He is No Dummy – Actor Invoice Oberst, Jr. Talks ‘Useful Dandy,’ Ray Bradbury And Invoice Moseley’s Beard

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It’s at all times such a pleasure to speak to Actor Invoice Oberst, Jr. You’d by no means know that such a quiet, self-deprecating man lives behind the faces of a few of the creepiest deviant characters on the market. In his profession, he’s portrayed a Nazi conflict felony, a decided detective, a pedophilic monster, Abraham Lincoln, a Civil Conflict basic, a nihilistic clown, an animated bull, an obsessed jail warden, and Jesus Christ himself. The South Carolina native gained an Emmy within the 2011 interactive video, Take This Lollipop, which has since been taken down as a consequence of its controversy.

Within the twelve years since his first recorded position as Normal William T. Sherman within the documentary Sherman’s March (2007), Invoice has been tagged for 190 movie initiatives, each previous and up-and-coming, most of them horror. Right here at PopHorror alone, we’ve mentioned and/or reviewed his movies three From Hell (2019 – learn our assessment right here), Circus of the Useless (2014 – learn our assessment right here), Inheritor (2015 – learn our assessment right here), Monsterland (2016 – learn our assessment right here), Ayla (2017), Looking Grounds (2015 – learn our assessment right here), After Hours (2016 – learn our assessment right here), Dis (2018 – learn our assessment right here), the upcoming movie, The Late Shift, and his award-winning portrayal of Ray Bradbury within the theatrical present, Ray Bradbury (Stay).

One of many few remaining movies for Take This Lollipop.

We have been blessed to have the possibility to speak with him about his time on Rob Zombie’s three From Hell set in addition to within the upcoming movie The Satan’s Junction: Useful Dandy’s Revenge (AKA Useful Dandy), each of which additionally star Invoice Moseley. There’s a lot to go over and never almost sufficient time within the day, however we did handle to place a couple of mysteries to relaxation.

PopHorror: Thanks so very a lot for speaking with me tonight!

Invoice Oberst, Jr.: It’s my pleasure, Tracy.

PopHorror: Let’s speak about Useful Dandy. Really, I’m undecided what to name it. It has one thing like three titles, I believe.

Invoice Oberst, Jr.: (laughs) It was initially known as Useful Dandy, after which it grew to become Satan’s Junction: Useful Dandy’s Revenge.

Poster art work for The Satan’s Junction: Useful Dandy’s Revenge

PopHorror: Oh, okay! (laughs) Are you able to inform us what the film is about?

Invoice Oberst, Jr.: Properly, it’s about evil ventriloquist dummies… It’s trope-y. You realize, the factor I really like about horror followers is that everybody will know what a trope is. This movie is mega-trope-y. It’s the form of film that I used to like to look at with my buddies in highschool the place we’d shout on the display, “You’re so silly! Why would you try this?” Again and again. It’s a enjoyable film. When you made a consuming sport the place you’d do a shot each time there was a trope on display, you’d be drunk by halftime. (laughs)

Oh, it’s not excessive artwork. Everybody concerned is aware of it’s not excessive artwork. It’s an homage to these Teen Doing One thing Actually Silly motion pictures from the ’80s… with 30 year-olds taking part in the youngsters, after all. Plus, us two previous horror veterans. Invoice Moseley and I are would be the unbiased model of who Vincent Worth and Peter Lorre was once. We’re in it. My Useful Dandy character is Mr. Jolly, a youngsters’ present host from the ’60s who’s very evil. His ventriloquist dummies come to life. He’s considered useless, however he’s not useless. He comes again for one last present.

PopHorror: Does one thing deliver him again?

Invoice Oberst, Jr.: Sure, one thing positively brings him again. I wished to make him enjoyable, so I mentioned to the director, Jeff [Broadstreet], “Look, this man works with ventriloquist dummies, and people guys are at all times somewhat bit… off. So, let’s make Mr. Jolly a grownup model of a ventriloquist dummy.” I wore this vibrant crimson shirt and medallion. I had a fancy dress with white gloves. They darkened my hair and it was plastered all the way down to my face. I’m made up like I’m a residing model of a doll.

