Monday, September 30, 2013

Design A Jason Hockey Mask Charity Fundraiser: Update #6

Not many people like Mondays. But how can you feel that way when you've got such great photos to share!?!?  Here's a very cool update from two of the nicest folks you'll ever meet who are taking part in our "Design A Jason Hockey Mask" charity fundraiser for Toys For Tots.   Midwestern artist Lydia Burris has sent in some great photos of her mask design in-progress.  Also, David Katims has sent in photos as well for this update.   Katims, a actor and comic is best known to FRIDAY THE 13TH fans as the actor who played "Chuck" in FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 3-D.

Check out Lydia's website HERE:
And follow David on Facebook HERE:

Be sure to check our the TV Store Online blog's previous updates for the Jason mask charity fundraiser here:

Friday, September 27, 2013

A Interview With Melvin The Mop Boy: TV Store Online talks with The Toxic Avenger's Mark Torgl

Michigan native and actor in the cult classic THE TOXIC AVENGER (1984) Mark Torgl talks with TV STORE ONLINE about creating a cult classic as well as his latest film project, a mockumentary called TOXIC TUTU.

TV STORE ONLINE:  What were you like as a kid growing up in Detroit? When did you develop an interest in film / filmmaking and was there something that you saw that influenced you? 

TORGL:  I was a completely normal kid, I liked to capture flies and tie a string around their necks and fly them around as my pets. I had a large mayonnaise jar where I kept my collection of toenails like all kids have. I was inspired by Surreal filmmakers like Luis Bunuel and Salvador Dali and David Lynch while attending Michigan State University. I loved the way they stretched the normalcy of life into fantastical ideas. Bunuel’s UN CHIEN ANADALOU [1929] especially made me want to pursue movie in some way.

TV STORE ONLINE:  In an interview I read with you online the other day... I saw where you mentioned that you went to NYU to study film and that two of your classmates were Jim Jarmusch and Spike Lee. What were those guys like back in those days? 

TORGL: Yeah what happened to those guys? Ang Lee was also a classmate, we were all just normal students in NYU Grad Film. I worked with Spike in the equipment room. Ang was and still is the nicest guy you could ever meet. Jim had actually just finished NYU as I was starting but he was always running around the building. I ran into Spike shortly after SHE'S GOT TO HAVE IT [1986] and THE TOXIC AVENGER were released. We went back and forth, “You’re the man...” No, “You’re the man...” Turns out Spike was really “The Man”.

TV STORE ONLINE:   I know you're a Terrance Malick fan... What did you think about his latest film TO THE WONDER [2013]?

TORGL:  I haven’t seen it yet. BADLANDS [1973] is a film I never get tired of, DAYS OF HEAVEN [1978]  is breathtakingly beautiful. I loved TREE OF LIFE [2011] even the wacky beginning of the world that went on forever.

TV STORE ONLINE:  I know that you're also a big Stanley Kubrick fan as well.  What are your Top Five favorite Kubrick movies and why are each of them your particular favorites?

TORGL:  That sounds like an essay question worth 50% of my grade!   A CLOCKWORK ORANGE [1971] because it was such a life changing film for me.   Then after that, 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY [1968] because it's an inspirational journey of evolution.  Then I'd go with THE SHINING [1980], followed by DR. STRANGLOVE [1964], then lastly FULL METAL JACKET [1986].

TV STORE ONLINE:  While at NYU... Was the plan always to pursue a career in directing or editing?  I think you're a brilliant actor - Was acting always part of the plan?

TORGL: I just wanted to get those demons out of my head and onto film. I always enjoyed acting as a student in high school and while I was at MSU. So when Troma brought me into their world, I loved it. I go where life leads me, I’m not sure why that often involves Toxic Waste sites though. I also love editing and it pays the bills for me. 

TV STORE ONLINE:  Tell me about THE FIRST TURN ON [1984]?

TORGL:  As in any Troma film the direction is to be outrageous and over the top. That is something I have no shyness in doing.

TV STORE ONLINE:  Didn't you actually work on TURN ON as a script supervisor?

TORGL:  I did. Troma posted a notice on the job board at NYU. It read something like: Come work on a “real” feature film. So I met with Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz of Troma and they asked what I wanted to do? I said I wanted to be the Script Supervisor, Lloyd said, "OK, you can be the Script Supervisor, what else do you want to do?" I told him that I like writing and Lloyd said, "OK you can write some additional scenes." So I didn’t sign on as an actor, but typically everyone on the crew ended up in the film somewhere. When the actor who was hired to play "Dwayne" originally didn’t show up, Lloyd said, “Mark you go in and do the part”. The rest is history.

