Monday, October 14, 2013

Interview with Michael Varrati.

Full Name:
Michael Varrati

Do you have a nickname or what do your friends call you?
Other than people calling me “Mike”? Peaches Christ and her gang call me “Waffles,” because, clearly, that’s my spiritual name. No, but seriously, I’m not a drag queen, but when I was touring w/ Peaches and her movie, All About Evil, she had a thing where she gave everyone a drag name. One night, while we were in NYC, we stopped at a diner called Sugar (On 1st & Houston, I’ll always remember), and I was delirious because it was so late. There was a menu item called “Waffles Extravaganza,” and I cracked up over that for some reason. Amused by my incoherent laughter, Peaches forevermore dubbed me as “Waffles Extravaganza,” and to this day, when I work with her, or other drag queens across the land, that’s how they refer to me. So, if I have any nickname, that’d be the one.

I am officially going to refer to you as “Waffles Extravaganza” now.
That’s Ms. Extravaganza, if you’re nasty. 

Gallup, New Mexico

Current hometown:
Los Angeles, California

Favorite city and why?
Much like Randy Newman, I do love L.A.! However, I also really dig San Francisco. It’s such a confluence of freaks, how could I not?

August 29th. I’m as old as MTV, but I’ve aged better. Do the research if you really want to know. ;)

How would you describe yourself physically?
Bright blue eyes, outrageously spiky hair, and a body to die for… mostly because if you ate me, my carb intake would kill you.

That’s what George Takei said!
I once did a book report on George Takei’s autobiography in 9th grade.  Yup, I was that kid.

How would someone else describe you physically?
A little kid once came up to me and said my hair looked like I came out of a Japanese cartoon, so I think that says it all.

The first thing people notice about you is…
“Who is this guy, and why won’t he stop talking?”

Hair Color/Eye Color/Race?
Brown/Blue/Italian. I’m one of those rare blue-eyed Italians. Ruggero Deodato, director of Cannibal Holocaust, once suggested to me that the reason for this was because my people come from Northern Italy. He knew more about my Italian heritage than I did, which probably should be alarming. However, if you’re going to be schooled on your cultural background, it might as well be by a man who was once hauled into court for making a film that was too believably violent, no?

Sexual orientation?
It is a very well-publicized fact that I am one of the seven high lords of homosexuality. Fear my glamorous kingdom.

Okay, not that I want to make this interview all about your gayness but I’ve got a pretty decent gaydar and I had to ask you directly if you were a member of the pink mafia. Not that I care either way, as you know, it was just more of a professional/personal curiosity. I still remember when I was rather obviously flirting with Ally, as subtlety isn’t my strong suit and I turned to you and said, “I’m not pissing in your kool-aid, am I?” and you replied, wryly, of course, “There is no kool-aid.” Do you get a lot of people that don’t know about your orientation? Do you intentionally try to “pass” or is it just that you’re not predisposed to queening out? Do your parents know and are they supportive of your choice? I mean, I know it’s not a “choice”, but you know what I mean.
Yes, my parents know, and they’re mega-supportive. I actually have done several pieces for Huffington and an interview with Revolutionary Gay magazine about my “identity” and my parents overwhelming support. They’ve been amazing, and furthermore, have pretty much thrown themselves into the world. I think they secretly love it, too. My parents have had dinner with Peaches Christ and Mink Stole, and they were all about it. I think I keep the family interesting. They live in a small, rural town, so I think having a son like me lets them be rebels. Ha ha.
As for behavior, I don’t intentionally hide who I am, nor do I think affect any certain mannerisms to magnify my orientation. I am just simply me. It’s not a secret, though. I have written quite a bit about the connection between my horror roots and queer culture, and I’ve toured with and written for a drag queen, and was in a major music video of another (RuPaul’s Drag Race All Star’s winner Chad Michaels, the music video was titled “Tragic Girl,” and I acted/did production on it… Chad’s still an amigo), so if there’s anyone left who doesn’t know that I’m gay, it’s really they’re own damn fault.

Religion, if any?
I don’t do organized religion.

Are you superstitious at all? Any phobias?
I’m not particularly superstitious. Like, I don’t avoid ladders or black cats, and I’ve actually been known to go toward strange noises. So, maybe I’m just the worst kind of horror movie victim. As for phobias, I know it’s dumb, but I really, really don’t like mice.

