Your movie Silent Night, Bloody Night 2: Revival - in a few
words, what is it about?
a direct sequel to the original film, that picks up 40 years after the
Basic question: Why make a
sequel to the forty year old Silent
Night, Bloody Night, what fascinates you about that movie? And how
direct a sequel will Silent Night, Bloody Night 2: Revival be of
the earlier film?
of the storyline in the original film it wouldn't have been as possible to
make a sequel back then because that story was pretty much over; the
Butler home was destroyed, pretty much everyone died and it ended with
Mary Woronov's character walking away. Now that so much time has passed we
thought it might be interesting to see a modern film surrounding the
"anniversary" of the crimes with a more updated approach. It's a
full-on sequel in that we pick up 40 years later, we reference a LOT from
the original throughout the film whether it be a clip, characters talking
about it, or the locations (it's set in the same town). I love the
original movie for a lot of reasons... I mean Mary fucking Woronov for
starters, it's a creepy pot-boiler (those are my favorite), it's a
Christmas slasher, it's oozing with atmosphere and it's intelligently
What can you tell us about your
movie's writer John Klyza, and what was your collaboration like?
Klyza is a talented writer and I had worked with him on several other
projects in the past (Sleepaway Camp 4, Cheerleader Camp To The
Death). This film was really his baby and it was important to him to
have it shot pretty much word-for-word how it was scripted, so that's how
we did it. I wasn't allowed much creative input, and I had a good lesson
in restraint (as a lot of my films are usually more over-the-top), but
wish him all the best on his future projects!
would you describe your movie's approach to horror (as in suspense vs
sudden shock, atmosphere vs all-out gore and the like)?
it's got a bit of it all. We aimed for the more serious approach, like the
original. I feel there is quite a bit of suspense and mystery but since
it's a modern slasher sequel, it's also got a lot more gore and a couple
"jump scares" too.
can you tell us about the overall look and feel of Silent Night, Bloody
Night 2: Revival? And again, will it in any way or form be influenced
by the original Silent
Night, Bloody Night?
made sure to film it the week after Christmas so that we still had snow on
the ground, which I felt was really important in trying to capture that
same look and atmosphere of Part
1. However, with that said, it was SO MOTHER EFFING COLD during
most of the shoot! A buddy of mine, Mike Moshman, has some pretty rad
parents who let us spend several days filming in their huge, lavishly
decorated home... so it certainly got that sense of elegance that was
present in the original as well. The pacing of the movie is pretty close
to the original and we have a lot of similar character development too.
Do talk about your cast, and why
exactly these people?
Jennifer Runyon Corman
Jenii Caroline, Julia Farrell
Luc Bernier, Jarad Allen
had a lot of talent on board with this one! First and foremost we scored
Jennifer Runyon Corman. Not only is she the niece of the infamous Roger
Corman [Roger Corman bio -
click here], but her first film was the rare Christmas slasher To
All a Goodnight, directed by David (Last
House on The Left) Hess. She was also in cult favorites Ghostbusters
and Carnosaur just to name a few. She was a total sweetheart and I
felt honored to work with her. Luc Bernier [Luc
Bernier interview - click here] traveled down from Canada to
play one of the leads. He's been in a slew of recent indie horror and he's
also very talented. Julia Farrell was the main star. Just prior to that
she starred in my remake of Todd Jason Cook's Demon Dolls (coming
soon from Screamtime Films!) as well as starring in Cheerleader
Camp To The Death (now on Amazon VOD!). The film also had bit
parts from a couple of the 42ND street film scream queens Jennii
Caroline (Die Sister, Die!, Gloved Murderess) and Breana
Mitchell (Doll Killer, Invitation To Die). Jeanne Kern (Blood
Rites) played a resident at the Bed & Breakfast in the movie and
her real-life husband Rich Kern played the Killer, Black Peter. (Yes, he
got to "kill" his own wife in a scene!). Although my boyfriend
Jarad Allen had to do all the dirty work since he played Black Peter in
the mask, which is most of the movie (he's much younger than Rich so more
able to perform a lot of the physical aspects required of the role). Pete
Lipins played Jennifer's husband in the film, he's appeared in some of my
music videos in the past and he's also a talented director too. Lastly,
genre vet Jeff Dylan Graham (Seed 2) made an appearance as the
estranged brother of Julia and Luc's characters. All of these people
involved I either consider a good friend or have worked with in the past.
