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David Winters, RIP


Florida–English-American actor, dancer, choreographer, producer, film distributor, director and screenwriter David Winters died here April 23.
Winters participated in more than 150 television series, television specials and motion pictures. His accolades include two Emmy nominations, a Peabody Award, a Christopher Award and many more. He was 80.

But MSTies will remember just one of the movies he directed: the movie in episode 820- SPACE MUTINY. And, using the name Maria Dante, he also wrote the screenplay. He was also a choreographer for the movie in episode 615- KITTEN WITH A WHIP.

There’s a nice appreciation of him here.

Thanks to Paul and Duane for the heads up.

33 Replies to “David Winters, RIP”

  1. imuglywhenimpeein
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    says:

    A few sources credit him as choreographer on Kitten with a Whip, but I don’t think he was credited for that. In any case, for Space Mutiny alone he is a legend of MST3k. RIP

       6 likes

  2. Thrillhouse
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    says:

    I believe he also wrote Space Mutiny under the pseudonym Maria Dante.

       3 likes

  3. Sampo
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    says:

    imuglywhenimpeein:
    A few sources credit him as choreographer on Kitten with a Whip, but I don’t think he was credited for that. In any case, for Space Mutiny alone he is a legend of MST3k. RIP

    One of those sources is the IMDB, which we approve, so that will be added in.

       2 likes

  4. Sampo
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    says:

    Thrillhouse:
    I believe he also wrote Space Mutiny under the pseudonym Maria Dante.

    DAMMIT! I knew that, but I forgot it. Now fixed.

       2 likes

  5. mando3b
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    says:

    imuglywhenimpeein: In any case, for Space Mutiny alone he is a legend of MST3k. RIP

    Absolutely! Condolences to all close to him.

       2 likes

  6. The Original EricJ
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    says:

    If we want to beat RiffTrax refs into the ground, he also choreographed the Star Wars Holiday Special.

    Thrillhouse:
    I believe he also wrote Space Mutiny under the pseudonym Maria Dante.

    And, in fact, directed many of his cheap 80’s/90’s B-titles under said pseudonym. (Unlike other directors with a wide range of multiple female pseudonyms.)

    A rich career, going from A-Rab in “West Side Story”, to….Maria.

       1 likes

  7. DiscoJer
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    says:

    I never knew this…so this means Space Mutiny was deliberately campy, like a low budget Flash Gordon?

       1 likes

  8. touches no one's life, then leaves
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    says:

    (I’m allowing myself to for once just basically go with my initial reaction with no concern for civility taken into account; sorry about that)

    The Original EricJ:
    If we want to beat RiffTrax refs into the ground

    You’re the first frickin’ one to mention Rifftrax IN this thread! What’s the matter with you, anyway?! What is at long last the f*ck the MATTER with you?!

       32 likes

  9. Terry the Sensitive Knight
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    At least he didn’t die by falling over a railing, did he?

       6 likes

  10. touches no one's life, then leaves
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    says:

    DiscoJer:
    I never knew this…so this means Space Mutiny was deliberately campy, like a low budget Flash Gordon?

    I doubt it. IMHO it wasn’t nearly campy enough to be DELIBERATELY campy.

       2 likes

  11. The Original EricJ
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    says:

    touches no one’s life, then leaves:
    You’re the first frickin’ one to mention Rifftrax IN this thread! What’s the matter with you, anyway?! What is at long last the f*ck the MATTER with you?!

    I didn’t say we did. I said IF we wanted to. :) Usually ends up that way sooner or later.

    DiscoJer:
    I never knew this…so this means Space Mutiny was deliberately campy, like a low budget Flash Gordon?

    Go through his IMDb listing around that time and you’ll find his phase of producing/directing B-VHS titles “Codename: Vengeance”, starring Robert “Paper Chase Guy” Ginry, and skateboard drama “Thrashin'”, with a teen pre-Infinity-snap Josh Brolin.
    I doubt those were meant to be “deliberately campy” either.

       1 likes

  12. eegah
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    says:

    He also produced Future Force and Future Zone. Uh-oh, do I get beat Rifftrax references into the ground?

       4 likes

  13. Torgover
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    says:

    I know it doesn’t matter, since nobody listens, but ignore EricJ. He’s a troll and deliberately does it to get a rise out of people and getting angry at him is playing right into his hands. Just do what I do and hit the X next to his name anytime you see his posts. Yelling at him obviously hasn’t worked for the years and years you’ve tried it, so just ignore him.

       13 likes

  14. Yeti of Great Danger
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    says:

    First of all, RIP and condolences to Winters’ family and friends. For MSTies, he will never be forgotten, being as he was the director and writer of “Space Mutiny,” an outing that gets as much attention as “Manos” these days. Looking at hi IMDb profile, I never would have guessed at the breadth of his talent. And now I plan to seek out the book he wrote, “Tough Guys Do Dance.”

       4 likes

  15. touches no one's life, then leaves
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    says:

    Torgover:
    I know it doesn’t matter, since nobody listens, but ignore EricJ.