I could see rats, but mice? Mice are adorable! I don’t like rodents in general because they supposedly leave invisible pee trails on you to mark you as their territory. That’s why whenever someone asks them to hold their pet rat I decline. Although ferrets are also adorable. They can pee on me all they want.
You pretty much just generally reiterated my point and further cemented my fear with that awful story of pee traces. No thank you.

Do you smoke/drink?   If so, what?   Any bad habits?
Non-smoker, I like vodka on the rocks, and have a tragic inability to avoid French fries.

Current occupation/Dream job:
I’m a writer, actor, and an internet tyrant. Although I’m already in my dream field, my dream job would be to make films that were financially successful enough to allow me the independence to create exact the kind of art that I want to create.

I sincerely wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors as I always do.

What do you like to do when you’re not at work?
I like to take long, meandering walks. I swim a lot. I, being an admitted nerd, am known to kill entire afternoons watching seasons of television shows and cartoons. My love of cartoons is actually reaching unhealthy levels.

I downloaded torrents of all of G I Joe and Transformers and The Simpsons and South Park and Rocky & Bullwinkle. Now if I could only find the time to watch them!
I’m watching Adventure Time now on Cartoon Network. It’s psychedelic outrageousness. I actually went out and bought the DVDs because I needed more.

What is your zombie outbreak survival plan?
I’m not the most athletic person on the planet, but I’m not exactly a slouch, either. So, I’d probably go to McDonald’s. I don’t eat fast food, really… so I know at least I’m faster than most of their regular clientele. The best survival plan isn’t to be the fastest, it’s just not be the slowest.

Weapon of choice:

…and shooting daggers with your eyes.
Okay, it’s true. I do have a penchant for giving death stares. It’s one of my friend Ryan’s favorite attributes of mine. He giggles madly when I dress someone down with a glance. Honestly, I probably just look dumb.

Do you have any special skills?
I have a nigh superhuman ability to recall facts and trivia about things that no one else even deems important, especially when it comes to pop culture. That guy you didn’t even remember was famous? I probably have his whole resume tucked in my brain somewhere, right next to info about who sang back up on Sheryl Crow’s fourth album’s title track (It was Liz Phair). I don’t know why I know, I just do. My brain stores this stuff. But, yet, ask me something pertinent, like how old a relative is or what day Christmas falls on this year, and I’m flummoxed.

Did you go to college and, if so, what for?
Kent State, and I got my Master’s degree in English Literature.

Any pets?   If so, what are they and what are their names?
No pets of my own, but I love dogs and want one so bad. My parents have a hip dog named Maggie, who I named after Dame Maggie Smith, and even though we’re thousands of miles apart, I still like to think of her as mine.

What is your favorite animal?
Dogs, totally dogs. I love their dopey affection and loyalty.

Speaking of pets, any pet peeves?
The increasing state of entitled behavior in people. I don’t know what happened, but it seems like common courtesy has become less and less of a thing as time goes on. Just don’t be an asshole, really!

Favorite/Least favorite Food:
No, really…I love French fries. However, in a very un-American turn of events, I really hate beef…so no burgers for me. Note: My not eating cow doesn’t make me a vegetarian, though some people from Texas seem to think so.

What is your favorite quotation/motto/saying?
“’How could you think of such awful things?’ liberal critics always ask. ‘How else could I possibly amuse myself?’ I always wonder.” – John Waters, in his book Shock Value. Thinking about it, that sort of sums up my life.

What is the best thing that ever happened to you?
I’m one of those obnoxious people who’s always pretty stoked about whatever I’m doing right now. I have to make my current project my favorite project, or else what’s the point?

What is the worst thing that ever happened to you?
I’m not really big on complaining about past tragedies. Not because they didn’t suck or hurt, but because through the lens of time, they also have been a contributing factor into shaping who I am today. I’m not necessarily an “everything happens for a reason” kind of dude, but I am a “learn from what life deals you” guy. If you only acknowledge the bright and fluffy side of life, you’re not growing as a person or learning from the mistakes and tragedy of your past. So, the worst things are mine to know, but I will tell you that they’re as much there with me every day as the best.

