Amanda Brooks, who is best known for her work in the cult favorite "D-Wars" is starring in the Ricky Schroder directed "Hellhounds" premiering this Sunday (July 19) at 9 pm ET on SyFy. She joins us to discuss what it's like making a movie with, well... with what is expected from an actor starring in an action film titled "Hellhounds," the long Romanian shooting days that accompany, plus her experience promoting "D-Wars" at Comic-Con.

Mike: So I just finished watching "Hellhounds"...

Amanda Brooks: (Laughs) It's a ride.

Mike: Well, I have to admit, with the title I was expecting a cute little romantic comedy and that's not what "Hellhounds" is at all. But, yes, seriously, it does live up to the title "Hellhounds" because there are Hellhounds in the film. Have you seen the finished cut?

Amanda Brooks: I'm pretty sure what I've seen is 99.9 percent finished. I saw a screening of it over at Ricky's house...

Mike: I didn't know much about it before watching -- and this turned out to be not true when you keep watching a little longer -- but at the very beginning your character dies, like five minutes in. And we went though this whole rigmarole getting the screener here in time and I was thinking, "Well, that was quick." I was thinking of questions like, "Well, that wedding looked like it was going to be great before you died, yes?"

Amanda Brooks: (Laughs) Or, "Did you work in a monologue as you were dying."

Mike: Right! How did you get involved with the project?

Amanda Brooks: I went to go meet with Ricky Schroder, who was a friend of my agent, and we had a meeting about the project and he explained what the premise of the story was. We had a really long chat about the movie and the other characters that were in it and the other actors. I read the script and he literally left to go to Romania ... I had to go through the SyFy Network and the producers to get their approval. They gave me the go-ahead two days before filming; I got the phone call and off I went to jolly old Bucharest

Mike: It filmed in Romania?

Amanda Brooks: In Romania all over. From Transylvania to Bucharest... I couldn't even tell you half the time because five hours of driving in the dark and then you were at one point just in caves on the top of mountains somewhere near Transylvania ... Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful location. We shot in the volcanoes. You saw it, they were real. It was kind of extraordinary the places you could film.

Mike: That's interesting. I didn't know those volcanoes were real.

Amanda Brooks: Yeah, absolutely. It was amazing some of the places we were ... It was definitely an experience.

Mike: The film doesn't waste a lot of time getting into the action and blood being spilled. I mean, with the title you have the idea there's going to be some gore but within a minute a guy gets stabbed in the foot which, in a way, is nice.

Amanda Brooks: Yeah, it is what it is. I think a lot of that film is to do with special effect and CGI and there's also the story between my character and Scott [Elrod]'s character and him coming to rescue her. I think I've died in numerous films I've done. I was actually counting and I've now realized that in three films in the last few years I've died, in all of them (laughs).

Mike: I think you, kind of, died twice in this one. The first time than almost a second time... you can almost count this one up as two deaths. That's efficient.

Amanda Brooks: I would say so! But at the end of the day, when you do a film like this, a lot of it's about people that were involved and I was just lucky to have... I mean, we were on a tight budget, we were filming long hours ... Ricky and the other cast, we must have laughed 75 percent of the time. It was just a really good group. I was predominantly the only girl there, most of the time, and the boys took really really good care of me.

Mike: In the scene where they think they're rescuing you but it's an impostor -- and it's almost a rule that if any line like this is in a scene, I enjoy it -- and I believe the line is, "This demon spawn is not my wife."

Amanda Brooks: (Laughs) Is that when I have the crazy contacts in my eyes?

Mike: Yes. And you were referred to as a "demon spawn."

Amanda Brooks: Demon spawn. Yeah, that's not the nicest thing I've ever been called (laughs). Yeah, those contacts were wild because I literally couldn't see when I have them in. We were filming in a cave and I had to have four or five people walk me into the area where I was to be lying down and looking up. But I had no idea where I was looking or what I was looking to.

Mike: Do they hurt? They look heavier than a normal contact and look like they cover the whole eye.

Amanda Brooks: They have to position them exactly so they fit so you couldn't see any part of my eye ... It is weird having hair and makeup putting their fingers in my eyes.

Mike: You were also in "D-Wars." That movie has an interesting life of its own. It's kind of a strange project because it came out of South Korea and did really well in Asia and held its own here, too.

Amanda Brooks: Yeah, it did hold its own ... I was the last girl they auditioned for that role and they most have auditioned hundreds of girls. There was a big media mogul behind that film and there were big hopes for that movie. It was a pretty big deal when I booked that job ... It was a lot of fun in terms of being able to play and run around. I think it was a lot more about the dragons than it was about the actors or the story. Though, filming in Korea was a trip.

Mike: I'm always fascinated with films that get labeled "cult favorites." I want to see if you agree with this. Variety called it, "The most expensive cult film to ever be put on DVD." Do you agree with that or not?

Amanda Brooks: You know, it's interesting, I never knew how much that film actually cost; I heard lots of different things. I went to Comic-Con for the first time for "D-Wars." That was wild; they were dedicated fans. They were asking me questions like, "At what speed do the Buraki fly at and do you think it would be possible it would be larger?" or "If they and King Kong were all in a movie, who would win?" I was like, "Hmm, that's a producer question. I'm going to hand that one over."

Mike: I feel bad, I wish I had some technical questions like that for you.

Amanda Brooks: (Laughs) I'm very happy you don't.

"Hellhounds" premieres Sunday night at 9 pm ET on SyFy

"Mike's Pulse" is a column written by transplanted Midwesterner and current New Yorker Mike Ryan. For any compliments or complaints -- preferably the former -- you may contact Mike directly at
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