21 June 2024

[continued from Part I]

The Terror Trap: It's not clear in the film what particular thing David “saved” Mark from at the other school. Do you remember anything in the original script about that?

Derrel Maury: I think it's pretty ambiguous. I don't remember anything in the script that specifically detailed what he saved Mark from. I believe Mark makes a comment along the lines of “he was good to me” or “he saved me.”

You do see one shot of me helping him in a flashback. We went to a tunnel and filmed Mark getting beat up and me coming in and pulling these guys off of him. I think in the actual film, because it's so dark in the tunnel and from where the camera was positioned, you basically see the action in silhouette. Maybe that's what it was. Maybe I saved him from a good beating at the earlier school.

TT: That would make sense in light of how David beats the crap out of the gang at the new school.

DM: We did do that shot of me specifically saving Mark from a beating. So that would be the tie-in right there.

TT: Did you have a hard time hobbling around as your character?

DM: I didn't. At first when I started doing all that limping stuff with my leg stiff, I got the hang of it pretty quick. Later, there was one scene at the end of the movie, after I've got the bomb and I'm running with it…I had shoved my foot into the ground too hard and I thought I had broken something. I actually fell into the lockers because I went off balance, and it hurt like hell.

TT: That hard fall into the lockers wasn't planned?

DM: No. By trying to keep my leg so stiff while running, I pushed on it wrong and hurt it really bad. I went off balance and slammed into the lockers. It hurt like hell but you keep going because the camera is rolling. The look of pain on my face is real. Another lucky accident caught on film.

I finished running out of the school with this immense pain and then I jumped down those stairs on one leg. That wasn't tricky in terms of any difficulty. I just went for it. I didn't even know I was going to do that until I found myself flying down the steps and then realized I couldn't bend my knee. So I just did it on one foot.

The one time I had trouble with the stiff leg thing was when Theresa comes to David's garage and wakes me up. I was in this little bed that was kind of a built-in cot on the wall and it was low on the ground. Every time I would get out of that bed, my knee would bend. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't keep my leg straight. So I went and got myself a piece of wood and I strapped it with duct tape to the back of my leg. Each time I got out of the bed, I finally could keep my leg from bending.

Oh, there was another time in which I don't think I had the wood on. I was in my jeep and I pull up in the parking lot. Mark and Theresa come over to speak to me and as I get out of the jeep, I think my leg bends. Whenever you watch that scene and see the look in my eyes as I exit the jeep, what I'm really thinking is "Oh, shit, I just bent my knee!" (Laughs.)

TT: What school was Massacre shot in?

DM: The outside of the school was Pomona College. There was a school in Burbank called Villa Cabrini that we shot a lot of the interior stuff at. Where the guys come and beat up Rodney's car…stuff like that was shot at Cabrini.

TT: Was there a particular sequence you enjoyed filming?

DM: There were a couple I really enjoyed. I must admit I enjoyed when the girls were getting raped, and I come in and smash Damon Douglas in his face with the door…and having the fight with the guys and saving the girls. Of course, the girls were all real cute and half naked. That was not only a fun scene to shoot but very educational.

I got to kind of direct that little stunt fight with me, Ray Underwood and Steve Bond. It was exciting for me because I had been doing stunts for a long time and now had the chance to create one for our film.

There was another scene that also sticks out for me because I learned a lot about David from it. Right after I blew up the mountain, sending boulders down on Spoony, Mary and Jane, Rene said to me, “For your close-up, I want you to do anything you want to here. You can laugh or cry, freak out…do whatever you want.”

I thought, wow, this is great! Anything I want! David's been quiet this whole time so here is my chance to break out and do something really unique and chilling. I'll assess my destruction and do something monumental.

But the conclusion I came to was that David wasn't like that. He was this quiet, internal guy. I believed there would just be a little grin on his face and he'd walk away. I didn't think he would laugh maniacally like Paul Muni at the end of I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang or have some kind of Edward G. Robinson moment.

