Your upcoming film I Spill Your Guts - in a few words, what
is it about?
Two friends Dennis and Joe join the military together. While on a
routine mission, the two are quickly surrounded by enemy fire. When Joe
stands up in the line of fire to run, Dennis pushes him out of the way and
takes a bullet in the throat. Dennis wakes up in hospital to find Joe
rewarded as a hero. Joe told a lie and took all the glory, and Dennis was
left as a mute from the accident. Dennis can't talk, but actions speak
louder than words. The two return home to NY and now the war rages in
the streets. Dennis wants revenge on Joe, so he will kill everyone close
to him. One little lie will cost so many innocent lives
What were your inspirations when writing I Spill Your Guts?
really wasnít any type of sudden awakening or direct inspiration for I Spill Your Guts. As a matter of fact, my film style is unique in
that I seek the abnormal, unimaginable and make it real. I always love to
see my ideas transformed onto the big screen Ė itís one of the main
reasons I became a director. If you or I can think it up and someone is
excited about an idea or character, we put it into the script and make the
Besides being a horror/revenge
thriller, with I Spill Your Guts
you seem to also make a
statement about war and the like. Was that at all intended, and would you
like to elaborate on that?
I Spill Your Guts
as a horror/revenge film and in a completely different style than my first
feature, Hack Job. While there was no intended secret political
agenda behind the film, war certainly acted as a catalyst for Dennis, the
protagonist, to fulfill his mission.
A story like yours suggests
violence almost by default. So how far are you going in terms of gore and
violence, what can you tell us about your gore effects, and was there ever
a line you consciously refused to cross?
be brutally honest, I havenít come across a horror and violence line in
filmmaking that I havenít crossed. Thatís to say I havenít yet
thought up everything in horror filmmaking, but I think weíve come
pretty close. With the motto Morality is Down the Drain, my great folks
at Acid Bath and I really try to hit the gore market, so to speak.
How would you
describe your directorial approach to your subject matter?
cast and crew worked extremely hard on this project and really put their
hearts and souls into the project. I am really honored to know that my
cast and crew enjoy making an amazing product the same way I do. I take a
hands-on approach to the project, and Iím as much a ďjack of all
tradesĒ as you can get - I truly enjoy being right in the middle of the
action. With that approach, weíve had a lot of fun on shoots and road
trips for scenes and to promote I Spill Your Guts
Ė we always manage to
leave with a great story and a few inside jokes.
Lloyd Kaufman, James Balsamo
James Balsamo, Debbie Rochon
Lynn Lowry, Debbie Rochon and Lloyd Kaufman, I Spill Your Guts
stars quite a few indie horror heavyweights. How did you get them, and
what was it like working with them?
I guess Iíll start
with Lloyd Ė One afternoon we took a road trip to Tromaville (the
Troma office in NY) and I set up a large pile of
bacon outside the door. Knowing
Lloyd couldnít turn it down, we set a trap with a large box and string,
and as soon as Lloyd went for the bacon, we pulled the string and trapped
him Ė okay, okay, you want the truth: It has been a pleasure to work
with Lynn, Debbie, Lloyd and the entire team; many of them, I have worked
with before and appeared in my previous film Hack Job. Working with
all of them was great and as always, we had a lot of fun.
I Spill Your Guts
also stars Dave Brockie aka Oderus Urungus from GWAR. Why him, and what
was your collaboration like?
Iíve been a huge GWAR fan
since I was a little kid. It really made my world to work with Dave on set
and have him both films. Dave made an amazing appearance in Hack Job
and returns in I Spill Your Guts. Daveís personality was a great
addition to the set and Iím honored to call him a friend.
You also appear in front of
the camera in I Spill Your Guts. So what can you tell us
about James Balsamo, the actor?
the time I was little, I wanted to follow in the footsteps of my favorite
star slasher icons Freddy
Krueger and Jason Voorhees. Fueled by
ambitions, I convinced my parents to enroll me in acting school. As a
student in many prestigious New York acting schools, including Lee
Strasberg, my passion for film and acting continued to grow. A New Yorker
all my life, I continued my professional career at Professional Performing
Arts High School in New York City. Eventually, I grew tired of theatrical
acting after high school, and knew it was time to make the transition to
the big screen. I left my Shakespearean tights at the door, and spilled
big screen blood all the way through Five Towns College.
