Debbie Rochon: I think I can answer anything.
Egbert Souse: How did you get started in the film business?
DR: When I was eleven or twelve years old, I was living in Vancouver, Canada, which is north from here… that’s terrible, sorry. I was homeless at the time, and Paramount Pictures was doing this movie called Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains starring Laura Dern, Diane Lane, some of the Sex Pistols and the Clash. This was like 1981. Directed by Lou Adler. So I went in as an extra, and they said are you willing to die your hair like platinum blonde and black on the sides and do like a skunk thing and I said, you know, absolutely. It was $300 cash a week. And I was there for three months and I got started then. I really got the bug then.
Duncan Idaho: When you were twelve?
DR: Yeah. And I’m only fifteen, now.
GRM: What are you working on here? What are you doing in Tampa?
DR: I just finished the MegaCon, which is a great convention in Orlando. This particular movie is called Meat Market and it’s by Joe Casey, of course. He’s directing. He wrote it. He’s shooting it. It’s about the slave trade, really. Just like in the script, you may not know it, but 4 million people a year still get traded in the sex trade slave business. And I could probably get you somebody at a very good price.
It’s based on that. It’s part of an anthology of shorts. He’s doing two of them. And two other filmmakers are also doing shorts, and he’s putting them together as an anthology and them putting them out on DVD. [I have since spoken to Joe Casey, and there are three other producers… ed.]
CK: He’s doing that with Brinke Stevens? She has something to do with it, as well?
DR: Yes. She was in another short and she also hosts it.
CK: Out of the many movies you’ve been in, what’s your personal favorite?
DR: My favorite movie is probably Nowhere Man directed by Tim McCann. It’s a really crazy movie, sort of inspired by DOA. Film noir. DOA, of course, is where the guy has twenty-four hours to counteract the poison he’s been given. In this case, the short description is we’re a very happy couple, me and my boyfriend. We’re engaged to be married. He finds a tape of a porno movie I did five years earlier and I didn’t tell him about it. So he gets very upset and very abusive. He starts abusing me physically and emotionally. And then he comes home one night and he rapes me. And I snap, finally, after all of this abuse and while he’s passed out drunk I snip his penis off…
DR: …and I go on the run with it. So in comes the DOA influence. He has twenty-four hours to get his penis back or it will decompose. I’m not going to tell you if he gets it back or not. I don’t want to ruin it or anything. It’s really tense, like pitch- black dark comedy. It’s not light; it’s not played for laughs. It’s played very very seriously. There’s a scene in it that most men can’t watch. It’s not even the one you’re thinking. He has to urinate through a catheter. It’s just… it’s a pretty amazing movie. It played at the Sarasota film festival down here and now it’s out on DVD. It played theatrically as well.
GRM: Do you know how many movies you’ve been in?
DR: 140, approximately.
GRM: 140? Wow. Can you link yourself to Kevin Bacon?
GRM: In how many?
DR: Honest to God, it’s one, and I can’t remember.
CK: We can do it.
DR: Okay. I’ll bet you it’s one person. I’ll bet you it’s someone like Diane Lane, or something.
CK: It’s actually not Diane Lane.
GRM: Tim House.
GRM: Tim House, in Underdogs. He was in In the Cut with Kevin Bacon.
DR: There ya go. I knew it was one.
CK: You said the number of movies is 140? IMDb has you at 113.
GRM: Well, IMDb’s outdated.
DR: Yeah. Not everything is listed. There are some things that are upcoming. IMDb is good, but it’s not always thorough.
CK: That changes our question, then. We had you as being the exact number of movies that Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Tom Cruise, and Katie Holmes have starred in. You starred in more movies than all of them combined.
DR: That’s right. That’s right. So, where’s my mansion?
CK: Yeah! Why aren’t you on the cover of Teen People?
DR: It’s a really good question. I made the choice to do indie films and I’ve had a lot of fun, I’ve had much better roles than a lot of the women that are working in Hollywood get. Because I get to do the sort of crazy nutty characters, like in American Nightmare I play a psycho serial killer. Very seriously. Not for laughs. I get to play really good roles and that’s why I’ve always been drawn to it. At this point in the game, now, I would love to absolutely do that. And I did, actually, a role on a new series called Conviction. I worked on it for a couple of days. I’m not sure which particular episode, but it’s in season one. It’ll be on, I think, fall.
CK: Is right now the point in your career where you want to be Hollywood mainstream?
DR: Yeah. I’m making the transition. I don’t think I’ll get into Hollywood mainstream, but I think I can do character work on TV at this point. I love horror and that’s my passion, but at the same time there comes a point where you do need money. It always has been about art for me, as silly as it sounds, because some of the movies… you wouldn’t exactly call them art.
