Oct 2, 2019
An Interview with Robert Fiveson, Director of Parts: The Clonus Horror
Parts: The Clonus Horror, a low budget sci-fi film from 1979, tells the tale of a secret colony where clones are born and bred to be the personal organ banks for the rich and elite. In this movie, clones are told that when they’re “ready”, they get to go to “America”, which they believe to be a “happy place”. But as it turns out, “America” is really a codeword for “being put into deep freeze until your organs are harvested”.
A cult favorite thanks to its appearance on Mystery Science Theater 3000 during the Sci-Fi Channel years, Parts: The Clonus Horror also happens to be one of the films recapped in-depth on this very site. Roughly a year ago, I received an email from a reader saying I had kept him laughing deep into the night with my recap of Parts. Imagine my astonishment when that reader turned out to be Robert S. Fiveson, director and co-producer of Parts: The Clonus Horror.
Fiveson hasn’t directed a feature film since, but don’t let that fool you. He’s been active in the nonfiction industry ever since, directing award-winning documentaries for networks like A&E, the Discovery Channel, the Learning Channel, the History Channel, Tech TV, and the National Geographic Channel. He won a ton of awards for a series of documentaries called Communication: The Human Imperative, produced by the Library of Congress and hosted by Lt. Worf himself, Michael Dorn. He wrote, produced, and directed six episodes of Leonard Nimoy’s In Search of… series, and also co-wrote a high-rated 1982 NBC special where Johnny Carson visited his childhood hometown of Norfolk, Nebraska (Johnny Goes Home, currently available on The Ultimate Carson Collection, Vol. 2).
Around the same time I heard from Robert, Parts: The Clonus Horror was officially released on DVD for the very first time by Mondo Macabro under Fiveson’s original title of Clonus. This inspired me to invite Robert to answer a few questions about Clonus, “America”, the “clone blink”, and the strange similarities between this movie and Michael Bay’s (then) upcoming film The Island. Here’s what he had to say.