefully soon!
Owen: Speaking of which, Nancy
Feliciano has recently announced her
retirement. She has said before that you
can sweet-talk her into anything. Do you
think you can lure her out of retirement to make
a few more films?
I am trying I have been begging for the
last two weeks to get her in the final Midnight
movie. Everyone that bought After Midnight said
they want to see more of her and look forward to
have her in the final installment. I have to
start turning on the charm more because as of now
I cant get her to change her mind! But I
will not quit. I think I will get her in there in
some form or another!
Owen: You have been quoted as saying "I always say
the worst movie a B maker can make is better
than any Hollywood A list production".
Could you please clarify that comment?
movie makers are real filmmakers that make what
they want to make. They don't follow the
guidelines of a studio and go under a rating
system. So many A movies are bombing and the
studios are suffering while little arty movies
are bringing in the money. Look at Lions
Gate they are rolling in the dough putting out
B-movies such as Saw, Devils Rejects and their
whole video line. Now if they would just open
their doors to the little guys will be talking to
me quality entertainment for their lacking video
line! I was almost going to stop making movies
and I hooked up with a guy named Chris Kahler. He
turned out to be a wiz at editing and a fantastic
musician. We have made two movies so far and
working on our third. Between him and my other
buddy, cult icon Joel D. Wynkoop were going
strong and popping them out.
What scares you in real life?
Not being able to make movies anymore!
Well I hope that fear never becomes a reality.