I think he would just probably do what he had been doing for most of the film, which is this kind of internal enjoyment of the event. Another murder he's gotten away with. I got a kick out of that.

TT: How much of your own personality did you bring to the character?

DM: You know, I was always kind of a goofy kid growing up. I didn't learn "cool" until I started going to the movies. Not from watching them but from attending them. My sense of humor when I was 12, 13 - was a bit like a young Don Rickles. My jokes could be pretty in-your-face, unexpected and insulting with my guy friends. I let it all out and could make everybody laugh.

But when I first started going out to movies in elementary or junior high school, I remember all of us boys would sit behind the cutest girls in the theater and my friends would all say really stupid stuff trying to be funny. Uncharacteristic of me at the time, I'd do the opposite. I would just sit there and be quiet, not making a complete ass of myself in front of the girls like all my friends were doing.

I found that by being quiet, I was cool. There were times when I would use my coolness (or what I thought was my coolness) to my advantage with girls, or with getting an acting job, all sorts of things. You'd be surprised how much you can learn by observation and listening. I tried to bring some of that quality to David. He could be cool by just sitting back and watching.

TT: Any other standouts about the shoot? Favorite scenes?

DM: I liked doing the scene with Tom Logan, who played Harvey, when he came into my garage and busted me. I enjoyed doing scenes that were different from my norm. I was used to being the character/funny guy. These were scenes that were a little more internal, a little more serious. Just the physical action of making my bomb and tightening it up and then being busted by Harvey and the reaction I had to him…when I watched that scene back, I really enjoyed it.

Incidentally, Tom Logan has actually written a number of acting books that have became very popular. How to Act and Eat at the Same Time and Acting in the Million Dollar Minute are two books that every actor should have on their shelf. I enjoyed working with Tom and love what he did with his character in Massacre. I think Rene did a terrific job in casting the film. All of the actors fit their characters right on the nose.

Basically, I had a great time making this film. I enjoyed every day at work. But those are some scenes that stood out for me. Oh, and also the one where I get to go skinny dipping with Kimberly Beck. Who wouldn't enjoy that?

TT: Aside from playing a different kind of role than you were used to, were there any other challenges?

DM: Okay, this is a challenge but it was one I was up to and took as a serious responsibility. When you're kind of the head man on campus or you're the lead guy on a film, and you're working with a lot of other actors in an ensemble piece...I think it's important to set the tone and standards of your work ethic right from the begining. I felt it was my responsibility to be the best example I could be.

This includes keeping your ego in check. Being on time to rehearsals and the set. Knowing your lines. Being ready for anything at a moment's notice. Basically being supportive of the whole processes. I made it a point to never be a problem for anyone and above all remain professional. But in doing so, you mustn't distance yourself from the rest of your "team".

It's important to be friendly and have a good time and not feel that you're better than anybody else. Even as a young kid in school, I would always be everyone's friend. That was the way I thought people should behave. I found this to be especially true while working on a set.

I had worked in enough productions where you walk on the set and somebody like Dabney Coleman or Rue McClanahan…they just take you under their wing and they're so sweet. Or Henry Winkler, who's the best example of that.

When I was doing Happy Days, Henry was the number one actor in the United States, if not the world. He had this phenomenal rocket to stardom. It happened for Scott Baio similarly, where all of a sudden you are the top actor around and they've got coloring books and cartoon shows, t-shirts, coffee mugs, posters and calanders. Everything is YOU. You can imagine what that can do to a person.

Henry was one of the sweetest, most charming and humble actors you'd ever want to meet. HE set the tone on the Happy Days set. He was just a wonderful, gifted guy who reached out to everybody, extras and guest stars alike. So when you walk on some sound stage and the huge star you are standing next to is treating you like you're their cousin, brother, or best friend...that's pretty impressive. I was lucky enough to have learned the "check your ego at the door" lesson from some of the best in the business.

