Your new anthology film Theatre of the Deranged - in a few words, what is
Pure chaotic mayhem! Itís a throwback to
the old Tales
from the Crypt stuff. You get to see 5 horror movies all
by different directors with different styles.
What were the main inspirations for the project, and how did it
come into being in the first place? And what can you tell us about your
co-directors, and how did you get them to contribute to the movie?
too many times have I seen awesome horror shorts go without a wide
audience because they werenít feature length. So I decided
to collect a few shorts from friends of mine and put together an anthology
to showcase them. It is awesome being able to have my short with a bunch
of shorts by friends of mine. We all got together and made something that
is really different here. Everyone had their own unique style and it
really translates well to the screen. It makes for a high-energy film.
wanted to help other film makers get their shorts seen by a wider
audience. After I collected two shorts, I wrote and directed one and so
did my good friend Creep Creepersin [Creep
Creepersin interview - click here] as well as my other close friend Brian
Dorton. What I wanted this film to do is show audiences that there is real
comradery and a filmmaker community working with one another instead of
against each other, and I think the film does just that!
in horror, anthology movies have a long tradition. Any explanation for
that, and your favourite horror anthologies?
favorite all time anthology is Creepshow! It is such a great film. I also
absolutely loved Trick 'r Treat.
think anthologies have a place in horror because horror fans want to see a
lot of blood and gore and not just one story. It gives you a full course
meal with appetizers and builds up. It feels more like an event then just
a film, which is always a lot of fun.
Theatre of the Deranged
is also high on comedy, right? So how would you describe
the film's overall brand of humour?
is a very morbidly funny film. I added a laugh track to the host segments
in order to give it a surreal feel and encourage the audience to laugh. I
want audiences to have as much fun with this film as possible. Some of the
best horror is gory but we can also laugh at it.
The film's framing
story was written by and is starring Cory Jacob [Cory
Jacob interview - click here]. What can you tell us
about him and your collaboration with him?
was awesome working with Cory again. He was one of the leads in my first
film My Pure Joy, so this collaberation felt natural. We have a great
trust for one anothers opinion's and it really translated well to the
screen. It was an easy and fun collaberation. He had me in stiches with
his jokes during the host segments.
Let's get to
your segment Speak Easy: What is it about, and what were the
inspirations for it?
was inspired by how there can be two different ways the exact same
conversation can go. I will also say I looked at a hammer and decided to
You have also recently produced
another upcoming anthology Treasure
Chest of Horrors by directors
Doug Waugh, Shawn C.Phillips [Shawn
C. Phillips interview - click here] and M. Kelley. What can you tell us about that one, and
how did it come into being?
worked with Doug on filming Unmimely Demise, and everyday after filming he
showed me his shorts he had done a long time ago. I saw that one of them
had Lloyd Kaufman in it and was impressed. We got to talking and decided
to put together another series, because Theatre of the Deranged already had all of its
slots already full. But I wanted to do the same thing as Theatre of the Deranged, help get
exposure for other indie film makers' shorts.
Chest of Horrors, you refrained from writing and directing and sticked to
producing - why? And which of these activities do you enjoy the most,
have time to make a segment.
Chest of Horrors and Theatre of the Deranged arenít supposed
to be just about me, they are supposed to be about helping others get their
stuff out there. It is my passion to write and direct, and I want to help
other filmmakers realize their passion as well.
Is it true that Treasure Chest of Horrors
II is already in the making, and what are we to expect?
is! And you can expect 10x the violence and 10x the depravity. This one is
going to be nuts! Miles Dougal is in it and so are some familiar faces
from Treasure Chest 1. Itís going to have a similar feel with a higher
budget and brand new shorts.
film of yours that is going to be released very soon is My Pure Joy
- now what is that one about?
it is about someone trying to hold themself together while falling apart.
It is the manifestation of teenage angst in the form of a young serial
killer. It's basically American Psycho meets Superbad.
What were your
inspirations for writing My Pure Joy, and how much of yourself do
you find in your lead character Adam?
lead character of Adam is based on me, aside from the serial killer part,
of course. Itís a very personal film and it translates well to the
screen. It was inspired by, and pays homage to, all of the horror films I
grew up on.
How would you
describe your directorial approach to My Pure Joy?
wanted to craft a film that fell apart as the main character fell apart.
