Your upcoming movie Deathwoods - what is it about, storywise?
Deathwoods is your classic slasher film. Young twenty-somethings go
camping and plan to party it up for a weekend. They drink a lot of booze,
smoke a lot of drugs, get naked and tell "true" scary stories.
Eventually they are hunted down one by one and dispatched in horrific ways
by an unknown killer. The question is who would want these people dead and
why? Much like our prior film The Legacy, Deathwoods is a
grindhouse film that doesn't take itself too serious, has a lot of fun
with its genre and is basically Friday
the 13th meets Scream.
is extremely, how shall I say, democratic when it comes to killing off its
characters and takes fan involvement to a whole new level. Would you like to
It is exactly that. Taking fan involvement to a
whole new level. After realizing our film needed a little more flavor to
make it stand out in a sea of similar films, we thought involving the fans
and letting them be a part of the writing process of killing our
characters just seemed like a cool idea. Not only can they help us fund
the film but they get to be involved with the writing, acting and
producing of the movie. Truly giving the fans an awesome experience and
more input in the genre we all love. I'm personally really excited to see
what everyone comes up with. Especially when it comes to creating the
kills for our horror icons Ari Lehman and John Dugan.
How did the concept come into being in the
With Deathwoods we were hoping to do something
innovative. We already made a tongue-in-cheek slasher film (The Legacy)
with the tag line "Everybody DIES!" and we didn't exactly want
to do the same thing twice when Scott Conner approached myself and Roni
Jonah with his fun slasher script Deathwoods. At first we started out
doing the same shtick. After going back and watching the footage we
already shot for Deathwoods we realized we weren't exactly bringing anything new
to the table. So we thought about it for a bit and realized "we need
to make this film interactive! Let's let other horror fans CREATE OUR
KILLS!" Basically it was a way to take the same cliché camp that we
all know and love and make it even more fan friendly. Involve the people
that truly care about the genre and let them create the difference we felt
You have written the script for Deathwoods
together with Scott Conner, right? What were your initial inspirations,
and what was your collaboration like?
approached Roni and myself during one of our guest appearances at a
Nashville Horror Convention. He had just seen our film The
Legacy, enjoyed it in all its campy goodness and asked if we would
be interested in helping him create his film Deathwoods. He had an idea
and a script of sorts in which Roni and I helped polish up. Scott is a big
fan of horror and much like us, was inspired by the Friday
being a slasher, is that a genre you're at all fond of, and your genre
Absolutely! I'm a big fan of the slasher genre
in all its forms. For me it was all about the 80's. I am a child of the
80's after all but we had all the classics. Friday
the 13th, Texas Chainsaw
Massacre, Nightmare On Elm
Street, Halloween (78 I know),
My Bloody Valentine, Maniac,
Madman, Child's Play, The Stepfather, Prom
Sleepaway Camp - I mean the list goes on and on... Today I enjoy such films
like the Scream-series, Hatchet-series and
Behind the Mask. I would be
hard-pressed to pick a favorite.
On your indiegogo-page you mention the
"3 B's of B movies". Would you like to explain, and how do they
fit into Deathwoods?
I feel the 3 B's
is fairly open ended and our version is Boobs, Blood and Brutality. These
particular items are a must for B movie slashers. Let's face it, we love
this genre and we rent/buy these things with a certain expectation. If you
don't give the fans what they want, they will burn you alive. Deathwoods
will not disappoint. Especially with our interactive kills. We want this
film to be brutal and fun. Not to mention we have a damn sexy cast of
talented people and the majority of us will be naked somewhere in the
film. If you check out our Facebook page cast photos you will not be
motto is "Everybody Dies", right? You have to elaborate on that!
is the one thing myself and, writer/director/actress, Roni Jonah like to
stick to with our slasher films. That being NO ONE is safe. The person you
may think is the star may suddenly die. Violently. And without warning.
Anyone and everyone can and mostly likely will die in our films. We aren't
saying they will stay dead, we are just saying they will all more than
film also stars horror veterans such as Ari Lehman, John Dugan and Debbie
Rochon. How did you get them interested in your project, and what is it
like working with them?
