Your new film is called Crazy Animal. Can you tell us in a
few phrases what that film's about?
The film is about three frat boys that are invited down the coast to
party at a beach house with some hot girls. When they arrive,
however, they find a weird cheesy metal guitarist who lives in a
shack in the woods. Things get crazy...
John Birmingham as Ricky
Cheesy 1980's heavy
metal seems to play crucial role in Crazy Animal. Would you like to
elaborate on that, and who are some of the best and worst protagonists of
Yes, the character Ricky in the film decided to use his cheesy metal getup to entice and allure in the frat boys. Some of the best
protagonists I have seen in the past of the cheesy 80's metal genre I
guess would be, if you count their characters in music videos, Twisted
Sister's Dee Snyder and David Lee Roth, maybe, in their music
videos... or Spinal Tap in the Spinal Tap movie.
A question directly linked to the above:
What can you tell us about your movie's soundtrack?
features the critically acclaimed Army Navy (sounds like a very
mello, new wave Pixies meets The Violent Femmes sort of sound) and
also France's and the world's only Gore n' Roll band Banane
And other bands like Monsters From Mars play. Additionally, I, John
Birmingham, the director/Ricky in the movie, play my own original
songs in the movie.
Animal, you struck a distribution deal with Troma. Have you at
all been influenced by their house style?
They were one of
the influences to me in making this film, in the
nudity that is in the film, lol. It's there for a reason!
Lloyd Kaufman also makes a cameo appearance in the film. How
easy/difficult was he to work with?
He was very easy to
work with because he was paid very well. At the
time I didn't know he sometimes worked for free or very little on the
right projects, so I paid him something nice, and he was in a great
mood the whole shoot.
Another guest star
in Crazy Animal is porn legend Ron Jeremy, who seems to be in a lot
of indie horror-films these days. A few words about your collaboration
It was a great on set experience. He is a super professional and easy
to get along with, a truly great actor, but unfortunately his
reputation as the most famous porn star may hold him back a bit in the
non-X rated arena. But he is a great person. He just doesn't believe
in monogamy, which is fine and very normal for most guys out there who
are not married... but Ron takes it to an immense level, which is
his preference and fine. Really, it is not like he is married and a
swinger or something too far fetched, he is unmarried, and everything
he does is legal and legit. He is a great guy, just underrated
because of his rep.
Another prominent cast member is Brinke
Yes, she was very professional and easy to work with. Before
becoming a scream queen she actually received a master's degree. A
truly interesting, intense and nice woman.
The lead character in Crazy Animal is
played by yourself though. A few word about John Birmingham, the actor?
thank you for asking. I am relatively new to acting, have only
been doing it about 5-6 years. I plan to really take off in the near
future. My wife and I are developing a new feautre film, my third
starring feature, where I can finally just concentrate on acting,
instead of having to physically produce and hold everything together
in between acting. It will allow me to truly concentrate on my craft
as an actor, and I plan to do a LOT more of this in the future, or
hire out a lot more on future films as opposed to me bearing the brunt
of having to do a lot of the editing and post production and physical
producing sort of stuff. So, its gonna be a great load of fun the way
I have it planned!...
main influences for the film?
My main influences for the
film were, from the start old 80's cheese
metal videos really. I wanted to truly become one of those guys. I
guess I became my own version of it somehow. And then, the great
filmmakers, Peter Medak, Peter Jackson, and even a little Lloyd
My main influences: Perry Farrell, Dave Navarro,
Steven Perkins, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Danzig, Peter Jackson, Ben Stiller,
When and where will Crazy
Animal be released on DVD?
March 31, 2009. I am not
sure which stores, but they are planning on Walmart, Best Buy,
Netflix and beyond.
The film's website,
mySpace, whatever else?
On Crazy Animal, you
perform multiple duties, director, writer, actor, producer, you even wrote
some of the film's score - which do you enjoy the most?
enjoy acting as a comical character, not as myself, and I enjoy
singing/making the music and directing the most. The rest of the
stuff I learned out of necessity, editing, which I am very good at
now, I only did so that I could make my own films. I guess it is a
good skill to know, but I really like acting as a comical character
the best and directing and I may have failed to mention writing. I
love writing, because I am a philosophical person and I am trying to
better the world through my filmmaking...
Animal wasn't your first movie though. How did you break into the film
industry, and some words about your previous films?
well, Crazy Animal was my first feature film, but I had made
award winning short films before and done production design with Full
Moon Pictures in Hollywood, building sets and props and stuff. You
have to start somewhere, and I just was always meant to be a filmmaker
it seems. All the writing I learned in high school and college and
art I did when younger and music I did all growing up and desire to
make the world better, it all points toward filmmaking for me, so I
just got started any way I could. When I was 19 I moved to L.A. and
started working on sets of movies and learning it and doing it. It
took me over ten years to finally release my first feature film, but I
already have my second feature in the can, The Vampires of Zanzibar.
So you just do it, really. The more you push for what you want, the
earlier the better, is the advice I would give to anyone out there.
Still from Vampires of Zanzibar
next film after Crazy Animal is tentatively titled Vampires of
Zanzibar. You just have to tell us a little bit about that film
because of the wonderful title alone!
Hahaa, thank you! It is about a little town in Virginia called Zanzibar, and the whole town starts converting to
overnight, and it will spread the world over in a matter of days...
so Paul, an 18 year old half breed vampire, gets together with his
girlfriend and dad and starts trying to kill all the vampires in the
town trying to save the world. It was a great experience to work with
everyone on the movie, I made some realy life friends on this movie,
people I will always work with. A ton of fun, a cast/crew of 150
people, some as far as Iceland and Sweden. And it's really, really
funny. A really hilarious, and dramatic good movie. Not sure when it
will release, I am finishing the post production right now actually...
Any other future
Yes, but it is top secret so no one will steal
the idea. We are
developing it right now. It is a gay comedy of sorts, funny for gay
and straight audiences.
Directors, writers, actors, musicians who have
really inspired you?
Well, just any real auteur who has
made their original mark on the
world, made people see their perspective, truly gotten their ideas
across and changed things for the better somehow. Real genius types I
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
What kind of films do you watch
privately, and your favourite movies?
Well, anything new comedy, because my wife and I are on a comedy kick
now, we're on a roll with these comedy feature films, so we try to get
movtivated by that... however, my true dream is to be able to make
an Oscar-worthy type of dramatic film that also has funny elements
intertwined. I don't think it has been fully done before.
... and some
movies you really deplored?
I loved, loved loved the
marketing behind the Blair Witch
artistically, it was really a bad movie, made me feel bad to watch. I
love the filmmakers though, true geniuses at what they do. But I just
don't like movies that make me feel bad, including the Saw
mean, the guy who directs those is a genius and all, but I don't like
to feel bad when I watch a movie, I like to feel good as much as
possible during the movie.
Anything else you are dying
to tell us and I have simply forgotten to ask?
for the interview!