Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Top 10 games of 2015

In all honesty I'm not a great fan of 'best of' lists - partly because I'm notoriously undecided when it comes to nailing down my absolute favourites for just about anything. In fact as soon as I put any sort of list together I then spend an age stressing and pontificating whilst trying to ignore the seemingly endless other choices that seem to continuously pop into my head, each of them shouting all the while "Pick me, pick me, pick me!!"

If truth be told, the only constant in any 'all time' list that I put together is my favourite ever horror movie choices, with The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) permanently at the very top - well except when I think that my No1 is actually The Wicker Man (1973)....... do you see what I mean?

So when GT4 GameCon asked me to guest blog a couple of articles, one of which was to list my top 10 releases of 2015, I was a little reluctant. This due partly for the reason that I've mentioned, though I was also a little reticent for another reason. There is a saying that has developed over the years about life on the Internet that I rather like, which goes something as follows; There are two steps to cause a major fight on the Internet. 1) State an opinion; 2) Then wait one minute.

Because inevitably, once lists like this are published the result is a volume of responses such as "I can't believe you didn't mention........!" or the age-old classic "Why on earth (or words to that effect) did you have .......... at No1????!!!!" Well, it's my blog, my rules and my list, so feel free to disagree and suggest alternatives as much as your hearts desire - after all we're all entitled to our opinions and will probably have a multitude of 'best of' variations. 

However, after consultation, deliberation and not a little consternation....... here in reverse order is my personal list of what moved this ageing Gamers heart and soul in 2015.


10. No Man's Sky - Highly anticipated but lands in 10th spot as the little game play that has been revealed has a lot to live up to.


9. Mirror's Edge Catalyst - Hold on to your sick bags, Mirrors edge is back and looking better than ever.


8. Uncharted 4 - Drakes back and up to his old tricks, PlayStation 4 hasn't felt quite right without an Uncharted release.


7. Pokemon Red/Blue/Yellow - Re-release of original Pokemon titles... Say.No.More


6. Far Cry Primal - Traditional Far Cry game play, the time period should offer a lot to the franchise.


5. Tom Clancy's The division - Would have been first if the graphics and game play hadn't been Nerfed since initial tease.


4. Doom 4 - Old School classic revamped and looks Killer!





3. Quantum Break - Big shame that this is an Xbone exclusive, the time shaping abilities look great.


2. Horizon Zero Dawn - Open World Fantasy game, intense graphics and a refreshing take on a post apocalyptic setting.


1. Gears of War 4 - Speaks for itself really.



This article can also be found via the 5D website www.5d-blog.com. There you can find a veritable feast of blog articles, news items, pictures and other mouth-watering salutations to the gods of the geeks and the nerds. We have now inherited the earth you know.

Friday, 15 April 2016

A 5D love letter to the Six Million Dollar Man

When I was 9 or 10 years old my parents finally succumbed to my never ending pestering for a guitar. You see, even at that early age I had pretensions of being the next Jimmy Page, the next guitar rock god. I can't quite remember how long I moaned and sulked to get my very own instrument, but knowing me it was probably for a good few months that they had to endure it all until one Christmas, Santa did his thing. That brand new acoustic guitar was my immediate pride and joy - my dreams of conquering the music world had begun.

As it turns out those dreams eventually turned to dust as to soon it became abundantly clear that I had practically no discernible talent when it came to playing the guitar. In fact I was, and still am, bordering on the wrong side of atrocious in my playing. My childhood dreams of being a rock god lead guitarist were shattered beyond all redemption forever.

And it's all the fault of The Six Million Dollar Man. Yes, that's right  - Steve Austin stopped my from being the next Jimmy Page.

At the same time the guitar was delivered to me a worldwide television phenomenon was in full force with the tales of Steve Austin, Oscar Goldman, Jamie Sommers et al. The Six Million Dollar Man had been gracing British TV for a couple of years, and to say that for me and my close circle of friends it had become something of an obsession would a huge understatement. The programme had also found itself to be a bona fide cultural phenomenon; the requisite edition figure (which I proudly owned) seemed to be everywhere, the term 'bionic' became part of normal everyday conversation and the phrase 'we can rebuild him, we have the technology' was muttered even by politicians. Not only that, but wherever you looked kids under the age of 14 seemed to only ever run in slow motion whilst trying to make some strange metallic whooshing sound in their throats when they jumped or lifted anything - it was all so very bizarre.

