Your new movie The
Friday Night Death Slot - in a few words, what is it about?
It's about a horror host who is screening shorts, trailers, cartoons
and commercials during his late night show and a viewer with nothing
better to do than watch.
were your inspirations for cooking up The
Friday Night Death Slot?
have always loved films like The Kentucky Fried Movie and Amazon Women on
the Moon. I even like The Groove Tube! They're not exactly anthologies,
because everything comes flying at you from every possible direction,
though they are mostly comedy-based. I wanted to do the same thing with The
Friday Night Death Slot, but I really wanted it to have more of a
You just have to talk
about your horror host character Johnny
Ghoulash for a bit, and also his past appearances! And your
thoughts on horror hosts and their shows as such?
always loved horror hosts. They add a little fun to the movies I already
love, so how can that be a bad thing? I grew up on The Hilarious House of
Frightenstein, which was filmed in my hometown of Hamilton, Ontario.
Ghoulash started out as a character that appeared in Matt Cloude's
Midnight in the Mortuary series. He was in a segment entitled, Ghoul
Schoul. From there, he went on to his own series entitled Partially
Devoured Movies. The first six episodes are currently on Roku at
Zombee TV, but there are 10 more episodes awaiting release. Hopefully, sometime
soon. Johnny also appeared in his own feature-length film, Johnny Ghoulash
Escapes From Creightonville.
can you tell us about The
Friday Night Death Slot's brand of humour?
sick, demented kind of humour in a lot of places. The kind of humour most
horror fans can get behind, I would guess! The movie also has a lot of
parody moments, so if you know the references, or the genre that is being
lampooned, it's definitely more fun. There are places where the humour is
more subtle, but more often than not it is just plain silly. In your
review, you mentioned that it would likely make a great party movie.
That's really what we were hoping to achieve.
its many vignettes, The
Friday Night Death Slot covers a very wide field when it comes to
approach to horror - so what kinds of horror are you into more than
others, and why?
I love all kinds of horror. Sometimes I go
through stages. There was a while there where I saw every zombie movie
ever made. Then, every slasher movie. Then, every exorcism movie. Right
now, I'm enjoying supernatural ghost stories. That's something I wanted to
capture in my film. All those different genres within the greater genre of
horror. Nothing quite like variety! I guess the reason for my love of all
things horror come from reading Famous Monsters of Filmland as a kid. I
always wanted to see everything they ever wrote about...
Maybe related to the last question,
which vignettes were the most fun, which were the most challenging to
shoot? And which are your favourites, actually?
to say we had fun shooting all of the segments. The vignettes that had
larger casts were the most fun just because so many people were involved.
The Heebie Jeebies was a blast to shoot, so were FireCRACKER and
Frank Einstein. The hardest segment to shoot was probably Spring
had to travel to Quebec for the location we wanted, and there was so much
blood to deal with on set. It was incredibly messy and I wanted to make
sure our main actress, Faith Rayah was as comfortable as possible. It's
hard to pick favourites, but lately I've enjoyed re-watching Not For The
Faint of Heart and Eat the Rich.
about your directorial approach to your stories at hand?
directorial approach changed with each segment. Each one was so different.
If the vignette was based in a certain time period, I did my best to make
it feel like it was directed in a style appropriate for that time. There
was no dialogue in The Devil's in the Details, so I had to make sure the
story was clear without words. Severance Package was intentionally more
wordy than other segments, and that meant a different style of direction
as well. In Spring Cleaning I utilized split screen effects a lot. It was
my homage to Brian DePalma!
can you tell us about your assistant directors Kyle Hytonen [Kyle
Hytonen interview - click here] and Darren Hutchings, who each
directed an episode themselves, and what was your collaboration like?
and I worked together very closely on The Heebie Jeebies. We hashed out
the main story together and researched all the crazy 1920s catch phrases
used in the segment. Kyle wrote the script and directed it. I edited it
and did all the effects. Kyle is a great guy to work with on set. He's
easy going and makes things very comfortable with his approach. I look
forward to working with Kyle again. Hopefully soon!
Darren is a super nice
guy and very talented. His segment was called Leap Year Massacre and he
produced it entirely. I only worked as an actor on that one. In fact, it
wasn't originally created for The
Friday Night Death Slot, but I was
ecstatic to have it become part of the film.
star in quite a number of the movie's vignettes - so what can you tell us
about your characters, and your approach to them? And do you actually
write your characters with yourself in mind?
many roles myself seemed like a good idea at the time. I figured it would
be a good way to showcase my abilities. As time went on, it proved to be
harder and harder to act and direct at the same time. I think in upcoming
projects I'll do one or the other and not both. The characters I like to
portray are usually out of their minds and a little over the top. My
approach often has to do with capturing the madness I want to portray in
the character. Sometimes it is a little more sublte, but most often it is
bordering on outrageous. When I started working on this film with Andre
Guantanamo, we weren't sure we would attract other actors to be part of
our little film. We wrote things with ourselves in mind at first, and then
expanded as more actors entered into the picture.
you tell us about the rest of your cast, and why exactly these people?
cast was so great all around. Many of them were friends or people we had
worked with on other productions, so we knew we could count on them and
their abilities. Andre Guantanamo was the first person I talked to about
the movie and how I wanted to go about shooting it. He's a very talented
actor and I'm proud to have him in almost every segment! The same goes for
Deborah Jayne Reilly Smith. She has a lot of versatility which really
helps in a film like this one. I wish I had time to mention everybody.
They all did a great job.
talk about the shoot(s) as such for a bit, and the on-set atmosphere?
film was shot over a year and a half, quite often in between other
projects. Thankfully, that worked with the type of format we had chosen
for the movie. Every set up was a little different. Sometimes we were on
location, other times in front of the green screen. The atmosphere was
positive. At least, I hope so, because I really believe that it is the
director that sets the atmosphere! That was another great thing about
working with Kyle and Darren. They have a very pleasant and positive
manner that really rubs off on the rest of the cast and crew.
you can tell us about critical and audience reception of your movie yet?
really at this time. We're a few weeks away from our premiere at this
point. We've applied to a number of festivals and hope to get the chance
to bring our film to a larger audience soon.
future projects you'd like to share?
My next film is
entitled Space Monsters Must Die. I'm just entering into the
pre-production stage. It will have a bunch of monsters and their alien
masters trying to take over the world. It will definitely be heavily
influenced by my love of Japanese monster films! I'll also be portraying
Major Foht in Brett Kelly's Skipper Smith and the Very Important Thing.
That will be a fun time...
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Anything else you are
dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
but I will take this opportunity to say please check out the fan page for
Space Monster Must Die. We're just starting and I intend to update all
through pre-production all the way to the finished product. Join us for
the ride - www.facebook.com/spacemonstersmustdie
for the interview!
You're welcome, and thank you for all
your hard work!