James Bond III had a huge list of acting credits growing up. Then in 1990 he released his own film Def by Temptation about a succubus preying on men in New York. it's a great film with a great cast and even had Sam Jackson in a small role. I recently got to speak with James about the film and his career in general.
BM: OK, well first up thanks for taking the time to talk with us.
Sure. Thanks for the Interview request.
No problem. So you had quite a few acting roles before you made your own film, what made you want to get into directing?
I literally grew up in America's living room by way of acting in a plethora of roles. Looked up one day and discovered that I was an adult and no longer a cute kid. Had to reinvent myself. The natural progression for me at that time was to go behind the camera.
That makes sense, keep evolving. You released Def by Temptation in 1990, what made you want to make a horror film?
I researched (via the library since the internet had not yet been made available to the masses) and discovered that Black films displayed an extensive history of making money at the box office going as far back as the blaxploitation era and that horror films showed a similar success in the theatrical marketplace, etc. My vision was that if I could fuse the two genres together, that would give me the opportunity as a filmmaker to make a historic cinematic debut considering the feat had not commercially been accomplished before.
That's really interesting. The film was one of the more unique horror movies from the early '90s it was a slow time then for the genre. Did you have any particular messages you wanted to convey with the film? It came out around the time that AIDS was a big threat in a lot of communities, was the villain of the film being of a sexual nature a reflection of the fears of that times because it certainly fits.
I wanted to tell a cautionary tale about good and evil from a contemporary perspective. The film's plot is an extension of that — sex, death and morality, etc. are some of the ingredients of what may very possibly be a frighteningly strange brew.
Very cool. So you directed and acted in the film, did that add an extra challenge to the process?
Surprisingly not, actually. I find the reason to be the culmination of my child star experiences including — but not limited to — countless hours on film sets and actually paying careful attention to the work process of many talented directors I had the great pleasure of working with over many years prior to 'Def.'
So, growing up on set had a big impact on you as a filmmaker, then?
What did you do in the years following Def by Temptation?
Developed product with the studios. However, there generally isn't a guarantee that developed product will necessarily get made. After a while I decided that it was more important that I actually get to make films. So I departed LA in hopes a finding a small city/town outside of the studio system upon which I was able to fall back on my extensive experience touring the United States and abroad with 'Def' via its unique theatrical distribution model. In short, I am the founder of a stalwart media company the produces, acquires and globally distributes commercial independent movies, records, television programming and publications, etc. Within the process, I've managed to make a couple new films as a filmmaker that are currently in post.
Sounds like it would keep you busy. You mentioned earlier about combining the two genres, it seems like there aren't a lot of Black horror films being made anymore, especially in the mainstream and Hollywood seems to have little interest in producing them. Why do you think that is?
I don't think it's very high on their priority list. Remakes and expensive action and/or superhero franchises appear to be worthy of their attention at the moment. There are a lot of media trends in Hollywood and those trends come and go. That being said, I think the timing is right for me to finally revisit my classic horror film 'Def By Temptation.' Doing so has always been my option and although I have had various offers over the years to do it, I have never really felt led to go forward with it until now.
So you have a remake potentially in the works?
I have a new 'Def By Temptation' movie in the works. Now that I've expressed this to your viewers, it will be interesting to see who reaches out to me in regards to this. 'Def' seems to have an interesting fan base and interesting fans around the world. I feel blessed to have been able to make the initial film!
Sounds Interesting. Anything you can tell us about about other projects you have coming out?
When 'Def' was released, the media and people at large tagged me with an interesting moniker-referring to me as The Black Hitchcock. I was familiar with Mr. Hitchcock but not with his work. So I acquired and researched his library of movies and was blown away by a comparison of any kind made to this brilliant man. I was also inspired by it. So one of the films I have in post I specifically crafted to pay homage to the moniker and to his incredible work.
That sounds like a very interesting project. I bet that was an honor be compared to him. If someone wanted to know more about you or your films and keep updated is there any websites or social media accounts they can check out?
Well that about wraps it up, thanks again for talking with us.
Thank you so much.
Check out the trailer for James Bond III's cult film Def By Temptation below:
What is your favorite '90s horror movie?