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Richard Harrison

Si nous aimons rire d'un certain cinéma déviant, nous sommes très loin de mépriser les hommes et les femmes qui s'y sont impliqués ou compromis. Il nous a ainsi paru enrichissant de faire raconter le nanar et son univers par les gens qui l'ont vécu de l'intérieur. La diversité des intervenants et de leurs réponses nous a rendu encore plus proches du cinéma que nous aimons : vous découvrirez, au fil des entretiens que ces différentes vedettes ont bien voulu nous accorder, des informations précieuses pour le cinéphile et le cinéphage, des anecdotes cocasses et, en esquisse, le portrait attachant de personnages souvent hauts en couleur.
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Richard Harrison (page 6)

You have also acted in some vigilante and war movies in the Philippines which are quite violent, like Eliminator (Hunter's Crossing, 1983) or Ultime Mission a.k.a. Opération Cambodge (Intrusion Cambodia, 1987) and in which are usually found the same Caucasian actors, such as Ron Kristoff, Mike Monty, Max Thayer, Mike Cohen or Jim Gaines. Do you appreciate these pictures ? Did you keep in touch with the director Teddy Page and the other actors... ?

These films were not very good, but I truly like Ron Kristoff, and will never understand why he didn't get out of the Philippines. Mike Monty spent time in Italy and stayed with Gordon Mitchell. Felt sorry for Teddy Page, He was not treated with dignity by the producer.

"Felt sorry for Teddy Page, He was not treated with dignity by the producer."

Amok (idem, 1982) appears as some sort of a break in your career. The film in question is an African spectacular in which you play the part of an anti-racist reporter, an individual whose humane personality seems much more elaborated than the other characters of your filmography. Two decades later, Amok remains unique in the history of cinema, as far as Africa very seldom produces such large-scale, ambitious movies. What memories did you keep of this experience ?

The producer-director was a real gentleman. He worked with passion. It was a very nice experience

Here in France - where it seems that you began to be known thanks to Persée l'Invincible (Perseo l'Invincibile, 1963) - you have also acted in co-productions like La Guerre du Pétrole (in which your character dies under the Eiffel Tower !) or Marc Simenon's L'Explosion. What memories do you keep of France ? At the time you were involved with Eurociné in what was reportedly a reworking of one of your Italian movies, La Guerre du Pétrole (Strategia Per una Missione di Morte, 1978) which became Lorna, Lionne du Désert with additional scenes. Were you coproducer with Eurociné ? According to you, why did a proper B-movie industry never really developed in France the way it did in Italy ?

La Guerre du Pétrole was not a good picture. Marc Simenon is a lovely person, as is his wife. I am sorry the film was not better... I was not involved as a producer with La Guerre du Pétrole. I am in love with France. I consider the French the most educated people in the world. I have only wonderful memories of the country and the people.

"I am in love with France. I consider the French the most educated people in the world."

In 1988, you have acted in the surprising Alerte à Las Vegas from French director Norbert Moutier, alias N. G. Mount, known throughout Paris as a bookseller, a publisher of very rich works on the cinéma de genre (including one about you actually) and a keen movie buff directing his own very low budget films. How did you get into such a venture ?

That's a good question. I met him and he said he wanted to make a film and asked me to be in it. I agreed, never for a moment thinking he actually would, but once I gave my word I could not go back on the promise. He was a very nice person, but knew very little about the business.

"He was a very nice person...
... but knew very little about the business."

The freshest news we have about you is that you plan to direct a movie called Jerks. Could you tell us more about this personal project and how advanced it is ? Do you have any other plans for the future ?

No, I got trapped into the film Jerks by my wife. She promised the director he could use our home in Palm Springs and that I would be in the film without asking me. I couldn't believe she did this. I was not paid for my acting or my house. We did it as a favour. I am working on a project and if it is made it will be my chance to prove myself. However, with the type of films made today I would not be surprised if it does not get made.

"I am working on a project and if it is made it will be my chance to prove myself"

Well... here is the end - at last ! - So, to conclude, here again and one more time, in the name of all the members of our team, and for all the people we are sure will be glad to find this interview on our website, I would like to thank you, in all sincerity though a bit solemnly, for having been so open and so friendly Mr Harrison.
Best wishes to you and those you love !

I have tried to give you honest answers.
My very best,

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