Wolfman’s Got Nards! You know the phrase, Kenric’s said it a ton of times on the show and now Jeff gets to sit and chat with Andre Gower himself about his new documentary Wolfman’s Got Nards!
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Andrew Gower Interview
[00:00:00] Jeff: Hello listeners, this boiler country today on the show. We have very special guest, mr. Andre Gower. How’s it going, mr. Gower?
Andrew Gower: It’s going pretty good.
Jeff: Thanks for having me. Oh, it’s definitely my pleasure. I’m a huge fan of yours. I grew up on watching monster squad. I was a know young fan going some geek out just a little bit.
So you gotta bear with me.
Andrew Gower: Okay. We allow that we don’t allow that. Totally.
Jeff: You must be very tiny. I wager a lot of people geek out talking to you, you
Andrew Gower: know, it happens. It happens sometimes. Yes.
Jeff: So how are you doing right now in the world?
Andrew Gower: You know, all things considered, I’m doing pretty good. you know, you know, got a, you know, good place to stay.
you know, got good places to go, you know, in a safe manner, you know, masked up and socially distance when you began. you know, is a crazy year and a crazy time, but like I said, all things considered, I’m doing pretty darn good. you know, I’m celebrating the release, you know, finally of this documentary, that’s, I’m an [00:01:00] out, with our distribution partner, gravitas ventures, and, you know, we only got a few days, let you know, it’s October 27th very soon.
So that’s a big day for us. So we’re very excited.
Jeff: And it’s a fantastic documentary. Now. I know it looks that you, I imagine you, me going on tours, different, to promote this documentary now because of COVID, has that become increasingly difficult or have you been able to still do what your original plan was to promote it?
Andrew Gower: No, it’s, you know, it’s kind of been hamstrung a little bit by, by a number of things, one, obviously, because of. You know, COVID in the situation, you know, travel’s kind of restricted. but one thing that really kind of hurt is a lot of the physical locations, you know, that wanted to, you know, do a screening on opening weekend or during Halloween, you know, just can’t do with them.
You know, either they’re not open or it’s not financially feasible to have some big special event and, you know, fly out, you know, myself or Henry McCommiskey or Ryan Lambert or something like that to be special guests. So we’re missing that little kind of cool window. but I think, you [00:02:00] know, I think we’re still, I think we’re still in a good spot and fans will get a kick out of the VOD release and the blue Ray release, the 27th.
and look, you know, down the line when everything opens back up and the world starts turning, you know, I’d be glad to jump in the car or jump on a plane and go hang out with somebody.
Jeff: Well, I said, I mean, that’s absolutely fantastic. Like I said, I it’s unfortunate. The timing of things with COVID has just been difficult for a lot of people in a lot of ways.
being that you’ve been in the industry for God has been 40 years. I mean, since you were five years old, you’ve been in the industry. I mean, that is absolutely stunning. W how, what is it, how do you feel when you look back and think I’ve been doing this. For, I guess it’s been over 40 years that you’ve been, since you’re five years old
Andrew Gower: or, you know, I’ve been doing this for most of my life, or, you know, you’ve been at least involved or connected in some way.
you know, starting out very young. It was, it was something, I guess, kind of natural that was going on happened. my sister, is a little bit older than I [00:03:00] am and she’s, she started the business before I did, and I was always around it. she worked quite a bit in the seventies and early eighties and, you know, she did quite a few things back then, so I was always sort of around it.
And then it was just sort of a natural thing that, I guess I was interested in it or I got put into it and. You know, instead of sinking, I swam a little bit, I guess, but, yeah, it was a, I guess it was something that was just going to happen.
Jeff: Yeah. and,
Andrew Gower: you know, and that happens kids, you know, it’s not, you’re not really making those decisions really, but, you know, I always felt like I was a part of it.
if I wasn’t happy, I didn’t have to do something. So that was always cool. And that was not always the case with all, you know, a lot of the kids that I grew up with in business. you know, so my parents were very cognizant of that. And, you know, I never did anything that I was uncomfortable with and, you know, didn’t want to do or, you know, and, but I was really kind of, I was like a duck in water, so to speak, you know, and, whether they’re sinking in swimming, you know, I started swimming and, you know, just kind of went with something that was very unique.
you know, being born and raised in LA you’re kind of closer to it. [00:04:00] So it wasn’t like this uprooting type of thing and moving the family. From Omaha or something, and then plopping in LA, you know, as you know, foreigners in a foreign land, it was always just sort of part of you and, you know, my sister being ahead of me in that scope, you know, kind of the, you know, grease to the skids a little bit, I guess.
And you know, it was just fun, you know, I never saw it as a D. A distraction or a detraction for my growing up years. And my teenage years, I saw it as a completely unique value. Add that I got to do some stuff that 99.9% of the kids don’t get to do. Yeah. And
Jeff: I mean your resume prior to playing Sean and monster squad, you have a very cool resume.
You were in the AA team in episodes of the 18. You’re an episode of TJ hooker. You start off a young and the restless. I mean, you must have come in contact with some really, I mean, you must have that’s William Shatner. Mr. T mean he was with some really impressive people you’ve come in contact with early on you.
No, I have
Andrew Gower: not only just meeting them, but actually getting into work with, you know, a, you [00:05:00] know, a barrel full of, you know, some of the most iconic people on screen, small screen or big screen. And, you know, I was. We had mentioned it in another podcast, you know, a year or two ago that they were going down that list of guest spots.
And, you know, someone’s like, you honestly have like the best roster of TV dads of anybody ever. And I was like, really? I was like, Oh, I guess maybe I do, you know, cause it started off, you know, with, you know, people like Bert Convy and you know, Richard Mazur and you know, then it goes to like, You know, the iconic Ricky Nelson and, Shatner and George C.
Scott. I mean, this is, those are incredible names, you know, to get to, you know, be the younger offspring of these icons. So I guess I do have a pretty bitch and that.
Jeff: Yeah. I mean, when you’re that young, did you realize. Who these people were that you were acting against, or if there’s something to be said about being that young, that doesn’t, it hasn’t registered that, Oh my God.
That’s why I’m to know, Oh my God, that’s George C. Scott. Oh my God. You know, or [00:06:00] you know,
Andrew Gower: it, I guess it depends on the precise age, you know, when, I didn’t know who Bert Convy was. you know, I didn’t know he was. You know, the iconic host of super password or otherwise that would admit a joke.
