You are about to release your film Hoodoo for Voodoo on DVD. Can
you tell us what the film is about?
The film is a
horror/comedy about a group of college aged kids who win a trip to
Louisiana and end up getting mixed up in a deadly voodoo plot.
How did you come up with
the Mardi Gras theme of the movie, and what were your inspirations for the
film as such?
I was born in
Louisiana, and much of my family still lives there. I knew we had access
to some great production value, if we shot there. So we got a list of the
locations and props we had access to and packed up from Orlando, FL.
How much research did you do on the voodoo
background of the film?
I always do alot of
research before I tackle a script. I read Wade Davis' essential Bible on
Hatian Voodoo and Zombies The Serpent & The Rainbow and
watched every Voodoo themed film and National Geographic Channel Special.
All of the concepts in the film are based on truth, and then stretched
into the supernatural elements.
Hoodoo for Voodoo is set in New
Orleans. Did you in any way set out to catch the post-Hurricane Kathrina
vibe of the city?
movie actually takes place in 2005, when it was shot. We filmed 2 months
before the storm hit. Ironically not meaning to lock it in at that time,
but we do reference the period in the film. In fact, a few of the
locations we shot at were wiped out in the storm. We captured the last
Mardi Gras before the storm too.
Essentially, Hoodoo for Voodoo is a
horror comedy. Why do you think the two genres mix so well?
and Comedy balance because you have to have relief after suspense. If your
film is only based on suspenseful sequences you begin losing your audience
to boredom. You throw in some comedy elements, and you keep your audience
comfortable, so that when you jab a shocking moment, it has a much
A few words about your lead actors?
The film stars some
fresh faces, Brunilda Zekthi, Chris McDaniel, Sacha Crutchfield and
Garrett Harrison. Their chemistry was spectacular, and the group
definitely held their own with their comedic timing. Everyone got along
great, and that made things much easier on set.
film also features quite a few almost iconic screamqueens like Linnea
Quigley, Tiffany Shepis [Tiffany
Shepis interview - click here] and the ubiquitous Debbie Rochon [Debbie
Rochon interview - click here]. How did you come
to cast them, and what was the collaboration like?
Linnea was amazing
and completely transformed herself into our Voodoo Queen Marie. I had
written the character specifically for her. We contacted her at a
convention with a script, and then worked out the deal with her
management. We lucked out by getting Tiffany who gave a wonderfully
disturbing performance as our Ritual Dancer Ayida. We had contact with her
through our friends we produced Andre
The Butcher with. Debbie Rochon was in town shooting a
movie titled Death Plots for our Co-Producer Jason Liquori. So
we grabbed her on one of her nights off. We also have Hollie
Winnard (Beauty And The Geek, Zombies Zombies Zombies) as our
there's also Lloyd Kaufman popping up in your film, as he does a lot
lately. What is it like directing Kaufman, and does he take direction well
or are you just letting him do his thing?
Lloyd was fantastic
to work with; he is definitely one of the leading men still supporting
true independent film. He came in to play a character named Crack-Head
Charlie. He ended up inventing a character that was far beyond my
expectations. He did adlib a few lines, and gave us different hilarious
possibilities with each take.
A few words
about the bands on the soundtrack?
We have an amazing
soundtrack set up with bands all over the US, and one from Canada. We also
recorded a couple original songs for the film, including the jazzy punk
theme song by T13C! of Gainesville, FL. We were grateful to nab some
larger nationwide acts such as Calabrese and eve to adam. We also do a
beautiful cover of the classic Misfits tune, Die, Die My
Before making Hoodoo for
you directed Night Owl. A few words about that one?
The Night Owl
was the first feature film that we put together. It's a Biblical thriller
about 4 girls at a lake house who accidentally unleash the first demon
upon to the world to kick off the revelations. It was a great experience, and
we learned a lot. It was picked up and distributed globally through Brain
few words about your short Clarks?
Clarks was a short
film that we did that was a spoof on director Kevin Smith's
Viewaskewniverse films. We got as many look-a-likes as we could and shot
it in a video store I was managing at the time. It got us some good press,
and was reviewed well. Unfortunately we used so many licensed products and
music in it that we will never be able to truly release it.
Any films you
directed I have forgotten to mention?
directed many short films over the years, all of which can be viewed on
our website (www.abyssmal.com).
I also have a couple more in the works.
As a producer,
you have also worked on a few films not directed by yourself. Care to talk
about any of those?
was able to come aboard and help co-produce a film called Andre
The Butcher, which stars Ron Jeremy as a psycho killer chili
chef. That was a great experience, and we still work with many of the same
crew today. I am currently producing a new film titled Doomsday
County, which is four stories all wrapping around this one
bizarre area. We look to wrap production of that near the year's end.
You usually direct, (co-)produce and
(co-)write your movies. Which aspect of moviemaking do you enjoy the most?
enjoy directing usually the most. I really like being on set, and going
through the motions of production. Getting to work with actors and try to
push your vision out of them. Writing is fun because itís much less
labor intensive (sometimes).
films both as director and producer often have a horror theme. Is horror a
genre dear to you?
I am a Horror Filmmaker. I want to solidify myself in that niche and ride
it out as long as I can. Horror is a genre that isnít going to ever go
away. It was here since the beginning of the camera, and it will be here
when it ends.
Any future projects you'd like to talk about?
We are currently in
production of Doomsday
We have a short film I am directing that was written by the Bram
Stoker Award winning author Owl Goingback titled Guitar God. We are
also working on a couple more feature length scripts for our next project.
I just recently wrote and colored a new horror/comedy comic book called
The Vandyls that is currently in a contest. We are looking to
make that into a graphic novel at some point.
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
Directors who have influenced you as
Truthfully I really enjoy
Alfred Hitchcock and Stanley Kubrick. Though, my style draws more similarities
to Sam Raimi and Lloyd Kaufman.
Your favourite movies, both
recent and all-time favourites?
times favorites are going to be Psycho (1960), A Clockwork
Orange, The Exorcist,
Scream, Evil Dead II. More recently, I really enjoyed
Hatchet and Planet
And of course, some movies you
I would say the worst film I've ever seen
was Ed Wood's Orgy Of The
Dead. It's 92 minutes of bikini and
topless girls dancing in a graveyard to Criswell. Normally a plot like
that would be very exciting to a viewer... but it just didn't work out
Anything else you are dying to tell us
and I've just forgotten to ask?
For Voodoo on DVD Oct 14th! You can buy it on our website (www.abyssmal.com)
or through amazon.com.
Thanks for the interview.