Your new movie American
Scumbags - in a few words, what is it about?
is a films featuring three interconnected
stories about sadistic sociopath convict Billy, drug kingpin Chester &
heroin addicted hit man Johnny (played by myself). The film is trashy,
sleazy and a reflection of lower class America to some extent.
were your sources of inspiration when writing American
Well, my sources for
inspiration were actually just real life things I had seen first hand
growing up in my neighborhood. A few of the characters in the film are
actually based on real life people I used to hang out with.
going into the project were that I didn't want to make another horror film
like we did with my previous effort My Master
Satan-I wanted to make a
film that was dedicated to scumbags and murder. I also wanted the film to
have superior production/sound/quality than My Master
After My Master Satan
was released, people would write to me telling me they loved
the fact that there were no heroes or anyone to sympathize with in the
film, only scumbags. So I decided I was going to do that again in American
decided early on in the project that the most heinous & vile character
Billy (played by Darien Fawkes) would be the star of the film. Everyone in
is a shitbag but he is far worse then any of the other
characters in the film & I think it makes it unique and unusual that
his character is so evil yet he is the focal point of the film.
With all of your main characters
staying true to your film's title and being scumbags, which one (if any)
could you identify with the most actually, which one the least?
Well obviously I do not
identify with Teddy, but I do not identify with Billy either. He is a
monster & none of his actions are justifiable. Other than those two
aforementioned characters-I could easily identify with all the
others-especially my character Johnny or Wheeling Deals. Wheeling Deals is
just a victim of unfortunate circumstances doing what he must to survive
and my character Johnny is an addict doing what he must to support his
Scumbags doesn't exactly hold back when it comes to violence and
depravity - so do talk about some of the sicker shit in your movie for a
bit, and was there ever a line you refused to cross?
Well, when I make
films, there really isn't any type of subject matter too taboo for me. If
I have a scene or idea in mind and I have the resources to pull it off
then I will. I am not afraid to do anything.
Some of the
sicker shit in American
would obviously be the rabbit skinning
scene. I know for certain that quite a few people have a hard time
watching that scene in particular.
that-there is a bit of gore sprinkled throughout the film and a few scenes
involving urination & defecation.
can you tell us about your overall directorial approach to your story at
When I conceived the idea and script for American
Scumbags, I envisioned a sleazy, hateful & trashy film. I also
wanted the film to have a feeling of authenticity and realism to it &
I think I accomplished that.
You also play one of the leads of
Scumbags - so do talk about your character for a bit, and have you
written him with yourself in mind?
My character Johnny is
drug kingpin Chester's hired gun. Johnny is addicted to heroin & will
stop at nothing and eliminate everyone and everything in his path to get
his heroin and satisfy his addiction.
Johnny is one of
the first characters I actually wrote into the film-he's an older
character actually. He first made his first appearance in my first short
film Scumbags: A Day in the Life of a Drug Dealer. I played him in that
short film-so I was basically left with no other choice but to play him
again since I was resurrecting his character in American
It was a blast to
play Johnny though-I wouldn't have had it any other way.
What can you tell us
about the rest of your cast, and why exactly these people? And do
talk about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere!
Well, It was imperative to
the film that we had all the right actors and actresses who fit their parts
well and embodied their characters-especially Billy. I was fortunate
enough to find an incredible and talented cast of people to work with who
helped bring the film to life.
I met Nick Benning
(Lucifer) at a thrift store. Him and I started talking to each other and I
revealed to him that I was a Denver filmmaker working on a new film and
asked if he'd like to play Lucifer and he enthusiastically accepted my
offer to be in the film. Then shortly afterwards, Nick referred me to his
friend named Fred Epstein who ended up playing Chester. Fred Epstein was
as equally enthusiastic as Nick was and he did an incredible job playing
Chester and he became a good friend of mine (as did Nick) Then there is
Darien Fawkes. I knew Darien for quite some time-he is actually my
neighbor and for some reason it never really occurred to me to ask him if
he'd be interested in playing a role in one of my films.
I had been looking
for the right actor to play Billy for quite some time actually. Two other
actors had tried before Darien but failed. So finally I asked Darien if
he'd be interested in the role and he enthusiastically took me up on my
offer and he did an incredible job of bringing Billy to life. I can't
imagine anyone else playing the role or bettering it. None of the actors
that tried before him could hold a candle to him or his acting abilities.
Then there is my
father who plays Wheelin Deals. I am fortunate that my father supports
what I do and is always participating in the films I make. Big thanks to
A family friend who
played Teddy & we were also fortunate to get first time actress Bianca
Valentino to play the role of Angel and then Nick's friend Katy and her
boyfriend Bill played the role of Billy's ex girlfriend and her new
The onset atmosphere
was actually laid back for the most part. Everyone was extremely comfortable
with their roles and knew what they had to do.
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
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$64-question of course, when and where will American
Scumbags be released onto the general public?
actually already available on DVD & It will be playing at a few film
festivals in the near future.
you can tell us about audience and critical reception of your movie yet?
has been great actually. Critical reception seems to be far more favorable
than my with my previous effort My Master
also feel that I get progressively better and better with each film I make
and I think that definitely shows on American
future projects you'd like to share?
Yes-I am currently in
the preliminary stages of American Scumbags Part 2. After that, I
plan on making a trippy underground horror film that is kind of similar to
My Master Satan but it will be its own entity entirely.
website, Facebook, whatever else?
Yes, anyone can send
me a Facebook friend request @ www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100007959648925
Like American Scumbags on
Facebook @ www.facebook.com/American-Scumbags-799028973537927
Anything else you're
dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
would like to take this opportunity to thank all my fans and supporters!
And thanks for conducting this interview with me.
for the interview!