About three years ago, on a film shoot in Tennessee I had my fingers cut off. There was an accident. Someone switched up a prop for a real machete knife and didn’t tell me.
DR: Another cringing moment for the guys. But when I was on the scene, I took the knife and plunged it down very hard into a fake dead body and there was no edge between the handle and the blade and my hand went like, you know, butter and a knife, hot knife, whatever the expression is. I couldn’t work for two years, I lost my home, I lost all my savings, a half a million dollars in surgery. It changed my whole world. It’s been a long process coming back. That was three years ago. So now, I love doing indie projects, still, but I have an agent, now, which I never used to. I get so much work offers that I really didn’t need one, but now I want different work offers, so now I go after other things.
CK: Who would you really like to work with?
DR: Oh, boy. The people I’d really like to work with are great horror directors.
CK: There aren’t many of those left, it seems to me.
DR: A friend of mine, James Gunn, whose new movie Slither is coming out. I’d love to do another one with him. I was in Tromeo and Juliet, which he directed in 1995 and he’s gone on to do the Scooby-Doo movies and the remake of Dawn of the Dead. I’d love to work with him. And Cronenberg, who is my idol. He’s just so amazing. Of course, some of the greats are dead, so it’s too late, like, you know, Kubrik and stuff like that. You know what? Anybody who’s just really amazing. I’d like to work with Tim McCann again because he’s got some good stories.
CK: You mentioned Cronenberg. If you think about him, I mean, he almost got his start doing, practically, what would be considered “B” movies, what with Videodrome and… the other thing…
GRM: That thing terrifies me.
DR: Rabid. With Marilyn Chambers.
CK: …and now, he’s huge.
DR: He’s huge. He’s real huge. And when I was in Cannes last year, I saw him speak and was say that there certainly was a point were he could basically do whatever he wanted with whomever he wanted, meaning any actor. Cast approval. He had approval over everything. And now he wants to work in a bigger level because he needs to make money. He’s very open about that. So he says, y’know, ‘I get a cast and I have my wish list and at the end of the day, the studio has to okay everybody.’ He may get final cut, still, because he is great and they know he’s great, but they still have to have cast approval. So even someone like Cronenberg, with his amazing, y’know… What’s the word?
DR: Talent and…
DR: …and proof of his work, track record, thank you. He has to succumb to some of the Hollywood stuff, which is amazing. But he’s just… He’s great because he takes horror and he takes real life situations like marriages gone bad and he sort of makes them into these… He makes people into monsters but he physicalizes what’s really happening emotionally and certainly The Brood is another great family film that he made. I love him, yeah.
GRM: You were in a movie called Who Wants to Be an Erotic Billionaire?…
DR: Erotic Billionaire. Yeah!
GRM: …What would you do if you were an Erotic Billionaire?
DR: What would I do if I was an Erotic Billionaire? [Laughs] I would… boy, what a great question… I would probably buy an erotic car…
DR: …an erotic mansion…
GRM: Big erotic car.
DR: Big erotic car. I guess everything would be phallic or vaginal shaped. I think I would have to spend the money in the right way.
GRM: Would you make a lot of donations to charity like the Bill and Martha Gates Charity Foundation… with an erotic twist?
DR: Yeah. I would donate to people who do research on sexually transmitted diseases and stuff like that, maybe. I would be a good donator, I think.
DR: You know what I would do, actually? I would go to Vincent Gallo’s website where he is selling his sperm for a million dollars and I would buy that sperm. I wouldn’t necessarily use it…
GRM: Put it on the wall…
CK: Mix it with some paint…
DR: Yeah, just to say that I had it. And he really is selling it. For a million dollars.
CK: I don’t think it’s worth it…
GRM: It’s just sperm.
DR: He even has a description of what type of people he will sell it to, which is very weird.
CK: Do you fit the description? Would he sell it to you?
DR: He may. I fit at least three-quarters of it. I think he just has final approval.
GRM: Okay. Is there a waitlist?
DR: No, I don’t… I’m not sure that he’s sold any, yet. You can either have it… what’s it called? Not intravenous but…
GRM: In vitro?
DR: In vitro. Or the natural way, but that costs a little more.
GRM: Fair enough. It is a little more work.
GRM: Do you believe that Scrotal Vengeance is a dish best served cold?