TV STORE ONLINE: Any memories of working with a young Vincent D'Onofrio on THE FIRST TURN ON?  It was his first movie as well if I'm correct....

TORGL:  Yeah, in fact I wrote a couple of the scenes he was in. He was so good we kept giving him more scenes. He was a really nice guy.

TV STORE ONLINE:  Where was the camp stuff shot at for THE FIRST TURN ON?

TORGL:  It was at an actual sleepaway camp in New Jersey somewhere.

Torgl as "Dwayne"

TV STORE ONLINE:  Favorite scenes in TURN ON are the scenes with you as the sexually perverted greaser Dwayne... He is a very funny character...Did you bring that level of insanity to him yourself of was Lloyd Kaufman as director involved in helping to create him?

TORGL:  When Lloyd and I work on a scene all sanity leaves the building...

TV STORE ONLINE: What about that crazy dinner scene with that family...Was that all scripted out?

TORGL:  It was loosely scripted as, "Dwayne has bad table manners...." I wanted to take bad table manners to a new level.

TV STORE ONLINE:  The best line in the entire film is when your character tells his girlfriend Julie's dad "You did your duty? Well, why don't you flush it!" What was in the script or something you improved?

TORGL:  I believe that was actually from the mind of Lloyd.

Torgl assaults a corn cob in
Troma's THE FIRST TURN ON (1983)

TV STORE ONLINE:  What about playing with the mash potatoes, and eating the meat, and felating the corn cob in that dinner scene? The scene is hilariously surreal and insane. How much input did you have into that scene as the actor?

TORGL:  I think most of that was my doing. Taking it over the top is what I do. My thinking was... What can I do here to really make an impression on my girlfriend's parents?  What parents wouldn’t want their daughter dating a geek who felates corn?

TV STORE ONLINE:  Why do you think that coming of age or T&A teen comedies were so popular in the early/mid 80's?

TORGL:  I don’t think that those films were inherently popular only in the 80’s, I think there is always a market for that kind of mindless sexually provocative guilty pleasure.

TOXIC AVENGER has become a true cult film classic
A unknown fan's tattoo of Torgl as Melvin The Mop Boy from the 1984 film

TV STORE ONLINE:  With THE TOXIC AVENGER... Did you get invited back to do that by Lloyd and Michael?

Yeah, the story is that they auditioned hundreds of kids to play Melvin. But Lloyd and Michael didn’t like any of them. What they were looking for in Melvin was something like what I had  done with Dwayne in THE FIRST TURN ON.  So they called me up and asked if I wanted the part.

Torgl (L) with actor Mitch Cohen (R) in 

TV STORE ONLINE:  You also worked as the script supervisor on THE TOXIC AVENGER too right? Were you around for the entire shoot?

TORGL:  Yeah, I was still going to NYU at the time so I asked if I could work on the film as a Script Supervisor. I wanted to be involved in the entire production and help make it happen. We knew near the end of production that this was either going to be the worst and most awesome movie ever made or a big cult hit. Turns out it was both.

TV STORE ONLINE:  Melvin is such a unique character...He's shy, nervous and weak... With Melvin it seems like you'd have to develop some sort of back story for him as an actor. Did you do that? Where did you see him coming from as we the audience enter into his story?

TORGL:  Well yeah, he is the complete social disaster. He is awkward at everything he does. There was actually a scene shot that didn’t make it into the film that I wrote and directed.  It was a solo camping outing where I was even awkward with myself.

TV STORE ONLINE:  What was your experience shooting the pool scene with the sheep?

TORGL: The sheep was really disgusting. It had gnats or some other kind of nasty bugs crawling all over it.

TV STORE ONLINE:  Any memories of meeting and talking with a young Marisa Tomei on the set of THE TOXIC AVENGER?  It was also her first film as an actress as well...

TORGL:  Well, as you can imagine she was all over me...laughing   I said to her, ”I’m going to be a big star someday, so you need to get with me”. She couldn’t keep her hands off of my mop...laughing

TV STORE ONLINE:  Your work as an actor in TOXIC is so wonderful. Did you ever try to continue on and pursue acting after making the film?

