Quantcast Wendy Kremer interview - 2001 MANIACS

Wendy Kremer!!!
Icons Of Fright had the chance to catch up with the lovely & beautiful actress Wendy Kremer about playing the role of 'Peaches' in Tim Sullivan's '2001 MANIACS'. But once she put on those teeth, she immediately forged herself as quite possibly the most memorable maniac of the entire movie. And for a maniac with scary teeth, she just so happens to be one of the nicest people the Icons crew have ever come across. Read on and see for yourself! - by Robg. 5/06
What are your earliest recollections of the horror genre? Do you remember the first movie that really scared you?

My mother thought I needed to watch the same movies she loved - the really scary ones. I recall her sitting me down in front of "Alien" and "The Shining" and not letting me cover my eyes... She had me reading "Jaws" and Stephen King novels as a child. I vividly remember going to an old movie theatre in Chicago with my family and my grandparents to see "House of Wax" in 3D - and that scared the crap out of me.
Can you give us a brief synopsis of what drove you to pursue a career in acting? What was it like from your experiences just starting out in Atlanta?

Actually, I started out in Michigan, where I grew up. My mother, the horror fanatic, was also a stage actress and dancer/choreographer (she owned her own studio), so I was raised in the theatre. I did a lot of shows growing up, and moved into commercials and music videos when I moved to Atlanta. I really should have gone straight to LA, but then I wouldn't have done MANIACS!

You got the role of Peaches in 2001 Maniacs after an audition in Atlanta with Tim. What do you remember about that audition? Weren’t you actually up for a different part initially?

That audition was crazy from start to finish. My agent sent me out for the part of "Joey" initially - I knew I wasn't right for the part, but I also knew I'd get to work with Robert Englund... and get my SAG card, which is hard to come by in Georgia, a non-union state. Tim & one of the producers had me read for "Peaches," and it was a perfect fit. Not quite sure what that says about me! I read the "Peaches" kill scene with Tim, and it was awesome - Tim swore I scared the hell out of him. Sadly, the footage of my audition disappeared, so they couldn't put it on the DVD.

The movie looked like it was probably such a blast to make. How’d you get along with the rest of the cast, and were there any particular people you immediately hit it off with? (Perhaps fellow maniacs?)

I shared a room with Christa Campbell, and we shared a lot of scenes as well. Luckily, we sort of clicked - I really consider her a friend at this point. The shoot was a great experience - a lot of fun in a wild environment.
It’s no secret that Tim Sullivan really, really has a passion for this genre and especially for this movie that he spent so long trying to get made. What was it like working with someone so enthusiastic about 2001 Maniacs? Did that enthusiasm rub off during the duration of the shoot?

Tim's enthusiasm fueled everything and everyone involved with this movie. It was an absolute labor of love, and we knew that. To this day his enthusiasm is unflagging, and I truly believe that's a huge part of why the film's done so well. He just never stops. It's inspiring.

Now, we all know that Robert Englund is quite a character. Give us one Englund story from the set of 2001 Maniacs?

Just one? Robert and I had a lot of scenes together, so in turn, we had a lot of chances to talk, and Robert enjoys a good conversation. We talked about his early days in theatre in Northern Michigan, surfing and where to get the best fish tacos up the California coast. Never a dull moment.

My favorite moment with Robert, though, was meeting him in the makeup trailer on our first day on set. I was nervous, because I'm a huge fan, and he kept looking at me. Finally he said, "don't I know you from somewhere? You look really familiar." And before I could stop myself, I blurted, "oh, I don't know, in my nightmares?!?" Without missing a beat, he says, "no, were you on a 'Law and Order'?" Crazy.

Being that the gore & comedy are both equally balanced and over the top, what was it like to see a lot of the death sequences being pulled off? Were the victims excited about how they were going to die, as much as the maniacs were to off some of these characters?

The victims were thrilled - they could often be seen running around set with their disembodied heads in their hands. The whole process was fascinating to me - I did a photo journal of the shoot, and a lot of it is dedicated to the mechanics of horror.

Obviously, from the stills people have seen of you with the teeth, you’re one of the most memorable characters/maniacs in the movie. (And your kill rocks too!) Besides your kill, what’s another one of your favorite kills/gags/moments from 2001 Maniacs?

I am in love with my kill. It's great on so many levels. Past that I'd have to say the barbed wire... I don't want to give anything away, but it rocks. I love the visual.

Looking back at the shoot, what is the one thing that sticks out (or sums up) that entire experience for you?

I remember the first time they gave me the teeth, and the reactions from everybody who saw them. I had a great sense that this character was going to stand out. And boy, has she.