The film is Adam, so I directed it towards his character's emotions and
made the film evolve as he evolved.
as it is that My Pure Joy is a movie about a man driven to murder
by the gore movies he saw I just have to ask: What can you tell us about
the gore content in your movie? And how would you rate the importance of
gore for modern horror as such?
love gore! To quote John Doe from the film Seven, ďWanting people
to listen, you can't just tap them on the shoulder anymore. You have to
hit them with a sledgehammer, and then you'll notice you've got their
strict attention.Ē You have to shock people nowadays. There is a HIGH
volume of gore in My Pure Joy and a kill scene that will surprise everyone
and make anyone cringe.
is very important and we need more of it in horror nowadays. Like the
1980ís. I will say if you have a great story you donít always need
gore, but it is always a fun touch.
You were only 18 when
you made My Pure Joy. What convinced you you could pull of
directing a feature film at this relatively young age?
my life I have always wanted to direct a movie. I studied film endlessly
in my room. I just had this feeling in my bones that it was what I was
meant to do. I had also made a few shorts before this and
felt that I was ready to take the leap to a feature film.
got you into moviemaking in the first place, and did you ever receive any
formal education on the subject?
did go to a film school for a little while but ended up leaving to make My
Pure Joy. What really got me into making films though, my real film
school, was the years of walking to the theaters after school everyday and
watching a matinee. The large collection of DVDs and VHS tapes that I
watched relegiously, that was my true schooling.
was really inspired to make films though, and I know I have said this
before but, what really pushed me to become a filmmaker was when my dad
got very ill when I was in the 5th grade. He was bed-ridden for years so
all we did together was watch movies. It was our escape. I would come home
every day from school and go to his room and we would watch a movie. It's
how we spent our time together. What we could really share was film. That is
when I was inspired to make movies. I wanted to give someone, in the off
chance that they were in the same situation that I was in when I was
little, just a few extra movies they can watch and talk about with a loved
You've made quite a few
shorts over the last few years. Want to talk about those for a bit?
Whatís funny is that practically all of the shorts starred JD Fairman [JD
Fairman interview - click here],
who was in My Pure Joy. We have worked together for years making movies,
although my early shorts were very experimental or silly. I learned a lot
from the mistakes I made on those films.
few words agout your production company Psykik
Junky Pictures was started by Jarret Cohen and myself. We are aiming to
give you guys the best in cutting edge entertainment (literally J),
and we won't settle for anything less than that.
future projects you'd like to talk about?
have a few projects in the works right now, but they are in early stages
so I canít quite mention them yet, but I promise you will be the first
to know! However we do have Theatre 2 coming out as well as Treasure
Chest 2 and 3. My short Unmimely Demise will be in Theatre
2, here is a trailer
for it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7S-vzXBIDs0
$64-question of course, when and where will Theatre of the Deranged, Treasure
Chest of Horrors and My Pure Joy be released?
Theatre of the Deranged
comes out in July.
Chest of Horrors comes out in June.
And My Pure Joy will be available in February, on February 14th but you can preorder
it right now on bestbuy, amazon, and many many other sites:
all of your movies are of the horror variety in some form or another. Is
horror a genre especially dear to you, and why?
love horror because horror is like fantasy films for adults. I also love
gore so itís a perfect fit. I won't only be making horror movies, but I
am enjoying making them right now and it will always have a place in my
who inspire you?
a few, Henenlotter, Miike, Tarantino, Rodriguez, Roth, Ittenbach,
Romero, Ferrara, and of course Park Chan-Wook. There are
plenty more but I donít wanna go on for ever! J
Your favourite movies?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
would take FOREVER to name all of them so I will just say right now, my
all time favorite movie is Oldboy!
and of course, films you really deplore?
donít deplore any moviesÖ
Facebook, whatever else?
can follow me on twitter @JAMESCULLENB
is my IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm4097598/
Anything else you are dying to
mention and I have just forgotten to ask?
are always looking for more shorts to be submitted to Theatre of the Deranged 2
and Treasure Chest of Horrors 3 so email me your short if you want to be a
part. Itís all about spreading the love and getting everyone the
exposure they deserve.
Thanks for the
Thank you for
having me! Itís been a real pleasure!