TORGL: After we finished the film,  I moved to Hollywood.  I started working regularly in post production and it became something which I really enjoyed and still do today. I did a cameo in CITIZEN TOXIE: THE TOXIC AVENGER IV [2000].  I would love to be in the remake  of THE TOXIC AVENGER that Arnold Schwarzenegger is rumored to be a part of.  I'd like to play the dad of "Toxie".  People reading this should call the producers behind the remake and insist on a part for me. I’m actually acting in my own film which is currently in production now called TOXIC TUTU.  It's the almost true story of what became of THE TOXIC AVENGER's Mark Torgl.

TV STORE ONLINE:  With the success of TOXIC in the home video market of the 1980's and it playing on television...How did the film impact your life immediately?

  THE TOXIC AVENGER has a life that just won’t quit. Being part of this cult classic never gets old.

TV STORE ONLINE:  As you mentioned a moment ago....You've been working in post production for a number of years since THE TOXIC AVENGER... What made you want to get into that kind of work?

  I enjoy working in dark stale rooms with producers looking over my shoulder as I create magic...laughing

Torgl in TOXIC AVENGER IV [2000]

TV STORE ONLINE:  Mentioning again what you're working on now....The new film TOXIC TUTU...What was your inspiration behind bringing this project to fruition?

TORGL:  I was pursued by the promoters of The Mad Monster Party to be a guest at their convention in Charlotte, North Carolina this past March.  I had never done a convention until this one and my best friend from NYU and I decided to film it.  We created a fictionalized story around the monster convention backdrop and continued it on at the next few conventions I got invited to, Days of The Dead Los Angeles and then at ComiCon San Diego where Lloyd Kaufman the creator of THE TOXIC AVENGER and the Troma Crew participated in our shoot.  We are going to be launching a Kickstarter campaign in a few weeks in October to raise funds to continue filming and finishing the project. So please everyone visit our Facebook page HERE and like my personal fan page and watch for the announcement of our Kickstarter launch.

TV STORE ONLINE:  Where can we see you next?

TORGL:  I’ll be appearing at Stan Lee’s ComiKaze convention in Los Angeles at the Troma Booth November 1st through the 3rd.  I will be meeting fans, signing autographs, and we will be doing more filming for TOXIC TUTU.   Stop by and say Hi if you're in the area.

Follow Mark Torgl On Facebook HERE:

Friday, September 20, 2013

Design A Jason Hockey Mask Charity Fundraiser: Update #5

Happy Friday!  Here's a very cool update. New York based Make-Up FX artist Cody Snyder has posted up on his Facebook some work-in-progress photos for his design for our "Design A Jason Voorhees Hockey Mask" charity fundraiser and contest.    Can you say Rat-Fink Voorhees?   Follow Cody on Facebook HERE:

Check out these fun photos of Cody's work:

Be sure to check our the TV Store Online blog's previous updates for the Jason mask
 charity fundraiser here:

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Back To The Future's Claudia Wells talks with TV STORE ONLINE

Actress CLAUDIA WELLS talks with TV STORE ONLINE about BACK TO THE FUTURE and her work on the television series' Fast Times, Fame, and Herbie The Love Bug.

TV STORE ONLINE:  In preparation for today I went back and watched that great episode of Fame [1982-87] that you did where you play a Russian student...

WELLS:  I loved doing that show.  That was one of my favorite things that I ever did.   I just went in and auditioned for that.    That was actually my first big screen kiss too.

TV STORE ONLINE:  I know you started out on the opera stage....I was curious if the acting bug was something that had bitten you before that though?

WELLS:  I started when I was eight years old.   I can't remember a time that I didn't want to be an actress.   I liked to sing but I did that because it got me on the stage in San Francisco and I did ten operas by the time I was twelve years old.

TV STORE ONLINE:  Had you seen a particular film or television show as a kid that put the idea into your head to pursue acting?

WELLS:  I wanted to become an actress after I had seen shows when I was really young like Sesame Street [1969-Current], Romper Room [1953-94], and Mr. Rogers Neighborhood [1968-2001].   I can remember going to my mother once and crying because I didn't think I could be on television because I was too big and I wouldn't be able to fit into the television set.  When I was a little kid I really thought that characters on the screen could see me watching them just as I could see them...laughing     I even tried to be on television before I was an actress. There was a show that featured people's inventions so I invented something and I went and asked my mom if I could be on the show but she told me no...laughing   

When I started to sing...I was a founding member of the San Francisco Girls Chorus which was a take off of the San Francisco Boys Chorus.  Not long after that, an agent saw me and offered me a national Volvo commercial and my mom let me do that and the commercial won a Clio award!   That was my start.

