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Interview  with Sam FirstenbergInterview

I haven’t seen “The Interplanetary Surplus Male and Amazon Women of Outer Space” yet but in
the last few years you take it easy. Have you take a time-out or are you working on new projects?

A. I am working on new projects all the time.

Especially do you think a new ninja movie in the future by you is possible? “American Fighter” or
“Revenge of the Ninja” bring in you a legendary name. Is a sequel after all this years for you an
option or is this genre dead and you search after new challenges?
A. There is no producer today that is willing to invest in a Ninja movie, I don’t know why. Maybe they do not believe it will make money. A sequel right now will be great. Perhaps a German company night be interested in such a sequel. I don’t think the genre is dead.

“Quicksand” reunite you with Michael Dudikoff. It was his last movie. After that he retires from film. Which way leads you after all this years together with Michael Dudikoff? Was it coincidence or have you talked with him about making a movie with after all this years? Have he spoke with you about his decision? Do you know how he’s doing?

A. The producers of “Quicksand” were interested in Dudikoff So I contacted him and send him the script. I don’t know what he is doing now days.

After your Second Unit Job on “Crocodile” by Tobe Hooper you make with “Spiders II: Breeding Ground” your own animal horror movie. Was it an ready project and Nu Image said only “Hey, we need an director” or was it a project that was build by you? I mean you made ninja movies, cyborgs, a lot of action and then suddenly a horror movie!

A. Yes this was a Nu Image project and after working with Tobe they asked me to direct it. Fantasy horror is not much different from fantasy action.

Are you in contact with your old actors like David Bradley or Shô Kosugi? Do you think there is a way to work with them again?

A. David Bradley is back in Texas and Sho Kosugi is back in Japan so now days I have no contact with either of them.

In the last few years you often work for Nu Image. Do you think in the near future you direct a movie like “Cyborg Cop” or “Operation Delta Force” again? How is your relationship to maybe the last big b movie studio?

A. Even NU Image “the last B movies studio” as you call them, do not make low budget B movies any more. Presently they make only big budget films with big stars. So until the next “B movies” producer comes along I don’t know how will make them.

How is your opinion about the development of b movies. Since the end of the nineties the budgets get low and lower, the costs rise and every second studio films their productions in eastern Europe. I miss often the soul and the heart in this productions. The b movies of the eighties and mostly the nineties are more entertaining and lovely. Why this negative tendency?

A. Yes you are right the budgets are getting smaller and smaller. In the 80s we made movies in Cannon for $2 millions  and more. There was big action sequences interesting locations and entertainment value. Today producers are trying to make the same action movies for $400,000 in Eastern Europe and it is not the same.

What’s your opinion about using stock footage? I know that you use this instrument only rare,  minimal and additional (I hope I’m not mistaken but you use a little bit in “Operation Delta Force” and “The Alternate”?) but this is in my opinion an unattractive trend especially since end of the nineties. More and more directors use this naughtiness as an legitimate tool and “steal” complete action sequences from other directors. It`s really necessary or simply cheaper for the producers to buy stock footage?

A. I totally dislike stock footage! Producers are using them more frequently now to save money. Directors don’t like them. 
In the beginning of “American Ninja 2: The Confrontation” is a scene where Michael Dudikoff and Steve James arrive the island and entry the office of the local commander but after the conversation another actor leaves the room with Steve James. It’s definitive not Dudikoff! Who is this and why not Duikoff play this scene? (This is a question I want to ask since years *gg*)

Your name and Cannon are inseparable affiliated with each other and later you work also for Global Pictures. Can you tell background information how and why Cannon shot their doors. I hear the costs were to high and the movies bring in too less money but was that all? How is your relationship toYoram Globus and Menahem Golan today?

A. I was not involved in the financial side of Cannon, but I think that you are right toward the end they started making very big movies with huge budgets, to finance it they had to borrow a lot of money from banks. When the big movies did not perform in the box office the banks shut down Cannon. Today Golan and Globus are back in Israel I have no contact with them.

At least time for you. If you want to say something to your fans here is your chance.

A. I am happy that so many fans and movie lovers are still watching the movies I have directed. I know that some of the old movies are today popular even with young people as well as the older crowd. As long as the movies bring joy to viewers I am pleased.