I wanted to be that kind of guy when we filmed Massacre. I felt a big responsibility to not only find what Rene saw in me, but to act professional, as well as make sure that everyone had a good time. And we did. We all had a ball.

TT: We're going to throw out some names of cast members to get your thoughts on what comes to mind as far as working with them. Let's start with Robert Carradine…

DM: I love Bobby. Bobby and I became friends. We'd go Go Kart racing together…I'd hang out at his house…I met his brothers and stuff. Bobby was just a terrific kid. I really liked Bobby a lot.

I'll tell you a little side thing. You don't have to print this necessarily. You probably will, knowing you…you bastards. (Laughs.) I think Bobby wanted to play David real bad. I believe there was probably some desire to play that character. I don't think he was comfortable at first or happy playing Spoony. I think I even read an interview where Bobby said he wanted to play my part. But probably a lot of those kids in the film wanted to play the lead. That would be your normal instinct as actors.

Anyway, if it is truly how he felt, it certainly didn't affect our relationship. We got along great. I really enjoyed Bobby. He was funny, a pleasure to work with and just an all-around good guy.

TT: Kimberly Beck?

DM: A gorgeous, beautiful girl. A lovely woman. She and I had the same agent. I remember Kimberly calling me before she accepted the role and asking my opinion...

TT: About what exactly?

DM: Well, she knew they were asking her to do some soft nudity in the film and she had never done anything like that before. I told her I thought the movie was going be really cool to be in and hopefully could do something to advance our careers. I also told her I would love to work with her. But that's one of those questions I certainly couldn't answer for her. It was a personal decision.

I definitely could understand any actress questioning that kind of thing. Especially back then. This was around the time of Marilyn Chambers' Behind the Green Door. I guess that film was made a few years earlier so the public attitude was slowly beginning to change about what was acceptable and what wasn't to some extent. Kimberly also had to consider protecting this sweet, wholesome film persona she had going. If I'm not mistaken, I think she was the Maybelline girl at one time?

Anyway, I remember talking to her about that and telling her that whatever she decided to do, I would completely understand and respect…but also that I really hoped she would be in the film! She accepted the role and we had a lot of fun working together. Kimberly had a wonderful attitude the whole shoot. She was a real trouper and played Theresa perfectly. She made it very easy for David, okay, for me to fall in love with her.

TT: She has a really great face that transitioned nicely into the ‘80s with roles in Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter and other projects.

DM: I know. She had a beautiful smile and just that all-American girl look. She was a knockout. Still is.

TT: What was Ray Underwood like? He's this incredibly good-looking guy with kind of a James Spader thing going on before Spader came on the scene…

DM: Yeah, yeah…that's a great analogy, he did have that. Ray kept a lot of things in. I didn't get to know him that well. He had a good sense of humor and laughed at all my stupid jokes. He was a good worker on the set, very professional. But he was inside of himself.

TT: Did he come across as aloof?

DM: He did come across as a little bit aloof, which was great for his character too, I thought. Ray was one of these guys that had that charm and those good looks, but didn't walk around exploiting it or like he was full of himself. He certainly could have. He was a very handsome guy. I enjoyed working with him. I just wish I had had gotten to know him a little better.

TT: Steve Bond?

DM: (Laughs.) Now, Steve WAS one of these cocky guys. He thought that he was the cat's meow. He was also kind of short so I think he had a bit of a little man complex going on. That's my guess. I don't know for sure. Steve just thought he was God's gift. I suppose if I looked like him, I would too. He was very funny. He would say things that he thought were very serious but they were so off the wall. He was a crack up. Very dedicated to what he was doing, totally into his role and inventive.

When we did that fight scene in the classroom, he was totally on board. He was a really hard worker. I liked Steve.

TT: He has really beautiful eyes.

DM: Thank you. Oh, you mean Steve, not me? (Laughs.)

TT: Wise guy!

