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An Interview with Dakota Ray, Director and Star of American Antichrist

by Mike Haberfelner

November 2018

Dakota Ray on (re)Search my Trash

 

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Your new movie American Antichrist - in a few words, what is it about?

 

American Antichrist is an epic, dark, and nihilistic horror film that takes the viewer on a surreal drug fueled trip through hell.

 

What were your sources of inspiration when writing American Antichrist?

 

I had been wanting to make the film American Antichrist for some time now - as far back as 2013, actually. But it was not until after the completion of my previous film, The Rise and Fall of an American Scumbag (late 2017-early 2018), that I obtained a 4K camera, which enabled me to create films that were more cinematic and sleeker in style. I’ve grown tremendously as a filmmaker/artist, and now that I had a 4K camera, I finally had everything I needed to truly bring my vision of American Antichrist to the screen.

As far as inspiration for American Antichrist - I drew inspiration from a variety of things-such as serialkillers, religion, drugs, and heavy metal subculture. As far as cinematic inspirations for making American Antichrist, I was inspired by older horror films that relied heavily on atmosphere, such as At Midnight I’ll Take Your Soul, Eraserhead, I Bury The Living and even The Exorcist. I also found a great deal of inspiration from arthouse films as well, which may explain some people have made comments that American Antichrist is much more “experimental” than my past films, and some have even said that American Antichrist is avant garde.

 

Of all the characters of American Antichrist, neither of them being very nice people, is there anyone who you can actually identify with on a personal level?

 

All the characters in American Antichrist are each evil in their own individual way - but despite this, if the viewer is able to set aside their morality, then they will definitely not have any issues identifying with any of the characters in the film.

Aside from that, I enjoy how my character, The Antichrist is somewhat of a rock star/celebrity even though he is a serialkiller, as the film shows that he was given extensive media coverage and even has followers, including the mysterious woman who cuts herself and spills her blood on his grave.

 

Do talk about your movie's approach to horror for a bit!

 

I wanted American Antichrist to have a dark, drugged up, supernatural, nightmarish atmosphere, but at the same time I wanted it to be disturbing yet abstract, with a lot of the content being left up to the viewers interpretation. The film is essentially an exploration of evil, showing how it can take on many different forms, whether it be religion or drugs.

I was also fortunate enough to get to use music from the French doom metal band Fallow as the soundtrack to the film. The soundtrack from Fallow meshes incredibly well with a lot of the scenes and elevates American Antichrist into something powerful, haunting, and metaphysical.

 

What can you tell us about your overall directorial approach to your story at hand?

 

My directorial approach to American Antichrist was to allow myself to have unlimited artistic freedom - and that is why some of the film’s content comes across as experiment or avant garde. I also put a lot of effort into the camerawork of the film, and The 4K camera gives the film’s images more depth and allowed me to take in more of the surroundings, enabling me to establish the dark, supernatural, nightmarish atmosphere I was striving to create.

 

You also play one of the leads in American Antichrist - so what did you draw upon to bring him to life? And since you once again play a very despicable character - how difficult but also how much fun and how much of a relief is it playing this kind of role?

 

A great amount of time went into the development of The Antichrist character. The Antichrist is essentially a glorified dead serialkiller raised from the dead as a vessel for the Antichrist. The character isn’t quite human, so the challenge I had was to convincingly portray and bring a character to the screen that is an entity/supernatural being.

I designed The Antichrist with myself in mind to play him since I felt that the character was extremely important to the film, and it was imperative that I play the role because I felt that no else could effectively bring my vision of the character to the screen the way I could.

 

What can you tell us about the rest of your cast, and why exactly these people?

 

There is Nick Benning who plays the drug dealer named Chris in the film. Nick is a friend of mine who regularly appears in my films. He played Nikki in The Acid Sorcerer and Lucifer in American Scumbags. Nick’s friend Meg plays Crystal, a drug addict who escapes from rehab, hooks up with Chris and then inadvertently ends up being murdered in a snuff film after being set up by Chris and his friend/snuff filmmaker Sid.

Then there is L.B. who plays Benjamin, a religious fanatic/serialkiller who preys on homeless people. The character is on a divine mission to try to extinguish the lives of those he deems “wicked” or unholy. L.B. is an incredible actor and no one else could have played the character Benjamin as effectively as he did or even touch his performance.

A few of my acquaintances also played minor roles in the film, but other than that, the cast of American Antichrist was relatively small.

 

A few words about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?

 

Compared to the on-set atmosphere of my past films, it was normal. Most of the scenes involving The Antichrist and Benjamin were actually filmed around my house in Denver, Colorado.

The segments of the film involving Chris and Crystal were filmed all in one day at Nick’s house in Lakewood, Colorado.

 

The $64-question of course, where can American Antichrist be seen?

 

We recently had an IndieGoGo presale of the film that was successful. A lot of people supported and contributed to the campaign and we ended up not only meeting but surpassing our goal! So thanks to everyone who supported, contributed to the American Antichrist IndieGoGo presale!

There will be second edition DVDs available in early 2019 and American Antichrist will be playing at a few film festivals as well. Then finally, American Antichrist will be streamed online for free - basically because I want as many people possible to see the film.

 

Anything you can tell us about audience and critical reception of American Antichrist yet?

 

It has been mostly positive. There is no denying that the film is impressive on a technical level. I have gotten a lot of positive feedback regarding the camerawork and acting in the film, and almost everyone has enjoyed the new kind of experimental style of American Antichrist.

 

Any future projects you'd like to share?

 

I am currently in the preliminary stages of a new film called The Dark Days of Demetrius. We will probably begin filming spring 2019, and have it out in the later summer-fall if next year.

Every time I make a new film, I try to push myself as a filmmaker/artist and think I have some solid ideas and concepts that I feel I can make a powerful new film out of.

 

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

 

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The official Dakota Ray-R.A. Productions WordPress can be found at https://dakotarayfilmmaker.wordpress.com

It extensively covers my films, and features a large photo gallery that spans my entire filmography/career. The WordPress site also contains several interviews I’ve done through the years as well.

Official Dakota Ray-R.A. Productions Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/dakotaraydirectoractorartistdenver/

 

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

 

Yes, thanks for your continued coverage/support of our films, we really appreciate it. We’d also like to give a HUGE thanks to everyone who contributed to the American Antichrist IndieGoGo presale campaign and helped us surpass our goal!

 

Thanks for the interview!

 

© by Mike Haberfelner


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Thanks for watching !!!



 

 

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
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

 

 

Stell Dir vor, Deine Lieblingsseifenoper birgt eine tiefere Wahrheit ...
... und stell Dir vor, der Penner von der U-Bahnstation hat doch recht ...
... und dann triffst Du auch noch die Frau Deiner (feuchten) Träume ...

 

Und an diesem Tag geht natürlich wieder einmal die Welt unter!!!

 

Bauliche Angelegenheiten
ein Roman von
Michael Haberfelner

 

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