Your film For Christ's Sake - in a few words, what is it
Well, For Christ's Sake tells the tale of a pair of
scientists who are involved in a top secret cloning experiment. They
think they're going to change the world but things don't go quite as
planned when their project suddenly spirals out of control and the subject
they've so closely been nurturing gets loose. Unbeknownst to our
scientists an additional group of characters enter the mix and before
all is said and done everyone proves guilty with a large dose of hell to
Your main inspirations for the movie?
always loved horror and moreover the concept of iconic horror villians.
The idea of a supreme force of unstoppable and uncontrollable evil is fun
as hell to watch. You end up rooting for the bad guy. We all do. We love
to see what they'll do next and how they're gonna take out the cast, how
will they get defeated in the end and moreso how will they return in the
inevitable sequel. So with For Christ's Sake I wanted to really stylize my
concept of the most badass horror villian ever. It was just a matter of
organizing the right story elements to make the thing work correctly. In
retrospect, it's quite funny because I used to joke about stuff with
co-workers that ultimately became huge influences on the genesis of this
would you describe your directorial approach to the film?
all honestly, For Christ's Sake was my first film as a director so I didn't
necessarily have a particular directorial approach. It felt more robotic
to a degree because we had a massive script to tackle, a modest sized
cast, lotsa locations, a handful of tricky FX, etc. So it really became a
day to day situation of needing to get X-amount of scenes in the can by
the end of the day. Some people needed more direction than others but such
is the case on any set. We had a pretty eclectic group of actors and
characters so everyone brought a little something different to the movie.
Christ's Sake might not be released yet, but I imagine it must
have sparked enough controversy for its subject matter alone - is there
any truth in my assumption, and could you elaborate on that?
the very beginning one of the main reasons doing this project
intrigued me was the whole idea of trying to make a film that would take
on touchy subject matter and then handle it with intelligence and respect.
Here the subject in question just so happens to be cloning Jesus Christ, so
of course everyone and their brother seems to have a very outspoken
opinion on the film. During preproduction and casting the full nature of
the film and its contents were made very clear to all involved. We all
needed to be on the same page as far as what we were doing and what the
repercussions might be from doing it. Some people weren't into it and they
didn't end up being a part of it. We did the film though and it was truly
an experience. I think over the course of time that has passed since the
production we've all caught some kind of hell because of what people THINK
they know about the film. It all just goes to show that ignorance is
ever-present and can truly be a weapon in and of itself.
you consider yourself a religious person of any sort?
myself am not a religious person. I think religion can be a good thing
though. We all need something in life and religion can give people
something to believe in and something to live for. Much like ignorance
though, religion can effect people and become a deadly weapon. How many
lives have been lost in wars due to religion? In For Christ's Sake the
religious beliefs of the scientists who clone Jesus are secondary to the
positive outcome they wish to accompish with their project. It's not the
religion that becomes their downfall, but rather the nature of being
zealots who think they know what's best for society.
Jesse Kozel, Debbie Rochon
few words about your leading lady, indie horror icon Debbie Rochon?
can't be said about Debbie Rochon? I think she flew in on the night
of production day number four. Naturally we let her rest up and when she
came to set on night five the entire atmosphere changed. Always a
consumate professional, she came in and took on the challenges of our low
budget epic head on! She was a joy to work with and really became a mentor
to a lotta the cast. Her ability and experience was beyond evident and she
made a fine addition to the cast.
few words about your Jesus-clone-actor Jesse Kozel [Jesse
Kozel interview - click here], and how did you tell him to
approach his role?
Jesse Kozel is a funny story because a
few members of the For Christ's Sake preproduction team were trolling around
at a horror convention in Orlando where we inadvertently crossed paths
with him. Maybe a week passed and then for one reason or another the actor
we had in the role of The Clone of Jesus was no longer
involved in the film. Hence, we had a serious casting problem and we were
right under the wire as far as our production start date. Turns out Jesse
had been recently friended on the film's MySpace page. We had a role
available and he was looking for work so that was that. I have to give
Jesse this, he agreed on very short notice to take on what was hands down
the most difficult role in the film. His dialogue was all bible scripture
and old world english and he had to put himself out there throwing all
inhibitions to the curb. We really didn't have much time to talk about the
role other than a few phone conversations before shooting but we talked
about the clone being a blank, robotic slate that eventually evolves into
something else entirely. It was a challenge he accepted and we would have
basically been screwed without him.