    I usually do but hey, everybody fails to live up to their own principles now and then. And I DID apologize for it. ;-)

       7 likes

  16. touches no one's life, then leaves
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    says:

    Yeti of Great Danger:
    And now I plan to seek out the book he wrote, “Tough Guys Do Dance.”

    (looks at book’s cover)

    Good heavens, he was Arch Hall Jr. all along. Or possibly the wet deformed elf from “I Was a Teenage Werewolf”…

    https://www.amazon.com/Tough-Guys-Dance-David-Winters/dp/1948080273/ref=pd_rhf_se_p_img_1?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=ZVP7Q6PDEAEBCEFDB3V8#reader_1948080273

       1 likes

  17. Yeti of Great Danger
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    says:

    touches no one’s life, then leaves: (looks at book’s cover)

    Good heavens, he was Arch Hall Jr. all along. Or possibly the wet deformed elf from “I Was a Teenage Werewolf”…

    https://www.amazon.com/Tough-Guys-Dance-David-Winters/dp/1948080273/ref=pd_rhf_se_p_img_1?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=ZVP7Q6PDEAEBCEFDB3V8#reader_1948080273

    Considering he had an accident as a very small child and was burned over 90% of his body (so I read), I think he looked fine.

    Thanks to this thread, I’ve read a lot about him today. Some swingin’ choreography in the 1960s! Groovy, man.

       3 likes

  18. touches no one's life, then leaves
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    says:

    Torgover:
    I know it doesn’t matter, since nobody listens, but ignore EricJ.

    touches no one’s life, then leaves: I usually do but hey, everybody fails to live up to their own principles now and then. And I DID apologize for it. ;-)

    However, I’d really say he’s more of a Dementor than a Troll…

       3 likes

  19. goalieboy82
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    says:

    he did the Star Wars Holiday Special too.

       6 likes

  20. touches no one's life, then leaves
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    says:

    goalieboy82:
    he did the Star Wars Holiday Special too.

    Yes, Eric said as much. You may have overlooked that because you are, as Torgover suggested, ignoring Eric’s posts. Kudos.

    ;-)

    ;-)

    ;-)

       2 likes

  21. touches no one's life, then leaves
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    says:

    What’s with that photo, anyway? Is that really the best one they could find?

    “All he’s missing is the feather boa…”

       1 likes

  22. touches no one's life, then leaves
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    says:

    On another note, the Winters oeuvre also includes what might well be the most eighties-est eighties film ever from the eighties:

    https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0092085/?ref_=ttpl_pl_tt

       2 likes

  23. touches no one's life, then leaves
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    says:

    No, seriously, folks, CLICK THE LINK. LOOK AT THIS FILM.

       1 likes

  24. Yeti of Great Danger
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    says:

    touches no one’s life, then leaves:
    On another note, the Winters oeuvre also includes what might well be the most eighties-est eighties film ever from the eighties:

    https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0092085/?ref_=ttpl_pl_tt

    touches, wow. The eightiest-of-the-eighties looks right. Rifftrax needs to be aware of this one… STAT!

       1 likes

  25. GareChicago
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    says:

    The Original EricJ:
    If we want to beat RiffTrax refs into the ground, he also choreographed the Star Wars Holiday Special.

    You weigh in on an obit post to take a jab at RT… sigh.

    Eric man, we *all* understand your petty jealousy of Mike and the boys. We get it. Let it go man.

    You were doing so well there for a while. Don’t slide back into your prior nonsense. Just keep doing the work, staying with the 12 steps, and trying to make positive, non-jerky posts.

    You can do this little buddy. We believe in you!

    Gare

       5 likes

  26. touches no one's life, then leaves
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    says:

    Yeti of Great Danger: touches, wow.The eightiest-of-the-eighties looks right.Rifftrax needs to be aware of this one… STAT!

    Thank you, I thought as much. :-)

    GareChicago:
    we *all* understand your petty jealousy of Mike and the boys.

    “understand”?

    Well, now, I wouldn’t say thaaaaat…

       3 likes

  27. touches no one's life, then leaves
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    says:

    Winters also directed what sound like three quintessential eighties action films (one of THE major genres of the decade, what with Rambo and all):

    1986 Mission Kill: Set in South America and starring our old pal Robert Ginty* as an ex-Green Beret and featuring The Man Himself, Cameron Mitchell

    1987 Code Name Vengeance: Set in Africa and also starring Robert Ginty as an ex-CIA agent and featuring Cameron Mitchell

    1988 Rage to Kill: set in the Caribbean and ALSO featuring Cameron Mitchell (the main character, played by James Ryan, was a Vietnam War veteran)

    Winters and Mitchell, like Scorcese and DeNiro…

    ====
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    (what follows is OFF the topic of David Winters; proceed at your own peril)
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    *Ginty was the star of many additional action films (as was Cameron Mitchell, whose oeuvre would stagger any number of people) and also played the vigilante John Eastland aka the Exterminator (vigilante films being ANOTHER major genre of the eighties, with many such characters also being Vietnam War veterans, as was the Exterminator himself), who was kind of like the Death Wish guy except that he used a flamethrower, and who appeared in two films: “The Exterminator” (1980) and “Exterminator 2” (sans “The”) (1984), neither, alas directed by David Winters.

