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E.O.F. TALKS TO: Johnny Terris, Bad Ass Underground Canadian Film Maker

E.O.F. TALKS TO Johnny Terris - Canadian Underground Film Maker- The Eye of Faith {Vintage}-3

I came from a very hardened punk background in the late 80’s and early 90’s and my early films really projected that. Of course there have been aspects of the more mainstream-type stuff I’m currently doing that, at first, have been difficult to navigate due to my past. But I’m learning. It’s a very rewarding process and I’m loving it.”

-Johnny Terris

Johnny Terris is one bad ass dude.

A true Renaissance man, Johnny has engaged in roles as actor, film maker, author, model, photographer and painter. Best known for his transgressive, violent punk-influenced films that were far from mainstream, even in the indie sense; Johnny would distribute his earliest on VHS in the streets of Halifax, Nova Scotia, to strangers. He even went as far to use his own blood in scenes!

Legendary for being asked to be Johnny Depp’s double in the early 90s – Johnny, in true rebel fashion, turned it down. Now he continues his work as an actor (AKA Edward Terris) in the TV miniseries “Sex & Violence”, which co-stars Academy Award winning actress, Olympia Dukakis.

The Eye of Faith is honoured to post this interview with a true pioneer of the subversively cool right here in the True North Strong and Free!

Special thanks to our correspondent John Wisniewski for the interview.

JW: When did you begin making films and and acting, Johnny?

JT:  I started doing movies around 1987 when I was 14 years old. Basically out of boredom living in a small town. My cousin, who was also my best friend, would film various things typical boys would do and then just decided to make a movie one day. We were heavily influenced by retro horror and grind house style film and my work of course reflected that. I never fit in with anyone in the small town where I lived and neither did he, so doing films were an outlet for us, an expression.  When I left home at 16, I became angrier and had an axe to grind with the world, so they eventually became more graphic and explicit and transgressive.

JW: Why did you decide to write an autobiographical novel?

JT: I started writing Sinister Splendor & Broken Glass back around 2002 but shelved it for many years. I originally started to write it for myself only, basically for therapeutic purposes because in 2001, the love of my life became a missing person and was never found so I thought writing about it would help with dealing with it. From there it just kind of spiraled into writing about my life from childhood, my early years on the street doing underground films and present stuff. The next thing I knew I pretty much had a book.

I compiled it together and released the first draft in 2011. It has since changed direction. Instead of an autobiography, it’s now more of a fictional character story that is set in the 1970’s and 1980’s, about a guy named Aaron, that is heavily based on my life instead of being about my life. That’s the third and final draft and the most recent one.

Nobody really knows who I am, and I’m sure most of the world wouldn’t care anyway so I decided to make it fiction that is based on me with characters based on my friends an family instead of the standard autobiography.  It made it more interesting to me that way. And I think to others reading it too. The book is still my life, but the characters are different.

E.O.F. TALKS TO Johnny Terris - Canadian Underground Film Maker- The Eye of Faith {Vintage}-1

JW: Any artists that have influenced your work?

JT: A few artists have influenced me in big way, Richard Kern and The Cinema Of Transgression were probably the biggest influence on me in terms of my own films. Retro 70’s and 80’s horror played a huge part as well. Early Dario Argento played a huge part. Grindhouse flicks, drive-in movies form that period.

From a very young age I was really influenced by a lot of vintage heterosexual porn too like Devil In Miss Jones, Devil Inside Her, Behind The Green Door etc. All the really strange and surreal X-rated films of that period. Early John Waters of course played an influence, especially in my early work.

Musically I was, and still am, obsessed with the NWOBHM/New Wave Of British Heavy Metal from the late 70’s and early 80’s. Bands like Girlschool, Motorhead, Plasmatics/Wendy O Williams, Saxon, Turbonegro, Judas Priest, bands like that. Tight jeans, white t-shirt, spiked wristband, leather jacket wearing, sneering bands. A lot of punk-tinged heavy metal from that period. Listening to that stuff gets me in writing mode immediately.

JW: Do you enjoy acting?

JT: Yeah of course, I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t enjoy it. I’m actually more comfortable in front of the camera being someone else than I am in my personal life. It’s always been that way. When I was a little kid I used to memorize scripts at the age of 9 or 10 years old and perform every character in my bedroom by myself for hours on end. Acting has always triggered something in me, as far back as I can remember.

E.O.F. TALKS TO Johnny Terris - Canadian Underground Film Maker- The Eye of Faith {Vintage}-2

JW:  You once doubled for Johnny Depp. What was that like?

