Your upcoming movie Toxic Alien Zombie Babes from Outer Space
- in a few words, what is it about?
Hi Mike, thanks for
interviewing me on (re)Search Your Trash again. Toxic Alien Zombie Babes from Outer
is a comedic sci-fi/ horror film that pays
homage to the great B grade cult movies of the 50ís Ė 70ís, while
covering a number of the strange issues that have come up during this
Now the title
"Toxic Alien Zombie Babes from Outer Space" alone already
suggests an hommage to schlocky B movies - am I at all correct in this
assumption, and if yes, what do you find so fascinating about them?
I should have added in schlock to my answer because the humour is
very much in that vein. My
fascination with both the B grade classics and schlock movies goes back to
when I was a kid. The old sci-fiís would often play on TV on a Sunday and I couldnít get enough of
films like War of the Worlds,
The Day the Earth Stood Still
and Attack of the 50
I always felt that stories should be imaginative and take you to
another realm, and those films certainly did. When it comes to schlock
saw a few at the cinema when I was a teen but it was really the VHS era
where I got addicted. Films
like Toxic Avenger and
Street Trash just suited my sense of
humour. Toxic Alien Zombie
Babes From Outer Space certainly has that absurdity going on.
sources of inspiration when writing Toxic Alien Zombie Babes from Outer
I would have to cite The
Groove Tube and the films it spawned as another influence.
Those covered the issues of their day in lots of skits that went
from a minute through to ten minutes.
We have a lot of strange stuff going on right now so I want to
record it all within the movie, in an entertaining way.
Toxic Alien Zombie Babes from Outer Space
suggests a sci-fi horror flick - so (apart from the hommage-aspect) what
can you tell us about your approach to the genre?
Iíve gone for an approach
that Iíve seen in movies before, but canít cite them because I
couldnít remember the names of any.
I recall a number of zombie/virus movies that had countdowns from
the day of first infection and showed maps to depict the spread.
They would intersperse this information throughout the film as you
watched the events unfold. I
donít want to give away why I took this approach because that also gives
away a bit of the ending.
guessing that Toxic Alien Zombie Babes from Outer Space will also
not be the most serious of movies - so do talk about your movie's brand of
humour for a bit?
The humour is similar to
what Iíve shown in previous films. Yes,
it can be black and schlocky, but it has to have a deeper meaning and
purpose too. I donít think
that someone getting a pie in the face is funny anymore after seeing so
many pie fights in the past, so if I was to include one, then it would
have to say something more. E.g.
a profound inner statement on world starvation and corporate waste. I always try to have another level
within the gags because I grew up with Bugs Bunny, and when I watched
those cartoons back as an adult, I found there was stuff there that I just
did not see as a kid. That
approach became the standard for me when I first started writing stories
as a young adult.
You also have to talk about the
effects work in Toxic Alien Zombie Babes from Outer Space for a
The effects are being created
by Gerardo Chierchia. He is
being assisted by Andrew Bianco and Fabio Segatori.
Iíve been kept up to date with each stage of the test runs of the
effects but all the tech talk is just way over my head.
Not all of the effects are CGI though.
Gerardo has created models and combined physical effects with CGI.
What can you tell us about Toxic Alien Zombie
Babes from Outer Space's director Gerardo Chierchia, and what is your
Now that is the million
dollar question! Iíve now
worked on more films with Gerardo than anyone else.
My approach is to share with him the vision and the script.
I then organise the actors, props, costumes, non tech crew such as
muaís and anything else. I
really donít interfere that much, aside from giving the odd suggestion.
Gerardo Chierchia putting his final touches on
Every set has been different, but
when itsí been all of Gerardoís crew on board, most instructions are
in Italian, so I just go with the flow and do what Iím told.
I just love seeing Gerardo and Fabio discussing shots, angles,
lighting and everything else. Thereís
a whole flow going on there and a synergy that you wouldnít believe, so
I donít interrupt that at all.
Gerardo is very softly spoken
though, so Iíve sometimes jumped in to do the 1st AD bits of
repeating loudly after him ďquiet on setĒ and any other shouting that
needs to be done. Gerardo is
similar to me in that he is open to a collaborative approach, so the floor
is often opened to opinions from everyone from the actors, extras to the
I am a big fan of Italian cinema,
from the spaghetti westerns, to the horror films to the post-apocalyptic
action films. I sometimes like
to imagine that I am on an Italian set and that maybe Dario Argento or
Sergio Leone are quietly standing somewhere in the background.