Useful Dandy is my buddy. He’s the one I did the present with, and he’s actually the evil genius of the pair. And he talks like this: [in high-pitched evil ventriloquist dummy speak] “As a result of all evil ventriloquist dummies discuss like this, Tracy! Yeah, that’s proper. Hee hee hee hee!”

(each snigger)

Invoice Oberst, Jr.: I beloved working with him. I truly idolize Useful Dandy. I’d have gone and gotten him espresso if he had requested me. I simply thought he was very cool.

“There’s a cuteness to puppets. The one factor I believe that may have made them cuter is that if they gave all of them miniature devices of torture, like a tiny little chainsaw.”

PopHorror: You’re letting your true horror fan present, Invoice.

Invoice Oberst, Jr.: (laughs) Yeah, I suppose I’m! He was very insulting to me. He confirmed me zero respect, however I couldn’t cease being his greatest fan. He’s a very good puppet. And dealing with Invoice Moseley [read the PopHorror interview with him here] was one of many causes I wished to do it. We each did three From Hell [read the PopHorror review here], though we solely had a short scene collectively. I wished to work with him once more. He’s so nice.

PopHorror: How did you get within the zone to behave like an insane ventriloquist dummy?

Invoice Oberst, Jr.: As a toddler of the ’60s and early ’70s, I grew up with youngsters’ present hosts. Now, there’s Mr. Rogers. He was cool. I’m not going to make enjoyable of him. However I additionally grew up with the native youngsters’ present hosts who confirmed motion pictures, and I grew up with Captain Kangaroo. Captain Kangaroo was my favourite! He appeared fairly harmless to me. However as we speak, for those who confirmed the children Captain Kangaroo and Mister Moose, they’d say, “Ew! That’s creepy!”

PopHorror: Don’t neglect Mr. Inexperienced denims!

(each snigger)

Invoice Oberst, Jr.: So I based mostly Mr. Jolly on these varieties of youngsters’ present hosts, which, within the ’60s, would have been nice! I attempted making a personality inside a personality, which I actually like doing. I additionally did it in Circus of the Useless with Papa Corn. There’s one character that he actually is and one which’s his public character. So, I did that for Mr. Jolly, too. When he’s taunting Invoice Moseley, he’s utilizing his actual voice, after which, when he’s on display, he’s like, [in high-pitched evil ventriloquist dummy speak] “Hey, let’s begin the present!” I considered the children’ present hosts of my youth by means of a twisted lens.

However you understand what, Tracy? Nobody thinks that they’re evil. I’m satisfied of that. So, for Mr. Jolly, he thinks he’s simply this nice youngsters’ present host… even when some folks get their limbs lower off. [in high-pitched evil ventriloquist dummy speak] “It’s actually a very good present!” (laughs)

Bill Oberst Jr, Circus of the Dead, Billy Pon
Invoice as Papa Corn in Circus of the Useless (2014)

Invoice Oberst, Jr.: One of many funniest issues was that we filmed it in an previous tv studio, the place there had truly been native information and children’ exhibits, together with a present known as The Mr. Jolly Present in Detroit. We have been the very last thing that was performed there because it’s been gutted and become residences. There have been even previous TV cameras in there. So, they did a shot of the TV cameras with a crimson gentle on it and a puppet sitting behind it named Luigi. He was somewhat Italian puppet. I say, “Time to start out the present!” And so they lower to Luigi, who winks. I believed it was actually cute. There’s a cuteness to puppets. The one factor I believe that may have made them cuter is that if they gave all of them miniature devices of torture, like a tiny little chainsaw.

PopHorror: Like Puppetmaster!

Invoice Oberst, Jr.: Yeah! And the folks would scream and cry prefer it was an actual risk. They didn’t try this, however that’s the one factor that would have made it higher.

PopHorror: I heard that they’re truly making a film concerning the Banana Splits.

