When you were a child did you dream of becoming a model/ actress or was it just something that happened?
Bobbie Bresee: Well, to make a long story short… (how far back do you want me to go)… My mom always wanted to be an actress (plays in college was the closest she came). I did a few plays and got the “bug”. Fresh out of college (bachelor of Science) at Auburn University – I headed for Hollywood and landed a Playboy Bunny job for 5 years. A rotten job, but somebody had to do it! TV roles of one word graduated to one line and so on… until all this “horror stuff” came about. I’m a real “horror fan” so it came quite easy. However, I’m the one who likes to do the scaring, not to be scared.
Tell us about your memories of being a Playboy Bunny.
Bobbie Bresee: It was the most exciting time of my life. I spent five years there; most kids only spent a year or two. I ended up being a manager type at the gift shop. It was the best time I ever had. The original Bunnies were one of a kind. It was really kind of interesting, they were all in show business. The club I was involved with was on Sunset Strip, so everyone who came in was a celebrity.
Is there an encounter that stands out?
Bobbie Bresee: I was the door Bunny, wearing the ears and tail, and during Christmas we had to wear rabbit tops — it was really darling. This one time a huge entourage pulled up, and I had to greet the people coming in. I said, “I’m sorry you can’t get in without a key.” And he said, “Oh yes I can.” And they just started bursting in and I ran over to the manager because I have no idea who these people were. And later I found out it was Hugh Hefner! I thought “Oh my god they’re going to fire me!” He was the kindest person. You wouldn’t think he would be, but he was the kindest, most down to earth, humble man. He loved all the girls and he took care of them. He was a mentor to us.
Do you still keep in touch with the other Bunnies?
Bobbie Bresee: It’s been about 40 years since then. We still try to connect, we still call every once and a while. I had a reunion at my house a little while back and all the girls came over. My husband was like, “Where are the Bunnies?!” I was like, “Honey, we don’t look like that any more!” I think I’m one of the oldest; I’m 70. It’s been that long. It’s incredible. It’s more than just a college reunion. It is closer than that; we were like a sorority.
What were you doing prior to MAUSOLEUM?
Bobble Bresee: Prior to MAUSOLEUM… I had received a Bachelor’s Degree in Music and taught for two years – went shopping in Hollywood one summer – had lunch at the Playboy Club and never left!! I was a bunny for five years – had a ball… met a lot of people in show-business and was hooked!!
How did you get involved with MAUSOLEUM and horror films in general and have you always been a fan of the genre?
Bobble Bresee: Horror was my favourite genre of films. I loved to be scared to death. Forrest J. Ackerman was the one who said to try out for MAUSOLEUM. They wanted a brunette and in my audition I put red contact lenses in my eyes and dug my nails into the person I was reading with – and growled.
Did you have any objections to wearing gruesome makeup for your first starring role?
Bobble Bresee: I approached the make-up as an adventure. Never having experienced the whole process I was naive to all the consequences – Yikes! The funny side was no one would sit next to me at lunch and they covered the mirror so I wouldn’t get depressed! It’s amazing how much character you come up with after looking in a mirror.
I understand your transformation from beauty to beast was quite an ordeal.
Bobbie Bresee: John Buechler created the MAUSOLEUM monster. His original concept of my transformation started with a cast-mold months before filming… so he could apply the prosthetics that would fit exactly. It was put on with spirit gum! How does one remove it all.. acetone (and oil). Unfortunately the fumes alone bumed all the capilaries in my eyes and off to hospital I did go Not a pretty sight. It took a month to heal… then we returned to finish the film.
Did you play all the monster scenes or was there an occasional stand in for the full drag monster parts?
Bobbie Bresee: Stunt girls were used toward the end of the film because couldn’t wear the large contact lenses in my eyes anymore! Also, B Vale was the final demon. A rough job to wear that garbin 110 degree hear. The head alone weighed 30 pounds.
The man eating breasts were quite original, how was this effect performed?
Bobbie Bresee: He nicknamed her “munching tits and well deserved. They were connected to air-compression tubes worked by three guys standing behind herl Thore word tubes coming out of her head and body both. I wasn’t on the set when the man monster was used. I did phase 1 and 2. It wasn’t saw the finished version did I realize what she did with her breasts.
John Buechler talked somewhat bitterly about his experiences in MAUSOLEUM, stating – “I hate the movie, I hate the people with it with the exception of Bobbie Bresee – she’s wonderful. The people did not know how to make a movie…” Do you have any comments about his statements or some feelings of your own on the matter?
Bobbie Bresee: Hell, I have my own theories on all this. It was the producers first film… it wasn’t organized, all the money wasn’t there, they wasted a lot of film (enough to make 2 more MAUSOLEUM’s), changed to a second crew and director mid-stream, even the leading actor, who was to be played by Burt Ward of Bat Man fame.
Were the make-up effects as strenuous on you this time around?
Bobbie Bresee: I didn’t have to wear prosthetic pieces – my “dummy double” did all the tongue work. Can’t say I’m too crazy about those bends of facials. Even the hair on your face is taken off (& MAUSOLEUM).
I know MPM seems to have distributed it in America on a region-by-region basis.