Ever had your heart broken? Is there a story worth telling behind your answer?
If you haven’t had your heart broken, you’re not living life. Is there a particular story attached? Nothing that’s going to be particular groundbreaking, alas. The epic loves of motion pictures tend to be far less epic in real life. I don’t really complain or discuss heartbreak or relationship issues, not because I consider it too personal, but because I think, when you’re not part of it, it’s just not something of particular interest to the layperson.

Ever broken someone’s heart? Is there a story worth telling behind your answer?
Look, life is not a black and white scenario, and people who think so are foolish. Even with the best intentions, we are, as individuals, not the hero of every story. With that in mind, yes, I’ve been the cause of some heartbreak, and while I didn’t necessarily mean to hurt anyone, sometimes that’s just the outcome. I think the important thing is to still treat the situation with understanding, not get petty, and remember that we are all people with flaws. Not everyone can share love, but they can share respect.

Lefebvre and Varrati Are Dead
Ain’t that the truth.

What is the best thing you’ve ever done?
I’ve lived such a bizarre and fun life, it’s hard to pick a single moment or milestone as the best. I’ve toured the country with a drag queen, I’ve written movies starring some of my film idols, I’ve been on TV and the radio, and met some amazing people. But, all that in mind, I’m going to say the best thing I’ve ever done is whatever’s coming next.

What is the worst thing you’ve ever done?
I once ate two Chipotle burritos in a single day. Do you even know what that does to a person?

If you could kill one person, consequence free, who would it be and why?
My mama raised me right, I don’t wish death on anyone, because that’s pretty extreme, and there’s really no one I hate or dislike that much. That said, being a student of the world, I also know that sometimes the biggest punishment is life itself. So, you know, I just hope some people live a really long time.

What do you do?
I’m a writer and an accidental actor. By that, I mean, my main goal is to write, but I accidentally fell into acting, and while it’s not my primary mission, if someone wants to cast me in a film, who am I to say no? Besides, I have a blast hamming it up for the camera.

How did you get started doing what you do?
I’ve been interested in telling stories since I was very little. When I was a kid, I used to write my parents these little one page stories, and I’d occasionally draw and write my own comic books that I’d staple together and force on them. I’m sure they were atrocious, but they were the genesis of what I do now.  As for the acting, I have always been a bit of a showboat, but I really got into the swing, like most, by doing theater in high school. It wasn’t enough, though, so I also joined community theater groups, did local talent shows, and generally threw myself into whatever performances I could. When I got to college, I snagged myself airtime on a cable access channel in the Cleveland area, and me and a ragtag group of kids did this weekly show that really honed my production skills and knowledge. We were pretty controversial for ol’ Kent State. I know a few of our jokes made the college TV station very nervous. So, I guess even before I immersed myself in underground cinema as a career, I was already at work pushing buttons.  While I was there, I also trained under character actor Rohn Thomas, who has been in a number of movies, including Sudden Death and John Landis’ Innocent Blood. For better or worse, he helped hone my craft for vamping it up on camera.

What is your advice to other people that want to get started doing what you do?
Since I’m a writer first and foremost, I feel most comfortable giving advice on that topic, and it’s cliché, but simple: Write. Every day. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t, and if you’re passionate about your topic, whether it’s horror, punk rock, or the flowers in your garden, don’t let people tell you not to write on that subject. If you love it, and put that love into the words, people will find your work.

