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An Interview with Joe Badon, Director of Sister Tempest

by Mike Haberfelner

July 2020

Films directed by Joe Badon on (re)Search my Trash


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Your new movie Sister Tempest - in a few words what is it about?


Sisterly love and mental illness wrapped inside a sci-fi/horror/surrealist biscuit.


Sister Tempest is a pretty wild mix of science fiction, giant monster movie, psycho horror, body horror, and whatnot - so how did that blend come about, and how did you keep your head clear amidst the patchwork you created?


I'm inspired by the music composer John Zorn and his love of mixing and mashing genres. I wanted to take that same idea and apply it to film. I have no idea how to keep it all together. My biggest fear is that the story gets lost in the insanity.


As odd as it may sound given the surreal nature of your movie, is any of Sister Tempest based on personal experience?


It totally is. It's really my most personal piece of art I've ever created. A lot of it has to deal with my religious shame and how it has affected my personal relationships.


For Sister Tempest, you seem to ditch chronological storytelling ever so often, and time and again go for a more associative approach to things - so how easy or hard was it to not literally lose the plot making your movie that way?


I wrote the baseline story first and then continually added rabbit trails and new layers until I found a balance between nonsense and content. I'm kind of obsessed with associative storytelling (where one idea leads to another idea that leads to another idea). A lot of that comes from being inspired by movies like The Monkees' Head and Holy Mountain.


Sister Tempest features a short scene of a giant spaceman destroying a city - now honestly, how much fun was this to shoot?


It was the most fun and most frustrating thing that we shot. It was SUPER fun on the day of shooting. We were all like school kids playing with giant toys. BUT it took about 7 days of making the city buildings and we were really just making things up as we went along. My dad and one of the dads of the child actors, Brian Eiler, saved the day. They actually had carpentry experience and were able to step in and built the set much faster than I ever could! Plus, at the last minute, my friend Mark Backus (who is a partner at OPA signs and graphics) swooped in and saved the day by printing up a bunch of the buildings on foam board. Needless to say, it was A LOT of work.


What can you tell us about your overall directorial approach to your story at hand?


It sounds silly, but my main goal is just to get the entire story shot in the time and money allotted (which wasn't much). There's no magic to it. I try to do as much as possible in pre-production so that when it's time to shoot, I can rely on everyone to just do their jobs. I try to find talented people that know what they're doing so I can leave them alone and let them do it.


Do talk about Sister Tempest's key cast, and why exactly these people?


With the character of Ginger, I wrote that role specifically for Linnea Gregg. I had worked with her on The God Inside My Ear, so I knew what she was capable of, and so I wrote the character around her acting style.


For the main character, Anne, I sent out a Facebook post needing actors and did a bunch of video auditions and that's how I found Kali Russell. She was just perfect. So easy to work with and such a natural actor.


Every character had to have a specific look as well. I wanted the sisters to be blonde and redheaded and I was fortunate enough to find Kali Russell and Holly Bonney to fit the roles. And they played off of each other very well.


A few words about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?


It was 22 days and $25k for a 2 hour plus film. It was fast and dirty while still trying to look high quality. My editor always calls me Ed Wood for that reason [Ed Wood bio - click here], and I wear the badge with pride! I will say that everyone seemed to really have fun on set. I really try to keep the atmosphere light and happy.


The $64-question of course, where can Sister Tempest be seen?


Right now we're submitting to film festivals. Check our Facebook page as we're setting up screenings as we speak (even a possible secret test screening for fans).


Anything you can tell us about audience and critical reception of Sister Tempest yet?


We just did a cast and crew screening plus we are getting in early reviews. Lots of comparisons to Jodorowsky and other surrealists, which is an honor.


Any future projects you'd like to share?


Right now, I'm just focusing on getting this baby out into the world.


Feeling lucky ?
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Your/your movie's website, social media, whatever else?


Anything else you're dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?


I think we're good! Thanks so much!!


Thanks for the interview!


© by Mike Haberfelner

Legal note: (re)Search my Trash cannot
and shall not be held responsible for
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Thanks for watching !!!



Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD