First of all, why don't you introduce yourself and your company Chemical
Burn Entertainment in a few words?
Burn is a home for up-and-coming, as well as established film makers who
do Horror, Gore and more... quite simply. And oh yea, we do rad satire/comedies like
Nacho Mountain, we all have a little King Mayo in us,
see the trailer for reference. Nacho Mountain is out next year.
As a distributor
of genre features, Chemical Burn has entered the game only fairly
recently. What convinced you to start the label right when you did, and
what can you tell us about the early days of Chemical Burn?
and no, Chemical Burn has been bubbling for a few years, itís only the
last two we've been releasing films we've made or acquired but most of us
are horror nuts anyway. I was reading Fangoria in the 80's Ė Yikes! As
you may know, Chemical Burn is a sister imprint to Reality
weíre a Warner's distributed studio and at Reality
Entertainment we explore UFOs,
Conspiracies, The Occult and of course all things Paranormal not to
mention the mysteries of all ages, so in a weird way Chemical Burn
is a natural
extension of the Reality Entertainment mission to ask, WHO are we, WHAT are we and WHERE are
we going? See The Defiled by Julian Grant, which embodies that.
Burn is one of the few labels that actually encourages indie
filmmakers to submit their films. Would you like to elaborate on that?
for me, Hollywood is so full of bullshit! Not to say there aren't great
people in Hollywood, but LA in general is soooo full of dreamers, schemers
and fools that we abandoned the City of Angels 13 years ago and made our
own multi-acre lot with massive green screen in Norcal, where our
headquarters is located. We also have a smaller lot in the UK, sort of
like a Hammer vibe with a stable of amazing filmmakers and acting talent.
We operate outside the "industry standard" - whatever that is. We
want to find the most radical, talented, visionary filmmakers on earth
who can blow the minds of the audience and make them question their own
existence and for some reason we find young, hungry genius types who are
searching and striving for the same thing.
the submissions you get and reject (and there must be some at least), what
are the most common mistakes, and is there any set of quality-guidelines
you'd like all submitting indie-filmmakers to follow?
we get another film with detectives on the hunt for the bad guy weíll
have to destroy all life on earth. For god's sake people, come up with
something NEW, something fresh and something amazing. You DONíT need
Kraft Services, and a bunch of people standing around to make a movie, in
other words you donít need buckets of MONEY, you need a vision, extreme
creativity, and a BURNING desire to blow your own mind which in turn will
blow your audienceís mind. We've got a new film called Fell - 2-3
actors, location that costs nothing and it ROCKS. Same with the The Defiled,
very small budget and itís a smash hit, people love it, for me it is the
best "Zombie" film since the Night of the Living Dead
oh yea, thereís not ONE word of dialogue - yet its sucks you in for the
whole ride, Julian Grant is the BOMB.
Then you've got Philip
Gardiner, he's got a very modern Hammer
type approach and has
made some really cool films. He
just finished one called Lady of the Dark: Genesis of the Serpent
Vampire which has ONE actor, Mel Denholme [Melanie
Denolme interview - click here] - and boy oh boy it friggin
did you go into the distribution of indie films in the first place, what
do you find so appealing about them?
the exception of "blockbuster" movies, which typically SUCK and
are an insult to intelligence, I donít know the difference. If an indie
film means one that Hollywood execs canít F up then thatís why we
champion indie films I suppose. We need to get back to the 70's, when we
had The Exorcist and Rosemary's
Baby - no-one has even remotely
touched those films since, WHY? Arrgh!
Some of your
favourite movies you have distributed so far (and I know that's an unfair
Billy Meier Story: UFOs and Prophecies from Outer Space is amazing,
Apocalypse 2012: The World After Time Ends is also great, The Defiled
hall of famer for me, and Bane: An Experiment in Human Suffering is
brilliant, I Sold My Soul to Satan is pretty cool too off the top of my
Basically, your output with Chemical
Burn falls into four categories, horror/gore, sexploitation, comedy
and documentary. Why exactly those genres?