What can you tell us
about the rest of your principal cast?
They are a wacky
bunch! Working with everyone involved with I Spill Your Guts
been an amazing privilege, but I am truly grateful for the support of my
cast. I will share a great story though, it has to do with Carmine
Capobianco, who happens to be one heck of a guy. A duck farming, video
store owning actor, Carmine turns any set into a great atmosphere. My
favorite time with Carmine was during a shoot of I Spill Your Guts,
where he is chasing Joe Bava through a parking lot. It was filmed in our
office parking lot, but there was some confusion with the landlord and she
didnít know we were filming. While Carmine was running with a gun, she
was screaming in the street about having him arrested. Well, nothing
exciting happened, except Carmine went home with a thrashing, and I have
one grumpy landlord.
What can you
tell us about the actual shoot and the on-set atmosphere?
on an Acid Bath shoot is quite the experience. You can tell by the story I
just told what filming with us is like, but thatís all the fun. Weíre
based in New York, so there is pretty much an infinite number of locations
and we film anytime, anywhere.
$64 question of course: When and where will the film be released onto the
I Spill Your Guts
retailers July 24th. You can purchase it from Best Buy,
Target, K-Mart, Barnes and Noble, FYE, and a bunch of other places. If you
canít wait, you can pick up a copy today at
Your film Hack Job has been
released only recently. What is that one about?
a Horror/Comedy that features Dave Brockie, Lynn Lowry, Lloyd Kaufman,
Debbie Rochon, and Oderus Urungus from the greatest shock rock band of all
time, GWAR. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll see mummies die in the splatstick comedy adventure that is Hack Job! A must-have for any
gore geek and gratuitous nudity aficionado. James and Mike are tired
of art films taking away the credit that horror films deserve. So they
get a script from the devil to make the best horror film ever. The script
has three stories in it. The first is about Nazis that awaken a mummy's
curse. The second tale is about an alien that crashes a battle of the
bands and then starts eating the contestants, and the last story is about
a man who gets possessed to kill televangelists...you will never guess who
possessed him. Find out this and more in horror/comedy Hack Job!
you choose the anthology-format for Hack Job, and what were your
inspirations for the individual stories?
I guess it just
turned out in an anthology format Ė one of the films was created before
the full idea for Hack Job. I donít want to spoil too much of it,
especially after the detailed summary above this, so watch and find out!
Job being a horror comedy, how would you describe the movie's brand of
Itís definitely silly, but itís more than that,
itís ridiculous, and outrageous!
A few words about your cast and crew?
canít say it enough, they are amazing! My cast and crew are really one
and the same with my family.
go back to the beginnings of your career: How did you get into filmmaking,
and did you receive any formal training on the subject?
a pretty extensive acting stint, I attended Five Towns College in NY for
film. Everyone always asks and the answer is YES, I went to film school.
can you tell us about your filmwork prior to Hack Job,
and what made you decide to eventually usurp the director's chair?
Iíve said, I have an extensive background in both theatre and film
acting. Iíve also worked on a bunch of sets for major budget motion
pictures, but itís never as much fun as being in charge. Working as an
independent film company, we answer to no ďhigher authorityĒ and it
allows us to deliver exactly what we love.
Any future projects
you'd like to talk about?
has a lot in the works!
Unfortunately, we have yet to official unveil any new projects, just yet.
If you follow us on Twitter @acidbathproduct I promise you will be the
first to know!
films all seem to be to some extent of the horror variety. Is this a genre
especially dear to you, and why?
I have been fascinated with the Horror genre since I was a little kid, and
I attended my first Horror convention at the age of eight. I always wanted
to be Jason, and thatís what really started me in the acting
Filmmakers who inspire you?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
Kaufman, the king of independent cinema Ė Iím gunning for his throne!!
Craven with Nightmare on Elm
Street, and of course, I love Demon Knight.
... and of course, films you really
Anything with CGI Ė I know thatís like
everything, but I believe that CGI not only dates a film, but really kills
the appeal. Itís just not fun with CGI.
Your website, Facebook, whatever else?
us out at www.hackjobmovie.com
on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ispillyourguts,
weíre on Twitter at @acidbathproduct.
else you are dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
forget to go out and pick up your copies of Hack Job and I Spill Your Guts
today at www.hackjobmovie.com
or your local retailer!
for the interview!