TV STORE ONLINE:   Not long after BACK TO THE FUTURE [1985] you worked on a great show that was a take off on the movie FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH [1982] called Fast Times [1986]...How did that come to you?

WELLS:   I loved doing that.  I met Amy Heckerling at a dinner party and she asked me to come in and read for it.   I had actually turned it down several times until my agent called me and she told me to go to the network.  I went and did a cold reading for "Linda" at the network and I got the part.

TV STORE ONLINE:  Given that the character of Linda had already been interpreted by actress Phoebe Cates in the movie...Did you go and look at what she did in the movie prior to starting work on the show?  

WELLS:  I had seen the  movie when it first came out, but I never went back again and looked at it in preparation for the show.  I just made the character my own.   

TV STORE ONLINE: Your interpretation of Linda is much more interesting and sincere than how she is played in the movie.  There's some great moments with that character on that series.  Episode Three for example is really great because of all that emotion that Linda goes through.   How did you find her for that?

WELLS:    Just like how I find every character.    I think that there's a part of every character that is really just a part of who you are.  You just expand on that.  It's kind of that simple.

TV STORE ONLINE:  Why was Fast Times canceled so quickly?

WELLS:  I don't know.  It was one of the very first teenage shows.  We found out two days after we shot the pilot that it was going to be picked up for six episodes.  We shot those six shows and then they decided not to pick it up.   Fast Times had a great cast too.  A lot of cast when on to become superstars.

TV STORE ONLINE:  Moon Zappa worked on the show too!

WELLS:  That's right!   She was a reality consultant on the show and she played the character of "Barbara".

T-shirts available at 
TV STORE ONLINE:   With BACK TO THE FUTURE...How did that whole thing come to you?  Had you been aware of the casting of Eric Stoltz and Melora Hardin prior to yourself and Michael J. Fox?

WELLS:  I was actually cast before Melora Hardin.    I had been cast with Eric Stoltz the previous spring before shooting and Eric and I had already started to talk about the characters.  A pilot I had shot with Ed Asner called Off The Rack [1984] was picked up by the ABC and it was scheduled to start shooting at the same time as BACK TO THE FUTURE.  I had originally took the role of "Jennifer" in BACK TO THE FUTURE because no one thought that the pilot for Off The Rack was going to get picked up, and once it did... ABC wasn't willing to share me so I could do BACK TO THE FUTURE because I was under contract.  So I had to release myself from the movie and that's when they re-cast the role with Melora Hardin.

We shot six episodes of Off The Rack for ABC and those were all done in front of a live studio audience and then ABC decided not to pick it up.   A week after that, Eric Stoltz was let go from BACK TO THE FUTURE, Michael J. Fox was hired, Melora Hardin was let go and sent some flowers and I got to do the movie.

TV STORE ONLINE:  Did you shoot anything with Eric Stoltz before leaving for Off The Rack?

WELLS:  We had only done a boyfriend/girlfriend photo shoot together.

Claudia Wells and Eric Stoltz.  Stoltz was originally cast in the role of 
"Marty McFly" before Michael J. Fox.

TV STORE ONLINE:  Prior to BACK TO THE FUTURE though you had also auditioned for roles in GREMLINS [1984] and THE GOONIES [1985] hadn't you?

WELLS:  I did.  I screen-tested for GREMLINS, THE GOONIES, and YOUNG SHERLOCK HOLMES [1985].   I even screen-tested for ADVENTURES IN BABYSITTING [1987] and it came down to myself, Phoebe Cates, and Elizabeth Shue.  

TV STORE ONLINE:  With BACK TO THE FUTURE...What kind of director was Robert Zemeckis to you?  Was he one that issued a lot of direction or was he one that would allow the actor to try different things and then chime in if he didn't like what you were doing?

WELLS:   He would give us specific directions at times.  Like "Look at each other, then look at the clock tower, now look at the clock tower lady.."   He was very open, very smart, and easy going.  He was also very sweet and kind too.

TV STORE ONLINE:  How was the kiss with Michael J. Fox?

WELLS: Everyone wants to know that!   It was lovely...laughing

TV STORE ONLINE:  What do you think that Claudia Wells brought to that Jennifer character that wasn't already on the written page of the script?

WELLS:  She was me!  I played myself.  Jennifer and I were the same person.  That was who I was.  I did a background for her.  I built her brick-by-brick.  I knew how she did in school.  I knew how long Jennifer and Marty had been dating.

TV STORE ONLINE:   Going back even farther...What are your memories of working on the Herbie: The Love Bug [1982] television series?

