Important note: For the next week, starting
Monday 3/12 till Saturday 3/17, 2012, all profits from the rental and sale
of the Cannibal Death Gods through our website www.cannibaldeathgods.com
will be donated equally between Scares that Care and the Animal
Rescue Mission. Take the time to donate a couple of bucks to two
worthy causes. You'll also get to see a cheesy B-Horror film that after
watching, you'll, at the very least, appreciate other movies more.
Your new film Island
of the Cannibal Death Gods - in a few words, what is it about?
of the Cannibal Death Gods
is an homage film to the low budget horror films of the 60's and
70's. Think along the lines of Roger Corman [Roger
Corman bio - click here] meets William Grefe meets
Herschell Gordon Lewis [Herschell
Gordon Lewis bio - click here], but with less money.
I wanted to make a film like the ones I used to watch at the midnite
movies when I was a kid. There was a weekly show called Creature
Feature when I was growing up that, along with the
old Universal monster and
movies, would show these low budget
horror films from all over the world. I loved it.
question: Why a cannibal movie? And to what degree was Island
of the Cannibal Death Gods by European (mainly Italian) cannibal
movies from the 1970's and early 80's? And some of your genre favourites?
I actually wasn't inspired at all by those films. The idea came out of
my head and without giving away too much, was inspired by the concept of
corporate retreats. It was all
the rage, a few years ago, for all these corporate executives to go out
into nature, strip naked and beat on drums and get back to their
primitive selves. That, more than anything else was the inspiration.
sources of inspiration when writing Island
of the Cannibal Death Gods?
I actually have hidden some social commentary in the dialogue of the
movie. This was inspired by our current craze with so called
"Reality TV". I find the whole concept to be baffling. We seem
become a world of voyeurs watching the train wrecks of these people's
lives when in reality... it's not real. The crews film hundreds of hours
to get the one hour a week people watch. I snuck in some of my
personal feelings about that.
Though not quite as
gory as many other cannibal movies, there are quite a few
blood-and-guts-effects in Island
of the Cannibal Death Gods. What can you tell us about them, and
about achieving them on your rather low budget?
They were about as basic as you can imagine.
Intestines were sausage casings with fake blood and instant oatmeal in
them. Machete's with the blades hollowed out, mannequin torsos covered
with latex and my friend pushing the intestines out of the chest cavity by hand.
This film was made on a shoe string and most of the money spent went to
making sure my cast and crew were taken care of.
you tell us about your directorial approach to your subject matter?
I really only have one approach when I'm on set. First, while I mean
business, I like keeping the atmosphere light and fun. Making a movie is
entertainment and you better enjoy doing it. Second, I make it clear to
working with to check their egos. There are no unimportant people on
set. The person holding the boom, the person bringing lunch, the person
carrying the equipment - you can't shoot a film without them anymore
could without a cast or director.
think an all-important aspect of any cannibal movie is the location. So
what can you tell us about your locations, and how did you find them?
We were very fortunate there. All of the waterway
shots were filmed along the intercoastal in Ft. Lauderdale. The actual
"island" was a small 4 acre nature preserve in the middle of a
warehouse district. It was through people offering to help us with the film that we were able
to secure these locations for filming.
a movie out in the wild sounds at the same time like loads of fun and
loads of stress. So what can you tell us about the highlights, trials and
tribulations of shooting Island
of the Cannibal Death Gods, and about the on-set atmosphere?
Whew... that's a loaded question. We endured a two day torrential
downpour that flooded the nature preserve and forced us to cancel
shooting one weekend. Then we had a cold snap that came through that
dropped temperatures into the
low 30's the first weekend our "cannibals" were to be on set.
While they all stood ready to do it, I couldn't ask these wonderful
women to parade around in their skimpy outfits in that weather. I came
down with a case of the flu one weekend
and was horribly sick during the two days of shooting. The bar scene
that you see in the film was actually the fourth bar we used as the
footage from the previous 3 was unusable. Through it all, my cast and
crew stood by me and the project.
few words about your principal cast?
I could not have asked for a better cast for my first feature. They were
enthusiastic, helpful, energetic. Every director should be lucky enough
to have such talented, professional people working for them. They made
film such a wonderful experience for me that I can't do justice to them
in the few words here. They were phenomenal.
What can you tell
us about Island
of the Cannibal Death Gods' brand of humour?
dark humor. I tend to have a sarcastic, dark sense of humor. I blame it on
a mother that brought me up watching Monty Python's Flying Circus.
you like to talk about Island
of the Cannibal Death Gods' ultimate punchline for a bit, or do
you think it would mean giving away too much of your film?