Invoice Oberst, Jr.: Oh, they’re! The one factor higher than that may be Bananas in Pajamas.

(each begin singing the Bananas in Pajamas theme track, snigger and discuss concerning the future horror motion pictures with Spongebob and Peppa Pig)

Invoice Oberst, Jr. in The Chair (2016)

PopHorror: That is in all probability an apparent query, however is that this a child pleasant film? It’s a few youngsters’ present…

Invoice Oberst, Jr.: Properly, there’s dismemberment and nudity, plus youngsters getting collectively earlier than they get killed. That form of factor. No, you in all probability wouldn’t need your toddlers to look at it. Though I’d have beloved to have performed a clear model of The Mr. Jolly Present for teenagers to look at, however we didn’t get to shoot that.

The one little little bit of an actual TV present that bought in there was a scene the place a personality was speculated to play a sport which may end in his dismemberment. As scripted, my line was, “Oh, you’ve bought to play the sport!” However I believed, “What if Mr. Jolly is basically harm?” As a result of one of many issues I believe is basically scary is that if somebody is basically insane, after which they react as in the event that they’re wounded or harm. He’s actually harm that she gained’t play his sport. So, Jeff let me attempt it. Useful Dandy the puppet says, “Oh, what’s the matter, Mr. Jolly?” And I answered, [in a whining voice] “She doesn’t need to play! She’s ruining the sport!” So Useful Dandy says, “That’s alright. I’ll repair it, Mr. Jolly.” Then he reveals intimate secrets and techniques concerning the character’s most personal life. So I say, “You at all times know what to say, Useful.” So yeah, they’ve somewhat relationship.

Invoice Oberst, Jr. as Mr. Jolly in The Satan’s Junction: Useful Dandy’s Revenge (2019)

PopHorror: Did you do Useful Dandy’s voice, too?

Invoice Oberst, Jr.: (laughs) No, I didn’t get to do his voice. However the man who does it [Jake LaMarca] – he’s fully in inexperienced, so he couldn’t be seen – that’s the best way he talked.

That jogs my memory that, as a child, I ordered the compulsory Sears & Roebuck Christmas catalog ventriloquist dummy, and so did my brother. My brother had one known as Willy Discuss, and I had one known as Charlie McCarthy. There was a report out by the late Paul Winchell, who’s dummy was known as Jerry Mahoney. He had an LP known as “Study Ventriloquism At Dwelling.” I wore the grooves out on it, attempting to be a ventriloquist. However Jerry Mahoney additionally talked like that. That’s the voice I used to be attempting to do, the Jerry Mahoney voice.

“In 100 years, who’s going to recollect you except you have got some legacy, some mark.”

PopHorror: So, you had an funding on this character, since you actually wished to be a ventriloquist.

Invoice Oberst, Jr.: Yeah, I really like inanimate objects that come to life, like a stuffed animal that strikes and talks. However I may by no means do it. It appeared really easy. The advert within the comedian books would present folks saying, “Hey, the place’s that voice coming from?” It’s coming from the trunk, and also you’re sitting there, smiling. However, it by no means labored.

(cue dialogue on X-ray specs and low cost rubber monster masks advertisements in comedian books)

Invoice and Invoice in The Satan’s Junction: Useful Dandy’s Revenge

PopHorror: You talked about earlier that you just have been in three From Hell with Invoice Moseley…

Invoice Oberst, Jr.: And his spouse, Lucinda Jenney. It was a cameo scene, which was awfully cool, since Invoice was in it, too. She’s a educated theater actress, so I associated quite a bit to her. Fascinating tidbit: they performed husband and spouse in Rogue Rover [2012]. This was Jourdan McClure’s film, who did Kids of Sorrow [2012], which I used to be in. Once I noticed her on set, she appeared so completely different that I didn’t even acknowledge her.

PopHorror: What would you say is the most important distinction between the filming of three From Hell and The Satan’s Junction: Useful Dandy’s Revenge?