We were doing a scene. I would have done my lines, like really low, but, you know, later on you grow up and go, Oh, there’s bird convi. but you know, when you’re getting in, I knew it was special with, You know, I did a TV show on NBC called fathers and sons, and it was sort of an ensemble boy show, about boys and their dads.
And so I thought it was a really unique show, at the time. And even in, you know, in retrospect, a little ahead of its time. You know, cause we haven’t seen any seen anything really like that. And it was four main kids and they’re all boys of different types and it was about them and their relationship with each other and then their relationship with their dads and that sort of like that group.
And we’ve seen some iterations of that in the last couple of decades, but I thought that was a really good idea. And. Unfortunately, what happened with that show? It was a show [00:07:00] created, and the executive produced by big TV names like Michael Zinberg and, Randy’s Zendesk. And the, I got to play the cool character with the good hair and the awesome clothes.
And my dad. The relationship story was, my parents were divorced and my dad was sort of like that skirt chaser and that Playboy, you know, kind of a party guy. And it was Ricky Nelson who was returning to television after, you know, 40 years or something or 45 years. And he was, you know, he’s an Americana icon, you know, not just in music, but on television and was returning to television.
So this is a big deal and we shot the pilot. it airs, the show gets picked up to do like five or six more episodes back in the day. There’s a thing called Mitzi and replacements. And so you jump in the middle of the season and kind of get a warmup. And unfortunately he died in the plane crash, you know, in between that the series kind of, you know, suffered.
Without this gigantic name in it, but the other gigantic name was Merlin Olsen [00:08:00] coming right off of a little house on the Prairie and father Murphy. So I just don’t. I think that, you know, it was an unfortunate hit, but you obviously know who Ricky Nelsey is. And I got to do, you know, an episode with him and, you know, I have that forever.
unfortunately he died in a plane crash, you know, few months after that, but, you know, going into like something like shatter and TJ hooker, I actually played TJ hooker son. And so, you know, it was a, the series that started to bringing the kids into the story, the line. And, you know, obviously, you know who William Shatner is, you know, is up to them.
He’s. Captain Kirk dammit, man. He was super nice, you know, talented actor, you know, everybody only knows him as a, you know, captain Kirk and maybe you’ve seen one episode of the Twilight. Yeah. We’re just something on the wing. You know, he was a great guy and it was interesting to do that show with, You know, it was mad.
And of course, Heather Locklear, I mean, who wouldn’t want to do a TV show with Heather Locklear? Right. Especially [00:09:00] when you’re like 11 or 12, But, you know, and then going into something, I did a show called mr. President with George C. Scott, who was also, coming to television for the first time ever.
And it was this giant show and it was one of the original shows on the Fox network. And that was an experience. And, you know, being around him every day and Conrad Bain and Madeline Kahn and all these iconic television people, you know, listening to stories and learning things or trying to learn things.
And when you don’t learn things, you get yelled at by George C. Scott, which leaves a Mark. And, You know, but it imprints and you don’t forget it, but, you know, those are, yeah. You look back and stuff like that. And, you know, I always joke, you know, when we’re talking about all these awesome, you know, you know, guest spots and series my television kind of career as a kid, I was that kid that did like five or six shows for one season, instead of one show that went six years, that everybody knows, and it goes into syndication and it’s like [00:10:00] this thing.
And so I always lament that a little bit, except for when I think about that, I got to experience more. You know, then the inverse of that. So, you know, it’s just about your cumulative effect and the value of all your experiences when you look back at it and it’s pretty rad.
Jeff: Yeah. I mean, I’m not sure everyone knows that by the time you were in the monster squad, you were already a seasoned actor.
You’ve already been through in many ways, acting college through all the different. shows and actors you’ve experienced.
Andrew Gower: yeah,
Jeff: I mean, I haven’t had it. I didn’t look through a lot of the other kid, actors from Moscow, other than some of their back stories before this episode. I mean, I honestly looked at yours.
I looked at Ryan A. Little bit cause I’m gonna be interviewing him in a couple of weeks. and did, were you the more seasoned, accurate of that group from monster squad?
Andrew Gower: You know, I would. You know, without trying to be selfish. I think I was just off of, you know, line by line work experience. I know, you know, Robbie Geiger and I had [00:11:00] grown up together, you know, from a young age and knew each other.
And he worked quite a bit. He was in, you know, he was in, you know, a handful of films and he was on a TV show. That was a scare going, mr. And mrs. King, I think. And so he did a lot of television work and a couple of films and he was in children of the corn before we did monster squad. And so probably me and Robbie and then Ryan had just joined.
Kids inc, which was his first thing. And so he was still fairly new, but very good. And, you know, knew how to perform and knew how to bring it. And, boy, he sure rocked in his Rudy didn’t he? So. you know, we always got to celebrate, you know, each other when we can. And I think everybody who’s in the group, ironically, actually bank, it was only five at the time.
She had actually worked quite a bit leading up to watch her school and I didn’t work a ton after. So, you know, it was an interesting kind of mix, but I would say, yeah, probably on paper, I had worked more than the others.
Jeff: Now, when you played Sean, you were 14 years old, is that correct?
Andrew Gower: I, when we shot it, I was a [00:12:00] 13.
I believe it came out when I was 14. Yeah.
Jeff: Character is supposed to be in sixth grade elementary school because he’s pre junior high. Cause he mentioned Ryan is a junior high kid and it was that unusual for you and cause you were playing in some ways, a younger much younger kid. I mean 13 and like I guess 10 is quite an age difference.
Andrew Gower: Yeah, well, you know, I was in seventh. That’s great when we shot it. So it wasn’t too far off. yeah. You know, you know, when you’re a kid, you never want to play someone younger. Cause that’s lame. You’re like, I want to be, I want to be older or at least mine, you know, I’m 13 and a half. but no, it wasn’t, you just gotta, you know, it is what it is and you just roll with it.
And you know, our school age kind of stuff had, You know, you know, a big impact in the field and the kind of tone of the movie. And
Jeff: I’m gonna say someone, I was a huge fan of monster. I still am a monster squad since I think I saw it. Maybe not when it first came around seven, but definitely by the time I was eight.
Cause when it came out, I was seven years old and I remember loving this movie a lot. my [00:13:00] apologies on a video story on video King, I was able to see his store. And, he would bring home. We could rent whenever he wanted. Cause he owned the store. So it’d be rented all the time. And when the store eventually closed, it closed in the late eighties.