    The usual deal with eighties vigilante films (and I learned most of this stuff well after the fact; very little of it registered on me during the actual eighties) was that Vietnam War veterans would return to the USA, see how screwed up everything was what with all the rampant gangs and muggers and drug dealers and such (avenging the rape and/or murder of one’s wife, daughter, and/or best friend was often also an element, just like in “Death Wish”), then take to the streets with guns (or flamethrowers) a-blazing. One of many things that the eighties strove to teach us was that anyone involved in drug dealing deserved to die; mass murderers such as the vigilantes THEMSELVES were a-okay, though.

    That’s right, The Vietnam War itself metaphorically came home to fix what had supposedly gone wrong with the USA. The Reagan Years, ladies and gentlemen…

       3 likes

  28. Yeti of Great Danger
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    says:

    Touches, I seriously think you should suggest more of the films you mentioned over at the Rifftrax site official forum (sub-forum Suggest-a-Trax). Someone already started a request for “Thrashin’ ” a few weeks ago, apparently, and maybe we should all chime in on that one.

       1 likes

  29. bartcow
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    says:

    touches no one’s life, then leaves:

    1988 Rage to Kill: set in the Caribbean and ALSO featuring Cameron Mitchell (the main character, played by James Ryan, was a Vietnam War veteran)

    James Ryan of Space Mutiny, no less. I will now regard this as a prequel to Space Mutiny. You can’t stop me.

       1 likes

  30. KidFlash
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    says:

    MGM actually released a DVD about 15 years ago with a few extras (but no Brolin, looks like).

    It’s available on Blu-Ray too, so there’s a handy-dandy HD master if RT wants to get after it.

    https://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/7178/thrashin/

    “The four of them return for an audio commentary, laughing for literally the entire length of the movie. They mock the title track, Thrashin’s outdated fashion, Svedish speakin’, painful dialogue, mullet montages, Sherilyn Fenn’s nekkidness in Two Moon Junction, Tony Hawk railing against the movie in his autobiography, the excruciatingly long and awkward love scene, Chrissy’s posh ride, and director David Winters sporting cowboy boots and dolphin shorts on the set. Alan Sacks mentions at one point that Johnny Depp auditioned for Rusler’s part, something that they cast found so astonishing that they apparently called Depp’s girlfriend in the middle of the commentary to find out if it’s actually true. If you’re looking for an in-depth technical discussion, don’t bother, but this is one of the most ridiculously fun commentaries I’ve listened to in a long, long time.”

       2 likes

  31. Yeti of Great Danger
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    says:

    KidFlash:
    MGM actually released a DVD about 15 years ago with a few extras (but no Brolin, looks like).

    It’s available on Blu-Ray too, so there’s a handy-dandy HD master if RT wants to get after it.

    https://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/7178/thrashin/

    “The four of them return for an audio commentary, laughing for literally the entire length of the movie. They mock the title track, Thrashin’s outdated fashion, Svedish speakin’, painful dialogue, mullet montages, Sherilyn Fenn’s nekkidness in Two Moon Junction, Tony Hawk railing against the movie in his autobiography, the excruciatingly long and awkward love scene, Chrissy’s posh ride, and director David Winters sporting cowboy boots and dolphin shorts on the set. Alan Sacks mentions at one point that Johnny Depp auditioned for Rusler’s part, something that they cast found so astonishing that they apparently called Depp’s girlfriend in the middle of the commentary to find out if it’s actually true. If you’re looking for an in-depth technical discussion, don’t bother, but this is one of the most ridiculously fun commentaries I’ve listened to in a long, long time.”

    You had me at “mullet montages.”

       1 likes

  32. touches no one's life, then leaves
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    says:

    Yeti of Great Danger:
    Touches, I seriously think you should suggest more of the films you mentioned over at the Rifftrax site official forum (sub-forum Suggest-a-Trax).

    Well, nice thought, but as near as I can tell, they haven’t even noticed the ones that I’ve suggested so far…

    Sometimes I wonder how well it’d work to, at a Live performance, make one’s way through the crowd and literally thrust a DVD/VHS into a Brain’s hand (so to speak). Or to just bribe an usher or a grip or some other employee to do it for you. Or to mail a DVD/VHS to the venue c/o The Brains ahead of time. Or something not dissimilar. :-)

    I suppose that could work with The Mads Are Back, too. Or fail to work in an identical way…

       1 likes

  33. touches no one's life, then leaves
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    says:

    Besides, what I’d really like to contribute to is paying whatever exorbitant fee it would take to get Bill Corbett replaced by Trace Beaulieu on Rifftrax. Maybe it’s just because I’m a warped frustrated middle-aged man but Corbett’s voice just keeps grating on me more and more. I’m sure he’s a perfectly splendid human being, mind you…

       1 likes

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