Your film also features two
ubiquitous indie horror figures, Joel D.Wynkoop [Joel
D.Wynkoop interview - click here] and Lloyd Kaufman. What can you
tell us about your collaboration with them?
Joel is a force
to be reckoned with! This man has such a rich history in the low budget,
Florida horror scene and I felt honored that he said yes to being in For Christ's Sake. The role he portrayed I actually wrote for him and he
made Father Carmichael a truly over the top character addition
to the movie. As for Lloyd, his involvement was really random to be
honest. We were at a convention and Lloyd said he wanted to be in the
movie. So we scouted around the convention hall and found a fitting area
where we just basically improvized a scene with him and one of the other
actresses from the film.
A few words
about the rest of your cast and crew?
We had a pretty
amazing cast assembled for this thing. Nicola Fiore and Michael Kenneth
Fahr were my rocks throughout production. I couldn't have done it without
them. They both acted in the film in major roles and really gave it their
all. Since, Nicola and I have become the best of friends and have
continued to work together and collaborate on other projects. Also in the
flick was Peter Stickles who at the time had his own cable show and has
appeared in some very awesome low budget flicks and indie gems. He gave
us time out of his vacation visiting family to do the film and he just
showed up and knocked it outta the park! We also had Monique Dupree and
that woman is like a secret weapon! She has a lotta personality and
character that shined through immensely and we all had a blast working
Dustin Hubbard (center) and the cast of For
make an appearance in For Christ's Sake yourself. What can you tell
us about Dustin Hubbard, the actor?
It's rather funny
because the role of the scientist that I played I wrote with myself in
mind never really thinking that I'd actually end up having to play him. We
ended up casting the film up and no one really fit that part so I just did
it. It was fun to do and I loved acting out the more crazy scenes but it
was very stressful. I'd over-focused and rehearsed everyone else to the
Nth degree, all the while never taking the time to rehearse myself much.
So I will admit, the role was a huge challenge. I've since acted in a
handful of horror themed short films and two other features but all in
fairly basic roles, nothing to the degree of my part in For Christ's Sake.
So it's safe to say that acting isn't something that I want to pursue as a
primary profession in the film industry, seeing as I'm more
comfortable behind the camera instead of in front of it. I've been offered
other film roles recently but we'll see what happens.
Dollar-question of course: When and where will the film be out?
really is the creme de la creme of For Christ's Sake questions
isn't it? I know the wait has been long but all great things come in due
time. Much like the Son rose from the grave, so shall For Christ's Sake!
read somewhere that you planned a sequel for For Christ's Sake
called For Pete's Sake - is there any truth in this?
there is. In my mind, all great horror villians deserve at least one more stab
at their cinematic mayhem. Hence, For Christ's Sake was originally conceived
as a two part film series.
other future projects you'd like to talk about?
excited to see Slaughter Daughter get off the ground. This is
a film that was written by Lauren Miller and it's going to be directed by
Travis Campbell [Travis
Campbell interview - click here]. They're the very talented pair behind the upcoming Mr. Bricks: A Heavy Metal Murder Musical.
Daughter will star Nicola Fiore in the title role and it's gonna be
one crazy flick! I'll be helping produce that one. I'm also trying to get
two short films that I wrote and directed locked very soon. They're both
items that take place within the For Christ's Sake universe of characters
which I think is pretty neat. The first one is called For Nicole's
Sake and that one stars Cathy Wynkoop and Joel D. Wynkoop [Joel
D.Wynkoop interview - click here]. Cathy is
Joel's wife who is also an actress and I wrote the lead in this thing for
her and lemme tell ya... she did a bang-up job! This woman needs more
roles! Her performance is really intense and emotional and I can't wait
for viewers to see what this true professional can really do! The second For Christ's Sake
short flick is entitled For Nolan's Sake. It
stars Frankie LaPace in the title role. Again I was blessed with another
kickass lead that just floored me with his intensity and range. I think
anyone interested at all in the For Christ's Sake mythos will find these two
flicks of interest. If at all possible I'd even like to maybe direct
another feature again by year's end. There's a lotta top secret stuff
that's in development and various stages of talk that I can't really
mention at this point. We'll see though.
also involved with the production of the movie Terror
at Blood Fart Lake, right? Since I'm such a sucker for great movie
titles, you just have to talk about this one for a bit?