When, he kept a few of the videos he sold. Most of them, he cut. We were able to pick a few that we got to keep Mazda squad on VHS was one of the few I was able to keep. It’s like, no, I’m holding on to this one forever. And I thought in many ways, it. Because of not only when it came out, but the age of the kids almost more important than almost anything else, you were kids, right?
A moment of being young adults. And I think that was almost a big impact of the movie. And I think, do you think that was as important that they weren’t all junior higher moving up into that older group? They kept them like an elementary school as part of the storyline. Well,
Andrew Gower: I think it, I think that was an, you know, an unintentional kind of positive consequence.
it also led to ironically, one of the reasons that the [00:14:00] movie failed in the box office, you know, for a number of reasons, but I think the success of the characters that resonated with the kid that watched it, whether they saw it in the theater, which was very few or when they, you know, recorded on HBO or got it from their local video store, like King video of the, You know, th the ability to relate to one or more of the characters and say, Hey, that’s me.
That’s I feel that way. Or I look that way, or I sound that way, and I could be friends with them, or I want them to be friends with me and, you know, I’m going to go create my own little clubhouse or my trick and, you know, build a tree house or make my, you know, the garage or the shed in the backyard. And we’re going to team up and talk about the stuff that me and my friends, like, no matter what it is, and you know, that age and that age, Especially at that time was kind of the boy now, you know, 13, you know, 12, 13 is the new 16, but back then 12, 13 was, you know, kind of like a traditional 13, but we were in a different world.
We had, you know, technology in the eighties. We had programming, we had DV and movies and you [00:15:00] know, the beginning of beginnings of like cable television and all this technology, like a VHS machine and cam quarters. and Walkmans, and you know, you could go on adventures and you could, you know, you could create things better than just bringing your hula hoop in your bike and.
Of course bikes were a big part of that era. Right. I grew up on my dirt bike, you know, and cause you got to go places and then you were mobile and you could go somewhere and you were free. And you know, even if you only went to the edge of your culdesac, that was a far, that was a long way, depending on what age you were and you know, those things you think back, and those are amazing type of memories.
And I, I mean, I remember the first time I wrote to the end of one of my books by myself, I was
Jeff: scared shitless, you know? Oh
Andrew Gower: my God, I’m so far. And, but then he come back and then you do cool stuff that you see in the movies. And, and then you make those movies when you’re riding your bike, doing like a monster squad and like E T and all that, you know, it’s awesome.
but I think that age range was important, because those kids were like, [00:16:00] Hey, I’m. I don’t know what’s happening to me, but I’m getting into a certain age and, you know, I’m meeting people and I’m going to a different school. Maybe next year, I just got to a new school and it’s bigger and scarier or weirder.
And, but it’s exciting. And it’s fascinating. And, you know, I think just kind of that kind of, you know, crosses all of those kinds of, you know, Kind of boxes of, you know, experiences of that age. And I think monstrous, Wilder’s kind of woven. I didn’t there with, you know, the different characters and, you know, tied him in with the younger kids and, you know, tie them on the other end with Rudy being a little bit older.
yeah. And everybody’s found someone they could relate with.
Jeff: Yeah. And I think the other thing I love about the idea of that age group is that at that age, you still have that sense of wonder that mr. You can really think entry school. There are mantras out there. There could be Draco and Wolf man, and all these characters you don’t, and you’re not cynical.
You have that. Possibility and that imagination to get there. I think it would have lost something that they were in high school and would have been [00:17:00] like, no, it doesn’t make sense that I heard my father talking about a mommy, that it would be really alive. It just want to make sense to a high school kid to make that leap.
I think that age group was important. I think, to make the movie work.
Andrew Gower: Well, it was, and I think, you know, the other side of that is a more, kind of narrower, not in a bad way, but in narrower story with older kids that are like, you know, then you have the lost boys, right. Which was a fun movie, you know, at the time, which killed us in the box office, but not the same demographic really.
it kind of siphoned off our older teenagers and cool kids that might’ve seen monster squad, but, they weren’t going to go cause it was. You know, it was kids moving. but I think the, I just lost a good thought there, but, you know, I think that air, you know, came across and I think the original.
Story of what the monster squad idea was from Fred Decker’s mind was what would happen if the little Rascals fought the universal [00:18:00] monsters and the little Rascals is this kind of popery group of kids from the neighborhood. You know, our gang then met up in a shed and then went on adventures in their neighborhood.
And, you know, went on ventures, solve crime, you know, made crime, you know, committed crimes, you know, just crazy stuff. But, you know, there’s a wide range. It wasn’t just kind of, you know, like one set, you know, of high schoolers or college, you know, cause we have those movies, we’ve got the high school movies, got the college movies.
you’ve got the summer camp movies, you know, where you don’t go in the woods cause you’re going to die. And you know, this was just a little something different, was a throwback to a, you know, a classic time in a modern era. And, it was kind of a neat Jux
Jeff: juxtaposition. And it’s interesting that when it came out in 1987, it got the PG 13 rating, which was a relatively new rating at the time, even to come out in some ways it would come out like a year or two earlier, before PG 13, it probably has PG, I imagine would have had that greater success.
Andrew Gower: part, you know, I don’t disagree and continue.
Jeff: And, but at the same time, I [00:19:00] was thinking from my own perspective, Since I did love Mascaro came out to me. It never, it always felt like it was a huge success, I guess, on some level, you know, like I remember growing up and talking to kids and be like monster squad.
They love it. I love it. My sister loved it. My parent, my father loved it. It never seemed like a movie that did not exist, which I thought was kind of interesting. Your documentary. We were talking about how it seemed to have disappeared for, I guess it was almost 20 years. Like to me, it never did.
Andrew Gower: Yeah.
your part, you and your sister, and you know, your friends, you know, that neuro your dad’s video store. And I got to see it and then liked it. you’re used to be in this like 50, 50 group either know it and you like that, or you’ve never heard of it. And you know, that’s kind of a crossover a little bit now after the last 10 or 10 or.
12 years, but yeah, it was, it was really this weird thing and there’s a ton of stuff. And, you know, we, we cover, you know, a couple of the people mentioned anecdotally that very same thing in the documentary that I never thought it was. I never knew it was a box office failure. I just thought it was a giant movie that I loved and it was awesome.