Invoice Oberst, Jr.: That could be a actually, actually good query. The reply is: the meals. As a result of, it doesn’t matter what the price range degree of a film is, individuals are at all times devoted. Clearly, Rob [Zombie’s budget] was a lot greater. Everyone needs to do an excellent job and everyone needs to make a very good film. Everybody works arduous, 12-14 hour days. The principle variations are the facilities round it. Rob’s was a world class set, so the meals was nice! (laughs) Plus, in Rob’s film, you’re like, “Oh, look! There’s Clint Howard dressed as a clown!” “Oh, Danny Trejo!” “Hey, it’s Sean Whalen!”

PopHorror: And, you bought to see Invoice [Moseley] twice.

Invoice Oberst, Jr.: Yeah! And I discovered that Invoice can actually develop a beard. The beard from three From Hell is his. Once I noticed him, I needed to say, “Wow, that’s an incredible beard!” And he mentioned, “Yup! It’s all mine!” Lucinda mentioned, “Yeah, that’s his. I can’t await him to shave it off.”

(each snigger)

Invoice Moseley and his actual beard in three From Hell

Invoice Oberst, Jr.: Rob runs an extremely tight set. He actually is a superb filmmaker. His group could be very devoted to him. That’s one other distinction between the 2 units. On an indie movie, everybody tries actually arduous, however not everybody has the identical degree of expertise. However Rob’s individuals are well-seasoned and proper on prime of it.

PopHorror: There’s additionally that nervousness that there might be sufficient cash on an indie set.

Invoice Oberst, Jr.: That’s proper. You would possibly end the shoot however not have the funds for to paint it or add a rating in post-production. You may not be capable to get distribution. You want as a lot after the truth that you do once you shoot it. So many motion pictures are sitting on arduous drives proper now as a result of folks can’t afford to paint them or do put up. Then they may get it completed as a result of there’s some crowdfunding factor, however now the film’s previous.

Then you definitely get uncontrollable issues, like in Kids of Sorrow, which was 74 minutes lengthy. It gained award after award. It was killing it on the movie festivals. At 74 minutes, it did nice. It’s all modified somewhat bit now, however again then [2012], you needed to be at 90 minutes to get distribution. So that they instructed Jourdan, “Hey, we’d like 90 minutes.” He added them, however after that, each assessment of the film mentioned, “It drags within the center. It drags within the center.” It didn’t drag within the center till you made it drag within the center by saying that it needs to be 90 minutes. I simply want that individuals may have seen the 74 minutes model,

It has modified a bit since then. I simply labored with Adrian Corona, an arthouse horror director on a film made in Mexico known as Dis (2018 – learn the PopHorror assessment right here]. It was solely 67 minutes or one thing like that, and he bought distribution, which is nice. I’m a giant advocate of films being so long as they have to be.

PopHorror: The filmmaker is aware of what they need to say. They need to be capable to say it in their very own manner. If the story is 60 minutes lengthy, then its 60 minutes lengthy. That’s it.

Invoice Oberst, Jr.: Particularly once they say, “I don’t have any extra!” So they are saying you must use each little scrap of footage that you’ve got, as a result of I’m not taking it except it’s this size.

What if somebody wrote a e book, and the editor mentioned the e book needed to be 200 pages lengthy? Properly, I’ve solely bought 150 pages. No, it needs to be 200. However the story is is completed after solely 150. I’m a giant Curious George fan. A few of his adventures are brief, and a few are a bit longer. You don’t need to mess with them.

Invoice Oberst, Jr. in full Ray Bradbury make-up

PopHorror: Are you continue to touring with Ray Bradbury Eternally (Stay)?

Invoice Oberst, Jr.: Sure. I’ve bought a present in Atlanta subsequent 12 months after which I’m going to Walla Walla, Washington. I wished to go there simply so I may say Walla Walla. It’s enjoyable. After which I’ll be acting at some libraries subsequent 12 months as a result of it will likely be the 100th anniversary of Ray’s delivery. We did it on Broadway, and we did it in Los Angeles. We did about ten performances final 12 months, so I discovered what labored and what didn’t work. My purpose is to get it to the purpose the place individuals who know nothing in any respect about Ray Bradbury, individuals who have by no means learn a phrase of his, can say, “Wow, I bought one thing out of that.” I’m not within the Wikipedia data, the place he was born and what he wrote and all that.