I don't want to give it away, more than I already
have with the answer to one of the previous questions. :) Suffice to say
that Herschell Gordon Lewis [Herschell
Gordon Lewis bio - click here] once told me that any good horror film has
to have a "Gotcha" moment. From the reaction that I've gotten so far... we did
that. People have been totally surpised and loved it.
the Cannibal Death Gods might look a bit like a 1970's grindhouse
movie, the musical score rather suggests a 1950's B-picture. So what can
you tell us about your musical score, and your collaboration with composer
Michael was a godsend. He is such a talented
musician and composer. I told him what I was looking for and he just ran
with it. The score came out of his head with virtually no input from me.
He was attracted to this project in the same way I was. With a love of those old
cheesy horror films. His score just added so much to this film. I have
such an appreciation now for how a good score can really make a film.
Any movie directors that need a great composer... Michael's your man.
A few words about critical and
audience reception so far?
It's been good. The reviews we've received so far
have been very positive. The movie was just released a couple of weeks
ago so there hasn't been much audience response for far. I'm hoping that
reviews like yours will help fix that.
Genre veteran William Grefe
has given Island
of the Cannibal Death Gods a very double-edged shout-out on funnyordie.com
- now how did that come into being?
I met Bill at a networking event and asked him if
he'd watch the film and share his thoughts. As a director who made a
career out of making cult films... I wanted to know what he thought of
my modern "cult" film. After watching it, he felt strongly enough
about it that he agreed to do the promo. I thought it was brilliant. I
wanted a humorous endorsement and he came up with the idea and we ran
with it. One take and we were done. I've gotten a little criticism from
people that don't get it. They think I'm letting someone trash the film.
I guess you have to have that kind of dark, self deprecating humor that
I have to get it. I find it very obvious that it's supposed to be funny. When
he starts by calling me the American Fellini and that Steven Spielberg's
films pale in comparison to Island
of the Cannibal Death Gods... it should be fairly
obvious that we're having fun with it. At least it was to me. Bill has a personal rule
against commenting on another director's work, so the fact that he
agreed to do the spot at all says something about how he felt about Island
of the Cannibal Death Gods.
Let's go back to the
beginnings of your career: What made you want to go into filmmaking,
initially, and did you receive any formal training on the subject?
I graduated with a degree in film from Florida
Atlantic University. I did the extra thing back when I was a kid... 18,
19 years old but couldn't pay the rent. I walked away from it for a long
time, but the passion was always there. Then a couple of things got my interest
stoked enough to want to get back into it. One was Bruce Campbell's
biography, If Chins Could Kill. A great portion of the book
details the making of Evil Dead. Second was a film by Mark Altman and Robert Meyer Burnett,
Free Enterprise. Learning the back story of those two projects really
you made Island
of the Cannibal Death Gods, you made quite a number of shorts,
right? Would you like to talk about those for a bit? And what encouraged
you to switch to making feature films?
*laughing* No... my shorts all sucked, I don't want
to talk about them. Actually, since Island
of the Cannibal Death Gods I have made one
other short that I'm happy with. It's called Desperation and
was written by Island
of the Cannibal Death Gods alum Beau Yotty. That short I'm very happy with.
projects you'd like to talk about?
I'm currently vacillating on a screenplay that's a
rags to riches story with musical numbers. There's a science fiction
dramatic-comedy TV series that's in the treatment stage and another
horror film, filled with social allegory that's on the back burner.
Directors who inspire you?
Roger Corman [Roger
Corman bio - click here], William
Grefe, Sam Raimi, Terry Gilliam, John Carpenter... to name a few.
Your favourite movies?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
*Whew* - That's a tough question. I go through
cycles where I'll watch a certain film literally a dozen times. I can't
really say I have a favorite. I love many films across many genres. That may sound like a cop out to the
question but I can't really choose one over another.
... and of
course, films you really deplore?
Again there really aren't any specific films. I'm
not a big fan of movies that substitute violence or gore or over the top
special effects for plot and story. Plot and story are everything in a
movie, in my opinion.
Facebook, whatever else?
My Facebook page is me... Jeff Freeman. The movie
has a Facebook page as well and I keep our fans updated on the movie
there. We have a website at: www.cannibaldeathgods.com
working on having the movie for sale worldwide on
the site in a day or two. For rent or to own.
of the Cannibal Death Gods is now available worldwide and for
download to your Apple or Android device (or your PC) through our website
The deluxe edition DVD is also available for purchase, as is our official
11x17 movie poster. Visit the website for reviews, bloopers and everything
else for our Fannibals!
Anything else you are dying to
mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
Just one thing and it's aimed at other independent
filmmakers such as myself. You may not have made the best film in the
world, your film may not be seen by a lot of people. But if you made a
feature film to completion... that is something special and you
should take pride in that. Many people start trying to make one... but
you did it.
It was my pleasure. Thank You.