Scott Connor was able to work out a deal with Debbie
Rochon (and Jim O'Rear) while at the Full Moon Horror
Convention in Nashville (a show we highly recommend to
everyone). We were able to work out some time and film some
great stuff with both Debbie and Jim. And I mean great. They
had little time to prepare for some dramatic footage and
they pulled it off like the veterans they are and they did
it very well.
As for Ari - Roni and I met him at several horror conventions we were all
guests at and we quickly became friends. Thus we cast Ari in our films
Hell House and The Zombie Movie. So we've already had the pleasure of
working with Ari before and the guy is awesome. Fun to be around. Lots
of energy and a great actor. He knows a thing or two about playing
deadly games in the woods and we know all the fans out there will enjoy
what Ari brings to Deathwoods.
As for Mr. John Duggan, I have yet to personally work with him on film.
We were both in the films Monstrosity and Hell-Ephone but never in
scenes together. Now with that being said I met John much like Ari, as a
guest at a few horror conventions. We've talked and he's a very nice
guy. Great stories and just a blast to be around. I very much look
forward to actually working with him personally. His scene in the film
is a lot of fun. Add that to the fact that a fan gets to murder Texas
Chainsaw Massacre's grandpa, and we have ourselves a winner.
A few words about the rest of
The rest of Deathwoods is phenomenal. They are
all sexy and talented people and we all share a love for horror. Which
makes me extremely happy. There are too many to talk about as I will just
ramble about how much I love these folks. However here is a list of our
sexy cast and some of their film credits. Roni Jonah
(writer/director/actress from The Legacy and The Zombie Movie), Julie
Streble (Star of Girl Number 3), Julie Anne Prescott (Slices,
Dares: Truth or Dare IV), Megan Wilson (Red River and
Scream Kings), Andie
Noir (The Deepening, The Hospital), Dawn Lyn (Hell House,
Thing Girl 4),
Chris Baker (Love Sucks), Derek Sturgeon (Run for Your Life), Ryan
Adomaitis (Drummer for First Jason), Mike Nusser (The Zombie
Abell (The Zombie Movie) - and the list goes on and on with some newcomers
such as Tracy Jacobey, Bridget Smith, Jesse Miller and more!
As we speak, Deathwoods is
still in production of course. How far along is it, and how will you
Deathwoods is close to 50% completed. With the new
campaign we've of course added a bit more work to our plate but it's well
worth it. We start finishing up starting this month and into the next.
With luck will will have a finished product by the end of June... or early
What can you tell us about your directorial
approach to the subject at hand?
My approach is fun, rough
and gritty. I like to move at a fast pace and I think the films energy
will show that. We like to keep the film set light and fun. To the outside
looking in it looks like we are just having a big party... and we are. We
just like to film as we do it.
is also used to crossfund another film, The Hospital. Why, what can
you tell us about that movie, and are you in any way involved in it?
indie film artists we know how hard it is to find support when it comes to
create these films and taking them from script to screen. Thus we want to
make sure we help just as much as we ask for help. The Hospital was a no
brainer. It's written and directed by our friends Daniel Emery Taylor, Jim
O'Rear and Tommy Golden and stars even more of our friends. Not to mention
it's going to be BRUTAL. These guys are going all out and it's going to be
awesome. I'm personally not involved in the film (unless they need me to
die in some horrible fashion later) and although they are doing fine
without our help, we wanted to make sure they know we support them. Be
sure to check out their indiegogo campaign as well.
go to the beginning of your career: You have initially entered the
filmworld as an actor, right? What can you tell us about your first acting
experiences, and have you received any formal training on the subject?
started in theater years ago. However I started later in life than most
and had zero training behind my belt. I was about 21 during my first
acting jaunt on stage. From then on there was no turning back. I was
content with stage for a long time until I finally decided I wanted to try
film. My first film audition was for the zombie film Dead Moon Rising.
Oddly enough my first audition out and I got the lead role. Dead Moon
was eventually released worldwide and opened a lot of doors for me in the
indie film world. With it I was lucky enough to meet a lot of awesome
talent. Eventually I decided to try my hand at directing and with a big
push from Roni Jonah I did just that. My first film was actually a
practice film called the Legacy. We had no real plans of pushing it as we
wanted to use it as a learning tool. However it started to receive a lot
of local press after WWF wrestler Al Snow joined the cast thanks to Roni.