Give it some thought: after we’re all gone and all of the individuals who have identified us are gone, what’s left of Tracy and Invoice? What have been our lives lived for? What did we stand for? What’s it about us that future folks can say, “Properly, I don’t know something about Tracy or Invoice, however this factor they did may apply to my life.” That’s the check. In 100 years, who’s going to recollect you except you have got some legacy, some mark.

“Dr. Seuss by no means would have considered a cat in a hat who does a house invasion if he hadn’t been bored.”

PopHorror: What has the response for been like for you?

Invoice Oberst, Jr.: It’s been actually, actually instructive to me as a result of individuals who come to the present are typically literate folks. I don’t imply that they’re smarter than anybody else. I simply imply that they’re readers. And that may be a very completely different form of viewers that I’m used to coping with. The individuals who come as much as me after the present, they’ll take my hand and so they’ll say that there was a passage of phrases or a quote that basically meant one thing to them. It made them really feel introspective or considerate. It’s all concerning the phrases. It’s not the visible that’s occurring on in entrance of them. It’s the phrases. It helps them to respect the genius of Bradbury and the genius of different writers much more. Simply the truth that you may take one thing that’s only a sound to create phrases that transfer the human spirit a lot is astounding. It’s like magic.

PopHorror: What’s a letter? A letter is a line and a circle or no matter. They appear like they’ve been all dumped onto the web page. Different folks have a look at these traces and circles and get a heavy emotional response, one thing which will even change their life.

Invoice Oberst, Jr.: There’s a poem of his. It’s known as Remembrance. I prefer it a lot that I’m including it the start of the present. I can’t learn it with out crying. Typically at evening, to fall asleep, I recite it. It’s so stunning. It’s the ability of phrases to chop by means of all of our stuff, to get to the common. That’s why I fear a few tradition that’s based mostly solely on photos and never on phrases. I don’t know if it’s a very good factor to have a meme tradition. I don’t know. That’s why nobody reads my Fb posts! I’m writing mini essays and individuals are similar to, “Lol.” (laughs)

Invoice Oberst, Jr. as Jesus of Nazareth

PopHorror: What do you love to do once you’re not working?

Invoice Oberst, Jr.: I like to learn. Rather a lot. I work out, too. I wish to stroll on the seashore. However I largely do a variety of studying. These days, I’ve been stepping into poetry. Bradbury helped me with that as a result of I learn a e book of Bradbury’s poetry. I noticed that there’s this complete world of literature that I’m not stepping into. So, within the morning, I learn my Devotional, and I learn a poem from a e book of poems by Carl Sandburg, one among Ray’s poems and a little bit of Robert Frost. Between them, I learn at the least one poem a day. It’s actually wonderful how studying a poem provides you an thought of how another person appears on the world. It will possibly actually open up your thoughts, and for the entire day, you see issues in a brand new manner. If you wish to be a author, day by day learn an essay, a chunk of fiction and a chunk of non-fiction. When you do these issues day by day, I defy you to not write one thing.

PopHorror: Are you writing?

Invoice Oberst, Jr.: Yeah. I’ve began writing some poems. Possibly another issues will come out. I don’t know. I wish to suppose, and I wish to be quiet. I don’t like noise. I solely have a flip telephone as a result of I don’t need issues ringing and buzzing. I prefer it quiet so I can suppose. Dr. Seuss by no means would have considered a cat in a hat who does a house invasion if he hadn’t been bored.

We need to ship a hug THANK YOU to Invoice Oberst, Jr. for speaking to us and for giving us such nice solutions. Make sure to verify him out in Satan’s Junction: Useful Dandy’s Revenge, which launched on DVD on November 5, 2019. Keep tuned to PopHorror for all your horror and gaming information, opinions and interviews!


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