Shorts Interview: Mark Stern (LAST MEAL)

Posted in Uncategorized by johnwildman on March 12, 2009

SHORTS….and to the point!

Mark Stern (LAST MEAL)

A diner that specializes in recreating the final dishes of notorious killers or otherwise legendary people before they met their doom meets a couple in search of authentic thrills and chills and possibly, a tasty snack – a match made to order, right? Well, in this case – you would be right, because Mark Stern’s LAST MEAL introduces a clever premise and then heaps some frothy style on it before giving a quickie rollercoaster turn or two before letting you (and the couple in question) out the door. Its fun, it’s appropriately gory and it’s more than a bargain at diner prices.

Would you describe yourself as more “foodie” or serial killer groupie?

Definitely a “foodie,” until I remember the fajita plate at Lupe Tortilla in Houston, TX.  I might hack a few people apart in the lunch line to get seated ahead of the rush.  The extremely strong margaritas at Lupe will help with the hacking; however, unfortunately, alcohol isn’t permitted on death row (groupie fact).

“Killers don’t eat salad” – Do you have scientific evidence to back this up or is there some killer stereotyping going on here?

In our extensive research we have yet to uncover a single instance of salad as a final meal.  I’m not saying it’s never happened, but one thing’s for sure: 87% of single women surveyed say the most unmanly thing you could eat before an execution is arugula… maybe that’s why so many killers went with steak.

Where do you keep your Snuffalufagus?

That’s more of an existential question dealing with the point in your life when you decide to pump the brakes. Snuffalufagus is a safe word used to trigger any number of alarms.  In LAST MEAL Ray uses it to stop Deirdre’s tirade and signal danger.  I last used it, cavalierly, at the Olive Garden to stop the guy with the pepper grinder.  It kind of defeats the purpose when your safe word comes up in normal conversation, so I’ve changed mine to, “Fire!”  Try continuing a conversation after you yell that.

Have you ever used “It was the 80s” to explain away bad behavior of yours?

I tried, but she was like, “You were five.  What the hell did you do when you were five?”  There was a call to my mother followed by an hour-long explanation of how kissing a girl on the cheek does not constitute harassment in elementary school. It’s a bad excuse, trust me.  It doesn’t work for the character in the film, but it makes people laugh, which turns out to be the sweetest revenge of all.

Has the NRA attempted to franchise the LAST MEAL diner yet?

You’d be surprised.  I may or may not have gotten a confidential franchise offer from McDonald’s.  Clowns are scary, am I right? Ronald is definitely serial killer material.  Obviously a “McVeigh” menu item is natural with the golden arches. We’re still working (or not working) out percentage points.

What will happen in the feature-length sequel to LAST MEAL?

Comedy. Mayhem.  Comedy.  The couple is central to the film. Following ‘Noah’ and ‘Clare’ on their journey to macabre hotspots around the country, intertwined with Art’s story of vengeance weaves a wickedly intriguing tale.  In all seriousness, there are scripts.  Ask me about them; we’re ready to go.

LAST MEAL screens as part of the MIDNIGHT SHORTS PROGRAM at 10:00PM March 28 @ Landmark’s Magnolia 4 and 10:15PM March 29 @ Landmark’s Magnolia 4

Mark Stern will attend both screenings and participate in a Q&A afterwards.


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