Question: Thank you Mr. Lobo for this impromptu interview. Let’s get this interview started. I see you were involved with underground comics. What was your inspiration to create underground comics?
Answer: Greetings and thanks for interviewing Mr. Lobo and digging deep past the usual stuff about CINEMA INSOMNIA. We always loved comics. Even though, I am best known as a TV Horror Host, actor and producer, I love print and also a lifelong cartoonist. Making movies and animations is very expensive and time consuming and print was very immediate and you can control all the aspects of it. You could tell your story you want to tell with no compromises–other than the limits of your talent or imagination. I loved Mad Magazine, Crazy and Cracked magazine as a kid and underground comics allowed me to be even more subversive and far reaching with my humor.
I was inspired by the Book of the Subgenius, Raw magazine, Psychotronix Catalog, Trencher, Heavy Metal Magazine, Cult Movies Magazine…you felt like you were getting something unfiltered. You can’t have a revolution without print! I took some of my movie scripts and stories and we put out several books in the 90’s–The Height of Zine Mania! First there was a Mad Max-like post-apocalyptic parody magazine called NUKE NOVA: ADVENTURES IN THE RUST AGE, Then we did several anthologies called FUNNY PAGES with other artists. I have contributed to many titles in various ways. I attended and vended at Alternative Press Expo and San Diego Comic Con and that whole scene was very infectious. I still do comics occasionally–I just was involved with a UK Horror Anthology comic called BIZARRE DIMENSIONS in which MR. LOBO is sort of the “Crypt Keeper” for a collection of stories that are 1000% truer than real life.
Question: Speaking of underground comics, do you collect or read any comics now?
Answer: I was sad to see MAD MAGAZINE stop regular publication after relocating to the West Coast. They were starting to get really good! I always pick up old Horror AND Humor comics when I see them. Phantom Stranger and Twilight Zone and Tales From The Crypt. There was a Heavy Metal that had amazing art on the cover that I had to buy even though I hadn’t looked at one in years. I liked the “Big Trouble In Little China” Comic. I just picked up a collection of old “Star Wars” Marvel comics and I like to take home oddities and zines from cons at random when I am booked at shows.
Question: You are known to frequent comic cons. What is your most favorite comic con and why?
Answer: I mostly do Non-Comic Conventions these days. Retro Con, Blobfest, Monster Bash and Monster Fest are ones I enjoy. Wondercon used to be my favorite comic con back in the old days along with Sac-Con when I lived in California. Wondercon Moved to Anahiem CA from the Bay Area–it wasn’t the same. Sac-Con I havent atended in a long time since my move to the Easy Coast. And of Course, San Diego has become a massive “Everything-Con Circus”! I like shows that have a specialized interest and don’t seem like a corporate cash grab. Williamsport Comic Con in Williamsport PA is my favorite current COMIC con. It’s a mom and pop comic convention run by Joe and Tracy of “Isle of Comics” that actually Focuses on Comics and Comic artists! I made a video called MR. LOBO DOES COMIC CON that you should check out so that you can see the fun we had there.
Question: How long has Cinema Insomnia been around?
Answer: Officially since 2001…but it seems like an eternity! Seriously, in the cannon of the show “Mr. Lobo” has done some throwback episodes from the 60’s and 70’s. ATOMIC BRAIN and SCREAMING SKULL are both retro episodes on Alpha Video DVD. It’s funny because I get mail from people much older than me who say they remember watching my show in the 70’s! I’m not sure what they were smoking but I don’t correct them.
Question: Have you ever met Elvira? A crossover between you two would be epic.
Answer: Elvira is a legend and one of the most successful Horror Movie hosts of all time! I am proud to say that Cassandra and I have known each other for years. She helped me out a few times in my career. She was gracious enough to let me interview here for our NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD episode and hands off a can of film to me. We did a panel together at Wondercon in 2009 after my Creature Feature host mentor Bob Wilkins passed away and we had great chemistry. She later included me in a show she hosted with Bay Area Horror Host Peaches Christ and the three of us hosted Dead Alive and Creature From The Black Lagoon! Two unforgettable nights. Backstage she gave me great advice…like to always protect you core character. We email and chat once in a while still but I haven’t seen her in years. My wife Dixie and I did a painting of her that hung in her Santa Barbara home until it was put on display at her pop up in Hollywood and Highland Center.
Question: Since I am a paranormal investigator, I must ask you. Have you ever experienced anything paranormal and if you did, I want to know about it?
Answer: A few times. When I worked at The Crest Theater, I heard heavy film cans topple down the stairs that suddenly were back in place at the projection booth. The “Ghost Light” that we set out traditionally on the stage at night to appease the forces that be…exploded before our eyes sending glass everywhere. When we filmed our Haunted House Special in Northern Virginia, the abandoned house had a history. An old woman who lived there had dementia and would wander into the fields so the neighbors locked her in and would check on her. The bedroom door had heavy locks on the OUTSIDE and you could see the claw-marks on the inside from her fingernails on the inside. Sometimes you could hear the desperate clawing while we were filming. We found props that we needed that just appeared inexplicably…including a board that was cut to the exact size we needed. We found trails of cut out obituaries from the 50’s that lead to a scrap book of them that no one can explain how it git there. My co-start John vowed never to return there. They have since torn the place down. Things happen in our own home as well. it’s like 200 years old…voices and sounds and doors slamming and lights on and off…I think it’s echos from the past intruding on present time. I don’t think we really understand time, space, and dimensions and how they interplay with each other. Our Reality maybe be more of a liquid than a solid. I think one day the science will come out and phenomena will be accepted like changes in weather patterns.
