Your new film is called 300 Killers. In a few words, what is
I shot it under the title Drug Cult. It's basically
about a group of lobotomized junkies that take over a city in the Pacific
Northwest. They're controlled by a figure called The
Pusher. They start taking over all the vices and killing all
the cops, and it's basically a chase movie that takes place in this
What were your inspirations for the film, and
is its plot somehow rooted in reality?
Well, I live in the
city, and I know a few junkies and see how things work in that world, so I
just kind of fancified the reality a little bit.
The title of the
film alone, 300 Killers, doesn't exactly suggest a feelgood movie
with lots of women hugging each other. How far do you go in terms of
violence and gore?
I actually wanted to be somewhat
mainstream on this picture, So there is quite a bit of violence, but I
don't linger on it too long. My plan actually worked out because
Brain Damage Films put it out on their mainstream label,
A few words about your main cast, and
how easy/difficult was it to get the right ensemble?
this level it's all luck. I actually cast this picture using people
I know from around town. Most of the 300 Killers were
actual junkies. Not so much for realism but because they work cheap
(it's not funny but it's true).
The film has both horror- and
action-motives to it. Did you favour one over the other, and what do you
prefer to direct, what do you prefer to watch?
liked the mix of the two, Romero's
felt to me as much action as they were horror.
Killers was your first feature film in about 10 years. Why the long
hiatus, and what have you done in the meantime?
in the 90's I had three successful pictures in a row, and they kind of
snowballed each other that way. My fourth movie was Anti-Hero, I financed that one myself and lost my ass.
So I guess I became a bit afraid to start another one for a while.
indie-filmmaking changed in the years you were absent, and what got you
back into the director's chair eventually?
any kid can go to Best Buy and pick up a $100.00 camera that's probably
better than the one I used on The Necro Files. And
Final Cut Pro is so available. We had to cut The Necro Files
in a linear editing bay that cost us $5,000.00 a week to rent!
Let's go to
the very beginnings of your career as a filmmaker: What got you making
movies in the first place, and did you have any formal education?
formal education. I started making Super 8mm shorts when I was about
11. Super 8mm was such a great learning medium because it was so
expensive; I really had to plan out whatever I was shooting. It was
like a miniature version of a real film set. Then, 16mm was the
obvious extension of that. I started shooting my first 16mm film in
1988. That became Back From Hell.
Back from Hell from 1993 - a few words
about that one?
The only film ever made by drunk teenagers
to get a world-wide release. It took me five years to make that
thing, but I stuck with it. No computers anywhere back then. I
had to cut the soundtracks together on mag stock and have the whole thing
mixed on a real sound mixing stage. The sound mix alone on that
picture took me over a year to piece together (with tape, literally).
Anyway, you can find it on video & DVD in several Horror
Comp boxed sets. It's got a lot of gore.
Back from Hell was followed by Legion
of the Dead in 1995. What can you tell us about that one?
was my "BIG" picture. By big I mean more than $20,000.00.
The second and last time I used 16mm. I had a good cast, but again,
was way, way underfunded. I wrote it as a kind of multi-million dollar
summer blockbuster thing and had to do it for pennies. It got a huge
release, though. The distributor made nearly $500,000.00 on foreign
sales alone. That's about a ten times return on the production cost.
The film you are probably most famous/notorious for is the black comedy The
Necro Files from 1997. You have to talk about that one for a bit!
was just becoming acceptable, and I wanted to do something smaller so I
could just concentrate on style and have fun with it. We knew
the best way to get attention is by shocking people. I thought if I
could shock them (zombie rapist with 3' dick) but also make it look good
at the same time, I might have something that stuck around for awhile.
I guess it's managed to linger around for a little while anyway. Oh,
and everyone seems to like the Floating Demon Baby.
Writer/producer/director Todd Tjersland [Todd
Tjersland interview - click here] has a
hand in pretty much all of your early films. What can you tell us about
him, and how did your association with him come into being?
carried Back from Hell in his mail order catalog and did
pretty well with it, so I got him to cough up some dough for another one.
He ended up "mostly" financing Legion of the Night
and The Necro Files.
His involvement was purely
future projects you'd like to talk about?
KIllers was an experiment in commercialism. The next picture
will probably be something more like The Necro Files
Why not, I'm still young!
film's website, Facebook, whatever else?
You can check out 300 Killers on
Facebook (I'm there too)!
for the interview!