Updated: Aug 2, 2020
The 1980s were a very special time for me, growing up. I had discovered and fell in love with horror movies at a young age, with a sneaky viewing of A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) and from that point on I made it my mission to feast my eyes on as many scary movies as humanly possible.
Kathleen Kinmont was an important part of my journey towards a career in horror (as a writer and host of this website). I will never forget my first viewing of Halloween 4. Having loved John Carpenter’s original, and its subsequent sequels, I was dying to sit down and take in all that part 4 had to offer. While I have learnt to love and respect Halloween 3: Season of the Witch as the great film that it is, I had been sorely disappointed with its lack of Michael Myers and Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers promised to put me out of my misery. To this day, Halloween 4 is my favourite sequel in the franchise. Oh, and while it’s easy to think badly of Brady, Kelly Meeker was the obvious choice. Sorry, Rachel, but Kelly had the looks and the razor-sharp tongue. “fuck off, Wade”, and not forgetting to mention, that t-shirt. (Cops do it by the book).
Then came Bride of Re-Animator. I first caught it one night in the late 80s/early 90s when it played on what used to be a movie channel here in the UK, which I believe was called Sky Movies Gold. What a movie Bride turned out to be. I’d seen and loved Re-Animator, but Bride of Re-Animator blew my impressionable young mind. I had never seen a movie quite so bat-shit crazy before. It had gore; it had comedy, and it had a severed head with bat wings sewn to it. Most importantly, it had a fantastic performance from Kathleen Kinmont as Gloria/The Bride.
Kathleen has a career that has spanned four decades and has worked with some of the greats. Donald Pleasence, Jeffrey Combs, Danielle Harris, Brian Yuzna and the Hoff, to name a few. She is multi-talented, having turned her hand to acting, writing, producing, directing and as an author. Kathleen’s new book, ‘I should have been nicer to Quentin Tarantino’ is available now and we at reelhorrorshow will be reviewing it in the coming months.
Naturally, we were more than a little excited to have the opportunity to interview Kathleen and knowing how busy she is; we are both grateful and honoured that she could find a little time to slot us into her schedule.
RHS: When did you first realize that you wanted to be an actor and for those that don’t know, what was your first major role?
KK: I realized I wanted to be an actor at 15. My mother is an actor, Abby Dalton, and she guided me into the business with a very gentle hand. My first role was at 18 in ‘Hardbodies’. It wasn’t a major role but the film did get a major Paramount Picture release, so I got to see myself on the big screen right away. It was pretty memorable.
RHS: You’re known for your work in the horror genre, with films such as Halloween 4 and Bride of Re-Animator. Did you have an interest in the genre prior to these roles?
KK: I’m super sensitive to scary stuff. I don’t enjoy being scared and I was never a fan of the genre. I know a lot of scream queens who know so much about the scary films. I’m just not that person.
I definitely appreciate the artistry and creativity that is poured into this genre and I adore the fans, who are the most loyal on the planet.
RHS: How did your involvement in Halloween come about?
KK: I auditioned and won the role of Kelly Meeker pretty quickly. I don’t even remember if there was a callback. She was a lot of fun to play.
RHS: Were you familiar with John Carpenter’s original before taking the role?
KK: Of course! Everybody did. We were all hoping it would bring back the glory of the original.
RHS: Did you get to keep your ‘Cops do it by the book’ t-shirt?
KK: I don’t have the original, but I’ve had some of my own made for sales at conventions. That shirt is a real crowd-pleaser.
RHS: How did you find it working on Bride of Re-Animator, and how did you find the makeup process?
KK: Bride of Re-Animator was the role that made everything else I ever did in the film industry easy. The long makeup hours, the insane costume (which was basically my naked body - minus a lot
of skin) the intense and raw emotional tunnel, it was everything an actor dreams. I didn’t realize then what an acting gift that character would bring to my inner resume. In other words, any
time I thought I was tired, cranky and ‘over it’ on any other set, I would think about what I endured on The Bride and I would be back to ‘happy’ in no time.
RHS: You wrote a children’s book called Magic and Beauty. How did that come about and what age group is the book aimed at?
KK: ‘Magic and Beauty’ was inspired by a conversation I had one dewey morning with my little girl on her way to pre-school. She was coming to grips with things and where they came from and
wondering if they were going to stay. As we pulled out of our driveway she asked, “Mommy, is our house still going to be here when I come home?” I gave a resounding, “YES!” And thought,
wow, thank you ‘Wizard of Oz’ - that’s what I get for letting my four-year-old watch a classic on repeat. Then she asked, “Where does all this stuff come from?” “Stuff?” I asked. “Trees and plants and animals… you know, Mommy - Stuff!” “Oh, okay, umm, I’m pretty sure it’s all from God. That’s what I heard, anyway.” She thought about this for about a mile while she gazed out the window at all the stuff zipping by, and then she finally said, “That’s a lot of work. She must have been really sweaty.” I looked in my rearview mirror at my little darling angel in her car seat and said, “Yes. It was a lot of work - and she was sweating like a horse.” From that moment, I began creating my own creation story for my four-year-old who is officially horse, unicorn and pegasus crazy. Fortunately, no one owns the rights to this narrative on who, how or why we got here,
so I’m pretty sure I won’t get sued.
RHS: You have just released a book entitled ‘I Should've Been Nicer to Quentin Tarantino and Other Short Stories of Epic Fails and Saves’ Where can we get our hands on a copy, and can you tell us a little about it? The title is intriguing.
