Your new movie Sebastian's
Unholy Flesh - in a few words, what is it about?
Unholy Flesh - my latest magnum opus - chronicles the
emergence of a new evil, as an unholy trinity of entities emerge
(Sebastian, The White Spider, & Nezaah) to obtain Luciferís
ancient Unholy Book. The film is a cinematic descent which leads directly
into the heart of evil.
can you tell us about Sebastian's
Unholy Flesh's underlying mythology, and was it made up from
scratch or did you draw from any existing mythologies?
Indisputably there is mythology surrounding
Unholy Flesh - the filmís mythology that I assiduously created from scratch
as I was writing the script for the film. Additionally, as I filmed Sebastian's
Unholy Flesh, I consistently contributed to the lore of
the film, further expanding the mythology and universe within the film.
As an established filmmaker and artist, I have my own sensibility
regarding the themes I continually employ, but the primary reason for me
to to create Sebastian's
was because I had a strong
desire to eschew the narrative-driven style of my previous film The
Dark Days of Demetrius. I wanted to make a film that enabled me to
have unlimited artistic liberties, and Sebastian's
was my vehicle that would enable me to do that.
The genesis of Sebastian's
originated when I initially conceived the
basic storyline for it in the fall of 2019, amidst the release of my
previous film The
Dark Days of Demetrius. The script for Sebastian's
Unholy Flesh was finished in early 2020 - although as I previously
stated, I continually added on to the script as I filmed, so in some
regards the writing process did not end until the film was completed.
The film itself was filmed and executed between the months of March and
early October 2020.
I cannot really contextualize the mythology of the film because it is so
vast and multifarious, and from an artistic standpoint, I completed the
film literally only a month ago, so I am trying to disconnect myself
from the film. However, the more increasingly detached I become from the
project, the more I can expound upon it. However, I would like to state
that each viewer watching the film should immerse themselves in it and
allow themselves to be permeated by the filmís atmosphere and then
interpret it according to their own sensibilities.
I can clarify however that the film primarily revolves around the extra-dimensional being Sebastian and the fulfillment of his destiny, which is
to bring about the annihilation of mankind by controlling Luciferís
powers which have been sealed into the manuscripts of the Unholy
Book. It should be noted that I designed the film to be a glimpse into a
universe that is absolutely devoid of light - for me personally, the film
stands as a diabolical visual and auditory odyssey.
sources of inspiration when writing Sebastian's
Going into the writing process of the film, I did not rely on any kind
of inspiration, other than the fact that I was (as always) trying to
explore a new facet of my filmmaking style and sufficiently bring my
vision of the film and script to the screen. My main objective was to
create a demonic fantasy film, and I believe that I succeeded immensely.
Going into Sebastian's
Unholy Flesh, I was worried that the
experimental nature of the film would render it too identical to my
fifth film American Antichrist
Unholy Flesh has its own
mythology and managed to vastly exceed the malevolence and experimental
nature of any of my past films. Once I began filming Sebastian's
and began viewing the footage and seeing what was
materializing, I knew I was creating something powerful.
As stated before, Sebastian's
Unholy Flesh is extremely
experimental and thematically complex so it is quite strenuous to
actually interpret the film in words. I can however say that major
themes permeating the film are occultism, nihilism, demonism, cruelty,
decadence and the absolute overindulgence of Absinthe. Aesthetically
black metal imagery (specifically Darkthoneís early album covers) were
paramount in inspiring the aesthetic of The White Spider and especially Nezaah.
Epstein (The White Spider) and Nick Benning (Neezah) both utilized corpsepaint to
portray their characters.
Unholy Flesh has a much trippier feeling to it than all your
previous movies - now what's the story behind this stylistic choice?
The purple tint of the film has received universal acclaim, but
truthfully, I have consistently experimented with colors - just look at my
oeuvre: My Master Satan had a dingy sepia tint,
Scumbags and a majority of The Acid Sorcerer (excluding the
acid trip scenes) were filmed in black and white, The Rise and Fall
of an American Scumbag and American Antichrist were filmed in a
nauseating green monochromatic tint, and The
Dark Days of Demetrius was filmed in a degraded, cold, blue color filtration. So,
I decided very early on I wanted
to apply a purple monochromatic tint. It looks phenomenal, and is
integral in establishing the filmís Hellish, ethereal, dreamlike
atmosphere that I was striving to create.
can you tell us about your overall directorial approach to your story at
My directorial approach was to not only allow myself to have an
unlimited amount of artistic freedom, but I also wanted to create a
chaotic atmosphere on and off
screen. So to achieve this, when we would film the scenes involving The
White Spider and Nezaah, (myself, Nick and Fred) would throw Absinthe
parties - drinking copious amounts of it during the course of the filming.