Bobbie Bresee: That’s exactly right. As a matter of fact, I was told that the reason movies open up in the southern areas is that they’d like to get a response from somebody, and if it’s good, then they open it up in the big cities – New York and L.A. and what not. And I wasn’t aware that when they did a distribution thing they did it region by region, but that’s the big reason, and if it doesn’t do too well they’ll pull it and then not spend the money on the big opening. (Some more small talk and the conversation shifts back to the make-up effects in MAUSOLEUM). To finish that story, we had the eyes in, we had the teeth in, we had all the prosthetic pieces in – it was like three a.m. and we finally stopped shooting. Everybody went home and I was left there to have my make-up taken off. Well, you never heard such hollering, it hurt so bad. My skin was all peeling off and my eyes were dead red from wearing the lenses too long, and that was like three hours later – six o’clock, and I was an absolute mess.
What was your reaction when you first heard that your performance in MAUSOLEUM had won an award, Best Actress’at the Paris Film Festival Of Sci-Fi and Fantasy?
Bobbie Bresee: Shock… fatal shock! I have since found a wonderful coach (John Lehne) who said, after seeing MAUSOLEUM, I hadn’t developed a three-dimensional character. My reply was “Are you kidding – I barely got the words outlet alone develop a character”.
What was it like working on a Troma set and a film like the wonderfully titled SURF NAZIS MUST DIE?
Bobbie Bresee: Peter George, producer and director of SURF NAZIS MUST DIE, was a USC film graduate – this was his first film, with his own money. If you know how difficult it is to get something like this accomplished (produce a film) then he gets four stars for this first attempt.
How did your part for GHOULIES come about?
Bobbie Bresee: Buechler recommended me – I jokingly said it was because they already had a bust (cast mold) of me – anyone could have done the part. It’s very expensive to cast a bust (dental material!)
Besides playing in movies, you’ve played in television shows like Simon & Simon and the Fall Guy. After being on both sides of the fence, which do you like the best?
Bobbie Bresee: Definitely horror. You have more freedom, and besides, the TV people only see me as a “dumb blonde” – I’d rather scare people to death!
You have worked with two generations of the Carradine family, John in METAMORPHOSIS and David in ARMED RESPONSE, how did they compare to each other and what were they like to work with?
Bobbie Bresee: John Carradine was sexyl Can you imagine, during an interview I leaned in and he looked down my blouse and smiled. I looked at him quite differently after that. He was chain-smoking the whole time. I’m sure that probably added to his health problems. David on the other hand seems to be very low keyed – doesn’t smile much and loves his beer!
I have heard that you had bad experiences working for Fred Olen Ray, was this the main reason that you formed your own production company with your husband?
Bobbie Bresee: Interesting that you picked up on that. Actually we were so disappointed in the way Fred Olen Ray put the video (METAMORPHOSIS/Evil Spawn) together – we had to go to court to get control so we could put out a better product. Fred cuts a lot of corners and it shows. The ‘ole saying “you get what you pay for also pertains in movie making. The version in the States is the one Fred put out – I’m still embarrassed about that. England got the revised edition.
I realize you have little free time but do you have any hobbies?
Bobbie Bresee: I go to acting classes in my spare time. My drama coach, Rick Galters, is a certified genius and has coached a lot of the big stars today. I owe him a lot.
What’s the story behind your board-game business and how successful is it?
Bobbie Bresee: “Pass Out” (an adult drinking game. Ed.) has been a successful board-game in the States for over twenty-five years. Frank (her husband) has fifteen board games on the market. As a matter of fact Games Trade Monthly’ of England reported that “Pass Out” was the #1 most popular board-game in all of the United Kingdom. It is currently sold in most big stores including the ‘adult games department’ of Harrods.
Do you have any goals… where will Bobbie Bresee be ten years from now?
Bobbie Bresee: Well, like most actors, we hope to have continuous work (which is rare in this business). And dream of the “big break”. You really have to love acting to stay in it… the drop out rate is 97%. I’d like to make an Academy Award winning Horror film someday. Now, wouldn’t that be a first! Elsa Lancaster (BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN) once told me… “if you always play a monster, you can grow old and nobody will notice!” Sounds good to me!
From watching most of your films, It is plainly obvious that you are not a shy lady. Do you feel that all of your nude scenes are totally necessary for the plot or simply included to attract a young male audience?
Bobbie Bresee: There are no two ways about it – nude scenes have nothing to do with the plot – it’s upsetting, exploitive and de-meaning. You have two choices – work or not!ll There are two-hundred girls waiting in the wings who are younger, better looking and willing to take over in a second. Since realising this inevitable dilemma I have found a coach, John Lehne from the Strasberg School in New York, to help me become a good actress. I had the “cart before the horse, I got work before I was ready. Luckily I’m working to repair that damage. I plan to stay a life-time in this business and there’s only one way to do it… study!
Even though you’ve only been in a couple of movies (that have been seen thus far you’ve obtained a army of fans practically overnight… how does that make you feel?
Bobbie Bresee: And that’s the reason I don’t want to switch genre’s! I consider myself extremely lucky to have acquired them!
Fantasynopsis 4 (1991)
Draculina Fearbook 1992