At Blood Fart Lake is a movie written and directed by Chris Seaver
of Low Budget Pictures. He's a master at making insane gore comedies and
this one was made to be a slasher spoof. I myself had very little to do
with the film per se but it did feature Nicola Fiore in the lead role
playing a woman hellbent on hunting down her psychotic brother who
ends up doing battle with a murderous scarecrow played by actor Billy
Garberina. Fun stuff indeed! Also, this movie was a perfect
opportunity for Nicola to flex her comedic chops and do some physical
other movies you were involved in you want to talk about?
helped produce and acted in Michael Kenneth Fahr's psychological thriller Victimized. He wrote the script and played the lead alongside
Sarah Nicklin and Cuyle Carvin. That one should be an interesting view
when it gets released.
got you into filmmaking in the first place, and did you receive any kind
of formal training?
As far as filmmaking is concerned I
haven't had any formal training. This whole trip has been a major learning
experience honestly. I'm originally from Indiana and up there I dreamt of
making movies, then one thing led to another and I ended up down here in
Florida. It's here that I met that right group of people that got my
creative juices flowing. Without these people I probably would have never
gotten the inspiration and the drive to tackle something like For Christ's Sake
but I did!
Your films all seem to be of the
horror variety, to an extent anyways. Is horror a genre especially dear to
It certainly is. As a child the first film I ever
remember going to see at the theate was Poltergeist and that
just set the stage I suppose. Ever since I was hooked on horror films and
I had to see and own everything I could get my grubby little hands
Filmmakers who inspire you?
I really look
up to Charles Band and what he's built with the Full Moon Pictures label.
I grew up watching his movies and they really served to inspire me and
make me dream fantastic things. Another director that has really moved me
is Gregg Araki. He has a visual style and distinct art to every little
detail in his films that really blows my mind. He's a directorial wonder
if I have ever seen one!
I have three all time favorite movies. My
favorite movie of all time is Scream. It was different and
fresh, had attitude and fun characters that you cared about. That movie
became an institution for me as a young adult and really exemplifies the
great friends and times I had back then. I can think of Scream
and it really makes me smile with fond memories. My second favorite film
is Gregg Araki's Nowhere. The whole movie is like a painter's
pallet come to life on film - eye-popping colors, crazy characters, wild
dialogue, an endless string of odd celebrity cameos and even aliens! This
flick has it all. Finally, my third favorite film of all time is The
Crow with Brandon Lee. Only once in a blue moon does a film come
along that's so emotionally heart-wrenching as this one is. In my mind
I've always seen The Crow as a horror film with a real heart
because it depicts true life horror and the lengths that one man will go
to when pushed beyond the limit. This is one film that never ceases to
tear me up.
... and of course, films you really
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
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The links below
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I hate the current remake trend. Hollywood seems
to wanna re-do everything nowadays right down to even old school B-movies
and forgotten horror gems. It's really sickening because all these updates
seriously blow! I mean the critics and popular media love to debase the
horror genre as being unoriginal and repetitive and then we the horror
fans are subjected to subpar, regurgitations of better movies because
that's what the studio system seems to think we want/need. No thanks! I
wouldn't go as far as to say that I'd never do a remake though! I would,
just depends on the title.
Your website, Facebook, whatever else?
This is my Facebook:
Here is my Myspace but mind you I only check my inbox and rarely utilize
The official For Christ's Sake Myspace page:
And finally the official Slaughter Daughter Youtube page:
else you are dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
I don't think so.
for the interview!
Thanks for your interest! It's much appreciated sir!