[Justin Kerswell chats with Bonnie Schrier]
Bonnie played Heather in the grade-Z ultra obscure 70s slasher ANOTHER SON OF SAM (read the review here), and she contacted me last year, slightly incredulous that anybody apart from her and the director had ever heard of - let alone seen - the movie. We exchanged emails, and her recollections of her '15 minutes of shame' were so damned interesting and funny that she agreed to let me share them with you now.
On being in the movie:
"O.k. I was a theater student at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte when Dave Adams held auditions for the film. I was the lucky one who got first billing on the poster; I was told I had the starring role, but that remains to be seen. Pam Mullins, Kim Saunders and I filmed our scenes on the campus of Sacred Heart College in Belmont, North Carolina for three days. I made a whopping $150.00. Russ Dubuc was the local Charlotte t.v. weather man. Larry Sprinkle, I believe, was a local radio personality. One of the bungling policemen was the son of a wealthy businessman from Guam. I think Cynthia Stewart was also a local t.v. personality."
"We had to do our scenes in one take to save money. We did our best not to laugh; I, too, questioned the rationality of my character returning to the dorm, armed only with a frat paddle."
"Anyway, they made us provide our own wardrobe. There was a "make-up artist" who was also script girl and gopher. That's the only time I ever wore false eyelashes or blue eyeshadow. I felt like one of those girl's they make fun of in Britain that dances around their purses. Yes, Dave adams thought he was making Citizen Kane. When I questioned the motivation of my character, why would she go after the guy with a frat paddle, he told me mine was not to question why. Did they show me in the shower? I had a one piece bathing suit turned inside out because my dad said I couldn't do any nude scenes. Then, when they had me do a voiceover for the scream, it didn't match up. So..."
"Pamela Mullins went on to be a makeup artist, and Kim Saunders did a few more films; all of this was on the imdb.com site, as was my one film."
On looking for the film after all these years:
"I thought this film was so bad it would never transfer to video. There was never an official premiere, and the plot as described in your review was a bit different than I remembered in the "script", so I would love to have a copy of it to validate my 15 minutes of fame. I have the original poster; I was told the film was going to have to be called Hostages as the estate of the real Son of Sam would not give Dave Adams permission to use that title. (My children didn't believe the film was as bad as all that until I stumbled upon your review.)"
"I still can't believe anyone saw this movie other than at the drive
in where I heard it was shown; I moved to L.A. in 1979 so I never saw
it in a theater, only caught the dailies and was appauled at the drop
cords in the shots, etc. Very Ed Wood."
On finally seeing the movie again:
"Just watched my copy of Another Son of Sam. You know how the mind will block out bad memories? Well, it all came rushing back to me just now. The guy who's father was the rich investor played MY BOYFRIEND! And we (my daughters and I) laughed so hard when Dave Adams used some of the same shots 3 and 4 times! Classic trash..."
"Do I really sound like that? My daughters say I do. Lord have mercy. But my hair was naturally blonde without chemicals then..."
"Thanks for the memories and leading me to my fifteen minutes of
fame. As to who Johnny Charro was...the world may never know."
Huge thanks for Bonnie on letting us know what it was like to star in a 70s slice of zero budget slasher trash! As for Johnny Charro, well, apparently "Johnny has a very loyal following, fans have followed his band from club to club, always wanting more." (or so says his promotional blurb). I don't know what's sadder: Johnny still performing, or me looking it up! ... If you want to come eye-to-eye with Mt Charro (sans medallion) then take a deep breath and head over here.