Joe Hollow’s BLOODSTRUCK!
Cleve Hall started going to the movies at the age of two, so he was destined to work in the business. Once he saw “Godzilla vs. The Thing” his destiny was sealed. Cleve has had an exciting storied career with so many accomplishments that are not listed on IMDB. Whether it’s a horror, comedy, action or children’s show Cleve has imagined and created endless costumes, special effects, makeup effects, puppeteering, acting, producing, and he even was a musician.
Five Quick Questions
When you were asked to create a monster or effect did you get a lot of freedom to create what you want or are you under strict guidance by the director, or a combination?
CLEVE: Most of the time I’m given the task of designing the creature based on what I envision reading the script. On a few occasions, like working with TENACIOUS D, I’m handed a thumbnail scribble on a napkin.
What typically are your most challenging but yet exciting effects to create?
CLEVE: Well, the most challenging are bloody killings, because you have 3 or 4 elements that have to coordinate at once.. Blood tubes, Slicing thru prosthetic, and actor performance, and camera angle and lighting. Its like pulling off a major stage illusion each time. And when doing a film with a tight schedule and several killings, it can be very stressful. When it works, its exhilarating! When it doesn’t… it Sux! Everyone has to wait while the gag is reset.
With CGI coming around in the 90s and putting special effect shops out of business. Has there been any comeback and what are you mostly working on these days?
CLEVE: Well, none of us saw that coming! Especially when Blood and Gore started being done with CG. It was rough, but those that remained had to tough it out by taking on all kinds of jobs we might normally have declined. I was a total whore, so kept working pretty steady making big food costumes for commercials and.. well.. I don’t even want to think of how many Penis costumes I ended up making! (For the San Francisco Health Department) and Angry Syphilis Sore costumes for the LA Health Dept… Not to mention a couple hundred Red Robin costumes for the restaurant chain, and a Butt-Load of Chipmunks at one point!
Senor Doughnut from SEXDRIVE
You had a couple roles in “Pee Wee’s Big Adventure” how was it playing Godzilla since that was a big inspiration for you when you were a kid?
CLEVE: Coulda died that day and wouldn’t have cared! I got to play Godzilla in a film! Stompin on tanks, fighting King Ghidora, riding in Santa’s sleigh and running into Twisted Sister’s Cadi! It was AWESOME! That actually ended up taking 6 days to shoot all of the sequence.
Godzilla on Melrose Blvd. in ’85
The 80s was huge for your acting and special effects career. How much were you enjoying life in the 80s?
CLEVE: The 80’s was the greatest decade ever! There was so much work with the advent of made for video productions, but better than that was the music and club scene in LA. With the emergence of Death Rock, later to be dubbed Goth, subculture… people dressed as vampires.. amazing bands.. insane theatrics.. I formed my own Death Rock band named EXQUISITE CORPSE, featuring FX artists Screaming Mad George on bass and John Vulich on keyboards, and Kevin Brennan’s brother Sean on guitar. We’d play gigs opening for Specimen.. Death Rock legends! Sean went on to form the band London After Midnight, and they are awesome! The Goth subculture became a great influence on my creative energy and on a personal level and I have been a part of the scene ever since.
“Monster Man” fans keep an eye out for new episodes because despite rumors SYFY has NOT cancelled the show and Cleve apologizes for the delay and he will return!!! Also, Cleve will be starring in and providing the special effects for Brandon Slagle’s upcoming Sci-Fi thriller “Dead Sea” due out this year. His work will continue to surround us and some we may not be aware of as he’s constantly creating and assisting filmmakers.
Follow Cleve on Twitter
If you have some thoughts to share about this article or you’d like to discuss B movies with other B movie fans and filmmakers please visit our B Movie Nation Facebook group.