How about Lani O'Grady, who unfortunately passed away in 2001?

DM: Lani was the daughter of my agent, Mary Grady. She went on to do Eight is Enough, as you well know. I guest-starred and worked with her in an episode of that show as well.

We were like brother and sister. We'd known each other for years. She was kind of kooky and crazy even back then. Just this wild free spirit. Really fun. I didn't really see the difficulty she was going through back then. I don't think it was as prevalent. We had a great relationship. We could talk about anything with each other, and share deep things. We had a great time together on Massacre.

And actually, I didn't know she was cast. It was funny because when she showed up on the set, we were both like “Oh, my God - you!” We were both so excited. Although she probably knew I had the job because her mom probably told her.

TT: Did Lani have the same kind of dry wit in real life that she had in her various roles?

DM: Yeah, she did. She always had a smile. She always looked like she had some secret going on. She was a very sweet and playful girl. I had a ball with Lani on and off camera. During Massacre, she was a complete pleasure. Sometimes the demons can grab hold so tight and for so long that a person just can't come up for air. What happened to Lani was a terrible tragedy. We lost her beautiful spirit too soon.

TT: Indeed. Did you stay in touch with her in the years up until her death?

DM: Oh, yeah. We saw each other often. I used to teach acting classes and she would come and watch me. She was very complimentary and she wanted to try and teach herself, and asked if I could help her a bit, which I did. We spent a lot of time together.

TT: Of course, we have to ask about Andrew Stevens. What was he like?

DM: I'd never met him before. I was a big fan of his mother's. Who could ever forget Stella Stevens in Jerry Lewis's The Nutty Professor, right? Gorgeous. So was Andrew. He had this kind of Rod Taylor thing. He had that rugged, raw look to him. He was basically a bit of a nerd but he had that look.

I remember the scene where Andrew kicks the door open when I lock him in my shed and I take off to the school with the bomb. The whole crew was laughing because watching him trying to act like Humphrey Bogart was funny. (Laughs.)

When I first met him, he didn't seem to have had a lot of experience but he was actually quite the seasoned actor, having done a good deal of TV work prior to Massacre. He was actually very comfortable hanging around the sets. In fact, he was so comfortable…he would shoot spit wads at other actors when he was off camera!

TT: He was mischievous?

DM: I'd say that. We did have fun though. There were times when Andrew and I would be in my jeep or his jeep…he had one of his own…and we'd be driving down the coast and we'd be cracking up and having a great time. There were things on-set that we were learning together that were kind of cool.

He was never difficult to work with and was fun to hang out with. Especially when it came to meeting girls. I remember the girls would be all over him like bees to honey. I loved being around him because that's where all the girls would be. It had its advantages, hanging out with Andrew Stevens. (Laughs.)

TT: Did you two stay in touch after the film?

DM: I think we bumped into each other a couple of times but we really didn't stay in touch.

TT: What was your favorite murder scene to play as David? Would that be the rock/boulder sequence, which we particularly like?

DM: I don't know if that was my favorite but it was pretty amusing…of all the deaths for David to come up with!

Let's see. I really liked rigging the hand glider. I thought that was pretty cool, letting Ray Underwood burn out on those telephone wires. Oh! And I loved putting the high frequency device in the hearing aid. That was a unique way to die. David had to be a pretty smart guy if he was able to take someone's hearing aid apart and rewire it so that as soon as he turns it on, it blows his eardrum out.

TT: That's true. We also like Steve Bond's diving death.

DM: That's a good one! That's a real good one. Who would think to drain the pool? (Laughs.)

TT: When you saw the final, released version of Massacre at Central High, what did you think of it?

DM: I loved it. That story, all the interesting characters and plot twists. It was the first time I was the lead actor playing a character completely new to what I was used to. And of course, watching yourself 40 feet high on a big movie theater screen is a total blast. It was great.