Right. I [00:20:00] didn’t know that it disappeared. I didn’t know those things when I was 12. and then, you know, I just was mad when I was in college and I couldn’t find it cause I couldn’t, you know, my old Maxell tape with a piece of masking tape on it says HBO stuff on it. You know, I couldn’t find in my attic and you know, I had old worn out King video, VHS box, you know, the, you know, the tape breaks and it’s got scotch tape on it five times or something.
So, which never really works as well as you think it does. But, It, that’s an issue. Interesting. Part of the story and the rating had a lot to do with it, you know, not only was it that, you know, the age of the characters that kept the older teenagers away. Cause they didn’t, I’m going to go see your kid’s movie, which they didn’t realize this was actually a dark dangerous movie where people are dying.
They might’ve been, they might have dug it. and then the younger one kids were not going to go or be able to go to a PG 13 movie. Because mostly the parents were going to go take them on the Saturday afternoon and go with them to watch the skids. They want to drop their kids off and go shopping. One of the kids are stuck in the movie theater and that’s what happened back then.
[00:21:00] and I think it suffered a little bit from that rating. I think it also suffered a little bit from a mixed, marketing campaign. Which, kind of, when I say mixed, it was contradictory to itself. Sometimes I think if you look back at it and if you look at it today, you know, we covered a little bit in the month in the, in Wolfman’s got NORNS, it was not good.
Yeah. You know, it kind of had these different, you know, some of the advertisements came off as campy and kid-like and so cool. Kids are not going to go see a campy kids movie. And then, you know, the trailer was dark and scary and the poster was kind of ominous and yeah. Parents are like my kid, my ten-year-olds not going to go see that.
and so I always joke, you know, it’s interesting that the w you know, we siphoned off. You know, with some of the reviews and the campiness of the advertisements that older teenagers or the mid and older teenagers, and then the younger kids that eight, nine, 10, 11, we’re not going to be able to go, for the rating and or their parents, or they just too scared.
and so we kind of had that very small window, [00:22:00] which we now know is called a tween. Yeah. And no one knew that back then. And so I always joke when I’m in a crowd and I get a pretty good guffaw from a group. you know, I said, I was like, had a studio known then at the time, you know, did we make the first tween movie ever?
Jeff: I don’t know.
Andrew Gower: And had you marketed it such. You know, it would have been so successful that we would have, you know, just got done shooting monster squad nine, breaking Dawn.
Jeff: Yeah. And so
Andrew Gower: I dunno,
Jeff: I mean, it’s kind, it’s such a weird contradiction in the way that when you look back at the movie, when it came out, it was viewed by some maybe cause the marketing as being too kid-like however, When you look at movies today, that movie could never be made the way it was because was sort of too dark and grim for the kid audience.
So it’s like, it’s just a weird gap that gets happened in 20 years where that movie both is, was too kid-like for an audience thought back then and way too dark and grim and violent for the [00:23:00] audiences today. But for the young audience today,
Andrew Gower: yes, you are absolutely correct.
Jeff: I mean it, well, I looked at that, made it fantastic too.
Is that. It had some wonderful, special effects on state from Stan Winston and it predated the CG, the aspect which incident be said about, I think the real. Special effects or practical effects. I think they call them now the Nazi DFI practical. How did that as a young actor, seeing the Wolf man, the way it was done and, the black lagoon, sea creature, and obviously Duncan Reigers count Dracula.
How, I mean, were they, did they look terrifying in person at just as much as they do on TV?
Andrew Gower: I mean even more so because they were real and they were very lifelike. the creature builds on that. We’re one of a kind modern and cutting edge and literally changed the game. you know, when you, if you’re talking about Gill, man, you know, everybody at Stan Winston, you know, all these [00:24:00] young guys that were new creature makers got paired off.
And assigned one of the monsters and, a young artist named Steve Wang and Matt Rose got to make Gil man. And he came up, they came up with an innovative way. That was kind of a gamble. That is a one piece latex rubber suit. And, Once you’re in it, you get glued in it, the head and the hands. And if you’re actually bleeding, you can’t get out.
There’s no way out. And the paint scheme, it was amazing. There was a whole backstory that Steve has of how he came up with that stand to, you know, paint Gilman in this fashion. And then, you know, that led to other great stuff where you see, I don’t know if things like predator. Yeah, well, they’re very seamless, similar paint scheme made by the same people, which is all fine.
And, but no, the practical effects watching them work on that stuff and seeing the guys in the suits, it’s a fascinating, a lot of, probably the hardest work on set. And then yeah, when you get to something like Tom Noonan is Frankenstein’s monster wearing, you know, two and a half, three hours of makeup application, [00:25:00] and two hours of taking it off every day.
I mean, that is. You know, in Dunkin being in, you know, Dracula makeup, you know, it’s at least an hour and a half a day to get it all on. And you know, those, it was fascinating to see the artistry and the professionalism of these people. You know, it’s always, you know, the joke that, you know, Duncan and Tom are very qualified and very trained method actors.
And they were the key. We never saw them out of costume or out of character for the entire shoot and, You know, even in between tapes, they never broke and we never hung out with them at lunchtime or anything like that. So, you know, to, you know, little fee B actually bank and Michael, or these were just creatures walking around.
Yeah. We know their guys in them, but. We don’t know those guys. we know these characters and, it was, you know, I always joke that I never saw with Tom. I was after a month of shooting and I was like, who is this guy? I was like, it’s almost like he’s got a movie out right now that I can rent at my local video store, which has [00:26:00] videos to go in Porter ranch.
I, I went and rented. Manhunter. And then just to see what this guy looked like. And then I wish I hadn’t because he scared the shit out of me and I moved because he’s absolutely terrified because Francis dollaride
Andrew Gower: actor.
Jeff: Yeah. So you guys, were siphoned off, like the kids hung together.
I imagine as a, as like a click and the monsters actors hung around as like their own click. You never interacted with one another. That’s actually fascinating. I figured you guys would have interacted.
Andrew Gower: we interacted a little bit with, Michael McKay, who was in the mummy outfit costume. we actually had to feed him sometimes because he couldn’t eat with us because he had this big, like half fake face.
And like he had to, yeah, a little Saulsberry steak from the catering truck in a corner there, or feed them a soda through some straw. I think, you know, Michael Faustino did that a bunch. and, but no, we. We didn’t hang out with Duncan. We didn’t hang out with Tom. Carl Tybalt is actually the name of the guy that was in there.
