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Lance Henriksen’s been a lot of things; an actor, a writer, alien
slayer, sometimes a cowboy, other times a psychic, one time an astronaut, but
mostly, a badass. Thanks to Dark Horse, he’s now a comic creator.
His debut series, TO HELL YOU RIDE has been a long time
coming. A fantastic work of Native American curses and redemption, the story
follows Seven George, a man who finds himself on the receiving end of a
centuries-old grudge, and him being the only person who can deliver on his
ancestors’ message to a dying Colorado town.
Fango spoke with the veteran performer on TO HELL YOU RIDE
FANGORIA: How did TO HELL YOU RIDE become a comic?
LANCE HENRIKSEN: Well, [author] Joe Maddrey and I worked
first. We met on NIGHTARES IN RED, WHITE AND BLUER. It was a documentary, an
anthology of all horror films from the beginning to now and I narrated it,
that's how we met. After a while, Joe brought up the idea of me doing a
biography and so we did it. We worked on that for a year and put out a
biography called NOT BAD FOR A HUMAN. One of the things that happened after we
finished the writing was that a lot of comic book writers heard through Steve
Niles that we had written this book and they wanted to be in it. They wanted to
do drawings of the movies and none of them chose the same movie, it was
amazing. I didn’t want photographs in it, Joe and I agreed it would make it “look
at me” and less personal, so the comic book artists did these amazing drawings
for the book. Later, I went to Comic Con and Mike Richardson, who runs Dark
Horse, asked if I wanted to do a comic. I said “Yes, I would” and we shook
hands on it. What came up was a script I had written years ago that got lost through
all the life changes in twenty years. But I remembered it and here we are, the
three of us. That was the starting point. We developed the comic and I am
amazed by it. I eat and drink it at the moment. I take occasional breaks to do
a movie, but we have been at it for over a year and we are on the third issue,
and there are going to be five. So, we're getting close to being done and it's
FANG: So, most of the issues are already done?
HENRIKSEN: Yeah, they are almost done, we are working
through them very quickly now. There is a lot of art involved. Tom Mandrake now
has the part of doing all these drawings and they are beautiful. His artwork is
just masterful. Wait until you see it. It's a great story, I'm overwhelmed with
pride over it.
FANG: Where did the inspiration for a Weird Western come
HENRIKSEN: It isn't a western. You could call it a western,
if you stretch your imagination, but that would be like saying NEAR DARK was a
western. In a way it was, but it’s not. The geography is certainly western, in
a certain sense, with the mountains of Colorado, but it's not a western,
We don't mention the name of the town or the tribe, but I
went to Colorado back in the early seventies and it wasn't all polished and an
extension of Disney land, which is what it looks like now. I was sitting in a
bar and the whole story just came to me in about half an hour sitting in that
bar, and of course, I had to go write it. But the idea of this box canyon with
the little bit of information that I got started the whole thing, which is
slave miners were held there once with only a few rifle men. The only way in
and out of that town was to do with just the few rifle men up on the ridges.
So, that started the whole fantasy going with me. I'm sitting there, wondering
why these people were there, surrounding me at the bar. It wasn't even that
full. I thought, “It's almost as if this is their dead end of the world. This
is six thousand, or eight thousand, feet in the air, and there is only one road
going in.” I thought, “These people have got to be reincarnated and they don't
even know why.” That started the whole thing. It was a process of my
imagination and the extraordinary nature of the place.
FANG: What can you tell us about BRING ME THE HEAD OF LANCE
HENRIKSEN: That's already done and they are already editing
it. Tim Thomerson is in it and he plays a guy who is the same age as me and he
can't get a job. His career has kind of stalled, and every time he goes into an
audition, I’ve already been offered it or I have the role which frustrates him
to no end. So, he starts stalking me to find out how I do it. We end up
becoming friends and I take him under my wing. The reason it works is because
the only way to describe Tim Thomerson is that he has a heart the size of a baby’s
head, and his reactions to things are incredible. He's a wonderful guy and very
funny and it's an all out comedy, but it's also about ageism in the
industry. A lot of different actors like
John Saxon and Adrienne Barbeau are at the point where if you walk into an
audition, you just walk in and they offer you the part. Well, other people have a box where it says “under
forty or over forty?” and if you are over forty, there are a lot less roles.
That was the element of it, very funny stuff.
FANG: Is there a release date yet? When can we see it?
HENRIKSEN: They are still editing because they are not sure
if they want it out as a movie, or a television show, so who knows? The whole
thing is improvised, the whole thing. It's pretty funny, I’ve seen the whole
thing. I don't think I’m funny, I think situations are funny. I’m just a wiseass.
FANG: So it's a whole movie about you being a wis-ass?
HENRIKSEN: Well, it’s part of what I do.
FANG: Just recently, a book based MILLENNIUM, BACK TO FRANK
BLACK was released. What's the news on that?
HENRIKSEN: Yeah, it’s a fan-based movement that started
about four years ago, about how they want to see a movie made of MILLENNIUM.
So, this book came out about that. Chris Carter wrote the introduction and
Frank Spotnitz, he was one of the producers, he wrote in it as well. It's a
very popular book and it came out of England. A lot of people want to see a
movie because it ended very not in a bang, but a whimper. It ended with
fighting zombies in the cellar of someone’s house and it was ridiculous as an
end for MILLENNIUM. The way the world has changed, I think it would be very
interesting to see that particular character deal with what is happening now,
except the Mayan calendar. I’m telling you that whole Mayan thing must have
been an invention of some college student, just traveling the Amazon and all
that stuff. By the way, if it happens, the best thing you can do instead of
hiding in a cellar is to be with someone you care about. Share the adventure.
FANG: Give us a fun fact!
HENRIKSEN: A fun fact? Let me think. Humming birds have been
seen in the winter, flying around different places and the Native Americans
believed that they had a door into the spirit world, where they go and feed
during the winter and that they go back and forth between the two worlds. They
believe tha’s the only way a hummingbird could be around in the winter and be
back in the summer.
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