I went to Hollywood and saw it at the Pacific Theater maybe a dozen times. When I would walk up with my friends and family, I'd ask the manger, “Do your employees get to watch the movie for free?” He'd say “yeah” and I'd say, “Well, I'm working in your movie theater today. I'm on the screen. “ And he would let me come in with my whole entourage. I don't remember paying one time to see the movie. Don't tell the producers or I'll come over and put a crocodile in your bathtub.

TT: We won't!

DM: One time, I was sitting in a theater and Andy Kaufman was two rows in front of me. He had just become famous for doing his bongo routine and Mighty Mouse song, and was starting to be noticed on Saturday Night Live. The lights came on and he stood up and turned around. I looked at him and he looked at me and he said, “You!” And I said, “You!” He jumped over the two rows of seats and sat down next to me and talked about the film for the longest time. I think he went to movies like Massacre to maybe get characters or find quirks in people that he could use on stage. It was very exciting for me to see him there. I was a huge fan.

I did love going to see the film. Of course, after a while I started noticing all the mistakes and flaws in my performance, and things I wish I had done better.

TT: Was there anything in the script that wasn't shot and didn't make it to the screen?

DM: You mean like Theresa ends up with David? (Laughs.)

TT: Exactly…

DM: Not that I can remember. I don't recall anything from the original script that didn't get shot.

You know what though? If I had written it, I would have had David LOOK like he was blown up at the end, but not really blown up so that he could come back and do a sequel.

TT: That's right! We wanted a part two!

Actually, that's kind of a good segue into our next question. Twelve years after Massacre, Michael Lehmann made Heathers (1988). The approach and tone are different, but the elements in theme and plot are incredibly similar. Would you agree with that?

DM: I would. I think Heathers is very close. I think because it had such a big budget and had such great distribution and a lot of talented kids, it got a lot of attention. It's very similar to Massacre. I don't know that the director saw our film and said, “Hey, I know what I'll do. I'll re-write this thing…they'll never know.” I think all filmmakers are influenced by everybody else's work in one way or another.

Even comedies today can be traced back to Buster Keaton's work. Keaton invented almost every stunt there ever was to do when it came to comedy slapstick on film. He was a real inventor. He would make gadgets to pull those stunts off.

It's very possible there was some influence, maybe even subconsciously.

TT: What do you think the message of Massacre is? There are several possibilities. Is it that power corrupts? Or that some kind of class structure is always required to keep order?

DM: That teenagers like to get laid! (Laughs.)

Power does corrupt. If David was aware of what was going to happen, he might not have taken out the bad guys…because that's exactly what happened with the other kids when their oppression was gone. As they say, "power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely."

I think coming from David's perspective, the message is: do the right thing! No matter what the problem is, help somebody out. If the library needs straightening, or a guy's car isn't working, or someone is having trouble climbing that rope...do the right thing and lend a hand. The Jewish people call it doing mitzvah, good deeds.

Look, everybody is in the same boat. Each and every one of us. We're all fucked. We're all gonna die. It makes no sense with the little time we have on this earth to live with a short, selfish fuse.

Besides, helping people feels good and it usually comes back to you tenfold. That's certainly where I see the moral of the story. Don't turn your back on your fellow man in the face of adversity even if it means you might get hurt.

TT: Teen bullying has become such a hot button issue recently because of a rash of suicides. Do you think that news headlines make Massacre just as relevant now as it ever was?

DM: I do. But I don't believe it's specifically because of incidents like Columbine, or teen bullying, or teen suicides, which keeps Massacre relevant.

I've been an elementary drama director at a number of schools over the last twenty-five years. Having been a child once myself, and through my experiences working and playing with children all these years, I have observed that kids are just mean to each other. They don't know yet how NOT to be.

It's human nature at a young age to behave this way and for a number of reasons. We all learn early the need to try and climb the social ladder of life or try to save face from being embarrassed about one thing or another. Many people will, out of insecurity, to make themselves look better or avoid embarrassment, do and say stupid and hurtful things.