My friends and I were no exception with our making use of every school break for the mandatory reenactments of the previous weeks episode - all including the inevitable bouts of slow motion running, jumping from (not very) large heights and holding a hand over one eye as we stared into the distance (all of which were accompanied by the strange whooshing noises). 

Good looking, charismatic, stylish....... well enough about me, 
here's Lee Majors as the Bionic Man
It didn't all run smoothly for us though, we all wanted to be the Bionic Man and none of the boys wanted to be the Bionic Woman - though eventually we did manage to press gang one of the girls in our class to be Jamie Summers. So we all became Steve Austin. I often wonder what visitors from another world would have made of their first view of the children of this part of planet Earth, none of them able to run faster than slow-motion. It must have been a bizarre sight.

Anyhoo, back to the Bionic man being responsible for my guitar rock god career crashing and burning before it ever really began. The fabulous Christmas present from my parents of the guitar also came with something to else, a dozen Guitar lessons form a local trained musician - nice! Well except for the fact it wasn't. The problem was that the lessons had to take place after school, on the one day of the week that the musician could fit me in..........At 6.30, to finish at 7.30........On the other side of town.......... Driven by my dad (the slowest driver in the whole of Christendom)........But it was also the night of The Six Million Dollar Man............ I would miss the first 10 minutes - maybe more if Captain Slow decided to well and truly live up to his name. 

Now before you kids out there ask about recording the show etc etc....... This was the mid-1970's baby, well before the Anderson family could afford such luxuries and witchcraft as a video recorder. I know that in these after wonderful streamingly binging days of rarely watching TV live this may seem like the dark ages, in some ways it was. If you missed a programme, there was no catch-up on line alternative....... In others words, you were buggered.

It was a quandary. On the one hand my parents had paid in advance for 12 (and not inexpensive) guitar lessons, plus things had been made even worse as my school teacher had arranged for me to play in front of the class on completion of the said lessons - no pressure then. On the other hand, my 10 year old Bionic world was about to crash and burn around my ears. There was no option except for me to suck it up and get on with the lessons. I managed this for two or three weeks, but it was horrible, as all I could think about during the lesson was getting home in time for the programme to start - and the panic that came with it knowing I wouldn't make it, no matter how many 'quick' routes home I devised for my dad to drive. 

Courtesy of http://www.artofthetitle.com/title/the-six-million-dollar-man/
It wouldn't have been so bad an experience I suppose if for the fact that The Six Million Dollar man contained perhaps THE iconic opening intro sequence ever, and  one that people immediately still think of in connection with the show. In the days before that very first episode, whispers had abounded at school about this great new scifi show which was coming over from the States. Again to remind you, this was a lifetime before the trailer rich online teasers we enjoy today, all we had were a few magazine snippets here and there and the word of mouth (we had though moved on from using carrier Pigeons)..... So when I sat down with my best mate to watch this new show, we were mildly excited. By the time the opening credit sequence had finished we were practically uncontrollable with hyperactive hysteria.

The opening is pure genius and is still regarded as a template for programme makers. It uses real footage of a Northrop M2-f2 crash (the 1967 crash that nearly killed pilot Bruce Peterson and had acted as the inspiration for the original novel, Cyborg), Interspersed with authentic NASA type dialogue between Austin and mission control. After which comes the voice-over from Richard Anderson..........stunning, simply stunning.  It's a showcase example of intro perfection, in little under a minute and a half, a biography of a crash victim and an introduction into the world of bionics was expertly crafted, all wrapped up in a stunning musical soundtrack. 

It still gives me goosebumps even now...... even just here in it's raw dialogue form.

