Jim Wynorski

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Jim Wynorski (born August 14, 1950 in Glen Cove, Long Island, New York) is an American screenwriter, director, and producer.

Wynorski has been making B-movies and exploitation movies since the early 1980s, and has directed over 75 feature films. His earliest films were released to movie theaters, but his later works have predominantly been released to cable or the straight-to-video market. He often works under pseudonyms such as "Jay Andrews," "Arch Stanton," "H.R. Blueberry," "Tom Popatopolis," and "Noble Henry."[citation needed] His movies often spoof horror films: Cleavagefield, for example, parodies Cloverfield,[1] The Bare Wench Project parodies The Blair Witch Project,[2] and "Para-Knockers Activity" parodies Paranormal Activity.[3] A character in the film The Final Destination is named after him.[citation needed]

In 2009, the documentary Popatopolis, directed by Clay Westervelt and named for one of Wynorski's pseudonyms, chronicled Wynorski during the making of his soft-core horror film, The Witches of Breastwick. The film serves as a partial biography, with clips from many of his previous films and includes interviews with Wynorski, his contemporaries, cast, and crew.

In 2016, he directed Nessie & Me, marking the first time that he directed a children's film.[4] The character Jack O’Grady directly references Wynorski's earlier films Dinocroc vs. Supergator and Piranhaconda when he encounters Nessie at the start of the film, hinting that Nessie & Me is canon to those film series, as well as Monster Cruise, with many characters from it appearing in Nessie & Me as well.

Career[edit]

Wynorski grew up in Long Island. He flunked out of film school and went to work at the fiction department of DoubleDay publishing from 1972 to 1977. He wanted to work in movies, so quit his job and moved to Los Angeles. He got a job as location manager on the TV show Breaking Away, but was fired during production. Flying back to Los Angeles, he met a fellow passenger who knew Roger Corman and arranged an introduction. Wynorski went to work for Corman. He did publicity and began writing screenplays.[5]

Wynorski's first produced screenplay was Forbidden World (1982). He also wrote Sorceress for $1,000 and wrote and produced Screwballs (1983), a Porky's style comedy.

Directorial debut and Roger Corman[edit]

Wynorski made his directing debut with The Lost Empire.

His second film was made for Julie Corman: Chopping Mall (1986), which Wynorski also produced and co-wrote.[6] Julie's husband Corman liked it, and hired Wynroski to make Deathstalker 2 in Argentina, then Big Bad Mama II (1987), with Angie Dickinson, and a remake of Not of this Earth (1988) with Traci Lords. He was creative consultant on Purple People Eater (1988).

Wynorski was given a $7 million budget to make The Return of Swamp Thing (1989) with Louis Jourdan. He then made Transylvania Twist and The Haunting of Morella back to back for Roger Corman.

For Julie Corman he made Sorority House Massacre II on sets left over from existing films. Roger Corman was impressed and got Wynorski to remake it as Hard to Die.

Corman "taught me all the lessons on how to make a film and how to make it look expensive when you don't have a lot of money," Wynorski says.[7]

He worked on the scripts for Beastmaster 2: Through the Portal of Time, House 4 and Final Embrace but did not direct them.

He directed 976-Evil II (1992), which was produced by Paul Hertzberg, whom Wynorski would frequently collaborate.

Fred Olen Ray[edit]

With his friend Fred Olen Ray he directed, wrote and produced Scream Queen Hot Tub Party (1991), shot in one day. The two friends later collaborated on Dinosaur Island (1994) and co-executive produced Dark Universe (1993) and Biohazard: The Alien Force (1994) together. Ray produced Sorceress (1995) which Wynorski directed and Wynorski helped produce Bikini Drive-In (1995), Fugitive Rage (1996),Friend of the Family II (1996) and Hybrid (1997) which Ray directed.

Family films[edit]

Wynorski made Munchie (1992), marking the film debut of Jennifer Love Hewitt. This was popular enough for a sequel, Munchie Strikes Back (1993) and Little Miss Millions (1993), again with Hewitt. He also executive produced The Skateboard Kid 2.

Erotic thrillers[edit]

In the early 1990s he specialised in erotic thrillers, starting with Sins of Desire (1993). "I was good and I was fast,” Wynorski said. “They knew the product would be solid... They were easy to make. It didn’t require any action. You could get them done well in 12 days. The trick was making them for low money. There was plenty of competition, so you had to be good and you had to get those big stars naked. Shannon Tweed, Andrew Stevens, Shannon Whirry, Tanya Roberts all started working double time.”[8]

Wynorski's other erotic thrillers included Point of Seduction: Body Chemistry III (1994), Victim of Desire (1995), Body Chemistry IV: Full Exposure (1995) and Virtual Desire (1995). He later directed The Escort III (1999).