This was a pretty big project for me, and I needed people I knew and could
trust, and most importantly, those I felt talented enough to really engage
the audience in the story.
What can you tell us about the
shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?
I mentioned before, because of the time of year we filmed, and since a lot
of it was at night it was super freezing during most of the shoot. But
everyone was a real professional and we all got through it together. There
was no drama on set, everyone was laughing and having fun with it pretty
much the whole time. It was a smaller cast and crew, and most of us
already knew each other already so it was pretty easy to work together. It
was an intense shoot however because a lot of the special f/x were
elaborate and we were on a major time crunch with Jennifer's scenes. Also
we were pretty limited on how long we could use the Moshman house (let's
face it, no one really wants a whole film cast and crew taking over there
house for a weekend, let alone any longer than that) so in typical Dustin
Ferguson fashion it was "go, go, go!", but it was a total blast
and we all had a great time.
A few words
about audience and critical reception of your movie?
film has yet to be officially released, but I did send out a couple
screeners and it had a theatrical premiere. The response was really good,
everyone seemed to follow the story and enjoy the pay off at the end.
There will probably be a handful of horror fans that will hate it no
matter what, but all I can do is make the film I set out to make and keep
moving forward. After all, I got to direct a sequel to a 70s cult classic
Christmas slasher film... like how often does that opportunity arise for
someone these days?
chances for a Silent Night, Bloody Night 3? And any (other) future
projects you'd like to share?
a Part 3 happens, I won't be involved. That's all really up to
Klyza. I remember he mentioned he wrote it a certain way to leave it open
for a Part 3 but I have other opportunities I want to explore. I
made my contribution, and I enjoyed doing it. Recently, I wrapped a Faces
of Death style shockumentary called Faces of Dying as well
as the gritty shot-on-SVHS slasher film Meathook Massacre, both for
Manor Video. Next, I'm directing Hauntedween 2 in August for
Screamtime Films and then I have two more films later this year: Blood
Claws and Shockumentary, both for Nemesis Video.
What got you into
filmmaking to begin with, and did you receive any formal training on the
film school, no training, just a passion for horror films and wanting to
make my own. I grew up an obsessive fan, and then I started doing film
editing (I edited Sleepaway Camp 4, and some soft core stuff for pay-per-view),
which eventually led to me directing my first short film, a fan sequel to
Fred Olen Ray's Scalps called Scalps 2: The Return of D.J.
It was only like 20 minutes long and a total piece of crap, but I had to
start somewhere and it was a fun first experience. And as I understand it,
Fred will be including my short on the upcoming Blu-ray of Scalps.
After that I did a couple more shorts then finally dived into features
with Terror at Black Tree Forest in 2010.
What can you tell us about your filmwork prior
to Silent Night, Bloody Night 2: Revival?
Night, Bloody Night 2 was my 19th
feature film. Prior to that one I directed the remake of Die Sister,
Die! and a remake of Demon Dolls, a giallo featuring Velvet
Acid Christ music called Gloved Murderess, the Cheerleader Camp
spin-off Cheerleader Camp To The Death, the viral marketing hit
faux SOV 80s slasher Doll Killer, a follow-up to The Legend of
Boggy Creek called The Legacy of Boggy Creek and a handful of
other shockumentaries and low budget slashers. I've also directed over 60
music videos for such artists as Lords of Acid, KMFDM, Egyptian Lover,
Katalina, Dragonsclaw, Plack Blague, E-Rocker, Velvet Acid Christ and many
through your filmography, one can't help but notice you never stray all
that far from the horror genre - mere coincidence, or is horror a genre
especially dear to you, and why (not)?
elaborate on what I briefly mentioned before, I grew up a huge fan of
horror movies. I have a collection of 5000+ of them. I really enjoy the
rare and obscure stuff, I watch a lot of bootlegs and unreleased material.