I think because Massacre deals with this theory of human nature, the film is relevant. It's kind of a worldwide theme that people need to grow up and be civilized to each other. This is one of my pet peeves, 'man's inhumanity to man.'

TT: Do you have any idea why this film has never had a domestic DVD release?

DM: I have a DVD of it made in Italy. My brother found it online, I think. They actually filmed some very X-rated footage -- like for the rape scene in the classroom -- which they inserted into the original film. It's much more graphic physically. And what's really cool is that not only do I now speak perfect Italian, but I'm also now extremely well hung. Who knew?

TT: Ha! Right. That version's called Sexy Jean. Seriously.

DM: That's pretty funny...

I know there was a guy a few years back who had contacted me and said he was trying to get a DVD put together, and he wanted to get me and Rene to do a commentary as a special feature. He was trying very hard to work that out. I don't know what the ins and outs of the problems are. I think it might have to do with the people that own the film rights. Rene has no control over the movie as far as I know.

I never heard from that guy again (who was trying to get us to do the commentary) but I do know that people have attempted to get a DVD out. They just haven't been successful as of yet.

TT: That's too bad. There's also a German version with a guy holding an axe on the cover art.

DM: That's not me! (Laughs.)

TT: No, it's not.

DM: The Italian one is funny because the guy on the cover actually does look like me. There might even be some more out there. Different international versions.

TT: We asked about Andrew, but do you keep in touch with any of the other cast members of Massacre?

DM: Bobby and I saw each other there for quite a while after the film was done. But I haven't seen him in a number of years now.

I keep in touch with Rex Sikes, who played Rodney. Of course, I was friends with Lani until her passing. I wouldn't say I stay in touch with the cast although I would love to know what everyone else is up to these days.

Oh, I recently connected again with Jeffrey Winner, who you remember stole every scene he was in as Oscar, the sympathetic wimp turned bully. Jeffery is a great guy and was wonderful to work with. I'm so glad to be reunited. So for now, that's about it. The amazing Mr. Jeffery Winner and the astonishing Mr. Rex Sikes. Hopefully, more will join in this crazy Massacre surge. Who knows, we may even talk Rene into witting Massacre 2: The Revenge of the Ghost of David! I know the title sucks. We'll have to work on it.

TT: That would be awesome.

What did you do between 1985 and more recent years? Were you officially retired or teaching?

DM: I took a little hiatus there. A number of things happened. I had been doing this for a long, long time. Remember I started acting at a very young age. In fact, I was so young, my first roles were "crawl-ons". I came so close to having some of these TV series take off, like the Archie show, which had great potential but didn't get picked up.

And also Joanie Loves Chachi, which died after seventeen episodes. Apple Pie was another short-lived series I starred in. Lots of close calls that could have changed my life from a struggling actor to a consistently working one.

For me, it's never been about becoming a star but the work. Working regularly is a wonderful feeling. And in this business, until you "make it," you're struggling. Thirty years of auditioning can take a toll. I stopped to look around at some other options.

Then my father, who I've always been extremely close to, got very ill. It kind of took me away from that wanting to go out and get on a stage and perform for people mode. I wanted to be with my dad and take care of him and hang with him. And at the same time, I needed to be able to make a living because the jobs weren't coming in as quickly.

TT: Why is that?

DM: Well, I always looked really, really young. When I was a little kid, I would get work. Then when I turned eighteen, I still looked like I was fourteen and things just really started to pick up for me. In my thirties, I still looked like I was in my twenties - so that worked.

When I got into my late thirties and early forties, things changed. It became harder to get hired because I was in that transition period where I certainly couldn't play juveniles, and nobody was hiring me to play a dad or a cop or anything. I didn't think of myself at that time in those terms either. I needed to get a "job job" - something I could actually make a living at. I had been doing all sorts of things in between acting jobs. I was a motorcycle delivery guy, I installed waterbeds for a waterbed store. I did all kinds of odd things.