What are some of the projects you’ve worked on/finished in the past? Give us a little history if you will.
My biggest projects, and the ones dearest to my heart, are the ones for which I’ve served as screenwriter. There’s something terribly exciting about knowing your characters and creations have become flesh and blood in a movie. It’s really a dream come true. I have a few films in production or poised to be released now, which are usually the projects that lead people to me. One of which, The Tales of Poe, is an anthology film I worked on with filmmakers Bart Mastronardi and Alan Rowe Kelly. I wrote one of the segments, Dreams, based (very loosely) on Poe’s poem of the same name. Bart directed my script, and we were lucky enough to land some big genre talent to fill out the cast. Adrienne King (Friday the 13th), Amy Steel (Friday the 13th Pt. II, April Fool’s Day), and Caroline Williams (Texas Chainsaw II, Hatchet III) are all involved in big parts, and the rest of the cast is a who’s who of top Broadway talent and indie film darlings. I’m also in the movie as a surgery happy doctor, and it was such a joy to share screen-time with these people. Having such an amazing group of performers and behind-the-camera talent bring my script to life is truly a gift. The movie is set to make its world theatrical premiere in 2014, and I can’t wait for people to see the finished product. I think it’s going to surprise people.
Another film I wrote, a feature, is set to go into production in January in Rhode Island. The film is titled The Sins of Dracula, and is going to be directed by award-winning filmmaker Richard Griffin. It’s a comedy-horror flick that is my take on Hammer Horror films if they were done as “Christian scare” movies. It’s silly and fun, and there’s a solid cast of Richard’s repertoire players, as well as a groovy part played by VHS-era hero Carmine Capobianco, who starred in Psychos in Love. I love working with Richard. He gets me and my insane whims. He also directed a short film I co-wrote, called Crash Site, which is available for viewing on YouTube. It’s an intentionally low-budget schlock piece. It’s a little gross and a little gay. It’s not for everyone, but I think it’s fun.
As for other projects, I’ve acted in a number of horror movies, including Mike Watt’s Razor Days and Demon Divas and the Lanes of Damnation, and I had a pretty choice role in our mutual pal Ricky LaPrade’s haunted anthology Erebus. As previously mentioned, I toured the country with Peaches Christ in support of her movie All About Evil, where I did a number of tasks, including performing live in some cities as part of Peaches’ “Tour de Fierce” road show. As a writer, I’ve got regular columns on The Huffington Post and, and I’m part of the core team of Ultra Violent magazine. My work has also appeared in Fangoria, Phantom of the Movies’ Videscope, FearNet, and I contributed essays on horror films to Glen Coburn’s book Whacked Movies. There’s probably plenty more I’m forgetting.
You’re just about the first person to answer that question as intended. Take a bow.
And other interviewees take note, this is how it’s done.

I’m a carnival barker of a certain pedigree. Not only do I love what I do, but I learned from the William Castle model that you got to schlep it when you can. You asked, and I was happy to deliver!

I’m happy you did. You’d be surprised at how many people either don’t want to talk about or don’t know how to promote themselves.

What projects are you working on now?
I literally just wrapped shooting on a scene in Lloyd Kaufman’s brand new Troma flick, Return to Nuke ‘Em High, and that was a blast. Lloyd is very giving and a lot of fun. I’m also a fan of the original Nuke ‘Em High, and I’m happy to say this movie is a return to form for Troma. For anyone who’s been hankering for a little bit of their 80s vibe mixed with the social messages of today, this is the one you’ve been waiting for…trust me. I’m thrilled to be a Tromaville alumni.
My other big project at the moment is Nevermore, a film project that’s going to be helmed by Re-Animator director Stuart Gordon about the life of Edgar Allan Poe. I was brought on board to help the production’s publicity and crowd-funding campaign, so we’re working on getting that made. If the film comes to fruition, who knows? You may just see me lurking in the shadows.
I’m also currently in talks with several other name actors to start work on new screenplays for the new year. Nothing too concrete that I can announce officially, but things are looking up, and I think it’s going to excite some people when news breaks.

Well, if you ever need a co-writer or a reader let me know. You know I’ve got chops and I’m always looking to help the cause.

What are you watching?
One of the great things about living where I do is that there are always wonderful event screenings to attend, but none more than right now for the month of October. I’ve been hitting a lot of revival cult film screenings for Halloween. I just saw John Carpenter’s original Assault on Precinct 13 at Beyond Fest, w/ composer Alan Howarth doing an electronic music performance following the film. The Silent Movie Theater is also doing an event where they are screening a different underground horror flick at midnight every single night this month. I’ve trying to go often. I’ve already caught Black Devil Doll from Hell, Tales from the Quadead Zone, Death Bed: The Bed That Eats, and I have tickets for a few more. I’m particularly jazzed about catching Last House on Dead End Street on 35mm.
At home, it’s more of the same. I had a cold, and a friend made a stack of DVDs of old Joe Bob Briggs’ Monstervision episodes, so even after I got better, I’ve been burning through those. I’m living for his snark and “Drive-In Totals.”

