I have heroes. Hell, we all have heroes. But when I think of what I would define as a hero, I’m afraid I’ve developed a slightly angular definition of the word. For lack of a better term, I love lunatics. That doesn’t necessarily mean “I sleep in an oven and have a talking salamander living in my ear who tells me to hump tombstones” lunatics. It means I am fascinated with those that live on the fringes of society. People’s who lack of fear motivates them to create outlandish and brilliant works. The most unconventional approaches to art are always the most rewarding and when I see this in an individual, I’m compelled to investigate what they do. So is Shade Rupe…
Shade Rupe is a jack of all trades. He’s done everything you’ve ever wanted to do with the people you’ve only dreamt of doing them with. Though the name isn’t instantly recognizable, his face is one you may be familiar with. He was a part of Bravo’s “100 Scariest Movie Moments” and it’s sequel/update. He’s also been on programs as varied as “20/20” and “Cash Cab”. In the 90’s, 2 of his short films (Self-Immomulsion and penisknifevaginawound) made the rounds while he also served as editor on the highly-lauded Funeral Party 1 and 2.
Perhaps his work most familiar to genre fans is the stuff that he did behind the scenes. Most recently, he’s been responsible for the Deep Red International Festival of Fantastic Film as well as being Chairman of the International Jury at the 15th annual Lund International Festival of Fantastic Film in Sweden. Not sure yet? Well, he oversaw a weekend festival at Sundance, co-produced last year’s Russellmania! (along with Fantasia, Rue Morgue, The American Cinematheque, and Lincoln Center!) where a tour was done showing the works of the great Ken Russell, and a million other cool things. Aside from working with loads of great companies helping with the acquisition and release of some fantastic films (of the horror/cult variety) he is now working with the fine folks at Synapse Films. You can also expect to see production begin on a script he wrote called “Fear Factory” this year…but none of this is what we’re here to talk about.
The real reason we’re discussing Mr. Rupe is because like all of us, he’s a fan of movies first and foremost. He lives and breaths all things cinema. That lifelong love has manifested itself into many things, obviously. But what may be one of his greatest achievement hit bookshelves in December by way of his new book “Dark Stars Rising”. DSR is quite possibly the single greatest collection of interviews I’ve ever seen. The book covers the freak side of cinema, music, and art all in one beautiful fell swoop. Gaspar Noe, Bill Lustig, Richard Stanley, Crispin Glover, Buddy Giovinazzo, Divine, Udo Kier, Chas. Balun, Tura Satana, Alejandro Jodorowsky, and Richard Kern are some of the names that can be found amongst the 500+ pages of this monster. Amazing photos, personal (and wildly entertaining) interviews, and tons of reviews are packaged masterfully by the good people at Headpress. I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I tell you that Dark Stars Rising is a MUST HAVE/MUST READ for all fans of the darker side of art. You love these peoples’ work, and so does Shade Rupe-the combination of the 2 has created the new bible for the outer edge.
If I can twist his arm enough, I’m going to wrangle an interview out of Mr. Rupe and get all the gory details to be had. Until then, we’ve got another sweet giveaway for one of our lucky and loyal Blood Sprayer readers. You can win yourself a copy of Dark Stars Rising signed by its author. You know how we do things: Answer the question below in the form of a comment on this post and include the email address that’s best to contact you at.
*Name Jim Van Bebber’s film that won audience prizes at New York Underground Film Festival*
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Tags: Alejandro Jodorowsky, Bill Lustig, Buddy Giovinazzo, Chas. Balun, Crispin Glover, Dark Stars Rising, Divine, Fastasia, film, Gaspar Noe, Headpress, Jim Van Bebber, movies, Richard Stanley, Rue Morgue, Shade Rupe, Udo Kier