Back in 1988, you starred in the low budget movie Cannibal Campout.
What can you tell us about that movie?
Campout is a campy, weird, low budget, cult horror movie. It is a about
a two naive young couples that go on a weekend camping trip and run into
three redneck brothers who have isolated themselves from the rest of the
world and swore to their dead mother never to eat processed prepackaged junk food. Instead they hunt and eat unsuspecting campers. The
people this movie appeals to fall into two groups, (1) those that love
gore and think Cannibal
Campoutt has some of the most over-the-top, vile,
disgusting scenes they have ever seen (some of the people in this group
scare me) or (2) those that think of Cannibal
Campout as a goofy
splatter movie spoof.
fall into this second group. I have always thought of the cannibals in
our movie as The Three
were all great, especially Rich Marcus. He came up with so many
hysterically funny ad-libbed lines. This is a funny movie. Some of
funniness was part of the script but a lot of it was unintentional. We
all had a lot of fun making this movie and I think that comes across the
And what about your role in the film?
all used our real names in the movie. I played Amy a young student who
breaks the news of her pregnancy to her boyfriend (Chris Granger) while on
a weekend camping trip. There is not much character development in the
movie so there really isn’t too much I can say about her. She screams,
runs a lot, and gets bloody, very bloody.
How did you get the
role in the film, and weren't you scared away by the title Cannibal
friend Carrie Lindell had done some work in TV commercials. Carrie was a
drum majorette in a Twix cookie commercial and a punk rocker is a
stairwell for a fruit rollup (“Good and Ugly”) commercial. She met Jon
McBride [Jon McBride interview
- click here] at a party, learned that Jon was making a horror movie, and got me
involved. I did not know what the title was in the beginning. I just knew
it was a horror movie.
Amy Chludzinski with co-star Christopher Granger
What can you tell us about your experiences
whille making Cannibal
remember the first day of shooting. Carrie and I got into a car with a
strange group of guys whom I had never met before to drive to the site
of the shoot. The car was full of very real looking knives and
machetes. I remember thinking “Carrie! What have you gotten me
into!”. The thought crossed my mind that these guys might be making a
snuff movie and we might not be coming back. LOL!
also remember we used to meet at the old Caldor Shopping Center in
Ridgefield CT and drive to the shoots from there. One day after a
particularly bloody shoot I was dropped off at the Caldor Shopping Center
and my boyfriend had forgotten that he needed to pick me up. So here I
am sitting on the curb covered in fake blood waiting for my boyfriend to
show up and people start gathering around me asking if I’m OK and
wanting to call me an ambulance. I tried to explain that I was making a
movie and it was fake blood but this one sweet old guy just didn’t
seem to get it and would not leave me alone. Thankfully my boyfriend
finally showed up and got me out of there.
And you know my scream? The one right after the cannibal played by Gene
Robbins pushes my face into Jon’s open intestines to force me to eat
my friend? That was a real scream! I didn’t think they were going to
really push my face into that muck.
then there was the park ranger incident. We were shooting what Jon
McBride calls guerilla-style. Meaning were did not have permits or
permission to use any of the sites we used. When shooting in a state
park one day a park ranger stumbled upon us and sees a guy chasing a
girl with a knife. We are lucky the ranger didn’t shoot first and ask
questions later. Jon explained what was going on and tried to get the
ranger involved in the movie but we got kicked out.
Other than most horror starlets, you actually had
some training as an actress. How come you never made another film?
answer quite simply is that no one ever offered me another role, but
then again I really did not pursue acting seriously. I suppose that if
I had put a little more effort into it I may have gotten a few more
roles but I don’t think I could have made a living at it.
one time or another I think all young girls dream of being a star
as I did … and then they grow up. It is a long shot. Only a few with
the talent, the right look, and a lot of luck can make a living at it.
There are 20 millions of want-to-be actors and actresses out there who
will put their whole heart and soul into their dream and sacrifice
everything despite the odds. I know one or two of these people. They are now actors/waiters pushing 50 and still waiting on their
big break. I admire and pity these people. Well maybe pity is not the
right word because they are doing what they want … but that lifestyle
is not for me.
said I had a lot of fun doing Cannibal
Campout and would think about
doing another under the right circumstances.
