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An Interview with Jon Russell Cring, Director of Creeping Crawling

by Mike Haberfelner

September 2014

Films directed by Jon Russell Cring on (re)Search my Trash


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Your new movie Creeping Crawling - in a few words, what is it about?


Creeping Crawling is an anthology horror film with three stories about people's psychological relationship with various insects.


Since your film plays with the fear of invertebrates - is that at all a fear you can relate to, personally?


LOL, I actually think that people will be surprised about the way buggys are woven into these stories. I didnt want to do a creature feature in the traditional sense where unclad women were being stalked by invertebrates. All the stories are sort of about different kinds of personal madness with a little fetish thrown in. The message is one about the personal hell we all create. But I do hate spiders, lol.


(Other) sources of inspiration when writing Creeping Crawling - and what can you tell us about your co-writers Tracy Nichole Cring and Joshua Owens, and what was your collaboration like?


Tracy is my wife and she had the idea for all three stories. We let a cat in our house off the street and it infested the house completely with fleas. We bombed the shit out of it using 5 times the recommended chemical amount and when we came back to see the carnage we wrote two of the stories with the odor of pesticide still stinging our nostrils. In other words we may have been a little affected.

Josh Owens is a brilliant friend of mine and he has an amazing demented sense of humor. When the final story Bugger needed to be written, we let him run with our idea and he took it to some wonderful and wacky places.


How would you describe your directorial approach to your story/stories at hand, and your approach to the horror genre in general?


I wanted each story to sort of represent three different kinds of suspense and horror films. 

R.I.D. was informed by British haunted house movies (The Legend of Hellhouse and Burnt Offerings). We were in talks to have Karen Black actually play the Entymologist who does the wraparound.

Grubbery has more of a late 70s style where it is about horrible things happening but nothing supernatural occurs. The parts of films like Don't Look Now or even The Exorcist that really stick with you are the loss of a child or the barbarism of Regan's treatment. Most of the horror people experience is at the hands of family not ghosties or ghoulies.

Bugger is a lot more slash and flash 80s. It also is funny which harkens back to Critters or Ghoulies.

As far as directing it is all about performance. When you have great people around you who worry about lighting and camera etc, you can try to bring out the characters and make them as real as possible. 


Creeping Crawling also has a humouristic note to it - so what can you tell us about the movie's brand of comedy?


This is my first feature horror film. I like to surprise people with where a story goes. I would never advertise this as a horror comedy because then you have to be funny a certain percentage of the time, but when you keep your tongue in cheek it tells the audience that we can have fun and even make fun of ourselves. The characters who talk to the professor who leads out each story are purposfully stereotypical of teen horror films.

In the story of Bugger that Josh wrote we decided if we are gonna show this one scene we are gonna go all out (If you've seen it you know the one Im talking about, lol). You gotta go balls out or in this case worms out.


What can you tell us about the key cast, and why exactly these people?


Well Anna Shields [Anna Shields interview - click here] was cast as an Emergency measure the night before shooting. She is a star with mega wattage. Beautiful funny crazy sexy she does it all.

Laura LaFrate from America's Next Top Model, I met her at a fashion show and kinda was smitten by her kick assness.

Sara Von Ouhl is a regional model but also a huge cinephile. She was a partner of mine on a movie review show. She has something so classy about her and I wanted to break her down to a truly vulnerable place.

Raine Brown has been in numerous successful horror features, and when I sent her the script, together we came up with this "Velma" like horror convention conspiracy theorist character.

Chuck Girard is a friend who I knew had leading man potential if he would just be given the chance.

I could say so much about each of the actors in this movie, Sheree Spargo who actually reminds me of the afore-mentioned Karen Black... Kevin Craig West as the long suffering boyfriend is wonderful... I am a fan of all of them.


A few words about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?


We shot each section separately so it was like making four short films. I think that gave us a chance to really change the mood and style. I am very organic when I film. I wait to see what might happen. You have to plan but then you have to let go. If people are not having fun they will remember that they are missing Jeopardy and go home.


Do talk about critical and audience reception of your movie so far for a bit!


People seem to dig it. I am not curing cancer with this movie, lol. I just want people to have a good time and maybe see a few things they never saw before. Contact me on Facebook if you want. I love telling stories and hearing everyone's opinion.


Any future projects you'd like to share?


I have a bunch. I currently have 7 movies in various developmental stages. I shot a film last year called Hobo Heyseus, which is sort of a spiritual hippie drama. This June I am doing my largest film to date entitled This is Nowhere which is about a 15 year old girl whose family run a motel populated by the outcasts of society. 


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


I learned filmmaking from the "School of Hard Cocks" - wait did I say that right? Lol.

My wife made a film when she was 18 and won some equipment. We started writing and producing for others together and learned just by doing. We just finished our 17th feature film which means that we have found 17 right and wrong ways to make a movie. More like 1700.


What can you tell us about your filmwork aside from Creeping Crawling?


I can tell you that if independent digital film is ever gonna truly compete with Hollywood blockbuster filmmaking, we are gonna have to change our mindset. We have to overcome them with ideas and character-driven stories. If we do not need all the bullshit they do to make a film and can still have the goal of entertaining with amazing scripts, we will bury the 100 million film with 100 one million Dollar films or even many more.

The cost of promotion will continue to go up but the cost of filmmaking has dropped. Stop wishing you can be one of the big boys! They are dinosaurs walking towards tar pits man.


Jon (left) with cast at the Creeping Crawling premiere

How would you describe yourself as a director?


Jesus... uh, fuckin awesome. Lol, I have been called an actor's director, which makes me very happy. I love actors. Any director who minimizes actors needs to go back to delivering pizza. It is all about performance.


Filmmakers who inspire you?


Coppola, Ashby, Capra, Polanski, Carpenter, PT Anderson, Mann, Kubrick, De Palma, Weir, Corman [Roger Corman bio - click here].


Your favourite movies?


Dude, that is an impossible question. I would name 10 in every genre. I will tell you my favorite horror film: Carpenter's The Thing... it is perfect. Scary, claustrophobic, gooey, fun, bleak. It captures the way people can turn on each other depending on circumstance... plus Kurt Russell has a kick ass sombrero.


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


I truely despise:

Comedy without any edge (Medea).

Pretentious period drama (Merchant Ivory).

Any torture porn sequel (Saw, Hostel, Vacancy) - go make more originals!

Feeling lucky ?
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Find Jon Russell Cring
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Germany (East AND West)

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

x-rated  find Jon Russell Cring at

I also totally do not get most of the Italian directors Fellini, Argento etc. Its like you make one good film that canonizes you and then you are allowed to make dreck after that.


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


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


Please let me know what you think of the film after you have seen it. Share it around too. Thank you for letting me blather, lol.


Thanks for the interview!


© by Mike Haberfelner

Legal note: (re)Search my Trash cannot
and shall not be held responsible for
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Thanks for watching !!!



Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




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