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An Interview with Jared Masters, Director of Carny Girls

by Mike Haberfelner

August 2014

Films directed by Jared Masters on (re)Search my Trash


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Your upcoming film Carny Girls - in a few word, what's it going to be about?


Cute sisters get abducted by evil carnies.


What were your inspirations when writing Carny Girls?


Edward D. Wood jr's rare adult novels Sideshow Siren and Mary-Go-Round [Ed Wood bio - click here]. Also the lost film Carny Girl (1970) I had the privilege of seeing a trailer for.


Carnival and circus themes seem to pop up in your movie time and again, including of course your documentary Meet the Freaks at Dreamland - would you care to elaborate?


I have an appreciation for circus arts. I learned how to ride a unicycle at 14 with intent to run away with the circus. There's a dark, mad atmosphere that comes with vintage sideshow themes that excite me.


What can you tell us about your film's intended look and feel?


That depends on the final budget, I could make it quick and dirty or very high-end. I'd like to make it very carefully to effectively produce an authentic carnival film, depicting carnies and carny lifestyles appropriately. It will be a visual feast of colors, rust, and savagery.


A few words about Carny Girls' approach to horror (as in atmosphere vs. all-out gore, suspense vs. sudden shocks and the like)?


It seems to me that it's a horror-adventure film or survival horror, wherein these girls fight to free themselves from the confines of the freak show. There's torture elements and shock moments for sure, but in the current draft there is no over-the-top gore effects, but that could always change.


Anything you can tell us about your key cast and crew yet, and why exactly these people?


It's going to be hard to cast the perfect slang South talkin' sisters, who can portray lovable white trash and also have very attractive bodies, which will need to be shown in the nude to tell this story. I'd like Bill Oberst jr to play Tender Wilson [Bill Oberst jr interview - click here], the crooked freak show owner, but there's a chance I might turn that role into a woman instead, and give Bill a different part. My unpredictable friend Andy Dick might have a role too, as a lewd ride operator.


Since your film is set at a carnival, you just have to talk about your intended location for a bit!


I attended some local carnivals for inspiration and also to track down the owners. I met one and he seemed to be willing to lend his rides and outfit for filming. He also wanted a part, which concerned me because he wasn't an actor and spoke little English. I wanted his balloon board worker more, a tough ex-con type (felons get jobs at carnivals because they typically don't do background checks). I have been talking with John Strong, owner of the world's biggest sideshow, and he is excited and willing to let us use his circus if we're willing to travel to his lot in Texas.


As far as I know, Carny Girls is presently still in its fundraising stages - so what can you tell us about your fundraising campaign?


The majority of funding will hopefully come from private investors but the public campaign is there for additional funds and exposure. It would be great to have many people involved, and make a movie that's against the norm.


Once your funds are raised, how do you plan to proceed, and any idea when and where the film might be released yet (though I know it might be waaay too early to ask)?


I make movies fast so I think it will be arrive sooner than later.


Any future projects beyond Carny Girls?


I have 17 other projects in various states of development, but Ballerina Massacre is coming up, a very gory blood bath within a classical ballet.


What got you into filmmaking to begin with, and did your receive any formal training on the subject?


I made skateboarding videos at 15 and sold them at school on VHS for five dollars. I took photography in eighth grade and learned about exposure, aperture, contrast and depth of field. I dropped in eleventh grade and never had any other schooling at an institution. I'm not sure if filmmaking is something you can teach/learn effectively at college and I'm glad I decided not to continue traditional training.


What can you tell us about your filmwork prior to Carny Girls, and your evolution as a director?


My feature debut was Climb It, Tarzan!, a 1960's grindhouse comedy with an all-female cast. I then made another 60s romp called 8 Reels of Sewage, which some people consider my best work of fiction. I then made a transition into horror with Slink, a critically acclaimed film that "walks the hire-wire between horror and dark comedy" as one critic put it. It got distribution on Time Warner Cable. I then wrote Teachers' Day/After School Massacre in five days and shot it in six. I think it's a fun slasher film beautifully photographed and colored by cinematographer Tim McCombe. I revisited my 1960's fascination with Big Hair, Long Lashes, which is yet to be revealed, preserved in a time capsule until 2060. I then made Punkettes, which is a fun film about a girl band. It's premiering in a few days at the Galactic Film Festival, and has been nominated for two awards. I also just wrapped a new screwball murder mystery comedy called Club Lingerie, starring Bouvier, with big news coming about that. Hopefully Carny Girls will be next, the 9th feature in my filmography.


Your movies often have a retro vibe to them - why, how do you achieve this, and what are the challenges here?


Items that are manufactured today usually aren't screen-worthy. Plastic Cars, Plastic Blinds, Plastic Mailboxes, Plastic Houses, etc. The simplicity and organic compounds of 60's mod fashion and decor are visually refreshing and comfortable to look at. It surprises me when people have no to little knowledge of this era. To most, the 60's were a hippie haven, and the classy side has been mostly forgotten. I am finally admitting in this interview that... I am a vintage rotary telephone fetishist, and enjoy filming scenes with women talking on them. Challenges to making a period film on a modest budget are usually avoiding non-period props/architecture in your frame. Some items might surprise you, like the time when right before a scene the landlord character told me manila envelopes weren't invented until the seventies.


How would you describe yourself as a director?


Prince of Horror Erotica, Sultan of Sensationalism.


Filmmakers who inspire you?


Doris Wishman, Edward D. Wood jr [Ed Wood bio - click here], Jess Franco, Radley Metzger, Jean Rollin, Joe Sarno, Barry Mahon, Jack Hill, Bob Cresse, David F. Friedman, Harry Novak, Tom Shadyac, Wes Craven, Tod Browning.


Your favourite movies?


She Freak, Nude on the Moon, Freaks, Carny, Slumber Party Massacre-trilogy, The Scum of the Earth, Big Bird Cage, Orgy of the Dead, Love Camp, Vampyros Lesbos.


... and of course, films you really deplore?


I'd rather not try to conjure up the garbage studio films I've seen recently. A lot of recent indie horror is painful to watch too. They look very similar to one another, thinking HD cameras will save them.


Feeling lucky ?
Want to
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?

The links below
will take you
just there!!!

Find Jared Masters
at the amazons ...


Great Britain (a.k.a. the United Kingdom)

Germany (East AND West)

Looking for imports ?
Find Jared Masters here ...

Your shop for all things Thai

Something naughty ?
(Must be over 18 to go there !)

x-rated  find Jared Masters at

Your/your movie's website, Facebook, IndieGoGo, whatever else?


Anything else you are dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?


Teachers' Day is now on DVD and is coming out On Demand this fall. I'm also in negotiations of re-releasing some vintage films through my company, Frolic Pictures. I'm also currently writing a book, 'Cinematic Secrets: The New Handbook for Profitable Independent Filmmaking' or 'How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the B-Movie'.


Thanks for the interview!


© by Mike Haberfelner

Legal note: (re)Search my Trash cannot
and shall not be held responsible for
content of sites from a third party.

Thanks for watching !!!



On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD



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
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Michael Haberfelner


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