I consume Absinthe on a daily basis, but once the three of us got
together, pandemonium would transpire. For instance, the filming of
Nezaah burning the Bible occurred during one of our parties, and it was a very
intense scene to film. Additionally, the sodomy scene between Nezaah and
The White Spider was filmed during one of these parties and was as
equally intense. Then there is the unscripted scene where The White
Spider is shown profusely vomiting.The scene was filmed at the end of
one of the parties. Fred had over-indulged which is why he became so
violently ill and (fortunately) I had the ability to capture the moment
with my camera and integrate it into the film.
You also play the lead in Sebastian's
Unholy Flesh - so what did you draw upon to bring your character
to life, and have you written him with yourself in mind from the get-go?
Yes, going into the film, I designed it so that I would play the titular
character. Sebastian was honestly a character that was initially hard
for me to approach from an actorial standpoint, primarily because I had
difficulty attempting to find something to identify with in the
character. Fortunately I came to the realization that Sebastianís
objective is to achieve the fulfillment of his destiny and obtain the
Unholy Book, and because of his tremendous willpower and ambition, he
acquires. Once I had come to this revelation, I had a sufficient vision and
direction as to the method I would utilize to effectively bring
Sebastian to life. As I stated before, I consume Absinthe on a daily
basis, and I had the ability to add that to Sebastianís aesthetic.
Sebastian is one of (if not) the most bodacious and decadent character
Iíve created and portrayed thus far.
can you tell us about the rest of your cast, and why exactly these people?
Well, I have a tendency to continually utilize cast members who I am
comfortable to be around, cast members who know what to expect from me,
which is why I would undoubtedly recruit my friends/collaborators Fred
Epstein (The White Spider) and Nick Benning (Nezaah). We're
friends in real life, weíve known each other for years and I prefer to
continually work with them.
One new additional actor who came into the fold is Dr. Ullrey, who is a
longtime friend of Fredís as well as a professor at the University of
Denver. He possesses an encyclopedic knowledge of religion and
transgressive cinema, and it was beneficial to work with him, and I
definitely hope to work with him again.
Then there is longtime
actor L.B. who played Dr. Ullreyís counterpart in the secret
organization that is concealing the book.
And finally there is Svetlana who portrays Lucretia, the sorceress
responsible for Sebastianís manifestation into flesh.
I am tremendously satisfied with the cast's performances.
talk about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?
As I previously stated, I tried to orchestrate chaos on and off screen,
and the filmís atmosphere was fun and party-like, slightly reminiscent
of the on-set atmosphere of The Acid Sorcerer.
$64-question of course, where can Sebastian's
Unholy Flesh be seen?
The film is available physically @
I intend to release the film for free on my YouTube channel. As always,
I want as many people to see my films as possible, so I am not opposed
to releasing them on my YouTube channel for the public to see.
Feeling lucky ?
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Anything you can tell us
about audience and critical reception of Sebastian's
The reception has been somewhat
volatile, similar to the audience
reception of American Antichrist. Due to the experimental nature
and mythology of the film, there is a contingency of people who love it
and hate it for that very reason. Ultimately, however, Iím not making
films to serve anyone but myself, and I continually intend to operate
this way as a filmmaker and artist.
Any future projects you'd like to
am laying down the basis for my next film. I cannot comment too much on
it, other than saying that it will be fundamentally
nihilistic, dark and introspective.
Your/your movie's website, social media, whatever
official Dakota Ray-R.A.
can be found @ 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 Iíve done through the years.
Productions Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/dakotaraydirectoractorartistdenver/
Anything else you're dying to mention and I have
merely forgotten to ask?
like to say thank you for consistently covering my films, and for this
interview. An additional thanks to everyone who supports, watches and is
involved with my films.
Thanks for the interview!