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Bzhaun Rhodan Makes Some Friends and Furry Enemies In Critters: A New Binge

25YL got the opportunity to interview talent from the highly anticipated new series Critters: A New Binge. This short form series introduces the cult classic to a new generation, while giving everyone’s favorite Crites a new adventure. First up, we talk to one of the series’ stars, Bzhaun Rhodan. 


25YL: So, Critters: The New Binge comes out tomorrow. 25 Years Later (25YL) is the site that I work for, and we wrote about the Shout! Factory box set around the end of November, early December. We covered the original films and the fan-made film. Did you have any familiarity with the franchise when you were brought on?

BR: Absolutely not. None. You know what, I’m thankful for that. I am thankful for that. It was such a treat, the result of that.

25YL: Right. I mean, it was all new to you. So, I know that SyFy has gotten involved with the franchise in some shape or form, but do you see any more New Binge episodes coming in the future? I haven’t seen the show, but would you like to do more Critters projects?

BR: I would absolutely love to do more Critters content. It was the most fun I’ve had thus far on any set, with any role that I’ve ever done. It was just a freedom that I had to make as many choices as I wanted, because the director Jordan Rubin also has quite the background in comedy and stand-up as well. As a result, there would be scenes where there would be no dialogue, and then, he would just come up on the day to me and Joey and just be like “So, what are we doing?” And just like that, a scene would be born.

25YL: Well, that’s great. So, that’s a question I had for later, which works now. I looked at your bio and noticed that you have a background in stand-up improvisation as well.

BR: [Laughter] Yeah, I did. I joined an improv group called Vanguard Comedy, just this little group that was trying to expand at the time. I got my first hand trying it then, and it was absolutely exhilarating.

25YL: Right. So, what did that comedy background bring to your approach to the Critters and working with Jordan?

BR: You know what? it brought … it created a lot of anxiety, but in a good way, if that is even possible. It kept me on my toes, because I also come from an improv background. To wake those muscles up on set for a role was actually very exciting to me. So that’s how it affected me, really. It got my creative juices going. It’s like, do I still have it? Do I still have the ability to be on my feet, to go with the flow? And turns out, yeah.

25YL: Right. So, you were regular acting of course on the show, but a good part of the time you were acting with what’s so important to Critters,  these puppets. I know these puppets, they’re not expendable to the puppeteers. They’re worried about these things getting destroyed. They spend hours working on them. What was it like working with those puppets?

BR: [Laughter] They got some sharp teeth.

25YL: Yeah?!

BR: Yeah, [laughter] like actually shar! Like you touch it, and you’re like “Whoa!”.

25YL: You’re kidding?

BR: Yeah! No, but seriously it was really fun because obviously I can’t spoil anything, but there’s one scene in which I get to really, really have fun with one of the critters in particular, and there are technical things you have to watch out for. There are some technical difficulties, but, you know, that’s our job, and the sharp teeth didn’t get in the way, didn’t hurt anybody. But you’ve got to watch out for the puppeteers when you’re doing high stakes, very urgent stuff. You don’t want to hurt anyone.

Actor Bzhaun Rhodan is attacked by a Critter.

25YL: So, I think that Shudder in particular feels like a perfect home for Critters: A New Binge, and I know that it was originally meant to be kind of in shorter clips, perhaps to be played on the phones, for whatever Verizon was working on, and so, do you think that concerning the shorter pacing, how do you think that affects the way that it’s now going to be seen on Shudder?  Did it affect the way it was shot?

BR: Oh, I see. You know what? I … maybe it’s because it’s the way I’ve always viewed content, but I’d prefer it to be shown as just one go, like as a movie. I think the film is definitely shot beyond well enough to keep people’s attention in one go. I think people are gonna’ want to binge A New Binge, like none of this waiting for the next ten minutes. I think showing it as one movie is definitely the way to do it justice.

Interviewer’s note: The series is in its originally intended form on Shudder, as short episodes. It was not edited into a long-playing film. Binging the series as the title implies is the point here.

25YL: Okay, that kind of gives me an idea about how to approach watching it tomorrow.

BR: Yeah.

25YL: Okay, well, in your career, you have been busy. From what I can tell you’ve done Critters, Van Helsing, Man in the High Castle Season 4, and Dragged Across Concrete is coming out.

BR: Yes.

25YL: And now your name is cemented in the horror genre, so have you had a chance to talk to any Critters fans since you’ve gotten involved in this, or have you been reached out to by any of them?

BR: No!

25YL: No?

BR: I would love to! I would absolutely love to. I’m task for something not realizing how much of a following it has. And, you know, I’m now a part of something that has huge potential to become another classic, just something people watch because, they want to have a good time. They just want to relax and have fun. And I would love to get to know the people who have been invested in that since the beginning.

Actors Bzhaun Rhodan and Stephi Chin-Salvo with bounty hunters.

25YL: Right, well, I think you’re speaking to one of them. Yeah. I’m quite a Critters fan, which has been great. It has been wild to watch it come back after all of these years. You know, it had almost become a nostalgic thing. Some people, I think, will come to this with nostalgia and some of us just with open minds, ready to watch Jordan’s approach to directing it. So, I just have two more questions. Here is one. This is more of a fun one. Who are you rooting for, the Crites or the bounty hunters?

BR: [Laughter] The bounty hunters. They were really fun to work with.

25YL: Yeah, is that right? I’m looking forward to seeing that. I don’t even know what more to ask about that. What are you excited for viewers to see tomorrow or experience as they come to this new series?

BR: You know what? I’m excited for them to see how Jordan has at the same time paid homage to the franchise while taking it and adding a modern twist to it. Everything that you see, you’ll be like “Oh yeah, this is how it is, good old Critters,” but it’s not tarnished at all by the day and age that we’re in, you know? So, I think everyone’s really going to enjoy seeing that.

25YL: Well, I know that I’m excited about it, and I really appreciate your time with me today. I’ve got one last question. So, since you are in so many projects, and at least two that are out this month, what would you like us to keep our eyes out for, our readers to keep their eyes out for beyond Critters: A New Binge for you?

BR: Ooo! Beyond Critters … I would love for people to keep an eye out for Man in the High Castle Season 4, absolutely. And if they haven’t already seen Van Helsing, please go check out Van Helsing. I’m Felix on that, and that show is absolutely fantastic.

25YL: Really wonderful. Well, those are all of the questions that I had for you today, but again, I do appreciate your time with me.

BR: Yeah, thank you so much, anytime.

 


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Written by Rob E. King

I am a librarian, writer, and proud member of Twin Peaks and Robert E. Howard fandom. I've also somehow become the go-to writer for MTV's 90s animation series.

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