Question: I first met you at a pre-Halloween party at a home in Fairoaks, do you still go to those parties?
Answer:Larry School who was an animator for Disney and other big studios before he retired threw legendary parties and always included Mr. Lobo as a guest of honor. There were 16mm movies projected outdoors by the pool. A home theater with velvet curtains showing more movies. He had an enchanted Tiki room with an audio-animatronic Parrot and a wooden Tiki Idol that sang together. There was a dark ride with things jumping at you in a cave. The best part is all the talented and creative people that would come to those parties…filmmakers, writers, artists, performers, and general weirdos. We did those for 10 years. Unfortunately, Larry has removed all his attractions and doesn’t do those parties anymore. My wife Dixie and I have been throwing some fan gatherings out here with themes to try an create an immersive party experience out here. We did a Blade Runner type event called FUTURE NOIR with everyone dressed Sci-Fi in a smokey neon lit environment that we built set pieces and props for. This year we hope to do an ED WOOD FEST and a KRAMPAS PARTY for the Holidays as well.
Question: What are your 3 top favorite horror movies?
Answer: Ugh! This goes against my philosophy because on any given day I could say something different. But I do have a special affection for movies I have hosted on Cinema Insomnia.
PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE-it was a thrill to be cast in the remake!
I love campy Horror and I am a saint in the Church of Ed Wood.
NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD-It chilled and thrilled me as a kid to see Bob Wilkins Host it on Creature Features and it was a treat to host it as my first syndicated episode!
BRAIN THAT WOULDN’T DIE-Low budget Sleazy American Frankenstein Story with “Lovecraftian” overtones. When I watch it I am hyonotized and it feels like its 3 in the morning. I like that feeling!
Question: What are your 3 top science fiction movies?
Answer: As a Kid I love the STAR WARS movies but I am holding them exempt as they are really fantasy effects films and not Sci-Fi. I have hosted at Blobfest for many years and I love THE BLOB-we re-enact the scene where we run out of the theater to escape the molten monster. I also love FORBIDDEN PLANET which I have hosted live many times. Robby The Robot is the screens most amazing mechanical man. And hosting the Future Noir event reminds me how much I love the artsy dystopia of BLADE RUNNER
Question: What are your 3 most favorite TV shows?
Answer:I think the three shows that have affected my style the most on Cinema Insomnia are Twilight Zone, Monty Python’s Flying Circus, and the original Creature Features with Bob Wilkins.
Question: If you could hang out with a superhero, what superhero would you be hanging out with?
Answer: Spider-man and Batman were faves as a kid. But I’d love to hang with The Phantom Stranger. Love that turtleneck and medallion! So groovy! Mod and mysterious! I’d love to play him in a movie. Casting directors are you listening?
Question: Do you have anything exciting to promote to your fans?
Answer: So many things! We have 14 of our 2 hour+ MR. LOBO CINEMA INSOMNIA episodes on Alpha Video that you can order on Amazon or Oldies.com. BOB WILKINS HALLOWEEN SPECIAL, NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, CARNIVAL OF SOULS, SCREAMING SKULL, EEGAH!, DICK TRACY MEETS GRUESOME, ATOMIC BRAIN, VOYAGE TO THE PREHISTORIC PLANET, WASP WOMAN, SANTA CLAUS CONQUERS THE MARTIANS, HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL, MONSTER FROM A PREHISTORIC PLANET, TEENAGERS FROM SPACE and the HAUNTED HOUSE SPECIAL all have new releases and matching posters. Retailers can get them through MVD, or you can get them direct from me if you want them signed on ebay. We Have 15 episodes on Amazon Prime UK and 3 episodes including the BOB WILKINS HALLOWEEN SPECIAL on Amazon Prime in the US. Also, I have my own streaming channel OSI 74 for ROKU. We have MR. LOBO NODDY NOGGINZ Bobble head from Phoenix Comics and Toys! Two card games. We are crowdfunding for our 19th season of shows on Patreon and I’ve started pre-production on a Mr. Lobo Movie. Always more stuff happening! Maybe we’ll even do another comic book!
Question: For people that have lived in a cave and don’t know your website, can you give us the link to places where we can keep an eye out for you?
Answer: CinemaInsomnia.com and OSI74.com are a good why to contact us but we have a very active Facebook group called “MR. LOBO’s CINEMA INSOMNIA GROUP” where we do watch parties, We have a Mister Lobo Twitter, and a YouTube Cinema Insomnia channel with several episodes. Google us!
Question: Any final words, before we close this interview?
Answer: Yes. I’d like to call my lawyer. Just Kidding! I’d like to thank you for inviting me to do this interview. Movies like any art-form can provide an escape and an opportunity to explore and reflect in the safety and comfort of our homes when the world seems to have gone mad. My Mentor Bob Wilkins used to say “WATCH HORROR FILMS–KEEP AMERICA STRONG” on Creature Features. On Cinema Insomnia, I have my own catch phrase, “THEY’RE NOT BAD MOVIES–JUST MISUNDERSTOOD!” Mr. Lobo hopes to bump into all of you in the dark soon and bring the Popcorn!
Thank Mr. Lobo for this spectacular interview!