Your upcoming movie Devil's Fork - in a few words, what is it
going to be about?
A married couple with a troubled relationship find themselves taken
hostage by a couple of maniacal drifters who put them through a series of
"tests" to prove how far they will go to "survive"
both as a couple and as individuals.
How did the project come into being
to begin with, and what drew you to the movie's subject
I've always loved road movies, and I think I had
watched Badlands & 2 Lane Blacktop recently, and was listening to Rob
Zombie's song based on the latter and thought "you know what would be
really cool? A movie that took some style and characteristics of both of
those films & added a violent aspect to it where a married couple was
forced to test how far they would go to keep each other and themselves
alive and confront the darker side of themselves in the process". I
thought that could be really interesting, cool to look at and frightening
in a realistic way. I find people to be scary. They are the real
monsters we see on the nightly news.
To what extent do you, especially as
a director, identify with "The Preacher"?
I don't identify with preacher at all. I find him an
extremely interesting character though. I don't find it a huge stretch to
believe that there are people out there like him. We hear about cult
leaders and fanatics pushing their views all the time, often leading to
violent and tragic ends.
But at the end of the day, I just tried to think of a
maniacal villain to drive the story along and push this couple to some
really dark places that would also be a lot of fun to watch (from the
safety of the other side of the movie screen).
What can you tell us about the intended look and
feel of Devil's Fork?
I mentioned 2 Lane Blacktop
& Badlands already. I would also throw Electra Glide
in Blue out there in terms of visuals. Maybe even a little bit of Easy
Bava's final film Kidnapped
aka Rabid Dogs [Mario
Bava bio - click here].
It will have a very 1970's road movie sort of look.
Contentwise I would throw Natural Born Killer & The Hitcher
I grew up watching and loving the same movies Zombie & Tarantino did,
so we're sort of borrowing from a lot of the same influences.
The story of Devil's
Fork seems to have a very sadistic streak to it, so how far are you
planning to go in terms of violence, gore and the like?
will be violent. The story dictates the violence. It simply doesn't work without it. We are
taking the audience on the same trip that Ted & Carol are being taking
on, and taking them to those dark places with them. Just a glance at
my previous work will tell you I have no problem taking a film to a
excessively violent & disturbing place so...
There is however one scene that has been a hot spot between myself &
my screenwriters Toby Tolbert & Tim Harvey that may or may not make it
to the screen. Not because I am afraid to film it, but because I'm afraid
it takes things so far that it becomes unbelievable, & it's very
important to me that the film never veers outside of something that could
Gore is a tricky thing. There is a LOT going on psychologically with the
characters and at no point do I want that to be overtaken by special FX,
so we'll see how it goes. I don't see any way to do it without any blood
or gore so...
Fork is to star horror icons Debbie Rochon [Debbie
Rochon interview - click here] and Tina Krause [Tina
Krause interview - click here] - why them, and how did you get
I thought of Debbie as Carol right off the bat. As soon as I
had the idea. I've been a fan of hers for many years & we had started
corresponding on MySpace (remember that website?). I sent her a script for
a slasher film Toby and I had written called Dead Waters (which never got
made, but maybe one of these days we'll get it made with Debbie, Tina
& Tiffany Shepis [Tiffany
Shepis interview - click here]. That'd be cool right?) and she really liked it. Even
though that script is still sitting on a shelf waiting for slasher films
to be hot again, it started a friendship. There was a point where the idea was tossed around to take my
idea & whittle it down to an episode of an internet anthology series,
at which time Tim & Toby were brought on board to write the script
from my story. For various reasons the project was dropped from the series
& we decided to extend it to a feature. As soon as the first draft was
done I sent it to Debbie & she said yes immediately. She saw it as a
chance to take on a lot more character than she often gets to work with,
so she's been behind it from the day the script was written.
As far as Tina, I had seen some of her stuff, had become friends with her
online & pitched the part of Autumn, the crazy sexy hitchhiker &
Preacher's accomplice. I believe I told her I thought of the character as
similar to Sheri Moon's character in House of 1,000 Corpses but a bit
crazier. She read the script and felt the same as Debbie.
What can you tell us about the rest of your cast,
and why exactly these people?
Jared Cyr will play the role
of Preacher. He is a Kansas native & a mutual friend of a college
buddy of mine. I saw a short film he wrote, directed & starred in
called Hardcharger, & the moment I heard his voice & saw his
delivery I knew he was Preacher.
Allen Lowman is a local KC actor and good friend who has appeared in Nailbiter
& played dual roles in Bonnie and Clyde vs Dracula with
Tiffany Shepis & Trent Hagga. He is a phenomenal actor.
I met Tristan Risk many years ago when she was touring with a burlesque
group & rockabilly band & approached her about appearing in the
film long before her recent appearance in American
Mary. She's a born
performer and a great person.
Krystal Heib will also make an appearance. Another fantastic KC actress
who portrayed the lead in my latest feature The Taking of Savannah, which
is currently undergoing a little bit more post production before being
unleashed on the world.