The movie is so much fun to watch, but it really does play so much better with a group of people, or an audience. Have you had the chance to see the flick screened with an audience, and what’s that experience like? What was it like for you to SEE the movie for the first time?

The first time I saw the entire movie was at a friend's apartment with some of the other cast members - it was pretty much what I expected, with a few surprises. I was really happy with the film, and still laugh out loud every time I see it. It's always interesting watching your own work... I have a love/hate relationship with my onscreen self. I missed our LA premiere because I had just given birth to my son, so I haven't ever seen it with a full audience... I hear it's amazing.

I know you’d mentioned before that you’d seen Herschell Gordon Lewis’s original 2000 Maniacs, but were you familiar with it or any of his other films before getting the gig on 2001 Maniacs? Or was it more of a let me watch this for research kind of thing?

I actually didn't see "Two Thousand Maniacs!" until after we finished filming. I had been aware of Lewis' work, and am a fan of the genre, but I hadn't actually seen his films at that point. It's funny, really - I'm a Troma fan, as well as Corman... I love the obnoxious, over-the-top films of the 60's and 70's - but I didn't explore the world of HG Lewis until I was lucky enough to do an update of his work. I would love to meet him someday and tell him how much I enjoyed the original!

You’ve done a lot of convention appearances since the completion of 2001 Maniacs. I’ve caught up with you at the Fango shows in Burbank, Chicago, etc. What’s the whole convention experience like from your point of view? Were you familiar with their popularity before being in a horror film?

Oh yes, I was well aware of the horror community, and was very excited to be a part of it as soon as possible. I love doing shows and hope I'm able to for a long time. They're a great place to meet people who are excited about the film, as well as other actors and filmmakers. I feel like I'm a member of the horror family now, and that's pretty cool.

One of the biggest changes since working on 2001 Maniacs is that you became a mother! (Congrats!) How has that affected you? And being a horror fan yourself, when as a parent do you think it’ll be ok to expose your little one to horror movies?

How has it not affected me?!? Being a mother has changed everything in every aspect of my life - it's all just so much better. I'm a lot busier, too, now having a both a bouncing baby boy and a bouncing baby career to tend to. I’m not complaining! Everyone always asks about my son, and how I'll reconcile the "Mommy as horror icon" situation. I figure we'll take it as it comes, and he'll know it's all make-believe - just another part of our lives. Plus, living in Hollywood, it's pretty easy to see that what's on tv and in the movies is a fabrication. We're living inside the machine here.

As a fan yourself, what do you think it is about horror films that fans find so appealing? Why are YOU a fan of the genre?

There are so many reasons for people to love horror - and so many different kinds of horror to love. I think each subgenre speaks to people in a different way. I enjoy almost all horror, but have a particular love for psychological films - "The Shining," "The Ring," "The Sixth Sense," the sort of film that just makes you quiver from anticipation and the not knowing.
A lot of people have asked you what some of your favorite horror films are (Evil Dead, Hellraiser, etc.), and you obviously pass the cool test for horror enthusiasts! Soooo, what are you’re favorite horror sequels?!

Well, the best horror sequel ever, in my book, is "Aliens." I also dig "Army of Darkness" "Final Destination 2" and "New Nightmare" -- it's hard, because most sequels seem to be more about dollars than continuing a story. Even so, I will still watch "Jeepers Creepers 2" every time it's on. It's not the greatest film by any stretch, but damn I love the Creeper.

I also recently discovered that we both share a mutual love of 80s comedies. (Especially Better Off Dead!) What’re your top 80s movies?

Oh man, I can't rank them in order, so I'll just list my faves: "Better Off Dead" (Savage Steve rocks my world), "Pretty in Pink" (Annie Potts at her best), "The Breakfast Club," "Sixteen Candles" (the theme song by the Thompson Twins still gets me), "Valley Girl" (come ON - it's awesome!!!), and "The Goonies" (don't fight it). But then there's "Gremlins," "War Games" (Do you want to play a game?), "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," "The Outsiders," "Some Kind of Wonderful", "Real Genius", "Weird Science" and yes, even "Dirty Dancing." Limiting me in any way when it comes to movies (or music, for that matter) from the 80's makes me sad. I'm going to have to order some stuff on Amazon now, thanks.
Use Deep Discount DVD.com! You’ll save a bundle. Now, you played a movie maniac in a horror film. What is it that scares you?

Republicans. This administration has caused harm to this country and this planet that could possibly be irreparable, and that terrifies me.

Special thanks to Tim Sullivan!!!

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