The Wolf man [00:27:00] suit, once John greys, you know, transformed and then it switched. but not really much around them cause they did a lot of that creature work after we were gone and later in the day and late at night when we weren’t around, But I got to hang around after hours and see them work. It’s a, it was, it’s a lot of where I’m at to being, to be the creature in the creature suit is a lot of hard work.
Jeff: cause I was going to ask you, like, what did you learn as an actor from them? especially also Steven and gonna probably get the last name wrong. Max, am I going to
Andrew Gower: say the name of Steve and Mark?
Jeff: Sorry. so like what kind of lessons about acting, what you learned about your craft from watching him act and also, I guess Dan Shaw as well.
Andrew Gower: you know, and I didn’t really know, cause I didn’t have a scene with Stan. although he’d been in, you know, a ton of stuff, you know, growing up and, you know, he ended up being, in the movie adaptation of one of my, more of my favorite authors books, you know, the great Santini he plays tumor and the great Santini and you know, he [00:28:00] worked, you know, for decades before we did monster squad and he’s fantastic.
And he’s got such a great face and a great charisma. I’m just, you know, mad that he wasn’t in more than he gets blown up. but, Steven, you know, is really like, a serious trained. New York native and has just that graph says that gravity when you’re in with them. And I, you know, I really liked the scene with Sean and Del, in the bath.
I think that’s a good father son scene. And, you know, they’re dealing with a bunch of stuff. There’s a lot of stuff going on in monster squad. And one of them was like a, you know, a family falling apart and. Yeah, while the world is about to be taken over and by evil forces and, you know, it’s sustaining.
And as I wanted to see a movie and that shavings marriage, counselor, and lawyers, and therapy, or, you know, whatever, and it’s, and then he comes out on the, after a weird night, you know, on the job and then comes back and watches a movie on the rooftop with me. And, you know, that’s, I always thought that was.
Probably some pretty cool stuff in the movie. And Steven just kind of, he doesn’t even really have to say [00:29:00] anything. He’s got it. He’s got great looks. And he can say a lot with just, you know, the way he shakes his head or something.
Jeff: Yeah. That’s, you know, on the roof, when you’re watching, I can’t remember the name of the heart flick that you guys were supposed to be watching during that moment.
Andrew Gower: It was like Nathan Day part 12th.
Jeff: Gotcha. Yes. And, but I thought that scene was so such a quiet scene, but such a powerful scene of the father and son on the roof. You know, the father has come back from working. There’s obviously we know there’s some been some issues, especially with him, the father and the wife having left that.
I mean, how did you, I mean, when you’re in that scene, he must’ve, it felt like you were talking to your father because it just felt like as a viewer that you really seem like. A father, son talk, you know, it didn’t feel like acting.
Andrew Gower: And I think, you know, we can add Steven Mach is another list of my roster of cool dads on screen.
the, I think what was really cool is because. You always have dads on camera normally when you’re working. And so I’ve had this [00:30:00] roster and then now, you know, we have Steven, but Steven was a dad, you know, he had two young sons at that time. And one, I think, I think his middle son, I think was.
Probably five or six at the time, but then like Gabriel is a year or two older than I am. And now, you know, he’s a big famous actor and, they were on set and so he had, you know, like an eight or nine year old and like a five and six year old at the time. And so he knew it just, he just was the dad, but then he was creating this character.
That was that’s probably. So, I mean, he was a dad, so he wasn’t faking it.
Jeff: Yeah. And I mean, the amount of actors you were surrounded by is amazing. And that’s some of the stuff you guys handled were so heavy. Like your scenes with Leonardo Samino. Am I posting the name wrong? Who’s
Andrew Gower: Oh, he’s a fabulous character actor, right?
I mean, just one of those iconic faces and voices, and he’s been in a ton of stuff.
Jeff: It was a Holocaust survivor. [00:31:00] they subtly hint at it to those who may not know the history might not, you might’ve missed the numbers, but it’s definitely there. when you were in those scenes, did you get that reference of who he was prior to skipping scary German guy?
Andrew Gower: yes, because I was old enough to know the history and know that and know what the tattoo means.
you know, and seen movies and TV shows and read books. you know, even when we’re reading the script, you know, we get this, you know, we get that exposition in there. but yeah, I mean, it’s his place, his house. If you look around his house, it was filled with, you know, European, Jewish and world war two.
Kind of iconography, you know, and then we even touch on it. there’s a model airplane. And then there’s a menorah. And then, you know, it’s like, okay, this guy is, you know, he’s been through something and he’s, you know, he’s the scary guy, the block that no one messes with, but you know, you should probably be a friend, that guy, cause you may learn something.
Jeff: how did that impact you as an actor, knowing his backstory in that scene? Did it add clip to me as a viewer that [00:32:00] is an extra level of power to that scene, but you haven’t gone back and watched the scene again, knowing, you know, after having seen the tattoo on reveal as an actor, like, did it just bring you to the, like an extra level, knowing that background.
Andrew Gower: I think what it was setting up, you know, that this was just another member of the squad that is going to be powerful and, you know, and knows what he’s talking about. And I think his kind of, you know, impetus to jump in with these kids once he finds out what’s going on is, Hey, I’ve been through hell.
I don’t want it to happen again, and I’m gonna do my part to help them out because I’m the only adult that kind of believes what they’re doing because I’ve been through something similar. And so I think he felt he was, you know, had a duty to the, you know, in the courage obviously to step up and say, not again, or, you know, some sort of symbolism like that.
[00:33:00] Jeff: Yeah. And I think the thing I loved about watching the monster squad is that in a lot of these kids’ movies, the whole idea is that the adults never believe them at all. But you do have a character, like I’m scared German guy who does trust the kids. The kids are in some level handled like adults, you know, as someone who you can trust and their words are taken as.
Serious. I mean, even the army shows up with the kids.
Andrew Gower: right. I th yeah, I think, I think that shows a little bit of, you know, what Shane and Fred were, you know, kind of saying, you know, in the story, you know, as writing, you know, through the script, you know, but the base of the story is, you know, there’s a lot of. There’s a lot of different people that are going to love different stuff.
