The central (plot) device, the titular guillotine, is quite simply a
hilarious (if macabre) idea. How did you come up with it, and were you
ever tempted to go further with this invention, blood-and-guts-wise?
The screenplay for Guillotine
Guys was written in about fifteen minutes
completely on impulse. The idea came to me and I put it down on
paper one afternoon. I then looked at what I'd written and thought
this is an interesting idea but wasn't sure anything would
really come of it. You could always up the blood, guts and gore ante on
any macabre cinematic invention I'd wager. For example,
director Tom Six said the sequel to The Human Centipede would make
the first film look like My Little Pony.
What were your inspirations for the story as such?
were Stephen Chow's film Kung-Fu Hustle and Tzi Ma's character The General
in the Coen Brothers' remake of the Ealing Studios film
The Ladykillers. The original title was
Shanghai Hustle but that
didn't seem descriptive enough so I brainstormed before filming began
and decided on Guillotine
Guys. Tzi Ma's role in The
Ladykillers was the genesis for the liquor store owner character
Elmer in Guillotine
Guys. I added a special thanks shout out to
Stephen Chow and Tzi Ma in the end credits. Another
inspiration was actor Paul McCrane's gas station robbery scene in
Paul Verhoeven's RoboCop.
Guys was an official
selection at the 2010 Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival in
Bucheon, Korea as well as major film festivals such as L.A. Shorts Fest
and Dances With Films in Los Angeles. Audience response has been
Guys has a twist-ending worthy of a classic short story. Is this a
literary genre you enjoy?
like O. Henry and Guy de Maupassant were famous for their twist
endings. A badass twist at the end is always a good way to
leave an audience enthralled.
After your directorial debut Opie
Gets Laid, I guess pretty much everybody would have expected
another (un-)romantic comedy from you. What made you enter thriller
territory (in a very broad sense of the word) instead?
to go in a new direction. Plus I'm a big fan of thrillers be they
action thrillers, suspense thrillers, horror thrillers or comedy thrillers
Guys. Thrillers force you to be creative
and come up with much more dynamic stories, settings, characters and
A few words
about your cast:
What can you tell us about Russ Kingston as the
glue-sniffing clerk ...?
Russ Kingston is a terrific actor
who began as a filmmaker and transitioned into acting. The
cat's pretty much a walking Wikipedia of film knowledge. I watched
some of his online acting reels and knew he was ideal for the role of
Elmer, the glue-sniffing clerk.
... Mark Wood as the young punk
Mark Wood and I had worked together previously.
I generally don't care for the casting process so it's just
easier to bring back someone you've worked with before. Plus I knew
he'd be cool in the role.
J.C. Maçek III
and of course J.C. Maçek III as the surgeon?
III runs a popular crazy, cult website called WorldsGreatestCritic.com.
We began a correspondence some years back after I read a review he'd
written of The Godfather of Gore Lucio Fulci's Zombi
2[Lucio Fulci bio -
click here]. I knew he'd
acted in theater and we'd talked about him doing a cameo for some
time and by the sheer luck of the cards it turned out to be Guillotine
have a bit of a track record as an actor. Why did you decide to limit
yourself to writing and directing on Guillotine
Feeling lucky ? Want to search any of my partnershops yourself for more, better results ?
DVD Talk wrote in a review, "Directors like Woody Allen and
Clint Eastwood make acting in their own movies look easy, but it is
actually incredibly difficult. Ricardo's deadpan performance as Opie is
serviceable, but at times there is a self-conscious stiffness to it that
should have been caught by the director."
I'd say they had me dead to rights. In retrospect I'd have
been better off staying behind the camera or limiting myself to a
How would you compare writing and
directing a short to writing and directing a feature film, and which do
you enjoy more?
Writing is easier in some respects since
it's just you and the computer you're dealing with. Directing
is like an orgy, it's a group effort. Writing is like masturbation,
it's a solo performance. So they both have their pluses and minuses.
Any future projects you'd like to talk
I'll be directing another comedy short I've
penned and then move onto the next feature film I've
written, an action horror thriller with a simple yet badass premise.
Stell Dir vor, Deine Lieblingsseifenoper birgt eine tiefere Wahrheit ...
... und stell Dir vor, der Penner von der U-Bahnstation hat doch recht ...
... und dann triffst Du auch noch die Frau Deiner (feuchten) Träume ...
Und an diesem Tag geht natürlich wieder einmal die Welt unter!!!
Bauliche Angelegenheiten ein Roman von Michael Haberfelner