"It looks good at NASA One." Flight Com
"Roger." B-52 Pilot
"BCS Arm switch is on." B-52 Pilot
"Okay, Victor." Flight Com
"Landing Rocket Arm switch is on." B-52 Pilot
"Here comes the throttle." B-52 Pilot
"Circuit breakers in." B-52 Pilot
"We have separation." Steve
"Roger." SR-71 pilot
"Inboard and outboards are on." B-52 Pilot
"We're comin' forward with the side stick." B-52 Pilot
"All looks good." Flight Com
"Ah, Roger." B-52 Pilot
"I've got a blow-out in damper three!" Steve
"Get your pitch to zero." SR-71 pilot
"Pitch is out! I can't hold altitude!" Steve
"Correction, Alpha Hold is off. . . Trim selector is emergency!" B-52 Pilot
"Flight Con! I can't hold it! She's breaking up, she's break—" Steve

Narrator (Harve Bennett): "Steve Austin. Astronaut. A man barely alive."

Oscar Goldman: "Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology. We have the capability to make the world's first bionic man. Steve Austin will be that man. Better than he was before. Better ... stronger ... faster."


Now have a look for yourself.....




So what made this show so special for it not only to be a ratings hit for the majority of it's original five series, but to become such a cultural phenomena?

Well for a start it had a leading man who for a time represtend the 1970's zeitgeist, Lee Majors was good looking and insanely charismatic - and not only that but he was married to Farrah Fawcett! Talk about the golden couple, and for a time until she dumped him for his best mate, the darlings of the press. Every man and boy wanted to be him, and many of us dreamt about being with her..... but that's another, ahem, less savoury story.

In addition, the characterisations were given a detailed level of layered texture and richness that up until that time had often been avoided by such genre shows. It's not often that a supporting character can come close to up-staging the lead, but in the case of Richard Anderson's portrayal of Austin's boss, Oscar Goldman we had an intelligent, warm and often humorous personality. The interplay between Anderson and Majors was always a joy.

The lovely Bionic couple
Another notable aspect of the series was the inclusion of practically a who's who of guest stars throughout it's lifespan - William Shatner, the fabulous Monte Markham (who played the tortured seven million dollar man), the legendary John Savage and of course, Farrah Fawcett herself to name but a few provided a regular weekly "Oh that's ........"

The result of which was that this was a series that made you genuinely care for the characters. Yes, it's true that on occasion (especially towards the end of it's life) it could occasionally wander into the realms of over-sweet sentimentality, but generally the emotional punch it delivered was extraordinary. Take for example the introduction of Jamie Sommers, the love interest of Steve Austin and soon to be Bionic woman. I can still remember the power of the shock when, after her bodies rejection of her Bionics she was 'killed off'. The day after that episode there happened to be the birthday party of one of my friends, essentially it was a non-event, we were emotionally dumbstruck by the death by the previous nights episode - it was genuinely powerful stuff for a 10 year old I tell you! It didn't harm also that I and a few million other boys were also a immediately more than a little in love with Lindsay Wagner.....

Add to the mix countless exciting and inventive storylines  - The Seven Million Dollar Man, The Secret of Bigfoot, Day of the Robot, Death Probe ....... perhaps my personal favourites with Death Probe being at the absolute top, brilliant stuff!. Yes in amongst the classics were some duds and occasional the lapse into drippy over-sentiment but in general the good far outweighed the bad.

But don't just take my word for it! By the mid to late 1970's the world of popular culture had been taken over by the show. Everybody could recite the "We have the technology" quote and hum the theme tune....... the sales of the Six million Dollar Man action figure were truly huge (yes I had one), as were the respective board games and other series merchandise. Not only that but the series itself spawned numerous spin-offs, including a very successful Bionic Woman series starring the aforementioned gorgeous Miss Wagner. And of course, I've already mentioned the infinite amounts of slow-motion running (with sound effects) in infinite playgrounds around the world.

So do you see my predicament? It was either the Bionic Man or the guitar lessons - one of them had to suffer. After a few weeks of missing chunks of what had now become my favourite ever TV series (and probably is even to this day) I cut short my lessons, stating that I had too much homework as an excuse. I know that makes me sound like a truly ungrateful son, and maybe that's correct, but in my defence I did apologise to my parents who accepted it on the proviso that I eventually pay them back the cost of the cancelled lessons. This I did by doubling up my daily paper rounds and working weekend in the local store for the next six months....... but it was worth it.

I never did become a guitar hero and it was all your fault, Steve my man. But boy you were worth it.




