The Horror Honeys: 8 Films to Die For: Interview with James Remar

8 Films to Die For: Interview with James Remar

A Monster Honey Q&A by Jennica

As the Halloween season comes to a close (at least for the non-horror freaks out there), I had just one last horror film festival to attend and make my monstrous presence known. Hosted by After Dark Films on October 16th through October 18th, 8 Films to Die For horror film festival showcased eight never-before-seen feature-length frights. This year's lineup included Wind Walkers, Lumberjack Man, Bastard, Murder in the Dark, Re-Kill, The Wicked Within, Unnatural, and Suspension. Last Sunday, I had the privilege of sitting with Unnatural star James Remar (Dexter, The Warriors) to talk about his long-standing film career, his love of science fiction, and Unnatural's direct message regarding global climate change.

Unnatural star James Remar with director Hank Braxton

MH: A lot of the Honeys are huge fans of yours... and uh... we would really like to know-- and this is kind of a silly question-- what is it that you're doing to stay so young and attractive?

JR: [Laughing] Oh... uh... I didn't... I didn't realize that I was. I wish that I felt that young and attractive. You know, I quit smoking about twelve years ago and it really put a lot of years on my life. It's given me a lot of vitality. I don't drink, I don't take drugs, and I stay active and try to exercise. Aside from that, it's just like my complete immaturity and total being a baby.

MH: [Laughing] And maybe a just a little luck?

JR: I hope so. You know, when my beard grows out, it's all white. I don't dye my hair, I don't do any cosmetic enhancements. I just try to exercise and not eat too much crap. The funny thing is, like I said, I think quitting smoking made me like ten years younger automatically. I used to smoke a lot. And... uh... blech!

MH: Good for you! That's great that you're staying healthy without all the extra fancy enhancements. Moving on to your career, you have a very diverse fanbase. 

JR: And which I'm grateful for, trust me.

MH: Oh, definitely. You've had a really long career. As far as your fans, do you tend to get recognized more for Sex and the City or Dexter? And do how do your fans of each show differ?

JR: You know, it depends. Young women like yourself tend to recognize me for Sex and the City. And guys tend to recognize me for The Warriors. And then there's this kind of split in the middle where people recognize me for both Dexter and Sex and the City. There are a lot of girls who like Dexter as well, but they liked "Dexter" himself and naturally I came along with the package.

MH: Speaking of The Warriors, it seems that there is a new generation of fans who are discovering that movie.

JR: Well, yeah, it's been going on for ten years.

MH: Exactly. And I still hear people talking about it all the time. So, how well do you feel that it has held up over the years?

JR: It's awesome. It's kind of a timeless movie. There's not a lot of stuff in it that very specifically dates it. The absence of cell phones and the absence of... well, pretty much anything technological. I mean, there's a disc jockey and there's one gun in it. And there's one beat-up old car that was like, you know, old when the movie was made anyway. So, there's a distinct absence of anything that puts it smack-dab in the middle of any time.

MH: So, that being said, how would you feel about a remake or reboot?

JR: Well, I wouldn't be in it. [Laughing] You know, because I'd be too old.

MH: [Laughing] You wouldn't have a cameo or anything?

JR: No, that would be up to the filmmakers.

MH: Okay, that's fair. Well, one of your most recent roles in a feature film was in Horns. What was it like working with Daniel Radcliffe?

JR: Wonderful kid. I shouldn't say "kid." I should say "wonderful young man." Very good actor, very professional, really spot-on, tremendously energetic, and funny and entertaining. Good actor. I like him a lot.

MH: Do you have any stories from the set that you would like to share?

JR: You know, ordinarily, I don't really give up behind-the-scenes stuff because then people don't trust me anymore. And I don't really have any gnarly, juicy details of anything that happened other than to say that, you know, Daniel's a great guy and I enjoyed working with him. I enjoyed working with everybody on that movie. It was a beautiful production. 

MH: Yeah, I loved it. I really did.

JR: Yes! We all commit murder just to feel what it felt like to be murderers! [Maniacal laughing]

MH: [Laughing] It was a really great, different movie. In terms of Unnatural, which we're about to see, I understand there is a major theme of global climate change in that movie.
JR: It is an important element.

MH: So, what is your take on global climate change?

JR: Well, there's... uh... what is my take?

MH: I mean what are your thoughts or your opinion on the issue?

JR: [Laughing] I wish it wasn't happening. Look, climate change is a constant throughout the history of the earth. To whatever extent that human activity is contributing to it, I leave that up to the scientists. I don't dispute it, I don't debate it. It seems to make sense that burning stuff is going to raise the temperature, you know. And we burn a lot of stuff. I mean, so that's kind of basic science. You know, if you turn on the fire, things are going to get hotter. So, that being said, typically in global climate change cycles, we have ice ages, we have warming periods. That's been the history of the earth for millions of years and there's no reason why we should be immune to it. There was something called the "Mini Ice Age" in Europe. I think it was like between... the Dark Ages... 1100 and 14-1500. And then things started to warm up again, so it was nice and you had the Renaissance, the rebirth. So, as human beings-- as other creatures have to adapt-- we're going to have to adapt to it in one way or another. So, you know, my take on it is to go for the ride. I hope we're not going to end up in some kind of searing furnace. But I'm not someone who feels that we have to leave the earth because we ruined it. Colonizing Mars, I think, is an idiotic proposition because it takes years to get there, you can only send two or three people at a time, and any place on Earth is more hospitable than any place on Mars. You could go to Death Valley or Antarctica. You have a better chance of surviving here with tons of room and resources that you will never find on Mars. You would end up drinking your own urine [on Mars]. It's ridiculous.

MH: Oh, yeah. Sounds like you've given the subject a lot of thought. On a lighter note, there is one last question that we ask all of our prey at The Horror Honeys. What are some of your favorite horror movies?

JR: You know, the old school ones, the ones that I really like that, for me, hold up and I would like to see done again... one is called Forbidden Planet. It's a science fiction film.

MH: Oh, I know that film!

JR: I love Forbidden Planet! And I would like to see it done again like it was done originally. Don't fuck it up with too much CGI. Uh... I like the original The Thing very much. The original is so frightening. The old characters like the "Hunchback of Notre Dame" is a favorite of mine. [Pause] Texas Chainsaw Massacre is a really scary movie. It's really creepy. But I'd say the original The Thing and Forbidden Planet are two of my quiet favorites.

MH: How did you feel about John Carpenter's The Thing? Were you not a fan?

JR: I liked it. I did like it. But it was very drippy and slimy with a lot of blood and a lot of, you know, things emerging from their transitional state. And that's not the part that scared me. The part that scared me was the suggestion. Like when you have the dog running and that Norwegian guy's like "blah-blah-blah-blah-blah," and he's trying to shoot the dog. You know, that's scary shit. They only had one or two quick shots of the monster in the original. I did like John Carpenter's but, you know, it was just kind of too slimy. And I did a movie called Tales From the Darkside, which I like a lot.

MH: I love that movie! Well, thanks so much for chatting. Nice to meet you.

JR: Okay. Nice to meet you too, dear. Give my love to all you friends at The Horror Honeys!

In case you haven't seen enough spooky spectacles this October, Unnatural as well as the other seven films to die for, are available on iTunes and Amazon Instant Video. Plant yourself in front of your TV, gather what's left of your Halloween candy, and enjoy!

Have you survived any of the 8 Films to Die For? 
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