I originally started making my own horror films just to have more
"obscure" horror movies I haven't watched to death yet. I never
really meant for my work to be seen by the masses. I used to just have a
local screening with friends and family then sold copies out of the trunk
of my car. Now, I won't even make a film unless distribution is already
set up. Otherwise it's just a waste of my time. You won't find me
directing local commercials or filming weddings. I direct to make horror
movies, plain and simple. I've also always had a fascination with
offensive and controversial music videos growing up (The Prodigy's
"Smack My Bitch Up" being the Holy Grail from my childhood) so I
only dabble in the music videos as a means of artistically expressing what
I can't as well in the features. Which usually happens to be an offensive
or risque subject matter. I also love how non-linear and crazy you can be
with music videos. To me it's about visually interpreting the emotion of
the song. Making those projects are a nice "break" from the
would you describe yourself as a director?
about the most gentle, easy-going director on the face of the planet.
Because of the amount of projects I always have going on I often work with
a lot of friends and amateurs. This has taught me to be patient and
understanding of certain pitfalls. I'm never angry on set and things never
get heated. I don't think you need to yell at your actors to get what you
want out of them. You just need to treat them right and make them feel at
ease. They are a lot more likely to work with you again in the future if
the experience was positive and fun. I'm also very (what some people call
"fast", what I call "efficient") with what I do. I
usually bang out a feature film in 3-5 days. Careful planning and
organization plus reliable people can take you a long way. I usually edit
together a rough version of the footage we shoot each day so I can stay on
top of the project and once we wrap filming on the final day I just have
to slap the final pieces together then touch it all up. Before I know it
the movie is done and it's onto the next one.
who inspire you?
Girdler was my biggest inspiration. He directed Three on a Meathook,
Asylum of Satan and Grizzly,
to name a few. He made his movies on a super tiny budget, with all locals.
Because he likes to utilize montages and various other forms of
"padding", his movies have a certain charm about them I really
enjoy. His work has taught me a lot about how to make something feature
length and achieving an effective story while staying within your own
means. I am also a big fan of Charles B. Pierce for similar reasons. He
made some real classics on like no money. Both The Legend of Boggy
Creek and The
Town That Dreaded Sundown remain in my top 20 list. I also love
Dario Argento and his use of vivid colors, outrageous cinematography and
gruesome murders. His films are top notch... at least they were in the 70s
and 80s. Old skool John Carpenter, Lucio Fulci [Lucio
Fulci bio - click here] and David Cronenberg as well. In my
20s I was introduced to what I call the "Corman Clique": Fred
Olen Ray, David DeCoteau, Jim Wynorski [Jim
Wynorski interview - click here] and Richard Gabai. Those guys
and their early work is what really made me decide I could do this too.
Your favourite movies?
many to list! But here's a few, in no particular order: Halloween III,
The Texas Chain
Saw Massacre, The
Town That Dreaded Sundown, The Legend of Boggy Creek, Slumber
Party Massacre, Videodrome, Phenomena,
Scalps, Unhinged, Tourist Trap, Dolly Dearest,
Demonic Toys, Creepshow 1 & 2, Halloween,
House of 1,000 Corpses, Cabin
Fever, Day of The
Gates of Hell, Faces of Death, Scanners, Maximum
Tension, Sleepaway Camp 2 & 3, Murder-Set-Pieces,
Intruder, Children of The Corn 2, Silent Night, Deadly
Night and so many more!
and of course, films you really deplore?
is a tough one because I actually like "bad" movies. The ones I
deplore the most or the real idiotic or utterly geeky mainstream stuff
that has obnoxious actors, frenzied editing, CGI overkill, product
placement and wholesome (unrealistic) values. They just annoy me. Movies
like the Lord of The Rings series, Star Wars
(those new ones, the original trilogy is ok), superhero movies, musicals,
and that dumb movie with Smash Mouth... Rat Race.
movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?
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any of my partnershops yourself
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Night, Bloody Night 2:
you are dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
also do music! My project is called E-Rocker featuring Dirty D and
the EP is called "Welcome To My Bass", coming soon to iTunes, CD
and (hopefully) Vinyl! You can watch the music video for my first single
for the interview!