Your new movie Auto
Shop of Horrors - in a few words, what is it about?
It's about Randy, a car mechanic who becomes convinced that if he eats
enough human eyeballs he'll develop the ability to see into the future, so
he begins to eat the eyes of the people who bring their cars into his shop
to be fixed.
main questions that first popped into my head, why an auto shop, and why
We set the film in an auto shop because the good
friend of Tim Gallagher, the guy I made the film with, is John Manka, who
owns an auto shop in Castle Rock, Colorado, and John was excited about
using his shop for a film shoot and being part of a feature film. When
it comes to the Aztecs, they seemed like a viable option for someone to
want to emulate since they have such an illustrious history, and there has
been much written about them that Randy the car mechanic might have come
(Other) sources of inspiration when writing Auto
Shop of Horrors?
The main inspiration was to try to
find a way to make viewers laugh, squirm, and jump with limited locations
and resources on hand.
Do talk about your movie's very
own brand of humour for a bit!
When I look at comedies, I
view them as needing to fall into one of two categories: either they need
to have serious people put into absurd situations, or they need to have
absurd people put into serious situations. I find the former to be
the kinds of comedy I like to make. So with Auto
Shop of Horrors, I wanted to put a character (Randy) who is very sincere in
his beliefs into absurd situations where he acts out on his beliefs.
When it comes to the gore in the film, Tim and I decided we were
going to stay away from any CGI with the film, so we wanted to make the
gore as gory as possible while also making it fun, that would make viewers
squirm and laugh at the same time.
Shop of Horrors doesn't exactly hold back when it comes to the
more gory bits of the story - so you have to talk about the gore effects
in your movie, and was there ever any line you refused to cross?
can't think of any line we refused to cross - doing all actual effects as
we shot limited how much we could do. As for the effects we used,
the eyes were lichen fruit stuffed with blueberries, the optic nerves were
red licorice, and the blood was a mixture of chocolate syrup with corn
syrup and red food coloring mixed in. The eating of the eyeballs was
really quite delicious, so I enjoyed those scenes quite a bit. In
the scene where Randy cuts out the tongue of Tabitha (played by Maya
Grace), we had multiple rubber tongues we used for that scene. And
with some of the gorier blood scenes we watered the blood down a little
bit and tossed buckets of it on each other. Actors Richard Taylor
and Zack Beins showed us how to make the eyes look extra disgusting by
using tissues doused in our fake blood - it worked great!
can you tell us about your overall directorial approach to your story at
hand - and also talk about your co-writer and co-director Tim Gallagher,
and what was your collaboration with him like?
Glenn (wigged) with Tim Gallagher
This was the
first time I had worked with someone else, and it went incredibly
smoothly. Tim and I are both pretty laid back guys, so we both went
with the flow, bounced ideas off each other, and seemed to compliment each
other quite well. When it comes to my directing style, I typically
trust my cast members to bring their own interpretations of their
characters to set. They're all artists, and I want them to be able
to express themselves as much as possible. Every now and then a cast
member wants to play their character a little over-the-top, and I usually
reign them in a bit on those occasions since the situations are already
absurd enough, but that doesn't happen too often.
play the lead in Auto
Shop of Horrors - so what can you tell us about your character,
what did you draw upon to bring him to life, and did you write him with
yourself in mind?
I did write the Randy character with
myself in mind. I simply tried to make Randy someone who genuinely
believed what the Aztecs believed regarding eating human eyeballs, and
Randy doesn't eat eyeballs for malicious reasons, Randy provides the
backstory throughout the film about his eyeball eating all stems from the
abuse he received from his father. So I tried to make Randy a
sympathetic, serial-killing eyeball eater!
What can you tell us about the rest of
your cast, and why exactly these people?
The other cast
members are all incredibly talented. Most of them I had worked with
previously, and the rest Tim pretty much knew. I like to work with
people who are not only talented, but who also show up on time and know
their lines, and we batted 1.000 in this regard with Auto
Shop of Horrors. From Paul Neal Rohrer to Maya Grace to Lauren von
Engeln to Kasha Fauscett, and on through everyone in the cast, I couldn't
have been more pleased with their talents and professionalism. And
everyone we really fun to work with. We all laughed and laughed
throughout the five days of the shoot.
Do talk about
the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere!
atmosphere was fantastic! We laughed a ton, we finished ahead of
schedule, and as far as I could tell, everyone had a blast on set. I
always try to foster a fun atmosphere on set, because what's the point of
making films if it's not fun? It was also fun in that cast member
and producer John Manka, who owns 1 Stop Tire & Auto in Castle Rock
where we shot the film, brought a whole bunch of people by at various
times while we were shooting so they could watch us in action, which
turned out to be great fun.