WELLS:  I loved that show!   That one only went a pilot and five episodes.  Working on that was a turning point in my life.  I worked with Dean Jones on that and we would spent time talking about God and he and his wife would talk me and my mom to church every week.   He had a huge effect on my spiritual growth and he changed my life.

TV STORE ONLINE: Then what about your clothing boutique in Los Angeles? How did Armani Wells come to fruition?

WELLS:  There were a couple of reasons.  I had often shopped for expensive clothes but got them inexpensively at women's resale shops.  I realized that there was nothing like that for men.   Mens clothing is so expensive when it's high end and beautiful.   I had lived in New York for about six months and I really loved how the men dressed there.  So I decided to move back and open a shop where I could create a niche and dress men and make them feel good by making them feel comfortable and offer them inexpensive clothes.  I opened up on December 19th of 1991.

TV STORE ONLINE:  How are you fighting the dreaded E-commerce industry as a business owner?

WELLS:  I was told when I first opened that I had a recession free business because when people are tight on money they can come here and save. Men can come here and buy Armani suits for $300 or $400 dollars instead of paying $2000 or $3000 dollars.   If they have money, then they know how to save money and end up coming here anyway.

TV STORE ONLINE:   We're seeing a resurgence of '80s fashions these days...Why do you think that fashion trends seem to recycle every couple decades?

WELLS:  I don't know.  It just comes and it goes.   It's always changing.  

TV STORE ONLINE:   Are you still involved with the Kids In The Spotlight charity?

WELLS:  Very much so.

TV STORE ONLINE:  How did you get involved with Kids?

WELLS:  A friend of mine started it.  She invited me to be on the board of directors when it first started.   In fact, I just acted in one of the films that one of the foster kids wrote.  All of the kids write short films about their life experiences.  

Kids In The Spotlight trains youth in foster care programs and other underserved youth to create, write, cast and star in their own short films. Please visit The Kids In The Spotlight website HERE:

TV STORE ONLINE:  What's next for you?  Where can people see what you're up to and where you'll be next?

WELLS:   They can check out my website at  I have a schedule on there.  They can see all of the upcoming autograph shows I'll be at.  They can buy autograph photos and they can find out information about the store Armani Wells.

Follow Claudia Wells on Facebook HERE:
Armani Wells is located at 12404 Ventura Blvd  Studio City, CA 91604  
Phone: (818) 985-5899

Monday, September 16, 2013

Design A Jason Hockey Mask Charity Fundraiser: Update #4

Another Update!!!  FX artist Mike Thomas and Robb De Nicola have sent us some update photos of their design for our "Design A Jason Voorhees Hockey Mask" Charity Fundraiser and contest.     Per his email his concept is to alter the mask into a Jason Zombie Skull ripping out of a pumpkin that will light up with Jason Voorhees elements throughout the piece.    You can check out Mike's other incredible creations at  and Mike and Robb's joint venture projects at

Photos courtesy of:  FX artist Mike Thomas

Check out the previous Design A Jason Hockey Mask updates:

Friday, September 13, 2013

Design A Jason Hockey Mask Charity Fundraiser: Update #3

Derek Garcia from the SyFy Channel's Face Off Season 3 has sent in photos of his finished Jason mask for our Design A Jason Hockey Mask charity fundraiser.  His work is totally amazing to see!  Check out these photos!

Derek Garcia and Cat Creature from SyFy Channel's
Face Off Season 3:   Photo By: Nicole Wilder

Thursday, September 12, 2013

TV STORE ONLINE talks with actress Melanie Kinnaman about Friday The 13th: A New Beginning

Actress Melanie Kinnaman talks with TV STORE ONLINE about her role in FRIDAY THE 13TH: A NEW BEGINNING (1985) as well as her work in the film THUNDER ALLEY (1985).

TV STORE ONLINE:   I know from an early age that you became interested in dance and the theater...I was wondering if there was something that you saw at the movies or on television shows that influenced your decision to pursue acting as a career as you got order?

KINNAMAN:   Well I loved musicals like Oliver.  I went to see Broadway shows in NYC when I was growing up because my family lived close enough to the city.    As for movies....I loved Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke and I thought that they were both just so incredible talented.  When I was either five or six years old my mother took me to the movies to see MARY POPPINS (1964) and I thought that Dick Van Dyke was the greatest talent.  He could do everything it seemed like and I inspired to that.   Growing up I also wanted to sing and that lead me to doing musical theater.   First I started out in the chorus and then I got moved into an acting role and from there the acting just took over.

