Your new movie Bad Girls
- in a few words, what is it about?
a psychedelic delinquent road movie about ex-strippers on a crime/mayhem
Your movie draws
strongly from yesteryear's B movies of the bad girl variety - why that,
and some of your genre favourites?
favorite movies are genre films. Particularly from the decade between 1974
and 1984. I think that time period was the pinnacle of Western art, music,
and culture. I particularly love genre film and all the things I love seep
out into my own work. Russ Meyer's Faster,
Pussycat ... Kill! Kill! predates
that decade, but it's an obvious influence on Bad
Girls. I love Jack
Hill's women in prison and blaxploitation movies. His work is a big
(Other) sources of
inspiration when writing Bad
Pussycat ... Kill! Kill! I could point directly to Greg Araki's
Doom Generation as an inspiration for Bad
Girls. I like the sense of
absurdity in that movie. I like to work in absurd worlds that are similar
to but not quite our own.
What can you tell us about Bad
Girls' co-writer Shane Silman, and what was your collaboration
had written a stage play many years ago called Girl Gang Rampage which was
sort of a campy parody of a Russ Meyer-type story. We were both going to
produce and star in it as a stage play, but the theater where we were
going to stage it pulled out of the deal. I don't know if they found it
offensive or what. The script ended up on a shelf for a long while. I was
looking for ideas of things to work on after my first film, The Theta Girl,
and I remembered Shane's play. I asked him if I could take a crack at
re-writing it for the screen. I ended up keeping some of the characters
and set pieces, but took it in what I thought was a less campy and more
"cinematic" direction. Shane was happy with the changes (I
think), and so it was decided that that would be the next movie.
Of the three lead girls in Bad
Girls, who could you actually identify with the most, and why?
honestly some of myself in all three girls as well as the three main guys.
I am Val's foolhardiness, Mitzi's questioning of authority, and Carolyn's
easy-going spirit. I really identify with Rusty, the motel clerk.
Bad Girls (also) being
a road movie, what were the challenges of finding all the right locations
for your film?
a movie for $16,000, you are basically writing the movie around things you
have access to. So every location is something nearby that I could
reasonably ask permission for or guerilla-shoot. We guerilla-shot the
Mexico scenes at a local tourist trap. We were kicked out when they
figured out we were filming. We shot in a local biker bar -- we had a 7 AM
call time and the bar was supposed to be closed. We show up and there are
like 50 or 60 people there. They kick out MOST of them, but allowed about
20 people to stay who had been drinking (and I'm pretty sure doing coke)
all night. So it was like going into war to try and shoot a scene in a
limited amount of time with 20 drunks just outside of camera frame.
What can you tell us about your overall
directorial approach to your story at hand?
"directorial approach" is also borne of the ultra-low budget.
Basically, I am trying to get all of my shots done as quickly as possible.
With more money and time, I surely would have done more takes. Some of the
performances needed more time I think. I'm not knocking anyone by saying
that. I love the work everyone did. But I always wish there was more money
and time to take off the rough edges. I could have a slicker production if
I had less actors and locations, but I don't think that would have made
for as fun and kinetic a film. I like to keep things moving.
about Bad Girls' key
cast, and why exactly these people?
live in a fairly small Southern town and usually anyone with any acting
talent gets the fuck out of Dodge as soon as they graduate high school. It
becomes difficult to find talented actors with commanding screen presence
who STAY in South Carolina. So casting is something that takes a while --
just to find the people who stayed in town and who have talent -- and who
are willing to work cheap. I'm extremely picky with casting -- everyone I
cast was the person that I thought was perfect for the role.
A few words about
the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?
shoot was relatively painless. It was a good vibe on set. No ego problems
or hassles. Everyone was someone I'd gladly work with again. All of the
shoots at the motel were a bonding experience for the cast/crew, and I
think it comes across in the movie. When you are working with such a low
budget and paying people very little, there is no room for assholeism.
question of course, where can Bad
Girls be seen?
are doing total DIY distribution on this. Right now the way to get it is
via our IndieGoGo page:
We will add outlets such as Amazon later, but for now we want to keep this
an "underground film" -- the people that enjoy this sort of
thing can find it.
Anything you can tell us about
audience and critical reception of Bad
far it's been all positive, and I'm grateful for that. I think it's a movie
people are having fun with in spite of the rough edges. It's not for
everyone, but the people that enjoy this type of entertainment have been
enthusiastic about it. I think some people are enjoying the fact that it's
not a major Hollywood franchise, sequel, or reboot. People are burned out
on what Hollywood has to offer.
Any future projects you'd like to share?
next movie will be a horror film, but that's all I can say about it at the
got you into filmmaking in the first place, and did you recieve any formal
education on the subject?
wanted to be a filmmaker all my life. It was ultimately access to cheap
technology that made it possible. I have a totally useless degree in Media
Arts from the University of South Carolina that didn't prepare me in any
way for filmmaking. Everything I know about making movies came from
What can you tell us about
your filmwork prior to Bad
did one feature, The Theta Girl, prior to Bad
Girls. Other than that, I
just have a couple of fake movie trailer shorts and some music videos.
How would you describe yourself as a
try to work beyond my experience level but below my budget. I'm still
learning how to even make a movie. The Theta Girl and Bad
essentially "student films" -- though I'd never subject an
audience to "student work" if I didn't believe that the work
was, at the very least, entertaining.
Filmmakers who inspire you?
Hill, Greg Araki, John Waters, George Romero, Herschell Gordon Lewis [Herschell
Gordon Lewis bio - click here], Refn, Kubrick,
Noe, and John Carpenter. Roger Corman [Roger
Corman bio - click here] is a major one.
Harold and Maude
3. The Shining
4. The Exorcist
5. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
6. Night of the Living Dead
7. Ilsa, She-Wolf of the SS
8. Female Trouble
9. Blue Velvet
10. Fast Times At Ridgemont High
11. Pulp Fiction
13. Doom Generation
15. Beyond the Valley of the Dolls
16. Female Convict Scorpion: Jailhouse 41
17. Valley Girl
18. Pink Flamingos
19. Over the Edge
20. Star Wars
... and of course, films you really
Feeling lucky ?
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only bad movies are boring movies. Hollywood comedies are usually at the
bottom of my list. I also don't care for "intentionally bad"
movies. A lot of so-called "Troma" movies fall into this
category -- where they are self-aware and trying to make something
"shitty on purpose". I think it's corny and I hate that. If
anyone sees one of my movies as a "bad movie" it's not because I
intended it to be. On the other hand, I tend to love movies that fail due
to low budgets or director/actor inexperience but you can tell THEY TRIED
to make something good. At least they're honest.
Your/your movie's website, social media,
Thanks for the