This article can also be found via the 5D website www.5d-blog.com. There you can find a veritable feast of blog articles, news items, pictures and other mouth-watering salutations to the gods of the geeks and the nerds. We have now inherited the earth, you know. 




















Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Guest Blog #2 - How to survive a Zombie Apocalypse: 10 rules that could save your life! by Tony Newton


Welcome to the second of the guest blog slots for 5D. This particular piece comes from Tony Newton, who is a writer and filmmaker from Essex in the UK and here deals with a subject close to my cold, cold heart - namely the Zombie apocalypse, or more specifically, how to survive it. It's a great read so check it out!

If you would like to be a guest blogger for me then you can contact me through my website at www.5d-blog.com.





How to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse!


10 Rules that will save your life!



A zombie apocalypse is imminent you need to prepare now!


There will be a breakdown of infrastructure and civilization as we once new it will be gone.


When the zombie apocalypse strikes you will need to be in peak mental and physical condition.


Zombies the walking dead are a major threat, an outbreak of zombies/the infection will change the world as we know it.


Within a matter of minutes, hours or days, everything could be lost forever!


These ten rules may just save your life!





1. The only way to kill a zombie is to destroy the brain.

Remember this rule!

This rule you cannot get enough of, this is the only way to kill them by completely destroying the brain, until the brain is completely destroyed they will keep coming for you, Don’t waste time and energy attacking any other body part of the zombie just aim for the brain.




 2. This is not a horror movie.

Don’t let your mind run wild and think of zombie movies you have seen in the past these are far from the supernatural ghouls on TV, the enemy you will be facing are not weak creatures, they are flesh-eating monsters that will stop at nothing to devour your flesh and eat you alive.





3. Make a bug out bag.

Buy a strong durable bag, preferable a back pack that is big enough to fit all your needed belongings in, the bug out bag is the most important thing you will need in the zombie apocalypse because your bug out bag will include a weapon, food, drink and a small first aid kit and shelter.





4. Board up windows inside and out.

Secure your base and board up the windows, don’t just do it on the inside, make sure it’s safe before you tackle the outside. You will need to board up windows from the outside too this is a mistake a lot of people make but if you just board up the inside then zombies and looters can push their way through, if the boarding is on the outside as well you have a much safer base all round.





5. Be alert!

Zombies won’t sleep, they will be coming for you day and night constantly craving flesh to feast on. Be alert 24/7, sleep in shifts where possible with a group member on guard duty at all times.





6. Ditch transport.

Roads will be blocked and covered with vehicles and dead bodies, it’s not safe to evacuate to a safe zone by car, you will be drawing attention to yourself in a vehicle. Do not attempt to try to travel on public transport everyman and his dog will be trying to get out of town this way a pushbike is the safest as it’s quiet but you will have no protection so always be on the lookout for danger.



7. Don’t give mouth to mouth resuscitation.

Do not give mouth to mouth resuscitation in the zombie apocalypse, as the spread of infection through saliva could occur, avoid this at all costs and instead pump hard in 3’s onto the breastplate of the patient.



8. Learn to apply a tourniquet.

The tourniquet is something very useful in cases of bleeding wounds or amputation of limbs, thus constricting the blood flow and controlling the bleed/loss of blood. This will help clotting which the body will do naturally, a bandage can be used or torn clothing tied tightly making sure the pressure remains from the tourniquet and that it will not get knocked or moved.



9. Set your mobile to silent.

In the early stages of the zombie apocalypse phones will most probably be working, you don’t want to be creeping around the undead and then your mobile phone goes off alerting others to your location.




10. The three 3’s.

Think 3

You can approximately last 3 minutes without air, 3 days without water and up to 3 weeks without food. Remember the three 3’s and use them as a guideline.




You are a survivor!

YOU WILL SURVIVE!

#ZombieApocalypseSurvivor




Tony Newton is the author of "The Zombie Rule Book: A Zombie Apocalypse Survival Guide" and the upcoming title "#I'm Zombie: A Zombie Mosaic Novel" the creator and producer of the upcoming zombie mosaic film "Virus of the Dead". He loves all things horror, obsessed by zombies and collects old school VHS tapes just for fun.


"The Zombie Rule Book: A Zombie Apocalypse Survival Guide" is out now and available from Cosmic Egg Books.