$64-question of course, when and where will the film be released onto the
We've already booked the film into a few
theaters in the US, and we're going to use blurbs from the many positive
reviews we've been getting from critics to try to get the film into as
many independent theaters in the US as we can. From there we've
already had an offer for distribution, and a Roku film channel has said
they would like to air the film. People will also probably be able
to eventually watch the film on various internet outlets, like Amazon.
Anything you can tell us about audience
and critical reception of Auto
Shop of Horrors yet?
We've received a fantastic
response at the film festivals that Auto
Shop of Horrors has
screened at, and so far every one of the critics who has reviewed the film
has given the film a positive review.
Any future projects you'd
like to share?
I have a bunch of films coming out in the
coming year. I'll soon be releasing a black comedy/thriller feature
titled The Ghosts of Johnson Woods"that stars Joe Bob Briggs
and has been receiving a fantastic response at film festivals. Late
this year or next year I'll be releasing a feature drama titled LoveSexHate. And next year I'll be releasing a horror
film titled Paralyzed with Fear that stars Kane Hodder, who
has played Jason Voorhees in many of the
Friday the 13th
films. I'm also part of a number of British anthologies. I
have shorts that are part of the 60 Seconds to Die series of
anthologies, a short that will appear in a British Blaxploitation
anthology titled Badassssploitation, and be one of the
filmmakers interviewed in the British documentary titled Schlockumentary that's about VHS tapes and how they've hung
on. I'm also hoping to shoot a comedy next year titled Poetry
Slammed if I get the money in place to shoot it.
What got you into making movies to begin
with, and did you receive any formal training on the subject?
am completely self-taught as a filmmaker. I have written scripts for
nearly twenty years, but it was about ten years ago that it was suggested
to me that I should turn some of my scripts into films I made myself.
So I read a couple little things about making films, then made my
first film, a twenty-minute short titled Bad Movies, Good Showers,
and Civil Engineers. I began making films because I couldn't
get anyone to read my scripts!
can you tell us about your filmwork prior to Auto
Shop of Horrors?
The features I've made prior to Auto
Shop of Horrorsare as
To Die is Hard - an action/comedy that was selected as the
16th-best B movie in cinema history by Paste magazine in their
ranking of the 100 greatest B movies ever made. This film received a
The Worst Movie EVER! - a comedy that was selected as one of the
ten best indie features of 2011 by Examiner.com.
Also received a theatrical release.
Midget Zombie Takeover - a zomedy that received a theatrical
Evil Intent - a thriller/horror film that received a theatrical
Therapissed - a comedy that will soon be available on Roku.
Separate Checks - another comedy that will soon be available on Roku.
Judging from your filmography,
you seem to be as comfortable in front of the camera as you're behind the
camera - so what do you prefer actually, and how does working on one side
of the camera influence working on the other?
I enjoy the
writing of scripts the most, though I really enjoy directing and acting as
well. The biggest influence is that when I'm writing a script for a
character who I know I'll end up playing, I try to keep my dialogue
manageable, because it gets to be a bit of a handful to memorize a ton of
lines while also directing and putting the cast and crew together and all
the other things that go into making a film. With Randy, I actually
wrote a few very long monologues for him, but four months of working on my
lines every single day allowed me to get those scenes done within a couple
you describe yourself as an actor and as a director?
actor, I know I'm much better at doing comedy than something more serious.
I really enjoy playing characters who are dead serious in the face
of the most insane situations, which is what I had to do in our film To Die is
Hard. As a director, I hope I can be described
as someone cast and crew members like to be around and work with. I
try to allow cast and crew members to have input into our shoots and
respect their perspectives, while also having a relaxed, fun set, so
hopefully that goes a long way toward having people wanting to work with
me. One word I might use to describe myself as a director is
"trusting." I trust my cast and crew and allow them to
express their talents and perspectives as much as possible.
actors, whoever else who inspire you?
I always loved the way his characters would never get ruffled no
matter how bizarre the world was around them (i.e. Airplane, The Naked Gun-films,
Police Squad!, etc.).
The Naked Gun, Planes, Trains and
Automobiles, Nacho Libre, Friday the
13th, Best in Show, The
Shining, Storm of the
... and of course, films you really deplore?
struggle with romantic comedies.
movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
My website - http://www.glennspeaks.com
- I use this website for booking speaking engagements.
you're dying to tell us and I have merely forgotten to ask?
think you covered everything!
for the interview!