DR: [laughs] I believe it’s one hell of a comedy! It’s one of the best titles and I don’t think anybody has not asked me about Scrotal Vengeance. And there are actually three Scrotal Vengeances…
DR: Yes, three of them…
CK: I figured there’d be two…
DR: I’m only in one, though. Scrotal Vengeance, which is by Chris Seaver… he’s the funniest filmmaker. He’s about 25 years old and he’s the new Troma, basically. He’s up in Rochester and he makes these crazy Troma-esque movies. He did a movie called Mulva 2: Kill Teen Ape.
CK: I was wondering about that, actually.
DR: It’s parodying the Kill Bill movies. Completely.
GRM: You come out of a coma…
DR: Yes! I come out of a coma but I’m…
GRM: …and go fight Teen Ape…
DR: Yes! But the thing is, in his movie, I went into a sugar coma because I was sort of like a geek…
GRM: …and he stole your [Halloween] candy?
DR: …and, yes. Exactly. But I come out and I’m actually… I am good looking instead of a geek. But I must avenge the people who stole my Halloween candy. So that’s the slight difference between the two movies. Otherwise, shot for shot, they’re the same.
CK: The new Quentin Tarrantino, obviously.
CK: Let’s hope he makes more movies than Tarantino, though… Where are we at here? If you were the president, I guess of the United States, right?
GRM: Sure. Might as well be.
CK: Or of the MPAA…
DR: Of the world?
CK: Or of the world, yeah. What would be the first thing you would do to make the world… not even necessarily a better place… you can make it a worse place if you want to. You can do whatever you want.
DR: Okay. This is very very political and boring…
CK: Make it fun.
DR: I would absolutely, immediately develop a replacement for gas because within a hundred years we’re not going to have any polar bears left. The ice is melting up there and the female polar bears have to… Literally, they have five months less of food that they actually get to eat and feed their babies with. They’re underweight by a hundred pounds and ir babies are underweight by I don’t know how many pounds. Within, literally, a hundred years, they will no longer exist.
GRM: So, you’re a fan of polar bears.
DR: I’m a fan of polar bears. I’m a fan of ice. I’m not a fan of pretending that this greenhouse effect is just a hippie thought. It’s very real and I think we’re extremely selfish people and we should do something about it.
CK: Have you seen all those Chevy ads talking about how they have thirty million green fuel vehicles? Do you believe that?
DR: Do I believe it? I don’t know. But I do know one person in L.A. that bought a non-gas vehicle. They were on the waiting list. But you have no choice of the color, for some reason.
DR: Like, it just shows up. It could be blue, red, yellow… Why is that? You know what I mean? Isn’t that strange? There’s, like, no choice of the color.
GRM: That is really strange.
DR: It’s odd.
GRM: It’s going to keep me up at night.
CK: And the polar bears.
GRM: What do you think of the Dubai Port situation, then?
DR: The what?
GRM: Dubai Port situation?
DR: Ooh. Tell me about that.
GRM: United Arab Emirates…
DR: Oh, yes! The ports! I see what you’re saying.
GRM: Good idea or bad idea?
DR: Oh, man. It seems like racial profiling to me. Doesn’t it? Can’t there be normal Arabian-type people? Can’t there be? I think it’s just like the McCarthy era. Like when Hollywood went through the communist… the whole thing they went through. I think it’s just this fear-driven ridiculous behavior on the part of politicians. Y’know, I spoke to a lot of doctors (I just want to segue into a very important subject matter, here), but I’ve spoken to a lot of doctors… A filmmaker that I know, his father is a researcher of infectious diseases. I asked him seriously. I said, ‘Do you really think that this bird virus, this bird-flu virus… How real is that?’ and he says, ‘It’s really not.’ And he says, ‘They’re just wanting to sell Tamiflu.’
CK: Does he think so?
DR: Yeah. He really does. It’s not the first time that I’ve heard that. I think our society is so fear-driven…
GRM: It’s a good marketing plan, though.
DR: It is. But it really is. And every commercial on TV is fear-driven. ‘Do you want to do this? Do you want more of this? Less of that?’ I mean, it’s always, sort of, playing into your fears. And then, that’s what I do, too, right? I make horror movies and I play into your fears.
GRM: That’s true.
DR: So, I’m a hypocrite.
DR: You didn’t know that about me. I didn’t know that about me.
GRM: Last night, we saw… What is it? Corpses are…
DR: Corpses are Forever. By a filmmaker that’s in Miami. It’s his first film. [It was] shot in 35[mm]. I thought it was really beautiful. He had two 35mm cameras, a great cinematographer… His sound was just terrible.
DR: He got screwed in the sound.
GRM: But it did look good.
DR: It did look good.
CK: You are saying the same exact thing we said, last night, actually.