Amy Chludzinski with Jon McBride and Christopher Granger
few words about the Cannibal Campout's co-director/lead Jon McBride
[Jon McBride interview - click
McBride called me out of the blue in the fall of 2006 to tell me Cannibal
Campout was being rereleased on DVD and asked if I would like
to shoot and interview and commentary for the DVD. That was the first
time we had been in contact for almost 20 years. We still haven’t seen
each other in person since Cannibal
Campout was originally released back
in the late 80’s. All the coordinating for the DVD was done over the
phone or email. What I remember about Jon was he was a great guy with a
great off-beat sense of humor. We all worked very hard on the Cannibal
Campout but it was Jon McBride’s baby. He was very passionate about
this project and made it happen.
went on to make many more independent horror films on his own and with
the Polonia Brothers but he has also small parts in some mainstream
movies and TV as well. Every time I see Running Man on TV I try to catch
a glimpse of him. You have to be careful not to blink or you might miss
was the reception of the film upon its original release?
in 1988 when Fangoria magazine originally reviewed Cannibal
said “Four bad actors are tormented in the woods by four equally inept
thespians. The good guys are forced to eat each other in one of the
grossest scenes this side of H.G. Lewis [Herschell
Gordon Lewis bio - click here]. What happens to the pregnant girl
will probably repulse even the staunchet vidiot.” Is that a good
reception? Good or bad it was just an honor to even be mentioned in Fangoria.
you at all surprised that the film only recently got a second lease of
life on DVD?
am surprised the film had a first lease on life. It blows my mind that it
was distributed worldwide and that we are still talking about 20 years
Amy Chludzinski today
Your career (acting as well as otherwise) after Cannibal
Campout, and what can you tell us about your life now as a retired
There really isn’t much to tell. I am a
normal, boring, working mother and wife. It is not like people on the
street recognize me and say “Hey! Aren’t you Amy Chludzinski from Cannibal
Would you ever give acting in a horror film
I would but if it was not a paying-gig it would have to be something that
does not interfere with my day job. I haven’t exactly gotten rich off Cannibal
Is horror a genre dear to you or was it just a
coincidence that Cannibal Campout was a shocker?
love all genre movies including horror but it was just coincidence that
Cannibal Campout was shocker. I just wanted to act. If someone
offered me a love story, action adventure, or comedy I would have been
just as happy to do that.
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
of trivia: Many years ago you were neighbours with Tom Savini. What kind
of a guy is he?
That is true. When I was a kid Tom Savini was a neighbor. Tom and his
partner rented a house on Sunset Pass in Georgetown CT just down the
street from my mom’s house. My older sister Keli and I were walking
around neighborhood one day and we saw a couple of guys doing weird stuff
with an axe and fake limbs in their garage so went over to ask them what
they were doing. It turned out that they were preparing the gags for the
Friday the 13th movie. My sister Keli ended up dating Tom and
moved in with him for a while. There was a significant age difference so
Tom was as they say robbing the cradle. Keli knew him much better
than I did. One thing I remember Keli telling me was that Tom was always
sneaking up on her to try to scare her. I did not know Tom well but
thought he was a nice, friendly guy who was really into his work.
Some actors/actresses you really
look up to?
are many actors and actresses I wish I could be like. Paul Newman or his
wife Joanne Woodward come to mind right now . It might be because it has
been in the news lately that Paul might be losing his battle with cancer.
I respect and admire them both not just for their talent but for what they
have accomplished with their lives. They took their talent turned it into
fame and fortune then used their fame and fortune to give back and make a
real difference in the world though their charities. And they did all this
without making a spectacle of themselves. They are a class act. I imagine
Paul Newman now at the end of his life looking back and thinking to
himself “I did good”. How many of us will be able think that when we
leave this life?
Your favourite movies, both recent and all-time
am a movie addict. I rent about one movie per night and go to the cinema
once or twice per month. I like all kinds of movies and have lots of
favorites for different reasons. For example I love the movie Against
All Odds because my husband took me to see it on our first date. It
wasn’t the greatest movie but it is special to me. I try not to
overload on any one genre of movie because I find I can become
desensitized to a genre and it loses its effect on me. Since this
interview is about a horror/gore movie I will stick to my favorites in
the horror/gore genre:
the original Night Of The Living Dead, the original
Dawn of the
Dead, the original Halloween, the original
Friday the 13th,
the original Nightmare on
Elm Street, and Hellraiser.
one felt familiar like some bizarre horrible nightmare I had once but
forgotten about. They all scared the shit out me. I suppose it was
because of the time in life when I first saw them. If I were
born at a later time I might have other favorites but these were the
first really scary movies I remember seeing and they have stuck with me.
There are a few exceptions but most of the newer horror flicks just
don’t have the same effect on me. I changed as I got older. The things
that really scare me now are George Bush jr, the greedy morons running
some our largest corporations, and terrorists. They are really fucking
everything up for the rest of us.
Anything else you are just dying to tell us and I've
plain forgotten to ask?
DVD release has a bunch of extras including interviews with the cast.
You get to see what we look like now and hear stories about the making
Campout. There is even a music video.
found a punk band called the Vladimirs on the web (http://www.myspace.com/vladimirs) that wrote a song called
Campout and learned it was inspired by our movie. I hooked them up with
Jon and he included it on the DVD.
Granger who played my boyfriend in the movie now owns his own studio and
production company called Granger Musik and VideoWerks (http://www.musikwerks.com/index2.html).
Chris, Rich Marcus, Gene Robbins and I had a little mini reunion here
and shot some of the interviews that were included on the video. It was
great to see those guys again. For that one day it was like the last 20
years never happened.
Thanks for the interview.