Especially now that your country's
still under COVID-19 lockdown, what are the main challenges to bring Toxic
Alien Zombie Babes from Outer Space to the screen from a producer's
and also a logistic point of view?
One of the biggest
challenges is that a lot of footage is going to be self-taped, which means
I wonít be there to coach the performances.
I know that makes it sound like I am directing but as the writer, I
often let people know their motivations and talk about the emotions the
characters are experiencing. Gerardo
tells them where to stand, how to move and also will speak up if the
performance is wooden. Another difficulty is that there
isnít going to be a crew there to make sure lighting, make up, costume
etc are all fine. We can
tinker in post a bit but there could be times that we will just have to
work with what we get and be grateful.
Fortunately, a lot of the actors are fantastic and are able to
self-judge their own performances.
Are you also
appearing in front of the camera in Toxic Alien Zombie Babes from Outer
Space, and if so, what can you tell us about your character?
Iíll be in front of the
camera throughout the film as a vlogger that is presenting information
found online that runs counter to what the authorities are claiming.
Iíll be giving opinions and updates throughout the story.
Iím somewhere in between the commercial news services and the
outright crazy conspiracy theorists.
talk about the rest of Toxic Alien Zombie Babes from Outer Space's
cast, and why exactly these people?
I started with my regular actors
of Anastasia C Kouloukas, Vixey Teh and Glen Cook, and added in my semi
regular actors, make-up artists and anyone else that Iíve worked with
who wanted to be in it. Having those that Iíve got a
previous working relationship with makes this a lot easier.
Not all of this is iphone footage and talking heads.
In fact, a lot is being shot on pro cameras with a smart phone too.
This way, we get multiple angles and can cut between the footage
that we want to look like uploaded internet footage and the person
recording. It makes it easier
to co-ordinate that and give shot instructions if you already done that
before with someone in person.
Many of my main actors, such as
Anastasia, Glen and Vixey, have their diplomas in cinematography and have
been able to help out in various positions on set.
By returning to them, they are able to do all the tasks needed in
self shooting and have access to the level of equipment needed for an
As far as I know,
you're in the middle of shooting Toxic Alien Zombie Babes from Outer
Space - so what can you tell us about the shoot so far?
Shane Vozar as conspiracy theorist Falex Bones
Weíre actually closer to
the start in that weíve only been at this for a couple of weeks.
It would be easy to think that we were well into it because Gerardo
and a few others on the shoot had footage that they shot before lockdown
that was for other projects. Aside
from the test footage, which was shot in quarantine, there is other
footage that took months to film and work through the SFX.
Those bits and pieces are now being reworked to fit the script. The new stuff we are getting back
so far is good. There will be
a lot of clean-up work due to it all differing with lighting, sound and
cameras, but Iíve also scripted the film in a way that this is to be
expected. We just have to make
sure that it isnít jarring to the eye.
the further schedule for Toxic Alien Zombie Babes from Outer Space,
and any idea when and where it might be out yet?
The film is going to take
4-5 months to finish, so November is a good
estimation for release. I
expect all footage to be done over the next 4 weeks, then return to get
pick-ups or add in anything needed if we find that the story isnít
flowing as well as it looks on paper.
future projects beyond Toxic Alien Zombie Babes from Outer Space
you'd like to share?
The very week we went into
lockdown was the Easter long weekend where we were going to finish off our
other feature Badass Bunyip. The
film was almost complete but there were sound problems with the main
characters due to me accidentally destroying a lapel mike in a beer
swilling scene. Rather than
just re-do the sound and drop it in, I thought it would be best to return
to the set and re-film. I also
wanted to tweak the dialogue and recast.
As soon as the lockdowns are over,
weíll get those 2-3 days of filming out the way ,and after that, the
amount of editing left isnít that much, so we could be following up Toxic Alien Zombie Babes from Outer Space
with Badass Bunyip within a few months.
Your/your movie's website, social
media, whatever else?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
Here is my YouTube channel where
people can see my work -
My IMDb -
And the Facebook page for Toxic
Alien Zombie Babes From Outer Space -
Anything else you're dying to
mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
Usually I am very chatty
and you canít shut me up Ö but Gerardo and I have been working flat
out on this feature so Iím just brain dead.
Thanks again for interviewing me on your blog Mike.