Your upcoming movie Zombie A-Hole
- in a few words, what is it about?
I have a really
hard time explaining it to people. The best way I can describe it is that
it's an old fashioned blood and boobs kinda flick. The gist is that three
people are hunting down an undead serial killer who preys on twin girls...
who are usually nude.
In story and
approach, Zombie A-Hole
almost immediately reminded me of low budget genre films from roughly 20
to 30 years ago, like vintage Full
Moon and Italian grindhouse shockers. Have I at all hit the mark
with that, and if so, would you at all like to elaborate? And some of your
favourites from that era?
Yes! That's exactly what we
were going for. There was an age in low budget (specifically
straight-to-video) filmmaking when the emphasis was more on having fun and
telling a weird story than trying to create a wholly realistic experience.
is a weird story with pulpy characters. There are plot
twists and turns, but zero pretense as far as I am concerened. We just
wanted to make a fun, bloody, action-packed movie with some beautiful
buck-naked ladies to boot. Some big influences for me are of course the
Evil Dead Trilogy. I also adore Dellamorte Dellamore (aka
Cemetery Man), Demons,
Suspiria, and many more on the
Italian front. I am also a huge
Full Moon fan. The little creature in the box from Zombie A-Hole
named Selwyn) is evidence of Charles Band's influence.
Full Moon introduced magic into the world of horror. I miss that.
Other sources of inspiration
for Zombie A-Hole?
fellow no-budget filmmaker, friend, and mentor Bill Zebub was a huge
influence. Bill is amazing. I adore his films. His influence inspired me
to not only include some pretty ladies in the buff, but to also not shy
away from full frontal or from being a tad gratuitous.
would you describe your directorial approach to the subject at hand?
was interesting, because contrary to what I have done before and
since there was no plan. None whatsoever. We showed up, we rehearsed, and
then we'd shoot. It was very spontaneous. It felt good after doing The
Puppet Monster Massacre, which was a lot of planning and exacting
execution. Zombie A-Hole
was like "WHOO LETS MAKE A MOVIE!!!".
This actually proved to be a very efficient way to make a movie as long as
your cast is professional and awesome... which mine obviously was.
few words about your lead actors?
They fucking rock.
The main three (Josh Eal, Jessica Cook, and Brandon Salkil) are very good friends of mine. I
wrote the parts with them in mind and they helped me shape the characters
from the ground up. When I watch the film now, I can just see how much
they became their characters. Its amazing. There is a scene that I won't
spoil, but it makes me fucking cry when I watch it. Their performances
were so perfect. They elevated the material to a point where it almost
doesn't belong in a titty filled zombie flick. They were A-Level
performances in a B-Level movie as far as I am concerned.
One can't help but
notice that your film features quite a number of girls who get naked
before being violently killed (most of the time twice because they play
twins). So how easy or difficult was it to cast these roles, and what was
it like shooting those scenes?
All of the girls in the
film are friends of mine. I asked them specifically because I knew they
would be comfortable. The only difficulty we had is that there were a few
actresses that agreed to be in the film, but then backed out because of
jealous boyfriends. Shooting nude scenes isn't really that difficult if
you aren't a sleazeball. I do my best to make sure they are comfortable,
and just treat it like any other scene. I also kick any non essential
member of cast or crew out of the room before we begin. I also try to be
as straightforward as possible about what is going to be visible on screen
and for how long. Other than creativity, and ingenuity, I believe that
this is one of the things that seperates indie filmmakers from the
studios. Nudity and pushing the boundaries of what can be shown onscreen
used to be a big part of horror. It has sort of dwindled now that
everything is watered down and tailored to be inoffensive. I think a few
mainstream directors like Patrick Lussier and Alexandre Aja understand its
place in horror history, but they are the lonely few. It seems silly, but
putting sexy naked gals in horror flicks seems to be a dying art. Some
would argue that it's degrading to women, or that it's exploitative. I
disagree, though. In a movie that features graphic violence and grotesque
imagery, I feel it's nice to take a break and look at something beautiful
for a few moments.
In terms of violence and
gore, was there ever a line you refused to cross (for other than
Yes, and I think we
crossed it in a couple scenes. Zombie A-Hole
was never meant to be mean.
It is gory, but in such a ridiculous way that I don't think it will offend
many people. There are three scenes though (the eye rip, the beating, and
the drowning) that I think cross the line from fun to mean. It wasn't my
intention, but that's just how they turned out.
You have also had your
hands in the creation of the special effects of Zombie A-Hole
- would you at all like to talk about your film's effects and methods of
achieving them for a bit?
Oh wow... thats a tough one, because we used so many different
methods. I'll highlight a few that I think are interesting:
The Zombie's makeup was actually a silicone mask. It was sculpted by
hand at my kitchen table directly in silicone. We didn't do a mold. We
just built it up in layers. First was a red blood layer, followed by a
black vein layer, then the white skin layer, and finally the details
(teeth and cheekbones and eye sockets). It was also about 2 sizes
smaller than Brandon's head so it really moved with his expressions and
didn't have that cheap halloween mask look.
An effect that people really seem to enjoy is our creature in the
box. We accomplished this effect via a marriage between practical and
digital. There was a real puppet on set, but his facial movements were
augmented digitally. This is most notable in his eyes.
A lot of our kills were augmented with a special effect technique I
learned about from John Carl Beauchler. We basically created this red
stringy mess of latex called nernies. Anytime someone gets ripped up or
we just need that extra look of veiny tendony nastiness we would grab a
handful of that shit and stretch it all of the place. You can see this
especially when Pollux punches through a girls head.
What can you tell us about your movie's musical score?
Most of the music in the film was provided by a local band called Slug.
They are absolutely amazing. Their music lent a real identity to the film.
You can check them out at
- I highly suggest you order their albums. The Zombie theme was provided my
Jared Kaelber. He's an incredibly talented musician and he provided the
theme song for The
Puppet Monster Massacre as well.
Before Zombie A-Hole,
you made The
Puppet Monster Massacre, which (no surprise here) was an
all-puppet feature. How did shooting with real actors differ from doing a
It was actually much much easier. In The
Puppet Monster Massacre we had no puppeteers so I had to do every single
performance. In Zombie A-Hole
I could concentrate on the camera work and
The $64-quetsion: When and where will Zombie A-Hole
Good question. We are just selling copies
at conventions right now. That's really the only way you can get it.
Distribution will be sorted out soon, but for right now... I don't have a
The ending of Zombie A-Hole
leaves the door wide open for a sequel. Was this intentional, and is there
anything planned to that effect?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
I definitely want to
make a film about Frank and Mercy. Its already outlined in fact. It would
be fun to have a male/female action duo where there is no sexual tension.
It would be a new dynamic I think that hasn't been explored that much. As
for a straight up sequel... that sort of depends. I have a couple ideas,
but it really depends on whether or not people like the first one.
(Other) Future projects
you'd like to talk about?
Yes! My psycho-sexual
tentacle exploitation film Night of the Tentacles is in the editing phase
right now and will come out later this year. This summer we start shooting
a very exciting project called Kill That Bitch. After that... it just
depends on the money, but we have tons of ideas.
Your website, Facebook,
Anything else you are dying to mention
and I have merely forgotten to ask?
Only one thing. When
you watch the film, check out the length of Brandon's hair. It fluctuates
more than my weight. He got appendicitis partway through filming and we
shut down for about 45 days. When he came back we forgot to get his hair
Thanks for the