As far as I know, you're
presently still raising funds for your movie - so what can you tell us
about your fundraising efforts?
We have had some false
starts & stops, like most films do. At one point we were in a package
deal of films to be produced & that fell through. I have a producer
really interested, but he wants to re-cast & I do not, so we have
taken to Kickstarter to ask the public to help us get enough preproduction
funds to lay the groundwork. Airline tickets, hotel rooms, salary for key
cast & crew, etc.
We have 2 Black Magic Cameras already promised to us to film with, and I
have shot 3 feature films for nickles & dimes, so I know that once
these basics are squared away I can get everything else in place.
Once the funds are
raised, what's the schedule, and any idea when the film might be released
yet (and I know it's waaay too early to ask)?
we hit our Kickstarter goal we will hopefully be filming August 2014.
Release? Who knows, we'll just have to see. Those that support us
via Kickstarter will get a look, but beyond that we'll have to see where
it goes & when. I have a sales agent that has loved the idea
since I told him about it, so it WILL get out there.
projects beyond Devil's Fork?
Hopefully The Taking of Savannah will see a release soon.I have several projects in various
stages of development: a female action/revenge film that I hope to
be directing next year sometime, a sort of redneck action revenge flick
that Tiffany Shepis [Tiffany
Shepis interview - click here] is attached to play the lead in, a remake of a 70's
home invasion film, a graphic novel called Zombie Punks from Beyond the
Grave, and I have been approached to look at a script centering on members
of a support group for abused women being targeted by a serial killer. I may also produce a twisted little short film for my good friend John
Barnes. I will probably also release a collection of short extreme horror
fiction sometime in the winter or spring that makes my films look like
Disney movies. I'm keeping busy.
You have recently
also directed a short for The ABCs of Death 2-competition, M is
for Matchmaker - want to talk about that one for a bit?
is a LOT of story for under 3 minutes, but I think it packs a punch and is
disturbing on a very realistic level. I tried to touch on an idea that was
sort of outside of the horror genre, then bring some of the macabre into
Check it out and gives us a like. Tina Krause actually produced it [Tina
Krause interview - click here]:
M is for Matchmaker
did you get into filmmaking to begin with, and did you receive any formal
education on the subject?
I've always loved movies, and I
fell into a video production program in college by sheer accident because
I couldn't decide what to major in. Most of what I learned there was aimed
toward corporate video, but once I shot a student film I was bit by the
Everything I've learned about "filmmaking" I've learned on my
own, from others I've worked with or from other films & filmmakers
that I respect & admire.
What can you tell us about
your filmwork prior to Devil's Fork?
definitely see a progression in my filmmaking from my debut feature Roadkill
to our ABCs entry, but the sensibility & stylistic influence
of 70s films & grindhouse/exploitation films is still there, just
polished a little.
Roadkill & Survive! are straight up 70s style exploitation.
Roadkill treads on the same grounds as Texas
Chainsaw Massacre, but is definitely
more perverse. Survive! is an homage to Last
House on the Left & I
Spit on Your Grave. They're both pretty grimy. The Taking of
Savannah steps outside that box a bit & is a lot more stylized, but I think
still reflects the influence of old grindhouse movies. I would describe it
as Reservoir Dogs
meets First Blood with a hot chick & some twists and
you describe yourself as a director?
That's probably a
better question for my actors, but I would say I'm a very collaborative
director. I cast people I feel are right for the part & let them bring
what they have to the table. Same with cinematography. I have
certain lines & certain shots that I know I want, but otherwise I'm
pretty open to other ideas and improvisation. If I don't like it we'll do
it another way. I feel like I get more natural performances & some
things I never would have thought of. They are the talent. I'm just
there to steer them from point A to point B and capture it on film.
Jack Hill, Roger Corman [Roger
Corman bio - click here],
Fred Olen Ray,
Jim Wynorski [Jim Wynorski
interview - click here],
Larry Cohen [Larry Cohen bio -
the Duplass Brothers
& of course Quentin Tarantino.
Your favourite movies?
many to mention, but off the top of my head; (in addition to all those
mentioned above) Breathless (Godard), The High and Low, Cannibal
Holocaust, Devil's Rejects, any Tarantino film, any De
Palma film up to
& including Body Double.
and of course, films you really deplore?
Hostel 3 &
Asylum or SyFy
They have ruined the "killer animal/nature run amok" sub genre
and are destroying the indie genre film industry with movies like Sharknado.
Pretty much any Michael Bay movie & pretty much anything Cameron did
movie's website, Facebook, Kickstarter, whatever else?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
I'm pretty much online all the time, so follow me on Facebook & Twitter:
Check out my first 2 films, a slew of old grindhouse &
cult movies & some other random stuff for free on my YouTube channel:
Check out the Devil's Fork Kickstarter here & PLEASE do
what you can to help. Every single Dollar & share helps us! This won't
get made without the public backing us!
else you are dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
probably rambled on long enough, but PLEASE support indie film! Its
REALLY hard for us to get films made and its getting harder.
for the interview!
Thanks for giving me the time!