DR: Yeah. And he knows it. He knows it. He has such an interesting story. His parents came from Cuba and he now lives with his grandparents down in Miami and they both died and they left him approximately, a little bit less than, say, a quarter of a million dollars, and he made this movie with all of that money.
CK: That’s brave.
DR: This was his thing, and the sound guy completely screwed him. He spent all of his money, and being his first film, he didn’t leave enough money for the post, so, even though he cut it, he wasn’t able to fix the sound. It’s such a sad story because I think it could have been more enjoyable. I mean, there are other problems with the movie, but I think if the sound was really slick, it would’ve…
GRM: Been a lot better.
DR: Yeah, been a lot better.
GRM: You’ve written. You’ve produced. Do you have any aspirations to direct?
DR: Not right now. I think I would only want to direct if I had a project that I couldn’t not direct. Like, if I had an idea that was just burning in my brain and I had to do it, because I know how hard it is and I know to do it well is very hard. It’s not that I wouldn’t want to do it, but just I really do enjoy producing at Fangoria Entertainment. I have my own show, there, but I love producing, love writing, acted forever. Love it. But I don’t have that pull. Not right now. Tomorrow, I could wake up and have it, but I don’t. I don’t. Too many problems.
DR: I don’t want to be stressed out like that. Then you have to worry about everything.
GRM: Before today, had you ever heard of LushForLife?
DR: Y’know, I did. I’d heard of it in New York. People talk about it in the street, in Starbuck’s. It’s amazing. People reference it on the news.
GRM: So, you would say it’s the best website ever, probably…
DR: Ever! Ever! It’s better than mine, better than MySpace; it’s better than Google. It’s better than anything. It’s my favorite.
GRM: We should go public.
DR: You should go public.
CK: Do we have time [to go public] today?
DR: I thought you were out in the public. You should go public, and after all of this, I am actually going to go to the website, now.
GRM: Great! That’s a good idea. We also make up a lot of stories. Can we make up a story about you?
GRM: We could make one up, if you don’t mind.
DR: Me? I should do it?
GRM: No. We’ll just write one about you, randomly.
DR: Sure. Absolutely. Write it. Um, I don’t know what. Write what you want.
GRM: You could write a story. Just a random, fake story. You’re welcome to submit one.
DR: Yeah. Jeez, there’s just so many things, what couldn’t you say?
CK: You could write a story about… what’s the name of the drug you were talking about for bird flu?
CK: Yeah. She said that, first thing I thought was, yeah, there’s a story right there.
DR: Yeah. That I’m for it or against it?
GRM: Doesn’t matter.
DR: So, it’s a scam. By the way, it’s true, but, yes, say that I personally endorse the fact that this is a scam to sell Tamiflu, just like it was a scam after 9/11 to sell New Yorkers duct tape and tell them that that was going to make them safe. Isn’t that great? That was really smart.
CK: I think, y’know, one or two people bought it.
DR: It’s brilliance on part of the government, y’know? They spend so much money on these things and yet we have Tamiflu and polar bears and…
GRM: You could take duct tape, Tamiflu, and polar bears and tie them up into one story.
DR: Yes, I could.
GRM: That would be good.
DR: Literally tie them up.
GRM: There you go. With duct tape.
DR: Actually duct tape the ice so it doesn’t melt, anymore…
GRM: And pump the polar bears full of Tamiflu.
DR: Inject Tamiflu into the polar bears so they don’t get sick and die. Maybe we could do something like that. I don’t know. And shoot any Republicans that try to go up to Alaska.
GRM: Feed them to the polar bears. They’re underweight, already, remember?
DR: But I hear Jeb Bush is doing a good job, here, so I hate to trash him.
GRM: Oh, go right ahead, please.
DR: Oh, really?
CK: Yeah, sure.
DR: Are you non-Jebs? It seems like Jeb Bush is doing good and he got the only good genes in the family.
GRM: Both of them.
CK: They were Levi’s.
DR: Yes. Exactly.
CK: Actually, they were probably Wrangler’s.
DR: Yeah. He doesn’t shoot people in the face.
CK: Not yet. Well, not that he’s talked about.
DR: Yeah. Well, you get a lot more done that way. It was kind of funny that they [Dick Cheney and pal] were hunting quail when, in fact, his [George “Dubya” Bush] father’s vice president was Dan Quayle. I find that very… if you’re a conspiracy theorist…
GRM: I don’t think anyone’s played that angle.
DR: See? There’s a conspiracy theory there, right?
GRM: … Um, I’m behind you.
DR: Maybe he was aiming at Dan Quayle, to be honest, and he accidentally shot the other guy.
CK: And who wouldn’t want to? I mean, Dan Quayle?