TV STORE ONLINE:  And you did some musical oriented television commercials early on in your career too right?

KINNAMAN:  I did.  I was nineteen years old when I did this big musical oriented Dr. Pepper commercial and I was paid like $30,000 dollars for that!  That was a lot of money for a nineteen year old to have.

TV STORE ONLINE:  I've heard about the Dr. Pepper commercial...I know it was called "The Prom" and it was nominated for an award but because it was in the late '70s you can't see it anywhere today.  I was wondering what it was all about?

KINNAMAN:  It was a 1950's themed thing.  I was dressed in '50s era hair and make-up and we had to dance in that '50s style of dancing.  It was really great.  All the dancers in it were all from Broadway.  The director of commercial was John Landis, who went on to direct Michael Jackson's Thriller music video.

TV STORE ONLINE:  So how did FRIDAY THE 13TH: A NEW BEGINNING (1985) come to you?

KINNAMAN:    I had done a bunch of theater on and off Broadway.  I toured with musicals.  Then I was on a couple different soap operas that were shot in New York City.  Then I was cast on General Hospital and that show was shot in Los Angeles.  So I moved out to Los Angeles and did that and then I started doing guest spots on shows like Hill Street Blues and Cheers....In the process of doing that I got called in for various feature films and that led to THUNDER ALLEY (1985), which wasn't a great experience but I learned a lot from working on it.

When I got called in for FRIDAY THE 13TH: A NEW BEGINNING it wasn't being called that and I hadn't even seen any of the other previous F13 films in the franchise.  So I went in to audition for the Director Danny Steinmann and when they called me back in after that, Danny told me what the movie was all about because the script was very sparse and it didn't tell you much.  I didn't know what to expect when I was cast in the film and so I decided to go and see PART 4 and that's when I realized that I was in for a rude awakening...laughing

TV STORE ONLINE:  Going back to THUNDER ALLEY....Was that racy swimming pool scene that you had to do ever a point of contention to you when you were cast in that film?

Melanie Kinnaman as "Star' in THUNDER ALLEY (1985)

KINNAMAN:  The pool scene was a big deal but the biggest problem came with the bedroom scene  that I did with Roger Wilson.    I ended up having to sue the producers of the film because there were certain shots in the film of my body that weren't supposed to be there.  I mean, we had all sat down beforehand and blocked that entire scene out and it was in my contract with them in regards to what they couldn't shoot and what they could shoot.   So I had to sue them and the Screen Actor's Guild backed me up and it delayed the release of it.  The producers begged me to back off but I just couldn't.   The shots that were cut were from the bedroom scene and the pool scene because I didn't sign on to do those.  Plus, the director wasn't very honest with me either.   I wasn't really concerned at the time with the camera angles because I trusted the director and I was focused on the acting.

TV STORE ONLINE:   So with that "Star" character in the film....I mean, she's basically this "Coke Whore" so how much of that crazy dialogue for that character was scripted and how much of it was improvisation?

KINNAMAN:  There was a little bit of both.   It wasn't a well written film.  I was given a bit of room to move but not a lot.  The director was a ego maniac.  He said that THUNDER ALLEY was his life story...laughing     Star was a much more interesting character in the script but that didn't translate across in the film's editing.  That was all cut out.

TV STORE ONLINE:  Then with FRIDAY THE 13TH: A NEW BEGINNING....I seem to remember reading somewhere that when you went into to audition for "Pam" with Frank Mancuso Jr., you went in running like you were being chased by Jason.  Is that really true?

KINNAMAN:  Well, the first audition that I went in for...I didn't even know what I was going in for.  But when they called me back to read again they told me to come in improvising that I was being murdered.    I hadn't met Frank Mancuso before and so when he met me for the first time I had just walked into the door and I had started to scream.

Melanie Kinnaman on the set of 

TV STORE ONLINE:  With that "Pam" character....Do you invent additional back story for that character that goes past what's already there in the screenplay?

KINNAMAN:  Well, you have to.    How I set her up in my mind was that she came from a very small town and a broken family and a battered mother.  She rose above all that and became very strong from that as the oldest child of three.  It could've gone either way for her.  She could've become a drug addict but instead she became a strong person who was able to do anything that she set out to do.  It was difficult for her to find work but then she found that job at the camp and that's when you meet her for the first time.