And like I said, my favorite thing is, you know, that’s the weird house that the landscaping’s all distraught and it’s scary. So you shouldn’t go in there because there’s all these rumors and maybe that’s the house you should be hanging out in because that might be the coolest guy in the neighborhood or the most interesting, [00:34:00] or the one with the most to learn from.
And I liked that part of that.
Jeff: and I think, like I said, I’m not sure if I understood the connection when I was seven, but growing up, I saw it. I seen it and say, that is a valuable lesson for students who have, or kids who have one. I think students, cause I guess I’m an older guys, these kids who have and wash and think to yourself yeah.
That it does see something about wondering why is this person quieter? You know, it look at those around you and see what they’ve gone to. Everyone has their own history. And I think that’s also a very important part. I do. and. And I think once again, the reason why I work, obviously it’s not a surprise is that the kids themselves have a great connection.
Was that connection real onset or is the connection. simply in the movie that we’re seeing.
Andrew Gower: No, I think that, you know, you spend enough time with people that, you know, you, you, can get along with it first and then grow to connect with and then be friends with then. Yeah. I mean, I think it becomes.
You know, an organic part of it. Sometimes it doesn’t work with ensembles and, you know, people just don’t get along or, you know, [00:35:00] wavelengths don’t jive, but I think we all, you know, we all kind of showed up wanting to do our job. Cause we’re all, no matter how far on a movie looks, it’s a professional job and you’ve got to do that first and foremost, you got to bring some of that camaraderie to it.
And I think we jelled as a group after a little bit and, you know, got through some, you know, those initial stages of, you know, figuring out how do you know, manage. You know, being around this new squad, you know, for lack of better terms for the next three or four months of your life. And then also translating that onto, you know, your job, which is putting it on the camera.
I just think, I think it was easy with all these kids because they were all fantastic and they all brought their own, they own their own thing to the group, whether it was, is their experience or what they were trying to do with the character or just, you know, their natural. State coming through as the character, you know, kids don’t really think too much about characters.
You know, they’re just trying to, you know, kind of hold on to, you know, what you think it’s supposed to be and hit your Mark and say your lines and bring more of you into [00:36:00] that. And I think everybody did that. And then everybody, you know, created, you know, a great vibe with each other. And then that shows on screen.
Jeff: And you did have some of the most badass scenes in the entire movie. you got to hit Wolf man with a baseball bat. I mean, And as a Fort, as a 13 year old kid, how bad ass do you feel knowing that you are being a Wolf man? And honestly, you’re in the classic has gotten hard scenes with, again with the Wolf, man.
I mean, Did you feel at the moment that you were like the coolest kid in the entire world at that moment?
Andrew Gower: You know, the risk? Yeah, probably. but you know, it was every, there was so much going on and it was so quick, and, you know, get in, get out and get this and move on to the next thing. Cause we, you know, next is blowing up or something and it, you know, it was just fascinating to be a part of that.
you know, you always like to do your own stunts.
Andrew Gower: You got to do a couple of, I got to do a couple, so that’s good.
Jeff: And I mean, and it’s kinda funny watching it, like knowing now the new woman’s got, Nards seen once again, it’s one of the most famous scenes, in my opinion, that’s really in the genre of, any [00:37:00] kind of eighties or a kid’s group movie, did you, did it feel at the moment that was one of the funniest as scenes?
Did you guys crack up doing it?
Andrew Gower: I don’t know. I think we just, we didn’t know what it was going to because no one knows that it’s going to end up being. Literally, you know, horror, genre, iconography, and it is, you know, I’m not titling it, that other people have said, it’s one of the most famous lines in a monster movie.
And, you know, that’s why that’s the only title for the documentary. And, you know, it happened to be, you know, Brent’s line, you know, character porous and, you know, we’re just saying it, I mean, honestly, Nards was not a word that I used in my lexicon as a kid, you know, I used nuts or Nads. or bowls, but I don’t think Wolf man’s got nuts.
Andrew Gower: is funny. As Wolfman’s got. Right. It just, you never know, it becomes iconic. I actually think ironic thing. I think I actually asked if I could say nuts because I don’t know what Nards [00:38:00] are and I’ve never heard of it. And I don’t cool saying it. And I think Fred was like, no read what’s on the page because you’re not cool.
Right. And your show. And I think that’s the whole point and I’m glad I didn’t, you know, I’m glad we didn’t change it because look where we are today.
Jeff: I do have to ask, after all these years later, after that, you know, with the movie fame, this line coming out, how are you tired of people coming up to you and saying something along the lines of the woman’s got nodes every time they, you know, that’s something that’s got tired of hearing.
Andrew Gower: No, not anymore because I made a movie with the title. Okay. You know, the more Wolfman has gotten ARDS, you know, shout outs. I love it. it just means that people are still out there. it was a little weird in college when someone would shout it across the quad. you know, it was only, you know, a handful, but, you know, you didn’t know it was going to be a thing back then.
And then, you know, to see something as simple as, you know, Something you have no idea, just pouring a dorky shirt, you know, with, you know, a hand [00:39:00] decal iron on. Stephen King rules. You know, how does that become literally a physical piece of cinema iconography and the horror genre. And it has, and it’s even transcended its own self there’s different shirts that say other people rule and there’s iterations of that.
And I love when people make their own. That’s my favorite. I love when retailers sell it or make their own thing, but. But when I see fans, when they make their own and they’re ironing it on, or they’re doing screen printing or they’re hand drawing it. And even when they changed the colors, like I’ve seen black and white ones, I’ve seen purple with yellow.
I’ve seen, you know, orange with white. I don’t care what I mean. It’s amazing that, you know, people get to do that. And, you know, as the original wearer of the original piece, that’s kind of cool.
Jeff: Yeah. By the way let’s you didn’t mention your documentary. And once again, I do love it. I got the chance to watch and I was so happy cause it was fantastic.
I want to, in that movie defines a cult movie as a movie that is appreciated in a way that people don’t [00:40:00] necessarily predict. And there was a debate at the end. I think I go into much and whether or not my squad is a cult movie or not. So I’m asking you, Sean himself is monster squad, a cult movie.
Andrew Gower: I’ve been answered this before, asked this before and I try to answer it in the same way so I can stay consistent. I don’t know. There’s a two part, there’s two parts here. I don’t know if it’s a cult movie because I think Colt changes. And we talk about that the doc, but is this movie a cult classic?