What are you listening to?
Patrick Wolf and the Scissor Sisters are never too far from my playlist. Also, I’ve been revisiting a lot of punk I grew up with lately, like The Ramones, Sloppy Seconds, etc. That, and Bippy, which is my pal Art’s legendary Cleveland-area punk band. I always listen to a lot of Bippy in October.

“I am a C. I am a C, H. I am a C,H,R,I,S,T,I,A,N.” Love myself some Bippy. Also I think I saw Scissor Sisters, like, twelve years ago at Fort Thunder. I don’t remember much about the show except that it was weird.
They trade in weird. I last saw the Scissor Sisters on the last night of their “Magic Hour” tour at Terminal 5 in NYC. It was this wall-to-wall, sweaty disco-infused cult dance party. It was madness incarnate, and I LOVED it.

What are you reading?
I’m reading Stephen King’s new book, Doctor Sleep. I’m diggin’ it, and I’m not sorry.

Favorite author/book?
I’m a pretty big reader. I am an unapologetic Stephen King fan, both vintage and new. I also really dig Bret Easton Ellis. For as a polarizing an individual as he may be, I love his books and the casual nihilism he crafts. I think I’ve re-read Less Than Zero every summer for at least six years running.

How have we not talked about Bret Easton Ellis before now? It must be amazing for you finally living in L.A. being a fan of his work. I did a huge write up about his Lunar Park and Palahniuk’s “Haunted” that I think is the best review work I’ve ever done.
How do you feel about Douglas Coupland and Chuck Klosterman?

Klosterman is pretty boss. His handle on pop culture is great, and I love his acerbic take on things. I haven’t read enough Coupland to offer a legit opinion. As for Ellis, it’s a joy to be living in the soulless city of his novels. Ha ha. But really, it’s funny, and totally nerdy, but I felt like I “made it,” the day Bret Easton Ellis followed me on Instagram. Actually, he follows me on all my social media, including Spotify… so the author of American Psycho knows when I’m listening to Miley Cyrus. Yikes.

I have to admit my Klosterman question was a bit of a red herring. I think he’s an over-rated hack. Whenever I read anything of his I’m always thinking, “Why is anyone paying attention to this guy? I’m INFINITELY funnier and a much better writer than this mumblecore jerk-off!” I need a better agent. Or an agent period. Do you know any agents?
I love the term “mumblecore,” though I don’t particularly get the movement. When did it become cool to have everyone just half-talking and not committing to a full sentence structure? It’s like everyone thinks they’re Robert Altman suddenly, except they are missing the minute detail that he was good.
Don’t get an agent unless you need one, that’s my writerly advice to you.

Favorite band/song?
I know it’s a cop out, but I was raised in such a musically diverse environment, I don’t particularly have one favorite, per se, because different music strikes me for different moods. I love punk and underground stuff, but I’m also an unapologetic defender of my love of teen pop. I’ve seen Propagandhi and One Direction, and loved both concerts. So, I can’t just say, “such and such is my favorite,” as my shifting mood may make me down for N.W.A one moment and Madonna the next. However, some mainstays on my list are the aforementioned Scissor Sisters and Patrick Wolf, as well as David Bowie, Pink Floyd, The Ramones, The Beatles, and Amanda Palmer. Do Broadway musical soundtracks count? I do love Sondheim. That’s right, kids…it gets gayer.

I minored in tech theater in college and I’ve worked my fair share of musicals and I loved the fact that most of the actors were gay. That just meant more actresses cruising for rough trade for me!
I love that you just referred to theater as “rough trade.”

Actresses dating techies was definitely slumming but we were a lot more manly than most of the actors. Pretty boys worried about their hair and catting it up at cast parties don’t do much for your average college-aged actress although once your average actress “makes it” they don’t seem to mind being a “beard”.
I have never dated an actress for publicity, but I suppose it’s never too late to start. Judi Dench is single, right?
Is Angela Lansbury still alive and if so is she single?

