Your new movie Postpartum
- in a few words, what is it about?
Good intentions lead to murderous results when a woman visits a new
mom. Uh oh, spaghetti-os! But seriously, it's weird.
Your sources of
inspiration when dreaming up Postpartum,
and to what extent can you relate to postpartum depression as such?
I've never had children, I can't, but I believe the women who experience
it. The biggest problem in our culture is sexism and that we discount
women's experiences. I certainly have had depression and have struggled
with anxiety, however. The logline for the film is "Not Everyone is
Meant to Be a Mother." We need to stop telling women what to do with
their own bodies. It's disgusting. Everyone should have their own agency.
can you tell us about your co-writer Christopher Hallock, and what was
your collaboration like?
I've known Chris for awhile. We have very similar tastes and he's a
fantastic, kind guy and a great writer who also does film programming here
in Boston. We would talk online or in cafés and trade the script back and
forth, much like we do for the feature script we're working on now. The
funning thing is, I originally intended for Postpartum
to be an absurdist
horror comedy, but when I began writing, the script didn't want to be
that, but something much more grim. It was an easy process, particularly
because the film is only six minutes long.
Kasey Lansdale - photo by Bryan McKay
Do talk about Postpartum's
very unique brand of horror for a bit!
It definitely comes
from a different point of view. I'm trying to recall a film that's close
to the feel of this... Maybe Grace for theme. I love great
lighting and collaborate with my DP Bryan McKay on that when I light to
see what looks good on camera. I like weird, weird stories and wanted to
mess with the audience's perception of what happens at the end. Is Kasey's
character okay? Is it in her mind? Or is she relieved now that the baby
has stopped screaming and that happens after a kill? I love making things
somewhat ambiguous so that the audience takes from my films what they
How would you
describe your directorial approach to your story at hand?
experimental, and adaptive to what comes up. I sometimes like to have my
actors read a scene "wrong" to see what happens. For instance,
when Kasey says "HE NEVER STOPS SCREAMING!", I had her do it in
a very intentionally "crazy" way, and then in a laughing, happy
way. The result is what you see in Postpartum
and it's much more
two actresses Kasey Lansdale [Kasey
Lansdale interview - click here] and Diana Porter - what made them
perfect for their roles?
Diana Porter - photo by Bryan McKay
Kasey is a very talented country singer with
great presence. I've only seen her onstage and in Christmas with the
Dead, in which she had a small part. I'm known for casting singers
and burlesque dancers because of their innate abilities to convey emotion,
like Karin Webb in Legitimate and Shaun Callaghan in
A Favor. I met Kasey after a Christmas with the Dead screening here in
Boston and then went to her show here the next night; she asked if we
could collaborate on something the next time she was in town, and that
sounded fun. So our mutual friend Chris Hallock and I co-wrote something
to showcase what Kasey is capable of; I'm vocal about my love of complex
female characters, and I wanted to bring out something in Kasey that would
show the world another side of her talents.
And Diana Porter is just fantastic. We met
in 2013 on the set of Skip Shea's Ave
Maria [Skip Shea
interview - click here], both as
actresses, and we really hit it off when I cast her in Picket.
We've been nicknamed "the female Scorsese and DiCaprio of Boston
indie film" because we work together so much. Diana is
multi-talented. This time around, I gave her the "straight"
role, meaning a normal character of sorts, who has to react to the madness
around her. She's great and she always lets me kill her in films, which is
fun. Sometimes, she doesn't die, though. I did a music video for the
anthology Bring Us Your Women, in which I painted her white,
put yellow eye blood in her eyes, and had her crawling around tormenting
the suicidal Tristan Risk [Tristan
Risk interview - click here]. Diana's a really good sport. In A Favor, she gets to have a small role as a sociopathic killer who
gets men to clean up her dirty work. Heh.
Kasey Lansdale - photo by Bryan McKay
What can you tell us about the
shoot as such, and the on-screen atmosphere?
It was a very
easy shoot; we shot it over two afternoons/nights in my apartment in July
2014, before Diana and I went up to Fantasia where Picket
screened. That was a very exciting week. We rehearsed and we shot. I do
have to say that the second night when we shot with all those corpses in
my bedroom was one of the happiest nights of my life. A bunch of friends
and other filmmakers (Michael J. Epstein, who was on crew; Bryan McKay, my
kickass DP; Stee McMorris, who let me paint her up as a corpse and shove
her under my bed; and Warren Lynch, the greatest closet corpse) came out
and had fun and just did weird shit with me. I felt really grateful and
supportive. The indie horror scene in Boston is fantastic.
A few words
about audience and critical reception so far?
At the world premiere at the Nacogdoches
Film Festival, I sat with Joe, Karen, and Kasey Lansdale [Joe
R. Lansdale interview - click here; Kasey
Lansdale interview - click here] for the
screening; a sweet little old lady turned to me after the film finished
and giggled. She told me that I was sick. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! A woman
sitting next to Kasey gasped and stared at her in horror during the film
with a look that asked, "Is that really you?!" It was great.
Izzy - photo by Maude Michaud
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
had its second festival screening at the
Boston Underground Film Festival, too, where it played with Olivia Saperstein's rad
Recipe and the
fresh-from-SXSW horror feature, Excess Flesh - a
nasty night of women behaving very, very badly toward each other. The
reaction at BUFF was very strong. A fan even came up and asked for
a photo with him! It was something I'm not used to, but great. My mom came
out for the screening and was covering her face during a pivotal scene,
and that was really funny.
$64-question of course, when and where will Postpartum
be released onto the general public?
Great question; it's
only begun its festival run, so I'm not sure yet.
Any future projects
you'd like to share?
A bumper that I made in 2013 is going
to turn up on an anthology called Grindsploitation; I'm
writing a feature-length script with friend and Postpartum
Hallock; I'm in post for a horror comedy short called A Favor;
in post for another short that's part of a horror anthology I can't name
yet; in pre-production for yet another anthology (an intense,
international one) called Danza Macabra, starring Tristan Risk [Tristan
Risk interview - click here]
and Diana Porter, and co-writing/producing with Francesco Massaccesi; and
it looks very likely that I'll adapt one of Joe R. Lansdale's short
stories into a short film [Joe R.
Lansdale interview - click here].
Your/your movie's website,
Facebook, whatever else?
Anything else you are dying to
mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
strong; if you love a film or book, tell the world about it so we can have
a future of bizarre and fascinating stories in our lives!!