#I'm Zombie: A Zombie Mosaic Novel is a zombie book featuring  mosaic accounts from the day the zombie apocalypse strikes the globe, the book see's the horror unfound through an online forum to found notes from doctors and survivors!

"#I'm Zombie: A Zombie Mosaic Novel" will be released on May 27, 2016available from Cosmic Egg Books.


Twitter @TonyNewton1


Instagram TONYNEWTON1

Monday, 11 April 2016

Interview with acting legend, Vernon Wells.

Ever since I began this blogging & website malarkey a few years ago, the opportunity that it's provided for me to meet so many like-minded individuals has been truly wonderful. However few things in that time have been as thrilling as the chance this week to talk to an actor, who has not only appeared in a staggering list of genuinely iconic movies, but a good few of those films happen to be on this here bloggers own personal all-time favourite list. Let me list you just a few that the man in question, Vernon Wells has appeared in: Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior, Commando, Weird Science, InnerSpace & Fortress. Not a bad body of work, eh?

Well, over the last year or so I've been privileged to be able to get to know an up and coming Australian filmmaker, Travis Bain, after reviewing his excellent Aussie Sasquatch film Throwback. This then progressed through watching the progress of the plans for his next major projects, an intriguing Scifi feature film, Starspawn as well as the current crowdfunding campaign for his Psychological thriller, Landfall - the Indiegogo page for which you can find RIGHT HERE 

I have to be honest (for once in my life), when Travis first contacted me back in the deep dark mists of time to ask whether I'd be interested in reviewing Throwback, the one single fact that enticed me to say yes was that the legendary Vernon Wells was also appearing in it. Now you all know me by now, because never one to miss out on an opportunity to indulge my need for superficial self-indulgence I began to pester Travis for an interview with Vernon. Of course I convinced myself that I was doing this for the good of the 5D Website, but of course that would be partly true, for the chance to talk to the guy that played of of my all-time favourite iconic film characters (Wez, from Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior) was just too good to miss. Yes, as always it's mostly about me.

So when Travis told me a little while ago that filming was about to begin on his Starspawn appetiser, Starspawn: Overture and then asked whether I wanted to have a telephone chat with the redoubtable Mr Wells, well I was about as excitable as this blogger can get (and that's pretty damned excitable). I decided though not to appear to be too overly keen and embarrass myself by eagerly agreeing straight away and act like a star-struck fan (which of course I am). So being the professional (stop laughing there at the back) that I am I decided to wait an appropriately polite length of time before saying yes....... which worked at out at about one nano second later. When I said I have professional standards, I didn't say they were lofty ones.

Well, on a cold and wet Scottish morning last week I was incredibly lucky to spend nearly half an hour talking to Vernon in between shot set-ups. I would like to sincerely thank Travis Bain for arranging this and coping with the technological mobile phone issues we initially had during the call. I would also like to thank Vernon for his time and putting up with some of my inane questions and all too regular interruptions. Thankfully, I think I managed to keep the 'Tell me just how fab you are?' questions to a relative minimum.


THE INTERVIEW BIT...........



5D) Hi Vernon, man I appreciate you taking a few minutes out as I know you're busy. 

VW) My pleasure mate.


5D) How's things going, how's things going with the filming of Starspawn?

VW) Great, great! It's been a lot of fun. I enjoy all of this because, well, this is what it's all about, making independent films and having a lot of fun.


5D) Is it very different making an independent film like this, in terms of how you personally approach the project or is it pretty much the same process?

(VW) It's all the same process. Strangely enough I find that independent films put a lot more work into their prep and into their actual set up into everything that they do because they don't have the luxury of the budget to be able to shoot it 27 times. They have to get it done, you know, the first time or the second time so you find that there is a lot more that goes into the preparation and and everything for those things. Of course there is still a lot of prep for the big ones but then they have that luxury of doing the same shot so many times.


5D) Do you find that you personally have much more invested in an indie film?

VW) Ah, no it's like any film, I give the same, erm, amount of effort no matter what it is but sometimes there are projects that you feel even more for. This is one of those projects, as was another that I did with Travis, Throwback, and there are a load of small films that I've done which have been very attached to the project.


