A few weeks back I was lucky enough to receive a copy of the #indiehorror film Bloodrunners in my inbox in exchange for a review. From director Dan Lantz and starring film and music mogul Ice-T, #Bloodrunners is a Prohibition-era vampire thriller in which a new kind of bootlegging arises among the black market. This time, however, it is with a far more insidious agenda than those of the average moonshiners and speakeasy operators. An amusingly airy and #filmnoir appeal make Bloodrunners one of the most unique vampire flicks you will see this year. As always, I will uphold my promise to you that all blood-suckers will remain glitter free.
Enjoying the film for its subtle humor and jazzy tenor, I was charmed to receive an invitation for a chance to review a cast member of Bloodrunners. To say I was elated to find out I would be interviewing the gangster-ass vampire Chesterfield — played by none other than the multi-talented and genre transcending film and music icon Ice-T — would be a bit of an understatement.
With the 400th episode anniversary of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit airing in February, an indie vampire flick making its debut almost exactly a month later and a politically charged metal album from his band #BodyCount dropping at the end of this month, there was plenty to talk about. Admittedly, I am a huge fan of SVU, however, with no lack of mainstream coverage on major network series like Law & Order I was really looking forward to diving into the passion projects this incredible man has been working on.
So, Bloodrunners had it's release just two days ago; what sort of feedback have you received on the film already?
"I actually went to a screening of it in Philadelphia where the people made the film and they where overwhelmed with it. People really had a good time. That is what I set out to do."
Seemingly different than most other roles he has taken on in the past, he continues to explain what drew him to the film:
"I was brought into the film by my buddy Mike who actually does all the special effects on the video but he's [also] the guy that does makeup for me every day on 'Law & Order.'"
Having spent years working side by side and building a close professional relationship, Mike approached his friend about taking part in a friend's upcoming indie film and he knew just how to sell it to his buddy Ice-T:
How was your experience working on Bloodrunners, any regrets?
"We went down to Philly and knocked it out. I had a good time and it came out good."
Having such a good time working on this film do you see yourself doing more roles like this down the line? Maybe even grittier roles in more hardcore scary or gory films?
"I'm a horror fan. Me and Coco are into that heavy shit which a lot of people can't even handle."
Absolutely enchanted by his and his buxom bombshell wife Coco's shared fandom of exploitation films and knowledge, I had to know more. As a fan of gore porn and foreign exploitation films myself, I found my interest piqued again by such a happily grotesque hobby of enjoying films from bordering genres like pseudo-snuff and cult Asian horror. Being a longtime fan of the horror genre, he continued on in excitement about playing a vampire:
"After playing a cop for 18 years, you know somebody comes along like they want me to be a vampire I'm like, fuck it — yeah let's go."
I found myself both curious and intrigued with our shared taste in cinema. Straying away from my scripted questions, I was intrigued to know what the hardest film Ice-T and Coco had seen, one that was unparalleled in controversial, psyche shattering and graphic content. Just as I had suspected, it would be a film off what I intimately call my "top shelf" collection of films.
So, what is the most disturbing film Ice-T has ever seen?
"The hardest movie out there is 'A Serbian Film.'"
Not the title I would have selected to be the hardest film I have ever seen (due to what I can only describe as an underappreciated poetic gentility), we went on to discuss other grim favorites. Sharing an interest in titles like Irreversible, Audition and Grotesque, Ice-T surprised me with his sophisticated knowledge of extreme cinema. More than just a horror fan, Ice-T is a fellow #gorehound through and through.
When sharing an appreciation for such hardcore films you also share an understanding of why we continue to search for the next taboo and most controversial film we can find:
"You watch that wild shit so you know whatever you think is hard, some people think it's not. So, don't be afraid to push the limit."
Significantly less disturbing than aforementioned gore films, Bloodrunners is what I would call a "feel good horror movie." A great movie to watch with your friends while you unwind, but we aren't here for my opinions on a film this time, are we?
How would Ice-T describe Bloodrunners to his fans to get them hooked?
Apart from his recent role as the vampire Chesterfield in Latz's indie film Bloodrunners and the 400th episode celebration of SVU, Ice-T has also been working tirelessly on his new Body Count album, Bloodlust. Set to drop March 31, Body Count front man Ice-T goes on to elaborate on some of the darker themes of their new album:
"It's called 'Bloodlust,' so it kind of falls into the horror genre. I actually have a song on there called 'Here I Go Again,' which I shot a horror movie for and Mike from 'Bloodrunners' did all the special effects."
Based on a psycho killer's inability to control his murderous impulses, Ice-T went on to recite the first verse of his unreleased horror-metal ballad, "Here I Go." If I am being honest it was pretty bad-ass — how many people can say Ice-T sang to them on the phone while they were drinking their tequila breakfast in their jammies?
Check out the first verse of Body Count's unreleased song "Here I Go Again," from upcoming metal album Bloodlust:
More than just the adored theatricality of the added horror element to this album, the band focuses greatly on social and human rights issues. Body Count's first single "No Lives Matter" off of the new Bloodlust album has been gaining much momentum and praise among critics and fans.
Meant to shed light on misunderstood movements such as #BlackLivesMatter, "No Lives Matter" is an anthem for the continued fight for equality while our political and media overlords hush any cries for help or real change.
What was your inspiration behind the track "No Lives Matter"?
Will there be anymore tracks featured on Body Count's new album that focuses on social and human rights issues?
"The album deals with all the different facets of our blood thirsts."
Covering issues spanning from ecological destruction, gossip and gluttony, to the inequalities faced by our fellow humans based on something so absurd as melanin levels, Body Count is not here to waste theirs, yours or anyone's time on trivial subjects, staying true to Ice-T's style of addressing current and political issues.
Watch the full Body Count, "No Lives Matter" music video below:
Body Count's new album Bloodlust is dropping March 31. Politically charged and holding no punches, this album has a six-degree connection to both Law & Order and Ice-T's new vampire period piece, Bloodrunners. Whether it's his political activism, legendary rap skills, the domination of metal music or extensive acting credentials, there seems that there isn't a hat Ice-T can't wear.
More than pleased with the time I spent talking to such an inspirational and multi-talented artist, this truly was an experience I will never forget. Delighted by more than just our shared taste in fucked-up films and passion for the freedom of expression, Ice-T truly is an amazing man. Make sure to let us know your thoughts on our exclusive interview with Ice-T in the comments section below.