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James Marsters

James Marsters gives his Five Favourite Films to Rottentomatoes.com

Wednesday 8 April 2009, by Webmaster

Five Favourite Films with James Marsters

The Dragonball star makes his choices.

James Marsters is perhaps best known to audiences as the blonde-haired Sid Vicious-alike Spike on the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The vampire who earned his nickname by impaling his victims on railway spikes, he went from Big Bad to Buffy’s boyfriend when a shadowy government cell called The Initiative fitted a chip in his brain that prevented him from doing harm.

He stars this week in Dragonball: Evolution, based on the Japanese Manga comic, as Lord Piccolo, the megalomaniacal villain out to destroy the world by uniting the seven Dragonballs.

Apocalypse Now

"I felt that it was a very clear message about why America lost the war. It was a scene that really got me when, right at the very end, the villagers were killing the cow. Because when we want some cow, we have someone else kill the cow and wrap it up in plastic and eat it.

But they anointed the cow with oils and paint, and the whole village got around and prayed and chanted to the cow and slaughtered the cow in a bloody brutalist way and nobody flinched. Like, they wanted beef, looked it in the eye, and knew what it takes to eat beef, and that’s why we lost the war, they were just tougher.

For me the film was exploring the soft underbelly of our culture and of our weaknesses, and the film’s ending dealt with this; how did we become so weak?"


"I thought this was a really interesting mix of horror and sex. There are so many sexual references, from the robot attacking Sigourney Weaver, and he rolls up a magazine and stuffs it down her throat, I mean, wow! Or the fact that Ash’s blood looks like semen, it’s just a lot of that kind of stuff. Deep, deep psychological sexual stuff; like calling the computer ’Mother’.

It’s really fascinating, and I think that’s why it’s so successful in scaring you. It places imagery that’s deep and sexual in a horror show. It’s designed to scare people, all this stuff that is repressed, and gets inside their psyche and is truly uncomfortable, and I think it’s right in (Alien artist and production designer) HR Giger’s designs, I think sex is what we’re all afraid of."

Blade Runner

"Of course taken from Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K. Dick, a short story, and like a lot of his books, it paints a world where technology has vastly outstripped our morality. We can create artificial beings that are every bit as human as we are, to any measurement, and yet we still treat them like a machine.

What does that say about how human we are? I think in the age of cloning and bio-medicine that is exploding right now, with every month, it seems there is some new problem that is jeopardising our morality as human beings. It just seems like we should be very careful in the next hundred years. Philip’s very clever in saying this is what is going to happen, if we’re not careful.

I also think it’s the best noir that doesn’t have to have gumshoes ever. He’s successfully made a noir in a new setting. One of my favourite things is the flying blimp with the picture of the Asian lady taking the pill in close-up. How perfect is that? We’re seeing those commercials now, where they say the side-effects maybe your hair falling out and so on. How they talked to Coca-Cola about the product placing on that building, I’ll never know. "

The Milagro Beanfield War

"This was Robert Redford’s follow up to Ordinary People. It’s just about a small South-Western town that is being taken over by moneyed interests. There’s this beautiful scene in the beginning where this obnoxious pig comes and wakes everybody up in the village out of bed, and everybody is like "Ergh, get away from me you pig." But actually the pig is a force of great good; he’s just rousing everybody for the morning. There’s a certain poetry and stillness to the picture, and a magic that seems to emanate from the land and it casts a delicate spell."


"I think that film, for me, showed me what cooking is really about, in a way that line animation was never able to. It made we want to cook, it made me want to go out to a new restaurant, it made we want to appreciate life, to taste everything, not just food but the air, everything. Frankly, to be able to put that kind of magic back into a film that is targeted for kids is just amazing. That’s all it’s trying to do, is say to kids, "Hey look at the world, it’s an amazing world, did you see that?" "