JOHN S. RAD
The online trailer for DANGEROUS MEN seems like a long lost secret child of Magnum P.I. and John Waters born in Miami. Exploding credits, heroines playing dirty, supertough guys, and an albino villain named Black Pepper. Where some film fanatics have made homage style rip-offs to film genres, DANGEROUS MEN is completely pure. With mysterious footage of unknown actors, shot in California possibly over the last decade, it has become an instant cult hit in LA.
Writer/producer/director/composer John S. Rad is extremely nice, well-dressed, with a heavy accent.
CINEMAD: The film seems to have been playing non-stop for months now.
JOHN S. RAD: Yes, it was playing from Sept 23, 2005 until Jan 28, 2006. But, I believe if something you show more often you may forget and it turns into a kind of common thing in your point of view, so I stopped it for the time being and it will return within one or two months…
I’ve seen it twice. Each time I saw other friends who brought different groups of people with them to see it. The film is becoming a family event.
Tell me something new. (laughs) I’ve seen people five, six or more times have seen it!
There is footage that appears it is from the 1990s. Everyone wants to know how long it has taken to make the film.
I can make a feature perhaps in three months. But unfortunately I had many, many happenings [during the making of the film], even big accidents…. Somebody up there loves me so much. The last one was about one year ago - I got into a huge car accident, the car was destroyed. People from all sides were waiting just to see blood run. (smiles) Then fortunately I came out. But, how, that’s a long story.
Those happenings made me make the film part by part by part. In my opinion, when a film has been shot is not important. We have to see the quality of the film, how it is, what message it gives, what education we can receive, and if we have fun from it’s entertainmentship.
Your name is listed under most of the credits. Did you have a small crew?
I like to do anything I know and I’m good at, that’s why my film does not look like a low budget. I’ll tell you a fun story: One of the crew members, Moses, also acted as the car rental owner in the film. After we were done with that part and I ordered wrap, people were picking up and placing the equipment in a truck. Moses was constantly murmuring one word. I was wondering why?! So, I can walk quietly, that’s one of the techniques in martial arts. I walked all the way behind him, I heard he was saying one after another the word, “Jesus.” I was worried, then from behind him, I said, “Moses.” He jumped. “Yes sir.” I said, “You are Moses, nothing to do with Jesus. What’s up?” [laughs] He said, “You are very friendly to all of us. But if I say something, will you not get mad?” I said, “Of course not.” He said – “It’s all about you!”
I said, “What about me?” He said after days and days hard working, I was so polite, take care of everyone, always running, still as polite as the first day we started. I worked with many directors…” I stopped him and I said, “Thank you. That was the best compliment I could ever get.”
So you wear many hats in production.
I am a very creative person. For instance, if you ask me that you want a story about something that you can’t or very different, just give me 15 to 30 minutes and I’ll give you the short form of the synopsis of the story.
I write, produce and direct [each] film. I compose the music and the lyrics. I am a poet with thousands of poems. I am a writer as I am writing a book now which will be absolutely way different than any book written. I am an architect, too, with a different style. I would never copy a design from anyone, even my own design from before, I create once at a time and that’s it.
Was the whole film shot in California? The beach scenes are amazing.
The best thing that could happen to a human is to love and respect other humans. For me, any race, any person, even my own enemies, I behave very good, polite and lovingly. So I have a lot of friends.
A friend of mine had a connection with someone who had a helicopter. So we fly everywhere. That’s why I located the best location which makes the viewer to feel good and enjoy…
Was this a film you had thought about making for a long time?
No. Overseas I made a few films. The first one, “Under the Skin of the Night,” won prizes. The second one, “If Never Falls A Leaf,” had about ten thousand cast, probably the biggest cast in a film in the world. I made two more films in Hollywood, “Under the Cover of Night” and “Though and Restless.” But now the most talked about and a very different kind of film – “Dangerous Men” – which I think it continuously will be theatrically released in America and the world, not to mention the DVD.
What did you think of the audience reaction to the film?
[The first time] I sneaked into the theater to see how is reaction of audience, it was one of the best time I had. They laughed, screamed, clapped and got up and sat down, almost with any scene. I was wondering, some scenes in my opinion were not funny to laugh at or be so excited. It turned into a hobby to me, whenever I had time and could I did sneak into theaters to have fun, not from the film, I made every frame of, but from the reaction of audience. Also the film has many layers that may be people do not pick up right away when watching one time, that’s why they want to see the film again and again as each time enjoy it more than earlier time.
When is the next film coming?
I already have a few scripts written. If there are investors or big companies that would like me to do it, the stories are one of the kind…. P.O. Box 11344, Beverly Hills, CA 90213.
At this point he asks us to turn off the recorder, and he teaches us his real name, which I cannot divulge, even if I could spell it. Its 24 letters long and you can see how he shortened it. Sure enough, his driver’s license says, “John S. Rad.”
This interview conducted for the film’s East Coast Premiere at the New York Underground Film Festival, 2006.
Photo of Mr. Rad 2004, LA Weekly Media, Inc. All other photos from “Dangerous Men”, courtesy John S. Rad.