"categories" cover all the areas weíre interested in!
lines you don't want to cross, especially when it comes to horror/gore and
excessive violence against women and overdoing soft pornography gets old
so Iím not too supportive of that even though we have some of it in a
few of our films. Redundancy is a big turn off, I just donít want to see
stuff that has already been done whenever possible. But past that we WANT
to push it but in an artistic and relevant sense like the film In a
Glass Cage which is brilliant and examines sex, death, hate, love in
a way that I've rarely seen in a "horror" film.
Chemical Burn has pretty much
grown out of the production and distribution company Reality
Entertainment. What can you tell us about that label, and is there a
synergy between the two labels?
Entertainment is also a record label, thatís where it all started. We do
a lot of metal and rock. Then based on our success, I decided to start a
publishing division. I signed the late great Dr. John Jay Harper and
released his opus Tranceformers of the 21st Century and it went #1
on Amazon THREE times. We then started signing name authors making docs on
their books, our first films sold extremely well - so much so we stopped
doing as many books. Although we still do them when itís warranted, but
we landed where we are now as a 20 year evolution really, we call it
"Strange is Normal". Weíre so unconventional that it sort of defies
description so when we get a film or band that doesnít "make
sense" we know itís for us, we donít want to make sense, thatís
British filmmaker Philip
Gardiner, one of your most prolific documentary-directors at Reality
Entertainment, has made the move to feature filmmaking with Chemical
Burn. Now how did that transition come into being, and what can you
tell us about Philip Gardiner the man and director as such [Philip
Gardiner interview - click here]?
something that people donít realize is he knows everything about the
ancient world, and Iím not talking about the topical bullshit you see on
TLC and History Channel, even though he's been on all those networks, but
Iím talking about the REAL DEAL, serpent cults, gnosis, stuff thatís
way over the heads of the mainstream and very difficult to uncover, he's
done that - been to the clandestine meetings of the sinister secret
societies, dug under the Lincoln Cathedral, spent the night in the
Kingís Chamber and conjured elementals that make Satan look like a geek
and more. He became a filmmaker with his first film Gnosis, the
Secret of Solomon's Temple Revealed which was a hit and he's never
looked back. His films have a British feel but more so they have an edge
or an underlying message thatís totally unique. Iím the one who pushed
him into it so I've got that going for myself (refer to Bill Murray in
Stripes on that comment).
are occasionally credited as a producer on Chemical Burn-releases.
How much creative input do you have on those occasions, and did you ever
feel the urge to take the next step and direct a movie yourself?
I come up with the whole idea and blurt it out in 1-2 hours and hand it
off, sometimes I just help someone else accomplish their vision and
sometimes I stay completely out of the way, whateverís needed. So in
that way I've co-directed and of course produced a lot of our films but
itís a matter of time. I donít have the time or luxury to do that
running the company so maybe one day I will, I've got some killer stories
that are on the board, I may be able to do one or two of them probably
with my bud Phil G helping me out.
read somewhere that one of your upcoming releases is called Piranha-Man
vs Werewolf-Man: Howl of the Piranha ... really? And what can you tell
us about that movie?
film blows my mind, in one way itís very schlocky and cheesy and
"low budget" but I love it, and canít explain why. The
director and writer, Dorian Knight and Steve Goldenberg, have a certain
thing going on and like I said I canít explain it but the title ALONE is
awesome, let alone the fact that the monsters are wearing rubber masks,
but it doesnít matter, itís so cool that film. They're working on Lizard Man next, so I canít wait to see it when itís done.
Muckman by the Polonia brothers rocks big time also but in a
different way, itís got some hot chicks too! Those guys have been making
cool films for years, and they donít get the props they deserve. They
eat lame filmmakers who canít finish a project for breakfast.