5D) Yeah I saw Throwback some time ago after I was lucky enough to be sent a preview of the film by Travis - it was excellent, I really enjoyed it.

(Note: Readers can see the article I wrote on Throwback RIGHT HERE).

What can you tell us about this role that you have in Starspawn?


VW) Erm, yeah, he's a father who has a 17 year old daughter. He's a bit of a crabby father and his wife has died of cancer recently. So he's a little at a loss how to react to his daughter who being 17 years old of course she has those hormones (laughs) and everything  for a 17 year old and just wants to get the heck out of Dodge (laughs). So he's sort of trying to cope until it comes to him having some other worldly experience, which terrifies him and suddenly he becomes very protective of his daughter because suddenly he finds that she's in danger and so he tries desperately, without telling her what's going on, to protect her. This is all brought about by the other people in the film and so he suddenly has four or five people encroach upon him, and get drawn into the middle of this things and he then has to try and protect all of them. He goes from being a grouchy old man to the one who becomes the protector.


5D) I'm conscious of the time we have as you're in between takes at the moment. Can I ask you about a certain few films that I'm sure that you're constantly asked about? (Laughs).

VW) 'Course you can. We've got plenty of time, they haven't even began setting up yet.


5D) (Laughs) - Oh that's cool. Do you ever get fed up of answering questions about the handful of genuine iconic films, Mad Max, InnerSpace, Commando, Weird Science, Fortress etc?

VW) You know, the strange thing is that at one stage I used to, in that people wouldn't look at the other work that I was doing and they were always harking back to Mad Max or Commando or Weird Science  or InnerSpace (laughs). Erm, all of these films you know and I just found it annoying, but then I came to the realisation like I think we all do is that those films are my legacy and who I am - you know?


5D) Yeah, the thing is I mean that you were kind of the movie soundtrack to many of us growing up and there are some iconic films which you should rightly be proud of them.

VW) Oh yeah, I really am. I'm extraordinarily proud of them and actually what it was more than anything was that it was so difficult to accept that I had done things that were so part of our cultural heritage. Erm, you know the thing of it now is I still have a problem accepting it when people come up to me saying 'you've been in some of the greatest films through the years....you've done this, you've done that!" (Laughs). I feel that just a little bit off-putting because that all I am is an actor and I've been very blessed in my career but when it all boils down to it I'm only as good as the director, the writer, the crew and the other actors that work around me. You know, I can't say "I'm brilliant!" It's all the circumstances around it to make it.


5D) It's funny that you should say that you're only as good as the director because in Mad Max 2 you worked with the great George Miller. How did the iconic character of Wez evolve, was it it from the director, the writing, yourself?

VW) Erm, well Wez was kind of a written piece that George had, erm, and he wasn't as big as what he eventually became. Erm, he was, he became something that was different. George and I worked on the character, but George always says that the character was me that I developed, that I put the emphasis on things. Personally I think George took somebody who had never done a film before and made them realise what they could do as an actor. Something for which I'm forever grateful for. But regardless of that I think that Wez turned out to be one helluva of a character and one helluva of an acting job.


5D) Yeah. Personally I think the character stole the whole film.....

VW) Shhhhhhhhhh - you're not allowed to say that! (Laughs).


5D) (Laughs) - What did you think of the reboot, the remake of Mad Max?

VW) Fury Road?


5D) Yeah.

VW) I thought Fury Road was George Miller to a T. I mean George is wonderful at the road movie, his set ups are brilliant, the equipment that he has, the trucks, the things that he does, the visual styling that he does and everything. Anybody that is working today should look at him as just amazing, erm, and I also think that it was interesting to watch Charlize Theron in the role just walk all over everybody else in the film! (Laughs).


5D) Well this is the thing isn't it that it's not really about 'Mad Max'. It's actually her character and her character's back story....the Max character is actually a supporting character if nothing else, which I found really interesting.

VW) Yes! I mean, I don't know whether that was intentional or whether she's just such a strong presence and such a strong actress and that is what was going to happen. But, erm, regardless, I mean it's still an amazing film, one of those films that you will remember for a long, long time.

Personally I think that Road Warrior was the best of the series (Laughs)

5D) (Laughs) I agree.

