It saddens me that the great Zalman King has passed away at the age of 69. When I first called Zalman, since we had a mutual friend, I thought he would never do a commentary for TRIP WITH THE TEACHER. He called me back laughing and snickering, saying, "You actually want me to do a commentary for TRIP WITH THE TEACHER?" and he agreed to show up at a recording studio in two weeks. And 2 days before the recording, I called him, only for him to answer the phone saying, "Calling me so soon? Why would I not show up, I wouldn't miss this for the world."
The day of the recording, he showed up, I shook his hand, and talked a bit about his past work, which amazed him. I asked him to do a quick on camera, he smiled at me and said, "I'm not going to do an on camera, I'm not going to be filmed anymore." Then I said let's go to the recording room to do the commentary, he walked half way, stopped, acted worried saying, "You are not going to make me watch the film." Then I said, "But Zalman, you promised me an audio commentary." He then said, "I don't want to watch myself, I don't want to see this film." Then I asked him, "Why did you show up then?" He replied, "Since we had a great conversation, I just wanted to meet you." Then I said, "Look Zalman, I need something for the DVD, please come into the recording room, and we will talk about your career." He paused for a second, and then said, "OK, but I am sure we have very little to say."
When we got into the room, suddenly the Crown International logo began on the monitor, and Zalman suddenly got up trying to leave. I told the studio engineer not to start the film, and let's just talk about your career. So basically, I was talking to Zalman face to face about how he started, his earlier work, including TRIP WITH THE TEACHER, and his later stuff. He answered many interesting questions that I always wanted to ask him, and at one point, he said, "How do you memorize all these films I did without a computer in front of you......I never had anyone ask me all these questions.....when are we going to conclude?" So after 75min, we stopped, but he was very impressed, saying this was the best interview he ever did, and even said, "We think alike, in fact, we should talk about having you distribute my RED SHOE DIARIES and have you come over to my office to show you what I am doing now, to get your imput." Unfortunatley, due to no time on hand, I wasn't able to.
Then Katarina Waters walked in the room and she introduced herself, and I thought it was amusing how he asked her, "Do you do nudity?" right away, right to the point, very professionally. And my brother walked in and I told Zalman that my brother released Robert Downey's GREASER'S PALACE. Zalman then said, "Downey, yeah, too bad he is dead now" in which I had my brother call Downey to show he was still with us, which made Zalman laugh and he and Downey chatted about old times. Before he left, he looked at me, "God, it was an interesting experience meeting you, as I found out many guys I thought were dead were alive!"
Zalman, you will be missed. I am sorry I didnt get a chance to hang out with you more to look at your new projects. Was planning to this year, but sadly that's not going to be. God Bless.