JT: I never doubled for Johnny Depp. I was asked to when I was younger and living in Los Angeles but I was moving back to Canada at the time. I wouldn’t have done it anyway. I have no desire to be another actor, or anyone other than myself.  

JW:  What is your opinion of Hollywood and Hollywood movies?

JT: When I first went to Hollywood it was nothing like I expected it to be. It was actually pretty grimy and trashy. The Rainbow Bar & Grill was always fun. The Whiskey was fun. I don’t have a problem with mainstream cinema or the Hollywood stuff; it’s not exactly my thing, but being older now I’m not as ferocious against it like I used to be.

I used to revolt against it in a really hardcore way. But I’m currently one of the leads in a television series with Olympia Dukakis (who is an Oscar winner) so I’ve obviously tamed a bit in the old age and don’t care about that as much haha.

Most Hollywood films are formula and neatly packed for selling purposes and because of that it’s the same stuff just rehashed over and over again with a different title, and I personally find that very boring. Hollywood is very loud and explosive and action packed. They make and market their films that way. I prefer psychological films that are slower in tone and make you think.

JW:  Are you a horror film fan? Any favorite horror films, Johnny?

JT: Yeah I am a huge horror fan, I grew up on them and they are a huge influence. My mother was a huge lover of horror movies and nothing was really ever censored from me so I was watching stuff like ‘The Exorcist’ and ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ when I was just a little kid. I usually prefer the physiological ones over the gore. I have lots of favorite horror films, though my favorite one would have to be the original ‘Carrie’.

JW:  Are you working on any screenplays, Johnny?

JT: Nothing really big right now, no. I’m very slowly writing a screenplay/script which is a greaser-style drama film about two brothers and their alcoholic father. But that’s a work in progress and who knows how that will evolve; too early to tell right now. I am though, currently helping a friend of mine shoot his apocalyptic style film.

I’m more focused on acting and writing right now.


Be sure to check Johnny out in the latest season of “Sex & Violence” starring Olympia Dukakis on OUTTV.

Until next time,

{theEye}

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“But Love Most” E.O.F. Exclusive Original Poem by Greta Bellamacina

GretaBellamacina

But Love Most

by Greta Bellamacina

I can stand inside of you 

Inside your cotton field, as fine as Chinese tea.

 

Your memories transform my internal eye

In depths of frost, deeper than wood.

 

Your ring eyes are the tires to this upwards prize. 

This is you, the spindle and the lifelong. 

 

Next you appear, when I will be gone

Not to miss, for all you can 

But love most.

 

And she has grown

And now she is yours, to water

Under the pocketwatch moon.

 

All is bare

For you to shade, toast, lose.

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Written from the Delta-Mississippi for The Eye of Faith, 2014.
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Don’t forget to visit Greta at Télescope Cafe in Paris  

at 5 Rue Villedo from 6:30p-7:30p, February 13 (tomorrow) for an

exclusive pre-Valentine’s Day poetry reading

Don’t miss out!

Until next time,

 LIKE US ON FACEBOOK & FOLLOW US ON TWITTER

Sincerely,

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Conversations with Author Allyson Adams on Elvis Presley’s Bromance with Actor Nick Adams

Ally

Allyson Adams could hardly believe her eyes when she stumbled upon her father’s typewritten manuscript “Elvis Presley, Singer, Actor, Man” inside a white cardboard box she liked to call her “Daddy’s Box”, and had remained untouched for some 40 years.

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“Daddy”, as she knew him is to us the American actor Nick Adams who starred in the TV series “The Rebel” as Johnny Yuma, and was well-known in Hollywood circles for hanging out with the likes of James Dean and even dated Dean’s “Rebel Without a Cause” co-star Natalie Wood for a time. However, famous of all his buddies was his best buddy, the one and only King himself – Elvis Presley.

Presley found Adams while trying to integrate himself with the cool kids in Hollywood, and soon found an everlasting friendship, or bromance, if you will with Nick, who would go on to be nominated for an Academy Award for his work in ‘Twilight of Honor’ in 1963.

NICK ADAMS AND ALLYSON ADAMS VINTAGE

Nick Adams and daughter, Allyson

Nick Adams would meet his demise much the same way Elvis did (a drug overdose in 1968) leaving his daughter Allyson at the tender age of 7 to live with the mysterious legacy of her famous father.

With her help, Nick Adams’ first-hand account of his friendship with the King survives and is being shared with the world in a fantastic publication entitled “The Rebel and the King” with a special forward by Allyson Adams.

With the help of our trusty correspondent John Wisniewski, we were able to learn a bit more about The Rebel, The King, and this fantastic publication from Allyson Adams, herself.