In 1998 Wynorski appeared in a documentary Some Nudity Required where he said he got into film "for the money and the chicks" and said "breasts are the cheapest special effect in the business".[9]

Roger Corman Presents[edit]

Wynorski made two films for Corman's Showtime series, Roger Corman Presents: a remake of The Wasp Woman (1995) and Vampirella (1996). Vampirella was an unhappy experience for him - in 2013 he said that film and Victim of Desire were the only films he regretted making in his career.[10]

Sunset Films[edit]

Wynorski established his own production company, Sunset Films, which he ran with Andrew Stevens. It was a division of Cinetel Films.[11][12] Sunset's films included Midnight Tease and its sequel; Vice Girls (1997); Sorceress II: The Temptress (1997).

He directed some of Sunset's films including Hard Bounty (1995), Demolition High (1996), Against the Law (1997), Storm Trooper (1998), Desert Thunder (1999).

He did not direct the sequel to Demolition High, Demolition University (1997), but produced and co-wrote it.

Action movies[edit]

These were action movies, as were The Pandora Project (1998), Stealth Fighter (1999), Final Voyage (1999), Militia (2000), Rangers (2000), Extreme Limits (2000) and Ablaze (2001).

He produced some films he did not direct such as Fugitive Mind (1999); Sonic Impact (2000); Active Stealth (2000), Submerged (2000), Kept (2001), Air Rage (2001), Critical Mass (2001), Venomous (2001), all directed by Ray; Storm Catcher (2000); Jill Rips (2000) with Dolph Lundgren; Intrepid (2000), with James Coburn.

He often worked with producer and actor Andrew Stevens who called in Wynorski to shoot additional scenes for Agent Red (2000).

Thy Neighbor's Wife (2001) was a thriller. Gale Force (2002), Lost Treasure (2003, with Stephen Baldwin) and Treasure Hunt (2003) were action films. Bad Bizness (2003) was Wynorski's first film with a predominantly black cast.

Later action films he helped produce included Blue Demon (2004) and Sub Zero.

The Bare Wench Project and parody films[edit]

In 2000 Wynorski made The Bare Wench Project, a sex parody of The Blair Witch Project. It was popular and led to several sequels. Wynorski made several other erotic parody movies, including Busty Cops (2004) and its several sequels; The Witches of Breastwick (2005) and its sequel; Alabama Jones and the Busty Crusade (2005); The Da Vinci Coed (2007), The Breastford Wives (2007), House on Hooter Hill (2007), The Devil Wears Nada (2009), Cleavagefield (2009), Para-Knockers Activity (2009), and The Hills Have Thighs (2010).

Creature films[edit]

In 2001 Wynorski returned to Roger Corman with Raptor (2001). He later made a series of "creature" films. For Corman he did some uncredited work on Wolfhound (2002). He made Project Viper (2002) for the Sci Fi Channel.

He later made Curse of the Komodo (2004) and its sequel Komodo vs. Cobra (2005); Gargoyle: Wings of Darkness (2004); Cry of the Winged Serpent (2007); Dinocroc vs. Supergator (2010); Camel Spiders (2010); CobraGator (2016).

Horror films[edit]

He returned to slasher movies with Cheerleader Massacre (2003). The Thing Below (2003) was horror.

Lust Connection (2005) was a return to erotic thrillers.

Family films[edit]

In recent years, Wynorski has returned to the family film genre, making Nessie & Me (2016), which is in a shared universe with DinoCroc, Supergator, Dinocroc vs. Supergator, Piranhaconda, due to the lead character referencing said films' title monsters, and Monster Cruise, from which many characters returned for Nessie & Me. He also directed A Doggone Christmas (2016), which spawned a sequel A Doggone Hollywood (2017).

Filmography[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Foy, Scott (2008-02-15). "B-Movie Overload: Beasts, Bugs, Breasts & Boll". DreadCentral. Retrieved 2013-11-22. 
  2. ^ "The Top 10 'Blair Witch Project' Parodies". Fearnet. 2009-07-16. Retrieved 2013-11-22. 
  3. ^ Foy, Scott (2009-10-26). "Para-Knockers Activity Prepares to Go Hump in the Night". DreadCentral. Retrieved 2013-11-22. 
  4. ^ "Nessie & Me - Trailer". YouTube. Retrieved 27 October 2017. 
  5. ^ McCarty, John (2016). The Sleaze Merchants: Adventures in Exploitation Filmmaking from the ’50s to the ’90s. Crossroad Press. 
  6. ^ "Interview with director Jim Wynorski". Film Monthly. 15 October 2014. 
  7. ^ [1][dead link]
  8. ^ Liebenson, Donald (20 March 2017). ""The Sexpendables": How Basic Instinct Birthed a Schlocky, Sexy Cottage Industry". Vanity Fair. 
  9. ^ [2][dead link]
  10. ^ "Rex Sikes Movie Beat chats with director Jim Wynorski". Blogtalkradio.com (Podcast). 2013. 
  11. ^ "Bring on the Killbots: An Interview with Steve Mitchell". Mondo Digital. 
  12. ^ "Sunset Films International". Hollywood Network. 
  13. ^ Foy, Scott (2010-07-04). "Three Weeks and Counting Until Dinocroc vs. Supergator". DreadCentral. Retrieved 2013-11-22. 

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