Some of your other forthcoming
man, we've got loads, Bane: An Experiment in Human Suffering, Lady of
the Dark, Alien Agenda Project Grey, Nina: Crazy Suicide
Girl, Tied in Blood, The Experiment - too many to count. On the comedy tip we've got
Nacho Mountain and Community College - which reminds me, if you
haven't seen Order of One: Kung Fu Killing Spree, itís hilarious.
Why and how did you get involved in the
filmworld in the first place, and what can you tell us about your early
days in the business?
was a recording engineer in the LA studio scene initially, my cousin is
the godfather of LA punk (Geza X), who produced the Dead
BackFlag and other major milestones. I used to hang out with him and then
began showing up everyday at the biggest studios as a teenager and
eventually I became a skilled engineer learning from among others Randy
Nicklaus and Gary Skardina who are some of the very best ever. From there
I evolved into a producer and then eventually a label guy out of
necessity. As I was driving around Hollywood broke, while hearing songs I
produced played on the radio endlessly, I realized I had to take the
business into my own hands and when I did a lot of my bands came with me -
that was 15 years ago. My two biggest mentors were Randy Burns (Megadeath
and countless staple metal classics) and Bob Ezrin (Pink Floyd, Kiss).
I've made about 100 albums, some by bands and artists youíve heard of,
and some you havenít.
Quite a few Chemical
Burn-releases are horror films. Is that a genre especially dear to
you, and why?
think the "genre" of Horror is subjective, but I guess its
through horror, terror and fear that we can explore the deepest facets of
the human psyche and try to discover who and what we really are.
Some of your favourite filmmakers, and
your favourite movies (not distributed by yourself)?
Baby, The Exorcist
- those two films are the crown jewels of not
just "horror" but all of film making. Hearts of
Darkness is one of the best docs ever made, thatís another mega fave.
Time Bandits, Eraserhead is mandatory as is Blue Velvet,
and check out Funny Bones with Oliver Platt and Jerry Lewis (yes,
the comedian), itís the most ill-marketed film that I can recall, yet
itís absolutely brilliant and explores all the areas Iím interested
in. Itís also Lee Evan's best film ever, I've got a film tailor-made
for him called Montauk Babies: The Many Lives of Al
Leedskalnin by a mad genius known as O.H. Krill. Itís a killer
graphic novel that also serves as a bad ass screen play. Itís quite
involved as we have to arrange for UFOs to arrive and save the planet in a
very original way, but we need to bone up on our CG before we can dive
into that one.
and of course, films you really deplore?
Alone and too many others that are homunculus boils on acetate are a firm
sign of the apocalypse.
company's website, Facebook, whatever else?
Ruether [Walter Ruether interview
- click here] handles our Twitter, Facebook etc., because he's more into that
than I am. He made Scarlet Fry's Junkfood Horror Fest and
Nightmare Alley. On the Twitter note, I will never understand why
10-year-old kids have cell phones let alone Twitter accounts, and why
telling your "peeps" what you had for lunch and any other
utterly banal bullshit makes sense. But then again I see Satan is laughing
as he spreads his wings at the Burger King, so maybe itís just the final
nail, you never know.
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
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else you are dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
am sure that the aliens will never land and ask us to take them to our
leader, weíre WAY too fucked up to peak their interest. They're out
there for one reason, to make sure we donít blow up the planet thus
sending atomic poison into outer space, so just TRY to push that button
you egotistical, maniacal morons and we'll evaporate instantly - pretty
sure that would be the deal. I've talked to astronauts, pilots, etc., and
they ALL are amazed that people are so duped that they donít think there
are actually UFOs and aliens from outer space. They flew right over
LA in 1942, and buzzed the White House for DAYS in 1952, yet if most
people saw one on their front lawn they'd go back inside to watch Survivor. Now THAT is a conspiracy, but thereís no evil secret society
behind it, the humans are a race that WILLINGLY deceives themselves and
will do whatever they can to stay in their comfort zone...
for the interview!
got it! Keep up the great work
and as always, thanks for the support - YOU ROCK!