TV STORE ONLINE:  PART 5 aka A NEW BEGINNING is such a strange entry into the F13 franchise.  It's so surreal with how it plays with filmic time.   It's edited weirdly and the camera angles are very unique...Were you guys aware of those aesthetics at play as you were working on it?

KINNAMAN:   Not during the shooting because I wasn't ever with the group.  I did very few scenes with the group.  I was either isolated or working with John Shepard who played "Tommy".  When you're on the set you don't think about what the film is going to look like.   But, Yes, I knew it was a strange movie.  The Director Danny Steinmann was very strange.  The very first scene that was shot in the film was the scene where Pam goes out and greets Tommy when he's out in that van.  I was the first one coming out of the gate.  I was very optimistic about it but when we started to shoot; from how it was being directed and how I was being treated I knew that I needed to just take a deep breath and make it good.  It was really great as an actress though because you were able to find your own strength and run with it.

TV STORE ONLINE:  One thing that is always interesting to me about A NEW BEGINNING is that it's the first film in the franchise where there is blatant exploitation of it's female cast members.   Actresses take their shirts off for no good reason and in relationship to your character; you're wearing a see thru white shirt that's been drenched by the rain for the last 30 minutes of the film.  Was that something that was bothersome  as you were working on the film?

KINNAMAN:  I didn't even know.  I was sick and I had the flu during those scenes where Pam is running from Jason in the woods.  The biggest obstacles were the quieter scenes.  I liked those scenes because I wanted to show what kind of character Pam was but Danny Steinmann didn't want to go that way.  I thought those scenes were important because they established more of that back story between Pam and the character Matt who was played by Richard Young.  I liked those scenes and Danny fought me on those.  He was more concerned about the scenes with the wet shirt.   I wasn't aware at the time we were shooting those scenes that you could see thru my shirt. I was concerned with running through the woods.  I can understand why they did it that way though.   After the whole experience with THUNDER ALLEY I was just glad that I didn't have to take my clothes off in FRIDAY THE 13TH: A NEW BEGINNING and that my character was looked at as a survivor.  That was a very important aspect to me.

TV STORE ONLINE: You have one of the best screams of any of the other actresses from the F13 film franchise...How do you feel about becoming a scream queen?

KINNAMAN:  That's funny. It's interesting how people look at certain things because I've been put on the list as having one of the worst screams out of any of the actresses in the F13 movies.   I think that if I'm labeled a scream queen it's just because of the character of Pam and what she was going through and not so much about the scream.

TV STORE ONLINE:   I've seen you mention  in other interviews the fact that Pam didn't die at the end of A NEW BEGINNING because it wasn't written in the script...So if she didn't die what happens to her after the movie is over?

KINNAMAN:   I was signed on to do FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 6 when the script was in the works but then John Shepard decided that he didn't want to be a part of it. Because our characters were sort of joined at the hip we would've had to have done the film together and I was disappointed at the time that he didn't want to do it.    What I heard afterward was that my character was going to live for quite a while in PART 6 but that she would probably die in the film.   By not doing PART 6 my character survived!   A fan brought this up to me just a few weeks back and I had never realized it.   By not bringing Pam back for PART 6 she'll always live on.   She's the only person in a FRIDAY THE 13TH films that got away from Jason.   That makes me feel so great.   On celluloid I'm alive forever.   

Lunchtime!  Melanie on the set of 

With that being said, I think that Paramount made a big mistake because there is no continuity between PARTS 5 and 6.   I thought that John Shepard as Tommy was wonderful.  He was so great, and I think that if we would've done PART 6 together that it would've been better than PART 5.  It would've been interesting because they were planning on turning Tommy into Jason Voorhees.

TV STORE ONLINE:  Then what about that fun chainsaw scene in A NEW BEGINNING...That fight where you pick up the chainsaw and go after Jason in that barn...

KINNAMAN:   Tom Morga was the stunt coordinator and we rehearsed it a bunch of times.   I didn't know what I was doing but Tom rehearsed me through it so I didn't hurt him.  It was very heavy.  I was stunned when I first picked the chainsaw up and realized the weight of it.   Once I had picked it up someone came over to me and turned it on and once it was buzzing it was twice as heavy.

TV STORE ONLINE:  How many takes on that scene where you throw the chainsaw at Jason?

KINNAMAN:  I think just a couple takes for that.  The chainsaw scene and all of that stuff in the barn took the most amount of time to shoot after all of the scenes in the woods in the rain.

TV STORE ONLINE:   Then you did that pilot of that Wes Craven television series called The People Next Door [1989].  Since that has never been released could you talk about exactly what the show was about?