VW) The story in Road Warrior all came together, you know. It had a beginning, a middle and end and you knew where everybody went, and what everything was, and you invested in the characters. I believe that made it the stronger of all those Mad Max films, but that's me because I was in that one! (Laughs)


5D) (Laughs) Well I mean, I'm not just saying this because I'm talking to you now, but I would totally agree and thought Road Warrior was certainly the strongest of the three.
Of all the films that you've done, what's your actual favourite?

VW) You know, the funny things is I'm proud of everything I do regardless of whether it's a big film, little film, studio film or indie film. It really doesn't matter to me because I'm gonna do it because I've gotta have a reason to do it so I'm always proud of whatever I do.

But when it comes to considering what films are my better films, well you always have to say  Mad Max, Commando and all that. Though truly I have a couple of films shortly coming out at the moment which I consider 100 times more about who I am now; One is called The Inquisitor which is coming out later this year and another which is called The Lighthouse Keeper which is a wonderful horror film.


5D) Are those both independent films?

VW) Yep, those are independent films. And then I think also that Landfall, which is the next one that I'm doing with Travis, is going to be a knockout film, I think it's going to be great. I mean the one thing I would ask from you is that you help us push that because we do have the (crowdfunding) site up and it would be really nice with all of us pushing together and I just think its gonna be a great film.

You know I've had this little thing going where I've said that I've put a little money into it and if I can do that then all the people who keep writing in to me on my website saying "Hey man we love what you do.......we love who you are" - well OK, now's your chance to put your mouth where your money is and your money where your mouth is, stop saying how much you like me and bloody do something! (Laughs)...... Sorry, that's that Australian thing, you know! (Laughs).


5D) (Laughs) - Well I'll quote you on that mate when I write this up and quote that as the tag line for the whole piece - "Put your mouth where your money is and your money where your mouth is, stop saying how much you like me and bloody do something!" (Laughs).

VW) You know, I just enjoy what I do. I feel terribly blessed to be who I am, where I am in my life and career. I've had an amazing career, I've done well over 170 films and you know, people just dream of getting there and I've been there and done it and it still feels so amazing!


Yep, that's Vernon waiting to talk to me.
5D) Yeah, I think it's great after this time you can keep work and do something that you love more than for the pay check that comes with it.

VW) Well my thing is that the minute I do start doing just for the pay check then I'll quit because you know that this is a business that you do because you have fun. This job is like the greatest playground in the world (Laughs) you get in there and you get to play with all this stuff and it's so much fun to do. I don't think people understand how great it is and the minute that goes away then it's just a job and do you know what? I don't want this as a job I want it as something that I enjoy.


5D) Obviously your in Australia at the moment - do you still work around the world or do you prefer to work closer to home these days?

VW) I was actually in the UK two weeks ago doing a couple of conventions and I love going to the UK, I love working wherever they take me because I just enjoy the whole process. When I leave here on Sunday I'll fly home then I think a week and a half later I start filming again in Los Angeles then I think two weeks after that I'm filming up in Lake Tahoe. Then there's I believe another film when I come back here, er, that's to do Landfall. So, you know while it still happens I'm going to enjoy it and keep doing it and then when it stops I'll say I had a great time and I've got nothing to be ashamed of! (Laughs).


5D) Yesterday I put on Facebook that I was a little excited about talking to you and you would not believe the number of comments I received ......." Oh tell him Commando is the greatest film ever!...... mention Mad Max!!" (Laughs). You've got a huge fanbase out there.

VW) Believe me, you know what, as I like to tell the people when I do the conventions I am blessed in what I do and because people like what I do I continue to do it, and I never ever take that for granted and I never take the fact that I have all these fans for granted. I think the one thing that we always have to do is be aware of is that the people that like what we do are the people that continue to keep us in business, and the minute you forget that that's the time you're out of business. Because people then begin to say "Oh he's an arsehole" (Laughs).

I love the fact that people like me and I always find a kind of a little bit disarming (Laughs) and so (Laughs) vocal about who I am..... I'm always like "Crap, aww gee er........" and I do get a little embarrassed by it (Laughs).


5D) Well you know, we have a convention very near here in Aberdeen in Scotland (Granite City Comic Con) every April, I'm sure they'd love to have you over here as a guest.

