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An Interview with Rene Perez, Director of Cabal

by Mike Haberfelner

August 2019

Films directed by Rene Perez on (re)Search my Trash


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Your new movie Cabal - in a few words, what is it about?


A military assassin is hired to hunt down and eliminate a serial killer who has been committing murders in a remote forest.


What were your sources of inspiration for writing Cabal?


Itís just an interesting concept. Commando versus serial killer. Itís a little like my Dragon Unleashed movie with a touch of my Havoc movies. Itís just a fun concept. This was just a fun idea to fit in action, for horror and an even deeper plot that will unfold once you see the movie. This concept also allowed for the type of subtext that I like to include.


Do talk about your co-writer Barry Massoni for a bit, and what was your collaboration like?


Barry Massoni is one of my best friends. He helps me bring the stories down to earth. I tend to get too carried away. Barry hears out all of my crazy over the top ideaís and then helps me make them work in the confines of a movie. Very helpful. I was lucky to have him on this one.


A few words about your movie's approach to horror?


I just feel my way through filming, horror scenes included. I donít think about them intellectually. There is already so much thinking involved in the making of a movie. When itís time to film, I just feel my way through it all. I feel the force. In the case of this movie, there is more evil happening than just what we see in the trailer. A very real evil that I canít explain without spoiling the movie. 


You of course also have to talk about the stunt work on Cabal, and how was it achieved?


This movie contains the best action scenes Iíve ever filmed. Thanks to Master John Ozuna [John Ozuna interview - click here], our star and fight choreographer. Heís one of the best martial artists Iíve even know, and Iíve known many. Ozuna brought several other actors in who were also talented martial artists. They had their fight scenes all worked out. Itís so good. Our main villain (Tony Jackson) is also a master martial artist and the Villain versus Hero fights are brutal with those two heavy hitters.


From what I've read, Cabal is a rather outdoorsy movie - so do talk about your locations, and what were the advantages and challenges filming there?


The outdoor locations are all like dream vacation spots. Lakes, mountains, caves, beaches, caverns, rivers. They are often hard to get to but Iím used to it. The indoor locations were a little harder to contend with. We have an airport, a bar, a house, a hospital, a restaurant, an underground facility. Most B movies have one or two locations, due to lazy filmmakers. Cabal has a new location for each scene. Itís more of an adventure.


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


Well, in this case, I wanted to make a Cannon Films movie from 1983. Or even Carolco Films. Something that one of those companies would have made in the early 80s. I made the film's style and the overall look match those types movies. Other than that, I donít think of an approach. I just feel the energy coming from the actors, from the location, and let that guide me.


Do talk about your key cast, and why exactly these people?


Our hero could have only been played by John Ozunaa [John Ozuna interview - click here]. I wrote this movie with his talents in mind. Heís a great leading man with a mastery of martial arts that most can only ever dream of achieving. Our leading lady is Eva Hamilton. I first worked with her on Death Kiss. Eva is a great actress. She has the look and the acting skills to lead a movie. I can always count on her to make the right acting choices. Our main villain is a slasher named Sallos and heís played by Tony Jackson. Tony has had small roles in my last 3 or 4 movies and heís been so dedicated that I let him step up and take a lead role. Glad to say he did an amazing job. Tony put on a lot of weight to play this role and is a super intimidating killer. A villain that will bring our hero to the edge of his abilities.


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


We are anti-Hollywood. There are no attitudes on set. Never any drama. We laugh all through the filming. Literally. And we laugh until the moment the day ends. All good fun and fellowship. Iím usually a one-man crew but this time I had on-set help from my new producer named Melody Vaughan. She made this shoot so much smoother and is now going to be a permanent teammember. Weíll now be a two person film crew, lol. And she brought in a friend in for a few days and he was super helpful too. The work is very difficult but itís creative work so I love it. I think my actors do too.


The $64 question of course, when and where will Cabal be released?


I only completed filming about a week ago. Iím doing the music score now while my trusted sound guy Guthrie Lowe works on the sound. The movie is edited, and I will start contacting distributors in the next few weeks when the movie is complete. My movies get picked up right away. This one will be no different. As of now, Iíll have to wait until a distributor signs on and tells me the release dates.


Any future projects you'd like to share?


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I finished a new Havoc movie. People always ask me about those. This new one is called Cry Havoc and will be released soon. Iím really proud of that one.


Yolur/your movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?


Thanks for the interview!


My thanks to you.


© by Mike Haberfelner

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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