Yes, but. Also at the same time, like you growing up, not knowing it was a failure, it was around and no one knew it for a while. Cause you just thought it was this cool movie. That was awesome. When you saw it was big for you. you know, a lot of people just never understood that it was a bomb that it would ever need to become cult.
Andrew Gower: it was, you know, it was just a thing and that’s not the case. So, you know, we talk about in the documentary a lot, you know, you can ask five different academics and you’ll get five [00:41:00] different efforts of what cult is. So what called classic. And then we do, you know, kind of a smash cut with all these people saying monster squad is not a cold call.
It’s just a classic. And then other people saying it’s absolutely by definition of a cult movie. And so I think that’s, what’s great because the conversation, Continues.
Jeff: And I think it’s fantastic that even just talking to you, I can tell how much you love having done the movie and how much you love the movie itself.
And. I think it was interesting that it seems like you and Ryan Lambert more than anyone else has helped keep this movie alive and become a, what to reach a wider audience. And you guys even had a podcast called I believe squad cast.
it was, how many are you guys still doing it? How many years was that?
What are you doing that for?
Andrew Gower: We did that for about a year. We did about, I dunno, 18 or so episodes or podcasts. We started that just because we would sit around and joke around and talk to cool people and just crack ourselves up and said, we should have recorded that. And then my wife had been saying that for about two years and I finally did it.
And, yeah, we had [00:42:00] fun. Yeah. And obviously Ryan Lambert and I doing a podcast, you gonna to call it squad gassed. but you know, it wasn’t about monster squad. It was just us. And then inviting friends that we knew on to talk about. cool stuff and random, weird stuff. And we had some great guests. that was part at a time where like, I had actually created a little brand with Ryan and I, and he’s called Ryan and Andre.
we had our site, we had a store or we appeared at places together. You know, we’d do conventions as a duo. And, you know, that led to an opportunity where. Created a show that aired on Nerdist alpha channel from legendary digital a couple of years ago, called short end is where we co-hosted a show where we showcased a short films and interviewed the filmmakers and talked about the process of, you know, making short films and getting them into festivals and stuff.
So I loved that little era that we did that the podcast was a part of it, you know, and then, and now we’re so busy, you know, doing other people’s podcasts and things like that at the same time. yeah, I think squad cast was perfect for what it was. And, you know, Ryan went on to go do another podcast called dying in the Hollywood Hills with our friend Jacob Strunk.
[00:43:00] cause they can come visit, you know, talk about music and do some other stuff and commiserate about being, you know, 40 somethings in Hollywood and and you and Ryan’s and musicians, they get to talk and do music on that podcast. So, that’s pretty rad. So I think it was a great stepping stone and everything for the fans to kind of.
No congregate again around us for a little bit, and then go, you know, and then follow all the other things that we get to do.
Jeff: And I think it’s really cool for a lot of people to know that you and Ryan are still friends from back in the day. I mean, from the movie, you know, and just go, do you guys still, also, could you keep in touch with, Robbie Kiker as well, or.
Andrew Gower: I lost touch with Robbie a while ago. Like we’ve, you know, there’s a little bit of just cause he was living, I think in Hawaii for like 20 something years. And it was just sort of out of the industry and I wasn’t even living in LA for years. And Ryan was in San Francisco for 15 or so years and I was in North Carolina and in Las Vegas and different places.
But, it, It is, it’s mostly been kind of the tangential contact between Ryan and I over the years, and then Ashley, and then Fred a little bit, but then we all kind of [00:44:00] connected in 2006 and have been sort of, you know, around each other for the last 10 or 12 years because of this crazy monster squad resurgence, and then now the documentary.
Jeff: So, so you directed in 2018, you dropped you directed. Wolfman’s got Nards once again, a fantastic documentary. So, first what inspired the making of willfully Gunnar’s and to why did it take so long? You feel like you should have been like, you know, 20 years ago we saw,
Andrew Gower: right. We didn’t, you know, we didn’t have this resurgence and this, you know, kind of reinvigoration of, you know, worldwide of Marshall squad fandom.
but it was really the stories that we would hear at these appearances and conventions and screenings and. it was just these fascinating stories by the fans of why this movie being monster squad, you know, connected and impacted their lives and why it meant so much to them. And you keep hearing these stories and over again.
And I realized that their stories, were a story. And that’s what I wanted to tell. And you know, about. Not too long [00:45:00] after I kind of thought about doing the documentary. I ended up running into, the group of guys at Pilgrim media group, Henry McComas in West Caldwell and, Aaron Kunkle. And we all sat down and was talking about projects and we decided to team up and take this documentary idea and pitch it to the executives at Pilbara media.
And, we, you know, I put it in deal together with them and we went into production, right. And we shot and edited and locked the film in about. 11 months. And we had about a six and a half month film festival run all over the world. It was fantastic. One won a handful of awards and got great reviews through the press and all the media everywhere.
And the people that watched it at these festivals. Loved it. And it kind of culminated in this, you know, in a giant 600 person event sold out thing, at the Egyptian theater in Hollywood, during beyond Fest. And that kind of, you know, I wrapped up our awesome festival and then, you know, we thought we would have a distribution deal, right?
Yeah. After, but for one or more reasons for [00:46:00] awhile, it would just. It took awhile, you know, this is the movie industry. and then we ended up, you know, having a deal that ended up falling through. So we had about a six month gap there that we thought we were doing it somewhere else, or with someone else that was gonna distribute it.
And then that didn’t happen. And, you know, we, you know, we ended up getting back in the room with our friends at gravitas ventures and, you know, putting something together and they, you know, we got the deal done quick enough to where the window, the windowing of it was awesome. Then at, you know, opens October 27th, you know, releases October 27th on VOD.
and it’s already been going Buster’s on iTunes preorders now. and Amazon blue Ray DVD, pre orders, you know, we were number one in three categories for a couple. Well days on Amazon, which is crazy, and that wasn’t even with an Amazon announcement that just the fans found it and just went nuts. but October 27th is the big day it’ll be open.
And, whatever your VOD platform of choices, you know, iTunes, Amazon, you know, local cable. And it was on dish network. If you’ve got [00:47:00] that, you’ll be able to find it. And if you can’t just look at a, you know, the squad doc on Instagram or Twitter, or the squad.dot com on that ancient device, the interwebs, or follow me and you’ll get all the updates in the words.