At one point, I started managing a comedy club. I was there for about six years and I was getting on stage regularly. I'd do improv, tell jokes and stories, in addition to hiring comics, bartenders, waitresses, etc. I felt ALMOST like I was in show business even though I really wasn't. (Laughs.) It kind of satisfied that desire in me to get up on a stage and perform. But basically, I actually let the business of acting take a back seat to what was really going on in my life.

TT: How did you get into teaching?

DM: I fell into teaching by accident and I found myself with a new career all of a sudden. I just loved it from the very start. I have been a drama director at a number of elementary, middle and high schools over the last 22 years. There is nothing more fulfilling than working with children, helping them to discover and achieve their dreams on stage. Although working regularly at a school makes it a little harder to take off for auditions than when you're doing the types of odd jobs I had been doing.

TT: You've returned to acting within the past couple of years, though...

DM: Yes, that's right. Things started to pick up again for me. I got a new agent who said, "We need some fresh film on you. Your old stuff is great but we need some new and current Derrel for your reel." Every one has to have a reel now. It's a must-have tool. So I started going out and landing work. After a couple of years, I had over fourteen new roles for my reel and it turned out pretty good, or so I've been told. Also in that time off, I went back to my first love - which is live theatre.

TT: What kind of stage work have you done recently?

DM: I played Cole Porter in a musical called Red, Hot and Cole. I won the 'Best Actor in a Musical' award that year. Very exciting. Let's see...I played the Nicholson part of R.P. McMurphy in One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest - which was a critics choice. I had a blast portraying the Devil in Damn Yankees, another great musical. And I have just been cast in an exciting new one-act play called Line in the Sand. I play a priest. It's a very strong, seriously dramatic role and I am vary excited about it.

I have also been working with many wonderful, talented people directing plays in and around L.A. over these many years.

TT: What film projects have you enjoyed in the last couple of years?

DM: Hobgoblins 2 was fun. That was directed by Rick Sloan, who directed the original. It was twenty years after his ‘80s classic, which everyone seems to love so much. Rich was a gas. He was actually an "Archie" comic fan. When I auditioned for him at his home, he said, “I can't believe that I'm actually meeting Jughead!” He showed me his wonderful collection of "Archie" memorabilia. I loved working for him. I played this crazy guy in an insane asylum. It was very funny. I had a ball doing that.

Wasteland was a post-apocalyptic piece…where there's no water or food. I play the leader of this mutant gang of cutthroats who pretty much kill, rape and pillage everything in their path. Loved playing that part.

I also shot a western for four weeks in Colorado for a film called Mexican Hat. It's like a Twilight Zone episode, where I age from forty-years old to eighty in the span of four days. The makeup was sensational.

TT: What's in store for your near future?

DM: I've just been cast in a webisode called Cook Her Pants Off. It's a cooking show about how to teach men to cook for women so they can get laid. (Laughs.) I'm really surprised at how clever the idea is. I've never seen a cooking program quite like this. I play a loud-mouthed, obnoxious coach who instructs these morons how to change their cooking habits to improve their percentage of conquests.

It's got sex, humor and real recipes. It's actually just been picked up by a cable channel and it's been extended from the three original episodes to a full thirteen. That's my new project. It'll start as a webisode and then go to television.

TT: That sounds cool. Much success with that!

DM: Thank you. And much success to you with all of your undertakings on your web site. I went to just sort of glance at what you are doing there, and I ended up staying for hours. I came away very impressed. I made it one of my favorites. I am honored to have been asked to be a part of it. Thank you so much for inviting me to share some of my stories about one of my favorite films.

TT: That's really nice of you to say.

Okay, David…er, Derrel…thanks for returning to Central High with us and taking a trip down memory lane.

DM: Is it finally over? (Laughs.) Thanks again. It's been fun!

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