KK: You can purchase the book from my website kathleenkinmont.com It’s also available everywhere else but if you get it from my website, you can purchase a color edition
autographed copy. Have you ever wondered what would happen if you wrote about
the lessons you’ve learned in life through your own mistakes? Me too. So I did. And you know what I discovered? That my own personal and painful mishaps became my greatest teachers.
‘I Should’ve Been Nicer to Quentin Tarantino’ is a book about my life’s screw-ups, saves and lessons. I wrote this book for my daughter in an effort to give her some insight on who I was and
who I’ve become. I believe our failures are stepping stones to growth and enlightenment. When we give ourselves an opportunity to acknowledge where we’ve failed with some humor and a light heart, we can release ourselves from things that no longer serve us. I’ve created my own genre, spiritual satire, as I think we are more willing to continue to learn when truth and humor collide.
RHS: We read that you’re a Yoga instructor. What advice can you give to a couple of tubby, middle-aged fellas like ourselves?
KK: You’re never too old to breathe, stretch and make friends with the ground. Yoga is great because you have to take your shoes off and get on the floor. You’re instantly ‘earthing.’ Yoga is not a competition, as there is no point system. It’s a practice. That’s it. No judgement, no end game. It increases strength, flexibility, metabolism, promotes healthy blood pressure, helps you sleep,
lose weight and poop. I think these are all important things for everyone at every age. My yoga DVD, ‘Kathleen Kinmont’s Restorative Core Yoga - 33 Ways to Embrace the Ground’ was
designed for folks who want to improve their core and also take a mini mind vacation. Give it a shot and let me know!! It’s also available on my website.
RHS: You’ve turned your hand to writing, acting, producing and directing. That’s a lot of hats to wear. Do you have a preference, and do you have any plans to write and direct in the future?
KK: You’re right, that’s a lotta hats! And my hat is off to anyone who can manage all of those at once. I haven’t directed myself yet. Although I am currently recording the Audible version of my
book, so in a way, I am actually doing all four. I wrote it, I’m producing it, I’m doing the voice over and I’m directing myself in the booth. It’s been a really fun performance experience with my
trusted producing partner and sound engineer, Patrick Lydon. He’s been directing me as well, so I still get to be an actor who is also following direction - with the words she’s written about her
own personal life experience. It’s intense. I will always be an actor, because that’s my mainstay, and it so cushy to be able to relax in a trailer once in a while and have everyone else do the
heavy lifting. Although, I do love being on set from start to finish and being able to create the content from soup to nuts is pretty magical. I also really love to write and direct. Seeing someone
else perform and execute your words and ideas is breathtaking.
RHS: 2020 has been a weird year, to say the least. How have you been keeping busy/sane during lockdown?
KK: This has become a time of great reckoning. I pray a lot. This year has been more than the lockdown, it’s become a battle cry for justice and the end of power abuse. Equal rights, for everyone, is long overdue. The pain we continue to suffer from witnessing brutal, traumatic murders of innocent people like George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Trayvon Martin, and so many others has got to stop. This pandemic has become the backdrop for a country that is screaming at the top of their lungs, “ENOUGH!” Not the best thing to do while attempting to keep a virus at bay, but hey, I didn’t write this history, like everyone else, I’m just a part of it.
I’ve been staying busy and sane at home quite a bit. I’ve been doing my best to thrive in my personal surroundings, while continuing to nurture and care for my daughter. There have been
several disappointments watching things disappear from the calendar. Learning to adapt to new protocols established throughout our community, that many people don’t adhere to, or enjoy. It’s been difficult and costly. I’ve lost friends to this virus, so I know the virus is real. The pandemic has been real and with it, it has brought to the surface several changes we need in this country.
RHS: We’ve already established that you’re talented in many varied fields. What do you have lined up next? Will we be seeing you on the screen sometime soon?
KK: I just saw that we are getting the green light to start filming ‘PHOENIX’ a female-driven, ass-kicking web series that will be available for streaming in the coming months. It stars Laurine Price, Grace Byers and a lot of other wonderful actors. [Including Michael Broderick and Garrett Wang] We shot the pilot last year and now we have the go-ahead to continue on with the show. So that’s very exciting. I shot a really wonderful indy film a little over a year ago, ‘The Silent Natural.’ It’s about one of the first deaf major league baseball players. It will be streaming on wildaboutmovies.com August 25, 2020.
RHS: You’ve worked alongside many legends, both in and out of the horror genre. Is there anyone that you would like to work with that you haven’t yet had the opportunity?
KK; I would love to work with Traci Lords, Malcolm McDowell and Meg Foster. Basically everyone on the Chris Roe Management roster. I was able to circle back and work with old friend and costar, Courtney Gains, in The Silent Natural. Our manager, Chris Roe, has a wonderful group of talented actors from all genres and I’d like to create something that puts everyone in the family to
RHS: Do you get to attend many conventions, and how do you find meeting fans?
KK: I attend maybe a handful of conventions every two years. Not a lot. I always love meeting the fans and having an opportunity to connect. I also get a big kick out of all the different ways people
dress up. It doesn’t matter what time of year a horror convention is, because it’s always Halloween!
RHS: Lastly, (we always ask this) who would play you in the movie of your life?
KK: Jennifer Lawrence from 20 - 30’s, Cameron Diaz from 40 - 60’s and Helen Mirren as the closer.
Thank You, Kathleen, for taking the time to sit and answer our questions. Best of luck with your book and we hope to see you at a convention, here in the UK, sometime soon.
To grab a copy of I Should've Been Nicer To Quentin Tarantino, visit Kathleen's website: http://kathleenkinmont.com/
You can also find her on IMDB: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0455681/