LATITUDE ZERO’s Linda Haynes Interviewed
Actress Recounts Working on Toho Fantasy Epic in Latest Shock Cinema Magazine
Source: Shock Cinema magazine
Official site: shockcinemamagazine.com
Shock Cinema #36 recently rolled off the presses, featuring a lengthy interview by Steve Ryfle with actress Linda Haynes, one of the stars of Toho’s LATITUDE ZERO (1969). Haynes was a neophyte actress when producer Don Sharpe whisked her away from Hollywood to Japan, where she spent several months filming alongside big-screen legend Joseph Cotten and co-stars Patricia Medina, Richard Jaeckel, Cesar Romero, Akira Takarada, and others in the troubled U.S.-Japanese co-production about a war between undersea kingdoms. The interview covers the breadth of Haynes’ career—which also included the blaxploitation classic COFFY (1973) with Pam Grier, the Paul Newman neo-noir THE DROWNING POOL (1975), and the revenge exploitationer ROLLING THUNDER (1977), in which she co-starred as William Devane’s girlfriend—but much of it is devoted to her LATITUDE ZERO adventure.
The production of LATITUDE ZERO was plagued with problems (well documented in Cotten’s autobiography Vanity Will Get You Somewhere). Shortly after filming began, the American producers ran out of money, reneged on their deal with Toho, and left the American cast members stuck in Tokyo. For a moment, Haynes recalls, there was uncertainty as to whether the picture would be completed. “Joseph Cotton and Pat Medina took charge when we had the financial problems and the funds dried up,” she says. “I wasn’t really bothered by it. I figured the worst that could happen was that I’d go home, which I may have secretly wanted to do anyway.”
In the interview, Haynes admits she was uncomfortable in Japan; it was her first trip abroad, she didn’t speak the language, and she was overwhelmed by the experience. She talks about her friendship with Japanese actor Masumi Okada, her bout with a strain of influenza that infected many of the cast members (Cotten was seriously, visibly ill during much of the filming) and assesses her performance in the movie (“I was really nervous, and I didn’t know how to be any other way than I was.”), and remembers a 21st birthday party that Toho threw for her during the shoot, and which was attended by director Ishiro Honda and producer Tomoyuki Tanaka, among others.
Shock Cinema magazine is an essential guide for any fan of bizarre films and videos, and each issue has numerous movie reviews, interviews and original poster art. It covers everything from “cult movies and art house oddities to old-fashioned grindhouse swill and underground obscurities.” The new issue is available at major bookstores across the United States, or it can be ordered directly from shockcinemamagazine.com.