Least favorite band/song?
Morrissey, with all his pretentious prattle. I’m not an overly vindictive person, per se, but I would love to just tie him down and eat copious amounts of meat while he watched. I mean, I’m serious, if we were comic book characters, he’d be the Joker to my Batman. I can’t think of an artist more fundamentally different than me. Which, I know is probably shocking to some people, considering his weird, quasi-sexuality and admittedly gorgeous hair.  But I hate to say it: Morrissey ain’t punk. You can’t just call yourself counter-culture, dude. I’m wise to your diva shenanigans.

You’ve just had a pink fatwah sworn out against you, you do know that, don’t you?
Oh, whatever. I mean, he’s got a nice velvety voice, I guess. And look, I’m not really into slamming other people, especially publicly, but he has a long history of being condescending, especially to his fans, and that’s the one cardinal sin in my book. If you do this, and are given this life where you get to make your art, don’t degrade the people who put you there. So if that fatwah comes, I’ll tell you this: I know how soon is now… do you?

Desert Island Music/Movies/Books: You know the deal. Five of each.
The Phantom of the Paradise soundtrack, Carly Simon’s Coming Around Again, Queen’s A Kind of Magic, Goblin’s Tenebre, Scissor Sisters’ Night Work
Movies- Mulholland Drive, Ladyhawke, Showgirls, Teen Witch, Lawrence of Arabia
Books- The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, The Secret History by Donna Tartt, Less Than Zero by Brett Easton Ellis, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams, Salem’s Lot by Stephen King

Of all of the Douglas Adams books, why Dirk Gently?
Don’t get me wrong, I love the Hitchhiker’s books. I love Douglas Adams in general. But, I dig Dirk Gently because it’s not the obvious choice, and it’s also just as cheeky, if not more so, than his sci-fi romps.

If you could do anything other than what you do now, what would you do?
I think I’d love to be a chef. I’m just fascinated with the way food can come together into art. Delicious, succulent art.

Who would you want to meet that you haven’t met? You get three choices:
Alive –
David Lynch. He’s one of the artists whose work has most directly been influential to mine, and I just think he’s an otherworldly, cool cat.
Dead –
Derek Jarman. Ditto. Amazing filmmaker, gifted artist, and he even made The Smiths bearable in the music videos he directed for them. He was my biggest go to influence in writing my segment for Tales of Poe, and reading his diaries made me weep like a child.
Fictional - 
Once, in an interview, a journalist said to Cary Grant, “I’d like to be Cary Grant,” and he responded, “Me too.” So, he’s my fictional pick.

What’s the best and worst job you’ve ever had?
The best job I’ve ever had is being me, professionally! I get to live Halloween and horror movies 365 days a year. Who’s going to complain about that gig? Worst job: I edited science text books. You know who knows nothing about science? This guy.

Are there any questions that I didn’t ask that you wished I had asked that you would like to answer now?
My favorite holiday is Halloween, I absolutely do think they should make another X-Files movie, and yes, I’d love some guacamole.

Did you ever have a chance to try Michael Cucinotta’s home-made guacamole? It’s to die for.
I haven’t. Clearly he and I need to meet so he can feed me this avocado masterpiece.

Next time you’re in New York we need to make that happen.
Don’t threaten me with a good time, sir!

Anyone you recommend I interview that you can put me in touch with?
Art Ettinger, editor of Ultra Violent and dear friend. You know Art. You also know his answers will be caustic and life changing.

I don’t know why I didn’t think of that already. I just didn’t think he’d be the “want to be interviewed” type for some reason. But I’ll hit him up after our interview goes live and use your interview as social proof. I’ll probably hit up Ally Melling too. People need to know about those people.
Ally is one of my dearest friends, a fellow member of UV, and my most frequent partner in crime when it comes to taking this ridiculousness on the road. We’ve travelled all over together. She’s been in some fun indie films and is a solid writer. She has her own site, Geeking Ally, which is the ultimate stop for comic and film nerds, and she’s currently kicking ass getting her PhD in film studies. You should DEFINITELY talk to her.

And now she has a bio. With friends like you who needs to write their own bios?
Please add to her bio that she is a Fan-ilow of Barry Manilow. Oh, and maybe add an inferred joke about fisting. She’ll know it was from me.

Got any questions for me?
I do! Do you remember, about five years ago, we were at a HorrorHound convention in Pittsburgh, and you were singing a song from your former band across the bar. What was that song? What was that band? Can I get an audio cassette?