DR: He called it “quail hunting.” He got out of the car to shoot quail? You see what I’m saying?
GRM: I think you’re onto something here.
DR: Ooh. Interesting.
GRM: If you ever want to write for us, please check us out.
DR: Okay. Obviously, you can see that I’m very intelligent…
GRM: As long as you can write.
GRM: We know you can act, but let’s see if you can write.
DR: I try and I do actually write for a lot of magazines. Is it like TheOnion, then?
GRM: Yes. But a little edgier.
GRM: And some other real stuff.
DR: Kind of mixed in: real and unreal. I like that.
CK: We cuss and make fun of things. We have no respect at all.
CK: We’re jerks.
GRM: Do we have any more questions, or should we let the lady get back to work?
CK: Um, where is the “B” Movie Hall of Fame? Every hall of fame is in Canton, Ohio, so it’s gotta be in Canton, Ohio.
DR: I’ll tell you where it is: it’s in Syracuse, New York.
GRM: Really? Not Canton, Ohio?
CK: Everything else is in Canton, Ohio.
DR: I have not been to Canton, Ohio.
CK: That’s where the Baseball Hall of Fame is; the Football Hall of Fame. Not the “B” Movie Hall of Fame, apparently.
DR: Nope, nope. It’s in the great Syracuse, New York.CK: I was going to ask you earlier if you had any problems with Laura Dern, because I thought we’d done good research, but you brought up Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains before we did.
DR: Did I have problems with her? No. Laura Dern was just very studious and kept to herself. Diane Lane, on the other hand, was so young – she was fourteen or fifteen, at the time – and she wanted to go out and party. She had her mother there, because she was so young. She actually had a shower scene and a make out scene with Ray Winston. But, she was on set, so, she was going through that trying to get away from her mother thing, I think, so she was on the set, sowing her wild oats and really getting into her sexuality and that age.
GRM: At fourteen? Nice. Good job.
DR: Well, I heard she lost her virginity at, um, thirty. No, I…
GRM: I’m planning to, soon. Any day, now.
DR: Any day, now. Any day, now. There’s actually… I’d really like to mention that there’s going to be a Troma disc coming out that is highlighting all of the work I’ve done with them the past fifteen years. It includes the movies, the skits, intros, stuff we’ve done for overseas television, Cinemax, and everything. But – here’s the clincher, this is the good part – it’s going to be hosted by one of my biggest fans who really really is a forty year-old virgin. For real.
DR: Yes. And he is absolutely amazing. I think he might steal my thunder, to be honest, because the clips are great but this guy… His name is George and…
GRM: What’s the boxed set called?
DR: I don’t know, yet, but it’s going to be something like My Dinner with a Stalker or The Stalker Diaries. I don’t think it will be Debbie Rochon’s Best in Tromaville. That’s too boring. It’s going to be ‘stalker’ in there, because I think it will grab people.
CK: People like stalkers.
DR: They do.
CK: It’s such a Hollywood society.
DR: You’re nobody unless you have had one.
CK: I’ve had three.
DR: Have you?
CK: This week.
DR: Where they all men?
CK: Two men and a young, small girl.
DR: Young men… Two older men and a young girl.
CK: This forty year-old virgin – is this religious for him? Is it religious, like, ‘God doesn’t want me to have sex until I find the right one?’
DR: No, no. No, it’s not. It’s absolutely not.
CK: Is he really creepy?
DR: Well, he’s unusual. I had a showing of a movie of mine called American Nightmare at this theater. It screened at seven o’clock and he got there at eleven a.m. to make sure he was the first one there.
CK: People do that for Star Wars months in advance.
DR: It’s not that crazy. He has asked my character – not me, but my character from a movie – to marry him. He’s written letters to Jane, which is the character’s name. Long letters, and hopes for a reply. It’s not a religious thing. He actually has a page on MySpace and he says that his fantasy is a female magician who is a lesbian who will force him to watch he have lesbian acts and then allow him to touch their soft calves and then, afterwards, marry him.
CK: Isn’t that all of our fantasies?
GRM: You can’t make that kind of stuff up.
DR: Yeah, but it has to be in that exact order.
CK: I’m flexible on the calf thing, so…
GRM: I prefer the joint at the knee, personally.
CK: You’re a knee guy?
DR: Everybody has their variation on it, but it’s… He’s a very fascinating man.
GRM: Thank you very much, ma’am.
DR: Thank you very much.
GRM: Check out the site.
DR: Yes! I’m going to go, now, because I’ve read about it in the New York Times and I’ve read about it in Wall Street Journal and now I must actually go to the site.