JOHN ROECKER
interview by vinnie baggadonuts

HEY, BOYS AND GIRLS! UNCLE VINNIE HERE, WITH TODAY’S TASTES LIKE CHICKEN LIFE LESSON: MAN + GOD = EVIL. NO SHIT! CASE IN POINT: KING GEORGE II AND HIS BASTARD CABINET. THEY’RE TOTALLY FUELED ON THE LORD, AND LOOK WHAT THAT’S DONE FOR THE WORLD! MIGHT AS WELL BE BENT OVER IN A JENNY CRAIG PRISON YARD. FORTUNATELY, THERE ARE STILL PEOPLE OUT THERE WHO REMEMBER THAT WE HAVE THE FREEDOM TO SAY ANYTHING WE WANT, EVEN WHEN IT GOES AGAINST WHAT POPULAR OPINION MAY BE. PEOPLE LIKE FILMMAKER JOHN ROECKER, WHO WAS A PART OF THE PUNK ROCK SCENE BACK BEFORE MOST OF YOU WERE LODGED IN YOUR MOMMY’S HAPPY PLACE. READ ON AND LEARN WHY LIVE FREAKY! DIE FREAKY! IS GONNA KICK PEOPLE IN THE ASS,.. AND RIGHTLY SO.

Vinnie: You know, I remember watching all those old puppet specials around the holidays, and thinking they were all creepy as shit-- the way they looked and moved. Then I read an interview with you where you talk about Rankin and Bass-- the cats who made those Christmas specials. Was that something you had wanted to do from the very beginning?

John: When I was a kid and I saw those films they scared the shit out of me. There was a creepy factor to them. And I thought if I wanted to make a film that was scary and creepy, the only way I knew how to do it was to make a puppet film. Also, it is hard to get people to fornicate on cue.

V: So, when did you come up with the idea for Live Freaky! Die Freaky!?

J: Years ago, when I saw many copies of Helter Skelter in thrift stores. They outnumbered the copies of The Bible. I thought, “Manson will outlive Christ in the future, just because of book sales.”

V: How long did it take to write?

J: Not long. But then more people wanted to be in the movie, so I kept adding and adding.

V: Did you try and contact Charles Manson about it? Or was that not a real big concern?

J: No. Charlie is busy, and too much of a superstar. But he would agree that this movie exposes the hypocrites. And his puppet is really cute.

V: Before Tim (Armstrong, Hellcat Records) ponied up some fundage for the film, did you shop it around to other investors?

J: Yes, of course. And no one would touch it. They were freaked out by the premise, and did not understand what the point was. And the point is, the left is right. Tim is really smart, and said, “I understand what you are doing.” So he gave the green light. Tim also has a really great body.

V: Has Disney expressed any interest in the film?

J: I wish he did, but he is dead. But Disney does have a Manson connection. He previously had lived in the same house where the La Biancas were murdered, and the same day of their death, the Haunted Mansion was opened at Disneyland.

V: We have this theory that Walt Disney was a cross-dressing Nazi pedophile. You can see that, can't you?

J: I see many things, and that one visual does not make my toilet parts enlarged!

V: Is the soundtrack to the film being released on Hellcat or Epitaph? Or is it just being released with the DVD?

J: It will be released on Hellcat, and will introduce a new musical trend called Broadway Punk! It is a mixture of Black Flag meets Bob Fosse. It will be released only on DVD, because they make better coasters than video tapes.

V: Films like this, with a strong, important message, tend to get overlooked or ignored by the people who need to see them most. Is there any frustration with not being able to have this thing hit as many theaters as shit like Pirates of the Scare-ibbean or whatever Will Smith movie is currently playing?

J: We wish we had a PR person that worked for the Church of Scientology, but we cannot afford it. Yes, it would be nice to have an X-rated puppet movie playing the malls of America, but I need to be realistic. I feel we can start our cult with the living room set. Then the world will be ours.

V: Do you feel like the entertainment industry has gotten more boring and lame since this presidential regime took over the White House? Do you feel like Cowboy Bush's guns a-blazin' conservatism has people scared out of their fucking minds to express themselves freely, or go against the grain?

J: That is a given. People are afraid to say anything against the regime for fear of being lynched. But the scary thing is actually having to agree with The Dixie Chicks.

V: Are there any other filmmakers out there whose work you respect, as far as what they're saying or visually doing?

J: The only filmmaker that was worth anything was John Waters. At a time, he just didn't give a shit. You've got a 300 pound drag queen eating dog shit with a member of the Symbionese Liberation Army (S.L.A. - Patty Hearst). You just cannot beat that! He is the king, and always will be.

V: How cool was it for you to work with musicians from the era of punk rock you grew up with, as well as the current musicians who were influenced by that initial group?

J: I have been into punk rock since 1977, and it is true that there are some elements that are missing from the medium. But the one thing that keeps popping up is this: to be a true punk, you have to be fucked up. It is a music genre of isolation and loneliness. It is not a happy music medium-- although, it can be sarcastic. And everyone that is in this movie, old or young, share the same common denominator: they are all misfits and runts,.. and they have great abs.

V: Are there any musicians you couldn't get in on the film that you really wanted to?

J: Deborah Harry. I wanted her so badly, but she never called us back. And we even tempted her with a fruit basket and my cock.

V: Did you get a call from any actors or musicians who wanted to be in the film, but are so fucking lame you just had to say no way?

J: Please,.. I am a whore. I would have accepted Liza Minnelli if she asked. There is a point to make in this movie, and it is this: organized religion is evil, pure and simple. And you do not need a book to tell you how to treat people in a decent way, or that if they aren’t like you, that they can and will be punished. And I will do anything I can to expose this fraud. Man + God = Evil!

V: I heard that there are going to be dolls or action figures of the characters in Live Freaky! Die Freaky! Will they be out in time for me to buy my grandma one for Christmas?

J: Well, there will be dolls coming, but they will be your grandmother at Christmas time.

V: Have you thought about what your next project is gonna be?

J: Tim and I are partners on Hellcat Films, and we have a lot of projects coming out. We are going to keep pushing people’s buttons until they push the button on us in the gas chamber.

V: So, we have a question we ask everyone: do dogs have lips?

J: No. But chickens do.

V: Do puppets?

J: Yes. But I rather they would have mouths, so I would not be so lonely at night.

V: Does Davey Havok (AFI, lead singer) have lips?

J: Mr. Havok has the best lips of all.

V: Word! Leave the kids some parting words of wisdom.

J: It is hard to communicate with kids who have not tasted a Quaalude, or kissed a chicken on the lips.

VISIT JOHN HERE.