Of course I remember that! Funny story. Art Ettinger and I got off on the wrong foot. We met at a Fangoria convention and my friend / straight-lifemate Josh Gravel introduced us. Art was going to be interviewing Uwe Boll or something and he asked if we had any questions for Uwe Boll and I said, “Yeah, ask him if I can get my eight bucks back from paying to see “House of the Living Dead” theatrically because that movie sucked on ice and I know I can never get the time back, but the least he can do is give me a refund.” So, Art didn’t really appreciate that and he thought I was an asshole. And I admit I can be an asshole sometimes. Then one time Art was asking Josh if he knew about this obscure Rhode Island punk band named FESS that Art’s band Bippy played a show with when they came to Rhode Island on tour. Josh said, “Uh, yeah, you know that friend of mine that you think is an asshole? He was the bass player and singer for that band and he wrote all of the songs.” and Josh tells me that Art lost his shit. I guess he really liked the band and we were really cool to him and his band when they came through so Art and I made up and we’ve been friends ever since. The band was called “FESS” which is French-Canadian slang for “ass”. The song was “Masturbating” which was what I would dubiously call our “big hit”. And coincidentally I made a Facebook band page for the band last week and uploaded all of the stuff I had on a Bandcamp profile I maintain for my electronic music. So if you want to download all I’ve got it’s readily available and you can make your own cassette. Punk rock!
You can check them out here and here respectively:

Pitch parade:
Give me all of your links for things you want to promote.   All of them.

(Tragically, the updates for this are few and far between)

About the Interviewee:
Michael Varrati is a writer, actor, and pop culture enthusiast. He's written several horror film projects, including the forthcoming TALES OF POE and SINS OF DRACULA. As an actor, he's appeared in numerous cult and genre offerings, such as Troma's RETURN TO NUKE 'EM HIGH, Ricky LaPrade's EREBUS, Happy Cloud Pictures' RAZOR DAYS, and Debbie Rochon's debut feature, MODEL HUNGER, among others. Varrati is closely associated with cult drag icon Peaches Christ, and has toured the country w/ Christ in support of her movie ALL ABOUT EVIL. A veteran of the stage, Varrati has also performed along such cult luminaries as Mink Stole and Beverly Bonner. As a writer, Varrati maintains several active columns, which include the Huffington Post,,and FearNet, as well as print work like Ultra Violent magazine and Videoscope. He's also an occasional YouTube personality, but admits he's kind of lazy when it comes to updating his channel. He feels weird writing in the third person, and really could use a margarita.

About the Interviewer:
Scott Lefebvre has probably read everything you've read and can write about whatever you want him to write about.
Mostly because when he was grounded for his outlandish behavior as a hyperactive school child, the only place he was allowed to go was the public library.
His literary tastes were forged by the works of Helen Hoke, Alvin Schwartz and Stephen Gammell, Ray Bradbury, Richard Matheson, Stephen King, Clive Barker, Edgar Allan Poe, and H. P. Lovecraft.
He is the author of Spooky Creepy Long Island and a contributing author to Forrest J. Ackerman’s Anthology of the Living Dead, Fracas: A Collection of Short Friction, The Call of Lovecraft, and Cashiers du Cinemart.
His reviews have been published by a variety of in print and online media including Scars Magazine, Icons of Fright, Fatally Yours and Screams of Terror, and he has appeared in Fangoria, Rue Morgue and HorrorHound Magazine.
He is the Assistant Program Director for The Arkham Film Society and produces Electronic Music under the names Master Control and LOVECRAFTWORK.
He is currently working on a novel-length expansion of a short-story titled, "The End Of The World Is Nigh", a crowd-funded, crowd-sourced, post-apocalyptic, zombie epidemic project.
You can check out the blog for the book here:
You can check out the Facebook Fan Page for the project here:
You can check his author profile at:
You can follow him at GoodReads here:
You can check out his electronic music here:
And here:
You can check out his videos at:
You can check out his IMDB profile here:
You can follow his Twitter here: or @TheLefebvre
You can follow his Tumblr here:
You can check out his Etsy here:
You can join the group for The Arkham Film Society here:
You can stalk his Facebook at:
You can e-mail him at:

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