Cause, you know, I gotta be out there promoting this. Oh,
Jeff: yeah, very cool. And, just a couple more final questions. I do, like I say, as you mentioned, if one of the audience award at the overlook film festival, and it’s also once again been in festivals all over the world, I looked at your website and how many just listed are, you know, having, you know, you did your, you did, squad cast.
You did the documentary. are you still shocked by just how, I mean, does it, the movies keep seeing seeming bigger and bigger than you ever thought it was like each time you go someplace new, each time you talked to somebody else at the scene, like the monster squad is the fan base is larger than you ever thought it was.
Andrew Gower: Yeah. it’s not waning. It’s not shrinking. It’s actually growing. And that original foundation has always done. There and that it’s being built upon. And then now there’s a second generation of monster squad fans and, you know, that’s what the documentary is about and that’s [00:48:00] who it’s for and that’s, who’s in it.
And I think hopefully that will just, you know, grab even more people, you know, to that, you know, foundation and just keep it growing. And maybe this maybe monster squad is a movie that will, you know, never die.
Jeff: Oh, I would definitely hope not. The classic movies should never die. I mean, monster squad level in my head is it’s a wonderful life where once again, it’s one for life.
Didn’t do well when it first came out. But I can’t imagine a season going by where you don’t see it’s wonderful life on TV and monster squad seems like one of those movies. Especially during the Halloween season that it wouldn’t seem right. Not to have it somewhere available to some, to someone.
Andrew Gower: And that’s where everybody has that.
now we’ve got great stuff like Netflix and Amazon prime and Hulu where they, you know, they run it constantly now. So it’s, that’s that next evolution of, you know, watching it’s a wonderful life on CBS at Christmas. Right.
Jeff: Exactly. And yeah, I mean, right now, there seems to be, I’ve heard rumors recently of remade of the monster squad being developed.
Either remakes or sometimes calculations as someone who’s been in the [00:49:00] original. Do you think my squat is something that I can be remade or it could be continued? Or how does, how do you feel about that as a concept? Because some things,
Andrew Gower: I think what we’ve seen. Yeah. I think we’ve seen some kind of like.
Reinventions of it, you know, you know, inspired by, or, you know, direct kind of lifts and, you know, some great stuff and, you know, like running parents parallel with it, but to completely remake it now, you couldn’t make it the same. You couldn’t have the same aspects of it, cause you’re not allowed to, and it wouldn’t land.
Right. I think if you’re going to try that and just make a different movie and don’t make it a remake of monster squad, But, you know, you know, SQL you can get away with then, you know, there’s more stories to tell whether it’s prior, you know, you know, we’re in this fascinating time of prequels now.
It’s like, why don’t we go and talk about what happened with Dracula walking around in the fifties or something, or 1920s, Or even after, you know, it’s been 30 something years, I think something else has happened either to those characters or somebody else, or, you know, maybe there’s another story out there.
I think those are better ideas than, than [00:50:00] reboots or reimaginings. Cause I think the reimaginings we’ve seen because it was so iconic at a time for the filmmakers that are making stuff. Now we’ve seen it. you know, a lot of people, you know, talk about things like soup. Great or, stranger things and stuff like that, which I think those are the, you know, we don’t need a reboot of something like you don’t want to make, you don’t want to remake.
It’s a wonderful life. You don’t want to remake. you know, I mean the remade, you’re not gonna remake smoking the bandit, Casa Blanca, which I hold, you know, kind of in the same category. But, you know, you’re just movies that are kind of iconic. Like, look, I like remakes of like, The day, the earth stood still.
I liked Scott Erickson’s version of that. I did that movie, but the original was amazing. It didn’t, it didn’t damp in the other one. if you’re going to remake something, don’t dishonor them the first one, you know, improve it, you know, make the conversation include that. but that’s where sequels and prequels and continuing stories, you know, are better for something that’s iconic, I think.
Jeff: Yeah. And I must admit, I don’t know, everyone appreciates us as. [00:51:00] How much stranger things is sort of like the spiritual child of monster squad from that generator. I mean, it feels more kind to that than a lot of the movies, like even Goonies back then because of the tone.
Andrew Gower: I think so. Cause it’s a little dark it’s, it’s real, it’s authentic, dealing with real people and, you know, in a real, any, you know, you know, any town USA type of feel, Yeah.
You know, and it’s up to the writers in the room, you know, what influences them and what tones and themes and inspirations and poles that they’re bringing from their youth. And, you know, they’re, you know, film archives that they want to put on the screen of the stuff that they’re getting to make.
And I think that’s, what’s cool about being part of something like monster.
Jeff: Yeah. And I must say, as a fan, I do would love to see a continuation because you think there’s Dracula Wolf, fan, and Frankenstein. What else is out there in their world? That world is so open to new story that you guys gave us and you gave us.
40 years to imagine what could be there. It would be late, not be great if you guys were able to continue it, you know, I
Andrew Gower: don’t know. I don’t disagree. And I think there are some cool stories. we’ve talked about some cool stories and, you know, [00:52:00] that’d be really neat to, you know, does he come to pass?
Jeff: Well, like I said, I am a huge fan of the monster squad. The documentary with me ARDS was fantastic. I could feel the love of the fans, and now I can feel the love of the people behind the camera, in that one. And I highly recommend it to all our listeners check out and gotten ours October 27th.
And once again, where can they find it until October 27th?
Andrew Gower: on your, you know, your favorite VOD provider platform, you know, cable stations, you know, your cable providers, your ISB, fi ISP providers, iTunes, Amazon dish network. You can order the blue Ray on Amazon, if you want to, or the DVD, just search wherever your local VOD, where you get your rentals and your digital downloads.
And if you want physical, you can order the blue rays. Well, that’d be amazing.
Jeff: Well, thank you so much, mr. Gower for talking to us. You were fantastic. You were fantastic guys. Sean and I thank you so much for helping us have much squat in our world right now.
Andrew Gower: I appreciate it. I hope you all enjoy it too.
And I think you brought up a great, you know, another thing about the connection and the fandom there, that the, you know, the [00:53:00] admiration and the impact and the love for Masha squad even comes through on camera, which are the people that were running it. And that’s actually true with my crew, you know, led by my man, Henry McComas and West Caldwell and Aaron, all those guys, they were fans coming into it and they got to make a documentary.
So it was a pleasure and almost easy to make this doc with those guys. Well,
Jeff: thank you so much, sir.