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An Interview with Chemical Burn's Warren Croyle

by Mike Haberfelner

October 2011

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First of all, why don't you introduce yourself and your company Chemical Burn Entertainment in a few words?


Chemical 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?


Yes 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 Entertainment, 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.


Chemical Burn is one of the few labels that actually encourages indie filmmakers to submit their films. Would you like to elaborate on that?


Well, 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.


With 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?


If 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 - and 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[Philip Gardiner interview - click here], 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 rocks.


Why did you go into the distribution of indie films in the first place, what do you find so appealing about them?


With 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 question)?


The Billy Meier Story: UFOs and Prophecies from Outer Space is amazing, Apocalypse 2012: The World After Time Ends is also great, The Defiled is a 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 head.


Basically, your output with Chemical Burn falls into four categories, horror/gore, sexploitation, comedy and documentary. Why exactly those genres?


Those "categories" cover all the areas weíre interested in!


What are lines you don't want to cross, especially when it comes to horror/gore and sexploitation?


Well 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?


Reality 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 boring.


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]?


Well 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).


You 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?


Sometimes 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.


I've 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?


That 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 releases?


Oh 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?


I was a recording engineer in the LA studio scene initially, my cousin is the godfather of LA punk (Geza X), who produced the Dead Kennedys, 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?


I 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)?


Rosemary's 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?


Home Alone and too many others that are homunculus boils on acetate are a firm sign of the apocalypse.


Your/your company's website, Facebook, whatever else?!

Walter 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.


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Anything else you are dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?


I 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...


Thanks for the interview!


You got it! Keep up the great work and as always, thanks for the support - YOU ROCK!


© by Mike Haberfelner

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and shall not be held responsible for
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Thanks for watching !!!



Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD