The Ringuette: Talking with Actor/Director/Producer/Writer Lory-Michael Ringuette by Owen Keehnen

Northern California resident Lory-Michael Ringette has been making movies for well two decades. His first speaking role was in a feature film was as “The Undead Half-Creeper” in the cult horror favorite ‘The Video Dead’. In the years following Ringuette has accrued an impressively lengthy list of credits highlighted by his director/writer/producer/actor duties for ‘Deeply Disturbed’ (about a devoted son who wants mom to meet his girlfriend – so he brings her body to his mother’s grave!) as well as his newest director/writer/producer/actor feat ‘Tele-Zombie’. He has also taken on directing/acting chores in ‘Blood Reaper’ about five friends who go on a camping trip and end up being just smore notches on a serial killer’s belt.

Ringuette’s additional features include ‘Shadow Hunter’, the cult-fave ‘Frezno Smooth’, a role as Cecil Thorne in ‘Savage Instinct’ (which also has the delicious alternative title ‘They Call Me Macho Woman’), ‘Nightfall’, ‘Firefight’, ‘Prisoner of Time’, Sharpley in ‘This Gun for Hire, ‘Down Time’, ‘Steel Heel’, and ‘Walls of Sand’. His latest work was acting as well as an assistant directing job in the upcoming ‘The Curse of the Smoke-O-Lantern’ with frequent collaborator Michael Stewart. In addition his writing has also appeared in such magazines as ‘Trashola’, the wonderful ‘Psychotronic’, and ‘Film/Tape World’.


  Owen: Your first film role was as The Undead Half-Creeper in 'The Video Dead' (1987).  How did that role come about?

Lory-Michael: Yes, "The Video Dead" was my first speaking role in a theatrical feature. I landed the role the old fashion way by submitting my photo/resume and getting called in to read.  Since most of my screen time was going to be as a zombie, Robert had me do a zombie walk, etc.

Owen: One of your most deeply disturbing films is 'Deeply Disturbed' (1995) - which you wrote, directed, produced, and starred in as the ultimate murdering mama's boy Howard Wilson.  What were the most important things you discovered about filmmaking from taking on all those roles?

Lory-Michael: Mainly it's tough to wear so many hats on a set.  I didn't find directing & acting at the same time to be a problem but producing it as well was the difficult part.  Because I personally was taking on so many of the jobs, filming (yes, it was actually shot on film) ended up spread out over 2 years instead of the 2 months originally planned.

Owen: Was playing such a delicious psychotic fun and therapeutic?

Lory-Michael: When I originally wrote the screenplay, it was planned for me to be one of the detectives.  I ended up playing Howard only because I knew I was the one I could count on to be there from start to finish of the production.  It was challenging playing such a sick individual but I'm proud of what I did with it.   Filmmaking in general is fun & therapeutic for me.

Owen: By taking such a creative role in the making of the film were you able to pretty much capture you initial vision for it?

Lory-Michael: Like most low-budget/no-budget productions, the film ended-up somewhat different from the original script.  Working totally independently frees you from being told what you can or can't do but on the other hand you are limited to working with what is available to you.  That means being willing to bend and change as you go.  The trick is to find ways to use those changes to make your production better. One major change to the script was its location. "Deeply Disturbed" was originally written to take place in a cabin out in the woods because it seemed that would be the easiest way to shoot it.  In order to do that, I would have needed to transport and house an entire cast & crew.  Then a friend who manages an apartment house, offered me the use of an empty apartment for a couple of weeks.  That brought about a quick re-write and a much scarier scenario. Now our victim was held captive in a location where there were people all around and yet, no one would help her.  I honestly feel this made it a better movie.

Owen: Almost a decade later you produced, wrote, directed and gave yourself a role in 'Tele-Zombie'.  Were things easier the second time around?

Lory-Michael: Much easier!

Owen: Tell me about 'Tele-Zombie'.

Lory-Michael: "Tele-Zombie" is a homage to the horror/comedies (and cartoons) of the 60's.  I wanted to make a feature that actually could have been released back then.   It doesn't make fun of "B" movies.  Instead, this was written in a "style" that Roger Corman or Alex Gordon might have used.   I'm very happy with how it came out!

Owen: Racks and Razors favorite Brinke Stevens has also appeared in your two latest directing efforts 'Tele-Zombie' as well as 'Blood Reaper'.  As a self-proclaimed horror fan were you a bit star struck meeting as well as having to direct her?

Lory-Michael: Actually we both had started our acting careers about the same time and became friends before shooting either of those features.  It's hard to believe but I've now had principal roles in over 40 movies as well as commercials, TV shows, industrials, & even music videos, and have worked with such stars as Bill Cosby, Jeremy Slate, Rosemary Clooney, Glenn Close, Tom Courtney, Lynda Carter, & many others.  It was easy directing and working with Brinke who I consider a friend.

Owen: Tell me a bit more about 'Blood Reaper'.

Lory-Michael: I was a just a hired gun on "Blood Reaper", directing & acting.  Michael Stewart, the producer, was the driving force behind that one.  It was shot in about a total of 14 days near Yosemite and in the SF Bay Area.  I was happy to hear it was just released in both England and in Japan (wonder what I sound like speaking Japanese?).  Michael & I continue to work together often.

Owen: It's interesting.  I also remember reading in your bio that you started shooting monster movies when you were given an 8 mm camera for your 11th B-day.  Do you the films still exist?  Can you see any sort of continuum between your instinctive work as a youth and your work today?

Lory-Michael: Yes, the early 8mm films do exist but none have been transferred to video.  Since I'm still basically just a big kid making horror movies (mostly with friends), the only real difference is I've now got to get everyone to sign releases.

Owen: So with acting and directing and writing and producing...which gives you the most creative satisfaction?

Lory-Michael: Directing has always been my greatest love.  Acting comes in a close second.  Writing & Producing are things I do in order to get a chance to do the first two.

Owen: Your films frequently combine horror and humor, what makes that such a potent combination for entertainment?

Lory-Michael: They are my two favorite genres but I just love good filmmaking.  "Fargo", "Night Of The Living Dead", "Duck Soup", & "Shall We Dance?" (The original Japanese film) all have something in common.  In my eyes, they are great films.

Owen: Your film career also seems decidedly "zombie-centric".  Are the undead your favorite fright creatures and if so why?  What that core zombie appeal?

Lory-Michael: Yes, I do like zombie movies.  Even bad ones.  "Garden Of The Dead" is one of my favorites.  Because of my connection to "The Video Dead" and "Tele-Zombie", people do think of me that way.  Truth is, these are the only two features (so far) with zombies that I'm a part of.  I've been in all kinds of movies, including cult films like "Frezno Smooth", "Savage Instinct" & "Down Time".

Owen: What's next for you?

Lory-Michael: I was assistant director & actor in an upcoming production called "Curse Of The Smoke-a-lantern" directed by Michael Stewart.  It kind of a Halloween "Alice In Wonderland".  Not quite like anything you've seen before. Pushing "Tele-Zombie" is important to me but finding more work in front & behind the camera is always my biggest concern.

Owen: What scares in real life?

Lory-Michael: The real world horrors, war, child abusers, animal abuse, etc.