Directed by Bruce Kessler
Starring Andrew Prine, Brenda Scott, George Paulsin, Norman Burton, Gerald York, Ultra Violet
Back in the early days of VHS, finding a copy of this film was pretty damn tough. It had been released on VHS but was a very rare title if you happened upon it. Plus, the print was so dark and grainy that in many of the scenes you had no idea what was going on because it was pretty much black. But it was one of those cult titles that us film geeks had to seek out. Plus, because it starred Andrew Prine, that made it even more of a treasure to find. Thankfully, when Dark Sky Films released it on DVD, the print was a HUGE improvement where you could actually watch the entire film!
Born Feb. 14th, 1936
You could say I grew up with Andrew Prine. When I started watching TV back in the late ’60s, I was seeing Prine on there. Not that I remembered him, but he made appearances on the shows I was watching, such as One Step Beyond, Thriller, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, and even Kolchak: The Night Stalker. Once I started to really get into movies, then I really became aware of this amazing actor, in such films as Simon, King of the Witches (1971), Crypt of the Living Dead (1973), The Centerfold Girls (1974), Grizzly (1976), The Evil (1978), and so many more. In the ’80s, he seemed to relish playing one of the bad lizards in the TV series V (1983) and the follow up V: The Final Battle (1984).
He was always so good and so much fun to watch on screen. He always seemed to make his characters come to life. While we celebrate him for his work in the genre, Prine played in just about every genre, making more than a few westerns, working with names like Jimmy Stewart, John Wayne, and Dean Martin.
I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to meet Prine a few times at shows over the years, even interviewing him way back in 2005, and he’s always been such a great guy to chat with, not to mention giving me hours and hours of entertainment.
The Centerfold Girls (1974)
Directed by John Peyser
Starring Andrew Prine, Jamie Lyn Bauer, Aldo Ray, Ray Danton, Francine York, Tiffany Bolling
Sure, this might sound a little jaded, but if you have a movie that was made in the 70’s that starred Andrew Prine, then you are going to be entertained, plain and simple. Prine is one of these actors that I grew up watching, in both movies and TV and always loved seeing this guy on screen. Sometimes he was the good guy, sometimes the bad guy. But always entertaining. His career started doing a lot of TV westerns, but it was in 1971 when he appeared in the title role of Simon, King of the Witches that started him in the genre. From there, he appeared in movies like Crypt of the Living Dead (1973), Barn of the Naked Dead (1974), Grizzly (1976), The Evil (1978), Amityville 2 (1982), and even on the TV show V, as one of the reptilian alien invaders. Prine was always giving a great performance, even if the film was lacking in other departments.
Andrew Prine has been a favorite of mine for a very long time. He is one of those actors that just seeing his name in the credits told me that I was going to enjoy this movie, even if was only the parts he appeared in! A regular in a lot of movies, both film and television, playing all sorts of characters, both good and bad. And no matter what, he was always holding our attention while on screen. He really is a genre icon.
We had the opportunity to sit down with Prine for a few minutes back in April of 2005, to get some of his thoughts on some of the movies that he worked on that we loved so much. Since we didn’t have a lot of time, I would just throw some titles out there and we’d go from there. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did talking to this legend.
Kitley’s Krypt: What can you tell us about Simon, King of the Witches?