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An Interview with Ricardo Islas, Director of The Sacrifice

by Mike Haberfelner

June 2014

Films directed by Ricardo Islas on (re)Search my Trash


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Your upcoming movie The Sacrifice - in a few words, what's it going to be about?


The Sacrifice is the story of an Indian-American family that welcomes two little kids from India to their home. They are related, and have come to visit for a few weeks. Soon, death starts following them around. Clearly there is someone or something that wants to kill them, putting the whole family at risk. So mom and dad will have to untangle the mystery, before the mystery tangles them to death.


With your movie featuring a demon from India - is this part based on actual Indian mythology, and how much research went into this?


I did quite a bit of research, and the most difficult part was to make up my mind on what demon to use. India has a magnificent variety of myths, demons and ghouls. I ended up going for what is known as a Churel. It's sort of a female vampire/cannibal beast. Very rich in details as to what it does, how it looks, and how to get rid of it. It's very refreshing when you feel you are exploring new territories never touched before by Hollywood.


What were your (other) sources of inspiration when writing The Sacrifice?


Beyond demons, I also paid attention to the Indian culture in general. In particular, I care for the Indian immigrant population, which happens to be concentrated in Chicago. I am still finishing up the script. Once I'm done with this first draft, I will submit it to Indian friends and partners for feedback. I believe a good horror movie should be far more than killing rampage and screaming women. I want these characters to be believable.


What can you tell us about your movie's intended look and feel, and how will you approach the horror aspects of The Sacrifice (as in suspense vs sudden shocks, atmosphere vs all-out gore etc)?


It is a horror movie, and it will have a good dose of shocks and scares. But, like I said before, I'm also very interested in the characters. It's not just a movie about "something that lurks in the dark", but also a story of a family that lives in a house which happens to be threatened by "something that lurks in the dark". In my idea of a horror movie, I want to know the good guys, I want to care for them, so I feel terrible when they die. Otherwise, it's a snooze-fest. So yes, there will be suspense, there will be violence, and also gore. But before, and in between splatter and splatter, you will get to know this family pretty well.


Anything you can tell us about your intended cast and crew yet?


It's very early in the game, and I haven't yet started the casting process. Of course, as I write, I do have a couple of faces in mind while I write lines. But at this point, I'd rather not make these wishes public. Like always, I tend to work with actors I have worked with before. It's a matter of trust and reliability, which is equally important as talent.


You are currently running a fundraiser for The Sacrifice, right? So what can you tell us about your fundraising efforts?


Yes, money... always needed... I have broken down my fund-raising efforts in different stages, and multiple possible sources. For now, I have started an IndieGoGo campaign specifically to get pre-production funds. Later in the game, I'm planning on different ways to get money for production and finally post-production. The link is:


Once your funds are raised, what's the schedule?


Actually, and I know this sounds crazy, the schedule is to start shooting in winter 2015, whether or not I succeed in getting the funds. Having funds or not makes the difference for many things, especially for getting a better look, better sound, good stunts, etc. But this movie starts shooting winter 2015. The question is who's on board or who isn't. What's the saying: "If you build it, they will come"?


As far as I know, you plan to release The Sacrifice outside of traditional distribution channels - care to elaborate?


My pleasure, and thank you for asking that one. As my IndieGoGo pitch states, we low budget indie filmmakers are robbed on a daily basis. Robbed by distributors, sales agents, cable companies, you name it. Those of us who grew up watching TV and were lucky enough to be around when the original Night Stalker movie came up in the seventies and broke records of audiences, were used to seeing great movies for free. Nobody questioned the quality of these wonderful movies that we could see FOR FREE in the comfort of our homes. Later, in the 80's, home-video arrived, and also cable TV. Slowly, the industry and also the audiences, got used to charge and pay for what used to be free. Things are changing again, and we can run our own TV channels via YouTube, Vimeo, etc, etc. Let me give you a few numbers that will illustrate my point: An low budget indie movie sells an average of 20 to 30 thousand DVDs. That's it. That's actually successful. Most of the money (often all the money) these DVDs make end up in the hands of the distribution chain, and next to nothing (or nothing) goes to the producers. Been there, done it. I have 2 movies with Warner Bros, one with Lions Gate, blah blah. All of that for little or no money and 30,000 sales. My movie Lockout on YouTube has almost 7 millions views. That's quite a gap; isn't it? So, if no serious money is involved, why would I trade 30,000 copies for 7 millions views? I could go on and on about this, but I guess you wouldn't have space.


Any future projects beyond The Sacrifice?


Nope; not yet. One sacrifice at a time...


Your/your movie's website, Facebook, IndieGoGo, whatever else?


Feeling lucky ?
Want to
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?

The links below
will take you
just there!!!

Find Ricardo Islas
at the amazons ...


Great Britain (a.k.a. the United Kingdom)

Germany (East AND West)

Looking for imports ?
Find Ricardo Islas here ...

Your shop for all things Thai

Something naughty ?
(Must be over 18 to go there !)

x-rated  find Ricardo Islas at


Movie's Facebook:

My own Facebook:

YouTube channel:


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


I'm very excited about this new project. It's different, original, and I can't wait to start shooting!


Thanks for the interview!


© by Mike Haberfelner

Legal note: (re)Search my Trash cannot
and shall not be held responsible for
content of sites from a third party.

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