NickAdams + Elvis - EOF Style

JOHN: First, how did Nick Adams meet Elvis Presley and what was their first meeting like?

ALLYSON: It was Elvis that first reached out to my father at 20th Century Fox when Elvis was filming Love Me Tender. My Dad was leaving the studio after an audition when Elvis called his name and walked toward him. My father said that when Elvis first made eye contact with him there was an instant recognition, an immediate connection.

Elvis knew that my father was in Rebel Without A Cause and friends with James Dean and Natalie Wood. Elvis wanted to be part of the young Hollywood crowd even though Dean had already died. My Dad was a go-getter and at that time was someone to “know” because he knew lots of show business people. Elvis was serious about his acting career and he didn’t know a single soul in Hollywood so he asked my Dad to show him the town. And he did. They were young actors who wanted to be great

Elvis Presley

JOHN: Why did they become such good friends?

ALLYSON: Elvis and Nick were both from poor families and understood life’s struggles. For both of them there was only one way and that was UP. They were determined not to go back to their old lives and shared a hunger for fame and food. They loved to eat and I am not kidding. My father goes into great detail about Gladys’ home cooking.  Their mothers were very similar and my Grandmother visited Graceland several times and became friends with Gladys (Elvis’ mother).

NICK ADAMS AND ELVIS PRESLEY +BROMANCE+

I think it was a bromance but not in sexual terms. They just had a lot of fun together and struggled with some of the same demons and insecurities.

They remained friends until my father’s death in 1968. That was the time Elvis was reinventing himself about to make his comeback and they used to jog at 5 in the morning to avoid gawkers. 

They both got a lot of flack and bad publicity for their friendship and so had to hide it from the public. It makes me sad that my father felt like he had to defend himself for his famous friendships.

 NICK ADAMS AND ELVIS PRESLEY BFF

“I don’t care if my Dad was bi-sexual, I just don’t think he was. If he experimented or had a man crush on the hottest sensation of his time, I say more power to him! “

JOHN: What were your impressions of Elvis Presley when you first met him?

ALLYSON: As the story goes, I had breakfast on Elvis’ lap when I was a baby but I don’t remember and there were no cameras that day. Darn it. Honestly, I was not an Elvis fan before I found this manuscript in my Daddy Box. It was only after reading the manuscript and learning about Elvis’ life and watching his early performances that I became an enamored devotee. I absolutely fell in love with him. He’s so cute and nobody has touched him as far as raw, magnetic performances go. I confess to being frozen in time, because I love the early Elvis. Although later when you see him perform, knowing what he had gone through, his gospel and ballads will break your heart or lift you up.

nick adams and elvis presleynick adams and elvis presleynick adams and elvis presley

“They just had a lot of fun together and struggled with some of the same demons and insecurities.”

JOHN:  Nick Adams was told by many in Hollywood to stay away from Elvis- why was this?

ALLYSON: I don’t know if he was told to stay away. He was criticized for being friends with Elvis and accused of being an opportunist, even though it was Elvis who approached my father. They were genuine friends and some people just couldn’t wrap their heads around the fact my father was friends with both James Dean and Elvis Presley. It was jealousy, or to quote my Dad, “the green eyed monster.”

They (the critics) were already giving Elvis a pretty hard time for his pelvis moves and now this just compounded the insults. The criticism hurt them both and my father wrote several articles defending his friendships with both men.

nick adams snaps elvis presley vintage

Have you seen the latest Globe tabloid about Elvis’ stepmother Dee Presley who claims E.P. had a gay affair with Nick? For the record I don’t think my Dad or Elvis were gay, but they were persecuted during the 50’s as if they were. There is all this speculation but no proof and both of them are dead so they are easy targets. I don’t care if my Dad was bi-sexual, I just don’t think he was. If he experimented or had a man crush on the hottest sensation of his time, I say more power to him!  

All human beings are entitled to free expression and consensual private sexuality. What goes on behind closed doors is nobody’s business unless you want to write a play or poem about it.  It’s 2014, people should get over it.

Nick Adams Elvis Presley Vintage photo- EOF

JOHN:  Yes Allyson, I did see in the tabloids about Elvis and Nick supposedly being gay. I did not really believe the tabloids. I agree with you that even if this rumour were true, it was none of anyone’s business.

ALLYSON: Thank you John, I appreciate hearing you say that. I don’t need to defend my father.  He was who he was. He was a rebel, an ambitious actor, great comedian, ahead of his time and flawed.  Now he’s dead and 45 years later we are still talking about him.

He achieved his Godzilla dream for fame more than he realized.  I want to highlight the cool things he did and unravel what I think happened the night he died, even though I will probably never know the answer. The mystery of his death is loosening its hold on my obsessive curiosity and that’s a good thing.