Roni was once a professional wrestler who managed Mike The Miz Mizannin,
and she was trained by Al. Once he was involved we asked our friends Jim
O'Rear and Daniel Emery Taylor to come play with us. With that The Legacy
was a hit in all its campy goodness, and trust us it's campy. But also
delivered a story and some very good acting... none of which most people
saw coming. Since then we have been on a roll. By we I mean Roni Jonah and
I as we direct together almost always. Currently we are trying to finish
up our way overdue film Hell House, as well as a grindhouse re-edit of
The Legacy, Roni's feature film directorial debut The Zombie Movie and of
can you tell us about your approach to acting as such?
approach at the start was limited. I knew the lines I needed to say and
that was just about that. As I learned and grew as an actor (as I'm self
taught in all things film from acting to directing, to producing and
editing), I found how to find the truth and meaning behind the words. The
reasons these characters say and do what they do. As such I've become much
more of a method actor. I mean I'm not doing Shakespeare over here
(although I have before), but I am giving it my all with every outing.
through your filmography, I've stumbled upon titles like Saucer Sex
from Beyond, Flying Saucer Sexodus, and Saucer Sex Peep Show.
Am I the only one seeing a thread here, and would you like to elaborate?
those titles are thanks to Lexington filmmaker Jerry Williams and are
part of a series of films from Jerry. I told Jerry my IMDb looks as if I
did porn. A lot of porn. But I'm ok with that... I enjoy porn. However
I've never been in one. Yet.
Any other films
you've acted in you want to talk about?
Dead Moon Rising
was my first. George Bonilla's Monstrosity and Hell-Ephone were also early
on. Then I was lucky enough to play in Little Sex Shop of Horrors with
Roni Jonah (which you can find on Youtube) and other films like Girl
Number 3, Sword Bearer and Jacob Ennis' Red River
[Jacob Ennis interview - click
here], in which I had the
chance to play my first movie monster! Recently I had a chance to cameo in
Michael Rosenbaum's (Lex Luthor from Smallville) Old Days, which lots of
folks should get a kick out of. And of course currently we are working on
the zombie comedy The Zombie Movie and the bad ass vampire flick Love
Sucks! Oh and I'm doing an internet web series called Simply Drunk...
According to my
information, you took to directing in 2009 with the films The Legacy
and Hell House. What made you climb into the director's chair, and
what can you tell us about these movies?
Mostly I wanted to
try my hand at it. Roni Jonah gave me the push I needed to do so and I
haven't really stopped yet. Although recently Roni has taken over the
directing on current projects and I do more of the camerawork and
recently also produced, co-written and starred in The Zombie Movie.
You just have to talk about that one for a bit!
Movie is awesome. It's Galaxy Quest meets zombies! Basically I
myself... sort of. I play Jason Crowe and in the film we are
"filming" Dead Moon Rising 2 when suddenly a zombie outbreak
occurs. In which I go from bad ass action hero to prissy, no idea what to
do, stereotypical drama queen actor. The Zombie Movie has a lot of
political undertones about indie film making, actors and society as a
whole all mixed in with a lot of fun, action and zombie gore! It should be
done by August.
other films of yours you'd like to talk about, any future projects?
than Deathwoods and The Zombie Movie we are currently re-editing
Legacy into more of a grind house film and trying to finish our long overdue film
Hell House, of which I'll be releasing a trailer soon. We are also
currently working on a vampire film called Love Sucks which is going to be
awesome. Can't wait to share more about that one... Roni and I are also
involved with William Lee's supernatural action film Architect of Chaos
which is also going to be extremely bad ass. Take a look at the cast and
you can see why. Also you can send Architect of Chaos to the Oscars. Check
out their Facebook for all that info.
and directors who inspire you?
People like Robert
Rodriguez, Guillermo del Toro and Joe Carnahan are people I enjoy the
most. Not to mention any indie film maker that puts forth the effort to
make a movie. I have much respect for you.
Your favourite movies?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
Dusk Til Dawn, Desperado, Day of The Dead (original),
Smokin' Aces, Braveheart, Monster Squad etc...
and of course, films you really deplore?
I'm not sure if I
deplore many films but I remember hating The Pest. A lot.
Facebook, indiegogo, whatever else?
Anything else you are dying to
mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
Thank you! We really appreciate you taking the time to talk to us.