Your latest film is called Red
River - in a few words, what is it about?
is about a serial killer(Roland Thatcher) that lives deep in the
woods around the Red River area. Roland has a very prospering fertilizer
business that he makes from the unlucky victims that meet their fate at the
hands of Mr. Thatcher. A local reporter is tired of just posting more
headlines about missing campers, and decides to dig deeper into the story.
What she finds will be more horrifying then anything she could ever imagine.
What were your main inspirations for the movie?
first and main inspiration is the Red River Gorge itself. For a very long
time, I wanted to shoot a film there. First off the name of the river was
perfect. I have been very deep back in the woods camping many times and at
night when its pitch dark, and you start to think how easy it would be to
be picked off, you start to think. Other than that I’m a huge fan of
70’s and 80’s slasher films, and I thought this would be the perfect
though it doesn't exactly follow genre formulas, I would label Red
River as a backwoods slasher. Are you at all happy with that
label, and your genre favourites?
As I mentioned above,
yes it is indeed a slasher. It’s tongue in cheek, very silly at times,
but very brutal. So yes I’m happy with that label. The thing that sets
this film apart from other films I would say is the Gore. It’s full of
the Red stuff. Very special thanks to Cineline Productions for making the
River run red with the Dead. They were the SPFX make-up artists on the
project along with assistant make–up by Roni Jonah. I still don’t know
how they pulled off the effects for the tiny micro-budget. We made the
film on what most films spend on Craft Services for a couple days. I know
it sounds so damn cliché and this point, but yeah The
Hills have Eyes,
Chainsaw Massacre were a big influence on the film.
River pretty much pushes the envelope concerning blood and gore.
Was there ever a line you didn't want to cross when filming the gore
I think we crossed that line when we cut off the
boob. I really wanted to push the limits as far as we could. At one time
our Distributor said “You can’t have Hamburger Head dry humping that
girl’s leg while he eats her brains.” I guess smashing a skull into a
gooey mess is ok, just not dry humping while eating it (ha). It still made
it in the film. I love POP Cinema. There would have been many scenes on
the cutting room floor with other Distributors, but for the most part they
let us do our thing.
A few words about your lead
villain Dave Haney and his creepy character?
David Haney is a truly gifted actor. I have known
Dave for a few years. We had a really hard time finding the character of Roland
Thatcher. We wanted him to look like he was just another local. Not
big and deformed, not stupid, just pretty much a regular guy (other than
the electronic larynx). We got auditions from people all over the United
States. We just couldn’t find the right guy. At one point we had a
fairly big name in the Horror world that wanted to be Roland, but in my
opinion working with SAG can be a huge pain in the ass. I know that this
will piss a lot of people off, but when you are working on micro budget
films, it just doesn’t work. Not taking away from SAG in general, just
SAG Indie. If you are under a 50K budget I would say stay away. I mean we
basically shot the entire film for 5K. We would have never been able to do
that working with SAG actors.
OK sorry back to Mr. Haney. I think he nailed it.
He was so dedicated it was almost scary. He would sit in the dark and work
on speaking with the Electronic Larynx for hours. The role was also very
demanding. We were shooting in mid August. The heat was overbearing, we
worked very long hours, and Roland’s role was very physical. He’s a
true professional, and now a very good friend.
you tell us about the rest of your ensemble cast?
say enough good words about the cast. With all the elements we had to work
in. Extremely hot conditions, working in an old decrepit house full of
mold, snakes, Poison Ivy, spiders… etc. Not to mention the hundred year
old basement. I highly recommend everyone to check out the Behind The
Scenes-featurette to see the conditions we were working in.
In Red River you
have a scene depicting a rather weird church service that involves snakes
and the like. Is this scene by any means rooted in fact?
The scene was shot in a church with no running water
or electricity. Complete with an outhouse and Baptism pond. The actual
church was not a snake handling church, but I am familiar with them so I
knew what it looked like. There are churches around the area that are in
fact real snake handling churches, so yes it does happen.
previous feature Stash
ended with a scene of a malformed child vowing revenge, a malformed child
that could have evolved into the malformed cannibal in Red
River - was that scene filmed with Red
River in mind?
No not at all. To be honest I just
really didn’t like the way the film ended in Stash. I wanted to give it
something that I think most people didn’t expect. However the junkyard
owners in Red
River are supposed to be Bud’s (Stash) brothers. Although
not mentioned, that’s what we intended, and if we do a sequel we will do
more with that.
and Red River
question the effectiveness of authorities, at least to a point. Is this a
statement you wanted to make or mere coincidence?
of Stash as more of a crime thriller, so the
cops were more involved with
the storyline. The lead actress's (Karen Boles)character's Dad was a
retired cop so it obviously had to play more into it. I wanted to stay
away from showing very much authority in this film. Is it unlikely that
Roland has been doing this for so long and not got caught? Probably - but
then look at other serial killers in history. Plus it’s a real bitch to
get cop cars, uniforms and shit to be honest. Plus usually it does not
look that authentic and ends up hurting the film I think.
The title of your film is of course instantly
reminiscent of the Howard Hawks/John Wayne classic Red River from
1948. To put it bluntly, why did you choose that title?
be honest I can’t think of another title that would work. It’s based
out of the Red River area, it’s a horror film. It just works. I’m just
waiting to get sued by some old man who rents Red
River thinking that
it’s the western and falls over.
future projects you want to talk about?
Right now I have a few offers on the table, but my
heart is in finishing up a couple of my own self financed projects and
getting into pre-production on Nature of the Daughters. A film adaption by
the great author Elizadeth Hetherington.
website, Facebook, whatever else?
My official website is under construction but
should be live soon.
or look me up on Facebook.
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
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Anything else you are
dying to mention I have merely forgotten to ask?
If you are going to make a film put everything you
got into it. If you are doing this to be rich and famous go ahead and
throw that new 60D in the trash and do something else. Everybody is a
“filmmaker”, everyone is going to shoot a movie. There are so many
people that are scum, bottom feeders. You will find these “filmmakers”
everywhere. Actors and actresses beware. Research the Director you’re
going to work with. Are they are on IMDB? Have they completed other
projects? Does their work get out to the masses (Distribution)? Talk to
others that have worked with the Director and crew. Just saying there are
more films that never get completed than actually do. Do you really want
to spend your valuable time on a project that will never be seen by anyone
other than the Director's family and friends? If you are doing this just
for fun or to get better than by all means go ahead! There just is a time
when you kinda get a bit jaded in this business, and the filmfakers
eventually fall off ’till new ones breed.
I must also give super props to my crew. Without
you guys I wouldn’t be able to do this. POP Cinema for believing in me,
and giving me a chance to make another film. With legit distribution
becoming increasingly difficult to find, these guys have always been
upfront, truthful and professional.
You can order my films from Alternativecinema.com.
for the interview!