KINNAMAN:  That was so great and I really thought that the show was going to get picked up.  It was such an interesting idea.  It was so macabre for television.   It was about this couple that lived in this house and the man was a cartoonist and everything that he drew would come to life.  A lot of what he drew wasn't good.   Mary Gross from Saturday Night Live played his wife.  It was very clever.  I played the girl next door and he saw me jogging by one day and he had drew this scene where my character had lost her clothes and later on in the episode I was a bridesmaid at a wedding and he was there and my clothes went flying off.  It was done by the Lorimar Television Company.  I think it was too ahead of it's time for television.

TV STORE ONLINE:  Two words...Cop Rock [1990]!

KINNAMAN:  Yes! I was on Cop Rock!  It was fun and I got to meet Randy Newman. 

TV STORE ONLINE:   You mentioned being on General Hospital earlier....You were also on the NBC soap operas Another World [1964-99] and Santa Barbara [1984-93].  What where those soap days like for you?

KINNAMAN:  You have to really be on your toes.  You learn the art of memorization very quickly working on soap operas.  It was great.   You'd work fast too.  You'd shoot a couple scenes then go learn your lines then go on to another scene.  You learn a lot working on a soap.  I remember on General Hospital...We were doing something on a yacht that was owned by John Wayne.  They rented this yacht and they handed me some pages and said, "OK we're going to shoot this."  They had changed the script an hour before we were to shoot.  And shooting on that yacht made me seasick.   I was on those soap shows like Santa Barbara and Another World at the end of the '80s.  

TV STORE ONLINE:    Those were good shows...Isn't it strange that all of the soap operas have more or less disappeared from the television of today?

KINNAMAN:  It's because of reality television.  I mean, soaps were popular for over forty years!   It's very strange.

TV STORE ONLINE:  You've also been working on a one woman stage show too.... It's called "Blond Black & Blue" right?

KINNAMAN:   It is such a large production even though I'm the only actor in it.  We had several back up dancers, back up singers, and a band that we did it with and it got very expensive to do.  So we had to revamp it a bit.  We've done showcases with it in NYC and L.A.  I'll take it out nationally once we get a producer on board to back it.  That's where it stands now.

TV STORE ONLINE:   Can we talk about the episode of Cheers [1982-93] that you were in?

KINNAMAN:  I'm only in that one scene at the end of the episode.  I was in other scenes in the episode but they cut them because it's a thirty-minute show.

TV STORE ONLINE:  Ironically, the character you play in that episode of Cheers is a wet t-shirt dancer...Has it been frustrating over the years to have been sexualized in a sense in your career as an actress?

KINNAMAN:  Yes.  But I've also learned over the years that if an actress has a certain look and I guess I have that or had that, it's what they choose you for.   As an actor, you want to work so you reluctantly do it even though you want to turn it down. You do it because you consider it as a stepping stone for your career.    That's why I did THUNDER ALLEY.  I did that film because I thought that it was this meaty role that I could really do something with.  But it wasn't.  All actors think about that.  You always weigh the pros and the cons of the role.  You see it happening to almost every actress.  If you have that certain look you get stuck doing a certain type of role.

TV STORE ONLINE:  We're almost thirty years past the release of FRIDAY THE 13TH: A NEW BEGINNING.  Are you shocked or surprised that these films have had the following that they've developed since that time?  Why do you think today that they have the following that they do?

KINNAMAN:  I am so surprised.  I'm probably the most surprised out of anyone.  People have to tell me that this is common with this franchise.  Over the last couple years, I've been attending these horror conventions  and meeting the fans and I think that the reason why the F13 movies have such a fan base is because that none of the horror movies of today are as good as the horror movies of the '80s.  The FRIDAY THE 13TH films have a very organic feel to them and none of the characters in those films are jaded.  They are fun movies.   Everything is much darker today and the new horror films don't have that fun.  That's just my opinion though. 

TV STORE ONLINE:  Where can we see you next?

KINNAMAN:   I did a film with Tom Sizemore last year that hasn't come out yet and I'm not sure when it's coming out but people can watch for that.  I did another film called SLASHER FEST '85 and that's coming out next year.   I'll be at the Chiller Theater convention in New Jersey in October 2013 and next weekend (September 20th-22nd) I'll be at the Kalamazoo, Michigan Freaks N Geeks horror convention and I'm excited about that.   Then in November I'm going to London for a screening of FRIDAY THE 13TH: A NEW BEGINNING.  

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