VW) I'd love to do it, it would be fun!


5D) And I'd buy you a beer!

VW) You got me! (Laughs). The whole thing is if I do come over there of course my wife will wanna come with me because she's madly in love with the Bay City Rollers and Scotland as a place!

5D) Can I quickly ask you about my favourite film of yours, InnerSpace - what are your memories of that film?

VW) .......er sorry, what was that?....... Oh InnerSpace! Sorry, someone was just walking past me and slapped me on the butt! (Laughs). Erm, oh I loved InnerSpace. The funny thing is that, er, Steven Spielberg actually put me in it because he loved the role I did in Road Warrior and then he proceed to take all my tools as an actor off me, my voice, my eyes and my hands! And then he said "Now act!" (Laughs).... which was kind of scary.

But I loved it because I was working with Joe Dante who was like this bloody big kid! (Laughs) so I had so much fun with him and doing the movie and I enjoyed it immensely - it was one of those films where you just got to go out and have fun everyday!  That's what it was.


5D) Yeah, it's just a pure fun film - funnily enough I watched it again just a couple of weeks ago and it still stands up pretty well. Do you watch yourself on film, can you watch yourself?

VW) I actually try not to very much (Laughs) because I have the tendency to criticise myself. Me watching myself own film is listening to me go..... "Are you kidding me??!!...... "You've gotta be kidding me!" (Laughs)........ "God, they let me do that!...... I am so critical of what I do and I don't look at it as a whole piece but just simply as what I'm doing. So even though the part may fit into what was happening in the film I'm sitting there criticising the hell out of the way I look, or the way I put my hand or something.

I think that all actors are the same, we're never satisfied with what we do, we're always nitpicking and trying to be better. Acting's a very organic process, it's taking the things that you find around you and the things that become part of your life and who you are. It's this organic thing that happens, that grows all the time. Actings not a thing where you say "Hey I'm an actor" it just doesn't happen like that, it keeps evolving, getting either bigger or smaller or better or worse - and that's what I think I like about it the most in that it still takes me places where I haven't been before.


Throwback 
5D) Yeah, I've been lucky to speak to a number of actors through doing the website and blog and it's amazing how many say the same thing in that they find it difficult to watch themselves.

VW) Yep, most definitely.


5D) Listen, Vernon - I've taken up far too much of your time. I do appreciate this. Can I wish you the best of luck with Starspawn and Landfall and say that if you look me up I'll definitely buy you that beer!

VW) Hey, I would be more than happy to take you up on that offer! It's been a pleasure talking to you and thank you for taking the time in talking to me.


5D Well it's been a thrill for me, I've been a fan of your for many years.

VW) Thanks, mate and I'll talk to you soon.



So there you have it........ a thoroughly enjoyable conversation it was too. I hope that the warmth, passion and humour comes across from Vernon, he genuinely had me in stitches with the delivery of his stories. I would like to repeat my thanks both to him and to Travis Bain in taking the time and effort to arrange the phone call.

Oh, and one more thing, remember - in regard to the Landfall Indiegogo campaign, as Vernon said ........ "Put your mouth where your money is and your money where your mouth is, stop saying how much you like me and bloody do something!"

Vernon & Travis Bain (centre right) 



You can read much more about Vernon at his official website at http://vernongwells.com






This article can also be found via the 5D website www.5d-blog.com. There you can find a veritable feast of blog articles, news items, pictures and and other mouth-watering salutations to the gods of the geeks and the nerds. We have now inherited the earth, you know.

There is also a newly launched forum on the website designed for ANYONE involved or interested in the Independent film industry related to genres of Sci-Fi, fantasy and horror. Feel free to register and contribute - Everyone is welcome!

In addition the 5D website now has PayPal Donate button. Any donations kindly made will be fed directly back to help with a podcast materials, competition prizes and other general costs etc. If you wish to contribute to the exciting growth of the website & blog then we here at 5D headquarters would be eternally grateful. If you would like your contribution to be acknowledged publicly then simply send a message via the website’s contact section and we’ll send you some love!

If all that was enough to entice to 5D land, should any of you fine people out there wish to advertise on the 5D website then have a look at the offer below.