Elvis-with-Natalie-Wood-and-Nick-Adams-elvis-presley-vintage style- eof

JOHN: Could you tell us what it was like growing up with Nick Adams-did he always wish to be an actor as a child or teenager?

ALLYSON: My memoir “The Daddy Box” goes into my childhood and growing up with and without Nick Adams. I think Nick Adams greatest wish when he was a child was to get the hell out of Jersey City and stop being dirt poor. His first dream was to be a professional baseball player and acting came after that. Jack Palance gave him his first break in a play. They were both Ukrainians from the hood.

Believe it or not, people in show business used to help each other out and my father returned the favor by paying it forward to many young hopefuls. You never read about that part of his character.

That’s where I come in.

 {images via Google Images}

You can visit www.therebelandtheking.com to purchase a signed first edition by Allyson Adams today!

 Check it out! Pay it forward, if you will . . .

So cool to get the inside scoop on a fascinating time in our histories . . .

Rebels, Kings, Idols, and Saints. They’re all here at The Eye of Faith, so make sure you Follow Us so you’re not missing out . . .

Until next time,

 LIKE US ON FACEBOOK & FOLLOW US ON TWITTER

Sincerely,

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A Devotion To She: Greta Bellamacina at TÉLESCOPE Café {February 13, 6:30p – 7:30p}

Greta Bellamacina- texas

Greta Bellamacina is one of the world’s extraordinary talents today. Not only has she a gorgeous face (which is signed to VIVA Model Management in Paris & London), but she has a most beautiful mind.

A graduate of King’s College in London with a BA in English, she was also short-listed as the Young Poet Laureate of London, and has worked for Vogue US, UK Harper’s Bazaar, The Telegraph, and PURPLE Magazine covering everything from fashion, travel, design, and literature.

Greta has been travelling, and has just returned from New York City promoting her latest collection of poetry entitled A Devotion To She. 

We were lucky enough to find out about her exclusive pre-Valentine’s reading at TÉLESCOPE Café in Paris at 5 Rue Villedo on February 13 from 6:30p – 7:30p. So if you’re in the city of lights, please be sure to mark your calendar, and make it to this exclusive one-of-a-kind showing of pure talent and passion.

This is what dreams are made of . . .

Well, until we meet again!

Talk soon,

 LIKE US ON FACEBOOK & FOLLOW US ON TWITTER

Sincerely,

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The Eye of Faith Presents . . . Gabrielle + Architect (PLUS our very first Fashion Show)

Gabrielle&Architect-EPRelease-3rdproof

Excited things! Excited things, my friends are happening . . .

For the past few months we have been secretly scheming and planning with our friends Gabrielle + Architect to bring her incredibly evocative and seductive musical stylings together with our lust for mystery and taste for fine vintage fashion. With her upcoming EP release, we thought we could make the perfect marriage of the two, and hold a night that could only be described as purely wicked!!!

BAD ASS Mugshot rebel

Taking place at awesome 3030 Dundas Street West, we are excited to host Gabrielle + Architect here in The Junction, Toronto and feature her atmospheric electronic jazz musings for the artful and like-minded crowds that gather in these parts.

The show starts at 9:45, with a beguiling style procession by, yours truly, inspired by The Chicken Game in “Rebel Without a Cause” gone completely awry via psychic witch rituals . . . there will be both mens’ and womens’ looks incorporated into the show – so something for everyone! A great time to see our style in the FLESH!!!

rebel without a cause- the bad boy from a good family- vintage poster

Jackson Charles Ferri Mugshot EOF

James-Dean-Car-Crash

Natalie Wood Insanity At The Vanity EOF

We are pleased to have on board Mysterion The Mindreader, Toronto’s premium purveyor of the weird and strange (as well as being a collector of vintage and antiques, himself), as well as the delicious Esther De Ville in an erotic burlesque performance of “The Devil’s Bride” to cap off the evening.

At the stroke of midnight we will be auctioning some of our looks from the show to raise money for Mt. Sinai Hospital’s “Grateful Hearts Foundation” in thanks of the ongoing care and treatment they are providing my partner in crime, Paul.

How Bad Can A Good Girl Get

real 1950s gang chick

Ill slit your throat

Greaser Child

It has been a wild roller coaster of a month, and the evening’s antics should reflect this as such. Lots of mystery, cool clothes, talented people, and plenty of drinking (if the weather permits). Should be fun, so tell all your friends!

If you aren’t in Toronto, stay tuned for all the pictures from the night!

How Could You

Hope to see you there!

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 Until next time. . .

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