A podcast with Daniel Franzese, star of Bully, Mean Girls, The Missing Person, and the upcoming remake of I Spit on Your Grave

By Adam Lippe

Thanks to Natalie Toren for the photo.

Here’s an audio interview I conducted with character actor Daniel Franzese, star of Bully, Mean Girls, The Missing Person, and the upcoming remake of I Spit on Your Grave. In the course of an hour, Daniel told many detailed stories about how he was cast in Bully, despite Larry Clark’s intense dislike of him, how Mean Girls helped his career but not the variety of scripts he was offered, the production problems with Killer Pad, what happens when you show up to the set and the script is not at all what you signed up for (Cruel World), how he navigates the conundrum of avoiding and yet requiring typecasting, and how the remake of I Spit on Your Grave walks the exploitation/feminist line.

The interview, which was recorded in November of 2009, while I Spit on Your Grave was still in production, covers a number of other subjects, and I certainly tried to get him to answer the important questions, such as, what, exactly, would a good version of I Spit on Your Grave look like? He also tells a very amusing, yet sad anecdote about his first animated film and why it was finished five years ago, and despite a big budget (from the producers of The Polar Express and Beowulf), is still unreleased. After the interview ends, there’s a 2 minute segment about The Missing Person that didn’t really fit anywhere in the main portion of the podcast.

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Now on DVD and Blu-Ray


By Adam Lippe

Whenever there’s a genre parody or ode to a specific era of films, such as Black Dynamite’s mocking of Blaxploitation films or Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof, the second half of Grindhouse, the danger is that the film might fall into the trap of either being condescending without any particular insight, or so faithful that it becomes the very flawed thing it is emulating.

Black Dynamite has nothing new to say about Blaxploitation films, it just does a decent job of copying what an inept [...]

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Featured Quote (written by me)

On Cold Fish:

Though the 16 year old me described the 1994 weepie Angie, starring Geena Davis as a Brooklyn mother raising her new baby alone, as “maudlin and melodramatic,” Roger Ebert, during his TV review, referring to the multitude of soap-operaish problems piling up on the titular character, suggested that it was only in Hollywood where Angie would get a happy ending. “If they made this movie in France, Angie would have shot herself.”

Well Cold Fish was made in Japan, where Angie would have shot herself and that would have been the happy ending.