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An Interview with Bill Oberst jr, Star of Dis

by Mike Haberfelner

November 2017

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Your new movie Dis - in a few words what is it about, and what can you tell us about your character in it?

 

Thank you for asking, Mike. I can't improve upon the official synopsis of this very strange little film:

"An ex-soldier with a criminal past takes refuge in the woods. A demonic figure seeks the seed of killers and the blood of the damned to feed his mandrake garden. DIS is an infernal descent into the root of the mandrake legend and a man who wanders too close to that legend and the unnamable terror behind it. What you sow you will reap...."

I play the ex-soldier, Ariel. Dis is arthouse horror. There's a teaser at https://vimeo.com/231304899 (like the film, it is for mature audiences only).

 

How much of Bill Oberst jr can we find in Ariel?

 

There is much of real-life me in this character: Ariel is quiet, he is haunted and has seen too much of darkness to imagine that it does not exist.

 

How did you get involved with the project in the first place?

 

The film's writer and director, Adrian Corona, wrote to me and we met for coffee near my place in H'wood when he came to town (Adrian splits his time between Mexico and the States). He said he wanted to do an artistic horror film with literary references and a strong Latina cultural component. I was very into it from that description alone.

 

Dis isn't exactly the most usual film - so quite honestly, when you first read the script, what went through your head?

 

I thought: "Wow. This is allegory. This is metaphor. This is madness. I want in."

 

What can you tell us about Dis's director Adrian Corona, and what was your collaboration like?

 

Adrian is an intense personality, a deep thinker and a compassionate man. I trusted him implicitly. And, with a script like this one, which I only imagined that I understood, that kind of actor/director trust was essential. I surrendered, which is always the best way to get to the truth.

 

Dis is mostly an outdoors-movie - so how did that aspect of the movie agree with you, are you at all an outdoors guy?

 

I am an outdoors guy - when I was a kid my great solace was walks deep into the woods. I still feel more comfortable outdoors than in. Still, Dis was a rough shoot. To get the lush forest shots we walked many miles up an isolated mountainside with the camera gear on burros. We slept in a freezing, wet cabin. We shot on a freezing, wet set. No complaints; the shoot's hardship added to the realism. For this film, the extreme was appropriate.

 

as Hans Kammler

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What can you tell us about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?

 

Everyone in cast and crew had to do things that were physically strenuous, and everyone gave Adrian their all. That's why I'm glad to see the movie winning awards in its first festival runs - the effort was worth it. When the film becomes available to the public, your readers will see Ariel strapped to a medieval torture wheel. It might interest them to know that the film's art director built that wheel using her own body to measure the circumference, but she's way taller than me, so the torture was real.

 

Any future projects you'd like to share?

 

I played Hitler's chief of secret weapons, SS General Hans Kammler, in two ZDF-TV projects: Die Suche Nach Hitler's Atombombe and its sequel, Geheimste Unterwelten der SS - Hans Kammlers Schattenreich, both by Austrian writer/director Andreas Sulzer. Now Andreas is developing an idea for a feature dealing with Kammler and his role in hiding Nazi secret weaponry in the closing days of WWII. If it happens, and if he asks me to play Kammler again, I'm there. It is a challenge to bring something new to the stereotype of the cinematic Nazi, but no man is so unlike any other man that he cannot find the same potentialities within. I relish such challenges.

 

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

 

Dis is on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Disthemovie. If your viewers would "like" that page it would help us tremendously.

My IMDb is http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2454994/ and my site is http://www.billoberst.com/.

 

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

 

Only to thank YOU for what you do, Mike. You give exposure to movies and movie-makers who often labor in darkness. It is very, very appreciated.

 

Thanks for the interview!

 

© by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
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a collection of short stories and mini-plays
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
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Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
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... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD